Motherhood.Adventure.Slow Fashion.Sewing.Womanhood

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

My Sewing Want List: Merchant and Mills and Colette Patterns

I have a very long list of things that I would like that are sewing related. I am constantly seeing fabrics and sewing patterns that I am dying to turn into something amazing. My wardrobe is looking pretty bare at the minute, and none of the clothes on the high street seem to be catching my eye. The more time I spend sewing, or thinking about sewing and designing, the more I look at the clothes in shops like Primark and H&M and see how badly they have been put together, or how rubbish the fabric is.

The thing I love about sewing your own clothes is that the garment that you make is completely unique to you. You can  use one sewing pattern for one type of dress, make 10 dresses from it with different fabrics and notions, and end up with 10 completely different dresses.

So, without further-a-do, here is my Sewing Want List...

Merchant and Mills Patterns:

Merchant and Mills patterns, if you haven't come across them before, are to die for. From their website:

Our patterns are developed by Carolyn Denham over several months and go through many tweaks and changes before being deemed fit for your consumption. After approving the final cut, the pattern is then graded before production begins. You will find very few fastenings and no unnecessary difficulty when working from our patterns which start life with an idea and a domestic sewing machine. In our experience, the classic, simple designs that Carolyn favours, place emphasis on the cut and silhouette whilst intentionally avoiding detailing and fastenings which can make even the best dress look homemade.

I have found it really hard to pick favourites, as I am in love with all of them! But I really love the Factory Dress, the No.64 Top, and the Dress Shirt

Factory Dress multi-size Top 64 multi-size  Dress Shirt multi-size


I really love their style, and how the pieces are minimalist, and yet still manage to show off the skills needed to make them. Perfect wardrobe staples, and can be made in a hundred-and-one different ways to suit any occasion.

I have a vision in my head of the Dress Shirt, made out of a black cotton, with a white bib section with pin tuck details. And a Dickie Bow, just to finish off the tuxedo look.


Colette Patterns:

I, quite often, drool over the divine subtle vintageyness of Colette Sewing Patterns.

My favourites are the Hawthorn Dress, the Lady Grey coat, the Cooper bag,  and the Violet Blouse.

 

 

I Particularly like the Cooper bag pattern, and the fact that it is unisex, and can be used to make a backpack, a messenger bag or a satchel. The picture of the couple wearing them is so cute too. I have bag envy. I am totally in to back pack's right now too, and the fact that I could make one myself appeals to me.

The Lady Grey coat I can see made out of a nice light nude soft woolen fabric, the perfect Car Coat.

Watch this space!






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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sewing new pieces


We've been busy beavering away, working on a new collection for Autumn/Winter and also a bridal collection. We've been trying out some new pieces, including these high waisted knickers and a new style of bikini knickers. The bikini cut are great for everyday wear, but the high waisted style or my FAVOURITE!!!



They are sooooo cute and comfortable. We're making them out of lovely soft stretch Jerseys. We are going to do a mix and match pack, so something like buy 3 and get a discount.


We've been gathering lots of super soft jerseys to make these knickers and matching bras from for the new collection.



I am in love with the navy and red rose fabric, it's so soft, it feels almost brushed. So warm I the winter!

On another note, we took Logan with some friends to a pick your own farm on Sunday, and I made two jams yesterday. One is Plum and mixed Berry, and the other is Rhubarb and Vanilla (which tastes like Rhubarb and custard sweets!).


I've only made jam once before and I am really pleased with how these come out. Buying fruit from the pick your own farm was so much cheaper than the supermarket, and the fruit tastes so much better. It's very satisfying to make a preserve out of something you have picked yourself. Then again, preserve making is satisfying in general. I normally make a chutney around October time, so it will be ready for Christmas, but I'm not just going to leave it to one a year this year. I picked up a massive marrow at the  farm, so I am going to make a marrow chutney tomorrow. I've also been growing 2 tomato plants and 3 cucumber plants this year, so I will make some chutneys out of my glut of vegetables too. 

Preserving makes me feel virtuous!



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Thursday, 10 July 2014

The Fling Festival and Simplicity 7626



From the Facebook Page for The Fling Festival:

"The UK's largest yet most intimate outdoor festival for adults only.
Saturday 28 June 2014.
Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex.
www.chelmsford.gov.uk/fling
Description
Essex’s premier boutique performance event, The Fling Festival, is reappears this summer and a multitude of improvements are on their way..."


