Monday, 25 June 2012

Making Monday

As usual on a Monday I try and fit too much in. It's the end of my four days off and the world of teaching beckons me once more. Somehow I did fit in most of the things I planned. The clock ticked along good and slow which helped a lot.

I chopped a few half metre squares to add to my wares at this Sunday's Little Vintage Love Fair in Heydon. I was also thinking about adding a few to my etsy shop.  Let's hope the light's better on Friday and then I can get some good pictures of them rather than the fuzzy wuzzy light of today.

For a very (and I mean very) brief moment - the sun shone this morning. Alfie Blue lay by my side on his new doggie cushion. I'd saved up the fabric for an age and never knew what to do with it, then I realised it was the perfect way to pretty up the old pillow Alfie rests his weary head on in the kitchen.

Before I carry on with the rest of my Monday tale, I need to tell you I've finally sorted out my Craft it Forward once more. For all of you who already left your names on the original post, your names will go in the hat still. For any new readers who might want to take part I'll quickly remind you what's involved. Leave your name at the bottom of this post to enter and create a link from your blog back to this one to share the idea around. There will be two chances to win. I'm offering the choice of a Floral Posy brooch, a Whoopie Doo Pincushion or a Jolly Good Egg Cosy. Once I've sent your gift on, along with a few crafty bits and bobs, ot would be great if you could share the making around by setting up your own Craft it Forward too. End date is now Monday 2 July.

I spent a happy morning finishing up the dress I'd started for Miss Rosey on Sunday. She chose the purple sheeting which I'd thought would be ideal for Little Bun. Now they both want clothes in this so I might do a von Trapp family collection with a shirt or tie for Mr Bun and dresses for us three.

I used a free pattern I'd had a while, probably from a magazine that cost a fortune. Turns out it's a fabulous pattern. Easy to use, loads of useful dressmaking tips that I'd not known about and the best bit of all was that it actually fitted Miss Rosey like a glove. The relief of that was huge as most of my dressmaking adventures involve me making things far too big or too small and then having to make radical changes to the whole thing.

Mind you it wasn't all plain sailing to start with. I measured Miss Rosey and decided she would need a size 12. That's when I saw the pattern was size 14 - 22, so I had to scale the whole thing down as best I could. 

At nearly 12 and hitting 6ft 1" like her mumma, she's a blondie much slimmer version of the old gal. She's still very much a young girl still and so I struggle to find clothes that suit her individual style which is great already, aren't too grown-up and actually fit. That's why I re-discovered the love of dressmaking again.

Once I'd got all my pattern pieces chopped up it was fairly plain sailing. I did my own thing a few times too. I hate doing anything exactly as the instructions say and always want to go my own way. I added a pretty floral binding to the armholes, stitched a bow to the front (although I was originally planning a belt tied with one of my lovely vintage buckles) and folded the fabric out rather than in on the front to deal with the smaller chestiness.

I never learnt how to do any of this properly. I started off by cobbling together clothes and school uniforms for my Sindy and Sweet April. Mum knitted their jumpers which were so tiny it was a marvel to me how she managed to make them. Then after a run at art college printing tons of fabric, I needed to make it into something for my final show. My mum got out her ancient Singer and taught me the ways of the machine. I learnt how to make collars, cuffs, darts and waistbands all from just jumping in and having a go. It was all pretty thrown together. Mind you when you need a puffball skirt there and then to go clubbing that night it doesn't really matter if it's wonky and lined with an old duvet cover.

All these years on and I'm now trying to learn more about the art of dressmaking. Most things I realise I'm doing ok, but other stuff is a joy to find out and is making it so much easier for me.

Miss Rosey was thrilled with her dress when she got home. It still needed hemming which needed her to make sure it was short enough for her, but long enough for mummy! She loved making modelly poses and whirled and twirled.

I'm so proud of my first ever concealed zip and the fact that the dress actually fits. I'm definately going to be making more of these as it's a dream of a dress.

