Monday, 31 January 2011

Mode Monday - Tribal

It's a look that has had many resurrections, and I do love it every time - perhaps it's from growing up in Indonesia that draws me back to the patterns and shapes that come with the 'tribal' look. Here are a few collections of the current incarnation of the trend:

Tribal Accessories

Tribal Accessories by Su-Sews-So-So featuring tribal jewelry

It's amazing how a fantastic print or fabric can transform quite a simple garment style. I guess that's what dressmaking opens your eyes up to. The problem is trying to track down that fabulous fabric!!!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Fabulous Fabric...Screen Printing

It's been a little while since I last did one of my Fabulous Fabric post so I thought it was high time I fixed all you fabric addicts out there (you know who you are) with another hit. Today I'm drooling over handmade screen printed fabric made by independent artists....and boy do I love them:

Both from Habitat Textiles

From Melbomba

From Pippijoe

Both from Sarah Waterhouse

*Click on the images or the designer's name for sources*

I just love the quirkiness and colours of all these designs. They are all cotton and you usually only get them in small lengths so perhaps not the best for dress making, but endless opportunities for other crafty endeavours. I think the last one would be really fun made up into a travel document wallet (I travel a fair bit for work so I'm quite tempted giving this one a go**). And since I'm a bit obsessed with bags at the moment (evidence here, here and here!) I recon all of these would look fab made up into totes or clutches, perhaps even just as a pocket detail or as lining. But I do think that the Red Kangaroo Paw or the Teal Birch Forest, both from Habitat Textiles, would make really gorgeous statement skirts, teamed with classic basics.

Do any of you know any other fab fabric designers who use the screen printing method? I'd love to hear.

P.S. I'm not at all endorsed by any of these designers by the way, I have just found them through browsing the Internet and fell in love!

** Catch yerself on Suzie, when do you think you will have the time to make one of those?!!!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Thanks for following - and potential GIVEAWAY!

Aw, I was so delighted to see that my humble little blog has managed to get 30 followers. It's not a lot by most blogs, but it means a lot to me - hello new followers, welcome and thanks for following (and of course hello old faithful followers, thanks for sticking around and putting up with my ramblings!).

So, I was thinking it would be nice to have a mini celebration (any excuse really!). If (should I be more optimistic and say when?!), by some happy chance, I manage to get to 50 followers, I promise to have a bit of a giveaway!! Everyone loves a giveaway. I'm not 100% sure yet what I'll give away, but it will definitely be crafty related and hopefully something everyone would like! It will be open to everyone in the whole wide world, coz I'm generous like that.

So keep your fingers crossed people and lets hope for a giveaway soon!

P.S. Did I say 'thanks' for following? ;)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

My life-long dream of making bags...

I mentioned in my post yesterday that it has always been a little dream of mine to make and sell bags. Well, to prove just how long I have had this dream check this out. An old friend of mine sent me the following scans of a 'promo voucher' I made years ago:

Front and Back


Unfortunately the scan is a little blurry so apologies if you can't read it (you could try clicking on the images to see a larger version). It was a folded 'leaflet' of sorts, with the front being dark brown with a little tan plaid bag (cut out of fabric) and with "Handbags by Suzie" written on it. Inside I have drawn a plethora of sample bags (that are obviously available for the Suzie Bags range!) and it says:

Suzie Bags
Handmade handbags for all occassions (shame the creator can't spell!)...
The latest craze to his the shops. Waiting lists are months long.
BUT...this special voucher ensures the owner to skip to the front of the list and snatch up the latest designs before they even reach the stores!!

Cringe! Ha ha, it's so cute. My friend has asked if the voucher is still valid...I think I see another bag being made soon!

P.S. Yes, unfortunately my speeling is still bad...thank god for spell checker! ;)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

My first commissioned bag!

I mentioned in this post that last weekend I was working on a secret project. Well it was really only a secret because I was terrified I might mess it up! But luckily all went well and I was pleased to churn out my very first commissioned curvy clutch!! You may have seen my previous versions of this bag here and here.

