Wednesday 22 February 2012

Things to Make & Do - A Colette Set

Hello!  I want to say a quick welcome to my new followers I hope you enjoy being here, )and before I forget I am having a few blogger glitches at the moment, one of them being on the 'Blogs I love' widget (to the left). It is refusing to let me add any new blogs to the roll and has deleted off some of the others. I can only fix it by adding one at a time and then saving which takes ages, so please don't think I've gone off you if you blog isn't showing, it's just it going to take a while to add you all back!

This weeks project is a Stash Buster and UFO Slayer all in one! After giving my fabric a thorough sort through recently I found two pieces of black satin, which I had cut out to make a late 60's A-line wrap dress (this was a UFO I had completely forgotten may even be older than my never finished tank top!)
I really wanted (actually I still do) to make the maxi version of this dress, in black satin, but I ran out of fabric!

I remember that I had intended to make this to wear to a work Christmas party, many moons ago, but being the rush-in-head-first kind of a girl that I am, I completely underestimated the amount of fabric it would take to make (read the instructions..what me?!) and so ended up a meter and a bit short, which meant that no matter how many different ways I tried to fit the three pieces on the fabric, it was never going to fit. I was short by one front section and when I went back to the shop to buy more fabric...guess what?..yep it had all gone!

So it was time to put this UFO to rest and re-purpose some of that fabric into something wearable. A quick look through my patterns reminded me that I had printed out a couple of free patterns from Colette - The Sorbetto & The Madeline Mini Bloomers - which were small enough to fit on the fabric I had left.

The Sorbetto Top

(Stash Buster)
Designed By: Sarai Mitnick
Download FREE Here: The Sorbetto Top
Flikr: Sorbetto


  • 1.5 yards of Fabric
  • Spool of Matching Thread
  • 3 yards 1/2" Bias Tape

This was a blissfully simple pattern to sew, It is made up of only two pieces both cut on the fold, the front has a central pleat and has two bust darts to give it some shape. The instructions were very well written and easy to follow.

I decide against making my own bias binding as I found the perfect matching satin bias binding in my stash. I have always struggled with attaching this stuff before, but it was so well explained in the instructions that it was a doodle, inevitably I now want to attach it to everything!

The only tricky bit I found was when hemming the bottom, due to the outward flick on the bottom of the pattern it refused to be hemmed neatly, it went all wobbly and baggy - Any tips on making this work I would really appreciate - Not sure if it is because I haven't sewn anything in a while or I had cut the pattern out a bit wonky, either way, frustration got the better of me and I decided to bias bind the hem.

My only mistake with this top was to set my iron too hot when pressing the front pleat, which meant I melted the hem edge quite badly, luckily I had cut it bit long so I managed to cut off the worst of it off. I will definitely be using this pattern again as it is so simple and could be reworked in so many different ways, just look at the Flickr page HERE!

Madeline Mini Bloomers
(Stash Buster)
Designed By: Sarai Mitnick
Download FREE Here: Madeline Mini Bloomers


  • 1 yard of Fabric
  • Spool of Matching Thread
  • 2.5 yards 1/4" Ribbon
  • 2.5 yards 1/4" Elastic
  • Safety pin (for threading elastic)

Again this pattern was very straight forward to follow due to it being really well explained and consisting of only 4 pieces.
As with the Sorbetto I did struggle with the hem and ribbon casings on the legs, it just would not turn over neatly as again there seemed to be too much fabric.
Is it just me or have these come out looking a bit like a bat! The boyfriend thinks they look like something Blackadder would wear...without the bows, I kind of agree!
So after a bit of faffing, I decided to just to fold the edge over and rather than making a channel for the ribbon to sit in, I would hem them as best I could and fit the hemmed channel with elastic. As I had already made and opened the button holes in preparation for the casing I decided to hide them with some black lacy ribbon and a button.

