Wednesday, 11 February 2015

There's Been A Crime In The Village

Hey Peeps!

How is everyone? I've been having a lovely time. I got to see my Bestie for her birthday celebrations even though this involved driving on the M25 (actually not so bad) and some time spent in Ipswich (also, not so bad). I've very nearly finished my Minoru coat (just some top stitching and hemming left to do!) and I have some gorgeous dresses that are all cut out and just waiting assembly. Plus one of my other Besties has just booked herself train tickets to come and see me next month, 'citin!

Today I thought I would share another of my, until now, unblogged makes, here it is.....
 ......it's a By Hand London Floranna dress and I love it. I got the polka dot fabric from Fabric Land in Southampton and it wasn't quite wide enough for the skirt panels to be cut normally so I cut them on the cross grain which worked out great. Stupidly though I also cut the bodice pieces like this which was totally unnecessary given the tinyness of the dots......ooooops! This has resulted in the bodice being a little snug (which of course has nothing to do with the two stone I've put on since I moved here!) but it still does up so I'm calling this a win! I love the shape of these two patterns combined.....
.......and I can see many more of these hybrids in my future.......although I still want to try out the Flora wrap bodice dress......mmmmmm moar dresses.

In other news Chi and I have officially been living on the island for a year today and what a year it's been. It really was a shock to the system moving from central London down to a teeny village that didn't even have a pub but I've come to really love it here especially since I learnt to drive and can get around this beautiful place more easily.

Despite it's remoteness (and lack of pubness) there are some definite upsides to living in a tiny village and one of them is the crime rate! Last year some family friends asked if the could store their little "tractor" on our drive as they were having to move house (because of all the rain we had washing away the road they lived on) and had no where to store it. "Of course, no problems at all." The tractor was delivered to my driveway, all sorted.

Now a couple of days later I had my Over the Road neighbours over for dinner who, during the course of the evenings conversation, asked me where the little tractor had gone!? After I'd replied that it was on the drive and they assured me that it wasn't (we even braved the evening air to go and check) we got all excited and decided that there had BEEN A CRIME IN THE VILLAGE! Duh duh duuuuuuuuuuuh! My first thought was "oh crap Papa will kill me, I've lost his friends tractor!" and then "what do I do?", do I call the family friends and let them know their tractor is missing or do I try and find out what's happened to it first and then let them know???? Argh! Over the Road neighbours said not to worry they had the number for the local neighbourhood watch people and the local Police Person we can report it!

I thought I ought to check with the tractors owners before calling the authorities just in case they had arranged to have it moved again and I had somehow missed the message, quite possible given my aversion to landline answering machines and the fact that I live in a mobile blackspot meaning the only way I get phone messages is on the landline answering machine. Luckily my gardener turned up the next day before I had made any phone calls, I thought it would be a good idea to just check with him to see if he had any idea where the tractor might be. Turns out he had been worried about it being left on the driveway for all to see......and possibly steal......so he had  driven it further up the drive and covered it with a tarpaulin! Crime solved. I let my Over the Road neighbours know about the latest development  and I have to say we were all a little disappointed.....I think we'd been imagining swarthy criminals in black and white striped tops with SWAG bags driving the tractor down our little road at 10mph!

There are of course other benefits to living in the country (have you seen my sea views!?) but the low crime rate is definitely high up on the list!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Epic Fail

Hey Peeps!

It's February (just in case you hadn't realised) where did January go? Did anyone notice? Whaaaaaat? I swear the months are getting shorter. I actually had a very busy and enjoyable January. I realised a couple of months ago that whilst I've been living down here on the island I really haven't been taking advantage of it. There has been lots of work done (yes Papa, LOTS of work) and lot's of me leaving the island to visit friends but very little exploring of this lovely little island has actually been done. Which is just stoopid. It's beautiful down here and there is loads to do....even in the Winter.

