Sunday, 28 December 2014


The worst thing about working in a department store is walking past all the gorgeous designer brands and lusting after something that is so far out of your price range you don't even dare dream of buying something so luxury. I have been stalking Dolce and Gabbana for the last few seasons and the black lace pieces in particular have been screaming at me to BUY BUY BUY!!!
I managed to stay well away until a customer asked me to try on a dress for her because I am apparently the same size as her friend. The customer had to prise that dress off me with a crow bar once she had declared it to be the perfect gift (some friends get all the luck!) I decided there and then I would have my own Dolce dress even if I had to make it myself, because how could I live without it!!
 I used a heavy black cotton lace that was from LaceFabrics on Etsy. I bound the edges of each pattern piece with black tulle as Dolce does (yes I have peeked inside quite shamelessly). And I made a separate black silk slip fully lined that I could also put under other dresses. The dress came together quite nicely to be honest, it fit well first time, though I did take in the side seams a further inch for a slightly closer fit.
I edged the arm holes and neck line with scalloped lace edging cut from the fabric and applied it after I had constructed the bodice. The only real issues I have with this dress are that the zip is quite visible, as I could not stitch too close for fear of not being able to run the zipper well. And also that after wearing a few times the body seems to have stretched slightly and could probably now do with having the shoulders lifted (but that's a job for another time, preferably not just before I plan to wear it and bodge the adjustment in my rush!)
I got away without having to hem the bottom by cutting the skirt with the edge laying on the scalloped edge of my lace fabric, and I am always happy with these little time saving realisations!
I have worn this dress three times already and it has looked fantastic every time. I put it on at 7am Christmas morning to open my presents from Santa because, frankly, why the hell not!!! And it didn't matter to me at all that when I went out for breakfast everyone was staring - apparently it was a velour track suit convention!
I hope you like my latest creation!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!!!

In the Molly Makes Magazine I saw a brilliant tutorial for felt Christmas decorations, and to be honest the only thing I love more than felt is Christmas decorations, so this was a serious winning combo for me!!! This project is really great for using up scraps of felt that are too small to do bigger projects with. The tutorial does suggest to use glue to stick down all the small details, which is very quick and easy, but as I wanted these to last for years to come I used Bondaweb to stick down and hand stitched each shape in place for real staying power!
I have been working on these babies since October and they are now ready to be displayed. Only problem is I don't have a Christmas tree, so they have taken a Christmas mini break over to my friend Verity's house to live on her otherwise naked tree for the festive season. Verity I hope you enjoy the fruits of my labour ☺ and really, why are there no presents under your tree? 

She sent me over a picture of them in their new twinkling home. My favourite bauble is the deer, he is so sweet and happy and brings a smile to all that see him.
Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

I Knit a scarf!!!

I have just finished my first ever knitting project and you would not believe the sense of achievement I got from this little scarf - Unbelievable!!

I saw some delicious Rust coloured yarn from Rowan in the John Lewis Haberdashery Department and decided I needed a new scarf in my life ASAP. I don't know what came over me. Yarn and knitting needles in hand, I headed to the check out. It wasn't until I sat down later on to start that I realised I DONT KNOW HOW TO KNIT!!! Once again YouTube saved my life and the results are pretty amazing. This is the YouTube video I used to make my scarf- How To Knit A Very Easy Scarf For Beginners.

I cast on 25 stitches and alternated between knit and pearl stitches (moss stitch) all the way through, slip stitching the edges to create this nice finished edge. I used 3 balls of 100g Rowan big wool yarn in Lipstick. My knitting needles were a size 10 just in case you want to know.

Knitting is a lot easier to do once your fingers get used to the movement, and if I can do it, anyone can. Everyone should at least give it a go! And the best thing is when you make a mistake you can always just pull out your stitches and go again, really easy!!! (I did this 3 times)
I have not taken this scarf off at all since I finished making it!

I visited the Wallingford Christmas Festival and wrapped up warm in my fantastic new scarf, which was lucky because it was B...B..B.BASKALING!!! The Women's Institute served delicious Spam Fritters, which I will definitely be re-creating at home for a frugal treat.

Here I am with a fabulous old car that was curiously parked for my posing pleasure (don't you love it when that happens). I don't know who it belongs to, but thank you anyway. Notice the bows and net head piece I am wearing.  I picked it up there on the day and was too excited to wait till I got home to try it!

There was a brilliant brass band playing as we arrived that gave such a festive feel - I could just feel the festivities permeating all the grumpy scrooges for miles around. Here I am with my cousin Daniel enjoying the music.

What an amazing day out for me and my scarf!


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The Archer Shirt

After downloading The Archer Shirt from Grainline Studio, I looked for other sewists who had sewn it up for fit and sizing suggestions, because I was too lazy to make a toile, and I stumbled across The Sew Maris Archer Shirt Sew Along, and quite unexpectedly found myself participating in my first ever sew along.
I had imagined a sew along to be a pain which in my case only makes for sewing mistakes(Oh how I dread the unpicker!!!!!!!!) but I had printed my pattern, bought my fabric and mother of pearl poppers and was ready to go.
This is the first button down shirt I have attempted with a collar stand as I usually gravitate towards the more feminine flat collar but Hey Ho, I gave it a go!!!
Oh boy! am I glad I did try out this shirt because it ROCKS!!!!! The only amendment I made to the pattern was to shorten the sleeves by 2inches and shorten the body the same amount and its pretty perfect to me.
Back pleat and completely enclosed yolk seams, SMACKED IT!!!!
Spot the mistake(upside down collar)didn't notice till I had added the poppers so i'm sticking with it!(Design feature anyone?)
Check out them cuffs!!!!
I went for a kind of land girl look with this shirt and it came together nicely with victory rolls and high waisted jeans. The real star of the show though was Keesa, isn't she just gorgeous!
Cheeky outtake, I couldn't help myself.
Not only did I take my Archer Shirt out for a nice walk in the woods, she also got to make mince pies.
and to spend an afternoon crafting with my cousin Daniel who is a crafting genius! What a lucky shirt my Archer was today. 
 The Archer Shirt has been a great addition to my autumn look  and casual wardrobe staple and I foresee many more coming my way soon.