Monday, 23 March 2015

Sewing for Pleasure, Oh My!

This Sunday I managed to convince a group of ladies who go my my knitting club to accompany me to the Sewing for Pleasure and the Fashion Embroidery & Stitch shows at the NEC in Birmingham- I'll tell you, it didn't take much to make them want to come!  

Here we are, full of energy at the beginning of the show, before we face the crowds!  If I'd taken another photo at the end of the show, it'd be us sat on a bench, with bags of shopping, looking exhausted!  (My MIL took this photo.)

As well as the shopping options, the show hosts various expeditions- including this one of the costumes from Mr Selfridge.  There was some amazing embroidery displayed too, but no photo allowed, which I get, but I really wanted to share them with you- they took my breath away.  There was also some fashion design mood boards and development pieces from school students which really made me want to do some designing and mood boarding.  The other photo above was taken during the students fashion show- this designer was all about the eye!  

The crowds were a little much at times- I took me two goes before I was able to pick up some patterns at the reduced price Simplicity sale- patterns from £2.50.  There was a constant que of ladies rummaging through the packs.  I came back later, when it was a little more quiet and picked up some for me and Dave- I'm aiming to be a little less selfish and sew home more things this year- so I got a unisex PJ pattern and new shirt pattern.  I also found the adult size Frozen costumes, so yes, I got those too.  No shame here- I think it's cool!

My friend Ruth and I are thinking about joining our local WI group- we've got their information and will try and go along soon.  The ladies there were showcasing some incredible crafts.  I think it'd be nice to get to know more crafty ladies and have a go at different things.  Kirsty Allsop has been making the WI look like a cool thing to do for a little while now, it's time to see for myself.

As well as all the dress making and fashion design there was a lot of quilting and embroidery stuff going on, including Stuart, from the first GBSB running a workshop..  I got to have a go at the giant quilting machines too-  I so want one! Shame they're £5000.  Not really a quilter, just a dabbley quilt enthusiast, maybe.  But the displays were really inspiring.

And here is what I walked away with, a few fat quarters, two meters of jersey (the fabric stalls were also really busy, which was a shame as I was up for spending all my moneys- but you couldn't browse properly.) I got 5 patterns in the end, and a subscription to Molly Makes, again.  

And, yes, I will be going back next year.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Share Your Sewing Space: Mine!

 Being the Nosy Parker that I am, I'm doing a series taking a peek at other sewists sewing spaces. Each month I'll be chatting with other bloggers about what makes there space special to them and how they went about putting it all together.  In part, this is going to help inspire me as I create my own creative space in my new home.  I hope you all find this as interesting as me, I do love looking around other peoples homes.

Hey guys, following my series peeking in to other peoples sewing spaces, it's high time I shared mine with you.  Now, it's not finished, as I still haven't really got a clear idea of what I want the room to be like.  Do I want bright, colourful walls? Do I want clean white walls? I know I want some art on the walls, but I haven't yet seen anything perfect.  So, here it as, as it is, which is perfectly nice anyways.

So, in our terrace house, I've taken over the front room, which also serves as our dining room.  It's a lovely, big room, which gets lots of light from the south facing windows.  I've got the dining table which I use as my cutting table, and a small table set up in the window where I can leave my sewing machines set up.  

Because this is a 'multifunctional' room (we eat in here like twice a month) I do have to avoid sprawling my stuff all over the place.  You know, make sure it can be tidied up quickly when needed. Other than that, I get to make the most of all the space in the room.  I've got fabric piled up in one cupboard, and my files with PDFs in, scrap fabric boxes and all sorts of other crap in the other alcove cupboard.  I was so glad that this house has some built in cupboards- I think they are so useful, but a crazy faff to build.  

One of my goals is to take better outfit photos, so my mum has helped my style the shelves by the window, making the best use of the light.  I've also put up a backdrop for photos, to give so variation. When I next get round to photographing a make, you can see it in action.

I love the amount of space I have in my sewing room.  It gives me room to really make a mess!! I find that organised mess really inspires me- I'll have, like, all my fabrics across the table to chose which project to get on with next.  When I had time off work in February, this room was a total mess! Nothing like what you see in these pictures! The flip side is that I get so distracted when I've got so many projects to tempt me.  So, yeh, I've still got a few unfinished things loitering around.

I've got a couple of things in my sewing room which I particularly like- Sally, the Mannequin and Sally the Giraffe are unlikely twins- Sally the Giraffe has been around since I was 5 years old!  Unrelatedly, I named Sally the Mannequin after Sally Sparrow in Doctor Who.  Random fact for you.
On one of the dining chairs I've popped our cat's basket, which she sleeps in while I sew.  I love that! You know, she also likes to sleep on my current projects, but it's cuter when she sleeps where she's supposed to!

This here is our bar- obviously there as part of our dining space, rather than my sewing space.  But, it's always useful to have a large glass of gin with in easy reach.  No?  Just me? 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Three Scouts for Your Attention, Please

Hey guys, sorry for the radio silence, our internet has been down for the last week.  It's been terrible!   No Netflix- no The Office.  No Amazon Prime- no Angel.  No Pinterest, because I deleted it off my phone so I'd stop waisting time on it.  I guess that worked extra well this week, eh?  Today's post, as well as being really late, is going to be really short- I need to practice the habit of blogging agin by the looks of things.  

