Motherhood.Adventure.Slow Fashion.Sewing.Womanhood

Monday, 30 June 2014

Midsummer

Midsummer came and went, far too soon for my liking.



Summer seems to be slipping away. I will miss these long days, the sunshine, the heat. But I will welcome the golden leaves, the crisp air, the moonlight.





Art Deco Wedding Glamour – Vintage Miami Beach Style (part 1)

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Saturday, 21 June 2014

Turning your Favourite Knickers into a Sewing Pattern

So you have that perfect pair of knickers that you love. They fit perfectly, you love the shape and style, but you can't find anything else similar in the shops. Well, the time has come to sew your own! Here, I'll show you how to turn your favourite pair of knickers into a usable sewing pattern. In upcoming posts I'll show you how to make a muslin from your pattern (a test pair) and then we'll move on to how to grade your pattern up or down to accommodate other sizes too.



Firstly, and most importantly, you need to pick which knickers you want to use. I have opted for this pair as I love the shape and style. They are a high rise, retro style knicker. Full through the rear and made to hold in your tummy underneath your vintage clothes with separate front and side front panels. This means you can use contrasting fabrics in the front of the knickers to add interest, but also add support. I will probably use a stronger fabric on the front panel, as this will help hold in my tummy and give me a comfortable but vintage shape. This pair is made of matching coloured fabrics, a jersey type fabric on the rear and side front, and a sparkly velvet on the front. Unfortunately, these knickers were too small for me when I purchased them, so I am going to use them to make a pattern, make a muslin to ensure the pattern works well, and I will then grade the pattern up to my size. Now on to the technical bit...


What You Will Need:

  • Your favourite pair of knickers
  • Plain A4 paper
  • Various pens and/or pencils
  • Ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Scissors for paper



So, first thing's first, we need to turn our knickers inside out. This is to see where the seams are, as these are what we are going to be cutting along, to get our separate pattern pieces.




Very carefully, you need to cut along the seams. If your seams are overlocked like mine are in these knickers, it's far easier to cut next to, but as close as possible to, the seam. Don't worry about the elastic around the leg and waist openings, just cut straight through it where your seam goes.

You will then end up with separate pieces, like a knicker Jigsaw (the best kind). If your pieces aren't easily identifiable, or you think you may get muddled up with which bit is what, then it may be a good idea to use a pen or chalk to write on each piece what it is, so that when you draw up the pattern pieces, you know which bit is for what part.


Next, take your paper, and lay flat a piece of your knickers. Carefully straighten out (but don't stretch out of shape) the piece, and carefully draw around it. Don't worry too much about being neat at this point, as long as you get the rough size and shape down on paper, then it's all good.



For pieces with a straighter edge, it is a good idea to grab your measuring tape and measure along each size before you draw it and make a note. If you have tiny hands like me, it can be quite difficult to stretch out each side as you are drawing around it.


Then you should end up with something roughly like this...



Repeat the same process for each piece of your knicker Jigsaw. For larger panels, such as the front and back, that are symmetrical on both sides, it's easier to just trace half, and then you can just cut this piece on the fold when it comes around to making your knickers. Remember to take your time and don't rush. Sip your Chai Tea and relax. This isn't supposed to be a piece of art, and this is just your first rough copy. When you have done all pieces, you will have something like this...



Now it's time to neaten this up a bit. Use your ruler and straighten out your straight edges, double check your measurements, and adjust and dodgy looking areas. Pick up your knicker Jigsaw pieces and measure them, and then measure your pattern again, just to be sure. Once this is done for all pieces, take a different colour pen and add your seam allowance. Use whatever seam allowance you are used to, I used 0.5cm. You should have something like this...




(You may notice my boo boo, I got carried away with the red pen! I added seam allowances in some places that didn't need it, such as the fold line on the front of my knickers, along the leg openings and waist openings and long sides of the gusset piece. I think I lost my mind a bit there and just decided to draw around the whole shape in red! However, those of you who are more with it than me, will realise that you only need to add a seam allowance to a side that will be attached to another piece.)

As you can see, I made little notes on the pattern pieces to remind me which bit goes with what. I've written which side attaches to the front and which bit attaches to the back on my front side panels. This just makes things easier when it comes to assembling my knickers after I have cut them out. I'm all for the ease.

Taa Daa! You are now ready to cut out your pattern pieces and then use them to cut out your muslin out of a scrap of fabric.

In the next post in this set, I will show you how to use your pattern to do this, and how to sew it up, so that you can soon be on your way to a handmade Lingerie drawer!






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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

What is a Healthy Body Image?

Ive been doing a lot of thinking lately about body image, and what is healthy. You see images of bodies everywhere - in the media, on TV, in magazines, blogs, fashion ads, and more recently for me, at the pool or beach.

