VFT London aka the twirly summer dress!

Hi! I made something for my daughter for a change so thought I’d pop on and show you! I made it with the intention to sell the style, so I was allowed. ūüėČ

It’s the Violette Field Threads new pattern – the London dress. I made the most of the couple of days of sunshine we had!!

twirly summer dress standing pb

I made it in a gorgeous Liberty of London cotton lawn that’s adorned with sweeties! So cute! I realised how apt it was to be making a London dress out of Liberty fabric afterwards. ūüėÄ

The dress features a ruffly hem but I left that out (who’s got time for all that ruffling haha… I’m really not a ruffles and frills person) and just added 3″ to the length of the skirt.

twirly summer dress sitting pb

It’s got the teeniest bodice, a really full skirt, and tie-up straps. A quick and simple sew, with just a few techniques required – gathering, bias binding, and the usual seams and hem!

twirly summer dress flat lay pb

In true matchy matchy Pink Bobbins style, I made a matching bow hairband, and it’s safe to say little A loves the outfit and wants to wear it ALL THE TIME!! ūüôā

sweetie twirly dress and hairband pb

Can you blame her? Just look at the spin effect!

twirly summer dress twirling pb

I totally recommend this pattern, it’s brilliantly written and the outcome is just so gorgeous.

Of course if you don’t want to make your own you can always by mine at Pink Bobbins. ūüėõ

Beth x

Jeans Refashion Tutorial: Patchwork Dungarees

My little girl has recently become rather obsessed with Bob the Builder. So, sewing mum that I am, I naturally thought I’d make her some “Bob the Builder” dungarees. AKA denim dungarees, that she can wear as normal dungarees, not just for dress up!
I won’t keep you in suspense; here’s the outcome:

jeans>dungarees refashion

Pretty cool, eh?! I won’t lie: I LOVE them.

I’ve written a quick tutorial for you in case you want to do something similar. The same principal (patchwork denim) can be used for any clothing, too – not just toddler dungarees. Skirts, dresses; adults or kids. The possibilities are endless.

jeans>dungarees refashion

Those of you who have been following me for a while will likely know that I’m keen on refashioning and upcycling. In fact I’m starting 5-week-long refashioning courses in November (alongside my dressmaking). So partly spurred on by that and the need for more examples, I decided to upcycle some old jeans that have been hanging around. Who needs to buy new denim?
So I used these two pairs; one was in fact my mum’s, and one was mine. Both much loved and a little worse for wear.

jeans>dungarees refashionI used all I could of these two pairs, plus a little bit of denim I had in my scrap bag (that would’ve been from another pair of jeans). With the addition of just a couple of buttons (and thread) that¬†of course I already had,¬†this was a really frugal make.

Now on to the tutorial… ūüôā

refashion jeans to dungarees

Begin by cutting up the jeans; cut along the seams, discarding the bulky seams. Incorporate the back pockets if you like, and save the tops of the jeans for another project!

jeans>dungarees refashion

For these dungarees I used a pattern which I highly recommend: Vintie Overalls by Tadah Patterns. But you can use any pattern you already have, or create your own. You will need to use the pattern piece to help you with the placement of your denim pieces. This pattern has four large pieces (2 x back, 2 x front) and some top yoke pieces. I patched the large pieces.

So lay out a pattern piece, and (ideally using a rotary cutter, ruler and mat) chop up your long legs of denim into squares and rectangles, creating a patchwork. Ensure you overlap each piece by the seam allowance you wish to use. Take your time and thought to try to lay the colours out in a way that’s pleasing to the eye. It’s interesting how many different shades of blue are in a single pair of jeans!

jeans>dungarees refashion

It’s fine to have some fabric sticking off the edges; in fact, that’ll be helpful just in case you need a bit more allowance than you initially¬†think.

Once your pattern piece is entirely covered up, it’s time to sew.

jeans>dungarees refashion

Sorry, I forgot to take photos of the sewing stage! But you will basically sew all the pieces together as if making a patchwork quilt. I sewed then overlocked the seams as I went along.

Once you’ve done all your pieces, you’ll end up with something like this:

jeans>dungarees refashion

Nice!

Now, place the pattern pieces on top, and neatly cut – as you would if that was just regular non-patchy fabric underneath!

jeans>dungarees refashion

There we go; nice and neat.

And then just take the extra bits for the yokes and straps (if you’re making kid’s clothing there’s probably no need to patch these unless¬†you really want to; they’ll be big enough). And sew together the dungarees according to the pattern instructions. Sorry, I’m not going to tell you how to do that – you’ll have to buy the pattern!

jeans>dungarees refashion

If you do make something like this, I’d LOVE to see it. Any questions, do ask in the comments below!

And if not – I hope you enjoyed the post regardless.

