Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

What a fantastic year, hope you've all had a blast like me, I'm shattered ha ha! Just arrived in Derry today for Northern Ireland Christmas, looking forward to copious amounts of tea, reading craft magazines and doing nothing (except visiting 1 thousand relatives). It's going to be amazing!

Thank you very much for helping make this year as great as it has been, this blog keeps my creative brain ticking over, always thinking of new things and helps me to gain perspective, not only of my makes but of my life in general. I love every minute of it.

Here's to an amazing 2014 for you all!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Accessories and Venue

The veil, I wanted to buy my veil by the time I had finished the dress, I was tired to be honest and a bit wiped out with all the other making we'd been doing. Unfortunately we couldn't find a nice one under about £100 so out came the sewing machine! I mean veiling is about £5 a metre for goodness sake.

To make the veil I picked up the 1 1/2 metres I had bought, clipped it to my head with a kirbi grib and marked on where I wanted it to end. I then led it out on the ground, cutting off any excess. I then folded it first in half lengthways and then downwards, and rounded off the edges. I looked up how to make one online but couldn't really grasp their instructions. But once I had the fabric laid out the material all became clear.

I had made the flower for my bouquet but as I had two it was making the bouquet unbalanced, so I used it on the veil! I used a variety of lace including that used in the wedding dress, and then attached a small veil comb underneath. To finish the edges I used 3metres of ivory lace trim, just sewing it flat onto the raw edge as veiling does not fray.

The bouquets were a joint effort between my mum and me, the two at the bottom were made using the excess off the bottom of the bridesmaid dresses so as to match my beautiful bridesmaids! The leaf you can see poking out of the top one is a felt cut-out of a leaf I picked up when Terence and I got engaged. I knew there was a reason I was so sentimental!

Here you can see a sample of the (over 100m!) of bunting that we made for the wedding. My sister and I cut out the majority of the triangles (with some help from Mother in Law), and my Mum sewed basically all of it together herself. Don't know how she managed to keep going, it was amazing! We used all sorts of colours and designs, trying to stick mostly with the blue and green but adding in the odd galaxy fabric to keep things interesting!

One of my favourite elements of the decoration were the centrepieces, they were made with hand-made flowers, spray painted candelabras, dinosaurs and animal toys and a whole mess of help from all of our amazing friends and family. Thank you to you all, I'll leave you with the pics as they tell the story of their construction better than I ever could.

You made it through the wedding posts! Well done! Just wanted to add a quick note to say thank you to everyone who helped us with this. It was the biggest thing we've ever done/ will probably ever do again. Thank you to all those who had a hand in our wedding, whether you made things, or just listened to us gripe for months on end about all sorts of nonsense. We love you guys! You made our day what it was.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Wedding Invitations

So it's been a bit wedding dress heavy over here in my last posts, so I thought I'd give you a break, and you can see me and Mr T's joint effort on the invitations. All of the drawn elements were done by my super talented husband (so weird to call him that still), you can see some of his drawing skills here. And all the embroidery/ fabric elements were me :-)

Hope you like them! We love them, I want to put them up all over the house. Maybe I'll have to settle for just the one.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Finishing the wedding dress

So I'm going to jump right in to the technical biz here.

The lace overlay was constructed using a lace top that I already had, I was looking for a pattern without separate sleeves but struggled to find anything! Is this something that just doesn't exist? Have you got one? Not that I really want to know as it's a bit late now ha ha.

So anyway, I decided that something I knew would fit was the next best thing. I began by ripping through all the seams of the lace top, (so much black thread!)

With regards the gathering at the sleeve head, I first marked where the gathering began and ended with white tacking thread.

I then used these markings to construct the templates above, tracing around the pattern pieces of the black lace top, and transferring my thread markings on to the pattern piece. In order to negate any stretching and distortion of the pattern piece which may have been caused over time to the top, I then halved my pattern piece, and laid one side on top of the other matching the sides.

I traced over both of these, smoothing out any differences on either side, and cut out a new pattern piece based on this tracing, and came up with the above!

