Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Trouser Sew-along with the Cupcake Goddess

Hideehi everyone! Just a quick note to let you know that I will be trying to join in in my first 'sew-along' in the new year, and I'm very excited about it!

The lovely Sunni, AKA The Cupcake Goddess, is hosting a trouser sewalong starting in January and she just happened to pick Burda #127 which, if anyone can remember, I had been planning to make last Summer (but typical me, I never got around to it!):

I think one of the reasons why I was a bit nervous to start this was because I have heard a lot of 'horror' stories about how difficult trousers can be. But now that Sunni will be helping along the way I have NO excuses! I just have to decide if I should make them out of the navy blue linnen or the salt & pepper grey tweed - which do you think would be a better choice?

P.S. Yes, still plodding along with my tartan dress from my sewing class, but it had to take a back seat while I made some Christmas pressies! I'll hopefully be back with another update on the progress of the dress soon.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Mode Mondays - New Years Eve Glam

I found an article on the Daily Mail website (UK newspaper) and fell in love with some of the outfits so I had to share:

Feathers! I wonder how difficult this would be to do - has anyone sewn with feathers before? Any tips?

Feminine Tux and short skirt - love this look

And my favourite - what a DRESS!! I just love the emerald green colour. I want this dress in my life!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Christmas

Hi folks. No Fabulouse Fabric post today - it will be back in a couple of weeks though I promise.

But thought i would write a little post to wish everyone a Happy Christmas - hope Santa is good to you!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

A sneak peek at a Christmas present...

I have made a little something for someone's Christmas pressie which I have blogged about over at Crafty Christmas Club. So if you are not family or friend (living in Belfast that is - all my bloggy friends are welcome of course!) then head over there to check out the full post.

Here's a little sneak preview:

I'll post about it here in more detail after Christmas :)

Monday, 20 December 2010

Mode Mondays

I'm loving capes at the moment. I've been feeling the love for them ever since I came across this New Look pattern (6916):

I'm not sure exactly how long this pattern has been out for but I feel like I have been ogling over it for about a year now and finally bought it over the Summer.

And then...the CAPE took centre stage and became one of the the fashion items to own this Autumn! That did annoy me somewhat, as i thought having a cape would be a slightly quirky thing to make as it's not (or it wasn't) very common. But, with it's popularity, comes lots of inspiration to pull from - do there is some good! So here are a few of the capes out there that I'm drooling over:

TopShop Red Duffle Cape

Aubin and Willis Nautical Style dark blue cape

Sienna Miller rocking a red cape with black fur trim

Random lady rocking a grey check cape with funnel neck

The big question with capes - handbag!! Sienna and the random lady both show that a shoulder strap is just not practical with a cape. That is my main issue with capes to be honest - otherwise I think they are awesome!!

And I'm mid-way through making my own version of New Look 6916 actually! I would be finished by now, except I have gone off the lining I have chosen (I think my boyfriend likening me to Superman did no favours!) and having been in search of something better. I think I have found it though, so hopefully I will get this finished soon - the tough bit ahead is a LOT of unpicking!!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Fabulous Fabric...

...because it's Friday!

This week's Mode Monday was all about Fair Isle knits (and other knits similar that aren't technically Fair Isle!). I wasn't sure how I could link Fabric Fridays to a knit post, but guess what I found on

2 yards of gorgeous ready-to-go Fair Isle knit! I could totally see this made up into a cute skirt, or even a hot water bottle cover! I would absolutely buy this...if I lived in The States. Unfortunately the shipping to the UK is more than it costs to buy the I am refraining.

A couple of other cute ways of getting Fair Isle (or similar) into your life are:

A ready made KIT to make your own Fair Isle knit. And isn't this top just so beautiful?!!! I really REALLY want it...but with my track knitting record (see this still looks almost exactly the same, one month on!) I don't think it would ever become a top unfortunately.

So how about just a little bit of Fair Isle / Scandinavian style ribbon to add to a project instead?! An instant way to add the Fair Isle style into your life. And those deer make it quite festive too.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Feathered Friends Frock!

I am delighted to finally be able to show you the finished product of an idea I have had in my mind for so long - and dying to share with you all!!!!

