Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Green Dress

I don't wear green. I distinctly remember my friend buying me a green headband one birthday and not being able to wear it because it made me look like a plague victim. So since then I've avoided green like the plague [Do you see what I did there?] Anyway when I last went to the car boot the lady gave me a length of the most gorgeous vintage? border print fabric and I was miffed because I don;t wear green. So I sulked and I looked at it a lot and tried to work out what I could make that wouldn't make me look like an extra from a zombie film. A skirt maybe? So the colour was away from my face? Just use it as a lining? But the issue was I already had the idea for a dress in my head...


So I thought screw it and made the dress anyway! And surprisingly I kind of love it? I'm still not sure if the colour suits me but I love the style of the dress!


The pattern I used was by prima magazine, its for a panelled sort of top and a pleated skirt. Naturally I sacked of the skirt part and just used the bodice part of the pattern. [I'm really annoyed because I took a picture of the pattern and now I can't find it! But it came with a  jacket option as well and May 2014 rings a bell?] The bodice in the pattern is made up of four pieces and is strapless. I added my own straps because well I loves a pattern hack. Stupidly I tried the straps on my dummy and forgot to factor in seam allowances before I stitched my in so they are a touch tight.  


I decided to cross them over at the back to make it a bit more fun. The other issue is that the zips a bit jacked up, I seem to be doing this a lot at the minute so I need to try and concentrate more. Luckily I can;t see it and its only by a couple of mm so I decided it wasn't worth ripping out. 


Cutting out wise I made sure to match up the pattern on the bodice and used another section of the fabric to make to skirt [yeah I know I should have taken pictures of the fabric too] Fabric content wise I'm guessing its some sort of polyester vintage thing? The whole feel says 1960's ish to me, but the print threw me, Especially because its a boarder print, its very Indian inspired but almost as though someone said "I want this fabric to be Indian inspired but not too Indian, it should be English too?" If you get my drift. Either way the fabric hates my iron , which I learnt the hard way. And I had to press all of my seams under a tea towel.


The fit on the bodice is pretty banging, Its a bit tighter than I usually like but that works because I can't wear a bra with it anyway [because of the straps] Plus ya know its nice to let the tatas hang free every now and again. I did line the bodice though to stop any nipple issues arising. 


I love how swishy the skirt is, there is nothing in this world as good as a swishy skirt!!! Although when its windy they are less fun! 


Another issue with this dress is the straps. Apart from being a smidge tight I am so hacked off with my pattern matching. I thought I'd made it so both the straps had the same pattern on them but lo and behold one of the straps has a row of bloody flowers on it! A ROW OF FLOWERS! And the other strap has???? Yep you guessed it! No flowers! Its not terribly noticeable but its annoying considering how careful I had been with the rest of the dress.


All in all I sort of love it? I think its got a great sort of hippy vibe to it and I love the shape of the bodice and the cross over straps!


I'm hoping it doesn't wash me out too much? I tried to keep the fabric away from my face which should help. 
But either way I'm still going to wear it because I love it!

In other news!

Woop Woop half term is here! If anyone needs me I'll be basking in the glory of not having to get up at 7!

Sadly however my hay-fever is in full swing and Lil man lost his voice at the start of the week [You know your a bad parent when your son trying to speak and only squeaking, sets you giggling so much you nearly pee your pants!] Anyway he's much better now but it's looking like Rikki has it now! I'm casually wondering when its my turn to be poorly and have a day in bed? Mainly because spending a whole day in bed watching telly sounds like heaven!

Its actually the car boot tomorrow and I;m hoping to wear this dress so I can show her what I've made!!!

Much Love

Frankie 

xxx  

Friday, 26 May 2017

Raw Edge Hexagon Quilt

Its hot, like really hot so posting about a quilt I finished seems a bit wrong!

But its finished so here we go!


