I have a Leibster award darling, [not a lobster!] and worth far more!!

Oh I’m chuffed right now…happy, content, thrilled, delighted…but why? Well, I have many reasons for feeling like this and to be grateful for but this one is all mine…I have recently been nominated for a Leibster award!!

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I was nominated by the wonderful Laura over at Two In The Hand and like me, has not long set off along the crazy road that is sewing your own wardrobe! so a big ‘thank you’ to you Laura!!!

I have just celebrated my first year blogging, and it’s been a strange and exciting relationship I have with my blog…I’ve stop started with my sewing and been a bit despondent at times, and for all sorts of reasons, but now feel the I’m on the right path again towards making clothes I love and want to wear…which was what it was all about to start with!!

When I started blogging, I kept seeing these little images dotted around on the blogosphere, and wondered what it meant…truth be known, I didn’t really check it out…until now!

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So what does this award mean? Well, this is a blogging award given by bloggers to other newer bloggers…generally with a following of less than 300…answer some questions given to you by your nominator and nominate 3-5 bloggers of your choice…and ask them some questions…a kind of chain letter but without the bad vibes or threats that something bad will happen if you don’t accept it or pass it on! The award highlights new blogs and helps get them noticed, thereby increasing their audience! Every blogger’s dream I’d say! Im going to follow Laura’s format (as it were) so here goes !!!

My questions from Laura…..
What is your favourite sewing tool or accessory?
Hmm…it seems as though it’s been my seam ripper lately but I’d say my gorgeous little Baby Bow
scissors recently purchased from Merchant & Mills

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Do you listen to music or watch TV/films when you are sewing?
Oh I’m a huge radio listener…often it’s Friday’s and Sunday’s I sew the most so it’s either Radio 2 ‘Show tunes’ on a Sunday as a fave or Radio 6, particularly World Music…usually something on those stations

Who is your favourite designer or style icon?
Ooh…that’s tricky..it would mean me trying to define my own style and I’m not sure I’ve found it yet! However, it would have to be The Sex and the City girls!!! All of them at some point or another wear clothes to die for…vintage, avant garde, eclectic, tailored, colour…

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What is the garment you most want to conquer and sew a version of?
This would be a vintage style or actual vintage dress…basically a fitted bodice with zip and a full gathered or pleated skirt…and some sort of sleeve! This is my next challenge as I love these types of dresses…one or all of these….

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By Hand London Elisalex dress…

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Simplicity 2444…

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Christine Haynes Emery dress…

What blogs other than sewing ones are in your feed?
Pretty much crochet and knitting blogs!! I’m self taught with my crochet and improved no end and knitting is my next to master! Attic24 was where I started my crochet adventure and I follow all sorts of other crochet related blogs now!

So there you have it! Hopefully you know a little bit more about me now and would be keen to follow my progress… All that’s left for me to do now is nominate some of my own fave blogs for a Leibster award and ask them some questions…therefore I nominate the following…my lovelies you are nominated for a Leibster award!!!

1. Elizabeth at Sewn by Elizabeth love her vintage style dresses and fabric choices.
2. Alice at The Virtual Princess and the Pea again, another sewist with a fab taste in vintage style clothes and super fabrics as well as a rockin’ taste in footwear!
3. Lili at Frocks and Frou Frou Lili has a great style and sews all kinds of different styles and shapes of garment…she did a wicked vintage swimming costume!
4. Hanne at Een nieuwe jurk colour, style, dresses and a great taste in tights!
5. Ange at Clothed in Rubies vintage style dresses and tonnes of print and colour!

So there are my lovely bloggers I follow and wish to nominate….clearly they’re all more experienced than me but I kind of love the fact that I have found some blogs that have the style I aspire to!

Now the questions for my Leibster award nominees…
1. What is the the dress pattern you would recommend the most?
2. What’s the worst thing you have ever made and why?
3. If you could dress like any woman in history, who would it be?
4. Out of the four Sex and The City lead women, who would you be?
5. Where and what would your ultimate holiday be?

That’s it!! Can’t wait to hear your replies!!!

