Christmas update!

Hello! I thought I’d write a quick post as it’s been a while!! I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth! I have been super busy with my little sewing business, with the mad Christmas rush and all that. But I did my last post office run before Christmas today – I’m DONE! For now! Also the courses I run have either stopped til January or finished completely so I feel I have a bit of time to catch up with some blogs! Hooray! So this evening I have painted my nails for the first time in a loooong time, and that’s stopped my picking up a needle! And here I am, writing this.

Along with all the orders I posted today went my rather last-minute Stitching Santa gift. I didn’t have a chance to take photos of what I bought, as I was in a rush to pack it all and get it to the post office! But hopefully my recipient will blog about it, and I will re-blog! Here’s a photo of it all wrapped up though – in some snazzy Christmas fabric, which is a little gift in itself! (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out Sewchet’s post about #stitchingsanta!)

#stitchingsanta gift

I will of course share what I received after I’ve opened it; it’s all here waiting for Christmas, I can’t wait! Thank you in advance to whoever sent it! (A card arrived the next day; I only briefly looked inside to find that it was from the Stitching Santa sender, so quickly shut it and will re-open on Christmas Day!)

stitching santa

So, do you want to know what I’ve been up to?

In a nutshell: skirts, bows, skirts, bows, skirts, bows…!

I can sew up a simple elasticated-waist skirt really fast, and they look great and are easy to fit – so they sell really well. My customers love that you can purchase matching hair accessories; you don’t get that on the High Street!

I’ll just add some examples – I realise I haven’t shared much at all of my Pink Bobbins creations!

This is a lovely fabric; I sold out pretty quickly (note to self: get more practical black coloured fabric next year!)

penguin-skirt-hairband-pb

But I think this red snowman fabric was the most popular. I didn’t make a single dress out of it, but plenty of skirts and hair bows!

red-snowman-skirt-hairband-bow-clip-pb

Talking of hair bows, I also sell them in sets like this, which are really cute! I like making them because I do them by hand; my bag of pre-cut fabric for bows comes everywhere with me!

wp-1482185683580.jpg

Ooh, a dress! I love this fabric!

wp-1482185750486.jpg

And this is by far my best selling bow fabric (shown here as adorable little bobbles) – mustard foxes!

wp-1482185728913.jpg

I think that’s given you a little taste of Pink Bobbins! I do make more than skirts and bows, but I will share more with you another time.

After all the bright colours I’ve been sewing recently, can you guess what colour I painted my nails tonight? Haha – shimmery black!! I was originally going to go for red (Christmas!) then changed to blue, then… black. LOL. That’s got to say something about me!

Ooh, one more thing before I go – on Saturday night, I actually sewed something for myself!! A Tilly & The Buttons Coco dress (my third!) – I will share soon… ish! I need photos! I cut the pieces out many months ago, and finally sat down to sew it up, I am so happy!

I hope to be back with another post soon, but til then… have a wonderful Christmas!

Beth x

Liberty Plantain

I made this aaaaages ago (like, 11 months ago) and have worn it a lot – it has remained unblogged til now for no apparent reason. It only needs a quick post!

I bought this gorgeous Liberty jersey for £8/m in Oxford Gloucester Green market back in the summer of 2015. (Unfortunately I’ve heard that the “Liberty man” hasn’t been there for ages! I hope he hasn’t disappeared altogether!) It sat for several months before I eventually cut it into a plain and simple Deer & Doe Plantain top. [By the way, it’s a free pattern!] I had 1m of the fabric and managed to get the short-sleeved top out of it no problem. Bargain!

liberty plantain

I’ve made one other Plantain and really like the fit and style – so easy to wear, and not too low on the neck. So it was an easy sew for me.

However there was one difference – I made this with my overlocker; the first garment I sewed on it (besides finishing seams only). It was so fast! Fast forward 11 months to now and I LOVE my overlocker. I’ve sewn so much on it. And it’s even a breeze to thread! 😀

liberty plantain

I also used a twin needle to sew the hems and keep the seam allowance down around the neckline. So neat!

liberty plantain

Hmm, what else do I have in my stash for another Plantain… isn’t it great making the same pattern more than once? My least favourite part of dressmaking is probably tracing patterns so it’s nice to sew the same pattern when it’s all sorted fit-wise!

