Me rocking the elephant print Chantilly
Well I’ve finally finished it!!
I’m so excited about this dress. It’s in one of my all time favourite fabrics from my stash, by Michael Miller and I’ve been fantasising about a dress in it ever since I saw Alexandra King’s wonderful dress in the window of Millie Moon in Wells.
Dress by Alexandra King, seen in the window of Millie Moon, Wells.
Alexandra makes THE most beautiful dresses! Here website is here, but be warned if you’re anything like me you’ll be swooning and wondering how you’ll ever save up for a whole Alexandra King wardrobe!!
Anyway, I digress…This is my first proper project that I’ve done all on my own with no tuition and me being me I had to start with an intermediate pattern didn’t I? Its the Chantilly dress from Colette Patterns. You can buy it from Millie Moon here.
In all honesty the making up wasn’t too tricky. The main issue was with the lining as I ended up with the zip opening on opposite sides on the shell and lining. It would have been fine if I put the lining in with the raw seams to my skin, but I wanted the ‘right side’ of the lining to sit against the skin so that all the raw edges of the lining and shell were sandwiched together. So, I unpicked and remade.
Then on finishing, it was way too big!! I mean massive. One of the things I’m really rubbish at is fitting things before/as I sew. This wasn’t helped with this dress as you can’t really fit it without the yoke added to the bodice, which comes last! In the end the dress was so massive I decided I’d have to unpick the whole thing and cut it in a smaller size. I made up a new bodice in calico (which I should have done in the first place!) and settled on 2 sizes smaller! The neck yoke still wasn’t sitting right on me so I managed to pin this and adjust the pattern piece, to give a great fit for me around the neckline. I was particularly pleased with this as it’s the first time I’ve had to adjust a pattern piece 🙂 After this it was just sewing it all up again which was fairly straight forward. I didn’t recut the skirt, as this was just gathered more into the smaller bodice, giving a lovely fuller effect.
All in all it’s not perfect, but I’ve learned lots from this make and feel so smiley and proud when I put it on! I’m moving on to the Violet blouse now 🙂
So, I was hoping today that I’d be writing a new blog post for you all about my latest make, a Colette Chantilly made up in some amazing fabric by Michael Miller with pink elephants on it. I got the fabric from the fabulous Millie Moon shop in Wells. They also have a store on Catherine Hill in Frome, or you can buy online.
The fabric’s been in my stash for a while now so I don’t know if they will have any left but you might be able to buy online.
Unfortunately the garden has taken over my life this weekend leaving less time for sewing than I’d hoped for. I also just got to the point of attaching the lining to the main dress and have hit a problem. At this point I decided to leave it for another day!
As a little teaser though I thought I’d leave you with this picture, and hopefully next weeks post will feature the finished dress, finally!
So this week I’m so excited to share with you my latest acquisition. The adjustable bias binding presser foot! This is a Husqvarna Viking foot as that’s the machine I use but a quick Google search and I can see there are universal ones and other brand specific varieties too. Try Jaycotts or if you have a Husqvarna machine I got mine from Sew Essential and the service was really good.
I can’t tell you how excited I was when I discovered such a thing existed! I love to finish seams and occasionally hems with bias binding and use it when making petticoats (50’s style!) and it’s always such a chore to get it to sit nicely and have a straight, neat seam.
This presser foot makes the whole thing just a dream. You just feed in your bias binding, folded into the runners and insert your fabric into the middle slot, carefully feed it into the machine and there you go, perfect binding 🙂 The plastic section on the bottom is adjustable to accommodate different widths of binding and then theres a slidey screw (I’m sorry I don’t have the technical term) at the top which determines in part how close your needle will run to the edge of the binding.
Insert the binding
The picture above shows the binding sat in situ. The fabric would slot into the left middle channel. I hope that makes sense? You do have to be careful about feeding it in as I’ve found the fabric can slip out the left a bit if you’re not careful and then doesn’t get caught in the binding but on the whole it’s SO much easier than doing it traditionally. Personally I set my needle a little to the right to make things a bit easier, but you end up with this as the end result. Perfectly stitched bias binding 🙂
Do let me know in the comments if any of you guys have used this or have any tips for how to sew perfect bias binding. I’d love to know. xx
Sorry I’ve not blogged for a while but work has been its usual horrendous self, and then Christmas festivities have been upon us! Speaking of which I hope you all had an amazing Christmas! Mine was very quiet and small….just what I like. I got tickets to visit Downton Abbey in April….how excited am I????
