Friday, 15 November 2013

Upcycle old Pajamas into Christmas Stockings - DIY

Christmas will soon be here, I cannot wait, I just love celebrating the time with my family. It's the perfect time to wrap up in extra layers, snuggling up with a Massive mug of hot chocolate, watching Festive films.
Whist looking through my drawer for any clothes I could donate to charity I came across my old reindeer PJ bottoms, I don't even know why they were folded up and put away as they had a massive hole in them. (A classic sign of over eating during such a Joyful time, I seem to forget the counting of calories and scoff as much as I can, 'Because it's christmas' )

I really like the pattern on them, and just hate throwing things away, So I decided to turn them into stockings for my partner and my little boy.
I literally goggled Christmas stocking template then printed out the best one I could find and got to work.

At first I was going to put a white band around the top, but decided against it, I also kept the elastic, but decided tho throw it away as I was just hoarding and realistically never going to use it.
I also used a safety pin to turn the material inside out to make the tube for hanging up the stocking.
I did rush them, but I'm happy with how they turned out. The money I saved on buying new ones has paid for some extra stocking fillers.
DIY and save some money this Christmas by up cycling.
Do you prepare early for Christmas, or get all of your gifts at the last minute?

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Charity Shop + Bargains = Super happy

Don't be a stranger to charity shops, you can find some fantastic bargains. I used to be embarresed to go into them just incase anyone I knew seen me, but I have overcome this and now love to reveal my fantastic buys.

I thought I would show you a few things I found at my local charity shop today, as I took my little boy in so he could pick some books and toys. He gets bored of them very quickly so I don't like to pay full price for them unless it's for his birthday or Christmas.
He got a few thick books for 20p each and an electronic toy thats meant to go on the front of a baby walker for £3.50. He was very pleased, as was I when I took a peak in the crafts section, only to find a big pile of fabric. 'Get in there' I thought to myself.

As I am new to sewing, I thought I would spend less on my fabric as I'm bound to go wrong somewhere. So you can imagine my relief and excitment when I came across 4 Meters of Beautiful pinky/ Salmon coloured fabric for £3, Perfect for the Butterick B5605 Retro Dress and Belt pattern I purchased the other week.
Along with this I found 2 Meters of Yellow and purple floral Boussac Fabric for £1.50
I also impulse purchased some patterns which aren't amazing, but I like the crossover shape of the top And the skirt that comes in the 2 piece one, although I would prob hack most of the length off.

Does anyone have any ideas what I could make from the Floral fabric? I'm thinking a short full circle skirt for next summer. It's not very me, but I just picked it up because it was so cheap. lol.

Have you found any bargains in your local charity shop lately?

Related articles you may like:

Classic Style on a Budget... Inspired by Pearls

We all know some things are timeless, classic and very feminine. To me and most other women, Pearls fall under this category.

For many years our Style Icons have been seen wearing pearls, take Audrey Hepburn, need I say more?

I am on a journey, transitioning my style into classic and feminine, my aim is to slowly build my capsule wardrobe with key accessories and co-ordinating outfits, yet still keeping some patterned and beautiful colours that show my personality.
Most importantly, on a budget I can afford, hence the need to 'slowly' transition. Lets face it, if I had the money, I would have done it by now.

So I thought I would Share with you my Pearls, which you can see me wearing in my Completed Elisalex Post.

I Got them last Christmas and they are lasting far better than I thought they would.
For the price they are perfect, ideal for anyone, like myself, looking for classic style and beauty on a budget.

Argos 9ct Gold Fresh Water Cultured Pearl Stud Earrings
£16.99 211/9504
CURRENTLY £12.99 (Correct at time of posting)

In all honesty, Argos need to get better photographs because these do not do them justice at all. Also the ones in the video look silver, So not sure what product they are showing there. (Black background screen shot)
Again, you can see them being worn HERE.
They are the perfect small size, look very elegant and are an expensive creamy looking colour, unlike some cheaper pearls I came across.
They are currently on offer and I think I'm going to snap up another pair at this ridiculously low price.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Sewing Notepad Giveaway

I have a giveaway for my lovely readers.

