Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Wanda dress

That's me back from holiday in Scotland.  I had such a lovely time and it was great to be away for so long (10 days in total).  We fitted a lot in to those 10 days  - a lovely wedding in Fife; visits to both our families and some friends in Glasgow, Fife and East Kilbride; a lovely three night mini-break in Cullen in Moray; and finished off with another wedding in the beautiful surroundings of Mar Lodge in the Cairngorms National Park.  I have to admit though, that on the last few nights I was dreaming of getting started on some sewing.  However after a 5am start on Monday morning (a 1 hour 30 minute drive through the Cairngorms to Aberdeen airport) and a big meeting at work today I haven't felt up to doing much yet - tomorrow night though!

In my last post I mentioned a dress-fix I had to do before going away and the dress in question (pictured above) was a gorgeous cream/peachy dress I got in Snooper's Paradise in Brighton.  The reason I was immediately drawn to this dress was its resemblance to a dress worn by Barbara Loden in the film she directed and starred in Wanda (I wrote a post about going to see the restored film here). 

close-up showing the lovely flower design of the broderie anglaise with the peachy/yellow lining
There are lots of other reasons I love this dress - the shape, the fit, the colour and the fabric.  However the more I looked at it when I was fixing it the more I realised that it was the fact it was home-made by someone else that really made it stand out for me.  The neck was slightly too tight and I felt the length was a bit too short but it pleased me to think that whoever had made it had done so to fit them. I didn't do anything about the neckline but I did lower the hem as my mother-in-law helpfully noticed that it had been taken up quite a bit.  She thought this might mean someone else had bought/been given the dress and had made that adjustment so maybe I'm the third person to enjoy wearing this dress!  There were also a few gapes in the side seams which were the result of the stitches coming loose in the empty spaces of the broderie anglaise so I fixed these up with some hand-stitching.

Barbara Loden wearing the dress inspiration in Wanda left image: source right image: source

Friday, 6 July 2012

New fabrics and my first real sewing space

So although there hasn't been any sewing going on (except a dress repair for a wedding I'm going to), I have been buying some fabric! I couldn't resist the Liberty sale and came home with a metre of lovely Liberty digitally printed cotton. It's really soft and gorgeous colours of blue - my plan is to make a pair of PJ shorts with it. I also bought two printed cottons (quilting cotton?), which seemed quite stiff but after I washed them they're a lot softer and I'm planning to make them into basic pencil skirts.

I'm most excited about finding the blue and orangey/red polka dot fabric which I ordered online from M is for Make.  I've got so many favourite photos of my mum but the one below is one which always sticks in my mind, partly because she looks so happy but also because I really wanted the top she's wearing! I've had it in my mind for a while now that I'd like to recreate it so when I saw this fabric, which is pretty much perfect really, although the dots are slightly smaller I think, I couldn't resist!

However, there's been so much unpacking and tidying to do that, rather than start sewing, we went out to our new local pub for a nice refreshing drink!

There are lots of things I like about our new flat but the best thing is we now have the space for me to have a small sewing area! It's amazing being able to have my sewing machine out all the time as before I had to pack absolutely everything away after every use as our flat was too small.  All I've done so far is fix a dress (you can see it hanging in the window) but I'm looking forward to getting started on some proper sewing - and making use of my new sewing book the Colette Handbook!
My new sewing area!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

On the move, and some small makes

Well hello there! There hasn't been a whole lot of sewing activity going on here recently as there's been a whole lot of moving going on. For some reason neither of us thought about hiring a removal company and decided it'd be fine to do the move in my wee Nissan Micra. I don't know what we were thinking as it took us 10 loads - isn't it incredible how much stuff you have when you start packing?! We're finally getting everything unpacked now, getting pictures up on the wall, and really settling in. I love our new home, it's bigger than our last flat ad we now have a garden as well - so exciting!!

I've been enjoying getting to know our new neighbourhood and am still trying to walk to work as much as I can.  It's a longer walk than it was from Camden, 45 minutes rather than 15, so quite often I only walk in then get the bus home. As you can see below though there's lots of nice sights on the walk!
All this moving, unpacking and settling in has meant that sewing plans have been on the backburner a bit. So one night, when I felt like being a bit creative, I decided to make myself some earrings. I used Sown Brooklyn's spirale de cuir tutorial for the two cone shaped pairs, one peach and one in red & white patterned leather.  The mint pair were made using this tutorial for Freshly Given.  Apologies for the poor colour representation but I've just taken the photos now and it's after 11pm so the light isn't very good! I really like them all and they look better on than they do here. However husband's comment when I showed him the turquoise pair was 'they look a bit home-made' hmmn, well maybe they do as I did have to make the jump rings myself as well and didn't do a very good job of them. But you know what? I don't care, I like them!