Monday, 31 August 2015

... Christmas Crafting

I know it's still only August and the C word should be banned until December but I realised that in order to get anything made between now and the big day I at least need to start putting a plan together now or nothing will get done.

I will confess that I am a full on Christmas lover, I try and have a different theme each year, poor old hubby just sits back with a bemused look on his face while I get myself in a tizzy over whatever is this years big idea.  Last year drying orange slices featured quite heavily with varying results but beautiful smells around the house and I might have to have another go this year because I didn't feel like I quite nailed it.

We rented a cottage last year and spent the 23rd of December going round all the charity shops in the area to try and find a Christmas tree and ended up with this beauty for a fiver, it was returned to another charity shop on our departure, that to me is proper recycling.  The " magnificent"star was made from a few twigs collected from the back garden of the cottage.  I sewed a few decorations from kits which I brought with us, I tried to keep it simple using things like wooden star shaped gift tags instead of baubles and used ribbon and raffia to fill some of the gaps.

So all in all I like Christmas and I like making things so I was looking for a Facebook group to join that combined the two and couldn't find one so I created my own Christmas crafting  the aim is for it to be a place where crafters can share their makes, ideas, get inspiration, ask for help, give support or take it to wherever the group want to go. If this sounds like something that you would like to be part of come and join us.

Do you know of any similar Christmas crafting groups?

Sunday, 30 August 2015

..Betty Grables pin curls

With the Goodwood Revival only two weeks away I have been seeking inspiration for my hair and makeup.  I follow  Va Voom Vintage blog and Brittany has been supplying me with  a constant stream of hairstyles to feed my imagination.

This post clicked with me and this morning I had a little go at my own version, i don't know if this is a little more Hilda Ogden than Betty Grable, but I have a little time to improve on it

Jean Alexander as Hilda Ogden

Jean Alexander as Hilda Ogden

Betty Grable looking stunning

betty Grable small Victory roll updo

Yep a lot of practice or a team of hair dressers is required! 

 I have been collecting my ideas on Pinterest and it is interesting for me to look through at the different things that have caught my eye and have warranted them being pinned on to my 40s and fabulous/ board, the purchase of the jeans below lead to a flurry of activity yesterday!

I picked up these wide legged jeans from Next, even in the petite size I need to add a turn up, which works in my favour as it gives them a nice 40's/50's rockabilly style.
Wide Legged Jeans From Next

I haven't sorted out my my walkaway dress yet, I feel my enthusiasm for it waning, I think if it were a sunny day it might have helped, but this dreary weather just makes me want to drink tea and snuggle on the sofa.

If you have any great vintage hair tutorials on your blog please leave me a comment and I will pop over and have a look.

Now tine for more tea

Monday, 24 August 2015

... my walkaway dress

I finally finished my walkaway dress, but I am rather disappointed with the end result.
Walking away from my walkaway dress

Once again I don't think I cut the right size, as I started assembling the dress it became apparent that the waist line was far too low so I took an inch or so out at the shoulders to lift it up and it seemed to have worked.  However, when I attached the bias binding the already wide neck it  has moved out and is both wide and baggy.
Baggy neckline in need of help

The under arm area gapes and is exposing quite a bit of bra, I was experimenting with the use of safety pins as a means of holding things in place and that sorted out the underarm issue to an acceptable degree, but the neckline has me flummoxed and I would be grateful for any suggestions on a remedy, quick fix or alternative ideas.  I don't think the fit issues are helped by the design of the dress, the back has the full weight of the circle skirt so it has a natural tendency to pull towards the back which kind of disturbs the balance of the overall garment.
side view of the gaping arm area

I do love the floaty full skirt and I am so please that the fabric drapes exactly as I had imagined when I chose it . The other thing I loved about this project was making the bias binding, but because it was my first attempt and a bit uneven I chose to hand sew it and I don't know if that added to the problems around the neckline?

 So ultimately I have mixed feelings at the end of this, I don't know if I should try and convert it to a walkaway skirt or brave it out and wear it as it is, I do have a nice cardigan I could put over the top!

I have to turn this around pretty quickly as we are on count down for the Goodwood Revival, its only a couple of weeks away now!

Sadly this was my first vintage make for 2015 vintage sewing pattern pledge I don't think that the pattern being vintage has anything to do with my woes, however the instructions were rather brief compared to what I am used to.


Whatever your ideas and thoughts are on this please leave me a comment I need help and inspiration in the bucket load.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

.. Dottie Angel's Simplicity 1080 at a bargain price

One for the UK sewers Simplicity Patterns Uk are having a one week sale plus there is free P&P for this limited period.

It includes the greatly anticipated Dottie Angel's dress which I am kicking myself for jumping in and buying last week,  I have fabric in mind and just need to finish about 3 other projects before I can get cracking on this one.

For those of us participating in the Vintage Sewing Pattern Challenge 2015  there are plenty of reproduction vintage patterns to choose from.  This one caught my eye and made me smile at the thought of my hubby face if I wore view D with extra frills!

If like me you are fairly new to this sewing malarky there are plenty of easy makes to select from.

For those friends outside of the UK have a look at your local site you might be in for a treat too.

DISCLAIMER - this post is not sponsored by Simplicity, I just wanted to share what I thought was a good bargain.

 Try not to buy too many and if you do make a purchase (or 2) share the pattern number so we can all see what your plans are.

Friday, 7 August 2015

...Lacock door furniture

Browsing through the photos I took on our recent visit to Lacock in Wiltshire and I noticed that I had snapped quite a few examples of door knobs, letter boxes and door knockers.  Being  a National Trust village everything is under very strict control and I do take my hat off to the folk who live there, not only is their choice in decor limited they must also out up with crowds of tourists flocking down the streets, peering into their homes, not to mention the odd TV crew popping up every now and again, I suppose the reward is that you get to live in one of the prettiest villages in England.

I do like the lion's head door knocker but I think it would be a bit too majestic for the front door of our little suburban semi.

Have a good weekend folks what ever you are up to, will it involve sightseeing, sewing or something else?

Sunday, 2 August 2015

...recycled paper play

When we returned from holiday I brought back a book from the apartments we were staying at as I hadn't finished reading it, I left behind two that I had brought with me so I felt that it was fair.  This was no extraordinary book it was Wicked by Jilly Cooper, but I do feel committed once I start reading something to make it all the way through to the end.  However, there was something special about this particular edition to me, I knew I was the last person who was going to read it. towards the beginning of the book two pages had become dislodged from the spine and while I was on the beach the wind blew and took them away.

As I approached the end of the book I thought oh I'll just drop it in the recycling bin, but then I thought why not have a bit of fun, so I created a page in my Pinterest account called paper play and put up a few ideas.   My criteria was it had to be quick and simple to make, didn't require me to buy anything else and something  I could accommodate into my home easily and here are the results

WARNING - Jilly Cooper novels are quite saucey, I have viewed the photos and don't think there is anything offensive in there, please let me know if you spot anything and I will remove the  photo.

A floating hearts mobile

Decorated gift tags or confetti

Decorative envelope bunting

They were all fun to do and quick to execute, I have hardly made a dent in the book so I will keep it for a short time and try a few more activities.  I think the envelopes are my favorite and have definitely potential to be made into an advent calendar.  I think I would choose a book who's material was more in keeping with the project, then you could highlight key words or sentences.

 Which is your favorite?  have you re-purposed any old books? can you suggest any other projects for the remaining pages?