Thursday, 31 March 2011

Happy Birthday to my Honey

Happy Birthday to my man who turns the big 4-0 today. Lots of fun surprises planned for him...including plenty of posters like this:

He's been dreading this birthday, but in my mind he's aged to perfection (awww - so corny!):


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

I made this - update!

Just a quick note to let you know that I've finally got round to fixing my 'I Made This' page. If you fancy having a look through some of the things I've been making since 2009 then do check the page out!

I decided to divide the project by year, with the 2009 projects featuring on my old blog 'Starfishes'. You will also see I've put a '?' under 2011...and hopefully there's lots more to come this year!!!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Monochromatic Love

Today I have another finished bag to show you. I have been wanting to try out another pattern from Keyka Lou, who wrote the pattern for the curvy clutch which I have made a good few times now (here, here and here) so I opted for her Sweetheart Shopper as I thought it was a good contrast to the clutch - a bit more casual, everyday and able to hold a lot more.

As always, my default fabric for trying out patterns is a fun Ikea print - cheap and cheerful! Also, because it's upholstery weight, it is perfect for bags as it gives it more structure and I don't have to use interfacing (most times).

(this shot is the other side of the bag - slightly different pattern)

The lining is made with black cotton, as are the straps and trim. It also has an internal zip pocket. This was a new technique for me and I was so pleased with the result - I love it when you learn a new technique!!!

End result - I love this bag!!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Watch the Birdie....

I'm back! Sorry for my silence. I had well and truly lost my sewing mojo for a while was a sad, sad time*. But The whirring (and occasional swearing) is once again being heard from our top room as I get back into the swing of things.

I've actually had this little top finished for a while now, but I just haven't managed to get some snaps of it. I showed you my muslin trial here, where I deduced that, although it's a tight fitting top, no refitting would be required...I just needed to change my bra! The top is made from a vintage Butterick pattern (3286):

This was my first time using a vintage pattern and I purposefully chose a simple one to start off with. Nothing difficult here and the instructions were easy enough to follow. So I think I will try a more complex one soon. Anyway, on to the finished top:

I used a cheap Ikea cotton fabric which I had left over and needed used up. So because it is cotton, it wrinkles in front of your very eyes, but it is a fun print. Although it's a basic sewing pattern, if you use an interesting print it takes it to another level. I was very pleased to have compliments on the top the very first day I wore it into work!

(you may notice the little companion I had come visit me during my fashion shoot - it's our neighbours cat. I would love a cat of my own, but for now I must settle with sharing my neighbours!!)

Close up shot - wrinkles galore..and I had only ironed it 10 mins ago!!

I don't wear a lot of green but I just happened to have this cardi from Zara which is the exact shade as the fabric so here's the top styled with the cardi (more appropriate for this time of year!!!).

My attempt to wear a skinny belt over the cardi - I love to be able to rock this look, but I'm not enough of an hour-glass shape and I always feel a bit bottom heavy and flat chested when I wear this look!

*It wasn't really a sad, sad time - please don't be worrying!!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Refashion Co-op

Have you all heard about the newest blog on the block - The Refashion Co-op? It's a fun place for people to share their refashions and get ideas for new ones. I signed up a little while ago and finally got around to putting up my first post.

Do check out the blog, so many inspirational and talented refashioners out there! If you'd like to see my post, you can do so here.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Jen's Bag

As I mentioned in this post, I have been busy bag making again. This time I made a reversible tote bag for an old friend (Jen) who reminded me recently that she was 'owed' a 'Suzie Bag'!!

She's a bit of a tomboy, so my usual glam clutch wasn't going to be her style so I thought I'd make something a bit different. I have been wanting to try making a tote out of a man's shirt for a while so I played around a bit and came up with this:

As you can see, I kept the front buttons but decided to flip them round so that they made a fun detail at the top of the bag.