Now given that the people I know down here are my Parentals friends my social scene was a little limited so I joined a Meet Up group called the "Isle of Wight Hobnobs" and it's been brilliant. Last month we went on a leisurely stroll along the east coast of the island, listened to live music, watched the awesome film The Theory of Everything, came second in a pub quiz and danced our little socks off. It's a really interesting mix of people and it's lovely being able to meet people that you otherwise might never have come across, it's a rather fab thing 'tis the interwebs! My social calendar is just as jam packed this month plus I have Small Girl Type Creature coming for a visit in-between university interviews, February is shaping up to be awesomesauce.

I actually haven't done any sewing at all so far this year but I do have a few creations that as yet haven't made it to the blog, this being one of them......
.......it's a By Hand London Flora but in skirt form. Looking at these photos I love it but in real life it's an epic fail. The material is totally wrong.....sad face. I made it out of the Gaberdine that I'm making my Sewaholic Minoru out of, once I'd cut out all the coat pieces I had loads of fabric left over so I thought I'd try a skirt.....big mistake. It just really doesn't work it's way too stiff for a skirt plus it makes a really loud rustle noise when I move which is weird, so yeah sad face.
It's only saving grace is that it looks lovely when you hold still as the fabric really shows off the skirts beautiful shape plus it's great for twirling.....
........mmmmmm swirly twirly. This particular skirt is destined for the scrap pile (the enormous scrap pile that is threatening to swallow me.......really must get my quilting head on!) but there will definitely be more Flora skirts in my future. 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Toadstools and Terrariums

Hey Peeps!

I hope everyone has had a lovely week? Mine was rather excellent (except for the sort of mini/half cold I had, in the mornings it felt like Man-Flu and by the afternoon I was fine again....oddness) because I finished off all my late Christmas presents. I know, I know Christmas presents are meant to be given on or before the 25th December but I stupidly wisely decided that I was making all mine last year (that feels so weird to say/type!). I started in October and everything would have been finished with plenty of time to spare if one stupid but essential item had turned up when it was promised.....not the next bloody year! Grrrr argh! Ah well it arrived last week et voilà eight finished presents. I shall be sending them all out this week which will hopefully brighten up a few dull Januarys.

I also managed to photograph some of my unblogged makes from last year (the making part is so much fun why is the photographing part such a pain......well not pain....it's the weather that's the pain!) so without further ado I give you the Toadstool Dress.....
 ......it's the Deer and Doe Belladone dress and I love it. The print is from Spoonflower on Kona cotton (I toyed with the idea of cotton/silk but I wanted this to be a casual dress) and it's beautiful my only regret is not ordering four yards. The pattern pieces fitted easily on to the three yards I did have but I couldn't really attempt any pattern matching, unfortunately it kinda looks like I did try and just failed but hey-ho you live and learn! If it really bugs me I could always get myself some more (MOAR) fabric and try again but I think for now I'll live. The dress itself came together really well, this is the second time I've made it (the first was for Small Girl Type Creature and it was in an awesome Star Wars print) I had to make my usual adjustments to the bodice.....
 .......a FBA and adding length. I did a little tweaking with the help of Mama (I muslined this out in Saudi Arabia) to the back pieces as I was getting a little gape above the cutout, I think I could adjust those a little more next time though and there will be a next time. I love the bodice and the waistband and the pockets the only thing I'm not sure about is the skirt shape on me, I like it but I'm so used to huge circle skirts that this one feels a bit restrictive!
All in all I would have to say that despite the few little errors in this dress it is a favourite and has been worn a fair few times since I finished it. I really must like it as I'm thinking that I'll use at least the bodice/waistband pattern as my bridesmaid dress for Baby Bothers wedding later this year! That is of course after I've finished making the brides dress, the other bridesmaids dress, the grooms waistcoat and possibly something for Mama too (EEEK!) what have I gotten myself in to?

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Christmas Presents & Hobbycraft Goodness!

Hey Peeps!

So my final pressie arrived last weekend and I thought I'd make a quick video of all my loot.....to show off share and of course to say thank you to everyone that treated me this year. It's taken this long to upload to YouTube because of the terribly slow internet where I live......which is basically in the 1990's......no jokes, I have a hamster upstairs in a wheel powering the dial up modem!



I hope you enjoy me rambling on and if you make it all the way to the end.....congratulations....not quite sure how it ended up being that long.....although the aforementioned rambling might have had a little something to do with it! How lucky was I, so many lovely gifts. I hope you were all just as spoilt.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Friday I'm In Love

Hey Peeps!

