Fabric Detective

Saturday, September 28

Okay, so what do you do when you are down with a cold?  Why, you feel sorry for yourself and laze about the internet of course, while taking the piss and making your other half do all the housework, including nappy changing.

Noah recently started nursery at a place about 5 minutes away from my new job, and so far, it has been good. He settled in pretty well, so either he really is a good kid, and gets along famously with everyone, or he really does not love me, and cannot wait to spend time away from me. He never cried the first day I took him there, and according to the nursery, he always has an excellent day. So, on the one hand, I am happy he is an independent mister, but on the other, I feel as if I have been used. Like he only wanted me to provide him with an oven for 9 months so he could get his little organs together within me, and then set off on his own as soon as physically possible. Oh well. Such is life I suppose.

So yeah, he is in nursery, and although it gives me the opportunity to work, it also comes with its own downsides. Like turning him into a contamination channel. The young man recently came down with a cold, picked up, no doubt, from his nursery, and promptly contaminated Mr.Dibs. Mr.Dibs in turn, because he never likes me to feel left out, passed it on to me. Now, a cold is a cold is a cold, and I know it is not supposed to be a big deal, but it is to me, and it breaks me down like nothing on earth, and I am now hanging on to my dear life. The only thing making life bearable at the moment is the amount of time I have to browse the internet, courtesy of my being ill.

Now to the matter at hand.

I was indulging in two of my fave pastimes just now, which if you have been reading my blog for sometime, will know that one of them is fabric shopping, and the other is eye shopping on the Phase Eight website. So yeah, I was doing both simultaneously, and I noticed a couple of fabrics that kept appearing on the two sites. Hmm, what would Sherlock do? I asked myself. Upon closer inspection, I discovered  not one


not two


Not even three

nor four

but five fabrics from the phase eight site on ebay. aha! Score.


I almost feel better, ALMOST. 

I am not even afraid you will all now rush to the ebay site and buy all these gorgeous fabric before I get the chance to order some because, as you well know, I do not hesitate when it comes to Phase Eight. Paypal has already sent my request to this ebay shop. Now, all I have to do is wait for my fabric.

This is just perfect timing, especially as I have wrap dresses on my mind. Which reminds me, thanks to all of you who are interested in sewing wrap dresses with me. I shall shed more light on that little project in my next post.

Have a good weekend people.

Burda Canvas Skirt

Tuesday, September 24

So its time for another Minerva Network project, and what do you know? I made a denim-ish skirt. Denim-ish because although it feels like denim to me, it is actually canvas.

 I made a Skirt using Burda 7283. You can get the pattern here if you like this style of skirts. It is basically an A-line skirt. I did not follow the pattern instructions. I literally just used the pattern pieces. The skirt is really easy to sew, and is appropriate for a beginner. My fabric has quite a busy print, so I decided to just make it without the buttons or pockets as called for by the pattern.

When I first saw this fabric, for some reason, I thought it was a soft cotton sateen, and wanted to make a dress out of it.  I should have read the description closely, because when I received the fabric, it was different to what I was expecting. I probably just got carried away by the beautiful print, and did not see the word "canvass" in the description. It actually worked out better that it was a heavier sort of fabric, which to me, is more autumn appropriate. I changed my mind about making the dress, as I thought it would go beautifully as a skirt.

What I love most about the fabric, is the print. Camouflage anyone? Content wise, it is a canvas fabric, with a good amount of stretch. It stretches so much that you can get away with not using a zip. I'm not kidding you. My skirt does not have a zip, and I managed to get it on with no problem. It is also quite comfortable to wear, which is always a good thing.

I wore it to a sewing meet-up the day after I made it. I really love this skirt, and I think I am going to make another one.

 I know I look silly in the next 2 photos, but I could not resist doing these silly poses.

If you like this fabric, you can get it here. The kit contains 2 metres of fabric, and an invisible zip.

The Wrap Dress Project

Monday, September 23

Don't you just love wrap dresses? I do, but surprisingly at this exact moment, I do not own a single one in my closet. Shameful I know. I have in the past, been the owner of a couple of wrap dresses, and I must say, I did feel rather sexy in them. Somehow, and I don't know how, I now find myself without one. So, seeing that it is coming up to winter, I thought it would be good if I stocked up on 1 or two, or maybe 3 wrap dresses to keep me warm during the dark and cold days.

Will you join me?

Fabric Detective

So, remember when I made my instant gratification Mccalls dress? Some of you were interested in the fabric, but unfortunately, I got the last few metres on the roll in Fabric House on Goldhawk road. Well I found some online.

Oh yes! Minerva Crafts is selling it here. I'm cool right? Now go get yourself some fabric for autumn.