Today while shopping in Sainsburys I found a lovely little notepad in the sale. As it was such a bargain I thought I would pick up another one to do a giveaway on my blog.

I'm going to use my little book to for inspiration pictures and to list patterns. Also, I'm trying to plan my blogging and sewing a bit better so I can be more consistent, so hopefully this will help.

So one lucky winner will get themselves 1 A5 lined notepad. It also has a little cute card pocket in the back for little scrap notes.

I would say anyone that enters has a good chance of winning as My blog is new and there may not be many entries. :)

Entries are open to any country, this is my first time using rafflecopter, so hope it works fine.

Good luck to everyone who enters.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween - Pay Day treats :D

First off, Happy Halloween everyone.


...'Umm, Treat Please'...

Yes, Lots of little treats as it's payday. I thought I would order some sewing goodies as it is my first pay since being a SAHM now I've started my new job.

I may have got abit carried away this morning, but Jaycotts currently have 50% OFF Butterick and newlook patterns, plus free shipping over £20. Some Lovely bargains under £3 to bulk out my collection.
Also, I ordered the Deer and Doe skirt the other day, but thought I would add it in this list.
I would really like to support more indie pattern designers, but thought I would pick up a few bargains while I'm learning.

So, whats in my cart?

Deer and Doe Chardon Skirt (This has been on my list for awhile now, I just love the  detail and that it's a french Indie company)
Newlook 6932 Toddlers and Child's Pyjamas (To make My Handsome little boy cute PJ's, Plus I keep shrinking my partners RTW's, turning them into ankle flappers, so I could re-use the material and make my boy some instead of throwing them out, lol)
Newlook 6211 Dress (Only want the Skirt pattern for this as it reminds me of Megan Nielsons Cascade)
Butterick B5605 Retro Dress and Belt (Really like the feminine shape and bow tie back)
Newlook 6899 Easy Skirt and knit top pattern (Mostly Want this for Tee pattern)

Will you be getting any Treats for yourself today?
Thanks for reading, Have a Fab Halloween.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Completed Elisalex dress By Hand London

Here it is, I have finally completed my Elisalex dress.
It's taken awhile to do the photos, mostly due to our weather and lack of daylight.
Also, I have now started a part time job and have less sewing/ blogging time than I did as a SAHM. I'm sure once I get used to it, I'll manage to schedule in time for creativity and regular posts.

So I used the Elisalex dress pattern from By Hand London. If you haven't already got this pattern, I would highly recommend it. It's the third pattern I have ever used, and as a beginner, I found it very easy to follow and the bodice comes along in no time at all.

You my have read about my progress here.
I done a FBA and used dylon for my mustard fabric, sticking with the original skirt pattern instead of going for the full circle skirt.

So, I'd like to say a big thank you to my Bro for taking the photos for me, also, we both agreed we disliked the background, but it was the only thing we had big enough for a backdrop. Just thought I'd clear that up.
'Thanks Marc' really appreciate your help and efforts in what little space we had to work in, and would like to thank my better half for being patient with me, with my rambling on in the evenings about what patterns and designs I like. Bless him, hehe.

(For my make up lovers: Highlighter - Vanilla, Lipstick - Girl about town, Both MAC)

Please excuse my cheesy poses and grin, I'm not really one for being serious.

Thanks for checking out my dress, I can't wait to sew more. Have you got this pattern in your collection?

Related articles you may like:

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Progress on my Elisalex

Although I haven't been posting on here much, I have been getting up to a lot at home away from my laptop.

I have finally made some progress on my Elisalex dress.

