Saturday, 23 April 2016

Matchy Matchy Millinery

Matching everything is my aim in life! I love a matching outfit, matching accessories, matching the colour of my ensemble with the interior decor of my destination(thank you trip advisor for having pictures of everywhere!) 

 There is something so old Hollywood about being matchy matchy and I'm always looking for new ways to accessorize to match my look. 

Making accessories isn't something I have ventured into before, but making something for yourself gives you so many options to play with. 

You will need-

  • A Sinamay hat base (any shape you fancy)
  • Covering fabric (left over fabric from a garment you have made/altered is fantastic for matching!)
  • Lining fabric
  • Thread (matching colour to fabric)
  • A kettle/ pan of boiling water
  • Scissors
  • A pen/pencil (for drawing template)
  • Pins
  • Paper
  • Bobby pins and/or hair comb
  • Decorative trim/fabric flowers/ ribbon/buttons anything you like the look of.

To create my little hat I used a Sinamay hat base. You can find these hate bases in diferent, fun shape, I chose a tear drop shape.

What I noticed about this particular shape was that it was quite flat, so I needed to add a nice curve to it so that it curves around the head.
The picture above shows the original base above and my shaped base underneath.

There is no fancy way of shaping the base. Just hold the base over the kettle steam to soften and then bend gently with your fingers.

##keep your fingers away from the steam- IT'S HOT!!!##

This took me a couple of times to get right,  I manipulated the base a little and then held it against my head to check if it was right.
A bit of trial and error is needed here.

Draw around the base onto your fabric, leaving roughly a 1 inch seam allowance.

You can use whatever fabric you fancy, though sheer fabrics would need to have a backing fabric. Equally you could leave your base uncovered as the Sinamay is very pretty and summery as it is (and you can get the bases in different colours).

Cut out your fabric.

Using a needle and thread, sew a running stitch around the edge of your fabric shape, roughly 3/8 inch away from the edge.

Once stitched all around your fabric , slightly pull the threads to gather the fabric, forming a cup.

Place your base into your fabric cover.

Make sure the right side of your fabric is facing out.

And pull the threads nicely taut and tie together.

A second row of stitching will help to keep the inside seam allowances flat.
Sew 1/4 inch outside your first stitch line.

Once again, stitch all of the way around, pull taut and tie off your threads.

The shape of this particular hat base has a point at one end that creates bulk once your fabric is gathered in. To help keep things flat, stitch the seam allowances together, just at the very end.

 I used a thick cashmere to cover my hat base and it does cause a certain amount of bulk. Thinner fabrics will not have this problem.

This is the point where you can be creative and add decorative stitching, trimming or accessories to your hat.
Go Wild!!!

To mirror the details of the jacket that this hat matches, I used a running stitch around the edge, going through all layers of the fabric and base.
To create this detail keep your needle vertical, not slanted!

Continue around the entire edge of the hat.

This stitching creates a subtle detailing which is very elegant and understated. 

By stitching my detail through all layers it also had the added benefit of keeping my seam allowances flatter.

I did intend to leave my hat very understated but fuss always wins with me and a massive bow got slapped on top too! Yay!!!

I created the bow with some hand rolled cord. Hand stitched to the base.

Hand stitch on to the hat base as much or little frivolity as you desire!
Keep in mind more is always more!

Use some paper to draw a template, slightly smaller than your hat, approx 1/4 inch from the edge.
  Make the template a fraction longer to accommodate little pleats in the lining, to maintain a nice curve in the fabric. 

Pin your pattern to your fabric (wrong side up)  and cut around your template, leaving roughly 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Iron the edges down all around your template. 

Hand stitch your lining in place, with tiny pleats wherever there is the most curve. 
Use pins to hold the lining in place if necessary.

The only thing left to do is to keep your hat on your head.

Sew little thread loops around the inside edge of your hat to thread bobby pins through to pin to your hair.

The Bobby pins are sufficient to hold the hat in place, though a hair comb shoes anchor everything much better. A combination of the two work really well.
The hair comb is also just hand stitched in place.

And there you have the most matchy, matchy outfit there could ever be!

This project took me about 2 hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon, a nice in between project that offers instant gratification!