The 'Feathered Friends Frock'. This started off it's life as a muslin for my purple and red dress that i made last Summer from New Look 6902. But for some reason I was really drawn to the raw, natural feel to the calico I made the muslin from and decided I could keep the muslin to wear. But I felt it was lacking something. I have always wanted to try out screen printing because I love the defined and professional look it can have. But after a lot of research I decided that it was too expensive to gather all the materials required for it so I gave up on that idea. Then I discovered the wonders of Reynolds Freezer Paper. Probably most of you are more clued into these things than I am, but this magic paper can be ironed onto fabric (plastic side down) and peeled off again numerous times. This means that you can draw (or trace, as the paper is semi-transparent) designs onto the paper, cut out with a craft knife and then iron onto fabric and use it as a stencil that won't leak!

I decided to try this method out on the muslin dress and picked these sweet birds as my design (I googled bird silhouettes and got thousands to choose from). This was so much fun, and so easy. I used black fabric paint that is set by ironing over (with an ironing cloth between the iron and the design) so the dress should be safe to wash and rewash many times without the design fading.

Ahhh - it's Christmas! Here's a wee peak at this year's Christmas tree.

I thought the dress needed just one more final detail to finish it off, so I added the black band to the hem. This is what took me so long finishing the project, i just couldn't find the time to sew the band on!!!!
I'm so glad I finally did as I'm really happy with the end result. Unfortunately it's not the right time of year for a light cotton dress so I'm looking forward to getting good use out of the dress next Spring/Summer.

Here is a close-up of the design. As the freezer paper can be reused a few times I thought it would be a nice idea to make a matching accessory for the dress, in the form of a clutch bag similar to the one I made last Summer. I painted the flying bird on the flap and the bird on the branch onto the back panel and started sewing it all together (I was working to a deadline as I wanted to wear them both out for dinner one night) but for some reason when I turned the bag the right way around the lining wouldn't sit straight inside the bag and it just didn't look it sits and waits for me to attempt to fix it! Hopefully I will get round to fixing it in the new year as it will be such a cute clutch.

Speaking of clutches, I am half-way through making a gorgeous red and gold one for a Christmas pressie. I'm at the dreaded turning bit, so I'm holding my breath in the hopes it turns out better than the bird clutch!!! Otherwise it will be a mad dash down to the shops to get something else!!! I'll post up picks soon.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Mode Mondays

'Tis the wrap up in warm cosy knits! And there is something about snowy days that just demands Fair isle knits. Well that's what I'm thinking anyway - I'm really loving all the Fair isle fashion out there at the moment - it's so Christmassy as well.

Lovely grey Fair isle knit skirt from Pilot - I don't think this would be very forgiving, so definitely one to be worn on 'skinny thigh' days only!

Some Fair isle on the catwalk - love the one on the left

Gorgeous polo neck dress from Victoria Secrets

I like the pattern on this - but I think I would need to team it with thick woolly tights and a cardi, or something underneath to justify wearing it at this time of year!

LOVE these! Latvian mittens apparently - I want them ALL!

More Fair isle, this time from Next. My fav is the one on the right...I might be going to seek this one out at lunchtime today....

OK, perhaps not quite the right thing to show here - but I thought it was so cute! Perhaps I could argue that it's Mode pour la Maison!

This is my absolute FAVOURITE of the bunch actually. But unfortunately I think this dress is from 2008 (Urban Outfitters)

P.S. I'll be back later this week with...wait for it....a post with a FINISHED dress!!! Wowie - I actually finish some projects I start! Hope you can check it out, I think it's really cute :)

Friday, 10 December 2010

Fabulous Fabric...

...because it's Friday!

Welcome to my second 'themed' day which I am introducing to my blog. Along with the new Mode Monday that I blogged this week, I'm also going to be looking at fabulous fabric which I have my eye on.

