The middle child came with me to the Handmade Fair a couple of weeks ago. She's a creative soul and I had a feeling she would love pretty much everything she saw. What I didn't realise, however, was quite how persuasive she could be. We popped over to see Tilly (Bees Forever <3), who was as lovely as ever, and Lucy fell in love with the gorgeous Rosa Dress that was displayed on her stand. A quick trip over to Fabrics Galore for some lightweight denim and that was that. See - total sucker. Although I've sewn a few things from her book this was my first time using one of Tilly's stand-alone patterns, and it was a really lovely experience. It came in a nice big envelope with plenty [Read more...]

One-hour pyjama bottoms and a giveaway!

***GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED*** I'm so excited to be guest blogging over at Girl Charlee this week, with a tutorial for a really fast and easy pair of pyjama bottoms. I have about a million* pairs of these, and they are perfect for kids too. (*may be a slight exaggeration) As a celebration of all things comfy, Mark at Girl Charlee is giving away a generous 3 m cut of fabric to make your very own pair of pjs (or pairs, if you've got a small person to sew for). All you need to do is pop over to the Girl Charlee website and join the mailing list via the little box on the home page, then come back here and leave a comment so that I can enter you into the draw. The giveaway is open for a [Read more...]

Me-Made May

In spite of the absolute lack of photographic evidence, I actually managed to wear me-made clothing every day in May. This was in no small part due to the sweatshop nature of my dressmaking habit. Thanks to my favourite Croydon-based, rainbow geese-obsessed, dirty-minded, photo-taking quilting friend, Kelly, and yesterday's Nintendo Guild meet-up I can now show you what I've been sewing. First up, the Red Velvet dress by Cake patterns. Love the 50s vibe. So wearable in jersey. Goes nicely with buttercups. Next, the Lady Skater, in some unnamed viscose jersey that I picked up at a quilt show. I *love* this dress. It's so comfortable, and skims nicely over my curvy [Read more...]

More dressmaking

I had an "aha" moment the other day when I realised why I've been doing so well on my no-quilting-fabric-but-dressmaking-fabric-is-totally-allowed plan: I have suddenly turned into the world's most prolific dressmaker. It's a veritable sweatshop here. And then there are all the totally quilt-worthy leftovers that don't count as fabric purchases because they are scraps. See? Genius! This weekend was a whirlwind of pattern tracing, full bust adjustments (I can do them without looking at tutorials now) fabric cutting and frantic sewing together of garments. I've got another dress waiting in the wings and two others are yet to be photographed, but without further ado, I present to you: 1. [Read more...]

Ode to an ‘E’ cup

I've been sewing the clothes for Annie's shop window for a couple of months now, and this time round she suggested I might like to make something that I could wear once it's finished doing its duty. Together, we picked the Mortmain dress in teal squared elements with a big-ass metal zip. The Mortmain pattern is beautifully presented and very well written, so I couldn't wait to get to it.Of course, the massiveness of the buzzoomz meant doing my first ever FBA. The interwebs is full of useful (but slightly conflicting) advice on how to do this, so after falling down the rabbit hole for several hours I finally settled on this tutorial, mainly because it made the most sense to me at the [Read more...]

Live and learn

I had a feeling before starting to make this dress that it would be a bad idea but for some reason I just didn't listen to my inner voice. I convinced myself that it would be fine.There is, however, a very good reason for the lack of photographic evidence of the intact dress. It really REALLY wasn't fine. All it needed was an opening at the back and they would be sliding me into the MRI machine or wheeling me off to surgery. I suspect that my decision to use the fabric back to front may have had something to do with it - the stripes are just not defined enough in reverse. That and the usual issues with having giant baps and being somewhat vertically challenged.beware the crazy staring [Read more...]

Split personality sewing

The enjoyment I get from making clothes is entirely different from quilting. It's really odd, but I am much more process driven when dressmaking. I think it might be because I sew clothes universally from patterns, and I quilt mostly improvisationally (or from my own designs).Sleepover pyjamas - Oliver & SI want quilts to be finished already so that I can see whether they look like they did in my head. Dressmaking, on the other hand, is for savouring.Pocket detail, Ice Cream Dress - Oliver & SObsessively tidy edge stitching, hyper neat seam finishing, french seams when I can - that's what I love. But give me a quilt where the points have to match and I will be swearing and sighing [Read more...]

It’s a mutant!!!!

A mutant By Hand London dress, that is. A hybrid made using the Anna dress bodice and the Charlotte skirt. An Annalotte, if you like. I wore it this weekend for our family Christmukkah gift exchange. My sisters always look impossibly and effortlessly gorgeous and I generally feel like a slightly overchunky frump in their presence so I went all out with this one. Having clothes that actually fit makes an enormous difference, although in retrospect I should probably have included extra space around the middle for food-associated expansion.Apart from the obvious alteration of chopping about three feet off the skirt length the patterns were used pretty much as is. I cut the back bodice [Read more...]

Tickled (see what I did there?)*

*clue: feathers, d'oh!When I first set eyes on the feathers print from Field Study I *knew* that I had to wrap it around myself in a clothing-related manner. Of course, then I faffed about and forgot to buy any before it pretty much disappeared from the web. Luckily, one of the vendors at Quiltcon (I can't remember who, sorry) had a whole bolt of the stuff on sale, so I snapped up three yards with nothing particular in mind.And then it sat in a drawer for six months (please tell me I'm not alone in this need to buy all of the fabric right now and not use it). It stared at me, petulantly, until I finally got the courage up to make a Schoolhouse Tunic, which I have been wearing pretty much [Read more...]