There was caberet, comedy, food from all over the world, a Pimms Tent, fairground rides, live music from Rock to Ska, and of course, the Vintage Marquee hosted by Bobby's Girl Vintage!

Due to the success that we had at our launch at Bobby's Girl's Easter Fair, we decided to have a stall at this event too. It sounded amazing, exactly the sort of event we would love to go to ourselves!

The weather started off brilliant sunshine, and we posed for obligatory pictures in our new handmade dresses before setting off.



Mum's dress is made from an original 1960's sewing pattern, Simplicity 7626.



Mum went for the sleeveless view, and picked this gorgeous fabric that is also from the Remnant House. It also contained Spandex. Unfortunately, the fabric is not on the website anymore, so it must have sold out, but they do have a lot of other fantastic fabrics, so do take a look.

When we arrived at the Fling, we had a bit of a palaver trying to find out where we needed to go to, as the park that the festival was set in was HUGE! After a bit of toing and froing, we managed to finally find the Vintage Marquee, and I didn't take us long at all to set up.















There were a lot of fabulous traders in the Vintage Marquee, and even Ruby's Tea Rooms had a stall selling fabulous cupcakes! I had  Rum and Coke cupcake! It was amazing!


The day was very busy, and although we had lots of people look, compliment and take our leaflets, we didn't sell as much as we hoped. It's such a disheartening experience when you put your heart and soul into something, and it doesn't go as well as you hoped. I think there were several reasons why perhaps, this wasn't such a great platform for us, one of them being the festival setting. There were no cash facilities on sight, and it was, really, in the middle of nowhere. People seemed to only come with a certain amount of money to spend on a few drinks, dinner etc, and hadn't planned on shopping while they were there. Quite a few people said they would love to buy some of our things, but just didn't have enough cash on them. We could, of course, maybe think about getting a card machine, however, at the moment, it's not really a viable thing for us to do.

As the day turned into night, we decided to go for a wander and try and make ourselves feel better, so where better to go than to the fairground rides!



We also hit the Pimms tent, and got some AMAZING noodles from 'We Will Wok You'. Best name ever! We wandered some more, listened to a band on the main stage, and then stumbled upon the Ska band 'Skamite' stompin' up a stage in a little tent. That was the highlight of the day! I took many videos to show my dad of us stompin along with the skinheads, my Dad loves Ska music, and so do I.



In conclusion, we had a brilliant day, and it was such a great event to be a part of. Although we didn't do as well as we hoped, it was worth it just for the experience! We also woke up on the Monday morning to some amazing feedback on our facebook page from a lady who bought one of our blue tulip sets on the day. She wrote: "Bought a set of your gorgeous underwear at the Fling - got it home and it fits perfectly and makes me feel like a goddess! Will be searching you out on Etsy for some more x"

Now that really was, the Icing on the Rum and Coke Cupcake!








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Monday, 7 July 2014

Simplicity 4744

It's been a long time since I decided to do any selfish sewing (sewing for myself). In fact, I haven't really ever done any selfish sewing. (!)

There are a few important dates coming up in the diary, so I decided to sew myself a dress. I used vintage sewing pattern Simplicity 4744, which is from the late 50's or early 60's. I used this pattern when I sewed up my first ever dress a few years ago, but I made the view with sleeves. This time I decided to try out the sleeveless version, with the fancy back tie.

The fabric I bought from the Remnant House online. They have a brilliant range of fabrics at really affordable prices. I had not ordered from them before, but I can't wait to put in my next order! I went for this Cotton Spandex fabric, with a beautiful water colour flower print. I hadn't worked with any cotton spandex before, and to be honest I didn't get it because it contained spandex, I just loved the print. However, because this pattern was a tiny bit too small for me, I guessed that by using this fabric with a stretch to it, I could get away with not grading the pattern up at all. The fabric is slightly sheen, and has a wonderful hand.

To start with, the pattern was fairly easy to follow, all going together nicely. I got into a bit of bother when it came to attaching the back ties and facing, but with a bit of patience, it worked out nicely.





