Thursday, 30 May 2013

may blog crushes

Here are the little webby treats that have been inspiring me this month. 

I came across quite a few new blogs thanks to new site Kollabora which I am very much enjoying!
My fave new to me blogs this month were: 

Esther From the Sticks - Esther publishes gorgeous ethereal photography of the countryside and her clothes. This month she went to her prom in a Gatsby-inspired dress and shared a very moving post about her brother's death a year ago. She is only 18 and seems pretty amazing.

Refashioner Extraordinaire Marisa Lynch's site New Dress A Day documents a seriously productive DIY habit. 

Between Sewaholic's new Tofino pants pattern and Karen's call to pyjamas, I definitely feel a pair of pjs coming on - hopefully by June 23!

sweetheart neckline
I love love love this dress made by Sewin' Steady inspired by a dress worn by Taylor Swift and simply must get my hands on New Look 6723 and make a version of my own for summer! 

a trio of bags
This very cool DIY for a bag at OhOh-Blog

rip it up
I practically live in longsleeved t-shirts during the winter. I might ceremonially herald in summer by taking my scissors to one of them with this DIY from cool Spanish blogger Anna PlanB

and lastly - handmade not homemade
There is a difference! Megan Nielson's guide on how to avoid your creations looking too homemade was really interesting and gave food for thought on fabric and needles! 

So long May, it's been fun!

Monday, 27 May 2013

just one sorbetto, give it to me....

I'm busily at work on my Eclair that I'm making during a course that I'm doing at the moment but I had some fabric left over and I thought I would make use of it with a Sorbetto! 

Bit of a dank auld evening for photo-taking here in Dublin. I actually got caught in a hailstone storm when I was out for a run earlier... ah yes, nothing like the feeling of those little icy darts hitting your face in late May to make you feel like summer is here! I read recently that the Romans called Ireland 'Hibernia' because it means 'Land of Eternal Winter'. *Sigh* 

Nonetheless, I am undeterred and soldiering on with the summer clothing! This is my first Sorbetto and I'm actually way happier with it than I thought I would be. The fact that the pattern is free is also very sweet! 

I deliberately cut on the smaller side than I might otherwise be inclined to because of my experience so far with Colette patterns and I've seen that other folks out there have found it pretty swingy around the waist. This is a size 6 and the fabric is a pink and white linen/ cotton mix from the Cloth Shop in Dublin with white shop-bought bias binding.  

It's still pretty loose but I know I'll wear this lots. I was tempted to do a 'Lauren' on it - put darts and buttons in to make it a bit more fitted. I thought I'd just see what it was like going according the pattern and I could experiment with future versions. It's so quick and easy to put together, very gratifying thing to do on a Sunday evening! 

Sunday, 19 May 2013

birthday button

I was given this button for my birthday from Eleanor, my mum's friend and co-teacher at Dublin Creative Textiles - isn't it stunning?

This embroidery technique is called blackwork and it goes back to the Elizabethan era.  It is basically black embroidery on white evenweave linen. The stitching is really precise and the tiny stitches are just so beautiful. 

Now I just need to make something deserving enough that will show this off... Thanks Eleanor!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

miuccia prada does gatsby...

It's out already in most other countries but The Great Gatsby is released here next week - so excited! I read the book years ago and loved it so much, I can't wait to see the film. 

For all those getting caught up in Gatsby-fever, I came across this video on the Prada website all about Miuccia Prada's collaboration with Baz Luhrmann and costume desinger Catherine Martin for the costumes in the party scenes of the film. 

Worth taking a look at if you're looking for ideas for a Gatsby inspired dress or for a fun nosey peek!


Thursday, 9 May 2013

liebster award!

Stephanie from Mabel Makes has very kindly nominated me for a Liebster Award! Yay!!! It really did make my day when she told me!

This is a lovely way to find out about other blogs out there... and finding my own nominees has been lots of fun! 

