Sunday, 21 January 2018

BB8 Orla Dress

I don't ever remember not knowing about star wars? I think that must be a side effect of having an older brother and sister who were both big fans. Which also means I never had the shocking "Luke I am your father" moment either because I always knew. 

I don't know how many times I've seen the original three movies [ya know the best ones!] and I've seen the next three a fair amount too [can we appreciate how gorgeous Ewan Mcgregor was as Obi Wan Kenobi for a minute please? ]

But I've only seen the first of the new ones so far. I think I had a bit of a "OMG THEY ARE GOING TO RUIN STAR WARS MOMENT" As it goes I did quite enjoy it so I really do need to get around to watching the last two!

Which is why when the Craft Cotton Company sent me this BB8 fabric I was chuffed! I decided to use it as an excuse to make a cute dress and introduce my lil boy to star wars! [Obviously whilst wearing the dress!]

Because its such a busy print I decided to opt for a really simple dress pattern. I chose to use the Orla Dress Pattern by French Navy Now [This pattern is actually free!!! So GO GO GO!]

The pattern is really simple, it had two darts in the front bodice, cute capped sleeves and a gathered skirt. Its also meant to have a zip in the back but after the success of my button back, Mr men, orla dress I decided to do another button up version.

Because of the busy print you can't really see the button placket or the buttons. In hindsight it might have been really cool to do a orange button placket to make it stand out a bit more but so it would still match the print. 

That said I do really like the button placket on this dress and the fact that I only need to undo the waist button to pull it over my head. 

You can sort of see the buttons I used here [although they do blend in very well!] They are small mosaic style buttons that came from my friends mums house. I don't think I'd use them but they sort of remind me of lil bb8s so they are perfect for this project. 

Normally I'm a fitted girl through and through but I really like the boxy loose style of the Orla dress and its a great pattern for show casing fun prints! The only changes I made to this pattern are to add the button back and to line the bodice. I always line my bodices because I think it creates a neater finish and lets face it with living in cold England an extra layer of fabric/warmth never goes amiss! Even in summer!!

The gathered skirt isn't as full as I normally go for but I have noticed it doesn't blow up as much in the wind. So maybe a skinnier gathered skirt is the way to go dignity wise!

The fabric is cotton so it behaves beautifully when your sewing it. As much as I love sewing with tricky fabrics and textures sometimes its just so nice to throw something together with a fabric that doesn't shift and holds a crease when you want it too!

 And I like how the print just looks like a crazy geometric deign from the distance. It means the dress will be a lot more wearable in the summer months.

And that's it really. I love making summer dresses like these but it does make me wish it was summer already! 

This morning we woke up to SNOW! Although its stopped now and it doesn't seem to be sticking which is a bit gutting because I was hoping school would be cancelled.

In other news! 

Our tumble dryer is sort of working! It makes a loud banging noise but its drying clothes so that's good.

However then the washing machine started fritzing. It was draining but not as much as it should be. Anyway Rikki pulled it out of its hole put it on its side and after about an hour and a half of swearing and banging he proudly came into the living room brandishing a sock that had been caught in the filter! Which begs the question how on earth did it get there? I've had a good look and I can't see anyway of a sock escaping the drum? And it wasn't even a kids sock, which are small and easily misplaced it was an ADULT sock! 

But now that's fixed I've been working on pre washing the small pile of fabric that I brought from the Abakhans Sale! A full video of the fabric I brought went up on my you tube a few days ago and you can find it here! 


I warn you though Its a long one!!! So make a brew and enjoy!

Much Love 



Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Pattern Hacked Tie Back Top

I love the old saying business in the front party in the back because well who doesn't love a party?

party in the back

This top was the original inspiration for my make. 
I found it on pinterest but you can view the whole article here!

I loved the style though and I thought it might be fun to recreate. 

Let me start by saying I HATE this top from the front I think its the most unflattering thing ever! [Sorry about the white on white pictures! But I have nowhere else to take them!]