The pattern instructions call for under-stictching all of the facing, however, as this was a rather heavy fabric, I also top-stictched around the neck and arm holes. I think it finishes it off and makes it look a bit more professional.



When it came to pleating the skirt, I could not make head nor tail of the instructions. Eventually, I think I managed to get it right, but as I marked my pattern markings on the wrong side and not the right side of my fabric, I think my pleats point outwards rather than inwards. However, I think I prefer it this way.




As I am only small (at 5ft 4"), I was pretty sure that I would end up having to take up the skirt quite a lot. When I made this dress the first time round a few years ago, I hacked off quite a lot and it ended up above the knee. However, as I tried it on, I really quite liked it. Keeping it this length as intended, is much more authentic, and flattering, I feel.





Lastly, I had to put the zip in. The zip on my previous attempt at this dress is horrendous, but I had never inserted a zip before and didn't even have a zipper foot! Now with some knowledge from the college course earlier this year, (and a zipper foot!), this one actually went in OK.


Et voila!




I am so happy with how this dress turned out! I wore it recently to the Fling Festival and got quite a few compliments on it. I love the back of the dress, and the ties on the scoop of the back. It's such a simple, beautiful detail that you just do not see on dresses these days.

All in all I ordered 3 metres of this fabric, which at £5.99 a metre, means this dress cost me less than £20!!! And I have tonnes of fabric left over! I think it's definitely the fabric which makes this dress. As it has a stretch to it, it really hugs me in the right places, and the sheen on it makes it look like a very expensive garment. Plus, the floral pattern in so on trend right now. 

I think this dress will be making a regular appearance, and can't wait to move on to my next sewing project!



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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

10% in July Exclusively at Lesley's Girls Vintage!

For all of you Lucky Sew and Sew's who visit Lesley's Girls Vintage this July, we are giving you a special treat of 10% off our entire range! 

Lesley's Girls- Vintage Lifestyle and Fashion Blog

This can also be used with the other special offer of if you buy a bra and knicker set, you get 10% off. So, in July, if you treat yourselves to a bra and knicker set in Lesley's Girls, you can get an amazing 20% off!

You can find Lesley's Girls Website here, which holds all of their details, and also their information is on our Stockists page. As I mentioned in our last post about Lesley's Girls, their shop is amazing, and well worth a visit to Colchester!

In other news, we have been busy listing new stock on our Etsy Shop, and have made a few more sales through there (woohoo!). We also received some lovely feedback through our Facebook page from a lady who purchased one of our Blue Tulip Sets. She said it makes her feel like a Goddess. I feel like my mission in life is now complete!

Red Tulip Bralette Vintage Retro Pin Up Lingerie Made to Order Custom

Tropical Summer Bralette Made to Order Custom Lingerie Vintage Pin Up Retro

We've also been busy turning the cogs on getting some inspiration for a new range. We want to do a Bridal range, and also have new pieces for Autumn/Winter. I have been ready The Great Gatsby, and have always loved the 20's (probably my favourite era) so we may see that influence our new pieces in some way...Exciting!






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Vintage On Sea

 A few weekends ago, Bobby's Girl Vintage hosted Vintage on Sea, in collaboration with a festival at Southend On Sea. They held a vintage fair on a big green. The weekend was lovely and sunny, the perfect day to go treasure hunting!


There were lots of brilliant stalls, selling a variety of items, true vintage and vintage inspired. I managed to nab myself this set of 4 glasses for £5 from Jeni-Lou. I love how one of them is slightly different to the rest, and I love the shape and the gold details. I can see them on display in my house one day (when I finally get one!), or even filled with champagne at a little get together. Timeless.



I also got a skirt from the beautiful Liz of Easy Tiger Vintage. I love Easy Tiger Vintage, always such an eclectic mix of clothing, ranging from the 50's to the 80's. The skirt I got is a gathered midi skirt, semi-sheer, in navy blue with ivory polka dots. I think it's probably 80's does 50's. It just reminded me of Audrey Hepburn, and thought paired with a classic white shirt, would look great.


Throughout the day this wonderful scene was bobbing along to the soundtrack of Mr Dickie Bows school of retro dance. The dancers were amazing, I tried to talk Rich into going to a lesson with me as they are held local to us, but I think it may take a little bit more persuasion! 




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