Thursday, 27 August 2015

Our beautiful daughter

Hello all!

Those of you following me on instagram may have spotted that we have had our little baby, Evelyn. I am ecstatically happy (and hormonally emotional) in equal measure. We are getting somewhere with claiming back free time but obviously we are tired and making the most of this time with our little one. Of course I am dreading Mr T heading back to work, but we will make it through, there is light at the end of week one :-) not to mention the beautiful little face we made! So strange, I can't believe how much my stomach has deflated, probably in equal measure to how much my boobs have inflated. My body is very confused right now ha ha.

We have decided to hold off for now on sharing baby pictures to the wider blogosphere/ internet. We aren't sure how we feel about sharing our baby with the world, but also it feels strange that they can't consent to their pictures being posted to the world. Of course this is no damnation of those who choose to put pictures up of their own children, and we have put pics on facebook... we will probably even change our mind in the future but for now you will have to make do with pictures of our lovely new nursery.

This is the first room Mr T and I have decorated together and I really enjoyed the process. The triangles are done with masking tape and paint sample pots, and the chest of drawers were painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint. 

I'm going to try and keep up with posting, but I have no idea what the next weeks hold so no promises. I'll see you on the other side lovely people.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

I'm teaching at the Handmade Fair! Squee

Hello all!

I've got something a little different to talk about with you today, though disclaimer there are no new makes so if you're only in it for the pretty dresses feel free to skip this one.


I have some very exciting news! I will be teaching a workshop at The Handmade Fair this year. This is a show a bit like the standard knitting and sewing shows, except the focus is on classes and learning new skills. I went last year with my Mum and Sis, and we had a blast learning all sorts of interesting skills like flower arranging, macrame, and we learnt all about the wonders of chalk paint that both my sister and I got very over-excited about and have started painting everything we own with the stuff. My Mum bought a hundred new hobbies as usual (sorry for telling on you Mum ;-) ), and we had Pimms and afternoon tea. I thoroughly recommend it for a day out.

So my session will be on these 3D flowers/ decorations, link here:

I have been making these decorations for years, they are a simple design that once you understand the concept can be applied in a massively wide variety of ways. I have made so many of these for a variety of crafts. We will be making them into brooches at the fair, but I wanted to show you just some of the ways that I have adapted this simple pattern into all sorts of different items.

There won't be many people (I'm assuming) who remember my craft fair days. This slightly creepy head was used to display these brooches in their alternate form as headbands. If you alter the dimensions of the template, and round off the corners you will end up with a more flower-like design that you can see here. Here I attached a grip on the back to attach to your hair, but I also sometimes used ribbon to attach this to your hair. 

We also used these flowers for a variety of things for my wedding. Above you can see the design used with scraps from the length of the bridesmaid dresses which we made into a flower each for the bridesmaid bouquets. This meant that they mixed in perfectly with the dresses, and they were a lovely keepsake using the fabric which probably would have been scrapped otherwise. 

A wide selection of beautiful fabrics will be provided on the day, just look at how different these can look in a variety of fabrics. Something different to do with those fabric scraps! 

I used a larger template, which included three petal sizes and layers of duchess satin and lace for my veil centrepiece:

And how about using them as decoration around your home? My Mum and I attached hundreds of them to chandeliers for my wedding features, and now lots of members of our family have them adorning their homes. It's lovely to go to someone's house and see something you made being used:

The potential uses for these flowers is seemingly endless. I'd love to make some up in rainbow colours and hang them as a mobile in the nursery, next project perhaps? 

I hope this gives you some inspiration on what you could make with these flowers after our workshop, you will hopefully learn a couple of new skills, and will have something pretty to wear on the day. Also, I can't wait to meet up with you and have a chat! If you've got any burning questions then once we get going sewing we can have a natter about all things sewing and crafting. Can't wait to see you there! 

Miss the link? 


Thursday, 13 August 2015

Big Brother Washi

Hey hey! So apparently being on maternity leave takes more energy than you would think! I've been sleeping lots, and having baths and painting chests of drawers, and buying copious amounts of small people things, and sleeping! Did I mention sleeping?

Monday was my birthday, which was really lovely. I didn't put loads of pressure on myself because, well I wasn't going to get any of it done so you can't say fairer than that. So my friends came to me, we sat in the yard on a sunny day and I drank No-jito. My new favourite drink. I got lots of lovely pressies, and even made myself a dress! The dress I'm talking about today though is not that dress. 

