Elsa inspired costume dress

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I have been promising to make an Elsa dress for absolutely ages.  A whole year probably.  Well finally over the Christmas holiday period I took some time out to make some personal projects and this was one of them. 

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I already had the fabrics that I wanted to use.  These had been sitting in my fabric box for months just waiting. 
The sequin fabric looks great but oh was a real pain to work with and my daughter informs me it is itchy so if I make this costume again I might look for an alternative.

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The end result was great though and it looks terrific. 

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Medieval costume dress inspired by Arwen gown from Lord of the Rings

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10620743_1537194393179811_8618754685626454262_nWe were invited to help out at our local Parish fete and given the opportunity to display some of my bears and dresses which was great.  It also turns out there was to be a fancy dress theme.  So I figure great a chance to dress up and have fun plus create costumes.  My daughter was easy.  She would wear Princess Sofia.  I just had to plan something for me.

After much deliberation and with input from my son I decided to try creating a medieval style dress.  My inspiration was the beautiful Arwen from The Lord of the Rings.  After posting a collage of some of her gowns on facebook the one everyone loved was this black and red gown.

First thing was to find a pattern that I could work with.
I found a Simplicity costume pattern and ebay provided the materials.
I ended up ordering 4m of red craft velvet and 12m of black velvet.The pattern looks like I don’t have to alter it at all. Simplicity 4940.

It took ages to cut out and thankfully I remembered to cut all the dress pieces on the same grain. I remembered from watching the Great British Sewing Bee that velvet brushes differently up and down so you need to make sure all your pieces go from top to bottom in the same direction so it doesn’t look odd. There was so much black velvet I had to lay it all out on the floor to cut it out. I also did the same with the red velvet for the sleeves. I ordered this lovely satin gold brocade for the sleeves and neck plus some gold lace for the trim.  I know it won’t be identical but it will be close enough to hopefully look good. Since I only plan to make this costume once I cut the original pattern which I don’t usually do but it did save me time.

 

The sewing of the dress was actually quite easy in terms of which pieces went where but I discovered that black fabric is quite difficult to sew as you can’t see easily where the stitches are and velvet is really odd. It pulls against itself so seems to slip about. You have to watch carefully to make sure your seams don’t fall out of line. I loved working with the gold lace and the brocade though and I love the big long sleeves. In the end though after hours of sewing I was really pleased with the result and couldn’t help wonder what this dress would be like in a gorgeous modern fabric as an evening dress or even a wedding dress instead of as a costume. The costume fitted great though and it was fun to wear.  I loved the detail around the neckline. I can’t wait to have a go at my next costume project. Plenty of sewing between now and Christmas but am planning on taking a bit of time for personal projects in the new year. Meanwhile am looking for excuses to wear this one again.

I wonder if it’s too much for a Tesco shop?

 


Pink !!!! Pink dresses

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First let me be very clear here.  I don’t like pink on me.  I own no pink clothes or accessories. It doesn’t suit my skin tone. A colour me beautiful (remember them?) consultation way back in 1991 (oh gosh that long ago! ) confirmed me to be a blue tone. I suit blue’s.

PhotoGrid_1406474058364If I wear green it has to be a blue tone green same with pink and red. I’m not adverse to it as a colour but it’s not a favourite. I will confess however to bright hot sexy pink towels in my bathroom and not sure why but a bright pink colander in my kitchen. He he. It’s a pretty colour in nature. In flowers and sunsets and animals but it looks better with other colours. Ok so not a massive pink fan.

So then I go and have a pink flavoured baby.
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A baby girl. I have a boy and loved all the cute little boy clothes and oh the thought of pink glitter dresses just seemed all wrong. I swore that I would not be seen dressing her in pink. She would wear blue and purple and girly things in colours I loved. There was a cute summer sailor outfit in pink and blue but I was adamant these pink outfits would be a rare thing. All perfectly fine until age 2 she totally confounds me with an unexpected love of pink! She is a total doll. Very very girly. Loves shoes to the point of obsession and hair accessories and. … pink! So here I am admitting I’ve had to give just a little and embrace a tiny bit of pink.

IIMG_20140712_034711 have found myself searching for and yes buying pink fabric and yes making pink dresses.

They have to be just about acceptable to me so I did lots of searching and found ones I like. she loves them all.

IIMG_20140708_053547n fact when deliveries arrive there is a massive amount of excitement and some hugging of fabrics lol.

I chose a pretty Burda summer dress pattern and also made up a simple short top style dress with a zipper. Burda are one of the only big commercial makers of patterns that say it’s ok to use their patterns to make and sell clothes not just for personal use.

I PhotoGrid_1405202718976made the summer strap dress twice. Once in blue with pink flowers and again in a pale pink. The pale pink dress is my daughters absolute favourite and I love this pattern. I plan to make some of these to sell.

I used a lovely pink fabric with a gold starburst with my pattern and I love this dress so much. Oh yes I admit it despite it being pink I love it and I love it on her. I bought this fabric from a quilt and craft fabric shop in Malvern called Stitch 45. It’s slightly weightier than normal dress fabric but still thin enough to wear and has a lovely brushed soft cotton feel to it.

TPhotoGrid_1405959647961he final pink dress and my absolute favourite is the same pattern using a Michael Miller wee wanderer fabric. This one is called whisper woods in pink. It is so pretty.
Am I converted to pink? No! It’s still not my favourite but I must confess I like the fabrics I chose and love the dresses. I do hope she outgrows her love of pink but in the meantime I will cope and maybe even love just a little. As parents we make concessions for our kids and sometimes we learn from them too !


