Pattern review Vogue V9000
Sewing for a living means that I don't get much time to sew for myself. Not that I'm ungrateful as I get to do what I love and are passionate about everyday, but it can be a little frustrating. So I've decided to turn that frustration into a positive and bring you, On My Cutting Table.
With working on the Sewing Quarter, I get to make so many fabulous garments, to be shown and demonstrated on live on air. Unfortunately, I have to make them into the size that fits the dress form in the studio. And I can tell you now, that I'm considerably a lot larger than 'Mandy the mannequin' as I like to call her.
So I don't get to wear my makes and so don't get chance to appreciate what I've just spent several hours making; I'm straight onto the next project for the next show.
So, to savour the dressmaking flavour, I thought I'd give you all an insight into my sheshed studio and specifically my cutting table.
Giving you a back stage look into the construction and details of the patterns that I'm using.
As well as hints and tips that I might not get chance to cover in the live shows as time goes so fast and often runs away with us.
So even though I might not get to wear my Sewing Quarter makes, I want you to have everything you need to enjoy your makes at home.
So first up is Vogue's V9000, which is a 1951 pattern design.
It's essentially a pull over dress with a side zip. A super flattering dress with princess seam bodice and a panelled flared skirt.
It comes with two design options of a lined bodice or capped sleeve but of course you can always mix and match it up.
The WOW factor with this pattern has to be the skirt! If you are looking for swishy skirts then this is the one for you.
It a six panel skirt, so you need a fair bit of material but its totally worth it! Also they are cut on the Grainline rather than the Bias but you still get a great swish! So this saves on the yardage but you are going to need a nice clear and large space to get cutting out.
You know I cant stick to the rules, so I decided to team up the dark denim with a little bit of detail. As this is a vintage 1950's pattern, I thought I'd add a little post war detail in by adding some Tim Holtz Correspondence fabrics. As I only had 2 Fat Quarter pieces left, I used them to add detail onto the facing and underside of the collar; Kinda like a peak a boo of detail, and this collection screams war time love letters from the front line.
Another detail I love about this dress is the double darts in the back. So that's four darts in the back piece. This give it a gorgeous shape around the waist line and really accentuates your waist as you sashay away with your flowing skirt.
A quick way to transfer those darts is to use a pin and a chalk pen. I love this one called chalk cartridge set or Kreideminen-set and it was a gift from a dear friend that I use all the time! A perfect gift! Anyway pop the in into the notch, peal back the fabric and mark the position of the pin onto both layers. It's a lot quicker than a tailors tack!
One thing I didn't like about the pattern is that it didn't tell you how to finish the facing edge. I decided to quickly use my pinking shears and secure with a single hem, giving it a clean finish. This is a great pattern for a beginner, so keeping the beginner sewist in mind, I think they should have covered off this quick step. I know there is a section at the beginning but as a beginner your not going to know when to check that section without being told. It's a simple thing that makes the garment last longer as you have finished the raw edge, and if you learn these little tips from the start then your onto a winner.
Another quick tip is to use your pinking shears to trim your collars seam allowances. This saves time as it is clipping and reducing the seam allowance as it goes. Just be careful that you don't cut your threads.
For me the collar would be the tricky bit, especially if you are a beginner, which is why I really wanted to cover this in my live demonstration. The trick is the notches! They really are there to help you, so make sure you have transferred all of these to your fabric pieces. The instructions are great on this step, so don't worry if you are worries about doing collars.
If you want to sew along with me, you can watch my show back via the link below. The vintage dress was my first hour so scroll to the 1 hour mark for the start of that show.
Overall, I loved making this dress. Full of opportunities to add personal details without losing that vintage look, by adding fabric prints into the collar, cuffs, facing and why not add it to the hem as well?
Super flattering and feminine; This is a dress that could easily be made up for a special occasion!
Hope you enjoy making this dress as much as I did!
Until next time, Happy #sewingrevolution!
Simplicity & Korbond Birthday Giveaway!
It's been a while since I last did a blog post but as its my birthday I thought i'd treat myself to a handmade garment and as we are in the midst of #memademay which I sadly have not had time to take part in this year so it just seemed the right thing to do even though it is only one garment.
