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. 😉

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. 😀

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!! 🙂

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. 😛

Beth x

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London Fashion Week 2016… Where’s the fat?

Just to explain why you’re seeing a post that isn’t about me and what I made. This is part of my journalism course. Thoughts on London Fashion Week! 🙂

 

London Fashion Week 2016 is over; we’ve seen all the stunning skinny models swaying down the catwalk. Key word: “skinny”.
Why are they still so thin? It seems that in 2016 we are still seeing no change in the image of models – models showing us what clothing to wear and who to be.

The Guardian - London Fashion Week

Image credit: The Guardian, Feb 2016

I’m aware that anorexia and other eating disorders are not all about body image and wanting to be fashionably thin, so I’m choosing not to go that far into the health side of things. But we can’t ignore that our general self-esteem is influenced by celebrities and models looking unbelievably gorgeous and stick-thin – you can’t argue with that! Everyone compares themselves with what/who they see on TV/online/in magazines to some degree. It might not make you ill, but it can make you feel rubbish. Even my preschooler looks at a picture of a thin blonde in a magazine and comments on her beauty. Disney’s probably got something to do with that, too, but that’s beside the point.

Is it fair to be made to feel fat and ugly when you’re so much as a smidgen above a size O? No, surely? Yet we are still being exposed to images of people who are not actually normal!

the guardian feb 2016 lfw

Image credit: The Guardian, Feb 2016

As reported in the Evening Standard, Carole White, co-founder of London’s Premier Model Management has even admitted that designers only want “young, flat-chested girls”, who will flatter their clothing; the clothes should “fall as they were designed to”. “The designers want straight up and down – no boobs,” she says. Carole’s agency “scouts in schools” because she says the girls that labels want are “really young”.
So do we blame the designers? Are they limiting the type of models the agencies can use?
Call me pessimistic, but if it’s due to the big designers designing clothing only suited to young, slim, straight up and down body shapes, I personally don’t see them changing any time soon.

lfw the guardian feb 2016

Image credit: The Guardian, Feb 2016

The good news is that somebody (specifically a gentleman named Marc Levine) is trying to do something about it. As reported by Reuters, on Monday, Levine (a California state assembly member) proposed a new law to ensure that a physician certifies models to be healthy before they take part in fashion gigs. Modelling agencies could be fined under the proposed law, if they are found to hire models that are found to be underweight or suffering from an eating disorder.
Personally I think it’s quite a good idea and similar laws are already present in Madrid and Israel. If passed, perhaps the UK will adopt a similar stance. Hopefully it would help to prevent teenage girls from aspiring to be like the super-thin models currently walking the catwalk. But if the designers carry on designing frocks with no room for boobs and bum… what choice will the modelling agencies have?

You know what I think? I think the designers would look so good if they targeted their clothing at “bigger” (aka “normal”) figures. Imagine the attention they’d get from the press, the media, little old you and me. But they’re too dead set in their ways to care about changing.

 

The long and short of it is this: The fashion industry as a whole is to blame for the low self-esteem of girls. That’s unlikely to change. I will eat my hat if there’s a model with a bit of shape on her in the next LFW. It’s a sad thing, but I can’t see it changing its whole image any time soon. The fashion industry is in a league of its own. Campaigners are getting nowhere!

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!!!!!

 

A Matching Three Piece!

Hello! I’m back to the land of wifi, blogging and sewing, after a lovely trip camping in South Wales. BEAUTIFUL area, and we had nicer weather than England did, would you believe it?! But now I’m back to normality; time to share something.

S, my eldest, has a new dress. She’s so happy! [Her top front tooth fell out a couple of days before I took the photos…! I’m just starting to get used to seeing that big gap now!]

Blue Ridge Dress

Do you recognise the pattern? It’s the Blue Ridge Dress – the brand new pattern by Hello Holli.

You may remember that I made one, as a pattern tester, for A. I am still in love with this dress; I put her in it an awful lot!

So I just had to make one for her big sister. This time the fabric is still cute but a tad more grown-up. She chose it; aghhh she’s growing up now, making her own fashion choices!

Blue Ridge Dress

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that she also has a matching headband and bag. More on them later…

I had 1m of the adorable owl fabric, which was enough to make it in her size. Which is Age 3! She’s 6!! Little skinny minny. It fits her perfectly around her chest. I was going to lengthen it a tad but I wouldn’t have been able to, so I made the most of the generous 6cm hem allowance and turned it up just 2cm. I think it’s fine for a summer dress!

