Saturday, 12 July 2014

Liberty Love

Let's be honest guys, I've never been shy about my love of Liberty of London print fabric.  There's been many a project featured here that's been made of the glorious Tana Lawn they make and few other fibres in between!  
Saiph Tunic
Gertie Dress
Gathered waist skirt
Peplum top
(as well as a ton of unblogged older makes!)
I joked a month or so ago that if I could sew exclusively in Liberty print (my budget doesn't agree) that I would.  It seems since I said this that I've made it my life mission to do so.
You see, my work has always sold Liberty prints.  And I've always been obsessed with them.  Even before I was a sew-er, I always visited the haberdashery in the London store.  Back in April you may have seen that I even got to go a buying trip to their warehouse (cue kid in a sweetie shop moment) and when these arrived in store I could not contain myself or my excitement!  Then they went in our summer sale at 20% off.  Yes folks, £12.59m for my beloved Liberty of London prints.  In Tana Lawn, Lantana Wool, cotton & viscose jersey, sweatshirting, crepe cotton, silks, cords and even some cotton canvas.  We seriously got in such an amazing selection.  And I went seriously crazy with my purchasing (and there are still more on my wishlist!)!  I bought:
Not only did I buy these from work, I was recently down in London and bought two silks on Goldhawk Road for £12.50m!  How can a girl resist?
It's getting beyond a joke now.  But at least I'm making things with them!  Including this great wee summer top.  I traced round one of my favourite camisoles and have used this a pattern a few times now.  I cropped the length and added the gathered skirt hem.  And used only 1m of fabric!  WIN.
The rest of them you'll just have to patiently wait and see what I've made with them, cause they're all sewn, just not all worn yet!
Are there any fabric companies that you all swear by?  I know we all love Liberty, but is there another brand out there I should know about and diversify to?

The Facts
Pattern: none, traced from existing top
Size Cut: none
Fabric: Liberty Silk from Classic Textile, Goldhawk Road
Notions: none, just some self bias
Alterations: changed to drop frill hem!
Notes: maybe take in a little as it's a bit baggy at waist
Wearability: 9/10

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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Organising my stash!

Lately my stash has been getting a little bit out of control.  I have a daily joke with customer about this in work and even although it seems like I'm kidding, I'm really not.  I'm pretty sure I have a problem but instead of going on a stash diet or promising to not buy anything new (I work in a fabric shop, that's never going to happen) I've decided to get organised and from now on only buy fabrics that are too good to pass or that I know what I'm going to do with.
So how am I getting organised?  Well, a little while after I first started sewing, my dad built me shelves underneath where my sewing machine was living at the time.  These shelves are now over-run with scraps of fabrics and UFO's (although I'm pretty good at not collecting UFO's and bin them on a regualr basis if I really don't see them going anywhere).  I'm starting here and getting rid of, either by binning/donating/sharing these random bits of fabric.  With the pieces I am keeping, they're moving to under my new(ish) desk.  It's got shelving built in to it at one end perfect for fabric storing.  So my to use fabric stash now looks like this.
I've rolled the fabrics to help reduce creasing and permanent lines.  This is a tip I picked up years ago for traveling, apparently if you roll garments to go in your case, not only are they less likely to crease, they take up less room!  This also helps fool me into thinking I have less fabric than I actually do!
I've also started labeling my fabrics.  I done this prior to going on holiday so I would know what I had and didn't have.  Each fabric is wrapped with parcel string and has a travel label with the type, name, price, yardage, where and when it was bought.  Hopefully this will keep me on track or shame me in the future!  Once each piece is labelled, I've noted it down in a notebook which I can easily refer to.
You might have noticed over at the Coletterie that they shared a similar way of labeling fabrics.  There's even a downloadable swatch card that you can use!  I'm sticking with my way just now (I had it in place prior to that post) but it's a great resource for anyone who wants to start getting a bit more organised!
Hopefully this will make life a little easier, but who know, with my fabric addiction, anything could happen!

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Monday, 7 July 2014

Plus Size Pattern Pyramid Winner!

Congratulations Kristy!
Drop me an email at hazel.berryman(at) with your contact details so I can get your parcel to you!