I was commissioned to make this bag by a friend of my mum's friend (can you follow that!) who is attending a wedding next weekend (er - she's the mother of the bride!! No pressure!!!) and was having a lot of trouble finding the 'perfect' bag to go with her outfit. My mum had the clutch I had made her with her for NYE and apparently her friend was quite taken with it so mentioned to this lady that she knew someone who might be able to make a bag for her! After a few consultations with my mum (to see the clutch and discuss timings and materials) she agreed she would like me to make the bag and provided me with the fabric which she had chosen from the fabric shop.

I am really delighted with the end result - she picked such gorgeous fabric!! The outer casing is quite a stiff silver/cream embellished fabric (which actually is perfect for this style) and the lining is a lovely purple/blue satin (which was the colour of her dress). She also asked for me to sew the lovely diamante embellishment on, which she had clipped off her dress!! I made the inner pocket from the silver material, as a nice contrast and to break up the purple a little.

I didn't deliver the bag directly to her, but the feedback was very good and apparently she is delighted with the bag (phew!!!) and has insisted I keep the left over fabric (score!) and has some little brooches which she thinks I might like too (double score!). And of course, she paid me for the bag. Yeay!

It has always been a little dream of mine to have a little crafty business, and in particular - making bags. So maybe this is my first step in that direction. I'm so grateful of my mum's friend for thinking of me :)

Monday, 24 January 2011

Mode Mondays - Bold Colour Pencil Skirts

I'm really loving pencil skirts at the moment, especially bold block colour ones - perhaps styled up a bit like Emma Pillsbury.

I'm on the look out for the perfect pencil skirt. I tried making one last year, but it was a disaster - and I'm not even sure why! But the last two Burda Style magazines have a plethora of gorgeous looking patterns:

From Burda 01-2011

Both from Burda 02-2011

Bonus for the skirt in the January issue - it is the 'Sewing Course', so a much more detailed explanation on the method. That's actually the main reason I bought that issue, as the other patterns weren't very inspiring for me (MORE harem pants?!! Why Burda, why?!!). I will definitely be following the sewing course for the first skirt and I have quite a stash of gorgeous fabrics that I want to make into pencil watch this space (er...I hope you are patient....!)

Friday, 21 January 2011

Christmas Goodies

Gosh, I really am an awful blogger!!!! It's just so hard to find the time in the day to post about something - so I'm sorry I've not blogged in a wee while...I'll try and be better....

Well anyway, as promised in this post, I got a few delicious sewing related Crimbo presents last year (ha ha, that makes it sound like ages ago!) that I wanted to share with you.....

My brother, who lives in Australia, ordered Vogue Sewing for me, which was such a lovely surprise! I didn't think he really knew that I had got into sewing. I have another sewing reference book, but Vogue Sewing is at a completely different level. It goes into so much detail and shows more couture methods of doing things, so it fun to compare and contrast the two books. For some techniques I do, however, prefer my old book as they use photos rather than sketches to help explain things, which sometimes are easier to understand. But, lots of hints and tips for altering garments in Vogue Sewing that's not in my old book at all. I've taken a snap shot of one of the alteration pages in Vogue:

And my second present just BLEW ME AWAY when I opened it. Honestly, I was speechless!! Check these bad boys out:

My gorgeous, wonderful, thoughtful, sweet boyfriend had ordered me a Tailor's Ham and Seam Roll, from no other but the one and only Cupcake Goddess!!!! I really was so shocked. How did he know I was coveting them? How did he even know how to FIND them?!!! Turns out I was ogling over this very set one day and happened to show him, so he ran away and wrote the website address down! Awww!! See girls, even if your bloke doesn't look like he's listening to you, he really is. Word of caution if you do buy a set off the Cupcake Goddess and you live in the UK - you may get hit by hefty customs charges - unfortunately my boyfriend was. But, I've given the ham quite a few goes and I have to say the customs charges were totally worth is a REVELATION in ironing!!! Princess Seams are a doddle now, I love it!!

