Saturday, 30 April 2011

I bought a new machine!! :D

I'm so excited!! I've been wanting a new machine for a while (I'm sure we all do) and I've had my current machine for just over a year now. So it's probably due for a service, however I was reluctant to bother as the machine cost me £99 when I bought it, and I can now get one for £88. A service costs around £70-80 at the only place anywhere near me, and it's still a good 45 minute walk away. It just doesn't seem worth it. I may as well buy a new machine for an extra £8!!
So I mentioned it to Dom, and we talked about it for  while. I had a look on Sewing Machine Sales which is where I got my current machine from (Singer 1507). I bought this one in  hurry as my first machine (a vintage Singer 507) had broken, and again it wasn't worth getting it fixed. It ended up being between a couple of Singers and a Janome. These were in my £200-250 budget. But Dom being Dom had to look at the next model up from the Singers I was looking at - the 7470. This was £293, out of my budget. But after looking at it and what it could do, I wanted it! Now for his birthday, I bought Dom some custom made in-ear monitors (the kind musicians wear) on the condition that he was allowed to spend as much on me for my birthday. He has already bought me a vintage camera (which I love!) so he said he would go halves with me!! Woohoo!! The 7470 was now well within my budget, so I ordered it in a hurry while babbling thankyous to Dom! :D Now it's just my luck that I ordered it pretty late, so it won't be dispatched until today, and it's a bank holiday on  Monday! So it could be Tuesday at the earliest!!
I can't wait to have a play on it!! :D
A very excited Ashley x

Friday, 29 April 2011

Crescent skirt - muslin

Not too bad from the front, right?
And then you see the back. . .
Ah, well, that *may* be a *smidge* too tight. Lol. I'm not sure how this happened, I traced off a size 12 at the waist grading down to an 8 at the hips. Perhaps I didn't need to grade down to the 8? Not sure, but anyway its an easy fix. I think I'm going to add about half an inch at each side seam piece, so a total of 2 inches. This will give me plenty to play around with, as I'd rather it be too big than too small. As a whole though, I love it! Such a lovely shape, and those curved seams lend so much inspiration for adding something pretty! :)
Are you participating in the Sewalong? How's it going?
Ashley x

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

I finally did it!

I've been meaning to change the look of my blog for ages and ages, and finally got round to it last night. I feel like I've given it a good clean and tidy. Hurrah! I really like it, it reminds me of my bedrooom when I was 11 or 12 when I wanted a 'grown up' bedroom - purple/lilac with silver/grey accessories. 
Also, I don't know about you guys but I could never see my 'followers' box with the template I was using before. It just wasn't there. I always thought it was my blogger account that was somehow broken. But as soon as I changed the template the followers box appeared! Yay! :) Talking of followers, there are now 42 of you with blogger followers and g-reader subscibers! Wow! Looks like the giveaway will be sooner than I thought! :D I'd best go shopping for a prize :)
Ashley x

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Birdie Blouse - Finished!

Of course it was just my luck that as soon as I finished my blouse it clouded over and got super windy and has been that way ever since. Humph. So you get inside photos again. I'm tired today, and aren't wearing much makeup but I thought hey ho, gotta show my face around here sometimes! So here are some photos of me in it :)

Dom set up the camera with a remote control pointer thingy for me! I also used a lens that has auto focus, which made it much easier, even though a few times it focused on the door! Anyway, back to the blouse. I think I could've done with another 1/4 inch or so of an FBA. It's a little snug and doesn't quite go underneath my chest properly. But I'll know for next time I suppose. This is my first garment for my top half after all, I'll get there in the end. I also could have done with pinching a little out of the neckline. It sits a little high and gapes just a smidge. I've written these changes on the pattern piece, so I'll remember next time. I think the construction went really well, there were no serious hiccups which is always nice :) I'm getting better at understanding construction instructions, I think this is partly due to all the blogs I read, the amount of time I spend on the Sewing Forum just browsing (I suggest you join if you haven't already!) and that every time I get a new pattern I read through the instructions even if I don't plan on making it any time soon. So I've been hoarding construction knowledge for a while! :) I'm finally starting to be able to read through the instructions for a garment and actually understand every step! Yay!
Anyway, here are some close ups and some inside shots :)

Yay, I'm so glad it's finished :) I'm really happy with it, and I can't wait to wear it! It brings my total of finished garments to a grand total of 3 skirts and a blouse. Somehow I don't think I'll be participating in Me-Made-June this year! lol
Next up is the Crescent skirt. I'm going to start working on the muslin tomorrow :)
Ashley x