I used up all the scraps immediately, which I was pretty impressed with. I decided on the spot to make a matching headband and bag. I actually made these before the dress – I love quick projects!

Blue Ridge Dress

I totally made up how to make the bag as I went along… I just cut shapes out of what fabric I had – and that was the size the bag was to be! It turned out narrow and long so I improvised with a flappy foldover top. Unique, hey?!

Floppy bag

The handle’s ends are enclosed in the side seams. It was cut from the length of fabric I had; and it turned out pretty perfect! To say she is happy with her bag would be an understatement.

Blue Ridge Dress

She’s also really happy with her headband – I just measured the sizes against one she already owns. It’s as wide as it could be due to the fabric available!

S chose the button on the dress. And I chose the red binding. I think we did pretty well design-wise!

This time round, instead of stitching the binding in the ditch, I slipstitched it by hand on the inside. This takes that bit longer, but I love the finish.

S's Blue Ridge Dress

A final back shot:

Blue Ridge Dress

Has anyone else got this pattern yet? If not and you have girls under 14 – why not?!

Beth x

P.S. Yes, she did enjoy posing for these photos!

Hello Holli Blue Ridge Dress [Pattern Tester Tour!]

I am so excited to share this dress with you. I tested a brand new pattern, the Blue Ridge Dress, from a brand new company, Hello Holli. And it is an EXCELLENT pattern. You might know that I’m quite pernickety when it comes to patterns; I do criticise them a lot… but this one really is fantastic. I love the dress and I love the pattern. (And I’m not just saying that because Holli is watching me, haha. I am honestly going to make loads of these dresses.)Blue Ridge Dress

The dress has a huge size range – 12 months to 14 years. I made size 2 for my 2 year old in a cute animal print cotton. She calls it her lion dress. I’m not sure why she can only see lions!

blue ridge dress

I had just 80-90cm of it because it was end of roll, but I managed to squeeze on the tunic length. (The pattern comes in two length options – tunic and dress.) The length is perfect. The hem comes with a generous 5cm seam allowance so I could actually take it down when it gets too short but the bodice still fits.

blue ridge dress

Sorry that it looks a bit creased – she had been wearing for some time before our little photoshoot!

It’s good for twirling! 🙂

blue ridge dress

What’s really great about the pattern is that all seams are enclosed; the bodice is lined and it just all looks so lovely inside as well as outside. I’ve probably mentioned more than once before that I love French seams!

Blue ridge dress

The neck and armholes are bound with bias binding, and there’s an added strip of it at the join of the bodice and skirt, just for decoration – I really like it. Some of the testers skipped that part, but I think it draws attention to the nice curve of the bodice.

blue ridge dress

The bias binding forms a button loop at the back. Sewchet, do you recognise the little bunny button?

blue ridge dress

The only step I didn’t enjoy was attaching the bias binding to the wrong side. Holli instructs you to stitch in the ditch – which gives a very nice finish. If you can do it nicely. I can never catch all the bias binding. So I ended up slipstitching it in the places I’d missed! Next time I will just slipstitch the entire length; with such a small dress it wouldn’t take too long, and it’s something to do sat outside in the sunshine!

But all in all it’s a very sweet dress, wouldn’t you agree? I honestly wouldn’t change anything about it design-wise.

blue ridge dressBeth x

PS. Head over to Holli’s intro post to find a code for 20% off! And she’s also running a giveaway where you could win the pattern (be quick though because it ends tomorrow (Saturday!)

PPS. Interested in the other testers’ versions? Check out the links below…

Paisley Roots | Plucky Momo | KaatjeNaaisels | Life With Zeke | chelsiebrady | Made by Sara | GlaMa Creations | Argyle + Pearls Bless by ToneRebel & Malice | Creative Needle and Threads | Just Add Fabric

“Spring Showers” Applique Tee

After my eldest daughter noticed the applique rainbow t-shirt in Issue 12 Love Sewing magazine last month, she immediately wanted one. I was glad because I wanted to make one anyway! What a cute design.

rainbow t-shirt in love sewing magazine issue 12

And I’m really happy with how it turned out. Luckily so is my little model!

Applique rainbow t-shirt

[By the way, from now on l will call my eldest daughter ‘S’, and my youngest ‘A’ since they are their first initials.]

