Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bloggerversary giveaway

Guess what? It was over two years ago that I wrote my first blog post, tentatively showing off my Sencha blouse! Can you believe it?! I've LOVED documenting my sewing journey during this time, and I'd like to thank you all for providing such support, encouragement and friendship along the way.  As a mark of my appreciation, I have a pretty awesome giveaway for you. Oh yes!

There are two elements to the giveaway, both courtesy of the super-generous Kate from M is for make.  First up is a choice of one of the new season patterns from Colette - the Anise jacket or the Juniper trousers. 

Having already made a coat this year, the Juniper trousers are the ones that get my vote, I've got a cunning plan to make a pair of these in red for the summer....  If patterns aren't your thing then Kate's also offering one of her beautiful, co-ordinating fabric bundles. All fabric bundles are detailed here on the M is for make website, so hop on over and decide which one is your favourite. 

I love this little Seaside bundle. I can just imagine the most darling cushion made from the seaside fabric, backed with the navy boat fabric and maybe some anchor buttons. So cute!  

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post stating which pattern or fabric bundle you'd choose if you're a winner. You're more than welcome to enter for both elements. The giveaway is open worldwide and closes at midnight GMT on Sunday 4th November. Please make sure you leave your email address if it's not linked to your blogger profile so I can contact you if you're the winner. Good luck everybody and here's to another happy blogging year! x

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Posh fabric acquisition

I've yet to travel down the slippery slope of making anything for my other half. Mainly because I'm totally selfish and it would be precious sewing time taken away from ME, but also because my husband has expensive tastes when it comes to clothes. I'm not joking when I say that he could single handedly keep Paul Smith in business. He's canny though, and always seems to know when posh sample sales are on, which has its advantages...

A few weeks ago he asked if I wanted to come to a Margaret Howell sample sale he'd heard about. Margaret Howell's designs are beautifully tailored and well cut, but they're not really to my taste - they're also ridiculously expensive. I decided to go along anyway, just to see what all the fuss was about. Whilst Jon was feverishly rummaging through the menswear, I decided to see what else they were selling. To my delight, I discovered they were flogging off roll ends of Margaret Howell fabric in a back room. Yes! I sharpened my elbows and managed to fight my way to the till with a roll of drapey navy gingham in a tiny little print - I bought 3m, probably enough for a dress and a top of some sort.  

I also found the most exquisite grey trouser fabric. It was described as 'trousering' but I can't use that word without sniggering - it sounds like the sort of word Joe Orton would drop into the conversation…. 

Anyway, the 'trousering' really was the end of the roll and there was only 1.5 metres left. Not enough for a pair of Thurlow's unfortunately, but as it's 60" wide and I'm a shorty, I fully intend to squeeze another pair of Simplicity 3688 wide legged trousers out of it. The photos don't do these fabrics justice, the quality is superb, they just feel expensive!

And the best bit? My fabrics were all £5 a metre. I nearly cried with joy when I was paying. Jon also bagged two pairs of trousers for £60 each. Expensive for trousers you might think, but not when the average price for a pair of similar trousers on her website is about £300.  All in all, a good day's work.  xx

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Polka dot one seam skirt

I made this neat little skirt to fill a gap in my wardrobe - I needed a red skirt suitable for everyday wear. Yes, I know, I already have a red skirt, but it just feels a bit too dressy to wear during the day. This time round, I wanted something comfortable that would match lots of my handmade tops and look good with a cardigan. Enter Simplicity 3983 from 1952, otherwise known as the one seam skirt.

I first saw a version of the skirt on Kestrel Finds and Makes blog and had tracked down and bought the pattern before I'd even finished reading the blog post (please tell me I'm not the only one who does this…) 

I loved the simple shape, the pockets and how good it looked in cord. With this in mind, I splashed out on a metre of red polka dot cord from Dragonfly Fabrics. The polka dots are actually quite subtle, which means I can wear it with patterned tops without fear of an almighty clash.  In fact, it seems to go with absolutely everything. 

Who says gingham and polka dots don't belong together?!

One metre was plenty, especially as I shortened it by eight inches (!) and gave it a generous two inch hem. I added 1.5 inches to the waistband (the pattern is for a 28" waist) and didn't change the skirt section at all as there was already quite a lot of ease built in.  One of the benefits of copying being inspired by other people's makes is that you can pick up all their tips and apply them to yours. As well as the dramatic shortening, I also used a lighter weight fabric for the inside pockets (a neutral coloured quilting cotton from Misformake) as advised by Kerry, and made them deeper. 

I'm glad I did as they're still pretty small and I've got child-sized hands. I love the pockets, though there's something about them that makes me want to stick my thumbs out of them, Fonzy-style... 

I also added Petersham ribbon to the inside waistband as the pattern advises. 

I loved the process of making this skirt. Usually I'm in a mad rush to finish and there's inevitably a bit of swearing occurring along the way. This time, I just took it slowly and nothing seemed to phase me. Nothing. The skirt didn't feel great when worn with tights so I simply cut out and added a lining, no sweat. The zip didn't look completely perfect - no problem, I just carefully unpicked the whole thing and re-inserted it with more precision!!! I really don't know what came over me! Whatever it was though, I'm grateful, as this little skirt will be worn a lot, so I'm glad I took the trouble to make it as perfect as I could.

I leave you with a photo which just cracks me up. It's me posing with what I call my Beignet face. Just look at this post and you'll see what I mean. I really do try my best to pose naturally without smiling, but I just can't do it. The majority of the time, I look like I'm spoiling for a fight! Which is why 99% of my photos show me grinning like a loon - far less scary!  x

Monday, 8 October 2012

Introducing Rosy Rosie

A loooong time ago, I wrote this post, explaining that some of my handmade craft items had been taken on by a local seller - Rowena Hughes. I'm now delighted to announce that Rowena has set up an online shop - Rosy Rosie - selling her gorgeous goods, which includes some of mine!!!! Type handmade by jane (that's me!) into the search box and all my lovely pieces should be listed. Below are just a selection, there are lots more on the website.

She's currently stocking my tooth fairy cushions

and purses

with a view to adding other lines once it's more well established. 

Rosy Rosie is well worth a visit - as well as all my splendid stuff, check out the beautiful handmade candles....

... and, for the trillions of pregnant sewing bloggers out there, the adorable baby clothes and toys. There's currently free UK shipping on all orders until next week, and on all orders over £30 after that.  Enjoy! x

Friday, 5 October 2012

My Handmade Style: Handmade Jane!!!!!

That's me, that's me!!!  Excitement of the century: I'm the latest seamstress to feature in Joanne from Stitch and Witter's My Handmade Style Series!

Just to recap, My Handmade Style is, in Joanne's own words,  

a series of interviews with some of your favourite sewing bloggers, looking at how they curate their handmade wardrobes. From vintage chic to clean modern shapes, how do these seamstresses create and communicate their own unique style in their projects? What and who inspires them, from music and film to everyday life. And what's their dream outfit? 

I can't tell you how thrilled and honoured I am to be part of this excellent series, which includes fabulous interviews with Tilly and the Buttons, Dolly Clackett, Sallie Oh and So, Zo... If you have a burning desire to know what floats my boat style-wise, then you can read the interview here

Have a good weekend. x


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