Dreaming of… vintage transformations and their affinity with Pimms.

Panic over, I’m back. After a very busy week…I have another busy week, but managed to fit in some simple makes and even got around to photographing one of them so that my crazed fans lovely followers won’t be too worried about where I’ve disappeared to!

You may remember this dress, which I wanted to make into something more wearable.

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I drew some sketches and knew that I had to choose something with relatively small pieces as the original dress is slim. I painstakingly unpicked every single seam in order to get the most out of the fabric and ended up with a large pile of blue fabric and a sea of bright threads!

As you will see in this post, the whole process of remaking this dress went very well with a glass of Pimms in the sun. Right from unpicking at the start, to posing later on!

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I started by making this very simple Colette Sorbetto top with an inverted, open pleat and self bound edges. I used the skirt panels to make the top, and had to sew the back panels back together to be able to fit the back bodice in.

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Unfortunately, when I tried it on, the pleat pulled open a bit so I wasn’t too keen on wearing it.

Luckily, it fit my beautiful friend Nicola perfectly, so on a sultry summers eve in her garden (with Pimms, bbq and chickens as an added bonus), I happily passed it on to a good home, and took some photos in the process.

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And that’s all folks.

Oo apart from – look at Nicola’s pretty nails…
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Oo again – what should I make with the rest of the fabric? I need something that either uses small pieces, or where I can subtly piece together small bits! Any ideas welcome!

Dreaming of…contacts and commissions

On Saturday I awoke bright and early with the thrill of a craft fair ahead. I love craft fairs. Both for shopping and for selling. And on this particular day I definitely did both. In fact, I sold a few items and received a lovely commission, and I then proceeded to spend all my takings on other stalls :-). It was great fun!

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With a prettier backdrop

With a prettier backdrop

Some of my purchases!

Some of my purchases!

I picked up this lovely artwork and necklace from Maxine at the stall to my left.

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And collected this beautiful lace collar and modesty panel on the stall to my right!

Have you ever done a craft fair? What do you think is the best bit? Of course I love making sales, but I think it’s just as worthwhile and fun to make all these contacts (and buy the pretty things)!

Dreaming of…Cambie dresses and the journey to dress perfection

This post is the start of a two part story. A tale that will speak of adventures in fitting, bountiful fabric choices and the holy grail of perfect dresses.

Yes, it is the tale of the Sewaholic Cambie dress. And yes, I am rather late to the party! So late in fact that, despite having coveted the dress ever since it’s release (2 years ago!!), I only bought the pattern a month or two ago. Even then, it arrived on my doorstep in all it’s packaged glory…and I made some other items from my list.

Until ….I could wait no longer. I kept returning to my ‘to do’ pile and somehow the Cambie kept creeping to the top. Crafty little thing. So I finally gave in. She would be next to be made. I took the pattern over to my fabric stash and hit another snag. I wanted to make a Cambie dress in every fabric I own! After much deliberation I narrowed it down to 2 fabrics.

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I knew both would be beautiful, but I couldn’t choose between them myself so I put it to the vote. The border print won and I was satisfied. Or so I thought.

During the day I cut out and made up the lining to check the fit. It needed taking in a bit, but other than that it was pretty perfect. However, as I went to bed that night I couldn’t stop thinking about the wax print and how well the bold print would work with the girly lines of the dress (yes this is what I worry about at night).

Suddenly a revelation occurred. I could make another dress – and this time, I could make it reversible!!!! The Cambie dress is fully lined anyway, so it wasn’t a stretch to make the lining in a fashion fabric and then use a reversible zip.

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third and final fabric

third and final fabric

I already had the lining for one version cut out, so I decided to make up the border print first with the plain blue as the lining. I chose one more fabric to act as the reversible side for my wax print, and cut out 3 fabrics at once to speed up the whole process. Voila- Cambie was well on her way to being the star of the story!

Fully lined

Fully lined

Floral Cambie was a dream to sew up- the only alterations needed, were to pinch out some excess fabric at the back and pull the straps through a little bit more than asked for. Just like that she became the heroine of part 1.

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So I took plenty of photos to give her the spotlight she deserves!

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As you can see I had to fold the hem the wrong way as I wanted to keep the darker border along the bottom, but had cut the skirt too long. Luckily the ‘wrong side’ barely looks different to the ‘right side’. Unluckily I had overlocked rather than French seamed the skirt, but I don’t think it’s too obvious. In fact, I think it’s floral Cambie trying to add a bit of a quirk to her leading lady character!

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We went exploring together

We went exploring together

She was begging to be worn with these shoes and I didn’t blame her as they are possibly the most beautiful shoes I’ve ever seen.

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Wax print Cambie is all made up too and desperate to be shown, but I’ve told her to wait her turn and quit trying to hog the limelight!

They’re both looking forward to rave reviews – I’ve told them that they shouldn’t care about what other people think, but should be confident in themselves! :-)

P.S – everyone over here is also feeling a little smug because I’m joining in with Sally’s summer stashbust and we’d like to point out that you will see not 1, not 2, but THREE fabrics stashbusted into Cambie form!

Dreaming of … strawberries and sunshine

As promised, here is the circle skirt I showed you how to make on Wednesday.

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I wore the skirt last weekend when the sun was finally shining and we decided to go strawberry picking – apparently it’s the early birds really do catch the worms strawberries though and we (arriving mid-morning) were left foraging for any ripe ones. We didn’t let that put us off though and collected a good few to have with meringues and once we’d run out of strawberries to collect, we thought we’d better boost our energy with some of their homemade ice cream. That was a good choice – in fact so good that I forgot to take photos of it!

Got carried away and picked unripe ones too!

Got carried away and picked unripe ones too!

To make up for that, here’s a picture of my strawberry nails!

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I already know that this skirt will not stand the test of time. It’s made from vintage curtain lining, which I dyed blue and didn’t realise how threadbare it was until I was too invested.

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As you might imagine, the fabric is butter soft – and yes, as you can see, it creases like a beach. There are already a few holes and some patches that are nearly worn through, but do you think I’d let that stop me wearing my new pastel summer circle skirt? No! I wanted to twirl! So I just wore short leggings underneath in case there were any unexpected tears! (Fortunately there weren’t and the skirt lives to see another day).

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There’s not much to say about this skirt that I haven’t said in the tutorial…you can see how it sits nicely with a belt and I actually like how the bias binding makes the hem fluted. So long as you ignore the tremendously wonky hem, then I think it’s a very versatile skirt and I’m sure I’ll wear it until it really does fall apart! DSC06885