You will know from watching me on the Great British Sewing Bee that I love dungaree's! I always feel like a little scamp who is likely to get into trouble when wearing them.
Along with dungaree's I love a pinafore or Apron dress.
Still feeling mischievous in them but look a little more feminine than Dunga's!
With this in mind I decided to make 1970's inspired Vintage Simplicity Pattern 8073. It's a cute and super simple Apron dress. Perfect for spring or summer and is great coupled with a long or short sleeved t shirt.
I wanted to make it up in this awesome crazy floral print fabric that was kindly gifted to me by SewJo after an epic fabric clear out. I don't have many garments with flowers on so I thought i'd go for a change.
Ive made a few different types of Apron dresses before. Sew Me Something' s Beatrice which I made reversible and also the Walkaway Dress by Butterick which also featured as a task on the Sewing Bee Series three. So I was looking forward to trialing this one too.
It's a super simple in design as it is literally an oversized Apron.
You have a 'normal' apron front but the 'wings' are larger so they wrap around the back turning the apron into an awesome dress.
With the #sewingrevolution in mind I think this is a perfect pattern for a beginner wanting to make a garment for the first time.
I like that there are not too many pattern piece's to cut out and the instructions on how to make it are super clear. So there is nothing daunting about this pattern if you are a beginner. I loved it as I was able to make something for myself in super quick time ready for my birthday meal with the bonus of being able to loosen off the waist ties when you have eaten far too much!
I think this dress is also perfect for holidays as you can just pop it on when you want to go to the bar after sunbathing by the pool and want to be a little more covered up. What do you think?
So to celebrate my birthday and the return of the Great British Sewing Bee with series four starting this evening at 9pm I'm doing a little competition giveaway!
If you can guess how many Vintage Buttons are in my Sewing Pot you will be the winner of a selection of wonderful Simplicity patterns, a Korbond Sewing kit and a Needle Wallet made by yours truly.
All you have to do is leave a comment with your guess along with an email address at the bottom of this blog post and ill be picking the winner on the 31st May 2016. Once the winner has announced I will contact you directly to organise the delivery of your goodies!!!
So a few rules.
only one guess per person, only comments on this page will count (facebook and twitter will not count) and the closest guess wins. If I have a few people with the same closest guess, then they will go into a draw! Competition closes at 12pm 31/5/2016 so comments will not be counted after this time.
Good luck, feel free to share and viva la #sewingrevolution!
My Most Luxurious Upcycle Yet.
I'm going to be honest, I'm not a great fan of this time of year. Dark mornings, Dark afternoons and the cold, it just makes me want to go into hibernation. The only thing that helps to keep me wake is the thought of open fires, mulled wine and spending time with the family at Christmas.
Another bonus are the lovely long walks we can do with the dog, now that we have moved to Bromsgrove.
There is something really lovely about getting all wrapped up and taking a stroll in the cold but not when its raining!
It's this thought that making me think of one of my favorite garments, the cape! Super stylish and always reminds me of the 60's era and is what has inspired me to make one of my most luxurious upcycled projects yet!
While is was working with Create and Craft TV at the WI Centenary fair in September, I came across a stand by Beyond Measure.
I got talking toGrace who was in the process of hand sewing a beautiful pin cushion made from the most beautiful mustard coloured leather and tweed i'd ever seen.
Next to her stood this bucket, full of multi coloured strips of the most gorgeous tweed. Both wool and silk blends and varying from about 1 to 3 meters in length.
Grace mentioned that they were Lancashire tweeds. The mill that they came from started producing textiles in the mid 19th century and has been run by the same family for five generations. Grace is totally passionate about high quality goods that are produced locally and works with fantastic craftspeople to create and sell these beautiful products.
I completely raided the tweed bucket over the three days I was there. I wanted the get as many combinations and colours in 3 meter strips so that I could stitch them back together to make a piece of fabric I could work with later.
While I was there I couldn't wait to tuck into the fabric so I made a little silk tweed scarf with a deconstructed disappearing nine quilting patch for the lining.