I used this tracing techique to create the bodice pieces as well. I knew the finished bodice of the dress would be at my natural waist, so marked this on to the bodice piece as I went along. Also, on the back I added the Mathilde blouse button plackets, I knew the size of these would work with the buttons I had chosen, and as I had made the Mathilde before, I knew I could follow the super detailed instructions online. Once I had constructed all of this, I added two big gathered rectangles for the skirt and I was almost there!
This is the first pic of nearly done dress I sent to my Mum and Sis halfway through, as you can see it's not the most flattering pic of the dress. But I was so ridiculously excited to see a dress appear! A few changes I made as I went along were to broaden the neckline to something a little more open and flattering, I used french seams on the sleeves which I thought would be really confusing but was actually quite straight forward (I'll try and do a specific post on this the next time I do some).

I added the green/blue silk as a centre band at this stage as I realised I needed something to break up the white of the dress. I had never intended to have a solely white wedding dress, and this piece helped to break up all of the white that had somehow occurred :-)

I realised once I had done this though that it needed something a little special, some bling if you will (and you will). So I found this one online: 

Copyright Nikki Rodgers 
Isn't this pic gorgeous? It was taken by my super talented sister Nikki. If you want to take a look at some more pics of me in the dress, and some great shots of me and Mr T with umbrellas and wellies take a look over on her blog.

So that was that! Dress made, I can't believe I made it in time, though there were a few things I hadn't done yet once I'd made the dress. It kind of went like this, I made the dress! Yay! It's done! Woop!

Oh wait.... I need a veil, and shoes, and what do I wear on my nails? Am I wearing tights? I do really need a haircut.. arg! Ha ha, obviously the dress had taken priority for a while there.

Next time, accessories!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Underneath the dress

Ha ha think I said proud in that last post about a hundred times. You get the idea right?

So where were we? Right! I had adjusted my muslin, I tried it on and all was well. I forgot to mention that I didn't require boning for the dress due to a corset that I had specially made here.

A picture of me in it would definitely be a bit risque for the blog but here are some phone pics of it all finished. It is an over-bust corset with gores. More of a vintage shape which went well with the shape of the dress. We did have to adjust it at the night do to give me room to eat and breathe, but once adjusted I was good to go!

The lady was amazing, and when I told her I was making my wedding dress she gave me some great advice (specifically about the lace, wisdom I will pass on when I get to that point). I got to choose every element of the corset myself, colour, lace inserts, material. It was a great experience and one I would thoroughly recommend, especially as it saved me so much work on the dress.

Next up, the construction of the under-dress and the lace layer. One month since the wedding yesterday, I can't believe how the time has flown. I bought this corset in January! Ridiculous

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Dress

The time has come to discuss the wedding dress

This was definitely the most elaborate sewing challenge of my life so far. Considering some of the disasters I do encounter every now and again (don't we all) and my last minute nature, I'm not really sure why I took this challenge on, but I have to say it definitely made my wedding. Knowing I made my dress made it so special, plus it gave me something to say when people said they liked it 'thanks! I made it' cue giant grin and super non-modest pride.

When I got engaged I was completely taken by surprise, I had thought a little about a wedding of course, but not in any practical way.

I didn't really know where to begin so I sketched out some things, tried to see what I would look like in some of the styles I spotted in magazines etc. I drew my body from images on the internet on the screen. It was very useful to have an exact version of myself to sketch out, and from there I could see what would work and what wouldn't. I decided on a basic base dress with completely separate lace overlay. I talked to a few people about the lace and the general consensus was that in a full length dress it would get very heavy and stretch out. I thought I could combat this by separating the dresses entirely. 

I based the bodice of the blue underlayer dress on Butterick B5322. I was meticulous about measuring the pieces, and the final measurements against my measurements. However this is a big three pattern so it was still massive. I attached my circle skirt (based on Gertie's book instructions), and took the whole thing to Derry over Easter where Mr T's auntie helped me to take it in. She makes amazing wedding dresses so I knew I was in safe hands. 

