Monday, 29 November 2010

Vintage tweaking

I went to this vintage fair back in October and picked up two fab dresses for an absolute bargain price of £15! (total, not each!) It's a rare day that I find a vintage dress to fit me, let alone two! (I'm a not-to-tiny 5'10")

One was a cute green 40s button down dress, unfortunately missing what I'm guessing would have been a covered belt, but 5mins £3 and a trip to primark fixed that! Oh and a string of pearls I had lying about!
The second dress was a funky printed 80s dress (though I am reluctant to call 80s clothing vintage. It's commonly accepted anything older than 20 years is a vintage piece, but I'm still not quite 100% on board with it). Anyway I loved the print, but not the style.

Shoulder pads and an unfortunate mid calf length left this dress feeling a little fancy dress party, than fabulous dresses party. But I knew it had the potential.  me, some scissors and my sewing machine and it was transformed to this!

For good measure here is an aweful shot of me in it on Saturday! Excuse the bad hair (didn't dry in time so had to put it in an up-do, also my fringe is in desperate need of a trim - to be fixed his week)

What you can see is that my fab shoe boots had cute gold studs all down the side, they just look a bit awkward from this angle. Never mind, I was still very pleased with the outcome, also DRESS POCKETS!!! I'm totally a fan of dresses with pockets, don't know why just love 'em!

Anyway that's all for today dear readers, a busy weekend of party on Saturday and costume ball on Sunday have left me rather on the sleepy side. But never fear I'll be back next week with a couple of cute broach/hair slide tutorials to jazz up your festive wear!

Monday, 22 November 2010

HowTo: French Seam

This week I've been working a lot with delicate, fray-prone fabrics including chiffon, These sort of fabrics require a lot more effort when it comes to sewing as sheer fabrics show every detail of your hems and seams, which is why I tend to use a technique called French Seaming when working with them. (It's also great on garment where the inside seams may show and there is no lining to hide them).

What is a French Seam you ask? Well is's basically where you enclose the seam in the fabric, but without using bias tape and taping the seams. It sounds complicated but it's really not, though it does take a little extra time, becuase you are in effect, sewing your seams twice.

How do I make on? One thing you need to remember before you start sewing it to allow a little extra seam allowance when cutting your fabric, if in doubt double what you would normally cut for seams.

Friday, 19 November 2010

fab new fabric

So I was in the wonderful Fabric Land Brighton at the weekend, picking up supplies for a Christmas themed fancy dress outfit (I'm going as a Christmas tree - queue bright green crushed velvet and sparkly pompoms!) when I came across the most gorgeous laquered cotton at just under £4 per meter.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Why I sew

So you read about what drive me nuts about sewing, well I though it was time to share with my lovely readers why I sew!
  1. Fit - Have you ever gone to a shop and tried on something fabulous only to find it doesn't quite fit right? This happens to me all the time, mostly due to my height, but I know people of all shapes and sizes that suffer too. And you know what? It's a really easy fix! If you love the garment and it's a reasonable price, then why not buy it an make some alterations at home? Many people hem trousers to the right length, so why no take the bust/waist in a little, or change the dull buttons for the cute set you have at home? Minor alterations are quick and easy to do, and can really take an OK item to an awesome one! Yuo never know readers, I may even do a post on alterations one day!
  2. Uniqueness - bored of looking like you just stepped out of the TopShop window? Well sewing is the answer! (well not the answer, but certainly one of them!) why no re-create a style you love with a more interesting pattern, or different hem line? little tweaks to current styles can really give your outfit that omgwheredidyougetthat factor!
  3. The Smug factor - Ever worn something you've made out and about, only to have someone ask where you bought it? That "I made it myself" statement is enough to make even your average man go wow! how did you do that! And readers, nothing beats that smug factor!
  4. Cost - OK so not all garments you make will be cheaper than the store bought options, especially when you take places like Primark into account. But there are many occasions where it will be much, much cheaper. For example wedding, black tie events, special occasions generally, where most people will be spending £60+ on a dress that you can make for less than £40 (of course that depends on fabrics, more luxurious fabrics will cost more to use, but would cost more in the shops, so it does balance out) Also you never end up at a party in the same dress as someone else.
  5. Because idle hands... Speak to any one of my friends and you will quickly discover I'm a busy lady. I don't like sitting around with nothing to do, even when I'm having a lazy Sunday watching old dvds, chances are I'll have some sewing in my hand. I personally find it theraputic to pick up a needle or switch on my sewing machine. But generally it's a great way to pass a rainy day!
Oh and possibly the most important reason, I LOVE IT!! I've been sewing properly since I got my first sewing machine mid way through uni, (so about 7 years ago) but was always a creative kid, and the more time that passes the more techniques I pick up and the more I want to sew, honestly readers, it's addictive!