24 March 2017

Floral Teddy Romper

Well spring has finally sprung and despite being pretty cold this week its nice to see the return of the sunshine today. All this lovely sun and finally seeing the flowers spring up has inspired me to make this gorgeous little cotton floral romper in a hope that my little summer baby will get a chance to wear it before the autumn finally sets in.

Isn't it just adorable <3

The fabric is some very thin swiss dot cotton lawn which I bought from ebay. Its a lovely lightweight fabric and will be perfect if we get any really hot and sweaty days this summer where we want to keep baby covered, but wearing something light and breathable.

Something odd has happened to me though since finding out I am having a girl, and that is a new like for floral fabric. Historically the mere hint of a flower on fabric had me looking in another direction but instead now I am looking a them with new eyes. I think it will still be a while before you see me in anything with flowers on, but it has certainly opened up a whole new world of opportunities for me!

The pattern is another Puperita, the Teddy Romper and as per usual the pattern is utter perfection. I was drawn to this pattern because of two things, the flutter sleeves and the popper fastenings. Mr Fox hates it when I make any kind of romper/dungarees as it makes the whole nappy changing thing an absolute mare. So this pattern keeps him happy and will allow for a nice easy nappy change. 

Everything about this pattern is just adorable, the sleeves, the cross neck, the gathered leg holes, I absolutely love it. It also has a version for boys. It can also be worn over a vest and tights for those slightly cooler days. 

Again, I wouldn't say this was a particularly fast sew as I took my time with it, and there are a lot of bound edge seams, but the time and attention to details really are what make handmade look really special.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend and enjoy mothers day.

17 March 2017

Hand Built Ceramic Fruit Bowl

I'm coming at you with something a bit different this week, some pottery!

I posted a while ago about how I have been attending some hand building ceramic drop in classes over the last year with David Sampson. Due to family life and some personal things I sadly haven't been able to attend much the last 6 months or so. Its such a shame as I really enjoy the classes. Whilst sewing is so satisfying, its really nice to get your hands dirty and actually form something using just these and a few basic tools.

This is a bowl I was working on before I stopped attending. The idea was for it to be a replacement fruit bowl as ours is rather dull. Rather than using the coil technique like I did for the kitty pot This was made by rolling out a really big slab of clay and laying it over a bowl form to create the shape.

As you can see its not really a perfect bowl, its rather wonky and has wobbly edges but this was thankfully intentional. I think the idea was for it to look a bit more organic the finely produced.

One of the reasons I love going to these clay workshops is that I really do have no idea what I am doing, so everything that I make is a complete experiment. I don't really like the thought of going in knowing exactly what I want, its nice to sort of see it sort of shape in front of you, and see how the different techniques can cause such different effects.

The kitty pot I made was very smooth and sleek, and was very simply decorated with a bit of coloured slip, some oxide painted on and some clear glaze. With this bowl I wanted to go a step further.

On the bottom I rolled thin snakes of clay and adhered them on in a sort of spiral pattern. I then used a knife and cut away small sections to make the patterns you can see here. I really like pattern and ceramics, I don't really know why I just sort of like the rhythm of it. I really like the bottom of this bowl, I think I probably prefer it to the top so its a shame you don't really get to see this bit!

For the main part of the bowl I used a technique called sgraffito to create the pattern. First I painted the surface of the bowl with some coloured slip, starting with the brown. I actually had hoped this would come out more black than it did, but again I don't mind its all part of learning what different things do when fired. I then painted a strip of blue and a strip of white to add some more interest.

Using a small tool I then carved these circular patterns around the bowl working my way to the edge. I worked in rings using slightly different thicknesses and pattern each time to create a more interesting effect.

I really love the way the sgraffito turned out, and the dark colour really compliments it well. I think the bit on the blue section looks a bit too much like a sundial for my liking but not so much it bothers me.

Sadly I've not read great things about the chemicals in glazes and pregnancy so I wont be able to attend again for a while now, but I really hope once the family have settled down after the next arrival I will be able to go back as I really enjoy David's workshops. I did manage to get one more pot ready for a final firing, so hopefully I can pick that up in the next month or so as well, it will be exciting to see how that one turns out.