Hope you’re all well and getting ready for the big C. Including Stitching Santa if you’re involved like me! 😉

Beth x

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!

Simplicity 1363 took me 6 months to make

Hey-hey! On Saturday I made two things for myself! One was from scratch whilst the other was a very longstanding UFO that I started in 2015, probably around August time.
Today I’m sharing what was the UFO because it links to The Monthly Stitch’s February theme of UFOs!
So I started this top last year, when the weather was good. It’s view D of Simplicity 1363:

1363

The fabric I used is gorgeous; it’s called peachskin – silky smooth to touch and pretty fluid-like. It actually wasn’t as challenging to sew as I thought it might be. But I remember the reason I stopped making it last year was because I reached a step saying I needed bias binding. And I couldn’t be bothered to make some.

But I picked it up on Saturday just gone, looked at it, and discovered I only needed some 1/4″ single fold binding, to use just round the armholes and it wouldn’t be seen. And I had just about enough ready-made 1/4″ white polyester binding! So that would do! Had I just read the pattern properly and thought about it a little, I may not have left it unfinished for so long. Ah well!

So anyway here’s the finished top!

simplicity 1363

I have to say, I really really love it. I’ve worn it twice so far and it’s so comfortable. The fit is pretty damn perfect, straight out the packet. Impressive seeing as I often have issues with armscyes being too tight. And of course I loooovvveee the blue/white polka design!

simplicity 1363

As you can see it features a high-low hem; there’s an added panel at the back hem. I forgot to take a photo but I rolled the hem by machine. Super quick when you don’t have to press it first! I have a love/hate relationship with my rolled hem foot but it’s 80% neat on the inside!!

simplicity 1363

It has a little slit in the back, and fastens with two little buttons – I used some cute hearts! I can actually pull it over my head easily without faffing with the buttons, but I like them as a decorative detail regardless.

simplicity 1363

Yeah I need to cut and tidy the thread in one place… I have obviously been wearing a cardi over the top this week so it’s OK! And I wore it before taking photos, hence it’s creased in the photos haha!

Selfie of me wearing it paired with my Morris Blazer. Handmade double whammy 🙂

simplicity 1363 + morris blazer

I do recommend this pattern. I’m going to do the view with cap sleeves too (one day!!)

It’s always annoying to read this but I got the lovely fabric from my local-ish shop (Masons in Abingdon, Oxfordshire)! But if you come across some floaty peachskin, get it! For this kind of top it’s lush. In fact I bought it for making a jumpsuit in June ’15 but didn’t get round to that did I… So I bought 3m I think! You’ll probably see it on the blog again!

Beth x

About time I shared my Oslo!

I made this about a month ago… grabbing a few minutes now to share it with you all!

My first 100% overlocked (oh except the hems of course) project. The Seamwork Oslo!

seamwork oslo

I actually bought this knit (I think it’s acrylic – uber stretchy) last year, with a slouchy cardigan in mind. The Seamwork Oslo fits the brief perfectly!

Sorry the photos are rubbish, S wasn’t very willing! And we took them at the same time as the photos for my pleated skirt so the outfit is rather mismatch – I wear it with jeans really!!

seamwork oslo

Oh it’s so nice, such a good cardi to just throw on. It’s actually the kind of thing that I’d buy from the High Street so I think I get a bonus point for that!

The fabric is relatively light and slinky – but warm enough at the same time. Yay!

I didn’t bother with buttons, but I can wrap it right round me if I want to (which I often do!)

seamwork oslo

Flashing the inners… all overlocked. Oh my goodness isn’t the overlocker so fast! I whizzed it up in no time at all.

seamwork oslo

But I totally messed up the sleeve cuffs. I don’t know how it even happened but they ended up so big, like they had stretched – but the thing is the pattern piece was too big to fit to begin with, so they were bound to be a bit… Not sure what happened there but I just left it anyway – I tend to pull the sleeves down round my hands anyway, so it gives me some more sleeve to hold onto – LOL!

seamwork oslo

But overall yeah I’m really happy with it – and I have been wearing it a lot! If you have the pattern sitting waiting… sew it up already! 🙂

Beth x