Sunday Sevens [Week 25]

It’s March!! And it’s Sunday, so I’m back again for Sunday Sevens!

sunday-sevens-new-logo

Monday:

I opened my last late birthday present and it’s this fantastic vintage-inspired dress pattern. I think the shape could be really flattering. Now to find the perfect fabrics!

Vintage pattern

Tuesday:

On to the next project; this is what it looked like halfway through the embroidered name of my sister’s new venture. It’s going to be an apron!

hand embroidery

Wednesday:

With little one feeling groggy, I didn’t get a lot done besides taking a few photos for my post about my lovely dotty Ruby dress!

Ruby Dress

Thursday:

I put up the new canvases my fabulous sister in law and brother gave me for my birthday. It’s really three small canvases but I like the look of them in a row so stuck them together! This also meant that I could use the single nail already in my wall!

Sewing canvas pictures

Friday:

This photo is to illustrate the fact that my daughter was 2 today! She was just about recovered from her nasty tummy bug – but her big sister woke up ill!! So we didn’t do anything besides play with new presents at home!

You can also see her new handknitted cardigan my grandma made for her, with cute cat buttons down the front!

birthday girl badge

Saturday:

On to the next project! With some pretty poor patchwork, although it wasn’t all bad. Can you guess what it might be? (Clue: It’s for World Book Day!)

Pathwork Elmer Costume in the making

Sunday:

We went to the local car boot sale for the first time this year. It was a beautiful sunny morning but cold and very windy, but there were still several brave (or mad) people out! We didn’t buy a single thing, though!

car boot sale

That’s it from me; I hope you’ve had a lovely, healthy week. Both my daughters are back to their normal selves now; we can finally get out the house!!

Beth x

Dotty Ruby Dress

I’m in love with Ruby!

Simple Sew Ruby Dress - Blue Polka Dots! 4

Of course that’s me in the photo; I’m talking about the Ruby dress by Simple Sew.

I started making it early last week and finished it just in time for the weekend, when my lovely mum gave my partner and I the night off and we spent it in 4* luxury in Gloucestershire. I’m sure you understand that I needed a new dress for the occasion!

I fell in love with Ruby as soon as I saw it in the ‘coming up in Issue 5′ feature in Love Sewing magazine. It’s my kind of style dress – the high neckline and fabulous flouncy circle skirt.

Love Sewing mag[Image swiped from lovesewingmag.co.uk]

And, luckily, it hasn’t disappointed me.

Simple Sew Ruby Dress - Blue Polka Dots!

For a start, I looooove the skirt. I’ve never made a circle skirt before, but know this is going to be the first of many because I just love the shape of it. It took hours to hem because I decided that I wanted to make a good job of it; so blind stitched it. I thought that if I machine stitched it, it would have been very visible when the stitches ran through the white dots. Of course hemming was the last thing to do and I was really happy with the dress to that point, so I didn’t want to ruin it!

Simple Sew Ruby Dress - Blue Polka Dots!

Now, back to the beginning. I cut a size 8 based on my measurements. Of course, I didn’t make a toile. Luckily I did think to try it on as I went along, though. I forgot to take photos but I found the bodice to be too big in the front after I had inserted the darts. So I quickly thought on the spot and put it on inside-out; pinning the excess fabric to continue the waist darts up quite a bit further, taking in the excess fabric. I basted the new elongated darts in place, and found the fit to be a lot better. The waist darts almost look like princess seams now; although they don’t go all the way to the neck. It ruined the effect of the polka dots a bit, but I guess I can’t have it all!

Simple Sew Ruby Dress - Blue Polka Dots!

I also cut down the neckline as it was almost choking me! I took my time on this and I’m glad that it paid off; you an see the dots are pretty damn symmetrical!

Simple Sew Ruby Dress - Blue Polka Dots!

I wonder if you can see the one little thing I’m not happy with?

Simple Sew Ruby Dress - Blue Polka Dots!

The dots at the waist seam (in the middle) do not quite match up. I’m annoyed about this because I cut the pieces to have the spots perfectly running down the middle. But when sewn, they moved a tad out of line. I might unpick and try again, but to be perfectly honest, I probably won’t get round to it! I might make a little bow belt to cover it, instead… we’ll see.

The back isn’t too bad, but, again, I did cut the pieces to have the dots joining up over the seam so that they run vertically. But when I tried the dress on before adding the zip it was nearly too tight, so I decided to lessen the seam allowance a little when I inserted the zip. So my careful cutting went to waste.

Simple Sew Ruby Dress - Blue Polka Dots!

Nevertheless I’m happy with how the zip went in, and I quite like the v-back! At least it fits!

Simple Sew Ruby Dress - Blue Polka Dots!

I was going to lengthen the bodice and skirt like I have seen others do, but forgot until I’d made the bodice – so I just lengthened the skirt an inch or so (actually I just cut the size 18 length). And I’m really happy with it; the bodice length is fine! :)

Simple Sew Ruby Dress - Blue Polka Dots!