It's been a long week of muslins and changing my mind on the skirt way too much, I have been documenting as I go:

Measuring up at a UK 14 in the Waist and a 16 for the bodice, I started by making a muslin for the top half and after being pinned in by my partner, I realised I didn't have the 'Perky McKnockers look' and needed to go down a size with the full bust adjustment. So this was next on the hit list, I put it off for a couple of days because it looked confusing and as I'm a beginner it was a scary thought.
As soon as I sat down and read through the tutorial, it all started to make sense, and I'm really glad I took the time to read it as it's a brilliant skill to learn.

This was also one of the main reasons I wanted to learn to sew, finding a dress that would fit around my bust and waist correctly was rare, the FBA tutorial really breaks it down and teaches you how to adjust the pattern easily and gives you more confidence.

I also treated myself to a Prym sew and knit gauge to help me measure hems and seam allowances. It's a handy little tool which will help me alot. Please excuse my weight, it's a takeaway pot with some ceramic balls in. It does the job, but think I will be making some tins with dry beans in as an alternative.

Amy from SewsnBows helped me decide on Mustard as I wanted more of a neutral colour, which was greatly appreciated as I just couldn't decide. Thanks Amy :)

Check out my 'How to make mustard with Dylon Fabric Dyes'

Finally deciding on a colour, I went to get the supplies and started to get creative. I hadn't chosen what skirt shape I wanted so thought I would do that at a later time, then after dying my fabric for the bodice, I realised I wouldn't be able to make the exact match again (Major oops).
So I have had to find fabrics that might go with it.

I think this Emmie Fabric from Ikea matches well, but wanted to make the dress for winter time so I think I will make a dress with this pretty floral number in the spring. What do you think?
Hmmmm, Still what skirt to have? I used By Hand London's skirt tutorial to make a full circle template.

 Part of me really wants to make the original design, but not sure if I'm confident to pull it off. I have decided to use black with my bodice because I have loads left over from my Charlotte skirt.

Here's a very minimal sneak peak:
Don't forget to Check back soon to see the finished dress, what skirt do you think it will be?
Have you made the Elisalex?
Related articles you may like:
My Style....Patterns I'm crushing on...

How to make Mustard with Dylon Fabric dyes

I searched online for a tutorial of how to make mustard with Dylon and couldn't find it. So thought I would write up what I managed to create in hope that someone may need to use it too. Mostly because the little Dylon fabric packets are pricey and if you mix the wrong ratios, your colours will be ruined and you will find yourself heading back to the shop to grab more.

My little disclaimer: I'm am not an expert at this, just a creative woman dying some fabric, this colour and method worked for my fabric and you should always follow the instructions on the packet.
Also wear something dark just in case you splash some at yourself if your on the heavy handed side like myself.

This was the colour result I achieved:
Photograph taken in kitchen with natural light shining in through open doorway. (It was Raining..again)

The fabric I started off with was a plain white cotton from John Lewis. Please remember that if your fabric is coloured your results may vary. The colour you obtain will also depend on the fabric you are using and how much, so again please read instructions.

I used the hand dye Sunflower yellow and Woodland brown to get this colour:

I made my mixture up following the instructions, using the whole packet of Sunflower yellow, then adding roughly 1/3 teaspoon of Woodland brown as shown in photograph.
Add a little bit at a time to achieve the colour you would like, as it highly pigmented and the mixture turns it dark very quickly. It's easier to add more and impossible to take any of the dark out. So be careful and patient.
I also added a little test strip first to see what it would look like, then added my fabric (pre rinsed)
Here's a picture of the material whilst in the dye:

This was after about 10 minutes. Just remember to keep stirring it around gently to get an even colour. Also, after you have dyed your fabric and washed it. I would suggest tumble drying it. This will ensure it dries quickly, as I put mine through a long wash to remove all of the dye, then left it to dry overnight on a clothes horse. There were creases that made slightly darker lines across the fabric. It was only a little, but enough to notice it.
If your making mustard and needed to see some results, I hope this helps you. I am using this fabric for an Elisalex dress, which I will be posting about next.
If you have any questions just leave a comment and I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can.

