Friday, 7 June 2013

You lovely lovely people...

I have been lucky enough to be awarded not one but two Leibster blog awards!  First of all (and shamefully before I went on holiday!) I was awarded it by the lovely Emmie of My Oh Sew Vintage Life - sorry it's taken me so long to accept Emmie!  She is a lovely lady with fab vintage style (check out those victory rolls!).  And more recently by the amazing Rehanon of MissDemeanour.  Rehanon is a Brighton-dwelling ball of sewing, running, creative energy.  If you haven't seen the She Hulk costume she made to run a 10k in recently you are in for a treat!  Thanks so much ladies - it means a lot!

The Leibster award (in case you don't know it by now!) was started to help blogs with less than 200 followers gain more exposure.  So I have to answer 11 questions from my nominator(s!), give you 11 random facts about me and nominate another 11 blogs for the award!  So I thought I'd do both sets in one post and one set of nominations if that's OK!

So Emmie asked:

Whats your most favouritest thing you've ever made? 
My Mad Men dress without a doubt. It's the biggest departure from a pattern I've ever done, and with the help of the Sewcialists on twitter, the best fitting dress I've made.  I learnt shedloads from it!

Favourite chocolate?
That's like asking my favourite child (OK it's worse - I only have one child!).  Umm, probably Malteasers, but really any chocolate is good.  Except Hersheys.  The US does not do good chocolate!

If you could be somone for a day, who would you be?
I'd be Liv Tyler, just to know what it's like to be that beautiful!

What super-power would you possess?
Telportation.  I spend far too much time of trains to and from work, so to be able to be there isntantly (and go to Scotland to see my family) would be amazing!

What item of clothing is forever sitting at the bottom of your wash basket?
Anything handwash.  If it can't be chucked in the machine it rarely gets worn.  At the moment an embellished cardie and a thrifted top from LK Bennett.

Favourite Perfume?
Jo Malone Vetyver

If you won the Lottery, what would be the first thing you would do?
Quit my job and buy an overlocker.  That's quite boring isn't it?  Also there would be serious holidays involved.  Hey, how about a sewing holiday for me and my sewcialist buddies?

Favourite Skirt Length?
Just above the knee - classy but not frumpy!

Favourite shoes?
Being 5'9" i usually wear flats and I'm a big trainer fan.  So probably my purple Converse or my sale-bargain Supergas

What is your dream job?
Other than full time sewist?  Something in deisgn - a graphic or interior designer.

What would be your dream day?
Getting up late, sewing in PJs in the morning, lovely lunch out with hubby and daughter, afternoon in Brighton shopping in the Laines (with all that Lottery money I won!), leisurely dinner, then back home for more sewing

Great questions Emmie!

Rehanon asked:

Who would you get to play you in the story of your life?
Hmm, tough one.  I think I'll go for Liv Tyler again.  Feisty and beautiful lady that I have a lot of time for.

Career wise what would your plan B be?
As above, a graphic or interior designer.  Or maybe a chef.

Say you found yourself in a Quantum Leap type role, which enabled to jump to any event in history what would you choose?
I reckon the 1960s and Woodstock would be pretty cool.  Or else Swinging London around the same time!  I love 60s music and fashions.

If you were coming on stage what would you choose as your walk on tune?
Hmm, my favourite song ("Here Comes Your Man" by the Pixies) wouldn't really be appropriate here!  How about "Yes" by McAlmont and Butler or "Bluetonic" by the Bluetones?

In Grease what character would you most like to play?
Rizzo.  She has all the best clothes.

What skill would you most like to have?
To be able to sing.  I have a dreadful singing voice and to make matters worse a fairly good ear so I can hear how awful I am!

If you could make any outfit from a movie what would you choose?
Good question!  Probably Rizzo's dance dress from Grease. How cool is this?

Do you have a recipe for something that never disappoints if so can I have it?
Yes - chicken stuffed the goat's cheese and parma ham in red pepper sace.  it's my dinner party failsafe dish.  Recipe here:

Can you recommend a good book you've read?
I read a lot of books as I have a long commute and a Kindle.  Room by Emma Donoghue stayed with me for a long time after, and I loved the Hunger Games trilogy (Suzanne Collins) and the Game of Thrones books.

What's guaranteed to make you laugh?
My daughter and Billy Connolly (probably not at the same time)

If you could choose another name what would you go for?
I've always wanted a different name - Joanne is so boring!  I like Natalie.  No idea why.  My daughter says Poppy.  Also no idea why.

Another great set of questions.  I might have to start plotting how to make the Rizzo dress now!  I knew I should have said Baby's Dirty Dancing finale dress.  That would have been so much easier!

And 11 random facts about me:
- I am originally from the West Coast of Scotland, near Loch Lomond but have lived "down South" for 16 years
- I have never learned to drive (but I plan to!)
- I have lost almost 4 stone in the past couple of years
- I have a small and extremely grumpy tortoiseshell cat called Crumble
- I have a huge weakness for those epic films like Ben Hur and Spartacus - great Sunday afternoon viewing!
- I work in the media side of advertising
- Despite working in advertising I am a Sky Plus addict and so rarely watch any TV ads.  I panic when the box gets to more than 30% full in case I won't be able to record any more stuff (and start deleting hubby's things!)
- My favourite colour is purple
- I sewed through my finger once and didn't notice for a good couple of hours
- I hate hoarding and rarely keep anything I don't need for long - hubby is the opposite and it drives me crazy
- I was brought up Catholic but am very much lapsed now - still have the guilt complex hanging on in there though!