One of my favourite things about the dress is that I made French seams for the side and waist seams (the centre back seam has the zip so it’s just zigzagged). I love this finish; French seams look so neat, with all the raw edges enclosed. I’m so happy I thought ahead to do it; the pattern doesn’t tell you to do it and I’m [usually] a sucker for following instructions!

Simple Sew Ruby Dress - Blue Polka Dots! (French Seams)

This is such a comfortable dress; I will definitely make another when I come across the right fabric. I bought this fabric pretty cheap on eBay but it’s very nice and feels like lawn. I’m glad I have about a metre left to make something else with :)

Right, I’d better go and do the school run…

Beth x

Sunday Sevens [Week 24]

Whoopsie I’m one day late but I’ve had a busy weekend so please forgive me!

This is a collection of photos from my week, brought together for Sunday Sevens, as created by Nat @ Threads & Bobbins.

Monday:

My daughter got new shoes. I took this photo at the end of the day; you can see they’re already dirty!

new shoes

Tuesday:

My new bobbin storage case came; my second one now as my other is full :) These are so cheap, from China, but they’re fab!

bobbin storage

Wednesday:

Shopping day. I spotted this sewing-related card – shame I won’t get it because I’m Mummy not Mum!! I’ve since seen a few more sewing Mother’s Day cards; it seems the card shops are cashing in on the hobby, too!
sewing mother's day card

Thursday:

Time to visit my mum on the train. My girls couldn’t get close enough to the window…

children on the train

Friday:

We had a lovely day at Bristol Zoo!

Gorillas @ Bristol Zoo

Saturday and Sunday:

My mum gave my partner and I Saturday night off; we went to the beautiful Tortworth Court Four Pillars hotel in Gloucestershire. I wore my Ruby dress, which (obviously) I finished in time! This is the only photo I have of me in it there, which hardly shows it off very well…

Ruby Dress

The hotel has a lovely spa, and I was sooo pleased to see that they have hair straighteners in the changing room! So pleased that I took a photo. I was wondering what I was going to do because we were booked for lunch afterwards and had checked out of our room… Luckily, thanks to them I managed to tame my hair – as much as possible in a damp room.

Straighteners in the changing room

So I had a fun, relaxing (long) weekend, but then returned to my baby who had been ill in the night back at her grandma’s house. My baby who incidentally is turning two next week and was meant to be the centre of attention at her party on Sunday afternoon. So the party was cancelled and she slept! She likes to ruin my plans but I’m not sure she understood that the plans I had for Sunday were for her benefit! Poor little girl.

God willing she will recover quickly and nothing else will get thrown into the air!

Beth x

I gave up and started something else

A couple of weeks ago it was Kids Clothes Week. You may have seen the fairytale trousers I upcycled for my toddler. I really pleased with them; I haven’t actually altered them at all (I thought I would have to make the rise longer but it turns out that they fit better than they did the first time we tried them!)

Next I wanted to make two simple skirts for my daughters, like this:

The Sewing Book - pink girls skirt

[Unfortunately that’s not my skirt – it’s the one in Alison Smith’s The Sewing Book]

I’m ashamed to admit: these simple skirts defeated me. I can hardly believe that I struggled to make something so simple!

Using some skirts that fit my daughters, I cut out the pieces from a pink duvet cover that my granny gave me to use as fabric. I thought I would be all clever working like a little production line; I French seamed both skirts in turn…

French seam on girls pink skirt

… and hand stitched an invisible hem on both. (These photos are of the bigger skirt.) So I was left with two bands to work with.

pink girls skirt

Then I started the decorative work on the smallest skirt. I made the adorable tucks, which are pressed up and down in turn – I love the effect.

Then I hand embroidered the flowers.

embroidered flower - pink girls skirt

And then I had a sudden moment of realisation. Have you noticed my mistake? I had not taken into account the fact that I should have cut the fabric longer to accommodate the tucks. So the skirt had lost a lot of it’s length. My daughter is nearly 2, not newborn. What a stupid mistake!! I just wasn’t thinking! I must have been tired on the cutting-out evening. Lesson learned!

I didn’t even take photos because I was so distraught! But I can tell you that the new skirt was not as high in length as the ready-made one I was using as a guide. And of course I wanted to add an elasticated waistband, I would have needed another inch or so at the top. It was a good few inches to short!

So I cut out another few inches of fabric (luckily I had PLENTY) and stitched it on the top. Then I folded it over and sewed to make the waistband. This is where I’m at now, and I’ve shoved it to the side, along with the other “skirt” – or rather, a band with pretty embroidery a neat hem. The skirt still came up to short. I was fed up, I rushed it, and it all went wrong.

how small is this skirt

I wasted so much time doing the tucks and embroidery – which, typically, was all so neat!!

skirt gone wrong

Well, I’m going to forget about that, now.

I’ve moved on to something else. Actually – two things, to be precise.

