Thursday 29 March 2012

Things to Make & Do - This n That

Hello again! Glad your all enjoying my little giveaway if you have not entered yet then just click the icon in the sidebar and join in!

All of my Stash Busting projects this month have been of household nature, so I thought so as not to bore you all too much I would bundle them together into one post. So here is what I have been spending my crafting hours on this month.

Plaited Bath Mat
(Stash Buster)

First up is my new bathroom mat which was made from a rather faded old duvet cover.
It looks much perkier in these photos but I can assure you that it was rather faded, and not really suitable for anything but dusters!  Once I saw Katja's fabulous tutorial on how she had made her truly stunning bath mat, I decided that this was the perfect way to re-purpose my tired duvet cover.
1. The original duvet   2. Ruler wide strips cut from duvet    3. The massive ball of plaited yarn      4. Finished mat
Now I'm not going to lie making this took flipping ages first plaiting together all the strands and forming into a massive ball of yarn (the size of a football (soccer ball)), and then stitching round and round and round and round....
...and round and round and round.
 As I didn't have a suitable towel to use as a base I decide to just stitch it to itself which did cause a problem as the bigger it got the more it started to resemble a sombrero! Not what I wanted at all I soon realised that I was stitching it together too tightly causing it to pucker up, so I loosened off my stitches a little and after a good old steam blast with the iron, it returned to being flat, Phew! I think it looks great and is certainly a different way of recycling an old duvet!

Draught Excluder
(Stash Buster)

As I was sorting through my boxes of material cataloguing what I had, I found a very creased piece of pink fur fabric. I will be honest I was close to throwing it in the bin as it looked so screwed up and battered, but my conscience would not let me, so knowing that we needed some form of draught excluder for our very old, badly fitting front door I decided that would be its new purpose in life! 
This was so simple to make and can be stuffed with old socks, scraps of fabric or anything you like! There is a simple tutorial here
This has to have been one of the dullest things I have ever made, I had envisaged something a bit more patchworky or funky, but it does the job, took no time at all to make and more importantly has given me a bit more space in my fabric box! It is stuffed with the rest of the fur fabric and scraps of old material I had kept, but was unlikely to ever use. So even though it is dull it has definitely been my biggest stash buster to date!

Kitchen Cafe Curtains
(Stash Buster)

I made these from some very cheap £1 a meter green gingham I got from Walthamstow market last year, I had intended to make a floaty circle skirt from it, but found that due to its high nylon content the static it created when rubbed together was immense, I had no desire to be electrocuting everybody around me and my hair is frizzy enough without the aid of electricity!

So as the fabric has a very kitchen/picnic feel to it I thought it would make some very cute cafe curtains instead. These should have been a doddle as they are made by straight hemming 4 sides, but due to the gingham pattern being slightly warped it made sewing straight lines an utter battle, so they are finished but not as neatly as I would have liked. They do the job though and stop my lovely next door neighbour having to witness my 'just got up need coffee' morning face which can only be a bonus!

So there you have it none of the projects are very pretty or particularity interesting but all are very practical, have helped to whittle down my fabric stash (now only three large boxes!) and saved me money!

Wendy x

Wednesday 28 March 2012

A Put a Spring in your Stitch - Follower Give Away

Morning! As promised I have a little giveaway for you wonderful people! I decided that this giveaway would have a sewing feel and as spring is in the air what better time to have a go at making yourselves something new for the coming season, even if you've never sewed a stitch there is no reason not to join in, as I'm sure there is something here to get you started.

As you will probably have noticed, I've been sorting through my stash of patterns and fabric and trying to whittle them down a little, so I decided what better way to do this than to pass some of my much-cherished stash on to one of you guys, as a big old 'Thank You' for sticking around! So what have I got to offer you...

4 Dressmaking Patterns
All unused and uncut except for the Bestway one which being vintage, I can't say, but I can guarantee all the pieces are present and correct!
McCall's M5631 - Flared mid-knee skirt with contrasting yoke/hem - Waist size 23-26.5"
Burda 7599 - A simple cowl neck dress - Sizes 10-22 US
Butterick Retro B5209 - 1947 Halter or cap sleeve dress - Size 14-20 UK
Bestway C753- 1940s Vintage Dress pattern - Bust size 36"

The Complete Dressmaker (1977 edition)
 Is a wonderful book full of very 70s drawings and photographs. I have my own copy which I refer to quite often, even before Google!

