Sunday, 1 May 2016

Frida Fantastico


I have been waiting to blog this for ages. 
At Christmas my husband bought me 2m of this lovely fabric from Fancy Moon.

I decided I wanted a dress, but with only 2m and a very distinct pattern it had to be a slim skirted version.
I drafted a bodice using my own block, added some cap sleeves and used the pencil skirt from Gertie's first book.


I was really careful with the pattern placement on the bodice and managed to match the pattern on the bodice back quite well. Unfortunately I didn't have enough fabric to match the back of the skirt.


The bodice is lined with a light cotton muslin and I underlined the skirt with the same fabric. The shell fabric just needed a little extra body.


I finished the dress way back in February, but it had been too cold to wear. I did wear it a couple of weeks ago when we had the warm spell. Just waiting for it to get warm enough to have this in regular rotation.  

What would you make out of fabric like this?

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Named Kielo Convert

I am a Named Kielo convert!

Mum in her Kielo Dress.

I had originally bypassed this pattern as I was not really impressed by the styling on the Named website. I think it was the really sheer fabric and colour choice that put me off. How misled I was!

However, recently I had seen quite a few versions around the internet including this one by busylizzieinbrizzie.

and this one by Wasted Weekends.


The styling seems to suit most bodyshapes and I had been on the lookout for a maxi dress pattern for the summer. As I'm going to be in Hong Kong and China for a few weeks I really needed a light fabric that wont crease and will look fab after being screwed up in a case for many hours! I found this blue fabric at a local market for £2 a metre. It's semi sheer so I will need to wear a half slip with it.


I know that the Kielo is drafted for a knit or stretch woven, but I thought I'd give it a go in my fabric as it had only cost me a total of £4 for the 2m needed. (On a side note, I went into Dorothy Perkins the other day and this fabric is one of their current lines, as a blouse and dress.)

I cut a straight size10 (38) and made not adjustments during the construction. I made a self bias binding for the neck and armholes, and made sure not to make the seams bigger than the 1cm included on the pdf pattern.

I allowed about 5cm more on the back vent as the fabric is a woven and others had said it was a bit low. I took off about 5cm at the hem and did a rolled hem. Unfortuately I haven't photographed my version yet as it's too sheer and needs a slip which I don't have. I will post this soon.


My mum was visiting when I was making my dress and was impressed by the fit and styling and asked me to make her one. We headed off to The Sewing Box in Morpeth and bought a beautiful drapey Crepe de chine style fabric (with no stretch), also synthetic and the sort of fabric that would look stunning even after being screwed up for hours. My mum travels quite a lot and this is the perfect dress for her to take out to Spain or on her travels.

I cut and sewed a Size 14 and finished it the same way as I did mine (mum made the bias binding - which was no mean feat with this slippery fabric). We are the same height and so the length of the dress was the same as mine. I am now convinced that this pattern works well in a light weight woven with no stretch, but I would like to make it in a knit to see the difference. I plan to make a shorter one for work and one with sleeves for the winter.

I am converted to this pattern - it's amazing what fabric choice can make to the styling of a dress.


Monday, 28 March 2016

Tops galore

I've been busy testing patterns again and have made the second of three, which was very sucessful, but not really my style, but my teenage daughter loves it! Obviously I cant share yet!

I also made a top from this month's Burdastyle. This must be a first - making something within a week of recieving the magazine. It's a cute little tank with pleated neckline (#118 04/2016)


I cut the size 38 (which is my normal Burda size), but found it a little generous in the width. So if you are planning on making it do check the pattern width against your required finished measurements.
I'll cut a 36 next time, and I do plan to make more as it was so quick to sew. Including tracing the pattern and actually finding the fabric in my stash the making took less than 2 hours and I made my own bias binding.


The fabric is a batik remnant that I had left from making the wrap top a couple of years ago. I picked up a bargain 2m of it in a Charity shop for a whopping £2. There was less than 1m left and I really did have to squeeze the pattern in and piece many sections to make the bias trim. I think this would be a cute addition to any summer wardrobe and great for layering. The example in the magazine is made in silk - this would look amazing in silk, teamed with high waisted skirt or trousers.


I have also done a spot of refashioning. Late last year my mum gave me a shirt in a faded blue fabric. It was too big for me and not really my style, but the colour id in trend for this seeasons blues! I cut the sleeves to form cap sleeves and used the rest of them to create a godet at each side seam, adding a swing element to the top. I thin created a curved hem by cutting the front just at my waist and grading to the original length at the back. All edged were neatened with the overlocker and pressed and hemmed - very simple and it looks a whole lot more wearable.
Next up - Mission: Decorate the hall!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Testing Testing


I'm doing some pattern testing at the moment so I can't share what I'm making, but this is a glimpse of the fabric I'm using. I'll share more once the pattern is released.

This weekend we also decided that the dog needed a hair cut. This is something we've done ourselves for a while, but on this occassion it was rather tricky. Daisy has become rather matted over the winter months as she often gets wet. The clippers would just not go thriugh the mats in her fur, so it was back to scissors and comb. I've got the worst of it out and will comb out the rest and tidy her up next week. I'll do her tail and ears then too.

I've also been looking for a summer dress pattern that I can use for travelling. I'd been looking at the Kielo Dress by Named. Initially I had not given this a second glance as I hated the fabric choice on the promo version. But recently I've been seeing some lovely versions around the web.

I love this Knee length version from Busy Lizzie.


And this one from Donna at Sew Independent.

Now I'm just on the look out for some nice fabric for my own version.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Sunny Sunday



What a stunning day!
Warm enough to walk without wearing a coat.
I decided to take the dog for a walk along the beach.

It's on days like this that I really do appreciate the fantastic location that we live in. Sometimes I can take it for granted, but I love that I can be on the beach in 5 minutes. It feeds my soul beaing near to the sea.


In other news - I've started to refashion a blouse that is rather shapeless and too long. I'm creating lots of small tucks/ darts to add shape.


Sunday, 6 March 2016

The White Witch #worldbookday



This is the first year I have not had to make costumes for my children for World Book Day. But my School were celebrating and the staff were included. I decided to go as the white witch form The lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis.

The skirt was a cotton summer dress with a net overlay. I serged the two layers together and added inch wide elastic to form a quick waist band.
The top was a simple corset with plastic boning that I made on a course about 2 years ago. It just needed the eyelets putting in and the bias edging. I bought a crepe backed satin top from a charity shop for less than £1 and used it to make the binding. The shawl was made from left over fabric. I just stitched the ends together to make a tube and wore it around my shoulders. As it was cold I wore a camisole top and leggings underneath.
My shoes are my go to partywear. Silver glitter shoes by Read or Dead from Schuh. Whiile they are comfy, my feet were killing me after standing teaching all day!!!!


I applied funky shaper gel to my hair and backcombed into place, finishing with a layer of white coloured hair spray. I was surprised that it stayed in all day. My make up was simple. I just replaced all powder and blusher with white eye shadow. I used pale green eyeshadow on and under the eyes and finided with blue eye liner and my usual mascara. The headdress was made by my daughter.

The whole look stayed in very well. But I was so glad to wash it all off at the end of the day.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Cooking up a storm


The finished dish - ready for serving with a green salad.

Today I'd like to share one of my favourite pasta meals. Honeycomb cannelloni. This is a Jamie Oliver recipe from the 'Cook with Jamie' book. It's simple to make and although it does have a small amount of anchovies in, they can be left out to create a delicious vegetarian dish. This one is great for sharing. The recipe can be found here.

Beginning to assemble the dish - sauce, spinach and ragu.



Adding the canneloni - then top with remaining ragu and creamy sauce.


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