So first up, my answers to Stephanie's questions: 

1. Tell me a few things about you and why you sew or knit?
I think above all, it's because I just really really like making things! I've tried to figure out exactly why I get so much satisfaction wearing something that I've made and I'm not 100% sure why! 

Sewing is engrained in me by my creative mother who sewed so much throughout her life. She made tonnes of clothes for me when I was growing up, right from little dungarees and teeny tiny dresses to my Debs dress for my leaving school ball. 
I shall go to the ball... 

 It's nice to feel part of keeping the craft of sewing alive and it is really exciting that sewing seems to be becoming more popular. 

As we all know, it's not like it used to be when sewing was more economical than buying clothes in shops but I do think that sewing gives me the opportunity to make really special clothes from beautiful fabric. And I do like the fact that it is an antidote to 'fast fashion' and the modern worldwide system of clothing manufacture. 

2. Why did you start your blog?
I honestly just couldn't resist joining in! Once I started looking at them (Tilly was my gateway drug)I got a little obsessed. The whole thing was just ridiculously inspiring and I wanted a piece of the action! 
I used to write for newspapers and magazines and now that I work in radio, I miss writing a bit so that's an added bonus! It is a novelty for me to be writing in the first person and something I was never that comfortable with so it's nice to be pushed a bit outside my comfort zone. 

3. What is your fashion style? Does it match your handmade style?
My style is quite eclectic. Depending on my mood I'm drawn to vintage style or something completely modern but I like clothes that have something a bit different about them and I'm a sucker for beautiful fabric. 

I think I've tried to make things that I know I will wear and that will fit in with my wardrobe rather than making too many 'fantasy' kind of outfits. While I absolutely love so much of the vintage sewing that goes on out there, the reality is there's a lot of cool '50s dresses that I think would end up hanging up in my wardrobe waiting for the right occasion to wear them to! Having said that, I think I would like to be a bit more adventurous with my sewing and I love wearing dresses and skirts so I think it's time to get more of them on the sewing table!

4. Where do you get your inspiration for projects from?
Definitely looking at other sewers online and how they have interpreted patterns. I also find myself buying magazines like Vogue and looking at them with different eyes. 

5. Where did you learn to sew/knit/crochet?
My mum. Basically everything I know about sewing came from her. I don't ever remember her sitting me down and teaching me to sew but I do remember the first time she let me use the sewing machine. My cousins and I were I think probably bored and being annoying so she got us cutting up little squares of fabric and sewing them together - they weren't very even but I think they may have ended up as very wonky cushion covers!

I don't think I'll ever be finished learning!

6. What is your process – for sewing do you make a muslin, for knitting do you make sure to swatch? Or do you just make it up as you go?
I have never made a muslin! I know I should try it but I'm so bloody impatient. It takes me long enough to make a garment as it is, the thought of adding in the extra step of making a muslin does not exactly thrill me. 
When I start to make muslins, I'll know I'm a grown up. 

7.  Where do you buy your fabric or wool? 
We don't have a huge amount of choice in Dublin. Murphy Sheehy is my favourite shop in town. I like the Cloth Shop but it is expensive. I'd like to investigate buying fabric online. 
I like to try to buy fabric if I'm in another country. Apart from having access to more fabric, I like that it adds to the 'story' of the garment. A spate of African trips means that I have quite a lot of African prints that I need to use! 

8. What technique or item of clothing are you afraid to make?
Oh god where do I start??!
The overlocker still eludes me. I have the convenient excuse that when I was moving house I slipped and a part of it broke off so I need to get it repaired, but it's a bit silly not to use it! 
Altering patterns is a bit of a mystery to me and I would love to learn more about doing this. 
And in terms of items of clothing that I'm afraid to make - trousers!! The scope for failure is just so stratospheric!!! 

9. What was the first thing you ever made?
I actually found a photo of a top I made when I was about 16, which I think is the first garment that I finished myself. In truth I think I got a lot of help with it from my mum but I was really proud of it at the time. 
Check out that moody teenager! Not to mention those jeans! 

