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.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Completed My Charlotte Skirt

I'm planning on putting together a capsule wardrobe with classic garments that can be mixed and matched to create several different outfits.
If you've read my previous post on replacing my favourite skirt, you'll know that I've been planning on sewing the Charlotte skirt from By Hand London.

Well this past week I am pleased to say I have completed it.

I was planning on sewing the version with the ruffles along the bottom, however, I realised that now I have been blessed with having a child in my life, I will be running around after him and thought it would be more practical for me to go for the plain version.

After measuring, tracing and cutting out the pattern, I started by making a muslin from 1M of cotton fabric (BOMULL) which I purchased from Ikea which was only £2 Per Metre.

I am so glad I did, I haven't sewn for a long time, and this is the first pattern I have ever used and I managed to balls up my muslin when taking it in to be more fitted. So, I didn't waste my £11 Per Metre Fabric I had purchased for the final skirt.

I have also never put in a zipper in my short time of sewing, as you may of guessed, YES, I'm a beginner.
On a trip to John Lewis my mother bought me the Janome zipper foot as a gift to help me along, it's a must and worth every penny. I completed the zip very quickly and was overly impressed, it allows you to get very close to the zip and gives a more professional finish.

Here's my little Beauty in action.
I also Unpicked the zip from the muslin to use on my skirt so I didn't waste money. It was well worth practising and I feel so much more confident about inserting the zipper now, although I must say it's not just down to my zipper foot, but the FANTASTIC TUTORIAL on how to insert an invisible zipper from By Hand London.

With my muslin in the past, and my mistakes rectified, I couldn't wait to get started on my final skirt. I used a black cotton canvas from John Lewis to make it, for my first go at sewing a pattern, I'm very pleased with the result, I took 7 inches from the length and added a 4 inch split at the back of the skirt:

Please accept my apology for the lack of quality of the photos, I initially had the pics taken outside, but it started raining during posing time (typical British weather for you). 




So what do you think? Have you made the Charlotte skirt? I will definitely be making this again, it gets a big thumbs up from me. Hmmm, what to sew next....
 Please note: All items were purchased by myself to create my new skirt. :)

Make your own Miniature toiletries for holidays, gym and visiting relatives for £1

The cost of buying your toiletries soon adds up by the time you get to the checkout. So if your going on holiday, visiting relatives for the weekend or just a gym bunny, then these Ikea bottles will be perfect for saving you money.

These fantastic 100ml bottles are very strong and the best quality I have found so far. They also have an excellent squeezy flip top lid which I prefer, it's so much easier than trying to unscrew a lid while your hands are wet in the shower.

I went on holiday recently, I used these as they are the perfect size for me to pop into my suitcase without it weighing too much.

So forget buying ridiculously priced miniatures again, just grab your big bottles from the bathroom, and get filling.

Also I used some sellotape to label the bottles, at first I was going to use a permanent marker, but they are such strong bottles you can wash them out and re use them, so in case you want to change whats in them, you can just pull off the tape and label them again.

Get these funky coloured bottles for just £1* for a set of 4 from Ikea.

*Ikea Family members get the Upptacka bottles for £1. Regular price £2.
So don't forget to register for your family card so you don't miss out on regular offers.

Save money by making your own Birthday celebration cake

Save money learning how to make your own cakes for those special occasions.
Birthdays, anniversaries, you name it, this sponge cake is perfect to suit all occasions.

For my boys 1'st birthday party I wanted him to have a 2 tier mickey mouse cake, I knew someone that would do it for £50, but there was part of me that just wanted to make it myself.

I personally feel learning to bake is an essential must for all parents, as a child I loved baking cakes with my dad when I went to visit him on the weekends. They didn't look amazing, in fact they looked more like volcano cakes, but they were yummy to eat and it was so much fun spending time with him doing something we both enjoyed.

Researching for easy cake recipes online, I came across one that looked so simple, I knew I couldn't mess it up.