Lucy Tunic

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I downloaded and printed out the Lucy Tunic over Christmas to have a go at and finally had an evening to sit down and try it out. 

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I chose 2 fabrics that I like and that I thought complimented each other but they don’t have to match completely as this is a reversible tunic. 
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I started by completing the flower side. There are only 3 pieces plus 2 little cap sleeves which I adore. You can add side pockets if you like. I did but wait and see what my critic thought of those.
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I love the spotty fabric and have decided to buy some navy spots for a summer playsuit.

Once both sides are sewn you match them up with right sides together then sew both together.
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The toughest bit for me was button holes as I am not an expert on button holes. Sewing buttons back to back wasn’t easy either but I love the end result.
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My little one didn’t like the side pockets. “No like! “. She declared. I think front pockets are easier so next time I will add front ones.


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Halloween Pirate inspired costume

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Halloween pirate costume. pirate fabric inspired outfit

I promised I would write a blog entry / post / article on this sewing project and here it is.
The fabric was bought from www.alwaysknittingandsewing.co.uk. s local Fabric craft shop recommended it for novelty fabrics like these pirate prints and they have an eBay store.

pirate fabric

I decided to make trousers from the dark fabric and a top from the light.  I chose Simplicity 7189 for the trousers.

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The pattern for the trousers is only two pieces cut out.  You need some bias binding and some elastic.  I used 6mm for the legs and 12mm on the waist. I cut out age 2 for the pattern since my little one is quite tall. As always I recopied the pattern on to new paper rather than use the original. This is an easy pattern so only took a couple of hours of sewing. The hardest part is seeing the bias binding for the elastic and making sure you catch the edge but leave a big gap for the elastic.
Simplicity 7189 pirate fabric inspired outfit with trousers in skull and crossbone
For the top I chose a dress pattern but decided to make it short like a tunic top. I used Simplicity pattern 1924. This is one of their new project Runway patterns and is lovely.
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I especially liked it for the top as it uses poppers or buttons as fasteners rather than a zip.
Simplicity 1924 using pirate themed fabric

Once again I copied the pattern out then measuring against one of her tops I worked out how long I wanted it to be and drew out bottom pieces in the required length. I used some blue facing as I felt the white needed a backing. I love the poppers on the back.
skull pirate theme fabric top using Simplicity 1924
I simply adore this top. I bet the dress is adorable. The Simplicity Project Runway patterns encourage you to pick and choose from elements of the pattern and embellishment like sleeves of different styles, added lace here and there, different style bodices or adding collars or pockets to suit. I prefer simple lines so no added extras. I love it and can see this outfit in lots of other fabrics for the summer.
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She seemed really comfortable and it fitted beautifully.
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Time out for playgroup

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Sometimes there is just nothing better than taking time out to play.  Baby Twinkle is such an easily sociable person that going to playgroups is no problem at all.  Her big brother wasn’t as keen on people in fact he is still fairly discerning when it comes to people he likes or doesn’t now.  This playgroup is run by a friend of mine from our local church and it is at the church.

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Twinkle loves the painting but that’s no surprise and does get quite vocal when it’s time to stop painting.  Gosh she is amazingly stubborn and strong willed.
Do our children really just become mini versions of us? I don’t think any of us like to admit it but as we become older I think we gradually morph into our parents.  Find ourselves using the same expressions to our children as our parents did with us and so on. I definitely see lots of me in both my kids. Nice in some ways.  Maybe that’s what people mean when they say that having children means you live on.  In them and their descendants.  Oh and of course today Twinkle modelled another of mummy’s sewing Totz creations.  Gorgeous she looked too.

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Almost time for school run and today I am struggling to get my engine running above 3rd gear.  Damn thyroxine issues.  A night without waking would be good too.


What is Pinterest ?

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Oh I am totally & utterly addicted to Pinterest. I love it. So what is it ?? The official blurb is that Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, “re-pin” images to their own pinboards, or “like” photos. It has had some bad press particularly men saying its all about young women and fashion but as a mum & a creative person I love that I can pin an article I find on the net to a themed board with a picture. I get a visual bookmark that I can go back to at any time to actually read that item or just to remember where it is. I pin recipes, sewing patterns, kids activities, other websites I want to remember, all sorts and any sort of thing. You create your own themed boards. I have lots of boards like my Rainy Day Craft Activities for Kids Board which speaks for itself or my Yummy Yummy cake recipes ideas but I also have lots of sewing boards like Sewing projects for Kids or Sewing projects for me 🙂 If you want you can browse & repin someone elses pin or you can pin a webpage you are looking at by adding a pinit link to your toolbar. If you havn’t added an account yet you can login using your fb (facebook) details so it couldnt be easier & there is a handy phone app. I have a board for my sock monkeys & friends and one for my hand made sewing TOTZ creations too & now I can link them back to my very own blog. Is it sad that I am actually quite excited by that prospect. Ok so I am a creative nerd after all !

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Sewing Posts

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sewing stuff will also go onto my new site. I plan some tutorials but also just posts on fun creative things and plain old sewing & fun stuff. I added some posts categories too which might make finding things easier. I am all for easy site navigation – oh thats the post nerdy techy geek in me peeking through LOL. Oh baking stuff will also feature so just added a category for that too