Lord knows I love a hexy quilt but after doing two hexagon cushions recently I just couldn't be bothered with the whole paper piecing thing, so I had a lil look on pinterest and low and behold I saw a hexagon quilt where the hexagons were stitched down corner to corner. Now they had turned under all the raw edges but I'm lazy so I kept my edges raw in the hopes that the more its used the more of a shabby chic vibe it'll get.


So basically I sat and cut out LOADS of hexagons out of scrap fabric. I used a plastic template that I got free with Love patchwork and quilting magazine but you could easily print one of and make one out of cardboard!


Then I put them in a shoe box and ignored them for a while! Finally I pulled it back out and started to layer it up. first I put down a layer of fleece fabric [Mine was a blanket from Asda that I got in the sale!] Next I put down some backing fabric and smoothed the whole thing out [My backing fabric was some sort of upholstery weigh thing.] Then I sat with a slightly larger hexagon template and drew out a hexagon grid. And placed one fabric hexagon in the middle of each hexagon. Technically you don't need the grid you could just eyeball it. But I wanted to make sure I had some form of even spacing going on [As it goes its a bit squiffy on one side!] Yet again I used a slightly larger template free from my magazine subscription.


If your gonna make one of these yourself there's two important things to remember! 1. Your hexagon template for making the grid needs to be larger than the one you use for cutting out or you won't get the gap effect and 2. you need to use a pen that disappears to draw your grid on the fabric. I use a frixon pen because they disappear when you iron them but you could also use a water soluble one! 


So you sit and pin every single individual hexagon, which takes ages! I just pulled mine out of the box as they came and didn't worry if I had two the same sat together! Then I sat and quilted corner to corner for what felt like hours! [funny story, my new quilting mag was delivered and I said to myself I wont read it until I've finished quilting this and then lo and behold! It only had a pair of quilting gloves as the free gift!]  


The more I look at these pictures the more I think the quilting on the back is my favourite part I just love how cool those lil triangles look together!


That said I can't wait to wash it to see how cool and distressed it ends up looking!


Its bound using some of the flower strips my friend gave me ages ago! I actually think I'll be using this to bind my quilts for the rest of my life!! 

The quilt itself is lap sized which is nice for snuggles on the sofa but I really do need to start making some bigger ones! 


I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it now I'll probably put it in the air cupboard until winter. Rikki actually did a lil eyebrow raise when he saw this one and mutter something about the amount of blankets we have. But then I gently reminded him that we can use them in winter to keep heating costs down and he soon shut up!


Plus I think its always nice to be able to offer people homemade blanket if they stay over.

In other news I am toasty as hell! 

And I'm still doing me made may but I keep forgetting to take pictures! So I either post them late in the day or not at all! I'm also struggling not to repeat things because I love to wear my favourite clothes!

Anyways!

Much Love

Frankie 

xxx

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Me Made May 17 - Week 3

I ummed and ahhed about posting today. I had meant to post this a few days ago but I had a poorly child so kept postponing and then after the events of today it seemed sort of inappropriate to post. Sort of disrespectful? And then I remembered that me posting on my blog isn't disrespectful, setting off an explosive device in a crowed arena is disrespectful. My heart is with the entire world right now because it isn't the easiest place to live right now, but mostly my heart is with those effected by what happened in Manchester arena, a place that holds joy for so many.

So here's what I wore for week 3 of Me made may, this ones for the guys who will stand up and still be good people even when there are those who are trying to break them,


Pattern - wool and the gang [its a freebie]
wool - hobbycraft

I wore this jumper because the weather was miserable and all I wanted to do was snuggle up on the sofa with a brew!


pattern skirt - GBSB book 2
fabric - abakhans 
pattern top - GBSB book 3
Fabric - My mums old net curtains!

Its actually the first time I've properly worn this crop top, I made a few alterations to the way it does up and I changed the straps because the old ones were a touch short and cut into my arms and made me uncomfortable. I wore this and Rikkis mum and dad came over for a quick visit. We had a lovely time catching up and just relaxing!


pattern - Threadcount
Fabric - the craft cotton company

I tried this on in the morning with tights and it just felt a bit short? so I chucked on some skinny jeans and wore it as a regular shirt! Funnily enough Rikkis Nan and Grandad came over on this day and his Grandad was also wearing a white shirt and blue jeans so we looked like twins!


