Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas Day! Here are a few pics of my table cloth and napkin embroidery (which I finally finished on the 23rd – phew!). All patterns are from the excellent Doodle Stitching the Holiday Motif Collection book, which is really great value for money for anyone who likes to embroider for occasions.
It feels odd to think it’s all over and done with now, but I am looking forward to a new year full of sewing and craftiness and fun. Wishing you all the best in 2015 from Stitch Towers.
Christmas eve is almost upon us and here I have a festive feast for your eyes.
The Simplicity 2602 all made up and worn for my work Christmas party (and soon to be seen on Christmas Day!).
I know I’ve been a bit slack on the stitching over the recent months but I have fantastic news to share, I’ve been making changes to my life and will be starting a new post in my current job in the new year. It’s the perfect way to round of what has been a wonderful year.
That’s the main reason for the lack of updates and besides that I decided to literally work my butt off after I found myself in a position where I couldn’t fit into my beautiful pink boned dress that I made back in June. I’ve been working out day and night and haven’t been in this good shape for years, but enough of that, lets get on with this fantastically festive frock!
I have to confess that I made the choice based on something quick to whip up (relatively speaking) and the lack of messing about with sleeves when I knew how busy I’d be in the weeks running up to the date I needed to finish by.
I picked a medium weight cotton from Benartex (Let It Snow) available from Plush Addict. I went for a good 4 metres and I was very happy in the end that I did.
I pinned out the pattern and up came a quandary, mainly that the pattern doesn’t repeat itself often enough.
It meant a lot of pinning and re-pinning before cutting and I had to deal with the sides seams not matching (I decided the back was much more important due to the side closure and the split).
So after holding my breath and cutting while crossing my fingers and every available part of me (I don’t often sewing with patterned fabric!) it was done.
I pinned the darts and pinned to my dressform and was already very happy before I even started to sew it up. Sewing was relatively easy apart from the back, which I had managed to get a tiny bit out of sync.
Yet again my seam ripper became my best friend and I opted to sewing on the fold down the back rather than try (for the umpteenth time) to match the seam.
I don’t think you could obviously see it due to the pattern but decided even if you could I’d give myself a break and not give too much of a monkeys.
So on I went, and the rest was relatively easy, the split was a breeze and the side zip went in with ease. It seems that a break away for a while has done me some good. Eight and a half hours later and I was done, pressed and ready to go.
I wore at the office party, looking way more dressed up than everyone there BUT it’s Christmas and if you can’t wear a lovely sparkly dress for a party what can you wear it for? Here it is in all it’as glory!
Better photos to follow after Christmas day – wait until you see my hand embroidered napkins and table cloth!
Wishing you all a fantastic festive season, a wonderful Christmas Day and much love and happiness with your friends and family. I’m off to ice my ridiculously boozy cake!
Pop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post your books out asap! Congrats!
And big thanks to everyone who entered.
As of the new year I’ll be running my monthly vintage pattern giveaway again so keep your eyes peeled!
Apologies for the silence the last couple of months but my work load has been off the charts both in my full time job and my copy writing freelancing, but the good news is I am now free to sew and craft!
First off, I have picked the gorgeous fabric for my dress and riffled through my vintage patterns to find this stunning late 50s dress.
I’ll be making the pencil dress version, I would love to make the overskirt but I think it’s a little too fussy for the works christmas do.
The fabric is a gorgeous retro christmas pattern and the gold is metallic so shines beautifully under the light.
Only worry is matching the pattern but I have a good 4 metres so fingers crossed it wont be too much trouble, any advice gratefully received though – please comment below!
Secondly, I purchased the fabulous Doodle Stitching: The Holiday Motif Collection, which is just AMAZING. I can’t recommend enough to any Christmas crafters out there!
I have already traced some patterns for the tablecloth and napkins I’m working on for Christmas day. Updates to follow soon!
Thirdly, and finally, I am giving away two Christmas craft books this year:
The winner will be announced on 1st December, giveaway closes on the 30th November midday (UK time)!
I thought it was time I pushed myself away from the cotton and towards something a little slinkier, so when I saw Gertie was starting a slip sew along back in February I thought I’d give it a go. The massively underestimated my time so I only got around to it this week.
I opted for purchasing one of Gerties slip packs from Etsy as I thought it would save me a lot of traipsing about or online searching for the little bits and bobs and of course I went for yellow.
Yellow is my favourite colour because it’s the colour of sunshine, how can you NOT like yellow?
The main material is micro jersey fabric (poly/spandex blend) and the lace is stretch. I decided that I’d go for a contrasting yellow cotton while sewing as I like the effect it has on it, give it a little cheat style decoration. I missed the bows off because I didn’t really like them all that much, and much prefer the slip all plain Jane.
So off I set. The pattern was relatively easy to sew up and I was surprised at how easy it was considering all of the stretch in all of the fabrics. This would have taken me a day to complete if I’d had a whole day but it took me several nights and half a day in the end and I am very pleased with the result.
The only problems I had were with:
Double sewing the dart on the bust. One side, if you look really close up, doesn’t look as neat as the other, I had a bit of an incident with the slippy fabric but trying to go as slow as possible on the other side was fine. So less speed required from me in future.
The straps; it took my dyslexic brain a while to figure out which way round the straps were sewn once the extending fastening pieces were threaded through, I got there in the end though and this is the finished result.
Next up on my sewing table are the pants (we say that up north, rather than knickers, or panties across the pond).
Last weekend I made my way into town for a decoupage jewellery making class with the Ministry of Craft. This is the first course of theirs that I have taken, I have been aware of them for a while and finding myself at a loose end this weekend as Timbo was away with work, I thought I’d see what was on.
This was my first foray into decoupage; sure, I was one of those kids with a scrap book pasting in pictures from birthday and Christmas cards I’d cut out. A very clever and cheap way of keeping me and my sisters entertained when we were kids (well played Nana!) but I’d not even picked up the paste since then.
The course took place in the basement of Fred Aldous (again, I never even knew the classrooms down there existed – even though I’ve been in the shop several times) and we were met by Sam, the course tutor, who was extremely friendly and chatty and explained the process very well, guiding us through step by step and helping out where she could and was needed.
I chose some decopatch paper which was a map of Manhattan and got to work on covering a bangle, followed by a pendant and a brooch, all with different districts from the Island. I chose the garment district for my bangle, I thought it would be quite apt!
I really enjoyed the sticking and glazing process, even though I chose something which in the end turned out to be quite time consuming as I had to ensure that all of the sections of map lined up which meant applying them in small strips rather than chunkier ones, but in for a penny in for a pound.
I’m really pleased with the results and shortly I‘ll have a few bits and bobs for sale alongside my hairflowers, the proceeds of which will be supporting my ever growing adventure into sewing.
The workshop was well run, well supplied and expertly taught and I would have no problem recommending this to anyone who’s looking for a fun creative afternoon. For £29.50 you can’t complain as you get three items to take home (you’re shown how to build origami gift boxes too) and you get 10% off in the shop too – which is kind of worth it’s while but a note – Fred Aldous is known for being particularly expensive compared to online shops and other retailers.