Anyway….I digress…. I have been wanting to share this little fellow with you for a while. He is my first foray into the world of teddy bear making! Some of you may have seen a similar looking little chap on the cover of Mollie Makes magazine a couple of months ago. Mollie Makes October 2012
The feature was written by a wonderful teddy bear maker Yvette Spencer who runs a website at Lavender Bobs
I was rather taken with the little fellow and as my Mum adored bears and collects them I decided I’d have a go. I tweeted Yvette and she was so helpful, suggesting sites to go to for supplies etc. In the end I used a UK company, Mohair Bear Making Supplies where I managed to source everything I needed for the project.
All in all it was fairly straightforward. The best way to explain it would be ‘fiddly’ and it definitely needs a lot of patience! I found turning out the sewn pieces really tricky as they were so teeny but with a lot of patience we got there in the end. Winston has a slightly wonky ear and leg but I think that gives him a bit of character!
My Mum was thrilled with him and couldn’t believe he was handmade by Moi. So, all in all I was thrilled with how everything went. Winston is now residing in a cabinet in Wiltshire with lots of new bear friends.
Hey Guys, I just thought I’d check in and update you all on our first craft fair! It was today and very interesting. Not a massive success, but interesting but to be honest it has been one hell of a week!
We decided to do the fair at short notice so it didn’t give me much time to get making! Add to that I was really poorly all of last weekend and have been away with work nearly all week too, it was all getting a bit stressful. But, I thought that would be fine, as I could have a lovely crafty day on Saturday. Then a drunk driver smashed into our wall on Friday night and that was Saturday gone in a blur of insurance phone calls, council phone calls and a clean up operation. It’s a long story…….
However, luckily my partner in crime had been very busy with the sewing and the decoupage so added to my jewellery makes and homemade fudge our table didn’t look too shabby (a very good job it wasn’t a big table!).
My friend did quite well and particularly popular were her gingerbread jars. She’s layered all the dry ingredients for gingerbread into a jam jar with instructions on how to make and what you need to add and they were a real hit.
As for me it didn’t go too well. I sold a few bags of fudge but not one piece of jewellery. Lots of people liked it but wouldn’t buy. It was interesting though and I think it just wasn’t pitched right for this venue. It was a Christmas fair and not really a craft fair as such which meant that lots of people has jewellery for sale that was a bit more mass produced and much cheaper. It’s also not a particularly affluent area either.
However I am not deterred! We’ve decided that we probably need to aim towards some of the artisan markets that run locally. These are in known ‘crafty’ towns so attract a different clientele looking specifically for handmade items, and hopefully who are expecting to pay a bit more for a handcrafted item. We plan to do some more fairs starting in the spring next year. I’m really excited about it!
At least all the bits I bought in to make things for the fair means that everyone will get a little handcrafted goody in with their Christmas pressie this year. I can also start thinking towards the spring and start making early, so that hopefully next time the preparations won’t be so stressful.
I think the main thing though was that we both really enjoyed it and had a lovely time manning our little stall and a good afternoon girly gossip! I will also try and get a few piccies up for you too, so you can get an idea of what we’re up to 🙂
So, a friend and I are running our first craft stall next weekend at a local hotel. It’s all come around rather quickly to be honest and is one of those things you can’t really say no to, but also don’t really have time for!
I’m very busy trying to get jewellery made up, conjure festive bunting up, make yummy goodies, and also make other bits and bobs like scented pillows and hearts for the stand.
This is our test run really so we’re trying to keep it simple. If we enjoy it then we’ll definitely do more and I have lots of ideas for other lovely things we can make and sell when we have a bit more time. It’s my dream to turn my crafty passions into my income and this may be the first small step towards that goal. It’s very tough trying to do it while working full time as well though. Still I am determined!!
Anyway, if you live in the area why not come and see us next Sunday, December 2nd (Oh my goodness how did we get here so quickly??) at the Centurion Hotel, Midsomer Norton, Somerset for Santa’s grotto and Christmas Fayre? Its running from 12 ’till 4pm and entry is free 🙂
I will let you know how we get on next week but in the meantime I’d better go and get my sewing machine fired up 🙂