10 March 2017

Liberty Milky Way Sweetheart Sun Dress

I don't even know where to begin with this post, this dress has me almost speechless. There are not enough words to describe how much I am in love with this little dress and just how proud I am of it. The dress is such a dainty little thing, sewn up in a beautiful lightweight cotton lawn in size 0-3 months, its just so delicate. 

Not only am I super chuffed with the final thing I just really enjoyed the whole process of making this. From the cutting out to the final bits of hand sewing the whole thing was a delight. It wasn't a fast project, but it wasn't too complicated either. I wanted to make sure that I took my time, and didnt make any silly mistakes. I think this was mostly down to fear of ruining the fabric but thats not a bad thing.

The fabric is some beautiful Liberty Tana Lawn in their new Milky Way pattern. I'm not really a fan of Liberty prints, they are a bit too dainty and floral for my liking, plus they cost an absolute fortune, but this one really caught my eye. Mr Fox thinks its a bit gawdy but I love it, what do you think?

I was hoping this would be a lovely little summer dress, but in reality I think by the time Little Miss Fox is big enough to wear it we will be coming on to winter, but she can pair it with a long sleeved vest and some leggings to keep her warm so we should still get plenty of wear out of it.

You need to think carefully about making baby clothes because they need to be made from a fabric which will be soft enough on baby's skin, but also breathable. This is why I knew I wanted to make a dress in a cotton lawn as its so soft and lightweight. The fabric really was beautiful to sew with, it behaved spectacularly well, cottons usually do, but I was expected a lightweight lawn to be a bit more temperamental. Who knows, maybe this will be the start of a new found love for Liberty fabrics??!!

The sewing pattern is another gem from Puperita and it is the Sweetheart dress. It comes with 2 options, one with a skirt and this one without which is a bit more tunic style. Puperita do a few lovely dress patterns but I wanted one which was very simple to really showcase the fabric pattern which is why I chose the plain tunic version of the dress. The dainty flutter sleeves compliment the fabric perfectly and I think this was a great pattern choice for this fabric. As always the instructions were spot on and this was a really nice simple pattern to make.

I hope you love this as much as I do! I could just stare at it all day, is that weird?

So if you have any recommendations for me, of any of your favourite girl sewing patterns or places to buy cute baby fabrics I would really like to hear from you. You can never get enough inspiration and the sewing community is my favorite place to find it.


3 March 2017

Lightning bolt baby romper

Oh look, another romper! I made this romper ages ago as a present for one of my friends in Denmark who recently had a little girl. I love hearing people having girls it makes a nice change to sewing boy clothes (and I love an excuse for sewing with a bit of pink). I guess this is something I will get to do more and more of now hazaa!! As you can imagine I already have the fabric for one of these for Little Miss Fox.

There's not much more I can say about this pattern, I have done it to death, but for quick reference it is the Puperita Jumpy Romper and this beautiful lightning print fabric is from Mauds Fabric Finds. Sadly there is non of this left which is such a shame, I could do with making myself an outfit from it I love it so much. You can see all the other iterations of this romper on my made by me: children's clothing page.

Annoyingly what has just happened is I have opened both the Puperita and Mauds pages to add the links and I think a new sewing project is going to get purchased in the next 10 minutes. I'm so weak!

Its really hard to take photos of white clothes, especially in the dull winter months.

Anyway I hope you didn't mind the quick whistle stop tour around this little make. I have actually made quiet a bit of stuff over the last few months, just that I either haven't had time to blog it or haven't had sufficient daylight to take a picture. Its a real shame I will try and get a few more quick blog posts up to show them off in the next few weeks.

24 February 2017

Gold Polka dot Erin Skirt

Its been a few months since my last post but as you can see that little baby bump is coming along nicely! This means I am now at that really awkward stage of my pregnancy where my bump is too big for my normal clothes but not yet big enough for maternity. Such an awkward time I really hate trying to find something to wear. One of the things I did do though was pull out my Megan Nielsen Maternity collection of sewing patterns in a hope I can bridge the gap and get myself some maternity wear which both fits my style better and tries to use up some of the fabric I have stashed about.