Monday, 30 September 2013

My Style....Patterns I'm crushing on...

Well, when I started this blog, I knew I would do some sewing, although I haven't sewn much, I am really enjoying it. I have fallen for all of the beautiful fabrics and wonderful patterns. I thought my blog would be full of make up bargains, which is what I normally enjoy talking about. However, I feel sewing is starting to take over, and finally become a hobby I could stick to, well as long as I have the funds for the fabric. (I'm the type of person that keeps swapping around hobbies as I enjoy finding different ways to be creative)

I do enjoy looking the patterns, and would love to have them all, but some are just more me, and I would encourage you to look at the sites as they have a great variety.

I would say I'm late in writing about these as the patterns have been out for awhile now, but I am new to the world of sewing, so these are all new to me, and any other new sewers that may read this. I also want to show the ones I would most likely make to show my personality and style.

After searching around and browsing lots of patterns I have found soooo many I would love to create, here's a few I really would like to have in my collection:

(All images are copied from companies website and will include a source link)

 La Sylphide from PAPERCUT

UK can buy from SEWBOX, standard delivery price of £2.50, so if you are buying more than one from different companies it may work out cheaper to buy from this site.

I love that this Pattern can be used for a Dress, Blouse and Skirt. I feel you get a lot more for your money when you can make several items. I have an old over sized black chiffon blouse that I think I could use to make the top.

Blogger Inspiration for this pattern:

Elisalex from By Hand London
Ok, I have already bought this one, but wanted to include it as I haven't found the perfect material for it yet. Most posts I have read on this all say how amazing the bodice is to put together so I would like to make this with a full circle skirt attached to it.

 Blogger Inspiration for this pattern:


 Chardon Skirt from Deer and Doe (site in french, can translate at top left of page page)

I really like the Inverted box pleats on this skirt. It reminds me of an Oasis dress I wore to my sisters wedding.

Blogger Inspiration for this pattern:
Have you got any of these patterns? Don't forget to leave a comment with a link to your post.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Welcome back No7 Mousse Foundation

So I may be late in realising that the No7 Beautifully matte mousse foundation is back. Mostly because when I find a make up product I like, I am very loyal to it and will repeat buy. As they discontinued this Mousse foundation a couple of years back, I stopped buying from them. Sad to say, but true, it's just how I am.
Ever since No7 stopped selling this foundation I have been trying to find another product which I loved as much, I have tried so many brands such as Clinique and benefit, but I just couldn't replace it.

On my latest trip to the Mall I knew I needed to get a new foundation as I'm nearly out. I decided to go to the No7 stand to see if  the make up artist could get a good match from their colour device.
This is when I found out the mousse foundation was back. I'm so excited to have this back in my life, no more hunting around.
Even better is the new improved pot it comes in, a plain round one. Far better than the Glass bottle it used to come in, if any of you used this, you will know how much of a pain it was to get the mousse from underneath the lip of the jar.

This Mousse foundation is for normal / oily skin types and gives medium coverage. I feel it is so soft and easy to blend, giving a flawless finish.

Although this fantastic Foundation has made a come back, it's not getting the usual thumbs up from all the previous lovers. As I could tell from reading the ratings on the boots website the shades have changed and people are not purchasing because of this. Will No7 be able to turn this around? I hope so because it is such a great product that people are obviously missing.

It still gets 5 stars from me, I hope it doesn't disappear any time soon because as I have found out, it can take years to find a good foundation.

Have you tried this foundation? I have it in Cool Ivory, So glad this product is back.

Flo-Jo's knicker making kit completed

Last month I took a trip to Flo-Jo Boutique in Bristol, You can read about it Here.

Among my bag of goodies, I bought was a Knicker making kit, It's been sat up in my project pile for a few weeks now, so last night I finally got around to making it.

Here's what they turned out like:

This kit was £15, being totally honest, I would never buy a pair at that price in a store, however, I think this is a great little kit for beginners, you also get a template which you can keep, so If you want to make more, you can.