TFIF hey? These first few weeks of January always feel a bit flat; all the excitement of the Festive Season is over, you're back to work/normal life and there isn't the excuse of "it's Christmas" that lets you feel ok about indulging in another wedge of Terry's Small Girl Type Creatures Chocolate Orange. Bah Hambug! On the upside the New Year does feel fresh and inviting, the whole "new year, new me" thing drives me a little nuts (who are you kidding....gym membership......I'm totally talking to Past Siân there BTW) but this is definitely the time of year for self reflection.

2014 was an interesting year for me, I moved from one of the busiest cities in the world and the place that I have lived for the longest period of my whole life to a teeny tiny little village on a teeny tiny little island miles away from the life I knew. This move was the right thing for so many reasons and it isn't a decision I regret in the slightest* but it has opened my eyes to what and who are really important in my life. 2015 is going to be another interesting year but for different reasons I think, I have a plan and I have contingency plans if that doesn't work......like an Inception** plan if you will. I'm not going to list a set of resolutions here (I have written myself a list of short term goals though) because life is fickle and things change meaning resolutions can become obsolete and I wouldn't be able to check them off the list which would drive me a little bit crazy (I like ticking things off of lists, it soothes me) but I will say that I want to make changes and I think I know what those changes need to be.

Right enough of all that navel gazing (love that phrase) and on to the much more delightful occupation of window/virtual shopping! First up I have this beauty for you.....
......it's the Bernie Dexter Veronique dress in the super gorgeous and super rare Michael Miller Serenity Bridge fabric. So pretty and bright it's making me wish for Spring to arrive asap! This fabric is another beautiful offering from Michael Miller and is currently selling for about £35 a panel for the very few panels that are left! I currently have very limited stock of the dress available here and I also have the skirt here. I can (for the moment) order in more/different sizes if I don't have what you need, all it takes is a quick email to sian@kittenishbehaviour.com! 

Right enough self promotion......I have (of course) also been looking for fabric this last week and the above dress has definitely influenced my choices.....
Ferndale / Karners Love Lupin
Flowering Meadow / Fanciful Flight
.......le sigh.......so pretty. They are all from Spoonflower and I imagine them all in the gorgeous cotton silk which would make beautiful Spring dresses. Trouble is one of my goals for this year is to sew exclusively from my stash (which is huge) and the only fabric I'm allowing myself to buy are linings as and when they are needed. These are all way too pretty to be just a lining......right?

Lastly I'm going to leave you with these.....
Animal Kingdom / Art Nouveau
Still Life Bouquets / 1960s
......adult colouring books.....can't tell you how nervous I was when I entered that into Google! Whilst I was up in Sunny Nunny Big Bird and Small Girl Type Creature took me to a huge Hobbycraft store where I spent a lot of time running about squealing in glee (so many crafty goodies) and picking up things that I NEEDED (I don't need anything.....I have everything already). Whilst I was running about like a headless chicken Big Bird found a postcard pad in Art Nouveau designs that you could colour in yourself, SOLD! Big Bird also found the Animal Kingdom colouring book I've listed above, in to her basket that went. When we got home we did a little bit of research (the aforementioned scary Google search.....that's research right?) and found that adult colouring books are indeed a thing.....an order may have been placed. We both sat on our respective sofas happily colouring away whilst everyone else watched TV.....evening well spent if you ask me. I've since bought myself a copy of the 1960s Artists' Colouring Book which is beautiful and unlike some of the others is printed on lovely thick card and is only one sided, this gives me the perfect excuse to break out my Copics.... 
......see, told you I didn't need anything from Hobbycraft.......evil, wonderful place that it is! I haven't started on any of the larger pictures as yet but there will be some very pretty postcards being sent out in the not too distant future....if I can bring myself to actually post them that is.

*Regret the things you did do not the things you wish you'd done....one of my favourite sayings.
** Miss L, I blame you for putting that thought in to my head!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Happy New Year Peeps!

Hey Peeps!