Here you can see I made the Erin skirt and I used the leftover gold flecked ponte roma which I bought for my Christmas party dress. I still love this fabric, but my machine still hates it! Using ponte roma on this skirt was a really good choice, its stretchy enough to fit over my growing shape but firm enough to add a little support to my bump. It will of course work in a thinner jersey or anything else with enough stretch but I would recommend something with a little bit more structure.

The pattern is very easy to sew and has very good instructions. You add a bit of stretched elastic to the side seams to ruche the area around the tummy to add more fabric to cover the bump. If you look at any shop bough maternity tops this is normally how they do it too. The skirt it meant to come up over the bump and comes in a knee and midi length. Because of the length I find this skirt really flattering and its really easy to wear. You could pair it with a short tshirt/jumper or an over the bump over the top, its very versatile.

I actually bought this pattern pack when I was pregnant with Master Fox, but that was over 2 years ago now and my sewing must have vastly improved as I tried to make this skirt once and it went so horribly wrong I never actually ended up making anything from this pattern pack at all. Its such a shame as its such a lovely skirt. I think the problem I had was all down to the fabric which was a very thin poly jersey and it struggled so much to get the elastic to go in. I'm really pleased I didn't give up on it though I must have worn this skirt about twice a week since I made it I love it. My tip for the elastic is to tack each end in place before you put it under the machine, that way you can control the stretch as you go.

I'm actually finding that I am having a bit of trouble with body confidence this pregnancy. My bump is a funny B shape rather than that perfect D and I generally feel very big and I don't like how I look in most clothes. This is actually the 3rd time I took photos of this skirt as I couldn't get any I was happy to put on the internet. Its such a shame as I know I should just be enjoying my growing tummy but I think this is something that every pregnant woman must go through at at least one point in their pregnancy. I am doing my best to just ignore it and move on but it is taking conscious effort to do that at the moment. It doesn't help I am surrounded by lots of very slim pregnant people at the minute, who have remained slim with tiny little bumps, where as I just feel like I'm all squishy boob and belly.

I think I need to sew myself a few more outfits like this that flatter my style and shape and will help to give me a bit of confidence.

On the plus side though we found out that little baby Fox number 2 should be a little girl! I'm very excited to be able to experience one of each and obviously can't wait to sew up a few dresses. I will apologise in advance for the raft of baby clothing posts that will end up coming your way over the next few months, but they are cute so I am sure you won't mind.


6 January 2017

A Happy Festive Wren

Before we get into this post I want to tell you to keep reading as I have something exciting to tell you at the end!

So lets get into it by saying hi, and a big welcome to 2017! I'm not going to start out the year with a big rundown of everything I made last year (I think I have hashed that stuff out enough on here) nor am I going to do any plans for the year ahead. Instead we are just going to show off a simple sew which I quickly knocked together when I had an urge for a new festive outfit.

For me 2016 trailed off a bit with both with the sewing and the blogging. I have to admit I really lost my mojo there for a while, so its nice to start off the year by celebrating something made. Hopefully I can keep it up as much as possible in 2017.

About the dress then. Its the fitted version of Colette's Wren dress made using a gold studded Ponte Roma fabric which I got online from Fabric Godmother. Sadly I think I bought up the last of this fabric but its really lovely, I love how the gold spots are actually raised on the fabric, it gives it a real festive glitz appeal. Its hard to tell in this picture but I will see if I can get an image of them in later.

Generally speaking this was a really quick sew, I cut it out and stitched it together in 2 short evenings which is pretty good going. The fabric did fight me a little, my machine definitely did not like those little raised bobbles going into the feed dogs under the presser foot. I also had a massive issue with skipped stitches using my twin needle which I could not manage to rectify. In the end I just gave up and used a straightforward zigzag stitch. The fabric is so stable that this hasn't been an issue at all and you really cant see the stitching.

I made the same fitting adjustments on this dress as I did with my last version of Wren (cutting the front pieces on the fold, and doing a FBA). The FBA is definitely needed for me, it could maybe even do with a bit more as it still gapes in the armholes a little bit, something I didn't notice on the last version as it has the sleeves. I cut the bottom half in a straight size 4. I do think its a little on the clingy side so I might want to consider drafting out to a 6 in the hips but the fabric is lovely and stretchy so I think I have got away with it. The dress was also made, and worn, before the Xmas food blow out, so I think it probably fitted me a bit better a fortnight ago!

