Simple Lace sandal DIY

Monday, April 25

I'm back in London!! Yay!!!

It feels so good to be back in my own home, staring at my lovely sewing machine. I wanted to sew a dress, but I was so tired, so I decided to do a little DIY on my pink sandals.


So you need: sandals, lace trimming, scissors, glue ( I used gutterman, though its not in the picture)

Measure the length of the area you want to cover, and apply some glue to it.
Next, place your lace trimming over the glue. Do this for both legs. Fold the lace trimming inwards at the edges.

And its done.
Go out into town and strut your stuff.
This should take about 5 minutes maximum, including drying time for the glue.
Dodgy looking legs right?

Take care everyone.



Free patterns galore!!

Saturday, April 23

While cruising through blog land, I fell across a really interesting post by sewconvert, talking about a new campaign being run over at grosgrainfabulous, called the Free Month Pattern.

Basically, Kathleen of grosgrainfabulous, has lined up a whole month of free patterns from guest bloggers, starting Monday 25th April on her blog. I'm so excited I can't breath. Now I love sewing patterns, but I love them even more when they are free. Which puts me to shame somehow because I do not have the skills to draft a pattern for wider consumption. The most I can do is probably an A-line skirt. I know that because I have drafted one before, but have not worn it out of the house. So I think its fair to say i'm crap at drafting. But I really want to learn it.

There is a sneak peek on Kathleen's blog of the first pattern, which coincidentally, is being offered by Adey, the sewconvert. I love the colour of the fabric she used.

I can't wait to see what the other patterns will look like. 1 thing I know for sure though, is that I will be following that project all the way to the end.

Will anyone else be following this project?

2nd Crochet hat and Jewellry

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday so far.

My 1 week holiday has been a success for a number of reasons, chiefly because

  1. I got to wake up each day after 10am ( yeah I'm that lazy)
  2. I did not feel guilty drinking more than two glasses of wine everyday ( Wine aids digestion you know)
  3. I learned how to crochet ( well I think I have)
  4. I made some jewelry ( well sort of)
A few days ago I wrote a post about my first foray into crocheting, which resulted in a rather dubious looking hat. Well I'm glad to say I gave it another try, and ended up with this

I think its supposed to be a chunky beanie hat!

Back view

Don't know what dance I was doing, but I can ASSURE you all, I was quite sober

well maybe just.

So, I think I can consider this second attempt a success. Its been really hot today, but I wore my hat all day when I went to town to do some last minute shopping. I've decided to wear whatever I make this year. Nice or not. The nice ones will make me feel good about myself, the not so good once will make me work harder, and be more patient when sewing the next project.


I also thought I should try my hand at jewelry making. Why? because I think we are good at many more things than we think we are. So I am going to keep trying everything crafty, to find out what I enjoy, and what I don't. So far, I've established that 
  1. I adore sewing
  2. I'm not crazy about knitting
  3. I like crocheting, even though I am not good at it yet. 
  4. I will like to try painting, jewelry making, millinery, perfume making, soap making, candle making, sculpture, and everything else under the sun that involves using the creative part of my brain....did I mention i'm not mad about knitting?
That said, when I went into town today, I bought some pendants, and some string. I wanted to make simple necklaces. These are probably the easiest things to do when it comes to jewelry making, because all I did was tie the string round the pendants, and I was done. A total of 30 seconds. Or less I should imagine. So, the more experienced jewelry makers will probably not classify this as jewelry making, but in my little book, I say it is. lol.

Ladies and gents (?), I present ( drum rolling), Dib's masterpieces

Raw materials

So all in all, a very productive day for. 

Have a wonderful easter everyone.



Burda May 2011 Picks

Wednesday, April 20

My love affair with Burda had ended ( though I still bought the magazines religiously). Issue after issue was put out with nothing remotely tempting. I think I continued buying the magazine out of habit. Its just one of those things you do, even though you know you should not.

Maybe the peeps up at Burda are pyschic, and sensed my displeasure with them because the may issue seems to be different. I have seen a few things that I know I will definitely be making sometime this year. The holiday section looks really interesting, so an added plus. I am contemplating these:

I love the collar, and I think its perfect for work.

Another nice work outfit
A little va-va -voom never did any harm did it?
I can see myself in this in Mallorca this summer.