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Kate xxx

Polka dot Coco dress and she’s risking it with lace…

Ok, so she’s been a fair time in the making…but my Tilly and The Buttons Coco dress is finally completed and had her first outing yesterday, just in time for Easter…

The rain finally subsided and the sun came out, as did my daughter and the camera! My Coco took a bit longer than planned, largely, as always, due to time restraints…with my three children and their after school/evening activities and my work plus all the other stuff that gets in the way of sewing time…it’s grabbing minutes here and there! I had to re-draft some of the pattern to allow for the different top and bottom sizes! also made a few boobs which involved unpicking and starting again, and had a bit of a challenge getting my sleeves to fit…but I did it and am rather pleased with the result! I sourced a great large polka dot knit with minimal stretch from Ditto fabrics in Brighton, which I’m lucky to live not far away from! I knew nothing about knit fabric (well, I didn’t, but I do now!) and the fabric I chose was not quite what I thought it would be. It feels like it’s mainly a poly knit? soft on the inside but a tad in danger of being a bit shiny on the outside perhaps…..but then it doesn’t need ironing so that helps!

I’m totally new to knits and never sewn with them before and this pattern is aimed at people just like me so win, win!

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I was pleased with how I managed to lengthen the pattern with little difficulty and it worked!
Next came the tape for the shoulder seams…I didn’t have the proper elastic stay tape so used some ribbon I had instead as suggested in the pattern as an alternative.

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Tilly suggests attaching the funnel collar with the collar seam lined up with one of the shoulder seams on the dress. However, I decided to line up the collar seam so it was at the back of the dress, centrally…make sense?? to me, that was aesthetically more pleasing and avoided more bulk as the shoulder seam with the ribbon tape in the shoulder seams felt a little too bulky attaching the collar seam here. It worked well and when the funnel collar is folded over as you wear it, you can’t really see the seam.

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I have found that the collar does sort of ‘flop’ a bit when I’m wearing it…I’d possibly consider putting in interfacing in future to keep it more stiff and ‘standing’….it could be the fabric is a little too floppy or too heavy…hmmm…not sure, but I saw a Coco that Karen made and she used interfacing, although not for the same reason, but it gave me the idea that this could work to keep the collar stiffer.

I didn’t do the pockets because ideally I really wanted them in a contrast colour but couldn’t quite find what I was looking for so,rather than halt the make by having to find from another source, I left them out. Instead, I decided to experiment with some lovely chartreuse green stretch elastic I had in my stash…

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Does it work? well, getting it attached was the first hurdle…a stretch elastic to a stretch knit…challenge!!! but I did it! With the help and advice from some lovely sewists blogging friends (they’ll know who they are!) I attached using a zig zag for attaching elastic to fabric…I had a few practice runs and didn’t quite have the perfect match thread but it doesn’t look too bad! First I was going to trim the sleeve cuffs and then went the whole hog and decided to trim the hem of the skirt too! Not sure if the hem is too much…haven’t decided yet if I should keep or take it off, what do you think? but the overall effect is certainly different and that’s what I wanted!

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I think this is a lovely dress and pretty straightforward to make. I was SO pleased with my sleeves…it’s the first time I’ve made something with sleeves and probably a baptism by fire using a knit fabric for my first time! Putting them in did require a few attempts at re-pinning…I cut the same size sleeves as bodice but seemed to have too much ease on the bodice and not enough of the cap? of the sleeve to fit! despite all my notches matching! careful re-pinning using a lot of pins and gently easing and stretching the sleeve as I went, and bingo! The finished result was smooth and flat with not puckering and a perfect fit…wey hey!!!!

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I’m not sure if this dress is quite right for me…it’s so comfortable and warm and although I cut a size smaller for the bodice and graduated at the waist to the next size up for the skirt section, it still feels a little big around the bust…I’m not sure I was quite ready to manage altering the bust again with a knit yet, so left it. The dress looks so lovely on so many people I’ve seen post pics and I’m still trying to find the style and fit of a dress that suits me best…I think I prefer a more fitted bodice and fuller skirt for a dress, but that is my personal preference for my short waist and tubby middle! This is a lovey dress pattern and I love the whole 60’s A-line dress look, but perhaps not so much on me…

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This was a dress and make that taught me some new skills…

* I lengthened a dress pattern for the first time by adding an extra 2 inches as apparently this dress does come up quite short
* I re-drafted the bodice to waist to skirt size to fit me
* My first ever sleeves….panic over!!!!
* Sewing a stretch lace to a stretch knit fabric
* Sewing with a knit fabric

All in all I’m chuffed to bits with my achievement…and if you’re new to sewing with knits and considering it, then give this dress a go! Tilly’s accompanying pattern booklet and instructions are brilliant and super easy to understand…as always, with great pictures for guidance. I didn’t use her blog this time for help but honestly felt the tips and instructions in the booklet were ace and I didn’t need to refer to her blog; but it’s there if you need it.

And at the end of the day of her first outing, I rounded it off in true Easter style with some great chocolate Easter cake and a cup of tea…..

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Thanks for stopping by. It’d be great to hear what you think of my polka dot Coco!!

Kate x