Saturday, 30 March 2013

WIP bride re:made

I'm currently refashioning a wedding dress. This is it so far, I'll post more as it nears completion.

Monday, 25 March 2013


Jumping on the bandwagon. I've signed up to bloglovin. I usually read my feed via blogger dashboard. But have been using google reader when using my phone. Bloglovin is much better for mobile use. Like it.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Burda Jacket

You might remember my Christmas Birthday dress. It's the one I made with the fabric my sister bought be for my Birthday last July, but that I didn't get around to sewing up until December, and I wore it to boxing day and New year celebrations.

Well there was a little extra fabric -just enough for a jacket. I'd already decided to make the jacket at the time I made the dress, but just didn't get around to it. But with wedding season fast approaching (the first being next week) I decided that I should get a move on and actually make it up.

I used the bolero jacket from Burdastyle 4/2012. It was a petite size so I lengthened the pattern to make it just skim my waist.

The construction was easy, although the instructions were a bit vague - they often are in the magazine! I'm not 100% happy with the final outcome, especially the sleeves - but I'm not beating myself up about it and I will wear it. You really do need a jacket for a spring wedding!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

New Shoes

I just got my new shoes today. I know for some, having new shoes might be a regular occurrence, but the last time I had new shoes for work was about 4 years ago. They were a lovely pair of Dr Martens, Mary Jane style shoes and I've worn them to death!

Last Saturday my daughter and I went shopping and into Clarks shoes I went. I wanted something that  was a Mary Jane in style, Black and very comfy! I tried on a pair of shoes in heather (beige) patent, as they didn't have black in my size. they felf like a second skin and so I ordered them in the back suede. Today they arrived!

I often feel guilty about buying shoes, but I really did need a new pair as my lovely Doc's had finally had it.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

I hate sleeves

I've done a lot of reading about ease in sleeves. I read Kathleen's posts on Fashion Incubator, and various books on couture sewing. and frankly I'm confused and a bit annoyed!

If I'm honest - I really don't like ease, unless its a design feature! I like jackets/ shirts to have a smooth sleeve head, and while steaming out the ease is great with some fabrics. Others just look rubbish.

I'm in the process of making a Bolero jacket from a 2012 edition of Burdastyle. and I still think there's too much ease in the sleeve head - I've deliberately gathered it at the shoulder. I know it's not the "right" thing to do - but to be honest I haven't got time to make a muslin, test it, redraft and ensure the seams are true. Is it too much to ask for the pattern company to do this for me - is it just laziness on their part? (or mine)

It just seams like every single pattern I come across had loads of ease at the shoulder and even when I take the time to do it "properly" I can often struggle to get all the ease into the armhole! and then struggle to get it even on both sleeves - surely there is an easier way to do this?

What about you?
How do you find sleeve head ease?  - do you like the ease or hate it?
Have you found any good patterns that don't have ease?
Has anyone got a tutorial for reducing ease accurately?
How do I get it right every time?

Monday, 11 March 2013

I just love this Dress

Women and children's clothing | Free Returns and UK Delivery
I just love this crochet dress from Monsoon. I wish I was skilled enough to make my own! - as I'm not, I might just have to buy it!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Trade school

I heard about this today - It's such a great Idea.
anyone can teach a class about anything in any place, and you pay for the knowledge by bartering.

Have a look at the website and see what you think!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Polkadot Purple


Doesn't that image just make your eyes spin? - it's an odd effect that images of tiny spots has!
So I finally finished the dress that I made up from my vintage Maudella pattern.  I adapted the pattern slightly to have a button from, rather than a zip. This worked well although I'd use a narrower button stand and vertical buttonholes next time.

70's collar
 The pattern was easy to follow, but there were some odd construction methods. The bodice and skirt panels were sewn together before sewing the side seams, which is not how I'd normally construct a dress.
Strange side seams

The bust darts were a little short and I lengthened them by about an inch. The armhole facings were HUGE, and even when stitched to the seams, would flap into the armscye - A bit of hemmit sorted out that problem, next time I make this dress, and I will - I already have fabric for version 2, I'll use a bias strip.
Huge arm facings

I do like the extended shoulders, which fold back to give a nice detail.

Shoulder flaps

I used a slightly too firm interfacing for the collar, and will use something lighter next time. I like the contrast buttons (which I sewed on with my machine - first time I've done that) and feel the dress needs a matching belt, when I wear it. I haven't found one yet though.

Contrast Buttons

 I haven't worn this yet, as it's a dress for warmer weather, but hopefully it won't be too long!

Pattern: 20p
Fabric: £15
Buttons: £1.20
Interfacing & Thread: - from stash

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Saturday kitchen

I've had a frustrating day where the simple sewing I was doing took way too long to get right - to the point where I threw it in the bin and started again.

The cooking, however, was a success!
I made Baozifan for lunch. This is a steamed rice dish cooked in a ceramic pot on the hob.

Boil your rice for 5 minutes and drain. While this is cooking heat your ceramic dish with a teaspoon of oil, and prepare the meat and veg. Slice a selection of veg thinly. Today I used courgette, celery, spring onions, peppers and chopped pak choi. If you wish add meat. Cooked ham or chicken works well. I used bacon today. But often I use tofu as well. I then add a glug of oyster sauce and a heaped teaspoon of black bean and chilli sauce. And give it a good mix.
Put the drained rice in the ceramic pot. Top with the veg and meat. Clamp on the lid. Turn the heat to its lowest setting and leave for 1hr. Serve ( I like mine with a poached or fried egg).

For tea we made chicken pizzas. Instead of a bread base, flatten chicken breast with a rolling pin. Top with roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, olives and basil and cook in the oven for about 15 mins. Serve with potato wedges and salad. Yummy!


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