I can totally see myself in this dress. This is perfect for both work, and fancy events. With different fabrics of course.

A nice casual look, I could go without the pockets.

The thing I hate about Burda is the extra step of tracing the pattern pieces before cutting them out. When I was younger, my mom used to make me trace out her patterns. Not something I used to look forward to I must add. My poor knees almost gave out before I even got to 15. Its funny how she used to sew clothes for herself, but I was never interested in sewing...not when I had boys to giggle at. Might I also point out that I spent 7 years in an all girls Baptist boarding school, so looking at boys during holiday time was a very serious event.  We used spend term time looking forward to the holidays, and then spent the holidays looking forward to going back to school to compare notes on the boys we saw. Gross, I know, but at that time, that was the highlight of our teenage lives. Girls with bothers were extremely popular in school. I on the other hand, had 4 3 older sisters, and a multitude of female cousins, so that was not cool.

Back to dear old Aunty Aenne Burda. I'm glad they are slowly but surely getting back on track.

What about you? Is anyone considering Burda Mag this may?

happy Easter


Threads Magazine give away

In my overzealousness, I bought 2 copies of the current Threads Magazine. Not at the same time mind you. I bought one last month, then forgot that I had it, and bought another one last week. So I figured maybe one of you has not bought this yet. So if anyone is interested, let me know. I don't have many people reading my blog so its only a handful of you. I suppose it will be fair to give it to the first person who puts up their finger. So, if you need it, could you just drop me a note? or, if possible, could you raise a finger? lol.

Happy Easter


New patterns for summer holiday wardrobe

Tuesday, April 19

I went to the Darlington town centre today to check out what the charity shops there had to offer. I always love rummaging in charity shops for stuff because you can sometimes find interesting things there. Though sometimes its like a mad house, with people donating items that are clearly unwearable.

I did not really see anything I liked, so I went into another shop to look at their fabric selection. I mentioned in an older post, that I was going away this summer, and would be making my holiday wardrobe, so I figured I could start with a maxi dress. So, when going through their fabric collection, I noticed they had a half price deal on simplicity patterns. I like simplicity patterns, but I rarely buy them as I get Vogue, Butterick and McCall at half price all the time courtesy of my sewdirect membership. Talking of which, they have a 50% discount promotion going on right now for all McCall patterns to non-members.

I bought this pattern

I also bought this fabric to make it. It is 100% polyester, so it was not expensive. If I like the finished outfit, I might consider making it in silk.

I bought non-static polyester lining, which was the only lining they had. I asked the sales rep if it was ok with the type of fabric I bought. Now, I don't know if she knows much about linings, but she assured me it was the best for the fabric I have( I suspect she just wanted to make a sale). This interaction made me realise I had no knowledge about what type of lining to use for what fabric. That merits a post I suppose. So I will have to update my fabric knowledge. Any thoughts on which books to look at?

I also bought 3 Lisette patterns (distributed by Simplicity). This is a new pattern line, from the makers of the Oliver and S pattern line. Oliver and S specialise in children's wear, and presently, they only have four patterns in their Lisette line. For anyone who is on Burdastyle, you will notice that Oliver and S is always present on your page, as the sponsor of projects. I have not really seen many people posting pictures of their completed projects. But then again, this line was only launched this year, February I think. I did find one though, by nightknitter. She has made about 4 or 5 items with these patterns, so if you are interested in seeing how they are finished, you might want to go to her blog. So far, I'm loving their instructions. They have little tips called "Lisette tips" included in their instructions. This comes as a huge relief because Simplicity pattern instructions can sometimes be very vague, assuming that everyone knows what it means to "staystitch". I hope they will be easy to carry out, as they are to read.

I was so happy when I went to pay for these four patterns, and was informed at the till that I qualified for a free pattern. Apparently anyone who bought 4 patterns, got the 5th one free. So I selected this one
I chose those patterns because I will use them for my holiday wardrobe. So, these patterns should give me about 4 dresses, 2 tops and a pair of shorts. 

I started cutting the maxi dress today, but had to stop halfway because we went out for a family meal. So I will continue it tomorrow, and hopefully should finish it by Thursday night. Just in time for the barbecue we will be having on Friday. Its not very hot up here in the North of england, but I INSIST on suffering for my art. 

take care everyone,



1st attempt at Crocheting a hat

Monday, April 18

Please don't laugh at this ( lol). My family have been laughing at me all morning, and there's just so much anyone can take.