And I have been sewing this week, busy trying to finish my sewing class dress (which I can't really call my 'sewing class' dress since I haven't been to the last few classes!!). It's coming along nicely but boy did I have a lot of alterations to do to it! I'll post about it soon.

But this weekend I'll be sewing something else - I'm working on a secret project which I will reveal all about next week (so long as I don't mess it up!!!!!)...I am so excited!

Monday, 10 January 2011

New Year - New Look

Hi all, just a quick note to apologise if you have been checking in recently and finding my blog looking random - I've been playing around with the look a bit!

I'm trying to design a banner for the blog and for the meantime I think I will stick with the current look:

Hope you guys like it. I know it's not good blog etiquette to keep changing the look, but I guess I haven't been 100% happy with the style yet!

Mode Mondays - Jewel PussyBow Blouses

I'm really loving Pussy-Bow Blouses at the moment. The little touch of vintage, elegance and sophistication. They are great for work, on their own or under a jumper or vest. I'm also loving these jewel coloured versions:

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The Curvy Clutch goes glam!

A very HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone, I hope 2011 has been treating you all well so far.

I've got lots to post about, including a summary of 2010 and my plans for 2011, updates on my Trouser sew-along, showing some amazing sewing related Christmas presents (I must have been very good this year!), updates on my sewing class dress and of course there will be more Mode Mondays and Fabulous Fabric posts coming soon.

But before the new year I did promise to post in more detail about the two lovely clutch bags I made as Christmas presents. If you followed the link over to the Craft Christmas Club site then you will recognise this, but I thought I would post it on my blog as well anyway:

I had actually decided not to make anything handmade as presents this Christmas after a rather upsetting experience of spending lots of time and money on a present for a friend that was quite obviously not appreciated. I had blogged all about it at the time, but have since deleted the post as I didn't like having such a negative post up on my blog! Plus, I've had my faith restored in humanity (lol, a little over dramatic perhaps?!) and I decided that I would try again at giving handmade.

My group of friends opt to do Secret Santa for presents - if you haven't heard of this concept before, you basically put all the names of your group in a hat and the name you pull out is who you buy a present for. You also tend to set a limit to spend, so that everyone spends the same amount. It's a great way to save money and time and it means you are more likely to get one 'big' present that you (hopefully!) like rather than lots of little small things that might just be 'crap' (!!).

This year I got my lovely friend Meliosa (pronounced Mel-Lisa, it's Irish) and I knew she would be the perfect person to make a Curvy Clutch for. I had previously made the Curvy Clutch for myself (pattern here) out of red and black Ikea fabric and it really was quite a hit with everyone, especially her - so I thought she deserved her own version!

I found a beautiful red dupion reduced to a bargain £4 a meter so I snapped that up and paired it with a gorgeous gold print my mum had given me and made up the bag. I was very happy with the finished result, but I felt it lacked a little something. So after a scout around the shops I decided to add a flower hair-clip to the lid. It really transforms the bag into something quite glamorous!

I took the finished bag to my mums to show her and she promptly produced a gorgeous pair of newly purchased red heels which she planned to wear out for NYE...and didn't have a bag for..... Now what on earth could she have been getting at?! So, the good daughter that I am, I suggested she keep this bag and I make another one for my friend.

So back to the sewing machine I went! To be honest, I had been having reservations about the gold lining as I remembered that Meliosa never wears gold jewellery, so it turned out for the best that I could make another one in more suitable colours. So here is the bag that she ended up getting:

This is a gun-metal dupion shell with a satin dupion royal purple lining. The photo's don't quite do the colours justice unfortunately.

Based on the response to her opening her present, I recon she was pretty pleased with her lovely new clutch. And as chance had it, she was planning on wearing a purple dress on Christmas day, so it was perfect!

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