Monday, 25 April 2011

Birdie Buttons

All there is left to do is the button holes and buttons! What do you think of the buttons? I was originally just going to cut the circles out wherever, but inspiration struck when I saw Debi's button's on her 'Almost Easter' dress! I decided to be more selective about where I cut the circles from. I decided to go for the head of the darker green birdie :) I really like them, and can't wait for it to be finished! I should hopefully have some photo's tomorrow. Or at least, that's the plan!
Ashley x

Friday, 22 April 2011

Birdie Blouse - Progress

That's the most progress I've made on a project in one day in ages! This morning the shoulder seams and side seams of the top bodice bit were sewn and that was it. Now it recognisable as a blouse! :) As you can see from the back view I've got as far as putting in one facing. So there is just the other facing, the collar, and the hem to do! Oh and of course the buttonholes and buttons, wouldn't want to forget those! Might be slightly embarrassing! lol
I had to include a close-up of the sleeves so you could see those cuffs! I'm so proud of them :) They seemed to take ages as there was lots of pressing and hand sewing, but it was definitely worth it! The sleeve roll was so handy for pressing them, I'm glad I bought it already :)
Ashley x
ps. I'd also like to welcome my new followers! :) I appreciate every single one of you! 

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Just what I need :)

I finally got round to ordering a tailors ham and sleeve roll at the weekend, and they arrived yesterday! :) I can't wait to try pressing a dart with the ham, and the sleeve roll has seen use already. I used it to press the seams open on the top bit of the blouse I'm working on. It makes it so much easier!
Also, I solved the storage problem! I bought a little set of drawers from Argos. They were only £12.99, and Dom works there so I got staff discount too :D Here they are:
The pieces on top are the interfaced pieces of the blouse. I didn't want them to get wrinkled or bent so they can live on top for now :) As you can see I've already put the fabric and pattern in the drawers for the Crescent skirts. I can see already that its going to be so useful in not losing the thread or buttons or zipper or whatever else I need for a project. It can all go neatly away in its drawer! The drawers themselves fit nicely in between the bookshelf and the desk, so they only take up a little bit of room.
I also wore my Beignet skirt today (and yesterday)! It works to much better without woolen tights, it doesn't ride up at all. Its also just as cool as I'd hoped as its cotton. It was great to actually wear something I've made! I have to admit that this is the first time (apart from the disastrous time with the tights) that I've worn it. I'm really pleased with it. It doesn't crease as much as I was expecting, which is a definite plus :)
Oh and I have some adorable polaroids to share with you when they've finished developing! The film I used is from the first flush from The Impossible Project so its not perfect. You have to leave it in a dark place for a few days to fully develop before scanning them in as the light from the scanner can ruin the picture. So yes, look forward to some slightly blurry funny coloured cuteness! lol
Ashley x

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Knitted shawl

Yay it's finished! Just my luck that I finish it just as it warms up! Ah well, it will go nicely with my winter coat. There's is also enough yarn to try a pair of matching mittens too :)
I've made a good start on my next knitting project too, the baby cardigan for my mums friends. She's due any day now, so I'd best get a move on!
I'm almost onto the sleeves. It's knitted in one piece, and then sewn up the sides and the bottom of the sleeves. I'll post a photo of it before it's sewn up :)
Ashley x

Monday, 18 April 2011

B4985 - muslin

Overall, I'm really happy with the fit. The changes I made to the tissue were to do an FBA, and to move the waist. My neck to waist measurement is about 3 inches shorter than the norm. To fix this on the pattern I had to shorten the pieces so that the waist shaping was in the right place, then lengthen it at the bottom the same amount so it didn't end up as a crop-top! Very boring and tedious but I got there in the end. Is there an easier way to do this?
I'm going to go for the puffed sleeves as the drapey sleeves just don't sit right :S I'm also going to add a smidge to the length and to the side seams for a bit more room.
I'm really pleased with the fit, I've finally found the right starting size! I didn't have to make any changes to the upper back or shoulders which is a first! :D
I've already cut the fabric. I cut the collar upside down the first time! Luckily there was plenty left to cut another, this time with the print going the right way! Just got to cut the interfacing out.
I'll be doing a muslin of the Crescent skirt this week too! The sewalong started today and I can't wait to get going.
Now I need some advice. I'm going to end up with three projects on the go - the shirt and two crescent skirts. Any advice for staying organised? I'm thinking of making some really quick tote style bags for each project to keep everything in. These will be useful for future projects too. My main problem is space. We live in a small studio apartment so being able to put a project in a big bag and sliding it under the bed is ideal. Any other ideas?
Ashley x

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Smart skirt - Finished!