Sewing this up in such a rush I have misaligned the top and bottom front pieces when sewing them together, which is I think what is causing the pull you can see under the bust. It hasn't stopped me wearing it though, you would only notice if you really inspected it, and I hope no one is inspecing my bust that closely in public anyway!!

Moving on to something completely different, I am sure you haven't failed to notice the shoes. Santa (A.K.A. Mr Fox) was very generous and bought me this beautiful pair of irregular choice shoes for Xmas. I have been eyeing these up for a very long time, I mean whats not to love, they are pink ombre glitter heels! They are so completely impractical and I don't attend near enough special occasions to justify them but they are so pretty! I suppose I best get finding excuses to go out more.

So, finally on to the exciting news, you may have already been able to guess, but I was really trying to suck it in in the earlier pictures. The Fox family will be welcoming a new little fox cub in the summer :). We are very excited, happy and looking forward to meeting the little person. I hope that Master Fox enjoys becoming a big brother and I can't wait to find out what kind it will be in a couple of months. So that means lots more sleepless nights for us, dirty nappies and of course baby sewing!

I hope you all had a lovely festive break and I can't wait to hear from you and share the exciting year ahead x.

30 October 2016

Hello, its been a while. I'd like to say my lack of blogging has been down to very exciting things going on in my life, but truthfully its because they released a new Warcraft expansion, and well a girl has to get her priorities right! But enough of that, I'm back, I will try and get back on a weekly basis, but it might end up being bi-weekly if I am a bit more realistic with myself. 

So what has been going on? Well its been a busy summer, We have been to 3 weddings since I last blogged and sadly the aforementioned completely ruined my plans of sewing up dresses for these occasions (though I did wear my cherry print bettine to one of them). I did however manage to knock Master Fox up a suit which I really need to blog about. Sadly I haven't managed to get one decent picture of him in it yet. I might need to dress him up for no occasion soon just to try and get one. 

For those who follow me on instagram you will seen I have a shiny new sewing machine. Its a Janome TXL607 and it has 402 stitch options!!!!! yes 402! including letters and the ability to program it. That being said I am just most excited that it basically sews a button hole for me, no more manual 4 step button holes for this gal. Also it snips your thread for you, I'm pretty impressed with that. For information I got it from the lovely ladies at Sew Essential who kindly let me go visit them and let me have a play before buying. 

With that in mind I wanted to start off my reblogging by showing you my first make on this wizzy new machine which is a little girls dress made from another Puperita pattern. Its the Mini Tulips dress which is a reversible pinafore style dress with a button or snap fastening on the front of the dress.

This pattern, as always from Puperita, was a doddle to sew, and on my new machine I swear it took me longer to cut this dress out that it did to put it together (I certainly spent longer ironing than sewing). I am on a bit of a mission to clear out some of my fabric stash so am using up some of the smaller pieces of fabric to make up dresses, either for people I know or to pop in my Etsy shop

This particular dress has been made for one of Master Foxes little friends, who is one of the best dressed little girls I have ever met, can you have style envy of a 1 year old? So I am really pleased that something I have made will go into her glamorous wardrobe. 

The pink fabric is some left over chambray from one of my earlier makes, and the cats are some scraps I have had lying around for over a year now. I had thought about saving them to line one of my own dresses with, but honestly I cant see when I am going to make a dress in a colour similar to this that it would be a fitting lining. Plus I much prefer the idea that it is going to get worn and people are going to get to see it, rather than it just being me knowing that its there. 

I also scrounged the buttons out of my button collection. They aren't a perfect match, but I kind of like them, they are a dainty and a bit chintzy. Just take a look at that buttonhole too, it makes me happy how easy that was.

I'm definitely going to be knocking out a few more of these (I have 3 half cut already) so watch out. How do you use up your fabric scraps? I think I am going to start keeping a pile of squares though to see if I can (eventually) make a quilt from it all. So if anyone has any tips on that, size of squares to keep, basic patterns, where to start I will gladly listen to them.