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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Graduation - Vogue V1030

I genuinely can't believe I'm posting my graduation dress.  I'm totally in denial about the fact I've graduated and it's time to grow up and start looking for a real job!  This was obviously a very special make for me.  Initially I was torn over whether or not to make my dresses, for both graduation day and for grad ball.  I didn't know how my time management would be but when I visited London back in April I found the perfect blue silk chiffon on Goldhawk Road and one decision was made, I was making my ball dress.  As for graduation day, I tried a dress on in Mango, loved it and went with that!
My next problem was choosing a pattern.  I had bought 4 metres of the silk chiffon knowing that it should be enough to get a floor length dress of some description.  Initially I was going to base it on a dress I had seen in Coast, but after making a toile, I didn't like the shape so had to come up with something else.  I spent several nights and lunchtimes at work looking at the pattern company books and websites, there were plenty dresses that I liked but they all seemed to need far more fabric than what I had.  But being me, I thought screw it, I'll make it work and bought Vogue 1030 on a whim.  I cut it out and with some 'creative' cutting I got the full dress pattern pieces laid out on the silk and was good to go!
I knew the neck ruffle was never going to work for me so I decided that some lace, utilising the scallop would add the visual interest I needed.  The lace I chose is the ever-popular Tocca by John Kaldor.  It comes in so many colours that it's a good go to for everything.  All that was left to get was some lining and for this I used silky satin (which is a bargainous £3.99/m) that has great drape and fluidity.  Both of these were from my work.
The construction of this dress was great!  I was expecting it to be a nightmare but taking my time ensured that I had no issues.  I omitted the back zip and gathered belt.  This became too bulky with the lace over the layer of chiffon and satin.  Instead I used some of the remaining silky satin to make the belt which I hand-stitched in place below the bust line.  The other alteration I made was to add a second row of the scalloped edge.  When I tried on the dress after I completed construction I was really uncomfortable and knew it was because the bodice was totally different to anything else I've ever worn.  In order to fix this I added this second scallop and immediately felt much better!

A massive thank you to my friend Neil Jarvie who took all these photos (who is clearly an amazing photographer and y'all should all go check out his work)  All that's left to say is that I had an amazing night and amazing graduation day!  I can't wait for my next adventure.

p.s. bonus graduation day photo!

The Facts
Pattern: Vogue V1030 - Designer collection Badgley Mischka
Size Cut: 20
Fabric: Silk Chiffon from Goldhawk Road, Tocca Lace and Silky Satin from Mandors
Notions: none other than threads
Alterations: omitted the zip, neck ruffle and belt, added and extra scallop in the front and satin belt
Notes: none
Wearability: 5/10 - perfect for the occasion but let's be honest, it's not everyday wear! hah 
Don't forget to enter my *GIVEAWAY* which is still open until Sunday!

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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Plus Size Pattern Pyramid *GIVEAWAY!*

Well hi guys, I promised I'd be back at the end of the week with a giveaway and here it is!
A couple of months ago, I won the plus size pattern pyramid that Nessa was giving away on her blog.  She was the second recipient of this and I was delighted when she emailed me to say I'd won and it was my turn to pass it along.  In an ideal world I would have done this much sooner but as you all know the rest of my life kind of got in the way!
From the pyramid I kept these two patterns;
I love the Gertie dress and hope a suitable ocassions arises for me to make it and the jacket could be perfect for me this winter :)
Since I've taken my choices, I've added these in;
 and the full bundle looks like this:
Fancy winning yourself all this pattern goodness?  Well all ya have to do is post a comment here before 5pm BST next Sunday 6th July!  This giveaway is open worldwide and I hope we can keep this pyramid going and have it be as successful as the others!  Good Luck!
 THE RULES (originally by Karen at Did You Make That - copied and slightly amended)
·        Anyone, anywhere can enter the giveaway by posting a comment below by midnight March 31st, GMT, but you must have an active blog, so that you can host your own giveaway.
·        I will randomly select a winner.
·        Each winner will then pick a selection of patterns to keep for themselves, and host their own giveaway throwing some new choices into the mix and then send the patterns to the next person who will also be randomly chosen.
·        All patterns are in the plus size category – ie – if the pattern comes in 2 sizing groups, then it will be the larger category. Patterns used to replenish the stock need to go up to at least a size 20 (most go higher). Patterns listed as “all sizes” will include plus sizes.
·        We are taking it on trust that all pattern pieces are there.
·        If you’re a winner, I would love it if you could make a small contribution to The Brooke. This is a charity close to the heart of Catherine, who so generously provided the original patterns. These plus-sized patterns have been contributed by me in the spirit of the generosity of the sewing community.
·        Please engage in a timely fashion, launching your own giveaways soon after receiving a parcel
·        You must be be happy to post patterns worldwide.

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