The lining fabric is Tiki Tok by Moda. Two lovely ladies, Sue and Stephanie from Cupcake Cottons gave me a little bundle to play with as they wanted to see it finished as much as I did!
Unfortunately, when I got home, like most of us, it's finding time to start a new project. It was only after I had finished preparing for my Create and Craft TV Cape show on the 19th November that I found time to tuck into the beautiful tweed. I'd all ready found the pattern I wanted to work with which was New Look 6073 by Simplicity.
It's an awesome pattern. Very simple and classic in design but it was exactly what I was looking for !
It was a little tricky to get the strips of different tweed into a single piece of fabric that I could then cut out the pattern on.
I wanted to try and pattern match the check detail that ran though some of the herringbone tweed pieces so it flowed nicely across and down the body.
Another detail that I wanted to include, to give a sort of nod to what it was before I made it into a cape, was the red stitching that was found on each strip of tweed. It was the marker to divide each of the samples, as one design would come on one length of fabric but in several different colours. The red thread chops up the colour variations in the same design. So I wanted to incorporate this red thread into my seams by prick stitching the seam allowances to the garment.
This not only made the seams less bulky but really gave the cape a unique and special hand stitched detail. I was super pleased with it but it was a labour of love as there are 15 seams and that doesn't include the collar and hems.
I then got to work on the lining of my Cape. Brenda Killigrew from Inkberrow design centre gifted me a roll of the beautiful Savile Row paisley lining.
I wasn't kidding when I said this is my most luxurious upcycle yet.
Before sewing the lining in, I wanted to add a little Jenni special, as you know I cannot just go with the pattern, I always end up adding a little twist. This time I added a little tabbed button hole rather than the looped option and again used the red thread to add further detail.
I like how I've positioned the tab as it follow the neck line rather than the check in the tweed.
I think it adds a little drama - what do you think?
After finishing what I started with the red thread, I pricked stitched all the outer seams together to give a crisp hemmed edge.
I'm super pleased with it and love wearing it!
Before signing off I just want to thank everyone who has either gifted or inspired me with gorgeous fabric.
This really is a special #sewingrevolution garment! x
My first sewing kit.
I often get asked ‘what sewing equipment do I need?’ to attend my #sewingrevolution workshops.
I generally say a pair of fabric scissors, tape measure, pins and an unpicker as I would have everything else on hand at the workshop, but the question got me thinking about my very first sewing kit that started my sewing journey.
When I made the decision to make my own wedding dress, I must admit that my first action was not to head to my local haberdashery. Shamefully I didn’t know where my local one was and I did not have anyone to ask for advice on where to go.
Impatiently the first thing I did was look at wedding dress designs on the internet. Images of women in gorgeous dresses in fields, beaches and other aesthetically pleasing places. I then found my perfect dress it was unusual with what I called Spirograph lace, but do you think I could find the designer or where I could buy it - NO. I then headed to bridal shops and outlets to see if I could find something similar with no joy. So then I gave up looking to buy a dress and decided to make my own.
Instead of looking to buy I began visiting bridal shops to look at how these dress were constructed and took notes and sketches of designs. I also tried several dresses on, ( well, I was a bride to be after all and I couldn’t resist dressing up) to see what shape and style suited me the most. With my design in mind, I brought my first sewing kit and Sew Magazine (also my first sewing magazine) from a place that everyone visits at least once a week. My local super market.
My first sewing Kit was a Blue Oval Korbond sewing kit. It was almost the size of my palm. Not knowing everything that was listed in the bag I purchased it with excitement; My first sewing kit and confirmation that I was going to start sewing my dream dress and my first ever sewing project!
The little kit had so much in it.
A small pair of scissors, needles in various sizes as well as a wool needle, a measuring tape, pin cushion and pins, threads, thimble, needle threader, hooks and eyes and snap fasteners, buttons and safety pins.
Then there were items that I had never seen before let alone knew what to do with; but I now cannot live without - A Stitch ripper, Tailor’s chalk and a tracing wheel. Looking back now surrounded by my many variation of fabric or paper paper scissors, tailor chalks and unpickers that, that sewing kit really was the best thing to start my sewing journey and many of the items are still part of my sewing kit today. I stitched my crochet waistcoat with the blue wool needle last week. Used the tailor’s chalk pencil to draw out my design for Charlotte’s ‘salt of the earth’ birthday present. The threads are long gone along with my ever evaporating pins and needles but I still have my tomato Pin cushion!
