Thursday, 15 May 2014

Flora Sewalong - Part 2 - the Sundae Best dress

So, in a nutshell: Dress Success (yey!) bag, fail (boo!)

Actually the bag will be fine once I actually buy the correct frame for it. I had it all glued up before I realised that what I thought was a 6" frame was actually 8" and therefore didn't fit. What a flipping numpty!
So you will see a finished bag at some point, but not today folks!

The Dress.
Well its done. I was up very late last night sewing, then dashed back from work this afternoon to finish it before school pickup.

It came together really well actually. Apart from the zip which frankly was a bit of a nightmare. I knew my invisible zipper foot wasn't going to arrive on time so I just went ahead and did it with a normal zipper foot. I must have pinned and repinned and basted and rebasted about 7 or 8 times, but I got it in eventually!

This is the dress on my form, Kirstie. She normally wears a black t-shirt, which covers the padded bra and towels I used to pad her out into my shape!
Inside out dress pinned lining around waist.

Pinned and ready to sew lining

 Once I'd finished the lining, I did the hem pronto - and here is the finished result!
I took Kirsties t-shirt off for these shots, so its a little bit saggy without the tummy padding

And here we have a bit of posing in the mirror. Admittedly not the best shots - my house and mirror aren't really the best photography studio - and I'm no photographer!

I did have a bit of an issue at this point - I am unable to zip my dress up myself! I have about 3 inches at the top I just can't reach. I had to ask my son to do it after I collected him from school!

After school and nursery pickup, I took them to our local coffee shop, Serendipity. I did wear my new frock, however I am too modest to go bare legged outdoors, so my trusty leggings went on!

The decor in Serendipity matches my frock! The waitress also gave me a compliment on my dress which was marvellous.

Noah and Moi

Joey and Moi

 And back home for a garden shot courtesy of Joey!

Overall I'm really happy with this and I think I will make it again. It reminds me a bit of a dolly clackett make. I'f I'd have gotten my finger out I could have entered it into her sew along, but I'm a bout 3 weeks too late for that. Oh well. I got there in the end :)

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Flora Sewalong - Part 1 - the Sundae Best dress

I finally managed to get going on my Flora dress. I've been following the sewalong, and I knew as soon as I saw the pattern, which fabric I wanted to use. I've had this perky ice-cream sundae fabric sitting in my stash for a while and I just KNEW there would be enough fabric. I started cutting out my pattern without checking. Duh!

I went for Variation 2, which is more 'modest' in the front department. I haven't got any frocks with this style bodice so I thought I'd give it a try. I don't really like drop hems so I'm using the Variation 1 skirt. I would have made it a bit longer, but I just don't have enough fabric! If I'm feeling a bit too exposed I may add a bottom border later - maybe a bit of broderie anglaise or something.

Luckily I didn't need to make any modifications for bust, but I did shorten the body as I am shortwaisted and also 'blessed' with a large tummy and I don't like the waistline sitting on my larger bits. As a plus size lady I used the largest size available on the pattern.


So I laid out my pattern all nicely, and started to cut thinking 'yey go me I've got just the right amount of fabric'. Then I realised. I'd put the back piece on the fold instead of the front. I quickly swapped them around, but this minor change meant that I could no longer fit my front and back bodice pieces side by side. Gaaaahh!!

Just before I realised I'd laid my pattern pieces wrong - thats the back piece on the fold when it should be the front piece!

I have learned a lessson from this. Well a couple. Mark your pattern pieces more clearly ( I just used a biro on the skirt pieces as I'd lost my black marker at this point - small children and pens - harumph!) and check you have enough fabric before you start rather than just crossing your fingers!

Pattern cut out and darts sewn up, awaiting ironing
 Anyway, after those hiccups I was away. Bodice darts done, lining attached to main fabric. It went together nicely.

Quick body shot of bodice fitting:

Then it was time to sew up the skirt panels. The darts were easy to understand and I sewed it up nice and swiftly. I did buy some seam binding earlier this week, but I'm impatient and it hasn't arrived yet (I buy most things online as we are lacking in local haberdasheries/fabric shops), so I did this instead ( I think its called a 'turned single hem'):

Again the pattern doesn't really match at the seams. It was too tricky to even consider, so I didn't. As stated previously, I didn't have enough fabric to do anything other than manage to fit each pattern piece on there. 