You can see from these pictures how much I had to take off the pattern, it was basically completely reformed once I had taken out all of the necessary material. I was very proud of myself once I got this to fit, I transferred the curves of the pattern, whilst shaping it to myself, moving curves from the back piece to the side to make zip insertion simpler, I was (and am) super proud. See my super proud face:

I think that's probably enough wedding dress chat for now, next time I'l chat about the lace overlay, and then accessories! Hope you've had a great weekend, I got a new desk as a wedding present which has taken residence in the sewing room so I'll be giving that a trial run. 

In other news, I won the pattern pyramid! I am so excited about being part of something like this, and it's the first blog giveaway I've ever won. So be sure to keep checking in to join in once I receive the packet. So excited!!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Post Wedding Post Honeymoon Post

I'm back! Whoop!

The wedding was awesome! (Just thought I'd get that in early)

We had an amazing day, all went well, only major issue was that the wedding ring I ordered from Etsy disappeared (no name and shame as I feel bad for the poor woman, though she does owe me my money). I had about six weeks before the wedding when I realised I hadn't bought a wedding ring! It's the little things you forget about you know ;-)

So I looked around, found a bunch of ugly modern rings. Apologies to those who like gold and silver combination rings with tiny inset diamonds. But it very much aint my bag! I was getting desparate when I found one on etsy, a victorian reproduction ring wth deep engraving of a floral design. I ordered happily (in the car on the way to family hen do) and paid extra for it to be sent super fast. Unfortunately, the seller put the wrong address on the ring and sent it to another address in California! (imagine me at work with mouth wide open and doing the silent panic).

It eventually arrived back at the seller who then sent it again super fast (out of her own pocket). I watched the tracker with baited breath... it made it to England yay! It made it to customs boo! (cue £50 release fee) It made it to Manchester yay! it...... never arrived! It was tracked down to a conveyor belt in the Parcel Force system and then... dropped off the face of the planet. Arg!

It was now four days to the wedding, I am contemplating wearing something 'borrowed'. But I thought, there's a lovely antique jewellers in Blackburn (home town) ill go there the day before the wedding and see what I see... ya never know! Lovely antique jewellers was shut, boo! Popped in to some more modern jewellers shops (cue more boring rings at astronomical prices).

We were giving up, we were on our way out of Blackburn, time to tidy the house for all of those 'completely natural this is how my house always looks morning pictures', when we decided to go in one last shop. I described what I was looking for and the lady brought out a box of rings, and then another, and then another! They were my saviours, and this is my beautiful ring:

I've got quite a few wedding-related posts to do, including the much talked about wedding dress! We made so much for this wedding, it was bonkers! But all totally worth it, had an amazing day, and honeymoon, how have you all been?

Mrs Deborah :-)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Normal Service Will Resume....

Hello everyone!

I have been wildly crafting in the background here for our upcoming nuptuals... I've got so many exciting things to show you but in the meantime you shall just have to hold your breath! (no wait... don't... it is still three weeks away, I don't want that on my conscience.

In the meantime, here is a picture of the latest addition to the household. She turned up on our doorstep about 6 weeks ago now.

This is J'ACCUSE

Look at her in all her glory, look how powerful and revolutionary she is.

See you in November guys! 

Also, don't know if anyone noticed but all of my pictures disappeared for a while there. The world is too connected, so when I deleted from G+ they all disappeared! Beware! Makes me want to do a Ron Swanson and go completely off grid.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Sort of skorts refashion

Hello everyone!

So sorry for the delay in postings... I'm pretty sure you'll have heard this excuse floating around but we had a summer! I mean... a real honest to goodness summer with warm weather every day :-0 What with keeping up with watering the plants (which have gone mad in this weather... im sure they're twice the size than any other plants I've grown before) and keeping up with all the relaxing in the backyard/ bbqs/ games of scatterball, both sewing, and blogging about sewing have taken a back seat.

Also... we went to Barcelona! Now I know this may seem strange seeing as me and Mr T have been together for about 9 1/2 years, but we'd never been on a proper holiday abroad together for longer than a weekend. So this year, after our now both having jobs which involve using our brains (the cheek of it!), and pushing to get the wedding invites out (now sent! Arg... it's really happening) we have exhausted ourselves and therefore we really needed a break. We had a great week in the sunshine and now feel super relaxed. So that's you up to date!