But I started with a prima pattern for a basic long sleeved shell top and then  basically drafted in some ties and made the back into a deep v. As usual for me I completely forgot to take progress photos! 

Now I don't know what the front of their top looks like but If I were to make it again Id say I either need to add waist darts/shorten the length to waist, OR I need to make it in a jersey? OR maybe the neckline just needs to be lowered a bit? I dunno and to be honest as soon as I'd started to make it I was already sort of bored with the idea.

Its not super flattering from the side either. The top has bust darts but I'm wondering if I should have gone up a size? Waist darts are definitely needed look at all that excess fabric!!! 

Speaking of fabric I used a medium weight peach skin type thing and the main body of the top is lined. In hindsight I think that its a bit too stiff for this sort of top and that it needs something softer. The trouble is you need something soft enough to be flattering on the boob area [after all I am bra free and the tatas don't hang like they used to] but it needs a enough body to be able to make a cute bow. 

The back isn't awful compared to the rest of it. I think If I loose a few inches off the bottom it will sit better on my waist and just look nicer.

The bows a good length though theirs not too much hanging down so I'm happy with that part. 

I'm not sure its a pattern idea that I'll go straight back too but I can see myself tweaking with it in the future. Although I did promise myself I would only make practical clothes this year and their is nothing practical about an open back top that you can't wear a bra with. Unless your going for some sort of breast examination? In which case this would be the top to wear. 

Anyways all in all I'd say this is a fairly pants make. I love the idea but the fabric just didn't work and the pattern needs some major tweaking! 

In other news! 

- I'm currently ready 1984 by George Orwell. I've read it before but its been a few years and I;m already completely gripped by it! 

- I'm currently listening to Oasis on vinyl. After much hinting Rikki got me this for Xmas and I LOVE it! 

- I've not had more sewing on the go due to our tumble dryer pitching a fit meaning I can pre-wash fabric but I can't sew it up! Hopefully we get it sorted soon because the washing pile is becoming a problem. 

- I have however been trying to finish my cross stitch project. Hopefully I can put in a solid hour or so tonight and then it might actually be finished soon. 

Much Love 



Monday, 15 January 2018

Abakhans fill a bag sale thoughts and my top tips for sale shopping!

I love a sale! Nothing is better in this world than something you want at half the price. Which is why I was so excited when I heard that the Abakhans fill a bag sale was coming to My local Hanley store. 

And I was even more excited when I realised I had quite the little pot of Christmas and Birthday money accumulated from my Mum and Dad.

Now I am planning on doing a video showing all of the fabrics I ended up with but I thought it might be nice to do a post saying what sort of happens and my top tips for going first. 

Okay so for starters! 

1. Get their earlyish. Now the staff do put things new things out throughout the day so everyone gets a fair shout BUT we did have to queue for about half an hour to actually get in. My mum picked me up at 9.00am so we should have been well early but we had a small not taking the exit we should have done issue on the way their. From what we could see they were operating a bit of a one in one out sort of thing which meant that the sale area wasn't getting over crowded. 

2. Be prepared to stand! This kind of links to the queueing thing but can you believe I nearly wore heeled boots? My feet would have died! 

3. Take a friend/family member. I went with my Mum because 1. she was paying and 2. its just nice to have some one with you isn't it. I especially liked that I had someone to chat to whilst waiting and that she was more than happy to look after the bags whilst I was digging for fabric. She did do some digging herself but I think the boxes being quite low down was making her back hurt, so in the end she was in charge of looking after the bags and trying to fit as much in as possible. 

Oh and the bags were £10 and you just put as much fabric in it as you could! 

4. Be open minded. You can't really go with a set plan of what exactly you want from a sale like with because all the fabric was in four huge cardboard boxes and you had to dig around. So you really have to look at things and immediately think do I like this? Does it fit in my wardrobe? What will I make with it? Their was a lot of lightweight floaty fabrics and a lot of heavyweight coat and sit fabrics but I didn't find many cottons. 

At the end of the day its a sale so you get what you get!  