Floral Fabric & Vintage Buckle

And last but by no means least just under 2 yards of blue floral very light weight cotton fabric, which would make a great summer blouse (sorbetto anybody?) and a similar shade blue vintage plastic buckle or scarf clip.
So what do you have to do to enter?
It is as simple as this:
1. Be a follower new or old it doesn't matter!
2. Leave a comment below - It doesn't need to be anything fancy, simply a 'count me in' or 'Hello' will do!
3. Do the above before 12pm (UK BST) on Sunday 8th April 2012 

I will draw a winner using one of those random generators and post the winner's name here and if possible contact them directly.
If I am not contacted by the winner before the 21st April 2012 I will draw a new winner.

So there you have it the first giveaway of 2012
I hope you like it and please don't be shy, have a go what have you got to loose:)

Wendy x

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Come Dine With Me

Hello! Thank you for all your lovely comment's on my last post, I am glad to say I am feeling much better!:)

On the weekend I had two of my best friends over for some food and drink and lots of laughs and chatter, which was really lovely! I decide to get the fairy lights and candles out to create a bit of a relaxing mood, and hide the dust and still unpacked boxes! During the day I set about making some tin can lanterns (so, so easy I'll do a little post on them soon) to dot around the place also on the stairs outside I put a few tea lights into some old glass jars (as we don't have an outside light) so that they could see where they were going, and not trip over my pot plants. I have to say it all looked really pretty!

I decorated my dining table with some gingham fabric from my stash as I still don't have a round table cloth...the table, by the way, was a fabulous freebie, we saw it in a front garden shortly before we moved, and asked the owner if we could have it he said yes and said while you're at it have the chairs too!! Wow!! Proving if you don't ask you don't' get! It was really nice to be able to put it to some use rather than being the daily dumping ground for post and the like. Again it was adorned with more candles and some tasty nibbles!

I could hardly call myself a Vintage Blogger if I didn't Have a 'Keep Calm' sign somewhere now could I...oh and there is another mini one on the fridge :)
I am not the world's greatest cook, so I decided to keep the menu simple with a dish I make most weeks...Spaghetti Bolognese, all from scratch mind you, no Dolmio here, a small problem was I couldn't taste a thing due to my sniffles so I have no idea if it was good or not, they ate it so I guess it can't have been too bad.  Luckily for me, Diane asked if I would like her to make the pud...Yes please!!... so I took her up on her Kindly offer and she brought along a Rhubarb Crumble which was utterly scrumptious!

So on to the dress, as promised I have a few snaps! 
I took these before my guests arrived as I was far too embarrassed to ask them to take them for me, hence the hair was still in the 'no idea what the heck to do with it, wish I'd put curlers in' phase of my getting ready!

The total cost of this dress is £6.99 (£4 for the fabric and £2.99 for the zip) which makes it quite the Bargain!
I have to tell you this is the first dress that I've made that my Boyfriend said he actually likes. I can't stress how much of a revelation this is, he has never liked anything I have sewn before, I usually get the screwed up 'you look like a Grandma' face, not that it bothers me in the least, but he actually said 'you should make another one in a summer fabric, a light colour you know flowery'...I genuinely still have not recovered from the shock!

I also must confess that my previous qualms about the tucks don't seem as bad now, as you can see in the picture below, where the tucks stop the skirt flicks out, which makes it feel like my tummy is even more sticky out than normal, I think if I lengthened the tucks at the bottom it would probably flatten this a little but to be honest I don't think I will bother on this one, but it is worth remembering for my next attempt.

My wooden wedge shoes where a mid week bargain from Shelley's they are called 'Cheesecake' which is quite apt for a dinner party don't you think!
I definitely think the fit of this dress would be improved by the addition of a 1950s corset to flatten things out a bit, so I have signed up to take part in A Few Loose Threads Ooh La La Pin Up Sew A Long and after seeing Charlotte's wonderful finished article I am keener than ever to get cracking!