Now for sewing, I needed some quick makes for summery weather, with all the nice weather we've been having I had a good idea of what I needed, shorts! I find it really hard to find flattering trousers/shorts. Problems being, they're either far too tight, making me feel very aware of my shape/body, or way too lose, not fitting to my waist/hips. Now I know there's nothing wrong with my shape/ body, I just know that it's quite curvy, and I just don't want to feel bootilicious when I'm walking about... I wan't to be comfy.

I bought the below jumpsuit a few years ago...

and it definitely fits in the super big category:
It's super comfy, I've had it quite a while, and I have worn it quite a bit. But it had fallen out of rotation, the little lapels made it feel kind of formal... but because it's big it felt kind of casual, so the time to wear it never came up. Her below is not impressed:

 So! it was time for a refashion. Not something I do very often to be honest, though it's something I should do more, as I've recently been buying quite a bit of clothing. I think it was the move to Manchester, the shops are so much more diverse here in comparison to Edinburgh. I'm bound to find something I like. It's rather dangerous for the wallet, especially as we've just got back from holiday... plus the wedding.

So anyway getting back to the sewing, my I'm chatty today. I started by wearing the jumpsuit in front of the mirror, the crotch was so low on these they were practically hammer pants so I pulled them up a little, and marked my natural waist line, cutting across the middle (ensuring the buttonhole and button where about 1" below the cutting line). I then tried them on with a belt to make sure he height was right:
Ooh look at me getting all posy in the garden he he. So they fit right yay! I then measured my waist, and the top of the shorts. I used this to create two open pleats in the front, and smooth ones in the back.

I didn't really have any material that was going to blend well with the material of these shorts so I decided on a contrast fabric, tying in with the spots on the pockets. And I used one of my orange apple buttons. I bought these for my georgette mathilde, but the orange was just too bright, perfect for these summery shorts.

They were so useful on the holiday, and I know I'll get loads of wear out of these super sort-of skorts. Plus I still have the top part, and I'm thinking of adding a contrast dress to the bottom, two refashions for the price of one!

I've still got a couple of pre-holiday makes to show you, but I've got secret wedding things to do so I might be a little quieter in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, here's some pics of me jazzing it up in the back yard, by the bin :-) Happy summer!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

I made my man a tie!

Hey folks, I done made my man a tie :-)

You proud? Selfless sewing, not even for a birthday. Feel like I deserve extra props for that one. This came about when I bought myself the last of the roll of a red, blue and white check to make a skirt (now completed... love it!... I owe you a blog post on that one). I had seen the 'gentleman's tie' pattern on coletterie, and mentioned in passing to Mr T that I might make him a tie (if he was lucky... and I ever remembered etc etc) This must have stayed with him though because when he saw my skirt fabric he said... that would make a nice tiiiee (the lots of vowels indicate excitement and intrigue). Now I know for a fact it would be another lifetime until I found some more fabric he would want a tie from. He denies it constantly but he's pretty fussy when it comes to his clothes. So (completely selflessly) I decided to sacrifice some fabric in the name of a tie.

Mr man likes his ties pretty thin so I traced one of his favourite ties onto the main lining (the long thin pattern piece). There wasn't a lot of difference in size so I just folded over the excess inside the tie to give it some bulk. I cut it on the bias as well to show all the colours and the check to its best.

I added in some floral underneath too, I did make it myself after all, had to sneak some floral in there somewhere. Confession: I first cut out this lining in a very manly black and white, but I cut it wrong side up (three times... doh!) So I resorted to the florals. All I can say is that fate (read subconscious) intervened.

Have you basked in the glory of some selfless sewing recently?

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Re-made New Look 6723

Here is a link to my original post on this dress. I was very happy with it when I first made it. But due to it having so much ease (even with me taking out however much I did at the time) it was ridiculously comfy, but also impossible to wear underneath anything. No problem says I! I bet i'll wear it in the summer when I dont have to wear a cardigan/jumper. What fool am I? I may be one of those crazy people who enjoys the british summer but even I have to admit a dress that I can't wear layers with wasn't going to get much wear.

