Sunday, 16 April 2017

#EasterSpringDress2017



Happy Easter dear readers, and what better day to reveal my #EasterSpringDress2017

  When I saw that Gertie was hosting a sew along for her summer dress pattern-Butterick B6453, I dropped all other sewing projects and had to start sewing this dress.


It also quite happily fitted in with the #EasterSpringDress2017 sew along that Akram from Akram's ideas blog and Judith from Judith Dee's World hosted.
So it ended up being extra fun!


It is a super simple and fun make, which allows a pretty print to be centre stage.


And the little straps have metal sliders which make the straps adjustable and give a professional, polished finish.


I wore this particular outfit to Greenway Estate in Devon, which was of course the summer home of the British author Agatha Christie- but then you already knew that, I'm sure.


It ended up being an incredibly warm and sunny day, perfect for wondering around the gardens in a pretty floral dress.


You can just see the house in the background. 


And never one to go on an outing without a craft of some sort, I spent a little while sat outside doing a little knitting in a deck chair, absorbing some sunshine.
How very British!

X O X O 

Christina

Friday, 24 March 2017

Little Pixie hat


As much as I am willing the warm weather to arrive, it's just not here yet.
I often jump the gun with the summer dresses, bringing them out much too early and then regretting it bitterly when I am stuck being totally inappropriately dressed for the weather.
Not gonna happen this year!


With that in mind I would like to share with you my little Pixie Hat, which I think is cute as a button.
 (You may not, it is a Marmite hat, you either love it or hate it!)


I of course saved it for photographing on my recent trip Sweden, as it deserved a frozen landscape to set it off to its best advantage!


It has a lovely texture, and is a super quick and easy project!


The pattern is from an old vintage magazine that I found, and want to share with you all, just in case you wanted to knit it up for yourself! ;-)



This is a lovely beginner project, so if you like it, I say give it a go!

X O X O 

Christina

Monday, 27 February 2017

Not a Christmas Jumper


As a maker of garments, I like to make things for specific occasions.
It's nice to have that deadline in mind in order to get things finished, otherwise I end up with multiple projects on the go, in various stages of completion (and/or disarray).


So when I was invited to Sweden for a week in the winter, I was certain that I needed to make a winter appropriate jumper to photograph in the snow.

Snow is not something we get in London, and oh boy was I excited to see it!!


 So when I came across this Fair isle jumper pattern, for Susan Crawford's Perfect Christmas Jumper, I had to make it.


Oh the joy of naivety!
Were I a better knitter, I would have known that this was a bit of a tricky project, but ignorance is bliss, and so I began.


I didn't realise it would take so long, 2 months, of all my free time, which I have never committed to one project before.
Or that knitting with 2 colours required so much of my concentration to make everything flat.(It was all puckered at first so I had to rip it back and start again)


But somehow, I managed it in the end!
And it is pretty cute, if I do say so myself!


And so, even though it is meant to be the perfect Christmas Jumper, to me it will always be my perfect swedish jumper, that I wore for a long walk, in a frozen wonderland, with my swedish friend.

Isn't it nice that garments absorb memories of the places we wore them, and who we were with, or is that just me?

X O X O 

Christina

Friday, 10 February 2017

#twirlywintercoatcollab with Butterick 5824


It was seriously time that I made myself a proper winter coat! 

The vintage one I have had for a while now, is so riddled with holes in the lining, that at this point, there are more holes than there is lining. (not one word of a lie!)

I realise that re-lining my coat seems simpler than making a whole new coat, but that may just be the most boring sewing task on earth, so it just won't get done! 

A brand new project is always better at keeping my attention!!


Naturally, with the option of making a coat, a dramatic swing style in an equally dramatic colour combo was inevitable!

I used Butterick 5824 , which is an oldie, but goodie. It is of course a Gertie pattern, oh how I love Gertie, she designs the best retro patterns!


Such a lovely, classic shape!


