Monthly Archives: September 2014

Georgia on my mind

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I’ve got a very exciting finished project to share with you all but first I need to make a very important introduction.

Blog buddies …meet Martha. Martha meet the world!

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Isn’t she pretty? Martha is my dress-form, a surprise Christmas pressie given to me by the very generous boyfriend. Now I LOVE Martha. Many a time she has rescued from screwing up a project, convinced it won’t work, Martha has been there to show how it might look on and make it seem do-able. That said Martha does have her flaws. Firstly she’s not much of a talker and is known to loose her head (I’m sorry, couldn’t resist!). The actual problem with Martha is that she’s a non-adjustable body form. She looks pretty and elegant but at times when I’ve eaten too many puddings and my belly seems to be expanding, Martha remains her same slim self. I make clothes to fit my proportions, often needing to make a size-able full bust adjustment to do so, which means that at times what looks baggy on Martha will be snug as a bug on me.

Despite this flaw of never gaining weight (which FYI is equally annoying in REAL people) I can predict that many of my completed projects that I’ll be showing on this blog will be modeled on Martha. She never has bad hair days, bags under her eyes and taking photos of her in clothes doesn’t require any skill in contortion. So if items seem poor fitting, from now on, I will be blaming Martha 🙂

Excuses over on to the main act…

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# Georgia, Georgia the whole day through. Just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind #

Pattern: ,The stunning Georgia dress from By Hand London. I originally brought this pattern intending to take part in the sew-along held back in January but undecided on the fabric and scared of the fitting required it sat untackled for too many months.

Fabric: I brought this fabric from a man at Leicester Market who sells scraps of material left over (I imagine) from manufacturers. Not for the faint-hearted, you have to rummage through his stall, wait for his return from the bookies and then he will give you the price he decides in the moment.

I was lucky and got enough to make this dress, along with another piece of the black stretch fabric and a beautiful piece of neoprene (made into a soon to be blogged skirt) for ÂŁ2.50. ÂŁ2.50… absolute steal!

Fitting and changes made: I originally made a muslin out of cotton fabric for this dress in a UK12 and it didn’t seem any chance of it fitting. Vanity aside I went up a size to a (gulp) 14, completed a 3″ full-bust adjustment and boldly went for it. For a cost of ÂŁ1.25 I went for the motto of “nothing ventured…”

Nothing ventured indeed! Using a full-bust adjustment meant that the finished bodice was easily 3 inches too big, which I was able to take in at the sides taking it down to somewhere between a 10/12. In the future, I think I will make the bodice in a 12, with the necessary adjustments and grade the skirt down to a 10.

I also found the straps were far too long for me, which was tricky given that I’d already sewn them in with the lining! I liked the wideness of the straps where they met the bodice and also wanted to wear the dress that evening so did a slightly botched job sewing them in the middle of the straps… passable for a muslin but this is something that I would address if I make again.

I also didn’t use a zip in the making in the dress, it would probably be necessary for a less-stretchy fabric but for these fabrics and with this fit it was not necessary.

Overall: A stunning dress pattern, that I will definitely be making again in the future. The fitted style of the dress means that it is important to get measurements and sizing right but the sew-along mentioned above is fantastic in guiding you with this… that’s if you actually read it before sewing rather than after making the mistakes! 

Lucky Georgia was ready just in time for a night on the town celebrating the birthday of one of my besties. Unfortunately, whilst Georgia looked the party, I’ve still not mastered the art of posing or even keeping my eyes open in photos but here are a few 3 blurry photos from the night nonetheless…

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Till next time 🙂

Elle xx

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Confession Time

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“It’s not until you dive in that you know the true depth of the water”

So I’ve got a little admission to make, something I omitted in my last post. The astute amongst you will have noticed that in that post I said that my main reason for blogging was to take my first steps in ticking of my “30 Things Before 30” whilst also providing a platform for me to document and reflect on the journey.

But what was it that meant that, out of all my hopes and ambitions, this one made it to the very top of my list? What was I planning to write about before I sat down with friends, put pen to paper and scribed “start a blog”

It is with trepidation that I make my confession. Since writing my first post I have spent time mentally writing and rewriting the words for this reveal but have struggled to find the right words to fit the purpose. This trepidation is something that  has puzzled me.

But luckily to help in my path of self-analysis I had a secret weapon to help me. This time my secret weapon came in the form of a late-night drive home from work and some strong ballads from my main girls Paloma and Tracy (Faith and Chapman). After failing to hit every note and scaring the driver next to me with my dramatic moves, I was able to begin to understand what I had been struggling with in writing this post.