So whenever anyone asks me ‘what sewing equipment do I need to get started?’ I would recommend my first sewing kit. The main reason , because it wasn’t scary. It is just a little blue bag packed full of items to help you on my way but the main reason was that it was so accessible. It is likely that you have passed the stand in the supermarket a hundred times before, it's familiar and I didn’t need to go searching for it.
As you may have guessed I’m passionate about getting people sewing. Many of my workshop attendees have never picked up a needle and thread before, let alone used a sewing machine. So I want to make getting started as easy as possible for them.
Upcycling is an element that I truly believe helps people get into sewing. You are taking items that you already own or can pick up very cheaply at charity shops and transform them into something unique and new. Being able to pick up good quality sewing equipment easily and at an affordable price is also important, as this can be a huge stumbling block. I want sewing to be accessible to all- regardless of what you can afford or be able to access. I want to prove you don’t need to go very far to get started. Just grab a sewing kit while you’re food shopping and take that old garment from your wardrobe and start a #sewingrevolution!
By taking these small steps and building your sewing confidence you are more likely to continue and improve your sewing skills. I want sewing to be a long term investment not something that turns into guilt for ruining that beautiful and possibly expensive material by the mistakes you made. For me mistakes are an important part of learning and you will make them, So the last thing I want is for you to give up because you don’t want to ‘waste your money’ on it.
I hope that my #sewingrevolution helps to give people confidence in their sewing abilities; to head to the haberdashery and buy that metre of awesome fabric, confident with your wonderful new found skill and completely guilt free. Being able to make something for yourself or others is one of the most rewarding things. Making clothes that fit you perfectly and to your style and taste is a great self-confidence booster, especially if you struggle to get clothes to fit you, for whatever reason that may be.
So please, head to the supermarket, pick up a sewing kit and get sewing. There are plenty of online tutorials and workshops available or you can even watch me on create and craft TV so there is no excuses!
My next workshop dates are the Great Create Extravaganza 2nd & 3rd October where you will be getting 'my first sewing kit' free when you attend my workshop - book here!
For all other workshop details are listed under #sewingrevolution events.
Last but not least, If you know how to sew, buy one for a friend and be part of the #sewingrevolution by sharing your skills, it’s important that we keep this awesome craft alive.
Viva La #sewingrevolution!
Using #sewingrevolution upcycling techniques to cheat your way to a vintage blouse.
If you follow my Instagram and facebook posts as well as my live demonstrations on Create and Craft TV you will know that I love an upcycle project!
Transforming old items into something completely new is a buzz, a little challenge if you like. My favourite #sewingrevolution workshops are my sewing clinic’s where I never know what the attendees are going to bring or want to make until on the day.
I have to think on my feet and come up with several project ideas using only the materials we have to hand. It’s exhausting but very rewarding work as the tutor. I love teaching people how to look at old items differently while they are also learning new sewing skills. Showing that you can make wonderful and unique items with things that you were going to throw out or taking those precious items that you cannot bare to get rid of but just don’t know what to do with it.
It’s always a special moment when a person bring something very personal, like old baby clothes or their mothers old coat.
At first it is very reluctant to start cutting into the item and it will always means a trip down memory lane. So I feel very privileged when people tell me and the group their family stories. It seems to give them a little more courage to get hacking knowing that these memories will no longer be in the wardrobe hidden away, but transformed into an item that will be used and loved again.
Upcycling doesn’t have to be tricky though, I love to combine new fabrics and commercial patterns with elements of old items especially when wanting to get a vintage look.
My Mom had a blouse that she used to call it her ‘cheese cloth top’ and she lived in it. So much so that it completely disintegrated. I would kill for that top now it was a lovely light cotton with hand embroidery around the neck coupled with a little lace detail, very Fleetwood Mac/ Stevie Nicks, very hippy chic.