So back to the drawing board! I took off the sleeves, brought the neckline down by an inch or so, completely took out the underlining (I didn't feel it was necessary really) and instead bound all my edges with bias binding (my favourite finishing technique). I heightened the waistline by another couple of inches (apparently I have a super high waist), and last but not least changed the gathering to two extra large pleats, I think this is more flattering as it doesn't create the same bulk at the waist it had before. This was the result!

I have lost some of the super pattern matching from the first rendition, but I haven't stopped wearing the dress since I refashioned it so I think it was definitely worth it. You can still see the original pattern matching in the back by the zip though, makes me happy.

Hope you've had a good weekend so far :-)

Friday, 28 June 2013

Super Sweet Blogger Awards

I was included in the Super Sweet Blogger line-up by the lovely lady of Dreaming of Avonlea (thank you!) Unfortunately, the only people I can think of to add are those that she mentioned in the previous post, so I will be holding off on posting new and exciting people until I get a good list for you all :-)

The Rules:
Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you.
Answer 5 Super Sweet questions.
Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post
Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other deserving bloggers.
Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.

The 5 Super Sweet Questions:
Cookies or Cake? Cake, definitely. With a large cup of tea, and preferably whilst in a cafe on a day trip

Chocolate or Vanilla? Erm... can I have a scoop of both?

Favorite Sweet Treat? Ooh totally depends on the day but a jar of nutella and a cream cracker and I'm a very happy lady

When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most? After most meals... ha ha. Yeah it's a constant battle really

Sweet Nickname? Hmmm.... don't have any kind of nickname but if you want to name me after a sweet thing then I'm thinking something in an iced gem vain? Mostly 'cause they're da bomb

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Birmingham Blogger Meet-up

I went to my first blogger meetup! Very exciting, got to meet the lovely Marie of A Stitching Odyssey. I won't tell you all the details of the day, as you can find wonderful roundups from most of the attendees blogs (a list of them here, along with some sneaky pics of me... can you spot me and my not-yet-blogged changed dress?) I'm going to do a proper post on this as soon as I get a chance to get some close-up shots of it. I definitely made the right choice re-making though as I haven't stopped wearing it since it was completed.

Here are some pics  of the meal.. where we talked fabric, patterns and jobs (definitely not as exciting as dresses I think we all agreed).

There was a massive swap shop!

I got some brilliant finds, including the material that Amy of Almond Rock made a lovely dress with. My two swap finds were cotton viscose, which I haven't sewn with before but are lovely, soft and drapey, so I'm thinking some more sleeveless Mathildes maybe?

I bought some lovely fabrics in Barrys, but didn't get anything in the afternoon (one very full canvas bag was enough for me, seeing as I'm trying to stash bust, not stash build.

One fabric that will actually help with stash-busting is below, it's a gorgeous digital rose print in a thick cotton-type material (never very good at remembering to write down material contents when in the shop). I already had about half a metre of this material which I had found in a bargain bin... probably 3-4 years ago? It was never enough to make anything from so it has wallowed in the stash. But now I have bought a further 1 1/2 metres so my options are almost limitless. I say that, but of course I'm going to make another New Look pencil skirt so my options are limited by my imagination apparently. One problem is that the quality of the material is different (though the pattern is exactly the same) my bargain piece is mostly polyester with a bit of stretch, and as I mentioned before my new bit is cotton. I'm thinking of using the poly for the pockets, as it won't matter if this is different. However, if you can think of anything I should do with it... matching bag, purse, flamboyant headwear... I'd love to get some suggestions.

Thanks to Marie, Claire and Kat for organising. I know we all had an amazing time, and you made the nervousness of going to my first meetup a breeze. I have already had a lovely email from an attendee and we are planning a fabric shopping trip in the near future, very exciting! As well as some technical help from Hannah of madewithhugsandkisses and a SuperSweet Blogger award from Dreaming of Avonlea Thanks! Long may meeting continue! We were discussing on Saturday a possible meetup in Manchester, maybe taking over Abakhans? Anyone interested?

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Extra PJs and a bit of bloglovin!

Good Morning!

I understand my pics were a bit too dark to see my PJs in all their glory on Sunday, so here are a couple of extra pics to keep you going until my next project!

Also, a bit of blog admin:
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hope you're having a good week!


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