The 11 fabulous bloggers that I'm passing the award on to:

Alison at Another Little Crafty Creation - check out the stunning couture jacket she recently made!

Fiona at Diary of a Chain Stitcher - I love her style and her Mad Men outfit was perfect!

Tania at Feel the Fear and Sew It Anyway - she's such a knowledgable lady (and completely adorable in person) - I always learn something from her blog!

Laura from MIYM Diary - my #sewbossy buddy and such a generous lady with her time and expertise on Twitter

Amy at Almond Rock - a lovely lady and great sewist.  Her dress from the epic blogger meetup was stunning!

Helen at Grosgrain green - This is a blog I discovered during me made May.  Helen makes lovely things!

Heather at Handmade by Heather B - you missed out if you weren't following this crazy lady during Me Made May.  Her outfit pics were hilarious!

Kim from Kim-ing - when you look at her blog you won't believe she's a newbie sewist.  Check out her gorgeous collection of Laurels!

Janelle at Sew Hopeful - her lovely Miz Mozelle spotted during Me Made May is inspiring my soon-to-be-made version!

Mrs M at Mrs M Makes - my Sewing Swap buddy who is super talented at a huge range of crafts - from booking binding to stained glass window making!

Jo at the Amazing Adventures of Taracat - Another lovely lady and did you see her goldfish and beach hut Laurels?

And my 11 questions for them:
  1. What is your favourite film of all time and why?
  2. What kind of holidays do you like - beach? city break? raving in Ibiza?  Do tell!
  3. I spend a lot of time commuting - if you had a spare hour on the train, what would you do?
  4. What is the best sewing book you have read?
  5. Knits or wovens?
  6. What is your favourite blog?
  7. What other crafts to you do and which is your favourite?
  8. What is your karaoke song?
  9. Sweet or savoury?
  10. What is your favourite accessory?
  11. If I gave you £50 ($78 US, $82 Aus) to spend on fabric, patterns or craft supplies, what would you make from it?  Links please!
Thanks again ladies - it's been lots of fun and it's great to know that people are reading my little blog!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Me Made May round up and learnings

Better late than never!  I made it through all of Me Made May and met my pledge in terms of wearing me mades - taking photos was another story (well I have to have something to work on for next year!).  Going on holiday mid month definitely helped as I was able to wear the more summery me mades that I wouldn't have had a chance to given the crappy British May we had (although don't speak to soon but June's been OK so far.  Shhhhh).

I have flexed my design muscles and created you an infographic of my month (OK I googled and found which is really easy to use!):

Fun huh?  I love an infographic - probably goes with the job!

Looking at the above, it definitely shows that I should make more knits - they are my default wardrobe staple to throw on with jeans.

I also need more separates (which I knew beforehand).  I thought my me made wardrobe mainly consisted of dresses but they do tend to get worn less often, so luckily I made a few extra knit tops beforehand! 

My wardrobe saviour was my 5 (yes 5!  It's a great pattern and free download so don't judge!) Maria Denmark Kirsten kimono tees.  I wore them on 8 days of the month.  I was also surprised how many Burda items I wore, given that I'm not usually that complementary about them.  Maybe once I get better at sewing I'll mind less about the terrible instructions!  But as someone pointed out on the Flickr group I am massively focused on indie patterns.  I hadn't realised that before!  I guess I prefer the styling and the more consistent (or at least in line with measurements) sizing.  Also I read so many blogs and a Vogue pattern number is harder to remember than Laurel or Alma!  But I only wore 1 big 4 item - and that was my Mad Men dress which was a heavily modified NL 6000.

The only me made items I didn't wear were my Brave Peony (still languishing in needing new zip hell), my Macaron (I need to reinforce the area around the zip before I feel happy wearing it as it's looks pretty messy), my grey Tira (still fabulous but the fabric feels quite wintery) and my Gertie polkadot skirt (got left at the back of the wardrobe when I brought the me mades to the front - oops!).

As a result of trawling the Flickr group and seeing other people's blog posts, I have bought a few new patterns which I hope will help address some of the gaps in my wardrobe.

I have seen so many lovely versions of this and it seems like a great basic skirt.  I have almost finished my first one with another couple of versions in mind!

Another great basic - the Renfrew tee.  I know I'll be the last sewist ever to make one of these but it's a versatile patterns which indulges my t-shirt habit.  Just need to find some great jersey!

There were fabulous versions of this dress popping up the Flickr group, notably from Sew Hopeful - check out her gorgeous bird print version on her blog.  She's been super-helpful on Twitter and advised me to use a drapier fabric than I intended so I'm going to use a charcoal grey knit from my stash and see how I go.

And I preordered Cabarita when Steph put it up for sale.

I've loved seeing her versions on her blog so looking forward to making my own!

Long post, but thanks to the lovely Zoe for organising Me Made May, the helpful and welcoming ladies in the Flickr group and all your fab comments.  It's been fun!