Happy New Year! 2015 how the hell did that happen?? I hope you've all had a lovely festive season and been throughly spoilt, I know I have. Fabulous food (who knew Little Bother could cook like that!), my wonderful family and I've been given some lovely presents, plus I still have more to look forward to when I get home on Sunday night.....awesomesauce.

I've spent the last couple of months making everyones Christmas pressies which was actually a lot of fun, all the family got PJ's which lead to us having many PJ parties including New Years Eve. There were fancy silk ones, warm toasty fleecy ones and the pièce de résistance have to be these bad boys....
..........Big Bird and I decided this would be the perfect fabric for Baby Bothers Christmas pressie so I started tracking some down. This lot came all the way over from California and I'm so glad I found it. I couldn't be too careful with print placement due to limited yardage meaning I ended up with this interesting hand/crotch placement.....oooo errr missus! Baby Bother spent the entirety if Christmas day in these and looked rather dashing.

In all the selfless sewing craziness I managed to squeeze in a little Christmas dress for myself. I got myself three yards of this Michael Miller Poinsettia fabric which is the perfect amount for yet another Anna/Kittenish Behaviour hybrid (yes I know, another one but I needed something I could make super fast/not really need to think about)......
......I got it finished just in time for the book club Christmas dinner which was lovely. I wore the Crown and Glory Lana orchid in attempt to avoid Christmas cracker hat which worked a treat but I totally forgot about the Christmas cracker moustaches, silly silly me.

All in all this festive season has been amazing, I have an amazing family, fabulous friends and some really rather wonderful customers. Bring it on 2015 it's going to fun!
Facebook / Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

P.S. Don't forget that there are still two days of free worldwide shipping available over at Kittenish Behaviour why not treat yourself! 

Friday, 5 December 2014

Friday I'm In Love: Christmas Party Dress Edition

Hey Peeps!

For this week's Friday I'm In Love I've decided on a little bit of shameless self promotion so I'm sharing some of my holiday favourites from Kittenish Behaviour. First up......
....the Trashy Diva Honey dress. These are both made from a gorgeous satin that has a slight stretch to it (perfect for wearing at Christmas dinner......there will be room for all the yummy goodness) and a subtle sheen. The style is very flattering and super swooshy (that's a technical term) brilliant for dancing, all round the perfect party dress.

Next we have the beautiful Lottie dress..........


 .......made from the same stretch satin (totally Christmas dinner friendly dress!) as the Honeys this time in classic black or antique white. Again super flattering shape and swooshy, flirty mini skirt, theses dresses would look amazing paired with some of the gorgeous sparkly tights that you can find at this time of year.

Lastly......
.........we have the Bernie Dexter Winter Wonderland skirt which is the perfect Christmas skirt (in my opinion). The gorgeous print is so Christmassy and the skirt itself is very easy to wear. Either team it with a jumper, tights and flats for a lovely relaxed Pin Up day time look or pair it with a Bardot style top, heels and your blingiest jewellery for a festive party outfit.

One of my favourite things about the festive season (apart from watching people open up the presents I've made for them) is the excuse to wear your fanciest dresses whenever you like, I've been known to wear my satin party dresses around the house with warm fluffy socks on Christmas day just because and I'm sure that this year will be no different!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Sewvember Part Two

Hey Peeps!

Can you believe it's December already? How on earth did that happen???? I'm in full on Christmas present making mode (that's a mouthful) which means very little selfish sewing is being done but I do have plans for a Christmas themed dress for myself so I'm going to have to squeeze that in somehow. It's all doable.......note to self; start making 2015 Christmas presents in January next year!

The end of November also means the end of Bimble and Pimbles Sewvember photo challenge on Instagram here are the rest of my pictures....

Day 16: Organisation....
.....I like to have my thread organised in colours 'cause it looks pretty.

Day 17: Planning......
........I like writing lists, I rarely stick to them but it makes feel organised.

Day 18: Fun.....
......I posted a video of Chi doing her tricks but I can't get that to work on here (technical skills definitely lacking today) this however is just as fun.....Chi likes to give the paw of approval to all my sewing projects.