Day 18 - Kimono cardigan
pattern - no pattern
fabric - an old sarong

This is such an old make but I still love it!!! I have no idea what I did on this day!


Day 19 - He-man Dress
pattern - Lilou Dress
fabric - a friends childhood curtains!

I wore this to spend a day at home with a poorly baby, which was pretty rough but as a bonus I didn't have to wear makeup all day and I got lots of snuggles! I also had a great chat with some people on instagram after it became apparent that several children had taken ill! Sisters in arms!!!!


Pattern - cotton and chalk , sunday set
Fabric - abakhans

I still had a poorly child but managed to find 10 minutes to clean the oven [which had been smoking recently!!!!] I got really messy and spent most of the day trying to convince my son to take a nap! The dungarees were comfy though!


pattern - GBSB book 3
fabric - my lovely friend pin_n_tonic

Yet again the child was poorly but with the added bonus of him being cranky from being up all night! We were suppose to be going to my mums for a family day but had to cancel. Which naturally made us both cranky! Lil man in particular, I did tell him he didn't want to make his newborn cousin poorly but then he suggested she stay home so he could play with his older cousins! Which meant I had to explain to him that maybe that wasn't very fair?

So yeah that was my week!

All my love to the people of Manchester

Frankie

xxx 



Sunday, 21 May 2017

600th Blog post and a Top Tip

This is my 600th blog post... I have written 600 posts. To be perfectly honest if you'd have told me at 13 that I'd spend a good portion of my time writing about sewing I;d have said you were crackers! Oddly enough though my year 7 English teacher told me I was going to be a writer, apparently I had a certain "tone". Which is weird because I wouldn't call myself a writer although 600 blog post might say otherwise! So good call Miss Misra! good call! [she also said I was hilarious, which I knew was true at the time] 

  So yeah 600 posts, I don;t which surprises me more the fact that I;m at that number or the fact that you guys actually read them! YOU GUYS DA BEST! I hope your enjoying my ramblings about sewing and knitting and life, I don't plan on stopping anytime soon!

So anyway here's a top sewing organisation tip!


People who don't sew see scissors and think " well these are scissors, they are for cutting" and no matter how many times you explain to them that actually, NO these are just for fabric they don;t seem to get it. 

I've tried everything to get my husband to understand, 

I tired telling him to use the kitchen scissors.... But he doesn't know what the kitchen scissors look like.

I tried telling him to only use the scissors with ribbon on the handle..... But he pointed out that my embroidery scissors are on a piece of ribbon so I can wear them around my neck.

I tried allocating him a pair of scissors...... But he misplaced them.

I tried waving them in his face and saying these are the ones you can use, If you use my fabric scissors I'll cut you...... But apparently that was a touch aggressive!



This way is foolproof. I got a CD marker [although a sharpie would do] and wrote on every pair of scissors in the house what they are for. I kept it simple, fabric or paper. He can use the paper scissors for whatever his little heart desires, wires, card, wrapping paper, gaffer tape, murder..... But if I ever catch him with a pair of scissors with fabric written on the blade I will bury him under the patio. 

In fact its extra foolproof because I wrote on each leg? [are they legs? are they blades?] of the scissors so no matter which side he looks at its there staring at him!


All in all it took me about ten minutes to write on every pair of scissors in the house. Probably because they were all in one place. [one of the perks of having a small child is you know exactly where all of your sharp objects are at any given time!] 

foolproof [insert smug face]

Now shall we take bets on how long till he forgets to *read* the scissors?

Much Love 

and Thank You so much to all of you for reading my blog. It means a lot guys!