I'd like to apologise in advance for how awful these photo's are. Black is impossible to take a good photo of! I had to mess with them terribly to get the small amount of detail that there is! Also, I looked awful in them all so my face is cropped out. We should have left the window open. Perhaps then my face wouldn't have been so red.
Anyway, these are the best of the bunch:
You can barely see any detail! But you can see the shape, which I quite like :)
Look what I had to do to make it show any detail! Ick, but at least you can see the cute gathered bit at the back. I think this is my favourite thing about this skirt. Also, that isn't a gap at the top of the zipper, its the  flash shining on the zipper pull thingy.
This is the best photo out of the whole lot. I don't know how Dom managed to get the detail! I really like the gathers. They sit quite nice and flat which was unexpected :)
So, yes. I think I owe you some better photo's. I'll try again when I wear it out in the sun :)
Jellybean x

Friday, 15 April 2011

Look what arrived!

Look what arrived this morning! I've eaten two already  (it was all I could do to stop myself stuffing them all in my mouth at once! lol) It also arrived with a lovely note from Lady Cherry, who has lovely hand writing! :) So a huge thank you to the lovely Lady Cherry for having a giveaway! Thank you!!
On a slightly related note, I found out some time last week how to find out how many subscribers you have on google reader*! With the lovely followers I have via blogger and the lovely followers I have via google reader, I have a massive 30 followers! I never dreamed I would have so many! So a huge thank you to all you lovely followers too :D I'm been plotting and planning and dreaming about a giveaway for when/if I reach 50 followers. Giveaways are so much fun, I really hope its soon :)
Oh and I finished my smart skirt that I started before Becky's dress. I'll get some pictures tomorrow, I really like it. My finishing is definitely improving, if I do say so myself :)
I also got an update from my mum about Crunchie this morning. He's doing much better, he's had his catheter out and is able to go to the kitty toilet himself which is a big step in his recovery. The vets originally said he should be able to come home next week, but now they're saying it could be tomorrow! Which is wonderful news, I can stop worrying so much :) 
I've also decided on my next project which I'll start after tea:
And of course there's the Crescent skirt sewalong starting on Monday! I'm looking forward to having a few projects on the go at once, I've never tried it before so we'll see how that goes :)
Well, this post ended up being lots of odds and ends didn't it? 
Ashley x
*for those of you that also don't know like I didn't, follow this link and put your blogs name in the keyword search box and hit search. Easy peasey! :D

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Russian dolls!

These babies aren't just Russian dolls. Oh no. They're also cup measuring thingies. Dom bought them for me because he is always sending me emails with links to recipes in them that he thinks look yummy. But he never checks the ingredients so usually the ingredients have to be measured in cups! So I moaned at him about it. And he bought me these cute little things! I tried them out using this recipe and wow! It was perfect, there was the perfect amount of everything! And the end result!!! There are no words for how delicious they were. I didn't get a picture as we ate them too quick but they turned out exactly like the picture on the recipe page!! I certainly recommend trying the recipe if you have some cups.
Also, on a more serious note, please send lots of love and cuddles to my little brothers kitten/cat (when are they old enough to be called cat?) because the poor thing is at the vets! Apparently he had to have a blockage removed and they're keeping him in for a couple of days to make sure he doesn't have any kidney damage :( The poor thing! And just because I had to share these funny photos my mum took of him, here he is:
Doesn't he look like he's laughing?

Ashley x

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

I won, I won!

I won Lady Cherry's giveaway!!! Woohoo! I've never won anything before! The prize looks so yummy too! If you haven't checked out Lady Cherry's blog, you really should! Lip stick, afternoon tea and lovely vintage inspired fashion. . .what more could you want? :)
Ashley x

Monday, 11 April 2011

Look, I have a sewing shelf!

