• A Special Occasion Anna Dress

  • Anna dress

    Phewey…. This post feels like it has been a long time coming.  I have been very literally knee deep in packing for our big house move.  Stress has been sky high, but happily settled into our temporary home now.  So life is good!

    While I had boxes stacking up around me, I made it my mission to finish off a couple of projects which had been waiting in the wings for some time.  And this beaut is one of them.

    I lined up this gorgeous By Hand London Anna dress for making an evening dress to wear to an awards party with work.  I left it all a little bit late (story of my life) and instead of making this ended up making a last minute dash to Coast to buy something else.  Fail!

    Anyway, ever since then I have had this waiting to be finished off.  I found that the house move gave me the kick up the bum that I needed to get on with it before we packed up the sewing room.

    I opted to use a lovely drapey luxury navy crepe fabric from the wonderful Sew Over It.  I hadn’t used crepe before, so was a little bit nervous.  But it turned out to be an absolute pleasure to work with.  It was heavier weight that I thought it was going to be – but the finished product really does feel quality – definitely worth it for a special occasion dress.

    The overlord (overlocker – sorry, can’t stop calling it that since Claudia Winkleman on The Great British Sewing Bee!), was brilliant at finishing my seams beautifully.

    The pattern was really simple to sew – I’d definitely recommend this to others.  I always have a punch-up with invisible zips though…. But that’s just invisible zips for you right?  And I love the split – which gives it a more glamorous look for evening wear.

    So I’m really pleased with how this dress turned out. I only made one amendment to the pattern in that I made the back a bit smaller, so to stop it from gaping out.  I love the fabric too!  I think it is possibly a little on the plain side though, but then that lends itself to accessorising.  So I added this chunky necklace from French Connection.  On a night out I might add more gold accents in bracelets and clutch.  I love a navy blue/gold colour combo!

    Anyway, I hope you all like this! I can’t wait to wheel this out for a special occasion, hopefully some time soon 🙂

    xxx

    Anna dress

    Anna dress

    Anna dress

    Anna dress

  • A Liberty-print Quilted Bomber Jacket

  • Bomber jacket

    This post has been a long time coming… but here I am – FINALLY showing you all my most challenging piece yet!  And I’m so proud of the result.  I hope you like it too!

    My brother and I had a little jaunt up at the woods with the dog to take these photos.  We decided it would be a lovely spot to get some shots of the gorgeous thick carpet of bluebells.  It was such a fun afternoon!  Credit to Ed Newman for these photos 🙂

    Bomber jacket

    Anyway, back to the jacket.  The pattern I used here is Papercut Rigel Bomber Jacket, bought from Backstitch.  I was firstly inspired to create this jacket after seeing this post on The Liberty Craft Blog, by The New Craft Society.  I fell in love with it instantly!

    Bomber jacket

    My next step was to find the perfect Liberty print for making my very own version of this jacket.  I stopped by the Liberty haberdashery on a trip to London, and perused their gorgeous selection of fabrics.  It was very hard to choose – and I knew I wanted it to be a dark rich colour.  I came across this stunner!  A lovely lady served me in Liberty, and I promised to come back and show her what I made – though I’ve forgotten her name now…  doh.

    Bomber jacket

    So I had the main fabric for the shell of the jacket – next I had to pick up the other bits and pieces required.  This included:

     

    I had to learn how to quilt the main fabric for the shell, as I had never done this before.  I basically used YouTube to search videos of this.  I absolutely love YouTube!  Whenever I come across a new technique, I always search for a video to watch someone else demonstrating it.

    Bomber jacket

    I treated myself to a posh walking foot for my Janome sewing machine – because I knew I wanted to give other quilted projects a go – so suspected that it would be a good investment.

    For the quilting, I used a spray adhesive between the wadding and the shell fabric. I would definitely recommend using this!  It really helped, as it held the two layers together for quilting – without the need for bulky pins.

    I really enjoyed my first venture into quilting – and I was so pleased the the results.

    Bomber jacket

    The only difficulty I had with this pattern was creating the lining.  I am surprised that this was not covered by the pattern, as otherwise you end up seeing all of the inside when the jacket is worn open.  It didn’t matter – I managed to get it to fit eventually!

    Bomber jacket

    I love a jazzy lining in a jacket – so it was important to me to get that detail just perfect.  Although I ended up going for a plain, more subtle coloured lining fabric – this was to let the gorgeous Liberty print do the talking.

    Bomber jacket

    Another tough challenge on the jacket was inserting the welt pockets – another first for me. I just took it slow, step-by-step, and it worked brilliant in the end.  Another technique down for me!

    Bomber jacket

    Anyway, I’d love to hear what you all think of this jacket – please feel free to leave me a comment below.

    TTFN!!

    xxx

  • My first handmade jacket

  • Victoria blazerOllo loveliest everyones!

    I’ve been away from the blog pretty much for the last month – mostly due to crazy house move activities and going on holiday.  It was a much needed rest and relax in gorgeous sunshiny Marrakech.  I took with me a couple of books + a shed load of magazines – one of which being the most recent Sew Magazine.  I got so inspired reading it – and so frustrated because I couldn’t get to my machine to sew!  But the project ideas are backing way up now!  Amongst other things I have a bomber jacket next on the list of makes, followed by a dress to wear to a wedding reception… exciting times anyway!

    And what about the Great British Sewing Bee eh?!  Did you watch it?  Did you love it? Did it give you push to pick up sewing/dressmaking?  I knew I loved Claudia anyway, but love her even more now… want to keep her!  And I’ve realised that I pretty much have similar hair… just a gingery version…!  And congrats to Matt – what a deserving winner – he absolutely smashed the final challenge.  Now I’m left with a void in my Thursday evenings – so better get on with some more sewing! 🙂

    So I wanted to show you all photos of my very first handmade blazer jacket.  I was a tad nervous about making this, I guess because you think of exact precise sharp measurements and clean professional finishes when thinking about jackets.  So this one was a bit of a gamble if I’m honest.  I didn’t want to use super fancy fabric either, as I kind of thought I might stuff this up!

    Victoria blazer

    The pattern was one I had been given for my birthday in November – a By Hand London Victoria blazer.  So I had comfort in knowing that I had previously made 2 different By Hand London patterns, and both worked out very successfully.  The pattern (as expected) was super clear and easy to follow.  And I love By Hand London’s sewalongs on their website.  It gives really in-depth instructions to follow when making any of their designs.  So even less chance of me screwing it up!

    The fabric I chose was just a plain navy blue drill from John Lewis in Cambridge.  In hindsight I wish I had maybe used a more medium weight fabric as the cotton drill was probably a bit thick for my liking.  But you live and learn (as my mum always tells me!).  The lining I find is the most exciting fabric choice for a blazer jacket.  I just LOVE opening up a jacket to find a super jazzy exciting coloured lining fabric!  So with this one I wanted to contrast it up with either a yellow or orange fabric.  I ended up opting for a cotton shirting from my local, Backstitch.

    Victoria blazer

    The whole pattern was really simple and a real pleasure to sew!  It totally inspired me to make a Victoria jacket in lots of different patterns/colours – for every time I go to go out and moan about having to wear a boring plain black jacket.  Don’t get me wrong, I like black but it’s really not ‘me’ to have to wear something so boring ALL THE TIME.  And jackets are so useful for work too – I obviously can’t get away with a crazy neon one there, but it would be lovely to have some plain ones – as I can always go to town on the linings!

    Victoria blazerVictoria blazerVictoria blazerVictoria blazer

    Anyway, hope you like this!  More projects to follow soon!

    Peace and love x