Hugs

Frankie 

xxx

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Black Pencil Skirt

I distinctly remember by my first black pencil skirt, we had a funeral to attend and after much rooting in my wardrobe it was decided I need a new skirt. As far as skirts go it was nice, it had a pleated kick pleat and was from m&s but I hated that skirt. Mainly because it was intended for a funeral which itself gives off pretty horrible thoughts but secondly because why do we feel the need to wear black to funerals? they should be a celebration of LIFE! And life is COLOURFUL! I've already informed Rikki that the dress code for my funeral should be "fabulous as f**k" I think it would be a wonderful occasion for people to crack out their ball gowns! 

Anyway as sucky as funerals are this is my new funeral skirt. the fabric came from my friend, she has already cut out a skirt for herself, but it had a side zip [and we all know how I feel about those] and I wasn't sure how the fit would be so I opted to cut another skirt using my old faithful GBSB pencil skirt pattern [book 2]. Luckily I manged to get the skirt out of the existing fabric, the only thing I had to forgo was the waistband. So instead this waistband is finished with a strip of brightly coloured bias tape.



The skirt sewed up super fast and I love the fit, those four darts at the front really seam to work with my shape. And I did a really awesome job on the lapped zip which is fast becoming one of my favourites. I've really been focusing on my finishing at the moment in the hopes of becoming a better dressmaker. 


Please excuse my hideous panty line! I put on makeup for blog pictures I am not about the start changing my knickers too. 


The skirt is hemmed by hand which was a nice therapeutic touch for a skirt that will end up holding bad memories. 

So why make a skirt that you will one day end up hating? [I can hear you all saying it] Well you see I read once that clothes are the armour we put on every day and I think its true. I hope that this skirt will give me courage and keep me strong because well, sewing is therapy. For me at least.

In slightly happier news! 

My guinea pig isn't depressed anymore! We had a rocky few weeks after his cage mate died where he'd just sit looking glassy eyed and wouldn't eat or drink anything. He was also really needy and would squeak for hours [if anybodys wondering, Yes a squeaking guinea pig can wake you up at two in the morning even if all the doors are closed in the house and it's downstairs!]  But yes he's almost back to his usual self eating and drinking quite happily!

Pattern - pencil skirt , GBSB book 2
Fabric - Gift from a friend!

Much Love

Frankie 

xxx





Thursday, 18 May 2017

Red Gingham Lilou Dress

As soon as I made my first gingham lilou dress I knew I'd make another. In fact sometimes I find it difficult to not just sew the same dress over and over again if I love it. Which is why this dress originally started out as something else. I decided to challenge myself and sew a different bodice. That particular bodice was by Prima Magazine and made me look like a starter for the England rugby team. It was boxy and awful so it got scratched and I went back to my beloved Lilou pattern. What can I say if it ain't broke don't fix it.


This dress I like very much! Its not a carbon copy of my first version. This time I used a smaller check and opted to bind the edges of the placket to make it stand out a bit more. I also didn't cut the placket on the bias. Whereas it worked on my first version because it was a larger check it felt like it would be a bit wasted on this version.


That said the construction is still roughly the same, my lilou bodice with all of the usual changes [deeper back darts, and an inch off the shoulder seams] and a gathered skirt. I am debating if I need to do a bit more with the straps? My sister once mentioned that I have no shoulders so I think I may need to take a bit more off them? My other problem is the *ahem* under arm fat issue. Now I have no idea why this fat has decided to deposit itself there, I mean if your going to sit there you might as well hop across to my boob and make yourself useful. But its there and I have zero idea how to get rid of it? I looked at some pictures in a magazine [I know a stupid idea] and none of the celebrities seem to have it? Although I;m pretty sure I've read that they just lipo it out? So I guess my question is..... Can I get rid of it and do you have it? 


Other than that its a winner! The fabric was from abakhans, they have a great selection of gingham's and I sort of want a dress in every colour? I debated the pink but would that be a bit too "barbie"


By the way the buttons are from my stash and I had the hardest time finding some that would work! 