Yesterday I took it upon myself to learn how to crochet. I've been seeing a lot of knitting and crocheting going on in awesome blogs, and feeling soooooooo jealous that I could only create with the help of a machine, and not with my bare hands. To make matters worse, I saw Donna's blanket  and Kestrel's stripped socks, and I just knew I had to do something about  it.

So armed with four hooks I bought after church in the church fund raising table for the grand sum of 50p each, I harassed my mother-in-law for some yarn. She gave me what she had left at home, and I went on youtube, to see if I could learn from any videos. Now there are loads of helpful people out there, willing to help people like me, who have no idea on what to do with a hook, but sometimes, the willingness to help gets lost in translation, and the videos are anything but helpful. Anyways I managed to piece two and two together by looking at many videos, and started my crocheting journey. 2 hours later , my mother-in-law and I went shopping, so I was able to buy more yarn from hobbycraft, which was 50% Merino wool, at £1.99 on sale. Apparently that was a bargain. I have no idea if its true.

So, after watching countless hours of videos, and undoing everything about 6 times,  I managed to make this hat. Its is supposed to be a cloche hat, but to be honest, i think it looks anything but.

Are you done laughing? Good. 

Hopefully next time I will do a better job of it.

I really like crocheting, especially as I am on holiday, and I am expected to do stuff with the family, so I have not had time to sew anything. At least with crocheting, I can crochet in the car, or when we go to the park, or sit with the rest of the family and crochet, and participate in conversations. Thats not quite possible when sewing, because the noise from the sewing machine is more than enough to drive everyone from your side.

So though I do miss my machine, at least I was able to satisfy my creative urges by learning something new.

Now what can I make next?



Online Fabric Shopping

Saturday, April 16

For someone who loves sewing, fabric shopping is one of the things you look forward. In my case, entering a fabric shop is similar to a kid entering a candy shop. I get all excited, oohhing and ahhing when I see something nice. When I went to Berwick street (off Oxford Street, London), I oohed and ahhd in the first shop I entered, but that quickly turned to "huh?", and "oh dear", when I was told the price of a metre of a gorgeous cotton print. I quickly ushered myself out of the shop. Needless to say, I have never gone back.

Fabric shopping in London is quite interesting, but stressful, because London is so big, and you spend most of the day travelling from one end of town to the other. Sometimes its not worth it. I'm fortunate that I have my beloved Goldhawk road close to my house, but its really difficult discovering new places if you don't venture out of your area.

Cue in online fabric shopping.

Though I love fabric shopping, I have never bought fabric online. Well I did buy a lace trimming once, but I don't technically class that as fabric shopping. I think I'm much too scared that what I ordered might not come through, or that I won't love it when I see how it really is. Plus I always like to touch fabric and make a connection with it before buying. Also it does not help that some of the online fabric shops do nothing to really promote the fabric they sell, and sometimes the information provided is so confusing and the sites are so headache inducing that I'd rather not go there.

I've discovered one online shop though, which is really tempting me into buying some fabric. Its called My Fabrics. Its a German company I think, because they have their outlet store in Germany, and the prices are quoted in Euros.The site is well organised. They give care instructions for each fabric, as well as pictures of items you can make with the fabric.

Their sale prices are also very good. With prices going down to £2/metre on all sorts of fabric, like this pure 100% pure Italian cotton fabric, which went from 16.95 euros to 3.26 (£2.76).

Their shipping rates are not bad either. Anything up to 100 euros is shipped through DHL at 5.95 euros, and anything over that is free. Very tempting.

They also welcome visitors to their fabric outlet store in Halstenbek, near Hamburg. Which is good to know, especially if you find yourself in Germany. I wonder if it will be mad to plan a trip to Germany purely to visit this factory. Come to think of it, it might not be that bad, especially with cheap flights from EasyJet ( yes I know, my husband says I'm crazy too)

Ohh, so much to see, and touch.

Right, I better get off and start looking at possible targets for my sewing projects. Its a good thing there is the Goldhawk Rd. meet-up on the 14th of May. That way, I won't go wild on the My Fabrics website.

Take care everyone.



Where are they?