Day 19: Fit....
.....I always have to make adjustments to patterns, usually lengthening the bodice, a FBA and making room for my big hips/butt. It's fun figuring out how to make things fit.

Day 20: Notions......
.....I clearly have a thing for sparkly things, bias binding and pretty trims/lace.

Day 21: Craziest Fabric....
.....I have some crazy prints but I think this is the nuttiest! It's a cotton/silk blend from Spoonflower. It's a picture of scrunched up tin foil and I love it.

Day 22: Tried and True.....
.......the Anna dress is definitely one of my TNT patterns but you've seen all of those. This is a Kittenish Behaviour pattern which I love and make loads of although I don't seem to photograph them! It's the same 5 panel skirt I pair with the Anna Bodice on the shorter versions I make.

Day 23: Patterns....
........I have my patterns organised in an Ikea Benno CD tower which works really well. They're sorted into Vintage, Indie and Big 4 along with Colin the camel. I keep my PDF's in plastic folders and all my own patterns I have finally been sorted into their own folders.

Day 24: Challenge....
.......this seems to be a reoccurring theme amongst cat owning sewers.....whenever Chi can be "helpful" she will be.

Day 25: Complete....
.....this is a vintage house coat/dressing gown I made using Butterick 7461 with a few alterations; FBA and a tie waistband. It's silk cotton from Spoonflower and I lined it with brushed cotton so it's lovely and warm.

Day 26: Red Hot Mess.....
.....I don't think this classes as a total hot mess but the fabric was all wrong for the jumpsuit so I never wore it. Thankfully the trouser legs were just big enough to salvage for the skirt panels so I eventually got something wearable out of this fabric four years later.

Day 27: Best Make.....
.......I love this coat but it remained unfinished for the longest time due to me being terrified of ruining it when I did the buttonhole! I decided on a giant press stud instead and I'm now looking for the perfect fancy button/brooch to really finish it off but until I find it at least I can wear it.

Day 28: Hem....
......I love a bit of bias binding.

Day 29: Learning......
.......I love learning new things. Totally took advantage of the Craftsy sale and got these three classes, going to be fun.

Day 30: Top Tip.....
......these Pilot Frixion pens are brilliant for marking fabric (darts etc) because when you iron over the mark it disappears (obviously test this on a fabric scrap to make certain!). All the pens I've used that were designed for sewing tend to vanish very quickly and as I like to cut out and mark multiple projects at once disappearing makers are a pain in the butt!

So there you have it 30 days of sewing photos (with added pretty kitty), it was so much fun and I found so many new blogs and picked up some great tips along the way. Thank you Amanda for organising it.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Friday I'm In Love

Hey Peeps!

I've had another industrious week of Christmas present making which has really gotten me in to the festive mood......that and the fact that Christmas has thrown up on all the shops around the island and you can't escape it wherever you go! This has definitely effected my mood whilst fabric browsing this week, I love the idea of wearing a Christmas themed dress at Christmas (I did it last year and plan on doing the same this year) so this type of fabric browsing was inevitable. and heres what I've added to my wish list.

First up........
Mini Ornaments / Holly Leaves
Winter Essentials / Snowflakes
.......these gorgeous white fabrics, I think these would be a great way of wearing a themed dress which isn't screamingly obvious as a Christmas dress. We've got baubles, holly leaves, seasonal wording and my personal favourite snowflakes. Given the amount of eating you are likely to be doing on the day in question a white dress may not be the most practical choice but I think it would look lovely.

I also looked for some more traditional prints and colours......
Christmas Star / Metallic Cardinals / Winter Berries
Winterberry Botanical Green 
.......all of these would make lovely Christmas dresses. I particularly like the holly berry garlands on the dark green background, just think of all the fun you could have with different fabric placements.... I'm thinking of a chevroned bodice and horizontal striped skirt.

To me Christmas isn't Christmas without a poinsettia in the house (no idea where that's come from so I looked it up, here if you're interested.....thank you Joel Roberts P!) so I had to include this one.....
Poinsettia 
Silver Holly / My True Love Gave To Me Holly / Seasons Greetings Holly
......along with these holly and mistletoe fabrics. I love all the metallic accents in the two holly fabrics which is very appropriate at Christmas plus it appeals to the magpie in me.....mmmmm shiny, excites!