10. What is the best thing you ever made?
Ooh, I'm not sure. I once made a bag that involved sandwiching dried flowers between layers of fabric that I was really proud of. Of course eventually the flowers started to disintegrate but I was quite pleased with how it turned out and it completed an outfit for a wedding! 
I think my last Lisette top was a big step for me - conquering that neckband! I love the Liberty fabric and I've really been enjoying wearing it. 

11. Do you work in a creative industry? If not do you plan to eventually make a business out of your crafting or do you want to keep it a lovely hobby?
I work in radio, making radio documentaries so I'm lucky that there is a creative element to my work. I find the creative process quite challenging sometimes but it's a 'good challenge'! When I first started making documentaries I would have a week of absolute despair that it would be complete rubbish but now I've come to realise that things generally work out okay and there is a certain amount of mulling things over in my head that needs to happen before I can properly start. And that's helpful to me for sewing as well. 
As for turning sewing into a business, well apart from the fact that I'm a long way off that, I do love it too much as my hobby! 

And now for the next bit! 
My boyfriend (who is quite bemused by this parallel universe that is the sewing blogosphere!) says it's like a Ponzi scheme for sewing bloggers because I am now nominating eleven people. I'm supposed to be nominating people with less than 200 followers but actually I'm not 100% how to do that! I can see the amount of followers that people have on bloglovin but apart from that, not sure if people are being followed else where... any hoops... here goes: 

Rue de Renards by Tassadit from Brussels. I love 'Daddy's Datura' - a beautiful Deer and Doe Datura top made from two of her Dad's old shirts. 

I recently came across a big blast of colourful creative goodness at Kitschy Krafter Alysa is into sewing, knitting, crochet and all sorts of fun crafting and I love the design of her blog. 

If your feeling in need of a bit of inspiration, head for  Scavenger Hunt. Californian Melissa at loves trawling through thrift stores and flea markets. There's tonnes of DIY, found objects and some really beautiful dress and clothes she has made. She may well have more than 200 followers but like I say, I'm not sure how to tell! 

Lola at Lola Couture is only 15!! She has been sewing since she was 8 and she is seriously impressive, even if my French isn't good enough to understand everything. 

I would also like to give a Liebster shout out to two Irish ladies: 
helen at The Busy Mamas who has organised what sounds like a fantastic knitting and sewing creative monthly meetup in Marino on the northside of Dublin - hopefully I will get to the next one. 

And La Creature and You by Raphaele is a French Dubliner who sews and has fun crafty tutorials.

Schmidt Happens is the blog of funky girl Carolin Schmidt from one of the coolest cities in the world, Berlin.

I suspect Seattle gal Morgan at Crab and Bee of having more than 200 followers but anyway... She recently gave herself a birthday week off work just to do nice stuff at home - like yoga, cooking and sewing! Definitely going to do that for my birthday next year! 

Brittany at Lavender Revenge started up her blog earlier this year. I love her version of Simplicty 1609.

Layer, Stitch, Repeat Rachel is originally from England, but lives in Brooklyn. I love that she photoshopped herself into Don Draper's office for the Mad Men Challenge!

Katy and Laney are two girls who love to sew in Boston. I love the African print peplum top - inspiration for my extensive African fabric stash! It's a fairly new blog, and I look forward to following it! 

And so my questions to my nominees: 

1.  How long have you been stitching?
2.  Where did you learn to sew?
3.  Why do you sew?
4.  Which blogger has had the biggest impact on you? 
5.  What is the thing you have made you are most proud of? 
6.  How do you balance the rest of your life with sewing? 
7.  What piece of advice would you give to a novice stitcher? 
8.  What sewing skill eludes you that you would like to perfect?
9.  Why do you blog? 
10. Where do you look for inspiration? 
11. Tell me something about yourself that people would be surprised to know!

Phew! That's the longest blog post I think I've ever written!

Thanks again Stephanie!
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