This Button and Bow hides my wonky buttonholes
I am quite happy with them, though, to be honest, they are not the most wearable item I have made, they sit very low (don't dare bend over!!), and are quite puffy, but I'm pretty sure the puffiness is due to my attempts to overcome my hemming issues! I will definitely have another go at these, as they would make great summer bed shorts, but next time I will increase the waistband height by a couple of inches!

So two items finished, one wearable and one...not so wearable perhaps, but at least I have used up some of my fabric and finally rid myself of another UFO!

Have a great day!
Wendy x

    Tuesday 21 February 2012

    1940s Hairstyles - A Vintage Classic 2nd Edition

    1940s Hairstyles by Daniela Turudich Second Edition
    As anyone who has ever coveted this wonderful book will know, it has been out of print for quite a few years. Meaning that a copy of the original release retails around the web for, some seriously scary amounts of money ($175 to $311.27...Seriously!!) which is a long way out of the average vintage lasses price range.

    So I was really delighted when I learnt, finally, the fabulous 1940s Hairstyles by Daniela Turudich is going to be released as a second edition, from May 2012 you buy a copy of this super little book, at a much more reasonable price of about £15.99.

    I have just pre-ordered my copy on Amazon UK (currently £11.84) and am looking forward to finally getting my hands on my very own copy of this vintage gem!

    Wendy x

    Friday 17 February 2012

    Stitch Her Style - Glorious 39

    It has taken me a while to find these but I thought it was about time I shared with you the modern patterns which I think would re-create some of the fabulous Glorious 39's outfits.
    For the original Film Fashion post click here!
    Butterick McCall B5182
    I love this dress and the Butterick version is so similar I actually squealed when I saw it.
    Butterick Retro 5152: 1948 Dressing Gown
    Not quite the same but lovely none the less
    Burda Style V-neck dress $5.40 (Download)

    Simplicity S3688: Retro 1940s Pattern 

    Simplicity S4044 Misses & Plus Size 1940s Retro Suit 

    Both of the above Simplicity Retro patterns are definitely worth having in your collection if you're a vintage fan, as they both offer a good range of separates, and finding original 40s patterns of separates can be difficult and expensive especially trouser patterns.

    Craft Stylish: Beret Pattern by Nicole Smith FREE
    Love this Beret tutorial, you can choose to make it plain or add the cutwork pattern, which I think is rather nice too.
    Burda Style : Sailors Neck Dress $5.40
    Simplicity - 2501 Blouse pattern 

    I think that it would be really easy to turn this blouse into a bolero. The sleeves are almost spot on, the only changes would be to shape the neckline by removing the button band and neck tie.
    Simplicity - 2501 Blouse pattern 
    Same Pattern as the bolero above, this time using version B with the long floaty sleeves.
    Burda Style - Dots Invasion Dress Pattern (download) FREE!

    Burda Style - Kirsten $4.00 (download)
    Stitch in Time Vol 02: Trimmed with Roses
    Minerva Yarn - 1936 Beret (Crochet) FREE
    Take a little look at Kegan's fabulous version of this pattern on Ravelry Here.

    Wendy x

    Monday 13 February 2012

    Things to Make & Do - Valentines Gifts for Boys

    Well hello, I hope you all have had wonderful weekends! Mine was spent in full crafting mode and I have managed to tick off a few more things off my to-do list, which is always a good feeling!

    The first thing I ticked off my list was something for valentines day. Now I must be honest I'm not usually a huge fan of Valentines day (if valentines has a's me! Read Miss Marie's post it sums up my feelings exactly) but I thought this year I would put some effort in and craft something nice for the Boyfriend as he at least is quite keen on upholding the tradition.

    I soon realised that it's a bit more tricky than I had first thought. It is all very well for us crafty lasses to go all mushy over mugs with hearts on, silly on stuffed teddy's, and gooey over glittery jewellery (yes please!), but at the end of the day many of us are wanting to give our crafty creations to the one(s) we love, and they are not always going to be keen on receiving a shabby chic fluffy bunny covered in love hearts...even if you have spent the last three weeks crafting into the night to make it!