5. Be polite. I always thought this was fairly standard when sale shopping but I went to the "NEXT" sale once and it was a bloodbath. But I'm happy to report that the abakhans sale was lovely, there was no pushing or shoving and on several occasions ladies actually helped me pull the fabric I wanted from the bottom of the box.

6. Check fabrics before you buy. Its a sale so naturally not every single piece of fabric is perfect. I saw a few pieces with holes in and a few with weave flaws so its worth taking a quick look to make sure there is nothing glaring in the fabric you've chosen. A few of the ones I picked had lil holes in but I'll be able to work around them no issue. 

7. Only buy what you'll use. At a sale its very tempting to get caught up in the moment and JUST BUY ALL THE FABRIC!!! but its better to be sensible! Yes get yourself a few wild cards [this girl picked up some swimwear fabric!!!] but also make sure you stick to the colours and fabrics that you actually like and will use! Remember its only a bargain if you'll use it! 

8. Park your car close. I ended up with four bags full of fabric and between me and mum and her wheelie shopping trolley [which thank god she brought!!!] the wheelie shopping trolley really helped but I definitely wish we had thought to park closer!!! 

So yeah that's my top tips for shopping Abakhans fill a bag sale! I really hope they come back to Hanley for another! 

Much Love



Friday, 12 January 2018

DMC Embroidered Tablecloth

I picked this embroidered table cloth kit in a charity shop ages ago, I'm not exactly sure when I brought it but I know I've been slowly working on it bit by bit since 24th July 2017.

I paid two whole English pounds for it and luckily the entire kit was intact and it said on the back that the original price was around £20.

I love having a slow sewing project to do and this one was perfect.

It came with the table cloth back ground with the design mark on in some sort of blue stuff? Which I'm now struggling to get the blue stuff off though, I thought it might be like an iron away type thing but it isn't. Rikki suggested that maybe I could try washing it away but I'm not sure I trust embroidery to stand up to a good scrub. Any suggestions?  

The pattern is of little yellow flowers and daisies. The kit came with all of the threads include but it was a bit touch and go as to if the yellow threads were going to run out or not.

A lot of the pattern was back stitch or satin stitch. I really enjoyed watching my satin stitch improve over time. 

I used my Grandmas wooden embroidery hoop to keep everything taut as I was sewing. It was a complete life saver. I;m not sure I could have kept things looking neat without it. 

Rikkis Nan actually spotted this project and thought it might be a change from cross stitch [she's a huge cross stitch fan!] so we got her one of her own for Christmas and now I'm thinking I might need another one to do for myself! 

I sewed a lot of this while watching "The Handmaidens Tale" it was a great project for watching telly because it keeps your brain fairly free. 

In other news! 

- Well to be honest there's not a lot of news? I brought some new thigh high boots. I wore the pair I brought last year to death so it seemed like a fairly sensible purchase.

-I've got a whole night of sewing ahead of me which is pretty exciting. 

- And that's it really! 

Much Love



Wednesday, 10 January 2018

My New Sewing Necklace

I love a good novelty necklace and over the years I've amassed quite a collection of fun necklaces. My favourites being my sewing scissors and my camera necklace. 

So when I saw a bag of sewing jewellery bits on the hobbycraft website I knew I had to have a go at making my own!

Luckily I had a few old chains in my jewellery box and for some reason I had a bag of jump rings in my bead box so it was just a matter of stealing Rikkis pliers and attaching them to the necklace at regular intervals! 

I've done a bit of jewellery making before so I was more than happy to just wing it! But if you want to try it you can find about a million videos on youtube pointing you in the right direction.

It actually turned out really cute and I love the charm bracelet sort of effect I ended up with. Plus it features some of my favourite sewing things!

Sewing machine , check
Button , check
Mannequin , check
Scissors , check 
Ball of wool , check 

In the background you can also see my scrabble name tag!

So be prepared to see this featuring in all of my outfit photos for the foreseeable future!

In other news!

