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Friday, May 24, 2013


rtw scalloped lace skirt thestylecure.com, floral pencil skirt burdastyle.com, yellow peplum skirt byhandlondon.com, paneled pencil skirt burdastyle.com, lilca paneled skirt burdastyle.com.

It's time for another challenge! The Pencil Skirt Challenge is our second project for the stitch once, rip twice facebook group and I'm excited to try a style I wouldn't usually pick for myself. I am debating whether to go for a more summery floral/pastel style or a something more suitable for evening wear like scalloped lace or maybe a peplum. Another idea is to take a paneled skirt pattern and play around with colour blocking in the vein of the 1960's trend which is tres fashionable right now. Decisions, decisions!

Saturday, May 11, 2013


I have finally completed my black and white challenge project! 11 days after the deadline... but then I did just move across the world to England. Luckily my sewing machine works here, with the help of a voltage converter! I originally planned on making a much needed long sleeved white blouse with black collar tie for this challenge but as the summer crept up in Brooklyn, and with an upcoming visit to the Riviera, I was in the mood for something summery. I have always loved the fun look of play suits and retro swimwear, so I wanted to create something similar to this two piece worn by Rachel McAdams in "The Notebook" but for lounging in style rather than swimming. I feel like I achieved that with this gingham playsuit. 

The shorts are self drafted using a pair of american apparel denim shorts which I added length to, and replaced the zip with a covered elastic waistband for comfort. The top is the free bandeau pattern from Burdastyle, I just added halter straps. All of the seams are french seams and that just makes me so happy- knowing that it will last and I don't have to hand wash it in fear of it falling apart (ahem, my gingham maternity dress). The best part about this project is that it was free, I used the fabric from our old tablecloth which I made last year that we no longer needed since we donated our kitchen table before the big move. I definitely want to make this outfit again, but with exposed red elastic for the waist and under the bust and in a retro print. I ran out of gingham fabric to make a matching headscarf so I would do that too. Next time I will also give more ease at the waist of the shorts so I can slide them over my hips faster as now it is a bit tight - you want to be able to get them on and off quickly when changing at the beach. I loved this photo shoot, the courtyard here is a perfect backdrop for the black and white theme and I felt super glamorous in this outfit. So glamourous that I just had to strike a pin up pose!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I started another blog! The Hollywood Sew is a blog dedicated to the creation of original and home-sewn outfits inspired by movies and television that I can wear everyday. Please take a look and I hope you follow along! Once there you can comment to vote on which Game of Thrones inspired dress I should make, and automatically be entered to win a prize!

Monday, April 22, 2013


Please take a look at my other blog The Hollywood Sew. Once there you can comment to vote on which Game of Thrones inspired dress I should make, and automatically be entered to win a prize!

Here is my Joan dress, for the Julia Bobbin Mad Men Challenge II  I decided that for the summer (and conveniently for the deadline!) that sleeveless would be better, and I plan to add the sleeves for the winter. When I started this dress it was the first time I had worked from a store bought pattern, it went reasonably smoothly as the markings were very clear, although selecting a size continues to baffle me. No matter how many times I measure the pattern pieces I am always unsure how it will be exactly when it is finished. I guess that is just how it is when making your own clothes until you have perfect construction. I really love the colour and I think this dress has a retro feel despite it being a contemporary pattern (Simplicity New Look A6123) It really does need a good ironing before I wear it in public though! The flounce is not something I would have usually done but I really like it and will consider using again. Here was my inspiration: 

Just for fun (and because I'm sick of my grey curtain as a backdrop) I photoshopped myself into Don Draper's office. Don't tell my hubby!

Friday, April 19, 2013


I did it! Just in time for the Spring Top Sewalong deadline today haha. I like to live on the edge.
I love the sorbetto top, even with the very shifty fabric it was easy and fast to sew up. The longest part was choosing a size (this always stresses me out because if I can't wear it then what is the point!) I first traced out a 6 pattern but then after reading more reviews decided on a 4 which fits great, but is a little short. This is mostly because the fabric frayed so badly I had to roll the hem over twice to get a clean finish. Working with chiffon (low quality Joann's chiffon no less) was quite the pain in my behind, the fabric slid around inches while I tried to cut and must have fallen off my tiny sewing table a hundred times. Surprisingly despite this mishap the top is still symmetrical and looks like it should. Since cutting this I read that placing the shifty fabric between tissue paper while cutting resolves this problem, so next time.... 

I really love bias binding, I used the cheating method of placing it on the edge right side up and just topstitching which is how I first sewed binding without knowing about the proper technique. I find this easier and the result pleasing so why further aggravate myself! The sheer orange neon with a pastel accent is a colour combo I really like and this was one of those projects where you picture something you like and it comes out exactly how you wanted. Hope this happens again soon! Now I just have to finish and photograph the Joan dress for Monday, and the black and white project before we fly to the UK on the 30th. oh and pack up our lives too. Yikes!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


My Mum and brother Chris came to NYC to visit last weekend, and in a brief moment between shopping and eating we took them to the Brooklyn Transit Museum. I had walked past a few times when we lived in Fort Greene but had never been inside. The museum is actually set in an old subway, with a real subway entrance and an original metroticket booth at the beginning. We were all really impressed with the exhibit and I had no idea that there were vintage trains on show! I managed to snap some pictures on my IPhone before we left (apologies for the low quality):

There is always time fron an impromptu film-noir vanity shoot!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


 In exciting news I won The Jackie Dress: Style It Your Way! competition at Burdastyle with my comment in answer to the question:

"How would you style the 1960s Jackie Dress? Tell us why you like this pattern, what fabric you’d make it in, and where you’d wear it to."
I would style this dress in a bright jewel solid, maybe blue or purple, with a black leather bow. To be worn with polka dot black sheer stockings and black patent chunky heels. I like the pattern because it is classical and elegant, plus it seems like it would be very flattering. I would probably like it best in a structured wool (does that exist?! would also be a fun challenge as I haven’t sewn with wool before) and would wear it on my next flight to look super glamourous!

They are sending me a copy of Sewing Vintage Modern! I have wanted it for a while now so I'm really pleased I won one. I think the shift dress will be my first project as I just ordered some lace which needs a simple pattern. Thanks Burdastyle!