After my morning of stitching I ended up in a charity shop clutching The Far Pavillions DVD, some letraset sheets and a shiny shelac deer. Then a quick visit to the yarn shop, a coffee and a natter in there, before the school run, playing at the park and then tea. I think I managed to fit in all I'd hoped for.


  1. The dress is gorgeous- wouldn't mind one of those myself!
    Busy dress making myself at the moment but it doesn't come easy to me and I find myself forever unpicking, so something that should only take a couple of hours to make usually takes me a couple of weeks!
    Lovely to have you back by the way.
    Mrs. H
    : )

  2. What a gorgeous dress! I'd love to get into dressmaking as you get something unique.I think you should give the fabric on Etsy a go, see what happens.I've got pieces I buy to chop up, then when I get them home I umm and arr, and fold them up on the shelf- and there they stay!

  3. The dress is really stylish, and lovely that Miss Rosey appreciates having something unique. Being tall is great, but getting things to fit is a nightmare, as I well know.
    I cried buckets reading the Far Pavillions, it's a wonderful book, and nice and fat!
    Looking forward to coffee and cake next Monday!
    P x

  4. What a lucky girl to have a mummy who can stich such beautiful things! Have you tried Joe Browns for querky clothes? I am not 6'1 butI do have long arms and especially legs and find that they do quite a few things in a 'long' version.

  5. Lovely dress, I was put of dressmaking a school. It took me a whole year to make my orange 'rar rar' skirt, I was so fed up of it after all that time I threw it away without wearing it! :)

  6. So envious of your ability to 'see' 3-dimensionally and thus able to alter pattens on the hoof; my sister had this ability - in fact designed all her own. I always hated nedlework/dressmaking, had lousy teachers and don't possess the genes, I'm sure! I can do the flat stuff but frocks? - forget it! SO thankful I had boys...though perhaps a daughter might have brought out the latent courturier out in me!

  7. Your daughter looks fabulous in her new dress. Love the fabric.


  8. hello lovely that dress is absolutely beautiful!...I have a blue vintage dress that is very similar tho abit squeeeeeezy to get in to...i need to push loosing a stone on my belly n bust!...hehe x

  9. That dress is beautiful!
    Victoria xx

  10. You made that dress in a DAY? What???? Gosh it is lush, but not as lush as that ivine creature modelling it.


    ps Thank you for your chatty wonderful email. I'll make a cuppa and settle in for a reread and reply at the weekend

  11. That is beautiful is your lovely young miss Rosey. I'm enjoying still having a little helping hand in what my girls dress in - while it lasts.

    Oh gawd - I hope they don't go through a goth phase or even punk....can you imagine it.

    Nina xx

  12. You are just so talented - I could only dream of making anything more than cushions and bunting!! How tall??!!! I thought my son was tall at 5ft 8.5 at just 14!! Phew!!

  13. What a lovely dress. It fits Miss Rosey perfectly and she looks really pretty in it. Lily. xxx

  14. That dress is fabulous - how lucky Miss Rosey is to have you for a Mum with all your creative talents. My you're a tall pair -thought I was tall and I'm only 5ft 8in. Enjoy The Far Pavillions. The author of the book was a friend of my Mothers. Karen Xx

  15. What a lovely dress! I am really looking forward to Heydon this weekend and your beautiful stall!

  16. love your blog - just nominated you for " a lovely blog award"
    Sue :)

  17. WoW! You are so talented! That dress is gorgeous. Just out of interest, where do you sell your piles of fabric? I would love to buy that exact pile you have in your first photograph - fabric of my you have an Etsy shop I can buy some from? xx

  18. Thanks for your reply on my blog :D I love the sound of your pond..I have two now and both are proving to be a lovely addition to our garden! Would love to have ducks - what fun! I will definitely check by your Etsy today, I have added you to my favourites so I can keep up to date with your items. I must say you are very talented! All your knitted and crochet goods are charming. Love them very much! Will pop by your Etsy this eve to see what fabrics you have..YEY! x


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Bobo X

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