 Buying this little kit was perfect for me, it had everything in it which I needed to make the knickers. (Apart from the thread) which meant I wouldn't get distracted and pick up other bits that where unnecessary. I also got to practise using the zig zag stitch and using elastic which I have never used before. So I think I have gained some new skills by making these.
Above is an image of me testing my stitch to make sure it was the correct width to fit across the elastic.

The one thing I will say was that the instructions for putting the gusset in completely confused me. For any experienced sewer it may have been super easy to understand, but for me, I ended up guessing, but luckily it turned out ok.
When I purchased this kit, the lady said if I had any troubles I could give a call or pop in, however it was to late in the evening to do so, also my impatience got the better of me.

So here's what I done instead, it may have been right, but who knows, I still feel I done it differently:


I pinned the knicker patterns right sides together, with the gusset on top of the back piece, then stitched all three pieces together. Once I opened it up, it allowed me to fold the gusset back over onto itself, covering the seam underneath. I then pinned this in place to the front piece of the knicker pattern and began sewing the elastic around the edges as instructed. (Hope that makes sense)
 I pulled the knicker elastic to full tension whilst sewing, I wasn't sure if this would make it too tight, but it turned out fine. After sewing all the elastic on I stitched the sides together. I also skipped putting the bow on the front because I wanted the finished look without it.


 I'm not going to lie, my stitching was a tad wobbly, but practise makes perfect, and everyone has to start somewhere right?
To keep costs down, I think I will make these again when I can find some reasonably priced elastic, along with using scrap material from other projects, or upcycle any old clothes I no longer wear.

I hope this helps anyone else who gets stuck on the gusset section.

Related Articles:
Completed my Charlotte Skirt
Spoonflower projects in the works...

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Spoonflower projects in the works...

A few weeks back I found an online store called Spoonflower, it sells Beautiful fabrics, wallpapers and even gift wraps. As I am new to sewing, I was very overwhelmed when looking on here, there are just so many different designs that I have never seen before.
So although I am budgeting and being more sensible with my money, I must admit, I got sucked in by all the unusual pretty designs and I had a little splurge. Whoopsie.

Have you been on their site?

I've been waiting for my material to turn up, then on Friday a little note dropped through the door just to tell me I needed to take a trip to pick up my parcel and pay a customs charge.
Fuming was not the word, I was a tad bitter as most of the fee was just the royal mail charging me so that they could stick a label on my parcel to tell me I owed them money. So just beware of this before you order as you could be left out of pocket.

All of my frustration for the customs charge soon went away after I opened the parcel and set eyes on my beautiful fabric... I'm well chuffed and can't wait to get sewing.

Along with my 2 pieces of fabric I order a material swatch booklet and colour chart.

The first fabric I selected was the stained glass pencil skirt by thesummercountry on cotton poplin.

The designer had two versions of this skirt available, one had an old style manuscript across it which I really adored, however I thought the colours in this skirt would allow me to wear it with more, especially with the bright and dark contrasting, I feel I would be able to style this Skirt in the summer, then maybe in the winter with some thick black tights. What do you think?

Then next on the list was Toothy the tooth fairy by Sammyk again on cotton poplin.

I can't wait to make this plush tooth fairy teddy, mainly because I know it's going to be easier than sewing the skirt, but because its just so cute. Again, I may have got carried away with buying this. My little boy hasn't even got all of his teeth through yet so It's going to be awhile till they start to fall out, but I just couldn't resist.

Here's a few picks of the packaging, material swatches and colour chart:

Before I get sewing the skirt I am going to make a Muslin like I did with my Charlotte skirt, I just hope it fits me and can't wait to see what it looks like on. I've done a lot of searching and cannot find a pick of anyone wearing it. If you've spotted it on a blog, please leave a link in the comments box, it would make me super happy and grateful.

Have you ordered anything from Spoonflower lately?

Don't forget to check back soon for updates on Toothy and the skirt.