Remember this logo?
It's kind of creepy right? It's from Big Brother Series 11. Do you remember when Big Brother first started? It was supposed to be sort of a social experiment thing, maybe, and they were all fairly nice people who didn't want to evict each other and kept reminding each other that it was all just a game? Shame that didn't last, though I guess people would have bored of it pretty quickly. So anyway the fabric for my dress really reminds me of these logos:

It's another Washi! Surprise! Ha ha, I know, I'm a broken record but they really are one of the only things I can fit on myself these days... I got big! It's due date on Monday so not long to go, but could be any time really, before or after then. It's weird being off work for this amount of time, I'm well into my third week and I'm starting to fall into old habits like when I was on summer holidays back in the day. You remember that time? You get halfway through and your life starts to slip into a routine? You know what time of day Murder, she wrote starts? Although at the moment all I'm doing is powering through hundreds of episodes of Warehouse 13. Have you seen it? It's on Netflix so it does that dangerous thing of just lining up the next episode and before you know it you've watched five in a day. I wouldn't say it's great TV, but it's very watchable, which is all I'm after right now. Don't want to stretch my brain thanks!

Evidence of my giantness, though this was a few weeks ago so again, imagine me bigger as I write this ha ha. These dresses are really misleading because from the front you don't quite look as big, then you turn to the side, and it's boom! Baby time ha ha. I can't believe I've made no adjustments to fit my belly into these dresses, I'm impressed! 

One change I have made is to add a zip down the front, this is for nursing. Thanks so much for your thoughts on this. I decided that I would start by adding in front access, so I can at least wear something other than pyjamas at home once Spud arrives. Then I went to Mamas & Papas recently for a car seat, and found a jersey dress that I like! That has clever parts for nursing after baby is born. I'm going to copy this for some new makes and will make sure I show you so you can do the same. It's great because it's somewhere between a dress and skirt and top combo... but still comfy! All will become clear I promise.

What do you think of my new background? This is the wall we painted for the nursery, we just used masking tape and emulsion paints and they came out way better than we imagined. The theme in the nursery is rainbow colours, and it's starting to look awesome. Once we have the chest of drawers all finished up and I can get some of the clothes away it's going to look amazing. We ran out of paint so it went on a bit of hiatus for a while. Back to work this afternoon though. 

So yeah, I haven't really said much about this dress but you get the idea right? I feel like I've talked the Washi to death so don't really have anything else to say. I reckon my shirring elastic game is pretty damn awesome now though. I sometimes wonder if I did the Sewing Bee now, how would I fair? I've got way more sewing under my belt, maybe I'd be more comfortable? Have different ideas? Guess I'll never know! See you on the flipside folks, 


Saturday, 1 August 2015

Post Number 100 and a Floral Flora

Happy Saturday puny humans! This is my one hundredth post woooo

I guess that isn't really that impressive as I've been writing this blog since 2010... but there have definitely been some large gaps between posts. I'm really enjoying doing more regular postings, and I now have a backlog to keep me going as I photograph in bulk, that's how I've finally managed to keep up momentum with the posts. So thanks world for sticking with me, and new readers... welcome!!

I'm at the end of my first week of maternity leave, what a week! I've been out for lunch a couple of times, bought a lot of things online, painted one chest of drawers, started knitting a blanket and still managed to keep my feet up. Feel very pro-active! Though I did have lots of appointments and lunches to go to so maybe I'll lose some momentum next week.

At the moment it's pouring down outside, so of course I've got a holiday summer dress to show you! This is the By Hand London Flora, I'd been obsessing over a wrap over style for a while. I have this idea in my head of a wrap top with floaty sleeves in a massively seventies style, so I thought I'd use the Flora as a base, and to create something floaty to wear for our holiday to Croatia (yeah... I'm a bit behind on the posting ha ha)

Unfortunately there are a few issues with the bust fit, pretty much the same issues I get with RTW (ready to wear) wrap dresses. It is all just a little loose around the top. Not sure where to go with adjustments to be honest, I know that a lot of the issues are caused by me stretching out the fabric as I stitched the lining to the main fabric. This fabric is very light and floaty, I tried to be careful but clearly I didn't do such a good job.

Also I think I could do with shortening the front bodice, I've added some ribbon here to get rid of some of that excess fabric, but it's something to keep in mind for next time. Other than that I'm not sure... maybe I should just go a size down? Ideas on a postcard :-) I've also made it maternity friendly by adding the Washi and shortening the under bust to lose the waist. Man, I can't wait to wear something with a waist again. I know it won't be immediate, but at least I'll be on the road to a waist soon!

The back fits really well though, so the issues are definitely all in the bust. I didn't bother pattern matching as this is such a busy fabric, I figured it would all get lost in there. I love this material, so hopefully I can make it a little more wearable (without the need for a safety pin) so I can wear it again before the end of the summer).

Hopefully I'll get some more sewing done next week, I'm still not sewing for the little one, but seeing as I have about 30 all in one bodysuits, and 25 vests I'm not sure it wouldn't be a waste to be honest. I can't wait to show you the nursery, it's the first time me and Terence have properly done up a room together and it looks so awesome!

Like I mentioned I have started knitting a blanket though so I don't feel quite like the terrible mother I could be ha ha. More dresses for meeeee


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