This scrunched up piece is my skirt ready for ironing then attaching to bodice!

In my head, this dress needs a Sundae Best Bag to match, and I knew that the U-Handbag Baguette clutch was the one. I always wanted to use my ice cream fabric for this, but I didn't want to cut into the fabric until I'd used it for a dress or something. 
Well I've done that now, and there is enough remnants to make me a Baguette. I also handily have the correct frame awaiting usage.
How I will fit this in before Friday 16th I don't know, but my invisible zipper foot hasn't arrived yet meaning my dress is on hold, so I might be able to get it cut out this evening. 

Please please let my zipper foot arrive by tommorrow though :)

Lady Drivers in Control!

This was in aid of the Firefighters Charity
We picked the best slot (morning) as the rain had started by midday and just got a bit windswept trotting between vehicle stations!

I got to drive a fire engine, an ambulance, a 4x4, a double decker bus, an extra-big articulated lorry, and a hovercraft.
I also did ‘manoeuvres’ in a 4x4, a gritter and a vehicle with 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

What the! Two posts in one week?! It must be deadline time!

So what have I been beavering away at in secret for the last few months (other than bags of course)? 

Dolly clothes. For a competition. 
I immediately knew I had to enter when my hell bunny rag arrived - one problem though - no doll to dress. 


I found a Liv doll on ebay, made a few tiny modifications (painted her lips and eyebrows - her eyes are a bit too green (mine are brown) but close enough), and got to work on a coat - not strictly within the rules as they are after dresses - but in my head I wanted to do a coat so that's what I started with! I made some little fit patterns first then made paper patterns for the coat using my fit patterns. 
I used felt and trimmed it with black ribbon. 

 (this is a page from my working sketchpad -everything goes in here)

I quickly made her some trousers too for modestys sake, and found some little shoes and boots from ebay to fit.

 'Lindy' Dress #1 was a copy of my Sassy dress in tropical - as I have no tropical fabric in my stash I went for fruity instead, and made her a little net underskirt.

Last was the Larissa Flamingos dress (Dress #2) I knew I wanted to use some of my favourite flamingo fabric for this!

I also made a couple of mini bags and some jewellery to accessorise.  I'm pretty pleased with how she came out.
Noah and I got some wallpaper samples from B&Q to use for backgrounds, and I snapped her this afternoon. I'm not a great photographer unfortunately but I think you can get the gist!

Next on the list - Handmade by London - the Flora dress. Its all cut out ready for the sewing machine! Can I meet that deadline too?!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Bag Time. Again!

Back in October, U-handbag introduced the Queen Bee bag, which I instantly loved. I must have been one of the first to download the pattern, and I started cutting out the fabric (this gorgeous Frida Kahlo pattern) immediately. 

Then I started getting inundated with orders. My Queen Bee Frida ended up on the back burner. 
And its not until this week that I finally decided b*gger it I'm finishing that bag. 
So I did.

Unfortunately, I messed up the corners. I don't know what happened, but the shape was wrong and my fabric didn't reach the frame. This is why there are lace inserts in each corner of the external bag, and fabric inserts on each internal corner. Gutted that I made this mistake, but still love the bag, and decided I was going to keep it. 

I visited my mum on Saturday (sans children and hubby). She lives 3 hours up the A1 (if I really bomb it up there) and I arrived mid afternoon. We went out for a lovely meal with my sister to celebrate my mums 70th (she doesn't look or act anywhere near 70!) The cake was not made by me. I decided a long time ago I don't have time for cake decorating :)

On Sunday, I got some bargains at Sedgefield car boot sale, and Maxey let me have free run of her sewing room. She is a generous lady and has a vast stash of fabric and wool. I was quite restrained I thought and only took a small selection of fabrics. She also donated a lovely wooden sewing box she found at the tip. Noah has since tried to comandeer it, but he's not having it!

Whilst at the car boot sale, Maxeys friend Jill was admiring my Queen Bee. Quite a bit. 'Lynn sells bags' says my mum. 'Oh, are you selling that one?' Jill asks. Umm. Ok.
So I sold her my handbag right there and then (after transferring the contents to my mums bag LOL)

I shall have to make another, and get it right this time!

This is my haul. I also got a min-iron from Aldi which was on sale - I've been after one for ages for my bag-making but £7 was a bargain!