Wednesday, 21 September 2016

WOW: Dressed to Impress..Just!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
What a week it's been! Thank you everyone for all those good thoughts you sent my way last week - it was an eleventh hour dash and I got over the finish line ....just. I know your positivity made all the difference. I got a second gust of energy just when I needed it and stitched my last stitch (the inside hanging ribbons) at the stroke of midnight and then my DD beaded until 2.30am. At 3.30 am we were driving to the airport.

This photo was taken at 11.30pm, it was the final fitting and you can see from our faces that we are tired, elated and relieved - all at once. All I kept thinking was, oh dear, it's close!

I can't wait to share more dress details and return to blogging once my feet return to the ground.

What's Your WOW?

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

WOW: Burning the Midnight Oil

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I now have 48 hours left to finish my DDs wedding dress. Luckily for me, I don't just believe in miracles, I rely on them. So far, I'm still working on the most complicated bodice of my entire sewing life. Please send plenty of positive thoughts my way, I need all the help I can get.

You'll find me behind my sewing machine...

What's Your WOW?

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

WOW: Behind the Seams

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
The wedding is in 10 days and the dress isn't done. Am I busy today? Yes!

Here I am stitching up English coutil for a fitting whilst my DD tries out her new advanced foil snow jacket (she's getting married in the snow on a mountain top) and needs to stay warm in between dress shots! But first, she'll need a dress to stand in! It's been one thing after another with this dress and we only just purchased the last of the actual dress material on the weekend. So today, it's more work on the bodice which I'm boning. The lace has been been a big hassle with issues regarding the sleeves. I haven't had a moment to blog about it. My DD has been waiting around and kindly launching patterns for me by drawing them up on the computer while she waits, so it hasn't been unproductive but now we've entered the zone, She will be getting on a plane on the 15th of this month, so let's just say - I'm busy! Can't wait to share all the details with you soon...

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Stash Busting Stars - How I Make The Blocks

Once you know how, you'll be putting your stars together in no time at all. I sometimes hand sew them together in front of the TV, I love how easy they are.And of course, they're perfect for EPP too. 

Here's how I make mine
 Create TEMPLATE A and sew in TEMPLATE B
 Like so
 open the Y seam nicely
 now insert TEMPLATE C
so you end up with a diamond 'unit'
here are three 'units' waiting to be sewn together
 Next, create 'unit 2' which consists of TEMPLATE C & D
and then, sew the 'units' together, creating your block
As you can see, I like to use fusible for my shapes, it make assembling easier, especially as I usually put my stars together away from my sewing studio - I like to do it outside in the garden or bring it with me when we get away for weekends. It's also perfect for EPP. 
 and it's ideal for fussy cutting and showing off beautiful details

I'm completely in love with this quilt, it's so versatile. From fussy cutting an exquisite top to using up fabrics in a stash busting mission - it just works. And if you ever get bored, you can turn your diamonds inside out for a hexagon centre - I bet you weren't expecting that?!

Monday, 5 September 2016

'Stash Busting Stars' Quilt Pattern is Launched!

WOW! It's finally here and I'm head over heels in love with it. Okay, yes I have been making my own Stash Busting Star Blocks since October last year - but I hadn't definitely decided on how I would arrange the quilt top. I wasn't worried because I knew it would be gorgeous- the fabrics are all stunning and the star just lets those beauties shimmer without overpowering each other. What's not to love?!

Each block is a perfect mini project for those times when you've got some new fabrics you want to play with or some old fabrics you want to use up to show off. So far, I have 9 created and have no plans on stopping. I might even keep going until my stash is eaten up! I like the idea of making 3 or 4 of these in different tones and why not? Patchwork star quilts never date and look so incredible!