Beth x

 

Alice In Wonderland

This is one of my most favourite recent dresses! I made it for a little 1 year old, but my own¬†3 year old, has since ordered one for herself…
I was asked to make an Alice dress (for an Alice in ONEderland first birthday party). This is what I came up with:

Alice dress

 

I used the Cottage Mama Vintage Georgia dress pattern as a base, then made a few adaptations. I curved the collar’s corners slightly; on the pattern they’re quite sharp.

alice dress

 

I added the broderie trim on the sides of the bib (the pattern calls for piping there), and the hem of the overskirt. Of which I made more like an apron by only cutting the front piece and hemming the sides as well as the hem.

I think a lot of the Alice-likeness comes from the choice of colours; where to put blue, and where to put white, which looks like an apron over the top of a dress.

alice dress

The back features a beautiful big bow, and snap fastenings. Snaps were my second option because I had an issue with the buttonholes… there was too much bulk in the seam to sew the lowest buttonhole; the foot just doesn’t go over it. So I had to panic, unpick the others, and improvise with KAM snaps. But I do really like the look of the pearly white snaps anyway – every cloud, eh?alice dress

The Georgia Vintage dress is a lovely pattern – probably best for intermediate level; some of the instructions aren’t perfectly clear for beginners and there are some techniques you want to get accurate, like the collar. I really dislike unsymmetrical collars!

alice dress

Hope you like it…

Beth x

 

 

Felt play phone

EXACTLY one year ago today I won a giveaway over at Me and My Veritas for a pre-cut felt play phone kit. And I just finished sewing it up!! So I have to quickly share… Jana, I’m not sure if you blog anymore or if you will read this but just in case you will, I would like you to know it’s no longer sat in the drawer!

It was dead easy to sew up, yes I don’t know why it took my so long to get round to it. Jana cut all the fiddly pieces out and all I had to do was sew them together and stuff it.

If you want to make your own, you just need some scraps of felt – here’s the tutorial and free pattern!

Now without further ado… ta dah!!

felt play phoneThat’s the front! This is the back:

felt play phone

I sewed half of it up at the poolside when S had her swimming lesson last week, almost all the other half in the car at the weekend and I stuffed it and sewed up the gap this morning. I wish I always remember to take something light to sew in such situations as I hate to sit and do nothing. And now I feel accomplished!

And A likes it. She immediately called Grandma!

felt play phoneAnd took some snaps of me!

felt play phone

So thank you to Jana at Me & My Veritas for the adorable kit! ūüôā

felt play phoneI’m just sorry it took a whole year for me to put it together!

Beth x

Quick denim skirt refashion

Check me out – I sewed this today and I’m blogging about it today! ūüėÄ

Well I do like a nice little refashion. This is a super¬†simple¬†ladies skirt to child’s¬†skirt refashion!

So to begin with, this was a soft denim skirt, originally from New Look however I imagine I bought it from the car boot sale or somewhere…

denim skirt refashion

I really like the style (i.e. denim circle skirt!) and have worn it a few times, however it’s pretty short and does ride up, too. And can you see the hem? It’s dreadful and really irritates me. I don’t know if it was designed to be like that or just badly sewn; either way, I don’t like it.

denim skirt refashion

Sooo I’ve been looking at it recently and thought it was destined to become something else;¬† a little girl’s skirt. Or, a big girl’s skirt, I should say – for seven-year-old S.

It’s a simple refashion, so I took some pics along the way. First I lay a skirt that fits S on top of the denim one. (Conveniently, I made the zebra one!)

denim skirt refashionAs you can see, the length is just about right already! And there’s just a few inches difference in the waistband. About 2″, on the fold.

denim skirt refashion

First of all I unpicked the little seam on the waistband, and tugged that elastic out. Luckily the elastic wasn’t sewn in, or else I wouldn’t have been able to do this.

I measured 2″ (folded), and cut.

denim skirt refashion

Then took a moment to inspect the elastic and found that it had only¬†been sewn together with one straight line. I tend to sew a square as it’s stronger…

denim skirt refashion

So I did! Sometimes I sew diagonal lines inside, too – but didn’t bother if even a single line was strong enough before! With a nice contrasting red thread, because that’s what was in the machine…

denim skirt refashion

I then tucked the elastic back¬†inside, and handstitched up the gap. That’s the waistband sorted!

denim skirt refashion

Now, I could have left the skirt like that and it’d be fine – but that wiggly hem would annoy me for the rest of my days, so I had to chop it¬†off. I had the length to spare, as I know the zebra skirt I compared the length with is a tad longer than it needs to be.

So I chopped off the hem just above the stitching, and sewed a double-fold hem.

denim skirt refashion

Ta-dah! I have to say, I much prefer my hem!!

denim skirt refashion

S loves it, she’s wearing it now ready for Rainbows. And I love it too – I much prefer it on her! Job done!

