Surf Jewels

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Dress Adjustment

I bought this dress ages ago and really like it, love the pretty lace top, but it was just too short.

So decided to add fabric to the bottom to lengthen it.

Tadaa!

Kimono Blouse

After seeing a lot of tutorials on how to make simple kimonos and finding some fabric, I made this, a nice quick make.

I got this beautiful fabric, which is actually a scarf, and quite a big piece of fabric, I measured it and it is 1 metre by 190cm, so nearly 2 metres.

There are lots of free tutorials out there, that are pretty simple and nicely illustrated, there is one here and another here.

I found this diagram really useful and simple:

I pretty much followed this, though I didn’t fold my fabric, but cut it in half, as I wanted my design to be the correct way up front and back, but this would work for floral or plain fabric or one that didn’t have a right way up. I didn’t round the edges off either.

You can just adjust the size dependant on how long you want it and how long you want the sleeves.

Here is a diff diagram from another tutorial:

kimono template

I used a combination of the two.

And this shows how it works on the body, helps you to visualise the pattern:

Free Series | DIY KIMONO

Here are the results.

Wrap Dress

A little while back I saw this dress and was inspired to make my own.

I had a look around for some jersey stretch fabric, but it always seems pretty expensive, but I recently stumbled across some and because it was on a roll I could get away with buying 1 metre, yay.

So here is the fabric, a bit bluer than expected, and a bit smaller, hmmm…

Some how it was not as wide as it was described, so at first, especially seeing as I was just about going to get the dress out of 1 metre of it, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it.

Lucky that I’m pretty inventive. I started by laying out my pattern pieces. I decided I could have a slightly narrower skirt. Then what about sleeves? I had barely any room left, but luckily I managed to squidge them in on an edge and I lost the 3/4 sleeves and went for short sleeves.

By the time I had finished I had barely any fabric left. What about the tie? (I hear you ask)! I managed to leave just enough it out of this pile of scraps. Luckily I had left a long edge so could do it in one section too.

Dilemma averted I think you’ll agree.

Right, after all that I got to sewing, switched to ball point needles, sewing all the insides with a single needle and zigzag stitch and then switched needles again to twin ball point needles to sew hems.

A couple of notes on sewing the hem on stretch fabric:

I seemed to have a bit of trouble making it neat, tip one I must remember for next time is be very careful not to pull and stretch the fabric as you sew, which is hard to do I can tell you. The weight of the fabric, the pull of the machine and trying to keep it all neat and straight make it hard to not pull it out, so you have to be very careful.

Also keeping it nice and neat isn’t an easy task (can you tell I usually sew with cotton, so much easier if you are a beginner!) I found that it is best to try and not focus on the needle too much, but make sure that the edge of your fabric follows one of the guide lines on your machine. I wanted to get a nice neat finish for a change, no wobbly sewing lines! Does anyone else have this problem?

This is the dress when I first sewed it up, was pretty quick to do and I have used this pattern before, so knew what I was doing (kind of!).

This is the dress I made with the pattern before:

You can see more info here, on a previous blog post.

I used this free pattern (I do love my free patterns) from Burda for a Hope Wrap Dress.

Once I had finished making the dress, I started on the design. Ever felt like the fabric you want is just soooo expensive? I always pour over lovely fabrics, but with some at getting on for £15 a metre I decided to go for making my own recently. I printed my own toadstools on a dress before, that time I used fabric paints and a stencil, this time I went for a fabric pen and stencil. I like the control you have with the pens.

I went for the outline first.

Then made sure it was all filled in.

And this is the result:

Roses part two

So I kept the roses and they are sitting on my window sill. I was sitting on my bed and this is what I could see, so had to take a picture, oh so pretty :)

Roses

There is something beautiful about a rose that has died. I got these roses from a bunch of flowers my Nan was given on her birthday and as we were throwing them out, I saved these.

Think they make some pretty pictures.

Love the colours and the details of them :)

Love hate relationship with circle skirts

I have a love hate relationship with circle skirts, at the moment more hate than love though, let me explain…

I have made a few circle skirts and love the shape and the way they drape and the no pleats and everything, nice and smooth at the waist, but..

Yes there is a but. Obviously they take up more fabric, they are harder to cut out, but it’s not that. It is the dreaded hem. Is it just me or does anyone else have such trouble with the hems of circle skirts?

I thought I had cracked it when instead of a normal hem, I did a tiny rolled hem on the very edge of the circle, but today with my satin fabric, this didn’t work too well and it all seems to lay funny. I am hoping a wash and iron will solve this though. I will keep you posted on that one.

Funny because other circle skirts I have made haven’t caused me so much hassle, like this one, all seemed ok, maybe it is just the fabric type.

Bias Binding vs facing

I hadn’t, until recently, used bias binding on the clothes I made. I saw it in books telling me it was an easy alternative and knew what it was and had come across it before, but I had just always used facings.

I always found facing items easy enough and they always looked neat, but more recently I used bias biding in items like the Sorbetto blouse and then a dress using the same pattern.

Then I was in the process of making a lace dress and because the lace was see through bias binding was needed to finish it off.

But what works best for you? I think I prefer facing, I find it easy to sew and it always looks nice. Bias you have to do really neatly to get a good finish, and I always feel there is a bit of a risk that it might not be attached properly or will pull in a strange way somewhere if it is not sewn just right.

I think bias has a place and sometimes you need it, but if I was just doing an average dress, then I would stick to facings.

Lemon curd

I do love a bit of lemon curd, so made some today. Didn’t want to make too much as it doesn’t last, so just made a jar and a half. Yummy.

Lemon curd

I do love a bit of lemon curd, so made some today. Didn’t want to make too much as it doesn’t last, so just made a jar and a half. Yummy.

Rose

We were clearing out some dead flowers today from my Nan’s place and I spotted a couple of roses.

They looked pretty all dried so I brought them home to photograph.

I have taken more pics on my camera, but this is just a phone one. Think it looks pretty anyway tho :)

Rose

We were clearing out some dead flowers today from my Nan’s place and I spotted a couple of roses.

They looked pretty all dried so I brought them home to photograph.

I have taken more pics on my camera, but this is just a phone one. Think it looks pretty anyway tho :)

Modcloth

Just gotta say, and this is just a bit of a random post, but loving Modcloth. It’s a website that I only discovered recently, but they have some lovely dresses. Perfect for inspiration and ideas.

I want this dress:

and I love this one.

I have already purchased some dusty pink chiffon to make a dress inspired by this. I have also bought some navy chiffon for another dress I have planned.

On top of that I bought some turquoise jersey as I have plans to make another hope wrap dress and then print it with a black bird print.

Oh so many plans as always.

I really ought to finish off some of the projects that I have started, there is a black lace dress still half done in my wardrobe among other things and a kimono that I have just started… I should get off the internet and get making…