When I was in Benidorm, as you can imagine the weather was gorgeous. The sun was shining, the water twinkling in the sun. All I wanted to do was strip off down to my bikini and dive right in. But I paused, struck with apprehension. Thoughts raced through my mind..."what will people think of me", "I'm not as skinny as her", "my legs touch and I have stretch marks on my tummy, how embarrassing." 

Stuff it. Who cares. So I held my chin up high and did it anyway, trying to hide the uncomfortable feelings I was having. And as the weekend went on, the uncomfortable feelings vanished. I am what I am. I've had a baby, of course I have stretch marks. I might be overweight compared to what's in the media today, but I am ME. I'm a natural, healthy woman. Yes I have curves and yes I have stretch marks and cellulite, but I've decided I don't care. I am a real woman, not those airbrush stick thin models that's so often pushed in our faces these days.



I've taken a big step and cancelled my weight Watchers subscription. I'm sick of today's society telling me subconsciously that I am not beautiful because I am not skinny. I am going to focus on being healthy. Eating healthy and getting natural exercise by playing with my little gremlin and going on walks with my husband. I am going to be happy, and focus my precious time in things that bring me joy. I don't want to spend my hours worrying about being fat or not being 'normal' enough for today's culture, I am going to spend my time on things that truly are important to me and to my family.

And to tell you the truth, it feels phenomenal. I feel like I have a new lease of life. Without the worry of counting the pro points in everything that I am eating, I have found my love of cooking again. I am not limited to certain recipes or foods.   I have eaten more fruit and veg in the last week than I have done all month because I WANT to, and because it tastes nice. Not because I feel like I have to. 



So I quit Weight Watchers and have lost 3 lbs this week without trying. But that's the point, I'm not trying. I'm being healthy, and it feels great!


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Summer time

I'm baaaack! Benidorm was amazing. Very tiring, but very amazing! It was such a rarity to get away from absolutely everything for a few days and just spend some time being me, not being Mummy or Wife or an over-thinking business novice. Even though I missed my little gremlin like mad, I was sad to come home and leave all the fun and frivolity behind, but happy to get back to normal too.


We had a planned power cut on our street all day yesterday. The whole day. Did you hear me, I said the ENTIRE day! I think modern people seriously take technology for granted... So as I could not partake in some ironing as I had planned (oh dear) I photographed some new stock to put on our Etsy shop. I'm pretty pleased with how the pictures came out, I think I'm getting better at this.




I have a few more pictures to take, and then I will list them all on Etsy. All the pieces I'm listing are all ready made and ready to ship, it's stock left over from shows we have done and we want to make some room for a new collection.




We want to concentrate on a more specific collection, as well as a bridal collection. We also have new pieces we want to bring in, and some sleepwear too. 

Why is there only 24 hours in a day?!
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Monday, 9 June 2014

Here, there and everywhere

I've been fluttering all over the place lately, and sewing has taken a bit of a back seat the last couple of weeks, however this will change next week when I get back to normal.


Me and the hubby went on a two night camping trip to Orwell Meadows in Ipswich which was lovely and relaxing. I'm not much of a nature person, but I had a really lovely time. I did some baking before we left and made a homemade pizza for our first night in the tent, it was scrummy!


We came back from our nature trip on the Sunday, and on the Monday drove up to see hubby's family in Birmingham. We spent a day in Stratford Upon Avon. I've always wanted to visit there, being Shakespeare's birthplace and all. It is a beautiful town, full of history and architecture...and also home to a little place that sells Butterbeer! 

  


It was nice to spend some time with hubby's family as we don't get to see them very often, and they love seeing our little Gremlin. We stayed with hubby's Nan, who is 83 and in better shape than me! We love spending time with Nan, she has some brilliant stories as she was evacuated during World War 2, and her Mum was an original flapper girl in the 20's (which I think is awesome!). 


We also had a stall at the Essex Pagan Lion Beltane Picnic, selling our old stock of pagan type items. It was held at Hadleigh Country Park which has a full sized Iron Age round house reconstruction. It was a very hot sunny day, we met some wonderful people and it was very successful. Makes me wonder if we should still be making and selling those types of things...



We went for a lovely long walk on Friday with our little gremlin, and then attended a wedding on Saturday. 





I'm off on Friday for a Hen Weekend in benidorm, which I am really looking forward to! I have a lot of things business related to do, and am looking forward to getting back to normal next week and having more time to concentrate on things. I've got a blog post planned on making your own sewing patterns from your favourite pair of knickers. I've taken all the pictures, but just need to write it up.

We've also had a few sales on Etsy, including one to California and one to Singapore! 



Busy busy busy!
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