You may have seen in my Sunday Sevens post at the weekend I started the needlework purse that I was given for my birthday.

needlework

And I have started making a ‘Sew Simple’ Ruby Dress – the one that came free with Love Sewing magazine a few months ago. I’m making it in this fabulous spotty cotton.

Blue polka dot cotton - ruby dress

I hope to complete it by this weekend so that I can wear it out on my first child-free night away for some time!

Wish me luck and no stupid mistakes with this one…

Beth x

Sunday Sevens [Week 23]

Beth:

The other post seems to have had a technical error… So I’m trying again!!

Originally posted on After Dark Sewing:

How are we over halfway through February already?

I’m back again for Sunday Sevens; click the pic for more info:

Sunday Sevens

Monday:

Here’s a random photo to kick the week off – I made tikka masala paste for the first time. Oh my gosh it was so simple and smelt so yummy! And these Tommee Tippee baby weaning pots are amaaazingly helpful. Oddly, I barely used them when actually weaning!

Homemade Tikka Masala PasteTuesday:

Here’s my yummy cake that I made and my daughter put the Smarties on by herself – her idea! I think she did a pretty good job! We had sparklers because I couldn’t find my tin of candles. They went down well, anyway!

homemade cakeWednesday:

I’m slowly but surely making progress with the purse lot my mum gave me for my birthday. It’s a great thing to do in front of the telly; I couldn’t wait to start it (in fact I started it…

View original 188 more words

Sunday Sevens [Week 23]

How are we over halfway through February already?

I’m back again for Sunday Sevens; click the pic for more info:

Sunday Sevens

Monday:

Here’s a random photo to kick the week off – I made tikka masala paste for the first time. Oh my gosh it was so simple and smelt so yummy! And these Tommee Tippee baby weaning pots are amaaazingly helpful. Oddly, I barely used them when actually weaning!

Homemade Tikka Masala Paste

Tuesday:

Here’s my yummy cake that I made and my daughter put the Smarties on by herself – her idea! I think she did a pretty good job! We had sparklers because I couldn’t find my tin of candles. They went down well, anyway!

homemade cake

Wednesday:

I’m slowly but surely making progress with the purse lot my mum gave me for my birthday. It’s a great thing to do in front of the telly; I couldn’t wait to start it (in fact I started it on Tuesday evening!)

needlework

Thursday:

On to the next project… I traced the pattern pieces for Sew Simple’s Ruby Dress. Whilst watching The Great British Sewing Bee, of course. [So sorry that Alex ran out of time – I don’t like how they make it such a race against the clock. Sewing should be a leisurely activity! I do understand that there has to be a cut off but my goodness it must be stressful…]

Ruby Dress Pattern

Friday:

One book down, 11 more to go to achieve my resolution by Dec 31st… next is Ant & Dec’s autobiography that I bought last year. It’s about time I got round to reading it! It’s a slightly different subject to the last book I read (Fifty Shades!)

Ant & Dec (Our Story)

Saturday:

We made the most of the short burst of sunshine we had and fed the ducks at our local nature reserve.

Feeding the ducks

Sunday:

I won this adorable Little Lamb Valentine’s nappy wrap (it arrived yesterday) – lucky me :) How cute?! I will have to delay potty training for a while now, haha!
image

That’s it from me; I hope you’ve had a lovely week.

Beth x

Happy Birthday to Me!

As of today I am closer to 30 than 20. That’s a scary thought!

My mum gave me lots of lovely presents – most of them sewing-related. I’m very happy :D

So because it’s my day and I can do what I want, I have left the yucky baking washing-up and popped on here to share them with you like-minded sewing people!

Sewing prezzies!

I am now the proud owner of the Coco pattern! Hooray!

Coco pattern

I will be using it very soon along with one of the knits I bought last week (probably the blue one).

Coco plans

And whilst we’re on the subject of the successes of The Great British Sewing Bee contestants – I have got Lauren’s ‘Learn to Sew with Lauren’ book. I really liked Lauren on the show. She reminds me of myself. Although she’s a better sewer! I think it’s just the blue eyes, blonde hair part of her… Oh, plus on one episode she messed something up and it made her cry – that’s something I would do if I was there!

Learn to sew with Lauren

This is a beautiful embroidery kit to make such a sweet purse. I’m so looking forward to starting this!

Made by me embroidery kit

And look at this cuuuuute flower buttons – and some ever-so-practical dressmaking pins. You can never have too many of these. The last lot I bought had loads of blunt ones! I mean, they didn’t even have a point at all. Hopefully these will be better!

Pins & Buttons

And last but definitely not least is this amazing sewing tin. Oh, the stuff I could stash in here…

My cake-monster of a daughter was not happy that it had no cake in, though. Luckily for her, she will get some later :)

John Lewis Sewing Tin

Isn’t my mum the best?!

If you’re reading, Mum – again, thank you very much!!

I’m looking forward to see what else my birthday has to bring…

Beth x