Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Presents for Isla

There was a bit of excitement at Gather HQ last week as we both became aunties again! Isla Lily finally made her appearance last Friday - is there a better reason than a new baby to get crafting? No.

I made a pair of rain clouds for the nursery (at the request of the new mama - I made similar for my first son) to hang over the cot.

Sandra made this adorable bear (she's a pretty mean knitter, I'm in awe - my knitting skills extend to squares or rectangles in garter stitch...). You can find the pattern in this book.

Both the clouds and the teddy were made over a long period of time - grabbing a few minutes here and there in order to finish in time. They'll be off to their new owner shortly where I'm sure they'll be cherished! There's something so lovely about making baby gifts and there are endless patterns and ideas out there and on pinterest to inspire (which is lucky as I've got three more baby gifts to make before the year is out. Maybe it's time I improved my knitting...!)

Friday, 14 June 2013

Something for the weekend

Let's be clear about one thing - you don't need ANY of the following items to become a better seamstress. They won't stop you sewing things together upside down, they won't prevent you having to use the seam ripper or tipping your pins all over the floor. Of course, we NEVER do any of these things...ahem...

But there's a joy in having lovely sewing equipment. Here's just a few items that will make you feel like a pro, even if you've just sewn that sleeve in back to front...

1. There's something about that sound of a heavy pair of shears cutting smoothly through fabric that is SO satisfying. These Whitely scissors are made in England and will make you feel like you're on Savile Row.

2. I'm terrible at scattering pins around my table as I sew. Which invariably leads to them ending up on the floor and we all know that isn't a good thing. I need a pin cushion. This pin cushion to be precise. So cute!

3. Merchant and Mills has a wealth of wonderful old-fashioned, good quality sewing notions that we covet. Drape this tape measure around your neck and channel Coco Chanel whilst you sew your chic creations.

4. Tea. Tea is an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY whilst sewing. As well as allowing you to quench your thirst, this mug is a zen-like reminder of how to approach your dressmaking.

5. The classic stork scissors. Officially for embroidery, I find them invaluable for snipping threads and  keeping my work neat whilst at my sewing machine. These Gingher scissors are expensive, but worth it - they should last for years.

6. As a child, I remember being fascinated by my Granny's box of mis-matched buttons. This lovely jar takes me back...

So tell us, what are your favourite items that make sewing just that little more pleasurable?

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A To-Make list

I've not been doing much garment sewing for myself recently - the reason being that my figure was expanding at a rapid rate. Having given birth 6 weeks ago I'm itching to get my waistline back and start making again! Funnily enough, I wasn't inspired to make any maternity clothes, partly as I knew they had a limited wear period and partly as I didn't see any patterns that particularly grabbed me. Having lived in ONLY stretch fabrics for what seems like an eternity I'm ready to wear some new me-made clothes!

I seem to live in my faithful skinny jeans most of the time and I'd like to break the habit. Having been inspired by these

I'm now planning a pair of my own using the Clover by Colette. I've also been hankering after a light summer jacket (for our glorious English 'summer'...) and really want to make a leopard print version a la Kate Moss:

I'm currently on the look out for a leopard print gabardine or cotton twill - planning a trip to Goldhawk Road in the near future. I initially wanted to use the Sewaholic Robson trench pattern but as she cuts for pear shapes (and I'm the complete opposite!) I decided to find one that will need a bit less altering - the winner seems to be this Vogue 8884 pattern.

Lastly, for a summer dress I loved the Laurel from Colette but as I'm nursing (and will be for a while) I need something a bit more practical! I'm probably going to go for the Darling Ranges dress by Megan Nielsen.

So I think for now that's enough to keep me busy for a while... Not entirely convinced I can fit it all in in between the 3am feeds and the business but I'm going to give it a go!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Something for the Weekend

At last! Those of you in the UK will know only too well what a rubbish summer we've had so far but FINALLY we seem to have a bit of sunshine. This should be all you need to work it by the pool...

We're both having a bit of a love affair with & Other Stories at the moment. These are yet another pair of shoes from the store to add to our wishlists (sigh...)

This sunhat would no doubt make you feel chic, elegant and ready for a holiday in the French Riviera. Even if you are just wearing it in the garden during an English summer.

Although I have a tendency to chuck my sunglasses in my handbag only for them to emerge much the worse for wear, I wouldn't do the same to these beauties. Promise.

Want to look 10 pounds slimmer instantly? Ruching! Ruching is your best friend when it comes to swimwear. Plus this little beauty will never date (which is a good job considering it's nearly £500. Ouch.).