Yay, finally a place for me to put my machine that's easy to get to! A shelf might not sound like much, but at the moment we live in a studio apartment. The only real storage space is the floor to ceiling wardrobe or under the bed. When my machine was under the bed, it was annoying to get out from under there. Then we managed to clear a space at the top of the wardrobe. However, every time I tried to get it out I nearly dropped it on myself as the shelf was so damn high. So last weekend, we had a massive clear out and tidy up, and Dom cleared this shelf in the wardrobe for me! It just the right height for me to get to it easily, and I now have a place for fabric too! My patterns are in a folder under the bed, but easy to get to, and everything else is in two boxes at the top of the wardrobe. Boxes are easier for me to get down that my machine was :) I also have a little box that I put everything I'm currently using for a project in, so my scissors, thread, buttons or the zip, the pattern instructions etc. that lives on the counter where I sew. It's really nice to finally have proper places for everything. Perhaps now I won't lose what I need :)
Ashley x

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Paired up - fabric and patterns

I've been meaning to do this for ages, but I got held up by Becky's dress. Then I bought more fabric, so there was those to consider too! So, here's what I've decided on :)
I love this fabric! This is the second fabric that I've had that had a strawberry print on it. I wore the dress a few times, but it was too big everywhere as I hadn't paid attention to seam allowances! I've learnt alot since then! I haven't used this pattern before so I'm looking forward to it :) I'm thinking of going for the view in white on the envelope.
This print is so adorable! I've used this pattern before, with the other strawberry fabric I mentioned above. It says its for stretch wovens, but the fabric isn't stretchy so a muslin is definitely needed! The pleats give the skirt a lovely shape :)
I can't wait for the Crescent skirt sewalong! I've decided that I love the pattern so much, I'm going to sew two skirts at the same time. I figure if I have double the sewing, I'm less likely to speed ahead of the sewalong. Plus its exam time during the sewalong, so a sewalong is the perfect thing for me, as it'll keep my sewing time at a limit. So I should actually get some revision done!
I've been looking forward to sewing the Ceylon since I got the pattern. And that fabric. . .! I love it, I just hope it won't be too stiff. Hopefully the pre-wash should soften it up :)
Hmm, three dresses, two skirts and only one top? I should really sew more tops! lol I think I'm going to go for the red and white polka dot view, but I quite like the white view too. What do you think?
So the plans for my fabric and patterns are made. Lets see if I stick to them!
Ashley x

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Fabric purchases!

I just so happened to have a quick browse at the fabric stall at the indoor market on Thursday, and what did I see? That they had some adorable new prints in! I only ever really have a browse, as usually there's only ever polycottons or 100% poly and I much prefer 100% cotton (ok, I'm a cotton snob! But I have a good reason, polyester makes me sweat. Very ladylike I know). So I was just looking really when the lady came to ask if I needed help, turned out they were 100% cotton! This clinched it, I wanted them! They were £4.50 a metre too, not bad for cottons with cute prints :) They're both going to be summer dresses! I'm currently putting together a post with photos of all of my fabric (only 6 pieces, but that's practically a massive stash for me!) along with the pattern I plan on using with it. This is both for my benefit as it helps me plan ahead and actually remember what I've decided, and also for your benefit because if you're anything like me, you're nosy! :) 
I hoping to get a bit of sewing done tonight. Remember this post? Well, I dropped it so I could work on Becky's dress. I'd got as far as having the pieces cut, and the front sewn together. So onwards!
Ashley x

Friday, 8 April 2011

Evening gown - Finished!

Hurray! I finished it yesterday, just in time too the ball is tonight! I'm really happy with it, and am amazed I managed it. I've never done anything like this before, as although it is quite a simple pattern Becky wanted a new back variation. I only ever really bother with fitting alterations and so far those have been minor. However, what with the back variation and the FBA on this dress, it required lots of time and effort. It's definitely the most 'intensive' thing I've made so far (although Ebony's princess dress required a lot of hand sewing, it didn't really take that long and was simple to do). I hand-picked the zipper and catch stitched the hem in place. I prefer hand-picking zippers as I've never managed one by machine before and certainly wasn't going to risk it on this dress! The sash was slip-stitched in place, while Becky had to stand still and straight in her heels! We both had to stop for breaks to sit down, as Becky's feet hurt and my back hurt from bending over to the sash. We were both glad when it was done. Now, I just feel relieved that its over and I can mess all I like on my own projects again! lol. I can't quite relax yet though, I've got a research report in for Wednesday, and have only just started today! Oops!
Anyway, on to the photo's! The lovely lady in the red is a friend of ours, Leanne :)
Font view
Back view. Those pesky straps were tucked in after this photo, but I didn't get any other back shots.
I think this is my favourite photo! She looks so pretty, and it really shows off the shaping on her hips :)
Becky and Leanne
Yeah, I don't know what they're doing either! Perhaps Leanne is showing off her matching shoes and handbag?
Stupid shadow!

And more shadow. . .
Phew, I'm so glad its done, and that she's happy with it! :D
On another note, I bought some fabric today! I'll take photos tomorrow :)
Jellybean x


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