Beth x

World Book Day 2016

World Book Day came around again quickly didn’t it?
I knew it was coming because I’ve been getting loads of Pinterest repins on my Elmer costume – all the notifications have been annoying!
This year, S wanted to be Mildred Hubble aka The Worst Witch, since she’s loving the books recently. I used this drawing I found online¬†as a basis for the costume ideas…

worst witch

…along with this one on the front cover of the first book, which adds a cloak and hat!

the_worst_witch-murphy_jill-23570396-1516895999-frntl

I made a cloak, dress, red belt, striped leggings and tie. And customised a witch hat we already have.

I bought one metre of plain black cotton (¬£3.99)¬†– enough for the dress and cloak,¬†with¬†some left over – and half a metre of grey/black stripe jersey (¬£4)¬†– enough for the tie, leggings (read¬†on though,¬†they’re cheat leggings!), and the hat.¬†I used¬†some red fleece I already had for the belt, and she wore her own tops. So not too bad cost-wise.

She wore brown boots (not photographed!), I wish she had black ones as then it’d have been perfect, but never mind! We had the broom already (side note: apparently everyone at school was asking her if it’s real, haha). Hair in plaits and I drew on¬†freckles with a make-up pencil! She didn’t take¬†a cat!

OK,¬†here’s the finished outfit!

worst witch costume

I made the dress with no pattern besides one of her dresses. It’s just¬†a basic A line shape, with a regular zip at the back.

The belt was a length of red fleece, with a fringe snipped into it at the short ends!

I also made the cloak with no pattern РI made it really quickly by cutting a rectangle and hemming three edges. Then on the top I added a rectangular piece of fabric, longer than the top of the cloak. I pressed and sewed it like bias binding (although not on the bias!), leaving a few inches either end. I sewed on some Velcro to fasten the tabs, and that was that!

worst witch

For the tie, I followed the tutorial in an old copy of Love Sewing magazine. I just shortened the pieces to make it child sized!

worst witch

And then the leggings… well, I really just needed long socks, but how were they going to hold up? Lightbulb moment!¬†By sewing them on to leggings!

So I made two tubes, and whacked them on to¬†the cropped¬†leggings. Literally “whacked” – very quickly and very messily! Who was going to see and who was going to care?! I then cut of the excess length of leggings so it wasn’t too bulky on S’s legs.

worst witch outfit

worst witch outfit

I cut the pieces as wide as possible with the fabric I had but they turned out too narrow… so I unpicked them and added in a strip on either leg, a couple of inches wide. That did the trick!

The annoying thing was that I had to unpick my perfect stripe matching! Grr!

worst witch

Last but not least, the hat. We already had this plain black hat; I just handstitched yet another strip of the striped fabric around it. And the badge was a joint effort of S and I, made out of card.

worst witch

She wore a long sleeved top with her school polo shirt over the top as we needed a collar. She had enough layers on!

All that preparation and it’s over in a day! I’ve seen some amazing outfits though, it’s been fun!

Beth x

Raw silk Christmas bubble skirt

This is my daughter pretending she likes her new skirt:

silk bubble skirt

I made the skirt using the pattern (well, instructions – you only need to cut rectangles) in Love Sewing magazine, issue 20.

The fabric is raw silk – oooh posh… I was given a roll of it from my “boss” who¬†got it from someone who works for some posh clothing brand that I can’t remember. This is the first thing I made with it.

silk bubble skirt

I think it looks so Christmassy, and am really happy with how it turned out. But she doesn’t like it!!

silk bubble skirt

The addition of the bow was my own idea – before it, the skirt looked pretty plain. This is before:

silk bubble skirt

And after!

silk bubble skirt

It’s actually really easy to make bows.¬†I popped it on and think it transformed the skirt! (But still darling daughter didn’t like it.)

silk bubble skirt

I lined it with white 100% cotton – it does look a bit odd I guess but you can’t see it unless you turn it upside down or inside out!

silk bubble skirt

How you make bubble skirts is really clever. This was my first one! But I will definitely make more! (Although not for stroppy S.)

You use three pieces of elastic – two at 6mm and one at about 20mm wide. So there’s a strip around the bottom where the cotton and silk join, another at the top, and then the waistband is added and of course then the wider elastic is threaded through. I’m pretty sure it can be done without the 6mm elastic, but I think it gives it more poof!

Obligatory twirl shot…

silk bubble skirt

Beth x

P.S. I made some chocolate chip cookies with my girls a few days ago – Sharon at Creativity & Family shared the recipe last week. They are DELICIOUS. Here’s the link to the recipe (along with ones for mince pies and fudge which I’m sure are equally wonderful)¬†– you have to try them!

yummy cookies!! 20-12-2015

P.S. HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!!