Its go a lapped zip, which is pretty neat by my standards. I didn't bother pattern matching because its a such a small check and well Life = Short. I also considered cutting the skirt as a circle skirt but by so they peeve me off when the wind blows! One small gust and its "OH HEY EVERYONE LOOK AT MY KNICKERS!" that's a lie... I don't wear knickers [No I do wear knickers, I definitely wear knickers!] 

The fit on the back seems pretty good to me there's no pull lines so I guess that means its a good fit? For some reason I'm obsessed with fit at the moment! I've even found myself look at rtw clothes on people and mentally adjusting the fit! 


This dress actually got its first outing in April to have dinner at Lil mans godfathers house with his mum and dad and fiance. We are lucky to have a great relationship with their whole family and well they do these roast potatoes and OMG. I literally have no idea how they make them taste so good! Also they have a dog which is me sold!  Anyway I felt very comfy in this dress for my roast dinner plus cake! [plus extra potatoes, and then more potatoes] I had enough room for food and the skirt is long enough for me to sit on the floor and pet the dog, and then complain when the dog left me to be petted by another human........ Dogs are so fickle!


Excuse the creases in the dress, we'll all just pretend it hasn't been sat on the bedroom floor waiting to be photographed..........

I also wore it to school a few weeks ago and one of the girls in Lil mans class asked me where I got my summer dress from....... Which basically means I dress like a child. But she liked it and after I told her that I sewed it myself she promptly told her mum to make her one....... The mother looked like she might cry and mumbled something about not owning a sewing machine!!!! [I'm so deep down the sewing rabbit hole now that the idea of not owning a sewing machine baffles me!]

In other news:

I brought a new handbag today, my old one had given up the ghost so I treated myself. Which was weird because I haven't brought something from a shop in ages! And also because I chose a relatively small one. Typically I carry a huge handbag because my anxiety tell mes I need to carry EVERYTHING. But this time I got a small one in a effort to test myself and only carry the essentials, which is far more than most women carry anyway! Three different lipsticks isn't over kill is it?

Fabric - red gingham 2m [which I used all of because of my stupid experimental bodice!!!] Abakhans 

Much love

Frankie 







Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Liberty Pencil Skirt

Guess who's camera battery arrived? Yes mine so I spent a good half an hour today photographing the various things I've been making for the past two weeks!

This is the first thing I made. I had some of this liberty cotton cord from abakhans left over after I made my liberty Sunday dungaree dress. I had intended to make a nice circle skirt but after taking a look at the fabric I realised that it would have been a bit short, almost indecent really.  


So I settled on making a pencil skirt. This is the same pattern I've used for pretty much every pencil skirt I've made. But what can I say The pencil skirt pattern from the 2nd GBSB book just works for me!!!  


I added a waistband with a little lapped part that closes with two press studs. So the lapped zip only comes to the waistband, Its a great way of using a slightly too short zip in a skirt!


Its hemmed by hand because that's my favourite way of finishing these types of skirts! The inside of the waistband is also finished by hand, I just can't get on board with the whole stitching in the ditch thing. I also did a lapped zip because its fast becoming my favourite way of doing zips! 


This isn't a great picture of the back because its hard to get decent pictures because of the print. But you can see the zip only goes up to the waistband. This gives me a great chance to use my shorter zips but still be able to get the skirt over my backside!


I didn't quite have enough of the liberty cord to line the waistband so I used this burgundy upholstery weight stuff. I actually think it helps support the waistband because its slightly thicker!

So yeah all in all I love this skirt, I just have no idea how to style it? I've got a lace crop top I could wear? Maybe with a leather jacket? or I could try and style it down with a band tshirt? The difficulty is whilst the background looks white on these pictures its actually a sort of cream? So it looks kind of strange with white tops!

In other news! 

After feeling pretty rough over the weekend I feel much better now

I am still ploughing on with Me Made May and trying to wear as many different things as possible.

Much Love

Frankie 

xxx