As I said, I made it here's the inside-out version:

 This side is made out of brown linen which I bought with Jen when we were travelling around Australia (for that added extra meaning!) and I made a pocket out of one of the shirt cuffs and some left over fabric. The straps are made from the same shirt and linen but you see the opposite fabric to the side you are using (if that makes sense!).

Hope she likes it! I took photos of the process so I plan to make a tutorial on how to make it...soon!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Fabulous Fabric...

...because it's Friday!

Today I want to share with you some gorgeous fabric that I bought on a work trip to Zagreb last month. I was walking to a meeting and passed a couple of fabric shops, so I made a point of heading in on the way back to the hotel to see what they had!

The shop I bought this in was really small and the owner didn't speak any English. I hung around a while and browsed and another customer came in...who spoke English! They were kind enough to translate for me. Although I was hoping to get some bargains, everything was actually quite similar prices to home. But there was a WALL of silk, in every colour you could imagine (and many you probably didn't even know existed!) and I just couldn't resist. I decided to get a couple of meters of beautiful bright read shot silk which worked out at about £13 per meter (cheaper than the shops in Belfast anyway, its about £18/m here).

But the thing that made me end up choosing red was the trim that I bought to go with it. There was a cupboard jam packed with the most incredible embroidered and embellished trims...they were just stunning! I spent ages just drooling over them. I knew I had to get one (at one point it was more than one, but I talked myself out of it!) and ended up getting a beautiful one with tiny 'dirty' gold sequins and embroidered red, green and gold flowers:

The trim is about 10cm wide and it's sewn onto a fine green organza type material with a little excess folded over on the back.

The colours really lend themselves to Christmas, so I'm hoping to make a dress for the festive season with it. But I'm having real problems finding a pattern that is quite what I'm after! I think i would like to have a deep V-neck, that is open slightly between the bust (oooer!) and then use the the trim as a band just under the bust and then have either a pencil type skirt or a full skirt (depends if I have enough fabric!). Any patterns I can find the V is just not right. Plus, because it's silk, it would be nice to have some draping going on, or pleating. So I may have a play around and see if I can come up with something from a few patterns. If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to have them!

In the mean time, I'll leave you with another close-up shot of the lovely trim:


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

I'm A Winner!

As I mentioned in my last post, I was the lucky, lucky winner of a vintage pattern giveaway by the lovely Gina from Vintage Girl!!!

I was beside myself when I opened up the e-mail and discovered I had won the giveaway - it absolutely made my day! So without further ado, lets see the goods:

Three vintage beauties! Let's have a look at them individually shall we:

This lovely dress has a 'smocked' bodice, I'm really interested to see what the pattern before smocking looks like!

As Gina mentioned, I love the pleats on the skirt on the right. And the blouse looks like a perfect wardrobe staple.

And finally, how cute is this dress?! The scooped back is so elegant, and the little bow on the green one is very sweet too.

The best bit - they are all my size ( theory anyway!).

Gina has popped them in the post for me, but they are having to make their way across the Atlantic, so I'm trying to be patient.....(hurry up Mr Postman!)

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

We'll be right back after these messages...

Apologies for the silence over the last week or so, things suddenly got rather hectic! Ironically, I have lots to post about, I just haven't had the time to do so!

So please bear with me and hopefully soon I'll have up some posts on:

- Some gorgeous fabric that I have bought recently (even if I say so myself!). I can't wait to get using it!
- I made up a vintage pattern top in a fun Ikea fabric (muslin fitting post here)
- I refashioned a mans shirt into a bag
- I'm planning on making a tutorial on the mans shirt refashion so hopefully I'll get this posted soon too
- New patterns I've been buying (I need to stop doing this! lol)
- The vintage patterns I won off the lovely Gina from Vintage Girl!!!! So excited about this!
- Archiving my patterns and fabric

See, lots to post about!!! I'm actually off to Malaga for a long weekend on Thursday (whoop!) so I'll try and schedule a few posts to happen while I'm away (fingers crossed!).

And because I don't like doing a post without a photo I thought I'd share a couple of Hello Kitty sewing machines - I want one! Hee hee

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