I have never been particularly confident. My teenage years were spent with the same angst and self-doubt that girls everywhere can sympathise with, reluctant to share my inner thoughts for fear of some how not quite being as good as everyone else. Whilst getting older, and questionably wiser, has meant that my confidence is slowly building I can, at times, still find myself being riddled with self-doubt and the nagging feeling that there’s something that everyone else understands but that I’m still falling short on. As a result of this I still find myself holding back and reluctant to share my true self with others. Sharing is caring but it’s also pretty scary!

However, as I gradually let others know the real me I am starting to realise that it is only in letting others know the real you that you can begin to accept yourself and live life fully. In trying to protect ourselves we can sacrifice much of life’s true richness. So in keeping with the living life to the full and seizing the moment, I plan to dive straight in and reveal the real reason for starting a blog… no apologies, no more waffling… just go ahead and do it!

So here goes…

My names Elle and I’m addicted to sewing!

There I’ve said it. Originally, the reason I wanted to start a blog was not to document my journey to the big 3-0 (though that is now also a goal of mine) but it was instead to grow and develop one of my main passions in life: sewing.

I’ve always enjoyed being the creative and crafty things… coming from a large family with little money you really appreciate the value in being able to make something from nothing. But it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I really got into sewing. I had been given a machine as a present when I was younger (identical machines, bulk brought Christmas presents for me and my two sisters) but it sat under my bed for many years.

I can’t remember what it was that first got me back into sewing but I can remember the first sewing blog I ever read. In fact, I can remember the very first sewing post I ever read was this maxi dress by Suzannah at Adventures in Dressmaking (now Create-Enjoy), which led to an obsession following the journey of the many fantastic sewing bloggers out there on the wide web. There really are some truly inspirational seamstresses out there, looking at you House of Pinheiro, the Little Tailoress and the girls at By Hand London

Now I don’t claim to be anything special or advanced in the field of sewing, I’m still learning and even the basic pattern can throw me into a frenzied panic. But I do know how much I enjoy reading about others sewing adventures and how inspiring I find it when a new post appears in my email.
So whilst I am fairly new to dressmaking here I am, taking my first steps into the world of a sewing blog and hoping that I can give back at least a fraction of the support and advice I’ve taken from others in the online sewing community.

 

And not to brag but I’ve got some pretty exciting projects coming up!

So till next time guys and gals

Elle xx

Getting the party started

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A life of sparkle

‘Ey Up Ducks!

Let me introduce myself and this cyber space that, as of 5 minutes ago, is officially my very own BLOG!

I’ve been thinking for a while about starting a blog but like most ideas that I come up with in my creative mess of a mind, it’s an idea that’s been sat on my metaphorical to-do list for a while with the chances of it materialising being minimal at best.

But like most things all I needed was a slight kick up the butt, which came in the form of some of my close friends and the idea of writing a list of things we’d like to do before impending adulthood and the big 3-0 birthday in 5 years time.

So without further ado, here is my list of 30 things I’d like to do before 30:

  1. Start my own blog (TICK)
  2. Complete one craft/sewing project a month
  3. Ride a camel in Morocco
  4. Barter at an authentic bazaar
  5. Have afternoon tea at the Ritz
  6. Visit one country from every continent (bar the two poles – a well travelled friend of mine tells me this is possible but quite probably out of my price range!)
  7. Learn Makaton
  8. Visit a friend in Shanghai
  9. Spend a New Year eve in Edinburugh
  10. Go to a live music night in Ireland
  11. Learn a whole dance  routine
  12. Complete a post-graduate course at University
  13. Hang one of my own works of art on the wall
  14. Apply for Catchphrase
  15. Write a chapter of a book
  16. Join a sports team
  17. Make a rainbow cake
  18. See the Northern lights
  19. Sail on one of the Italian lakes
  20. Take Mum to Monkey World, Dorset
  21. Climb 2 mountains Do the 3 Peak Challenge
  22. Start saving for a house deposit
  23. Give all homemade Christmas presents one year
  24. Sew myself a winter coat
  25. Go running everyday for a month
  26. Go to a roller disco
  27. Wear a sequin dress
  28. Watch a film at an open air cinema
  29. Go to a hairdressers and request a complete hair change
  30. Write a new list

So aside from being an opportunity to tick the very first thing of my list, this blog is a way for me to motivate myself to complete more, push myself further and document the adventures that unfurl along the way.

As taking my first steps in creating this blog has taught me things I never before knew, I hope with each thing ticked off my list come new experiences, life lessons and a whole bucket full of fantastic memories.

So lets enjoy this together homespun life together, till next time guys and gals

Elle x