Simplicity have a pattern which 100% reminds me of my mom in this top when I was a kid. It’s the New look pattern 6027 which I thought would be the perfect addition to the simplicity bloggers circle as well as the foundation for my sewing project. As soon as I saw this pattern I knew I wanted to recreate my mom's top. Problem is I don’t have time to hand embroider the fabric, so I thought I’d do an upcycle cheat.
After scouring the local charity shops, I came across several different types of Table clothes, Doilies and Handkerchiefs with either printed, machine or hand embroidery detail. Just perfect and all around 50p to a £1 an item, I purchased several as I was sure they would come in for other projects.
In the end I used a medium sized Doily which was about 1/2 a metre squared to give me the hand embroidery detail on the front of the blouse. It had cute pink flowers and also a yellow and orange seed head, which arched. I wanted to take advantage of this shape for the front of the blouse. This was the first Vintage cheat.
I then removed the cotton lace edging off a different table cloth by unpicking it carefully and then added this to the sleeve at the elbow - Vintage cheat number two.
For a third Vintage cheat, I did take it a little further and used a large white cotton bed sheet for my main fabric because it was a wonderful quality, had obviously been washed several times as it was super soft and again only £2 from the charity shop; A complete bargain! There was so much fabric that I think I can make another top out of it, which is great news as the pattern has five variations.
So there you have it. Add a little vintage inspiration to your makes by upcycling those little elements at a fraction of the cost and also time!
Start your own #sewingrevolution makes and don't forget to send me pictures!
On the 18th of July in Walsall, I held a #sewingrevolution event at Helen's Haberdashery. With wine and nibbles and about twenty other people we chatted about the Sewing Bee, problems with projects, new ideas, current makes. I had taken my Sewing Bee makes so people could have a nose at them, we even had a pattern and fabric swap. Everything you could possibly want to talk about sewing we discussed. It was really nice when we went around the room and everyone got to introduce themselves, talk about their passion for sewing and explain how it all started for them. Hearing everyone's sewing journey's was a real treat. Very personal and all for very different reasons. Thanks for sharing Ladies and Gents!
It was a little scary for me at the start as I had to deliver a kind of talk which then turned into a Question and Answer session by accident. They did grill me a little but it was all a bit of fun really, I was very nervous though but with a cup cake in hand and a glass of wine in the other it became a wonderfully relaxed evening. I cannot wait for the next one. So keep an eye on Tailor Taylor Events!
Catching up with the Bee's!!!
I also had a trip down memory lane this month and caught up with the Bee's!! It was so lovely seeing them again in the flesh. It's not quite the same talking over the phone or catching up on twitter or facebook. Face to face and with hugs is so much better. Heading back to the Wapping came with mixed feelings. It was such an intense period for all of us when the Sewing Bee was being filmed it, I felt nervous going down on the train, but this quickly disappeared when we all talked about what we had been up to since the Bee, how busy we all are and our stories of people recognising us is in strange places. We completely overtook the corner of the pub and filled the room with excited voices and laughter. It was a shame it was only for the day, I'm used to seeing them for at least 2 days solid. So it was sad when we had to say goodbye, but we are going to organise another get together soon.
All I'm going to say about our chat is that we all have some pretty exciting things going on at the moment. So keep an eye out you never know when you are going to see us next!
Gifts for friends.
Its also been a crazy one for bespoke items this month.
My best friend from school, Emma is finally getting married to her
partner Helen at the end of August. I had promised to make her wedding
shirt for her and as August is fast approaching I was running out of time. Luckily I've managed to brake the back of it making it after work in the week as my weekends are becoming less available, so its been a little stressful.
Going for something a little different Emma wanted ruffle's and she has them!
Just have the button's to go now. I'm thinking blue, one she is a Baggies Fan (West Bromwich Albion) and two you have to have something blue on your wedding day. What do you think?
I've also made a dress for my wonderful friend Charlotte. She is the one that made my amazing cup cakes for the viewing of first episode on the Sewing Bee..Remember?
