Tag Archives: fabric

Darling Dresses

As the warm weather settled it was time to do our spring shopping of sandals, sun lotion and sun hats. As we walked through John Lewis I couldn’t help but stop. They have so many darling dresses. 

 

The first one I spotted was this ultra sweet halterneck  I’m not so keen on the large white buttons as they seem too distracting from the neck line. But oh, that print and the halterneck! Personally I’d prefer a little knot of tied straps instead of buttons to secure the dress.

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I then spotted the Joules Camilla dress. Ah, love the daintiness and then the hefty, boxy pockets!

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I’ve been feeling mixed about Liberty’s new fabric line but when I saw this frock I fell in love. The collar just makes this dress what it is. 

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and finally, the Chambray dress. It is just above the knee but I think a tiny bit longer would suit the simplicity and elegance…That lace detail!

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I have a little holiday coming up so posts may be sparse…I’ll be knee deep in fabric making dresses!

 

naomi x

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Beginner’s Guide To Sewing Essentials

Just recently I spent a day in sewing heaven at the Twisted Thread Knitting and Sewing show. Be still my heart. I took my carefully saved pennies and stood like a child in a sweet shop at each stall. Eventually after much deliberation (and a little bartering) I handed over my coins for some sewing luxuries. Be still my soul. (You can see them here)

I took a class on dressmaking and pattern design by The Sewing Rooms and it was A.mazing. I really recommend them.

There were stalls and stalls with so much fabric you could have buried yourself underneath and hibernated. I bought half a metre of some dreamy Michael Miller (my love affair fabric designer) for Spring cushions in my home from Fabrics Galore. Because everyone loves Paris in the Springtime right, and French Kiss.

(C - 1248) Eiffel Tower by Michael Miller

(C – 1248) Eiffel Tower by Michael Miller

Look at this fun British postage stamp print fabric

Or this darling bird print that has a Japanese vibe

And don’t get me started on this beautiful Atlas print *sigh*

I will definitely be going back in October for the next show so if you’re going too let me know!

Over the past year I have accumulated sewing ‘equipment’. Sewing shops stock a mighty array of goodies and tools that can be overwhelming if you’re not sure what you will need and what is a ‘treat’ purchase. I have slowly acquired my own items that have proven themselves to be worth their weight in silk. For those of you starting out or those of you who simply want to see the new sewing gems I now stroke and purr over before bedtime click here to see my new little video showing each item in its glory.

love and fabric swatches

naomi x

 

Altered Hoodie Top ~ Appliqué Style

I am exploring this world of altering clothes. Amazing. 

I found this hoodie in my favourite supermarket in their bargain bins. It has a large motif reminiscent of the Olympics. At £1.99 it was a steal and I was sure I could cover over the pattern.

I am new to appliqué and slowly discovering the tricks and techniques. I’ve worked out the bonda web and I’m now experimenting with stitches. My machine has an appliqué setting which I used for this top.

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If you have any items of clothing that would benefit from a little appliqué love or you just want to spruce something up,  join me:

→ item to appliqué
→ sewing machine or your fair hands, needle and thread
→ bonda web
→ fabric
→ iron
→ box of maltesers

Measure out the fabric you need and the shape you wish to appliqué.

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Cut out bonda web the same size as your fabric pieces.

Iron the rough side of the bonda web to your fabric shape. Once it has adhered peel off the backing

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Iron the shape onto the main piece of fabric and stitch closely around the edge.

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Keep banda webbing and stitching the pieces together until voilà

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Hee hee, excuse the cheesy rose. I don’t know what came over me!

Do, do, please do, give me appliqué tips…can you use different stitches? The zigzag seems just a bit cumbersome. And my biggest fear is the fraying.  Quelle horreur!

I’ll keep you posted on any other appliqué projects.

♡naomi

Altered Trousers

I have owned these pair of warm brown  wool mix trousers since 2002. Yep, 11 years! They have a fetching late 90’s wide leg look. To be honest they never fitted perfectly but they were a steal in a discount shop sale. And warm. In winter you can never be too warm. I recently dragged them out from the back of my wardrobe and wore them to work. I dressed quickly in the cold chilly air and didn’t second glance in the mirror..until I got home. Ghastly. They were about to be confined to my scrap fabric box when my maman reminded me that I was going to practice altering clothes~perfect opportunity. 

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So here is a wee tutorial in case you have a decade old pair of trousers that could benefit from some love and an upcycle to 2013!

Lay out your trousers and over the top lay your favourite fitting trousers. Draw around these. I actually used Minou’s crayola pens as they’re washable and showed up nicely!

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Either draw yourself a hem line or sew a little to the edge of your pen line. Try on for fit and make any alterations needed.

Cut off excess fabric.

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Voilà. Yep, it really is that straightforward. I managed to get these done in Minou’s quiet time after lunch so they are a quick project. 

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I must hunt through the rest of my wardrobe now. 

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Do tell me about your alterations…

♡naomi

Winter Warmer ~ Snuggly Dressing Gown

I live in a house. Before that I lived in many flats. The relevance of this I will explain. I had quite forgotten how chilly downstairs can become as all your lovely warm air rises up the stairwell. So at present we snuggle in warm beds heated from the day and freeze for the first half hour in the morning. After we wake we bundle into the kitchen, shut the door and throw open the curtains to let the low, meek sun warm the room.

I haven’t worked out an effective radiator heating strategy. It surely can’t be too hard but as it doesn’t involve stitching, gluing or casting on, its not my forte. So my answer to such problems: make a dressing gown! Work to your skills they say!

I found this lovely fabric from my second home. [Eeek, having just searched their website for you, my lovely readers, I have just become aware that there are two other shops! Oh dear, dangerous]. They have a selection of either Cath Kidston  ‘end of range’ stock or similar patterns. Either way, it’s gorgeous. I have lined it with a brushed cotton in letterbox red which is so soft you’d think it was a tiny kitten.

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I was bought Making Children’s Clothes by Emma Hardy by my lovely maman a couple of years ago. I had thumbed the pages and looked longingly at each design. Finally, I found the courage to give it a go. I borrowed my mum’s machine and started simply with a scarf. One scarf turned into several which turned into hats, trousers, tops, dresses, ponchos and finally this dressing gown. It is a great ‘first-time’ sewers book. The designs are straightforward – the dressing gown was 6 steps. Seriously.  And they range from very straightforward to more detailed. My only critique would be that some of the sizing can be a little off [but that may be my cutting skills].

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You can make some darling items and although the cover looks focused on girls dresses and skirts there are several patterns for boys trousers etc.

Let me know if you have this book and what you have made. Any tips or insights into how you cut your fabric would be welcome in this home.

♡naomi