What do I love more? The fact that each star needs only 4 fabrics? Or the fact that this is a pattern I can play with on and off throughout the year? I've made several in front of the TV in the evenings by hand stitching prepared pieces together and other times I've just taken out a hour or two in the afternoon when I wanted to make something - without starting something new. I really love this pattern! So, will you decide on a complete patchwork quilt of various background scraps, or opt for a red background like I'm thinking of? Or perhaps a light background takes your fancy? 

However you decide to make it, one thing's for sure - it's going to be a stunner!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

WOW: Stash Busting Stars Quilt

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I don't know about you, but my stash has once again reached epic proportions! It's out of hand. There's just so much lovely fabric out there and I get all tempted and then, I just look at my shelves and wonder what to do with it all.

Well, about 6 months ago I decided to start a kind of 'ever growing' block that I would just keep adding to. The idea was similar to a crochet granny square that just keeps going. You may recognize this picture, I've been working on my star blocks for over 6 months. Just a few pieces whenever I had 30 free minutes or so. I've really enjoyed combining all the fabrics and then using a bit from one star in the next star - so that although they are all different, they're all connected.

When I saw how gorgeous the star blocks were, I forgot all about my initial 'ever growin' and started making star busting squares. And let me tell you, they're addictive. I am now just 3 short for my quilt top. So whilst I wait for the wedding Coutil fabric to arrive, I am making these last three. I aim to pull it all together and have another quilt top done before the wedding dress is done. This quilt will be for my living room, and I've selected fabrics that match the leather in there and just 'fit' in. I'm so happy with the progress.

You may have noticed that I've been putting out patterns more regularly just recently. It's all in an attempt to clear up my design folio and clear the desks for even more adventure ahead. This weekend I will be releasing my Stash Busting Star Quilt, so if the idea appeals, stay tuned for the design ;)

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Finishing My Cool Men's Sunglasses Shirt

If you follow my Instagram account, you might remember that I shared an image from Simply Moderne magazine featuring Luke Haynes. What really captivated me was his shirt, I instantly thought it was just the thing for my DH, so I ordered the sunglasses fabric in both blue and pink. I know, I know - I have so much fabric in my stash that it seems ridiculous to keep looking for excuses to buy more, but sometimes inspiration just strikes!

First thing I had to do was draft a pattern for my DH from one of his old shirts. He was due for a clear out anyhow, so I picked a shirt I knew fit well and set about copying the pattern on my pattern board.
Next was deciding on the inside cuff fabric. Luke used a kind of brick fabric which I couldn't find, so I raided my stash...

I quite likes this cat print, but was pretty sure my DH would draw the line at cats, eventually I settled on a black and white mottled print which I forget to photograph. 
Then I ironed down the shirt standard fusible, 
'fussy' cutting to get the best coverage of the sunglass pictures
And then it was time to start sewing the shirt together
It may seem odd to be sewing a shirt when I have a wedding dress to make, but I'm the kind of person who ordinarily prefers to go at my own slow pace - but only really performs when under pressure. It's just how it is. If the wedding dress wasn't a pressing emergency, I wouldn't have made this shirt for another 6 months (and I still have alterations waiting on WIP chair). It's just the way I work.
Just like the mannequin before it, I gave away my favourite over-locker last year. I was sure I would never need it again. I didn't fancy unpacking the spare in the garage and dusting it off and fine tuning it, so I french seamed the shirt instead. 
I'm a stickler for good collars and cuffs and these are two details me eyes always draw to, so I made sure they were nice and even (you can see the cuff fabric I opted for in the inside collar)
Looking good, if I do say so myself..
Then I lined the button side with a strip of navy blue and stitched down the buttons
Voila! It's done
Now that I am looking at it, I think the cuff needs another button which I will add. But that's a minor detail. I'm very happy to have completed the shirt and am wondering if I really do want a matching one in pink? The idea really pickled me at first, but I don't like the pink anymore - it's too pink for me and I actually think it's a masculine kind of pink (if that makes any sense) so I don't know what I'll do with it. I may yet change my mind. 

Let's see what the DH thinks of it all!!