Well she wanted a dress that she saw on Pinterest and couldn't find it anywhere. So we went fabric shopping together. She picked her fabric and I have drafted the pattern and made the dress for her Birthday. She is going away on holiday in August, so again it was all hands to the deck to get it finished in time. I do love paisley so I think the choice of fabric is ace and of course it has cheeky pockets!!
Last but by no means least, we have a new arrival on the way! A fellow friend who is also an amazing vocalist, Kelly and our slide guitarist, 'Dobro' are having a baby girl. They are going to call her Martha, after The Beatles track. They do not know I have made anything yet, but I hope they like it.
I wanted to have a go at quilting as I was to be going to the Festival of Quilts in August. However, I'm not able to make it now but still feeling inspired I decided to make this lovely handmade gift from me. Big enough for a cot or a push chair, the quilt is made from off cuts of left over material. I even had a go at a little hand embroidery to give it a little detail. I would definitely recommend making one especially if you have any small left over off cuts! It's a #upcycling #sewingrevolution waiting to happen!
In my last blog I mentioned that I've been getting migraines. To rule a few things out I've had my eye's tested. Turns out that I need to wear glasses while using a computer. They don't think that is what is causing it but it isn't going to be helping.
Advise - Give your eyes regular breaks from the screen, otherwise you will look like this! The glasses are ace though and a BOGOF as well!! BARGAIN!
So what have you been up to? Don't forget I'm keeping my eyes open for your #sewingrevolution makes so please don't forget to hashtag! I'm searching for you!
As you may be aware from my previous blog or social network feeds, that I have challenged myself to partake in the Me Made May challenge 2014. This is where I had vowed to wear something made by myself everyday, for the entire month of May. So here is my Me Made May 2014 break down from day 12 to day 31. Days 1 to 11 are on my previous blog is you want to have a peek.
Day 12 to 16 - Its my birthday and ill go to a book lunch if I want to!
Kicking off with day 12, you may recognise this self drafted t shirt as it is made with the left over moustache material I used for The Great British Sewing Bee PJ task in episode two.
Day 13 is what I would have made for episode six for the made to measure challenge. My Military jacket is Inspired by the 70's, my design was based on Jimi Hendrix's iconic jacket and The Beatles, Sgt. Peppers.
Day 14 is a shirt that I made when I first started to get into sewing. Gotta love that big collar!!!
Day 15 and its my birthday! I was very excited that not only was it my birthday but it was also Tilly's 'Love at first stitch' book launch! So in attempting to kill two birds with one stone, Kirk and I went in the hope of also going for a lovely romantic supper for two. Not realising it, I decided to wear my vintage skirt (Maudella 5911) made with denim and left over African print fabric for the inside pockets and my striped boob tube, Tilly and I were matching! It was so lovely to finally meet Tilly. We had a lot of fun as you can see, Tilly and Lauren are so tiny that I decided to kneel down for the pictures. With my book signed we then set off to the pub for a glass or two of fizz. With all the excitement at the launch and by the time we had finished our drinks it got so late that we decided to head back home for a Chinese takeaway instead. Last of the romantics but I had a great night.
Day 16 and the birthday celebrations continue with a family and friends gathering at The Church in Hockley, Birmingham for some Soul Food and drinks. Therefore I had to wear my wrap around skirt. This way after eating my body weight in Jambalya I can adjust my wrap skirt to fit my expanding and ready to burst waist!
Day 17 to 22 - Time to Vote!
Day 17 and it's my best friend's uncle's wedding and we have been kindly invited to the evening do! As it was a lovely warm evening I thought I would bust out my halter neck harlequin dress for the occasion. This was the first dress that I made after my wedding dress. It's not perfect at all, my waist band does not match up very well at all, at the side zip but its nice to see how much I have improved from when I made it. I had completely forgotten about it at the bottom of the wardrobe.
Day 18, Its workshop day at Guthrie and Ghani, so I've decided to wear my make from the weekend, which was Tilly's 'Delphine' skirt. The fabric is suede that I was kindly given by a lovely lady who I had never met because she wanted the fabric to go to 'someone who will put it to good use'. Hopefully, I fulfilled that duty!