So, I was sent the scout tee pattern two Christmas' ago as part of a crafty gift swap, and I've made and blogged about one woven version here, which has sadly died a death.  And I've made another I've not blogged about, I've just realised.  Oops.  Because this is such a simple, wardrobe staple I haven't been overly keen on making lots of them, because before this year, when I wanted/needed a new tshirt, there was nothing stopping me from buying them, and they're not the most exciting of makes.  But, with my spending ban on clothes, (which so far has been quite successful!) I have been presented with the opportunity to make more staple items for my wardrobe. Which is the long way round of saying that this time I tried the pattern out with various jersey fabrics- lets take a look.

This pattern works really well in jersey, creating a really comfortable, lose top which works nicely tucked in to skirts (as modelled) but also really nicely with jeans and a jumper.  I added  bit of length to all three shirts as I prefer my tshirts to cover my hips when untucked.  I made all three back in February when I had a week of work, using up the last of the previous years holiday time.

I spent the week fiddling around with fabric and patterns and my overlocker.. I've already shared some of the bags I made that week with you, and I've still got a couple of dressed to blog about too.  I really had better get back in to the swing of making, photographing and blogging.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Life Lately # 7


I'm still working on various projects like this doll blanket.  I'm getting bored but I am forcing myself to finish what I've started, here I am, ploughing on.  At least I've got my knitting group to keep me on track.


My sister turned 19 earlier this month- lucky for me I had the day off so we spent the day wondering around town and watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, followed by dinner out with mum and family friends.  Lovely.


For G's birthday I made her a make up bag, with a felt kitten face and leopard print lining- custom made you could say ;-)

I've also had a lot of time to play, and have made a new belladone dress and a bunch of jersey tops I've yet to blog about. 


Despite being a mega Buffy fan, I've not watched more than season one of the spin off, Angel.  Until, now that is!  Missing my heroine, but loving Cordelia stepping up and you can't go wrong with the beautiful face of Mr Boreanaz.

And, it'll come as no surprise that I've been watching the Great British Sewing Bee!  The contestants this year are being given some crazy difficult tasks, I'm so impressed with all of them!  I couldn't dream of making a corset in 4 hours- just no! (Read about Deborah's gorgeous polka dot Anna mix dress on her blog here!)


Been out for a couple of meals this month, including a lovely lunch date at the garden centre to pick up some new house plants and take some blog photos.  

Also!  Public Service Announcement- Pizza Hut do gluten free pizza!!! And, I'm happy to say, it's rather tasty too.  Wish they'd develop a pan style base too though, for variety.


I'm aiming to re-read all the Harry Potter books over this year, and I've started off book one on my breaks at work.  I could gush all day about my love for Harry Potter and his magical world, but I'll spare you that now and tell you about another series about wizards I'm loving.

Also enjoying Ben Aaronovitch's series, reading number 4, Broken Homes at the moment.  PC Peter Grant accidentally takes a witness statement from a ghost and gets thrown into the world of magic and its related police work.  Very enjoyable reads.

Recently, I've turned into a really slow reader, barely getting through a chapter a day, if at all.  It makes me so jealous of people who manage to read more often than I do, because I love, love reading.  However, I know I have to prioritise it more.  I really do.

And Finally, I'm still reading the monthly Love Sewing magazine, but I'm going to cancel my subscription now I've had it a year and move on to something different- suggestions in the comments, please!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

It’s Me and You, or Me and Knitting. Don’t Make Me Choose. Ugh!

Every 3-4 Tuesday's a group of lovely women and myself gather at my mother-in-laws house to knit. We've been getting together for about 18months now; it started as a learn to knit group, with just 5 of us.  My MIL was the one teaching with me acting as her TA for those who hadn't knitted at all before. And since then we've grown to about 12 of us, if we can all make it, with varying levels of skill. We've worked on a range of different projects, from jumpers, cardigans and hats, to blankets and snoods.  There has been a lot of helping each other out too, with patterns which just don't make sense and projects which have taken far too long to get anywhere.  It's a really fab group to be a part of, I just hope that I actually finish a knitting project this year!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Checking out the Flowers in Floral

Hey ya'll, hope you're having a nice half term- I've actually managed to wangle some time off work to spend time with David!  Since I've been working weekends, I appreciate any days off that we get to share.  We spent last Sunday running errands; picking up supplies to finish converting the attic and visiting the garden centre for a lunch date.  Yes, we were surrounded by friendly old people enjoying scones, but it's the perfect date for a Sunday, so there!  Plus, I got a couple new house plants, which I'll try my best not to kill off! 

So, it took me over a year to make my second Belladone.  I can't put a finger on any reason for it taking so long- I loved my Christmas Dress from last year, but I wan't happy with the finish so I've only worn it a handful of times.  I tried taking it apart to improve it, but I got bored and never got around to it.   Hands up if you get bored working on repairs too- it's new projects or nothing! 

I used the remaining fabric from making the Hepburn skirt, I had ordered 2m but managed to squeeze the skirt out of 60cm, leaving me just enough to eek the Belladone out of, without the facing for the hem anyway.  As a reminder, the fabric is a stretch cotton weave bought from Minerva crafts.  I think it cost £8.99/m.   I love this fabric, its super comfy, even though this dress is a little tight with my winter weight.  

Checking out the pansies- and looking forward to doing up the garden to it's habitable this summer.

As I cut out the original pattern last time, this was made to a size 40/12 too.  I made no adjustments to this pattern, Deer and Doe fit me nicely out of the packet. 

I made no attempt at pattern matching, due to the limited amount of fabric I had, so conquering that remains on my to do list for this year.  

And, yes, I am very happy with the finish if this one- I love learning!!!

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