- I've been a complete wuss this week and worn jeans everyday for the school run. Which actually makes me feel like a bit of a sewing failure because it means I've been wearing hardly anything handmade apart from the odd cardigan. However I have brought a pair of fleece lined tights today so I'm hoping they will keep me warm enough and I'll be able to put my handmade dresses back into rotation.

- I had a massive lazy day today and just did a load of cutting out rather than sewing. I think I cut out 5? projects so I'll be doing a post about the benefits of batch cutting at some point soon.

- I'm slowly working my way through playing all of the records in my collection! Thanks to Uncle Paul and Uncle Dave I now have quite the collection of music and I'm really enjoying expanding my tastes! I'm currently playing "the boomtown rats"

- I'm heading to the Abakhans Sale on saturday! Basically they are having a huge sale at their hanley store and I am so excited I might wee!! Let me know if your going so I don't attack you when I'm trying to score all the best fabrics!!!

Much Love 



Monday, 8 January 2018

Off the Shoulder Tops

I loves an off the shoulder top. Which is surprising considering you have the whole strapless bra faff and I hate strapless bras.

But I do love the off the shoulder look. Previously I drafted my own pattern straight onto the fabric but it was a bit of a mare trying to work all the maths out and I'd much rather just use a paper pattern.

So when a friend sent me a copy of a prima pattern for an off the shoulder top I was pretty chuffed! Because well half the works done then really isn't it.

I cut my standard prima size which is a 12 but for some reason it still feels a bit snug which sucks.

I mean its wearable but its clear the pattern needs a bit more tweaking. For a start I'm going to add some width to the front to make it more blousey

And I definitely think it will be worth tweaking it to make it perfect because they sew up really fast. And because I've been meaning to make more tops!

The fabric for the first version is just come cotton that I cut off the back of some curtains. It's pretty soft and I like the delicate pattern of leaves the only issue is the cotton is a bit thin so I've had to wear it with a white corset body thing underneath.

For the second version I used a dotted cotton that came from my friend Steves Nans house. Yet again its a bit see through.

For these pictures I tried it not off the shoulder [which kind of defeats the object of making an off the shoulder top but hey ho!] and I think it looks kind of cute? Like a col twist on a tshirt? and it means its a bit less restrictive to wear.

All in all I wouldn't call them hugely successful makes. I might get some wear out of them in the summer but they are far from the perfect off the shoulder tops I was hoping for.

Although in the pictures they don't look too bad so maybe I need to get them out and take a second look to re-evaluate. 

In other news!!! 

- I'm catching up with all of my xmas telly that I recorded. So far I'm catching up with teen mom and I'm not sure I can cope with the drama! 

Much Love 

Frankie xxx

Saturday, 6 January 2018

#Makenine2017 Review

It doesn't seem five minutes ago that I was planning what I wanted to make in 2017. and these where the patterns that made it onto my make nine list! 

So lets see what I actually got around to making!

[from left to right]

Simple sew kimono dress. Yep I made another one of these this year [as yet unblogged] and I have plans for more! 

Jackie 0 jacket. Yep I made this and even filmed a cheeky video about the process! 

Prima Wrap skirt - I've got a denim one of these and a tartan one. I know I made the tartan one this year but I'm not sure if the denim one was the year before? 

Remake Flamingo dress. I decided to skip this one. Just because I couldn't really find a fabric I loved for it. 

Vogue 8974 -Yep I made this pattern twice. One was successful and the other sucked! 

GBSB wrap dress. I now have another two of these in my wardrobe! A red velvet version and a as yet unblogged black velvet version.

Halter neck top dress. I didn't get round to this. Whilst I like the idea in my head I'm not sure it would get a lot of wear? Which makes it a bit of a pointless make. 

Prima Raglan top. Yep I made a few of these [some blogged some not] and I want to make some more this year. Just as soon as I find some awesome cotton prints!

Simple sew Lily dress. Yet again this is one that I didn't make because I couldn't find the right fabric. I want something brocadey but not too thick? Any ideas?

And that's it! I guess now I just have to get all of my patterns out and work out what I'm going to make next year! GULP!

Much Love