The cake is perfect as you have to bake it a couple of days in advance and it still keeps its fresh moist taste, giving you plenty of time to decorate it.
I crumb coated the cake in butter cream and coloured white fondant icing with food colouring gels. (Apart from the red and black as it's best to buy them ready made or they colours will be dull)

One thing I will say is make sure you get someone to lift the rolled fondant onto the cake as I kept poking my fingers through and had to re roll several times until I finally asked for help.
I Used an edible glue to stick the cut outs to the cake.

Save more money by looking online for cake tins and cutters rather than buying them from your local baking shop as they tend to be more expensive. I purchase a mickey cutter from eBay which I can use for making cookies.

You may feel that it is costing you lots for the first cake if you have to buy the tins and cutters, but don't forget these will last you for years to come,  there will be plenty of birthdays and special occasions requiring your delicious cake.
You can always ask any friends or relatives if they have cake tins you can borrow, that way you will save even more money.

This recipe creates such an excellent sturdy cake, it's great for carving and making castles and all sorts of shapes.

Click here for recipe and reviews: FOOLPROOF SPONGE CAKE

It was a few months ago now, but here is my little boy on his 1st birthday with his Mickey Mouse cake I made using the foolproof sponge recipe.

I wish you the best of luck creating your cake, and don't forget to leave links to images of your cake in the comments box.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

By Hand London Charlotte skirt to replace my favourite

If you have read my Wish / Achieve list for September 2013 then you will know I have been holding on to my favourite River Island skirt for several years now, even though its 3 sizes to small for me and the zip wouldn't budge even if I wanted to humour myself in trying it on. I just cannot part with it because it was so flattering on me. I have decided to sew a new skirt to replace it.
Here's a photo of it for you:


I searched online for what seemed a long time and found the perfect replacement design for my new skirt. The Charlotte skirt from By Hand London, with an added bonus of a sew along on their site I just knew it was meant to be.

Have you sewn the Charlotte skirt? Don't forget to leave links to your finished skirts in the comments box below.


I will upload as soon as I have made progress on my skirt, for now you can check out By Hand London website to see what the finished design looks like.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Wish List / Achieve Sept 2013

What do you lust for? Do you enjoy window shopping, or the easy joys of online shopping with many items at your fingertips?
I must admit, I do like having a browse online when I have some spare time.
Well, I have decided to do my wish lists combined with things I would like to achieve. It may be a goal that is ongoing, or perhaps one I can do before the month is over.

September 2013

Become more organised:
Do you find yourself unorganised? Darting from one room to the next, then forgetting what you were meant to be doing. This is my problem, unless I have a list to keep me focused.
This month I am to complete a structured Chore/ cleaning chart to help me stay organised around the home.
How do you keep your home organised? If you have an article on how you keep your house in good order, please leave a link in the comments box below.

Photography skills:
I'm going to challenge myself to take more creative photos, developing my skills overall. Hopefully you will see an improvement in my pictures soon.

Hair improvement:
Oh the vanity, I'm going to start doing articles on growing out my natural hair colour. I am a recovering hair dye-a-holic, this may be the only thing to keep me focused and stop putting drug store chemicals on my hair.
Obviously this will take a few years, so I am going to set some aims.
My first goal is to continue my super improved routine, then when my hair reaches a certain length, I can have a fringe cut.
If you have a post documenting your growing out, please leave a link in the comments box. It will be really appreciated.

Skirt - Develop sewing skills:
My all time favourite skirt has been stashed away in the drawer for well over a year now. I've owned it for about 4 years, I just can't seem to part with it. It's currently 3 sizes to small for me, the zip is broken, yet I still have it hung up.
I just love the shape of it, it was very flattering on me. Although it doesn't fit me I have kept it because I wanted to find a tailor that could recreate it for me. However, I have decided to dive in at the deep end, cut out the middle man (or lady) and make it myself.

No Spending:
Ok, so I can spend a little, I am going to find more fun things to do as a family. The aim is to find outings that cost very little or are hopefully free.