Sunday, 7 February 2016

Pink Shift Dress With Marshmallow Pink Lining

Hello and happy weekend to everyone! I've decided to make a shift dress each month in 2016 and last weekend was my last chance to squeeze in a January dress. I trotted off to Fabric Land early on Saturday morning and splurged on three dresses worth of lining in a colour that is best described as marshmallow pink. I also armed myself with a couple of invisible zips, spools or thread and a metre and half of pink fabric for my January dress.
The dress pattern is a mash-up of Tilly's Francoise dress and the shell top pattern from the latest Great British Sewing Bee book, with the added complication of a full lining. Because I found that the original Francoise dress that I made sticks to my tights and embarrassingly has a habit of riding upwards, I decided to try adding a lining to this dress. Better that than an old-fashioned petticoat.

Everything basically went completely tickety-boo for the most part. In fact for some bits adding a lining actually saves time and neatens the inside of the dress up. No bias binding for the bottom of the armholes, no interfacing etc etc.
Then I came to inserting the zip....

I can't fault Tilly's instructions but, oh-my-goodness, for some reason what a fight I had. At one point I got so annoyed with sewing-unpicking-sewing-unpicking that I pretty much decided to give up sewing forever. At this point I had ended up with a bit of a mess at the top of the dress with the zip not really matching up with the top of the dress.
Not quite the look I was hoping for but it's definitely liveable...I also think I could possibly do with hemming it slightly shorter so there's slightly less fabric in the bottom half of the dress but that will have to wait for a day when I'm not sick of the sight of this dress going backwards and forwards through my machine.

Anyway...for February's dress...I'm going for some gorgeous black and white geometric patterned fabric inspired by these pins. I'm going for perfectly inserted invisible zip and I'm going for slightly less angry sewing... and a slightly shorter hem line.

Have you ever attempted an invisible zip? How was it!?

Monday, 25 January 2016

How To Turn a Tie Into a Bow Tie

Here I am with my first finished project of's taken a wee while to kickstart my crafting mojo this year but I am pleased to announce that I've just turned a couple of my colleague's ties into bow ties. Yay!

He seems to have made a New Year's Resolution to wear more bow ties (if I primary teacher can't pull off a bow tie at work, who can right?) and he told me he'd spotted this tutorial on Pinterest. A couple of days later, he'd given me a couple of his ties and I took myself out for a wee coffee date and a bit of stitching.
The tutorial is super easy to follow but it turns out that some ties have a pretty padded lining and one of the bow ties in particular turned out to be super bulky. If you do use this tutorial I'd really recommend using a slightly thinner tie or trying to take out the lining before you start turning it into a bow tie. Really fun and easy tutorial though - I would recommend.
What's been your first project of 2016?

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Weekend Inspiration: Black and White

I've got one working week under my belt this year and it's been a weird one. The car wouldn't start on Monday morning. It turned out to be the battery (so not too much of a problem) but since then I've had all sorts of little annoyances happen to me and I'm beginning to think I don't really like 2016 too much. It's not helped by the fact that my determination to do Dry January means I can't even have a sneaky G and T to take the edge off!

Hopefully after a quiet weekend of chilling out, hanging up pictures, making curry, watching Paddington, dreaming about the monthly dresses that I'm planning this year and tucking into our still-leftover-Christmas chocolate, I'll be feeling a bit more positive about the New Year.

In the meantime, here's some pictures that have been inspiring me as I plan my first handmade dress of 2016...

1 // 2 // 3
4 // 5 // 6

...can you guess what colour scheme I'm going for!?

Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 Top Five

It's the last day of 2015 and like (almost) every other blogger in the country I'm taking the opportunity to have a look through my posts from the last year. Here are five reader favourites...
February: I made wee door hangers for my nephew's 1st NCT birthday party.
August: I did a few alterations to a vintage spotty dress.
August: I crocheted surname bunting as a wedding gift for my friends' wedding.
February: I finished a granny stripe blanket for our sofa.
November: I crocheted some back-of-bathroom door storage.

What's been your favourite project of 2015?

Friday, 13 November 2015

Free Pattern: Crocheted Bathroom Door Storage

With a couple of impromptu weeks off from blogging, I have a couple of projects to catch you up on. I can't take full credit for the design of this crochet bathroom door storage pattern. I got the idea from here and made up the pattern from the picture.
I used a 5mm crochet hook, two balls of natural twine, a coat hanger, five buttons and a yarn needle. Basically you crochet one big rectangle for the back and then two small rectangles to make the pockets. Then stitch 'em all up. Simple.

For the back, chain 40. Then, excluding the first three chains (makes one treble crochet), treble into each of the remaining 37 chains to make 38 trebles (including the first three chains). For the second row, chain three then treble into each of the remaining 37 stitches. Repeat the second row another 28 times.

For the pockets, chain 18. Then, excluding the first three chains (makes one treble crochet), treble into each of the remaining 15 chains to make 16 trebles (including the first three chains). For the second row, chain three then treble into each of the remaining 15 stitches. Repeat the second row another 18 times.

To make up, place the pockets in position and use a yarn needle to stitch along the base of the pockets and up the sides. Stitch further vertical lines to create separate storage sections. Create a flap at the top (see above) to loop over the coat hanger. Stitch into place. Decorate with the buttons. 

I hope you enjoy making this...please feel free to add any comments/questions below.

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