So S, bless her, was looking at the photo in the magazine and said something along the lines of: “but I haven’t got a plain top. Oh well you can make the top as well.” She’s a sweetie. But I found this plain white one in Mothercare for only £2 so I didn’t have to bother. I had all the colourful fabrics in my scrap bag! 🙂

Applique rainbow t-shirt

I thought it’d be a bit of a faff cutting all the templates, bondaweb and fabric pieces out but I actually did most of it sat in the garden in the sunshine so I rather enjoyed it! The pieces are all individually bondawebbed and then sewn onto the t-shirt. I know I’ve said it before but I have to say it again – I absolutely love bondaweb. I don’t know how the t-shirt would have turned out if I didn’t use it! It holds everything in place, making it sooo easy to sew.

Having said that, the cloud wasn’t sooo easy. It’s – obviously – very bumpy so a lot of twisting and turning was needed. I went around it twice in the end to make it look more like it’s meant to be a bit scruffy – haha!

Applique rainbow t-shirt

The little raindrops were also pretty fiddly. After doing the first one I considered free motion sewing the rest on so that I wouldn’t have to turn the t-shirt round so much. But after doing another I just continued on as I began as I figured I’d done everything else the ‘normal’ way.

Applique rainbow t-shirt

I’m not too happy with the fraying of the sun; I’m hoping it doesn’t get too bad in the wash. And it will be washed a lot! The raindrops aren’t fraying yet, but I hope they survive too.

Applique rainbow t-shirt

But other than that, I’m quite in love with it. Thank you to Love Sewing magazine for the design!

Applique rainbow t-shirt

I’m actually in the process of debating with myself whether or not to renew my subscription with the magazine. It does have some good ideas and projects but at the same time there’s an awful lot that I know I won’t do – including a lot of the “free” patterns. I also still find a lot of mistakes in it – from grammar and spelling down to quite terrible misprinting, etc. All that annoys me. But I know if I don’t renew the subscription then the future issues will be fantastic!! Arghh what to do?!

Anyway, I hope you’re having a good week and the sunshine part of this t-shirt is out rather than the raindrops!

Beth x

Joining the Coco Brigade!

Hallelujah, I made a Coco!

Coco dress in blue ponte roma

For those of you living under a rock (or, those who don’t sew/blog nowadays…) the Coco is a knit dress pattern by Tilly Walnes AKA Tilly and the Buttons.

I chose a cheap ponte roma from eBay and can’t get over how comfy it is. I have to check that I’m not actually wearing my pyjamas!

I finally understand what all the fuss is about these Cocos. It really was a quick and easy sew!

It would have been quicker if I sewed both sleeves on properly. Instead I decided to sew right to wrong sides…coco dress gone wrong...

NEVER SEW WHEN TIRED!! I called it a night after that.

The next day I quickly unpicked it and sewed it on the right way round. I stitched down the sides, hemmed it – with a cute zigzag which is not quite the right shade of blue but never mind…

Coco dress sleeve

… and ta-dah! It was done! The quickest dress ever.

Coco dress in blue ponte roma 2

Can you spot the little extra I added to the shoulders?

These are what I bought a couple of weeks ago in a bundle of vintage buttons:

vintage buttons

And I had a sudden lightbulb moment when I realised they’d be ideal to add a bit of something to an otherwise quite ordinary dress.

I stitched 3 on each shoulder, and I’m pretty happy with them. They stick up quite a bit, but I think that’s OK. My youngest daughter likes playing with them!

Coco dress with vintage buttons

I’m pretty damn impressed with how flat the neckline sits, seeing as it was my first attempt at the Coco. And I’ve seen others with wavy necklines, so that feels gooood 😀 No offence intended to anyone with wavy necklines! The fabric was just so nice to sew!

Coco dress in blue ponte roma  4

I have more of this lovely ponte roma so I am definitely knocking another Coco up ASAP. I added a little length of ribbon like a tag because it’s not obvious which is the front and the back unless you hold it up to check out the scoop of the neckline.

Sew happy coco

The reason it’s not obvious which is front or back is because I didn’t add any pockets. My reason? I wanted a quick sew! Next time I will put some pockets on. 🙂

I love the long sleeves. I added another inch or so to the length of them to make them extra long. This is personal preference, and what I love about sewing. You can make it how you want it!

Coco dress in blue ponte roma   3

I’m debating whether or not it’s too big. It is big… I measured a size 3 but really, I think I could cut a size 2. Or even smaller come to think of it. But I’m not sure if it’s TOO big. I quite like the cosiness of it. So I might just leave it as it is… I would hate to make it too tight!

One thing’s for sure though – I love the pattern and Tilly’s instructions are amazing, and I love love love the colour!

So that’s another goal ticked off my 2015 sewing goals list 🙂 I should get started on that quilt I aim to make this year…

Beth x