Since Mode Monday was all about gorgeous plaid I thought i only right to have a look at some gorgeous plaid fabrics out there at the without further ado:

The last three are from a UK based website Croft Mill and I have just done a wee sneaky purchase and ordered the dusky pink and the navy/turquoise! I really shouldn't have, but I'm in a bit of a spending mood these days (must be the Christmas Spirit getting the better of me!) and the navy will look great with a project that is half finished. Excited to receive them in the post soon....!!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Sewing Class....slow slow progress

I lasted posted about my sewing class on the 12th November and as it's now the 8th December you would think I would be near to finishing the dress by now (or by Tasia's speed I'd be on about my 5th dress by now!)...but unfortunately not....

So last time I was telling you that I would be using a 'Pattern Master' to grade my pattern. But what is a 'Pattern Master', I thought...well this is a Pattern Master:

(sorry about these photos - they were taken on my iPhone)

The teacher had to get around the whole class and make sure they were all marking and cutting their fabric properly so she left me to 'stick all my pattern pieces to the dotted pattern paper'. I was a little curious as to why I had to do this....but teacher knows best. This took a long time - this pattern has a lot of pieces!

 Eventually I had finished and I managed to get the teachers attention and she came to assist with the grading. I reminded her that I wanted to grade down from a size 16 in the hips to a size 12 in the bust. 'Ah', She said. Apparently I didn't need to stick my pattern to the paper at all - she thought I was going to be grading up to a bigger size than I had cut out! WAAAAA - I had spent sooooo long doing that...for nothing! Now I had to either try and unstick it all or cut around it all. More time wasting. After I had done that the teacher was back and did show me how to use the Pattern Master to draw a nice curving line from the hips to the smaller bust - and marking it through matching pieces. So at least I did learn something from the whole class. But that's all I did during one 2 hours class!

The next class I spent cutting out my fabric - again quite a slow process as I wanted to make sure the plaid was lined up when I cut through two layers.

The next class I was informed that I needed to serge all the pieces...but the teacher again decided she needed to check everyone else was settled and ok before she helped me thread the serger (on a side note - it's so great to get to use a serger as I don't have my own. The class is held in a college which runs a fashion course so they have a room full of industrial sewing machines and sergers! So cool - I'll try and get some photos for you)! After almost an hour of waiting I started serging...and stayed on after the 2 hour class was up to make sure I got all the pieces serged (there are about 12 in this dress!) before going home as I didn't want to waste any more time in my next class waiting around again! That might sound like I was serging at a snails pace....but as i said, it'd the first time I've used one of those machines and I wanted to do it as neatly as possible (and not cut off half of my fabric - those machines are brutal!!!!!)

And then last night I didn't make it to my class because we had really heavy snow. But I took my project home with me and...wait for it...started sewing!!! So I have sewn my first ever kick-pleat and sewn the two back sides to the back with princess seams. Next up is an invisible back zipper.

Phew! Sorry for the super word-intensive post!! Next up date on the dress will have lots more photos.

A few weeks ago I managed to finally finish off a long over due unfinished project (which I mentioned here) so I'll be blogging about that next week. I'm really pleased with the finished result - I just wish it was warmer so that I could wear it!!!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Mode Mondays

I'm introducing a couple of theme days to my blog in the hopes that it will induce more regular blogging from me - something I have been hideously bad at!!!

So to kick it off welcome to the first (of hopefully many) Mode Mondays! On Mode Monday's I'll be sharing little snippets of fashion which are inspiring me at the moment. Make no mistake, I am no fashionista, and I'm not one for following a trend. In fact, the less people sporting the same 'trend' as me the better I say - be individual and have your own style! That being said, I love browsing through fashion blogs, sites and magazines and getting inspiration from them!

Today's theme is Plaid, which falls in nicely with the dress I am (slowly) making in my sewing class.

There is something about Plaid and Tartan that evokes Autumnal days ('s more Winter than Autumn now...ah well!), they just work so well together.

Click the photos for their links:

 Grey plaid dress from Anthropology

 Purple and green plaid dress from Urban Outfitters

 Orange and blue plaid skirt from Anthropology - love the curved multi-layer hem

Red and black plaid skirt from Urban Outfitters - this looks like an easy style to copy
 (whoops - this skirt has now sold out - but it was from )

And finally a glimpse of vintage plaid! Love the big collar

Check back on Friday for another theme day - related to this post.

And I'll post a bit more about how I'm getting on with my sewing class dress soon too - although don't get too's a slooooowww process!!
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