Tuesday, 30 June 2015

City Chic, Burda Blouse

I have just had my first experience of sewing with Burda Magazine. I know that this magazine is popular in many different countries, but you need to be a serious sewing ninja to use these patterns! The patterns are so well hidden its almost impossible to find what your looking for!
I used the simplest pattern they had and managed to get a result I'm happy with.

I mean, just look at that maze of patterns! Golly Gosh!

I fell in love with this look! The sheer elegance of it caught my eye and I knew I had to recreate it! What I didn't take into consideration was that the loose, tent like silhouette may look fabulous on a model, but on a real, average sized person might be a little unflattering.

The outfit I put together is very similar to Burda's 60's look. Teaming the loose top with a fitted cigarette trouser, silk head scarf and large sunnies. 
I did feel super chic in this outfit even though it is a very different look to my usual 50s vibe.

A very easy pattern to sew together, but with some nice details. The pleat in the front gives a good drape to the top and the raglan sleeves are very comfortable and sit on the shoulder perfectly.

I am a big fan of a key hole opening, very discreet and a pretty, delicate detail in the back.

I tried a messy bun hairstyle with a folded silk scarf. Looking back on the pictures now, I seem to look very film star incognito in the scarf and sunglasses!

Does anyone have advice for sewing with the Burda magazine?



Thursday, 25 June 2015

My Favourite Sunny Corner

Once the sun starts shining, it is time to sit basking in its warmth like a cat! If I can add some crafting into the mix, accompanied by a tall glass of elderflower cordial, along with some softly playing music, then I'm having a pretty spectacular afternoon indeed! 

This is my current work in progress. Just a little project to quietly while away any down time.
I have been enjoying the process of doll making. It is not something that I have ever done before but I'm trying to learn some new skills this year and doll making was on my list.

I have embroidered the face fully by hand, which took time but was well worth the effort!

All she needs now is a cute ensemble!

This is the book I followed to create the doll. It is very easy to follow and the images are beautiful. I did struggle to find some of the supplies in the UK so I ordered everything that she recommends online from the USA. 
The authors blog is also worth checking out at http://bybido.blogspot.co.uk/

I'm looking forward to getting her finished and sharing the end result with you.

Have you tried your hand at doll making at all?

Are there any new skills you want to learn this year?



Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Sky Garden

Sky Garden is the highest garden in London, that offers the most stunning views!
 Forget paying for the london Eye and check out a spectacular view for free!

Towering high above all of the other buildings, Sky Garden literally stands out like a sore thumb! (I do mean that as a compliment, well kind of.)

The gardens are quite small, but who am I kidding, I was there purely for the view and some lunch. If refreshments are on offer, I'm partaking!!!

I put together a late 50s sweater girl look, that turned out looking rather Air hostess  in the best possible way, so I just went with it!

I sewed up the skirt a week before so that I could incorporate orange into the look. I don't usually wear orange at all, but I am loving it with this skirt, the print feels a little Hawaiian to me.

The fabric is a stretch cotton sateen that was an end of roll scrap I got cheaply at my local fabric shop. I wasn't sure what do do with it, and when in doubt, another skirt is always a good, wearable option for me.

Shoes from Agnes and Norman, that are suprisingly comfortable, I can't really wear many high heels, but this brand seems to agree with my feet.

Look at those views!

This is my first try at a French twist and it isn't half bad. A very chic style once you have it balanced precariously atop your head.

There are two restaurants in the gardens and also a café. I stopped for lunch and a cocktail in the Darwin brasserie.
 I had to get a cocktail once I saw that it would match my outfit. That just makes me happy!

A Cocktail should definitely match ones ensemble for true vintage elegance! And then sip slowly holding your drink up so that everyone can admire your exquisite colour coordination!

Let's all raise a glass to summer!



Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The Dreaded Waistband Roll!!!

I love a waistband! Waist definition is my best friend in my wardrobe. But when my waistband buckles and rolls Aaargh! It drives me Bananas! 
So here is a quick fix that will stop the dreaded buckle and roll!

I just unpick the stitching on the inside of the waistband by the zip.

Then slip in some nylon webbing/harness strapping. This is generally used for adjustable bag straps on sports bags. It is a nice structured tape, but you could also use grosgrain ribbon, it would have the same effect. 

Then stitch closed the opening by hand.

Give your waistband a press and your ready to go!

Here you can see, my waistband is flat and structured. 

Thats all for the moment. I'm going to prance around in my new perfect waistband!



Monday, 8 June 2015

Afternoon Tea at The Balcon

The Balcon is a very fancy restaurant in Piccadilly, round the corner from the bustling circus of tourists. It is a relaxed haven to stop by for a light refreshment during a busy day.

I went for tea on a miserable rainy day, to lift my spirits with tea and cake. 
Works every time!

The Bacon has an unusual, bright and open setting with quirky details like the spiral staircase and huge industrial chandelier.

The Earl Grey tea that I chose was served in a fantastic, oriental tea pot, which was lovely but I couldn't pour it out without spilling. Whoopsie!

The sandwiches were delicious but there were not many of them. I do need a generous portion of sandwiches. 

Scones, Scones, Scones. My favourite part of afternoon tea is definitely scones. Unfortunately these didn't hit the spot as they were over baked and dry (don't I sound like Mary Berry!) I am becoming quite the spoilt little scone critic!

And finally the deserts. A lovely little selection of French fancies. Delightful! And the only place I have visited so far that packed up my left overs to take home. A nice touch I thought.

The cost was £25 per person which was reasonable and quite a standard price that I have found to be the case in many places around London offering afternoon tea.

For The Balcon I would score as follows -
  1. Mise-en-scène - 4/5 - A beautiful art deco setting. Very light and open space.
  2. Tea - 3/5 - A nice selection of loose leaf teas, but the earl grey I choose was a bit bitter. And the tea pot was too heavy for me to pour straight.
  3. Scones - 3/5 - The scones were over baked and quite dry. Oh dear!
  4. Service - 4/5 - Friendly, attentive staff.
  5. Value - 3/5 - In comparison to the fare offered at other establishments I think the value was poor.

Total: 17/25 

Although I did not score The Balcon highly for their afternoon tea, I did enjoy my visit. It must be said that I am not really very fussy and am quite satisfied to sit and chat regardless of what is served. The buildings interior was stunning so I had plenty to visually investigate!

My search for the best afternoon tea continues!
(Totally an excuse just to drink tea and eat cake! Tee hee!)