With dolman sleeves, a shawl collar and twirly skirt, this coat is a real show stopper!



Of course a collaboration isn't complete without a collaborator.
 So let me introduce Bianca from Vintage on tap which is one of my all time favourite sewing blogs!
She is the most fabulously dressed, sassy stitcher, who makes the most wonderful sewing videos of her makes.


Bianca has used a classic plaid fabric to make her coat much more of a wearable, everyday piece. With the classic shape which dramaticly swishes when you walk.


I spy some fab pattern matching going on here! I do love a pattern matched seam!
High five on that one Bianca!


Ooh, the lining of her coat is such a glorious pop of colour! I most definitely have a weakness for a snazzy lining!

If you like a vintage inspired make, her blog is a must.
Pop over to her blog HERE to check out the details of her beautiful twirly coat!


I knew immediately when I saw this Butterick pattern, that I wanted to make it a red coat. But when I thought up the leopard accents I was in two minds whether to go ahead.
Leopard and red are a classic, neutral combo to me though, so I had to do it! 


When I made the toile practice version of the collar, it just didn't sit right, so on my wool collar, I did do a bit of fancy stitch work. 
Half way through the hand stitching I did think it was a hideous waste of my time(it takes a lot of time) but it does hold the collars shape well and gives a lovely roll to it too. So it was worth the effort after all! 


A shawl collar really is very lovely in the back! 


And bound button holes, I always think they look super fancy!


I had to do a matching cuff in the leopard print, just to tie the whole look together!
Though the cuffs weren't included in the pattern, they are really just rectangles of fabric so weren't hard to add. 


I really do like those cuffs, they are such a chic finishing touch!


Pockets are one of those things that you really miss if you don't have them, especially in a coat. 
It does take a bit of extra time, but was worth every minute!


Lining is a make or break element to me. I like a slippery lining to make it easier to slip your arms into the coat when you put it on. And it just looks so put together and professional with a full satin lining.


How gorgeous a coat looks, really does become irrelevant though, if it isn't warm.
So to really insulate the body, I interlined the lining of the bodice and sleeves in lambswool/domette. 

It is now super duper toasty! Which is such a pleasure to wear on a cold day!


Personally I don't like an open lining, I like everything to be neat and tidy. So I went off-piste with the instructions and did a bagged out lining. I think it looks much nicer all enclosed with the little bias cotton facing.


This coat really is all about the skirt!
It is made for twirling and brings out you inner child who will prance and twirl in this coat with every step! (or maybe that's just me)

It is very full and will easily accommodate a circle of gathered skirt with a full petticoat underneath.


I'm super excited to have made this coat as it has allowed me to practice some new techniques as well as being able to swan about town in my red coat!

After all, every girl needs a red coat!

And sewing along with a fellow stitcher is such a support. You can scheme and plan your ideas with someone else, and have that backup for when things aren't working out as well as you had hoped. 

Thank you all for reading my post today, and thank you Bianca for such a fun project!

X O X O

Christina

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Afternoon Tea at Sketch




It's been a while since I have done an afternoon tea review, so I'm jumping back in with a splash! Spoiler: I think I found my favourite afternoon tea!!!

I always think of afternoon tea as a summer pass time, which is silly because they are indoors, safely away from blustering winds and hair ruining drizzle!

So on a gloomy day, I headed to Sketch, in Mayfair. Ooh, fancy I know!!


Sketch is a vintage girls dream!
 It has the feeling of a luxury boudoir with blush pink velvet and gold accessories, yet the quirky artwork brings in a fun element too.


This was a decadent menu, very in-depth tea and champagne options that the waiters explain thoroughly.  Some unusual choices. There was an earl grey infused champagne, which was lovely!

Followed by a lovely black vanilla tea, scrumptious!
You don't need to limit yourself to one either, try as many teas as you like, all included!


So many lovely bites!

Everything was exceptional, and looked so pretty too.


BEST SANDWICHES EVER!!!