Day 19 and I was not feeling very well at all, so was tucked up in bed, however had I got dressed on this day, I would be wearing 'Beatrice' apron pinafore from Sew Me Something. I slightly adapted mine to make it reversible so I have two dresses in one if you like. Perfect for holidays!
Day 20 and I'm feeling much better. So back to work and I'm wearing my upcycled men's shirt dress. This garment uses five men's shirts, which I cut up and made into a dress. A little quirky but I like it!
Day 21 and its Dungaree day, well pinafore but you know what I mean. Self drafted pattern with cheeky pockets using corduroy.
Day 22 and its your day to Vote. So off I go in my 'go everywhere' dress which is a vintage Simplicity pattern 7135. The material is a lightweight cotton that I got from Walthamstow market with Chinelo, in between filming episodes for The Great British Sewing Bee.
Day 23 to 26 - Festival Fun and feeling #snooty!
With the run up to the weekend, I was getting very excited.
Day 23 and I had upcycled an old bed sheet into what i'm calling my 'festival' dress. It has huge pockets in the side seams and a little pleat in the front with a scooped back. It's so comfortable and with it being a very old bed sheet from the 70's the fabric was not only amazing print wise but was super soft through god knows how many times through the washing machine!
Day 24, Kirk and I was heading down to London to meet up with my old school friend Emma Westwood, to go and watch 'Rooster' at Saddlers Wells. Both Emma and I studied dance at school. It was so amazing to get to watch this performance together and try and rein-act the performance after!
Day 25 and very tired as we didn't get in until two in the morning, Kirk and I say goodbye and head to Stevenage for Hogsozzle Festival. Armed with our matching upcycled poncho's and Band T-shirts, we prepared to get ready for our performance by part-taking in the Paint Fight! So much fun and it makes a great stage outfit!
Day 26 cold and wet as we camped over night, we crawled back to Birmingham in our tie dye t shirts and snooty pants. An improved look for the T shirt, I'm not so sure I looked so great! #hanging.
Day 27 to 31 - The last few days :(
Feeling well rested after the festival its now Day 27 and I'm up early as I have two workshops in Stratford Upon Avon at Sew Me Something. My first mixed group with adults and children, I wanted to look 'cool' so with my birthday moccasins on I teamed it up with my Pinafore and long sleeve vest. Workshop was awesome, so much fun and lovely students!
Day 28 and its a little chilly so I went with my light corduroy shirt dress. The pattern was from a sewing magazine I bought when I first started sewing, unfortunately I cannot find it to let you know the pattern name. Sorry everyone.
Day 29, so it has to be my upcycled shirt skirt. Made from two matching men's shirts. I wanted to look the part as I was involved in interviewing new recruits at my normal 9-5 job.
ITS FRIDAY and Day 30 so it has to be my snooty moustache shirt. Its a 1978 pattern by style 2465. The fabulous fabric I purchased online from Plush Addict.
And so my Me Made May 2014 comes to an end with Day 31.
This is a Tunic dress I made from the fabric Chinelo gave me while we were filming the Great British Sewing Bee.
After a few hours of filming Chinelo said that she has the perfect piece of fabric at home and it has my name on it! I thought she was joking when she said that but the very next round of filming and she presented the fabric as a gift. She is so lovely and kind hearted, I decided to use the material to make a tunic dress using a 1969 Style pattern 2521.
I used the off cuts to make my pockets for my Day 15 Skirt. It's such a treasured piece of fabric I wanted to make sure I used every last centimeter.
I hope you have enjoyed following my Me Made May adventure. I've really enjoyed wearing the garments that I had completely forgotten about. Those early items I made when I first started sewing compared to more recent makes (don't turn the item inside out you'll see the stitches - practice really does make perfect) . Even some of the fabrics have stories of their own. Can't wait to sew more memories!!! #sewingrevolution.
I want to hear about your Me Made Makes! Do you have garments that hold memories?
Its been two years since we (Kirk and I) have been on a holiday abroad for a sun break which was our honeymoon to Morocco in 2012.
With all the excitement and hard work of The Great British Sewing Bee all over, working full time throughout the period as well as starting up my #sewingrevolution workshops and gigging with SnootyBobs, which has been taking up pretty much each weekend, we were both in need of a break and some quality time together.