    So I decided I was going to have to try and put my creativity into something he won't be totally embarrassed to own, and since my embroidery obsession is still in full swing I thought I would make the most of it and create a very simple and quick solution to the problem with...

    (Sorry I couldn't help myself:))

    Ingredients:  Scrap of Fabric
                          Embroidery hoop
                          Scraps of Wool or Embroidery Thread
                          Large eyed sharp embroidery needle
                          Pencil or Wash-out-able Fabric pen

    Free Pattern: Click below images to make larger (sized to UK A4)
    All of the above fonts (apart from my hand drawn one) are free to download from various websites, (just google the name) so you can change the text to anything you like!

    Know How: Embroidery Stitches, Split stitch and Satin Stitch 

    I searched the web for some manly looking fonts, well to be honest anything, nerdy, sci-fi, I.T. or Tattoo styled, I knew would fit the bill. In the end, I opted for a very quickly sketched block style font which I thought would be the quickest to do (had to get it done while he was out!)
    I drew out my desired pattern onto a piece of paper to the size I wanted, blue-tacked it to a window and quickly traced it onto my fabric using a wash-out-able fabric pen, you could use a soft pencil too, but if you are using light colours then it is best to avoid as the graphite will stain the thread.
    I popped my fabric into an embroidery hoop and then using white wool, I Split Stitched all around the edges of the letters and then with a long Satin Stitch I filled in the shading!
    I kept mine really simple by just using white as I know anything frilly or wildly colourful tends to leave my boyfriend cowering behind his computer screen in fear. And even if he does turn his nose up at it, I think it is pretty cool, it took only a few of my precious crafting hours and it will look really cute on the book shelf!

    Some Fabulously Creative Valentine Tutorials:
    Have a great Monday!
    Wendy x

    Monday 6 February 2012

    Things To Make & Do - Crewel Embroidery

    Morning, I hope you all had wonderful weekends & if you're in the UK that you had lots of fun playing in the snow! Not so much fun this morning though but still, it makes walking to work a bit more interesting, to say the least, even if does mean occasionally slipping landing on your behind in front of a bunch of giggling teenagers!

    Well on to my third project on my to-do list and one I never thought I would compete as I really didn't think I had the patience, but I was wrong as I have become totally addicted to embroidery!

    It has been years since I have done any kind of embroidery, that was cross stitch and I was bad at it. To be fair it was probably down to my laziness, I found it to be frank a bit dull, the easy pictures were twee, and the ones I liked were difficult to do and required hours before they resembled anything at all (I did I mention my attention span) and the counting of squares and marking out always terrified me into giving up after a few frustrated hours. I think you need to have a bit of a mathematical mind, which I don't, so I never found the joy in it that my Mum and Aunties could so I decided that embroidery was just not for me.
    Satin Stitch butterfly with gold couched thread.
    After receiving a crewel embroidery kit from the fabulous Shirl in the Pre-Christmas swap, I thought I would give it a go. Crewel embroidery though is soo different and I honestly think I am in love! I started into the kit with a little trepidation, honestly believing I would be adding this to the long list of UFOs...but no...once I had done my first few stitches I was hooked, time flew by, boyfriend paced anxiously waiting for his tea, while I was absorbed in my world of stitchery.
    I love the fact that you can be a bit more freehand than with cross stitch, you can make it as individual as you like and mistakes can be worked with and around much more easily...I totally got the greens muddled up when doing the leaves but I doubt anyone but me would spot that!
    Within a few days, I was done and gazing at my first finished embroidery! I had learnt a new skill and I had a cute quaint woolly masterpiece! result!
    I have mounted it in a box frame so the stitches didn't get squashed and I think it looks a treat! It's not the greatest example of embroidering skills I grant you, but it has given me the confidence to tackle something a bit more difficult!

    Wendy x