I have never tasted sandwiches that compared. So moist!!!

Not to mention, totally refillable, as many times as you want. Yes!!
I may have taken liberties with the sandwich refills, but why not!

The little panini was wrapped in a pink ribbon which was such a pretty touch. Why don't all sandwiches come wrapped in ribbon??


Buttery goodness!
Though I'm not sure why there was a rogue blueberry on the clotted cream.
 Anyone know?


I had to sneak in a picture of the loos!
White alien pods lined up, bizarrely with toilets inside. Part of the quirky, odd character of the place. 


I would score Sketch as follows -
  1. Mise-en-scène - 5/5 - Feminine elegance, vintage luxury and some fun, unusual touches. It had that Alice in wonderland, bizarre feeling. Glorious!
  2. Tea -5/5 - Spectacular! If I could have bought some to take home, I would have. 
  3. Scones - 4/5 - The scones were deliciously light, buttery and moist!
  4. Service - 5/5 - Attentive staff, very happy to help and wrapped up my leftovers very kindly. 
  5. Value -5 /5 - Ok, ok, it ain't cheap (£58 per person). But this isn't somewhere you would go everyday. It's a special treat and I was happy to part with the cash for such luxury treatment.  

Total: 24/25


I told you it was my favourite, and for good reason too. 

I have another afternoon tea review coming soon, they are like Pringles, once you pop you just can't stop!

Christina

X O X O

Monday, 9 January 2017

Pink to make the boys Wink ;-)



Happy New Year dear readers!

For my first post of the year, I wanted to come in with style, and apparently fashionably late too, as the new year began a good week ago!

I have something special for you today, as an evening gown is most unusual outerwear for me (not so unusual worn casually around the house though!)


I came across this 1950s, fuchsia pink, satin cocktail dress whilst vintage shopping in Amsterdam in September. 
In fact I tried it on for a laugh more than anything else. But lo and behold, it fit, and dam, I felt a million bucks! So for €30, it came home with me. 


It wasn't until the yearly Harrods Staff Ball rolled around, that I realised I had the perfect dress to wear!
I wanted the dress to be a real show stopper, so naturally I added a sprinkle of seamstress magic to it!


I managed to find a fabric, almost the same shade (so close) and made a skirt to wear over the dress, with a full train in the back.
I started making this skirt the week before the ball, so it was being sewn right up the the last minute!
It was literally, a rectangle of fabric, pleated and attached to a waistband.


I pleated the fabric by eye, without a pattern, in a bit of a slap dash kind of manner, but it came together beautifully.


A 2am selfie from the night before, when I had just finished sewing the skirt.

I was clearly delirious with joy, having managed to pull the cat out the bag so close to the finish line.


I had to work the day of the ball, so I came in all dolled up.
False lashes and all. Lashes make the world of difference to a glamorous look, how did I not know that???


And there we have the finished look!
I'm so glad that I spent the extra time making the full train, it was a lot of fun swishing about!


Outfit Details
Dress- Vintage- (in Amsterdam)
Skirt- Me made
Shoes-Bait
Pouch bag- Me Made (in 20 minutes before the event from fabric scraps)
Fur Stole- Vintage- Paper Doll Vintage
Gloves-Vintage-Beyond Retro
Earrings-Vintage- Alfies Antiques
Necklace-Absolute Pearls
Lashes-Eyelure Volume 100
Lipstick- MAC- Girl About town


I was channelling my inner Marilyn all night!

By some miracle, when an entire glass of red wine was spilt in my lap during dinner, it wiped off without leaving even a shadow of a stain! So it is either a magical dress, the dress is made is of a waterproof synthetic fabric or the 60+ years of grime build up have created a wine proof finish.
 Either way I was mightily glad that I escaped the red wine debacle unscathed!
And proceeded to swish about mightily smug for the rest of the night!


And a big thank you to my lovely team, who made the night a success and dressed up to the nines!
Finally an event I wasn't over dressed for!

X O X O

Christina