Friday, April 15

I have not been able to sew a dress this week, but I have noticed one thing about myself this year. I have been wearing the dresses I have so far managed to make this year more than once. Which is alot in my case. Last year I made a few dresses, wore only 1 out of the house, and now I don't know where they all are.

Last year though, I was not so fussed about the finishing of my garments, and I was not remotely bothered about seam edges and all that. Coupled with the fact that my machine(Brother LS 2125) was the most basic machine on the planet, I did not have fancy things like an overlocker foot which I now have with my Pfaff. Plus being the lazy little minx I am, hong kong seams and french seams were not to be even considered.

I think I am taking a more healthy approach to my sewing this year, and even my husband has noticed, and is asking me to consider buying more expensive fabrics ( who would ever have thought men would encourage you to spend more aye?).

So, I thought I should show some of the things I made last year that I was prooud of ( for about 1day).

First up, the coffee date dress. Things did not go quite as planned with this one, so I changed the neck. Fortunately Elaine May (the selfish seamstress) was quite understanding, and actually helped me with more instructions on my all in one facing.

Where is it? - I have no clue. Will have to tackle it again this year because I really like the pattern, and it reminds me of me when I just started sewing seriously.

Next, the vogue 8470. I managed to do this dress, wore it round the house, then decided I did not place the zip well, took it off, and never put it back. I saw it the other day, and have kept it aside, to be looked at later this month hopefully. So I might (torchwood) be inspired to put a new zip by the time I go on holidays. I think it will be a nice holiday outfit.

Where is it: - Future project basket. Waiting for Princess Dibs to take pity.

Then I made this Burda magazine dress. I did actually wear this one to work, but i think I outgrew this. My pear hips decided to acquire more fat. So, I can't fit into this one anymore, and I THINK i donated this to a charity. Who will buy this, I don't know.  The pleats at the front were a bit dodgy i think . but nonetheless I wore it a couple of times.

Where is it: - no idea.

What I was most proud of that I made last year was the Vogue 8280. I cried a couple of times during the making of this dress. My husband had to tiptoe around me during the week I made this dress. I was quite happy with the end result though. I still have this pattern, and plan on making it again when i get a really good fabric. I will be using a cotton or wool fabric that has some stretch, so it will fit better. I did wear this one to a party the very day i finished it, and also a couple of times to work.

Where is it?: - I don't know to be honest. I grew bigger round the hips, and could not fit in anymore.

So, those were the things I made that I was proud of. The rest did not reach a noteworthy state of completion, so sadly (thankfully), won't be getting some blog time here.

Other things I made, and which I was proud of last year, were my wedding cake ( which I decorated mysefl) and my fascinator.

I bought a plain cake from M&S and decorated it. I made the flowers from sugar paste.

I folded the fabric and attached it to my top, to have that pink effect, and I just loved my fascinator.

I also put together the bouquet.
 I hope this time next year, I will be going through a list of what I made this year, and hopefully wearing one of them every week. Thats a big challenge, but I think with sewing, you have to push yourself all the time. I have 8 months to prove to myself that I can do it.

I am away for a week from today. Going to spend Easter with my in-laws. Unfortunately I won't be taking my beloved machine. So I won't be overlocking my seams. My mother-in-law has a machine so I will be able to make at least one dress. Hopefully I will have time to actually sew it and put some pictures up.

Happy Easter to everyone.



New Look 6025 top

Sunday, April 10

This weekend the weather was really beautiful. Unfortunately for me though, I had to go to Christchurch to see a friend who lost her dad, so I could not make good use of the sunshine. I came back today, and as soon as I got home, I started making the New Look 6025 top.

6025 Misses' Tunic or Tops  Sizes: 8 to 18 New Look Pattern - OUT

I decided to make View A, but as I progressed with the blouse, I decided to make the neck and sleeves more interesting. So I used some yellow bias tape I had at home, and added a black lace trimming to it. When cutting the fabric, I forgot to cut the right length, so I cut the hem too long. I fixed this by cutting off the excess fabric, and made an elasticated hem.

It was a really fast and easy blouse to make, and I will definitely make this top again. I will like to experiment more with trimmings, as I think they make projects more unique. Plus I find the process of deciding on how to alter your outfits really enjoyable as you get the chance to be creative.

My finished top.