Oh, before I forget, whilst writing this I googled 'Sunburst Tucks' to see what I might find, as you do and I stumbled upon the amazing on-line archives of fashion drawings produced between the 30s and 40s by André Fashion StudiosSeriously you need to see these, they are stunning just be prepared to lose an hour or three!
Wendy x

Friday 9 March 2012

Things to Make & Do - Butterick 6506

Oops another little blogging absence there, though I've got a good excuse honest (looks a shuffling feet) I've been really busy at work and feeling really rotten over the last week or so (note to self, don't wipe friends toddlers noses unless you want to share the cold too!) which has left me with very little energy to do anything I had planned (I'll apologise in advance if this post makes less sense than normal, as my brain is still away with the fairies.)

I have managed to do some crafting though so all is not lost, most of it is a bit mundane so I'll save that for a separate post, this post is all about my favourite of the lot, and this week (or last weeks) finished UFO...

Butterick 6506
(Stash Buster & UFO)

The pattern is one of my mums, I found it when I was nosing through my mums pattern collection last time is was on the Isle of Wight, she kindly let me have it (I made that sound like she had a choice) it's one she bought for herself as a teen and never made up as the fashions had changed and the sixties were beginning to swing!
The new fluid lines of this dress make it your important town and country casual. Released sunburst tucks fit the dress to you in front, form soft unpressed pleats in the skirt and darts in the bodice. (B) Cropped sleeves.
I started this dress two weeks before my French holiday last year with every intention of swishing around many a French village in my wonderful creation, there are no prizes for guessing, that didn't happen. I over committed myself to finishing other bits and bobs, so my dress was destined not to be ready in time, it did go to France with the intention that I would finish it off, but with it being hotter than hell most days, I had no desire to melt underneath it whilst I sat stitching or to be sightseeing swathed in a dark fabric.

All I had left to do was to tack down the interfacing on the neck line, insert a new zip, tidy up the 'Sunburst Tucks' (that sound soo much nicer than 'pleats' doesn't it!) and sort out the hem.

All of this took no time at all, my only nemesis was the broken side zipper...
Original Plastic zip
I learnt the hard way, no matter how true to your vintage pattern you want to be, nothing beats inserting a streamlined invisible zipper. My initial zip was a standard plastic one, which had been far too long for the opening (4 inches too long in fact), so I had cut off the bottom to ensure it fit. BIG MISTAKE. The moment I got a bit exuberant on opening it, the slider shot off and refused point blank to be re-attached.

I removed it and tried to insert a vintage metal one I had to redo about 5 times before it looked even slightly respectable. I gave up and I toddled off to buy a new one only to be faced with a shop full of zips but not one in the correct colour or length. Again I opted for the longer version (of the invisible kind) and instead of cutting the excess off the bottom I cut it at the top (why did I not think of this before) and am happy to say it works like a dream plus it looks so much neater!

The front
The fabric I used was a bargainous £1 a meter, it is a heavy rough satin which works quite well as it hangs nicely. The envelope says it's 'quick and easy' and I would agree it is easy, as it only really has 4 parts, though it's not necessarily quick, some bits were a might fiddly...

...yes fancy 50s collar I'm looking at you!

The Back - Can you tell this is the only tidy corner in my home:)

All in all, I really like it, thought the pleated front is a bit strange, I am not sure whether to lengthen or shorten the pleats...sorry...Sunburst tucks, as when it's on they feel odd, kind of corset-like, which I'm not opposed to (holds everything in an all) but I can't decide if they look right on me...anyway I have not managed to get a picture of me in it yet, which I will hopefully be able to rectify tomorrow as I'm having some friends round for a little dinner party (two friends and me does that count as a party?...well threes a crowd so I guess so!) so it should give me a good opportunity to fancy myself up a bit and get a photo to show you all what it is I'm waffling on about! Time for another Lemsip I think...

Wendy x

PS I have a long overdue giveaway coming up in the next few days, I'm just trying to round up a few more nice bits, so watch this space x