For our honeymoon, we originally wanted to go to New Orleans. Friend and family gifted dollar's as presents so we could go. However with Hurricane Isaac hitting the area hard in August 2012, our blues and food dream was not to be. With the dollar's burning a hole in our top draw and money being too tight to mention, we cashed in our dollar's and booked a last minute deal to Fuertaventura. At 26 degrees every day and an all inclusive break, it was exactly what we needed. RELAXATION.
It was a little scary going on holiday and leaving Tailor Taylor behind. Promising to keep my phone off (not that I had any reception anyway- sorry Kirk I did try to have a peak once), this holiday was for relaxing and replenishing only. Knowing that I cannot keep still for five minutes, I decided to take the book 'In Cold Blood' by Truman Capote and try to take up crochet. Armed with a little beginners guide and a brief five minute demo by a friend, I attempted to crochet. I was rubbish! Just couldn't get to grips with the instructions.
I could start a chain and singles but couldn't fathom the half, treble and double treble. I gave up and started to make it up.
I created what can only describe as a fisherman's net. Using three as the magic number, I made a couple of square nets.
I have no idea what they are going to be but I gave it ago.
If at first you don't succeed and all that .... as they say.
We bring the S.T.A.R's out.
Upon my return to the midlands at 02:00, it was straight back to work at 09:00 on the same day. On my previous blog, I had mentioned that I was involved in a project called S.T.A.R's. Saturday the 3rd of May was the competition date and I along with two others, Melody Harris and Mark Anthony were to judge three categories. Voice, Dance and Fashion!
It was so much fun, It was like 'Britain's Got Talent' but without the big red button.
Walsall has some serious talent! These kids were just amazing. We were completely blown away. Each person presented their track, performance and collection to a filled auditorium and in front of the three scary judges. We each provided critical feed back to each individual and also had to fill out a scoring sheet.
There were live camera's projecting the performance and our reactions on a big screen. It must have been so daunting for them. Me, I'm strangely used to it now, seeing myself from angles you don't normally see. Remembering the first episode airing on BBC2, it wasn't comfortable to watch.
First up was the voice category. We had singer/song writers, guitarist, covers. Classic and current music. There were some real stand out performances, I just wanted to get up on stage and sing with them, they were so good.
We had two dance performances, one street and one contemporary improvised. This brought back memories of High school, Northern Contemporary School of Dance of which I attended for a year before completing my BA Hons Degree in Dance and Visual Arts at Brighton Uni. How I miss throwing myself around a dance studio #feelingold.
The last category was Fashion, we had three collections to assess. Each had been given a brief to create a fashion collection by up-cycling and customizing old clothes to create a modern and edgy line. Boy did they do that, I needed to get some tips off them.
After four hours of performance and catwalks, it was our time to get down to some serious work. It was decision making time! One winner from each category. After a few difficult conversations we had decided on the winner of the fashion and dance. The tough one being Voice, we just couldn't decide on shortlisted three of the acts. We needed a TIE BREAKER!
We invited the three acts back on stage to provide them with a few words of encouragement before they gave us their final performance.
The hairs on the back of my head stood on end, they really gave it their all! With a little audience participation, we made our decision.
All the participants were awarded S.T.A.R medals and the winner's received a prestigious S.T.A.R. award and a monetary gift. It was a fantastic and very inspiring day. I believe they are already planning next years event so I do hope I can be involved again next year!
Upon my return from holiday and catching up on all the Social Media feeds. I came across #MMMAY2014 and straightaway thought what a great idea! What better way to show I'm committed to the #sewingrevolution than vow to wear my Me-Made clothes in May, my birthday month.
So here it is! My eleven days so far, posted every day on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I'm quite enjoying this one. Checking my wardrobe I'm not sure I have enough Me-Made items to get through the whole month, so this is a perfect excuse to make more!!!
Don't forget you can take part to! I'm still checking up on your#sewingrevoultion / Me-Made makes so please keep posting!
Sorry that this is quite a long post this week but needed to catch up on two weeks worth of shenanigans! Hope to see you here next week and have a fab Sewing Sunday.
Whatever I'm doing