Lastly I found these.....
Snowflake Blur / Holiday Glitter
Holiday Yule Critters
......in the UK we rarely get proper snow and when we do get it it's never on Christmas day which sucks. Christmas day with a full on blanket of snow, friends and family, a roaring fire and lots of yummy food would be awesome....as long as the snow would then magical disappear on Boxing day so everyone can go about their business.....ahhhh a girl can dream. I love both of these snowflake fabrics which have an added bit of metallic sparkle (magpie alert!) but again with the white background/Christmas food issues. Finally I have no idea why I like this last fabric it's overly cutesy (even for me......I have some fabric with frolicking Pugs on it for crying out loud!)  and very in your face (again, even for me.....I have fabric with day glow tree frogs on it!) but I really do like it. Although I think I would probably make myself Christmas PJ's out it rather than a dress....probably.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Christmas Wish List

Hey Peeps!

I say this every time I put one of these lists together; apparently I'm hard to buy presents for! I don't see it myself......fabric, anything sewing related, shiny or made of chocolate and I'm a happy bunny. Mind you I could narrow those areas down a little bit so here goes.....

Books....
The Complete Photo Guide To Perfect Fitting / Winter Blooms
Fashionary Notebook / Couture Sewing Techniques
......there are lots and lots of sewing/knitting books that I've got my eye on but I think these four are top of my list. I'm trying to get better at fitting and could certainly use all the help I can get, especially as I'm making a wedding dress next year! I would love to learn to knit and the patterns in this book look gorgeous, I'm fully aware that I couldn't start off with one of these but it would be good to have something to aim for and drool over whilst I'm learning. The Fashionary notebook is awesome for planning and you all know how much I love making lists, well with this I could make lists with pretty pictures too! Finally I think Couture Sewing would be a fascinating read and again it would certainly help with wedding dress making.

Patterns.....
Vogue V9015 / Deer & Doe Chataigne Shorts
Papercut Bellatrix Blazer
.....there aren't actually that many patterns that I've got my eye on at the moment which surprises me (must have ALL the patterns!). First up is this Vogue number, I've been on a bit of a PJ making marathon this past week and whilst PJ's are lovely I do like nightgowns as well. Also I was thinking I could use them as slips under some of the dresses I've been making recently, I tend to only line the bodices of my dresses so there has been some tights stickage occurring. Next I've had my eye on this Deer and Doe shorts pattern for ages but always shied away due to the difficulty of fitting trousers but I've decided to "Man up wetpants!" and at least give them a try. Lastly is the Papaercut Bellatrix Blazer which is gorgeous and I think would fit perfectly into my wardrobe.

Thread....... 
Popular 50
Popular 20 / Metallics / Naturals / Pastels
......my foray into machine embroidery was so much fun even with the very crappy thread I used (note to self do not buy cheap thread from eBay!) I'm still working on getting the software to work on my Mac (It's designed to only run with Windows programmes and only Windows 7 not the 8.1 I've got installed....bugger) but I once that's working there are so many things I want to try and for that I need good thread!! These are definitely pipe dreams (don't expect anyone to spend that on a Christmas pressie) but just look how pretty....le sigh.

Tools..........
Clapper / Pinking Shears
Stitch Markers / Circular Needles 
........I'd really really like a clapper set for seams (happy clapper seams), also some pinking shears (how do I not have pinking shears?), some stitch markers and finally a set of circular knitting needles. Nuff said.

Finally......fabric........
Denim Dots (3 metres) / Red Cotton Sateen (3 metres) / Polka Dot Wool (4 yards)
Tula Medium Cotton (4 metres) / Tula Medium Cotton (4 metres)
.....it wouldn't be a wish list without some fabric. Clearly I'm having a thing for polka dots at the moment in the forms of stretch denim, cotton sateen and 100% wool......mmmmmm polka dotty goodness. I'm also trying to make some wardrobe basics (well as basic as a fit and flare dress can be) and I love both of these colours, still feeling very autumnal it seems.

So there we go friend and family peeps I'm not at all difficult to buy for......honest!