Sunday, 17 March 2013

Jumping on the bandwagon!

Like just about everyone else I was horrified about the closure of Google Reader (umm, until I realised that I actually read blogs through Blogger rather than Reader).

But obviously lots of people are swapping over to other readers so I've added an RSS feed widget which I think should work across sites like Feedly, and also a Follow on Bloglovin' button. Please let me know if you have issues using either of them! Hope whatever you are swapping to works well! Still pretty tempted by Bloglovin' and not impressed by Google's attitude towards their customers, so perhaps I'll swap in the future.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The not so International Craft Swap!

I'm part of the International Craft Swap organised by the lovely Rachel from House of Pinheiro.

The rules are really simple - Rachel has paired everyone up according to likes and interests, and we have to get to know our partner via email, their blogs and social media, and make something with a nautical theme to be sent along with a small gift.

The nautical theme fits really well with some of the fabrics I have stashed, so I will hopefully be able to follow the optional rule of using stash fabrics.

As it turns out, my lovely swap partner, Mrs M from MrsMMakes lives about 8 miles away from me!  So not that international, but with the added bonus of being able to meet up, perhaps for the present swap.

I have been lurking her blog for inspiration and she makes jewellery, papercrafts, stained glass, books, the list goes on!  She's just taking a class to learn to sew and is working on a cute Jasmine blouse.  I am very lucky to have been paired up with such a talented lady.  We also share the same love of purple - weirdly her bridesmaids dresses are almost identical to mine!

I have had a great idea which I hope I can execute as well in real life as it looks in my head!  I'm going to take pics as I go so if it works well I can post my first tutorial.

Check out MrsM's blog for loads of fab crafty inspiration!

Thanks for organising such a great swap Rachel.  I can't wait to get going!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Mad men challenge - dress inspiration

I've been really looking forward to Julia Bobbin's Mad Men Challenge.

When I started sewing garments and reading blogs last year, everyone was participating and I was too new to sewing and still losing weight, so I didn't enter.  But this year I am definitely in!

I've had a pinboard since Julia announced the challenge in January.  I pinned loads of dresses and patterns, but only a couple really stuck in my head.
I have finally chosen the dress i am going for. I was keen to pick something I would definitely wear in future - much as I love a Joan-style wiggle dress or a full-skirted Betty frock complete with petticoats, they aren't all that compatible with my usual daily life or work/ commute/ sit on floor playing dolls with 4 year old!

So it was always going to be one of Peggy's dresses for me. I need it to be a bit cake like - not totally frosting! I love her peter pan collars and subtle patterns or solids.  I also wanted one that I haven't seen too many different versions of. So I picked this one:

Source:  Vanity Fair
  It's a lovely plain navy dress with inverted box pleats with lovely flashes of red inside them. It's a quite high at the neck as is common in vintage dresses from around that time I have tried. And by a happy coincidence I think I have a great start point for the bodice - the ubiquitous New Look 6000 aka the polkadot frock!

Source:  Pattern Review

 I bought the pattern planning to do Scruffy Badger's sewalong but the pattern was out of stock until mid February and I ran out of time. I'm thinking view E bodice with the short sleeves (on view A) - the slightly lower neckline will work better for me. And I'll draft a skirt. I have found a tutorial for the pleats and inserting the contrast panels.

You can see on this one that it's actually navy rather than black as I had originally thought:

And on this image, the cute buttoned side tabs are clearer - ideal that NL 6000 has a centre back zip.  Although I am now taking a closer look and realising the side tabs are actually a belt!

Can anyone help on how big the skirt should be? Am thinking maybe a half circle? I also need to choose fabric. Would you go for a stable knit or a woven (as the pattern works for wovens or doubleknits)?  Would the pleats work in a knit or would I be better to go for a woven?  Any help/ advice much appreciated!

Oh, and I'm now on Twitter and loving it!  You can follow me on the side bar on else find me on there @jolittletime