X O X O 


Friday, 15 April 2016

Sorbet Dream

Another of my outfit solutions for cold spring weather!
Wearing beautiful spring tones but in a thicker weight fabric. 
Why did I not think of it before??? 

I can't believe I don't have a vintage 50s suit, I mean it is a wardrobe staple, surely!! (Don't call me Shirley!)

I wasn't feeling quite up to making a traditional tailored jacket because of the time frame involved, so I chose this much softer look. 

I used vintage vogue pattern V2934 for this jacket. I cut the size medium, without any adjustments. Woo Hoo!
Super easy to sew up, a lot of hand stitching involved so very therapeutic, for me at least. 
It is very cape like in its shape, with a luxurious drape at the hem. 

I love how the jacket is shorter in the front and significantly longer in the back.
The thick cashmere I used worked wonderfully and holds the shape of the folds well. 

This is my favourite outfit that I have made in quite some time.
 I love the coral and felt very sophisticated wearing it. 
And the benefit of a suit is that the two pieces are able to be worn separately to create different looks. 

I made the little hat in matching fabric.  
I can't help but to love matching everything where possible.
Tutorial for this hat coming soon.  

This colour is so much fun to wear! 

I absolutely love fabric covered buttons to give that elegant vintage touch.
Combined with a bound button hole, the look ended up very polished. 

I finished the cuffs and front with hand stitched edging.
It is a very simple jacket so I wanted the details to be elegant and well executed. 

I contrasted the coral with turquoise and mint tones and I'm thrilled with the result.

Outfit details
Jacket- Me Made V2934
Skirt- Me Made, self drafted
Hat- Me Made, tutorial coming soon...
Top- Charity Shop
Shoes- Agnes and Norman 
Earrings- Vintage
Sunglasses- Accesorize

I finally feel like I'm achieving a more cohesive style. A wardrobe full of things I love to wear instead of  a huge pile of things that don't fit or flatter me and I can't bear to wear one more time. 

It is a fantastic feeling to open your wardrobe and be inspired by your selection!



Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Spring in the Air (well, almost!)

Spring is finally here, and yet, if I'm honest, it is still nippy out! 
I'm itching to wear my lovely summer frocks, so I'm attempting to incorporate them with a bit of layering, until the sun really shows us some love here in the UK.
(Maybe this year will be the year that we finally have a real summer)

Outfit details
Dress- Vintage from Through the Looking Glass
Wrap top- me made- Gerties Butterick B6285
Brooch & Earring set- Bowandcrossbones
Coat- Vintage- Beyond Retro
Scarf-me made

After seeing this wrap top (Butterick B6285) being made up by numerous sewing bloggers, I had to give it a go. I took advice from Tasha from Bygumbygolly and made this first version up with wider sleeves and shorter waist ties. 
In general it is a very cute top, totally wearable! Really best worn over a dress though, unless the bodice is lengthened significantly or your intention is to bare midriff (not in this weather!)

The only issue I had with the pattern is the back is a bit short and the hem keeps popping out from under the waist ties, very annoying.
I don't like garments that you have to fiddle with throughout the day, so next time I will lengthen the back significantly. 

Fiddling problems aside, I am really happy with how this project turned out because it was my first project using knit fabric. 
Totally different than sewing woven fabrics but not more difficult. 
Yay knits aren't scary after all! 

I did a little pattern review over on The Homemade Pinup blog if you wanted any more pattern and sewing info.

This Carnation print is very sweet, I'm in a very floral mood at the moment especially combined with vintage cotton sun dresses.

 With tights and a wrap top or cardigan, summer dresses can be almost practical whilst a chill remains in the air. 

Ok, in reality I did still need a coat and scarf, but we can make believe that I diddnt. 

Whitstable castle was the location for these pictures, and picture taking definitely requires refreshments! 

Definitely the biggest afternoon tea ever!
(Though with pies and quiche it was technically High Tea)

Such dainty delights!

And lots of savoury for my Mr.
He doesn't eat sweets so I eat them all!

I have been trying to up my vintage game and make more effort in my outfits and hairstyling now that the sun has awoken me from hibernation. 
I recently started using setting lotion to give my curls more hold and I'm never going back!! 
Bouncy curls are my best friend at the moment and I have finally found a hairstyle that works for me (long lasting and easy to achieve!). 

Happy Spring Everyone!! 

X O X O