Nougat Dress Pattern Giveaway Winners

Wednesday, September 4

Here comes the moment so many of you have been waiting for. We had a total of 28 entries.Thank you so much for the interest in the Nougat dress. I intend to make it myself soon, so hopefully, we shall soon see a nougat invasion round the blogoshphere. The surprising thing for me was many of you wanted to make View A first, which is the most advanced. If you start with view A, I salute you!

So yes,  we have winners. The giveaway actually ended on Saturday, but seeing I was in the middle of having fun, I have not been able to pick a winner. But here are your winners now.


So, I used excel to pick the numbers for me. If you use excel often, you might know this formula:


So basically what it does is it gives you a random number between your minimum and maximum numbers every time you need it to.


We had 28 entries, and my dear excel faithfully gave me these numbers:

4,12,18,13 and 3.

Going down the comments list, our winners are:

4 = Cystal Pleats
12= Daniela .M
18 = Queen
13 = Joyce in NC
3 = Katie Skeoch

Congratulations on winning this beautiful pattern, please do send me an email by clicking on the envelope icon under my profile picture in the top left corner of this page. I look forward to seeing your interpretations.


By Hand London Anna Dress to the rescue

Sunday, September 1

Ok so things did not quite work out the way I wanted with my blue lace dress. Its a really long story, so I shall summarise, but first this is what I ended up with.....

Yeah, my dress did not go as planned. I wanted to sew a really well constructed dress, with a good inner foundation, think coutil, silk organza, bonning, and more. I did loads of research, bought the necessary materials, saved all the tutorials I found online I wanted to use, read many books, and saved even more Threads articles (Thanks Clare). I ended up preparing too much, and not actually sewing. Before I knew it, my Minerva Crafts Blogger Network deadline was upon me, and I could only start the lace dress after the Minerva Crafts dress was done and dusted. So that left me with 5 days to sew the dress. As if that was not enough, I started a new job, and Noah started Nursery next to my work place, so things have been quite hectic on my side. Anyways, Wednesday rolled around, and there I was, trying to make a muslin. Then I got all panicky on Thursday night and decided to sew another less complicated dress, and pulled Vogue 8280. Did a muslin, and decided the logistics of making that one was not an easy one. Then I remembered someone had mentioned the Anna dress when I first posted about the lace dress. So I got the Anna dress pattern out, and got to work at 3am on Thursday night. 

 I had made the muslin earlier as posted here, and the three things I had to address were the gaping neck at the back of the bodice, the length, and the ripples at the back of the dress.

I chopped off 6 inches off the length of the dress, which was not a wise move because after I made the dress, I found the hem too short when I wore my shoes. I added 4 inches to the hem, and that did the trick. I also used a 3/8th seam allowance at the back side seams, instead of the recommended 5/8th, and that helped the back bodice. For the gaping bodice back neck, I followed Sew Busy Lizzy's advice and put darts there. So basically what I did was draw a line about 4 inches up from the bodice back dart to the shoulder seam. Then I measured 3/8th inch on both sides of the line, then connected those to the tip of the line. So basically drawing a dart. I don't know if that is the right method, but it certainly worked for me.

Some of my inspiration dresses had a contrasting lining for the lace. I really could not decide what colour to use underneath. Blue or gold. Then someone mentioned a colour closer to my skin tone, and I rushed off and bought brown satin. However, while pacing back and forth in the early hours of Friday morning, I accidentally placed the lace on top of the silk organza, and I just realised that was the best combination for my dress. It just felt right.

I had never sewn  with silk organza before, and I only had about 2 metres at home which I had bought to underline the bodice of the Marfy dress I was going to use. So I cut out the bodice sections, underlined them, and sewed the darts, then went to bed at 4am. Noah woke me up at 6am, and I had to get him ready for Nursery. I went to Goldhawk road later, and bought  3 metres of silk organza to use for the skirt panels. I came home and cut them out, but I could not really do much because my train to Worcester was at 4pm, and I had to go collect Noah from Nursery, so I left the house at 12:30pm. To summarise it all, I took my machine with me to Worcester, and made this dress on saturday. I finished it at 7:30pm, and the gala started at 8:30pm. Phew!!!. I think I should start sewing next years dress this december.

I really loved working with silk organza. Using it as the underlining fabric just gave it the right contrast, and its crispness worked really well with the drape of the lace. I have now decided I cannot live without silk organza, and I am now saving to buy a whole bolt. I tell you, silk organza is THE BIZ .
I am really happy with the way it turned out, and I received so many compliments. Many of the girls were quite shocked that I came to the convention with my sewing machine though. My machine caused quite a few chuckles.

This project was a first for me, regarding the fabrics I used. I had never sewn with either lace or silk organza before, and I am happy I was able to make something wearable with the two. My advice to anyone who needs it is, if you want to try a fabric you have never worked with, use a very easy pattern, that has very few design details. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you come to like. You might even, like me, come to realise that cotton is not the only nice fabric type out there.