My Colette ‘Laurel’ dress pattern has arrived and it’s looking good!!!

It’s arrived!! I’ve taken the plunge after reading so many glorious reviews for the ‘Laurel’ dress by Colette, I decided to buy it and make my own………

The Laurel dress by Colette

The Laurel dress by Colette

It’s not just the dress that looks to be a gorgeous design…oh no, the pattern and instruction booklet is a work of art in itself and like nothing I’ve seen before!! Just look at what you get…….

Pattern book back page

Pattern book back page

For those of you new to Colette patterns (like me), I’ll explain why I’m so impressed……I had no idea how the pattern was packaged and presented….imagine my surprise when I opened the package and out popped this wonderful ‘booklet’ style pattern instructions and paper pattern (you can get downloadable versions I understand). Being a total newbie to independent pattern designers and companies, this was such a welcome change. Having recently decided to start sewing again, clothes I mean, I’ve spent a lot of time lately pouring over what patterns are out there….usually in a shop and looking at Burda, McCalls and Simplicity for example. I was quite shocked at how much these patterns cost now…..£8.00 plus!! I don’t always feel the choice is that great and find that a lot of these patterns have at times, quite a lot of unhelpful information in them, sometimes, not greatly proof read either! However, these are not to be scoffed at as there’s some fab designs out there. Yet, I can find it quite frustrating the way they’re laid out or can use sewing terms I’m not familiar with! (such as with an American pattern) I like simple, I like well laid out…something a lot of these patterns are not, and that just means I’m thinking ‘complicated’ before I’ve even picked up a pair of scissors!!

Enter Colette patterns!! Presented in the lovely booklet form, with well laid out instructions, tips and definitions of terms used etc…. like this….

Laurel pattern 'tips' example page

Laurel pattern ‘tips’ example page

and this…..

Laurel pattern 'definition' example page

Laurel pattern ‘definition’ example page

An example of how the pattern helps you with some of the terminology used…. How about that then heh?? There’s even a ‘notes’ section at the back of the booklet for making your own, well, notes!! see…….

'Notes' page in the Laurel pattern booklet

‘Notes’ page in the Laurel pattern booklet

I think that is so thoughtful and even more useful! and the pattern itself is tucked in it’s own back pocket as you can see from the pic above.

There’s help on customising your own fit……

Custom fit guide in the Laurel pattern booklet

Custom fit guide in the Laurel pattern booklet

Now you can see why I think this pattern is so lovely? I had no idea! Clearly I still have to make the dress but as a beginner/advanced beginner (lapsed), it makes a huge difference if I feel more confident after looking at a pattern rather than…err, what was the word?? that’s it…confused!!

To top this off (as if it really could be topped off), the lovely Susan from http://www.sewbox.co.uk/ is including a free gift with all pattern orders in June AND entry to a prize draw for a copy of the Great British Sewing Bee book! and this was MY free gift……

Turquoise heart buttons from Sewbox

Turquoise heart buttons from Sewbox

Aren’t they divine?? turquoise heart buttons. I love collecting buttons….what would you use these for I wonder??

I’ll keep you posted with progress on my dress!

Hope you all enjoy a glorious sunny weekend whatever you’re up to??!!
Kate x

Vintage crochet finds & make your own camera case challenge!!

The ‘vintage’ cardigan….oh I do love eBay

Every now and then I manage to find little gems on eBay or in a charity shop that have friends remarking on how lovely something is and where did I buy it from….. I always feel a sense of satisfaction when I tell them it was second hand from one of the above…one of my recent finds was this little crochet cardigan…cute heh?

vintage cardi 1 vintage cardi 2 vintage cardi 3

It originally came with a large voile like ribbon on it, which I have taken off because it did give it rather a ‘bed jacket’ type look!! I need to have a think about what else to use to ‘button up’ the cardigan if I need to…ribbon, button or something…and I may even embellish it a bit with some crochet roses…hmm, need to have a think about that. In the meantime, I just used a little brooch I have to close it.

But I couldn’t stop there………

Oh no…I then found this original 1970’s crochet shrug (I guess you’d call it) or maybe a wrap?? whatever it is, it’s lovely. Thick, fluffy yarn that has come in very handy during the recent ongoing cold weather, when I’ve been sat in bed reading….perfect for keeping those shoulders warm! I’m thinking that this little number will also come in handy for the summer evenings (well, eventually it may turn summery!!) over a summer dress….

vintage shrug @ the polka dot room

vintage shrug @ the polka dot room

This photo doesn’t really show it off to it’s best, but that’s the best I can do without having to get too much of myself in the picture!! oh ladies…what are we like??!!

Moving on to my ‘productivity’ days….aka my day off or the day I do not go to work….I think this shall now be named ‘Frantic Fridays’ as this is the day I try and catch up with all the things I have had little chance to do in the week…you know, the day that you look around the house and realise that all the cleaning and tidying you did last weekend has now worn off and ‘things’ are creeping across the floor and hemming you in again! whilst still desperately hoping to find an hour or two to actually make something!!!

Frantic Friday :: Make your own camera case….but watch those measurements!!!

Hmmm…well, yes, the reason I say watch the measurements, is that a dear friend of mine asked if I could make her a camera case for her new present. I was more than happy to oblige. Camera delivered. Measurements taken. Notebook out. Work commenced.

camera case @ the polka dot room

So far, so good………

camera case make @ the polka dot room

And that is where things started to go a bit…well..wrong! Magnetic closure in…check…until I realised I’d put one in the wrong side of a fabric piece!! which meant that the case now was not polka dots on the outside and lined in the green and cream, but half polka dot and half lining fabric for the outside!! And then the final nail in the coffin?? it was too small for the camera!!!! arghhhh! Gosh, I’m really not sure how this happened. I had taken such care over the measurements…perhaps it was that I had got my seam allowances wrong when the batting was in place…who knows!

camera case make @ the polka dot room

Not too sure about the button…I think it might be a bit much, or maybe it’s just too large, or overly fussy…so that might come off! The back of the case should have been spotty, but I guess that makes it ‘quirky’ !! Overall, I suppose I shouldn’t be so hard on myself…it was not bad for a first attempt I guess…back to the drawing board…..

I then came along this quote on my Pinterest recommendations, which I thought very apt for me…..

Make beautiful things poster

And finally……. talking of beautiful…..

Popped to the ‘Tennis Cafe’ at our local park today, providing ice creams for the middle and smallest ones….I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this beautiful rose on our table, as the sun shone through it’s petals…….

beautiful orange rose @ the polka dot room

Enjoy the rest of the bank holiday weekend my lovelies, and here’s hoping the sun keeps shining, Kate x

Sew a little happines :: sunshine makes :: needle case

The weather has been so beautiful the last few days…just perfect bank holiday sunshine. However, I felt my sewing machine calling me and I decided to start getting on with making a summer top….photos to follow once finished and approved! It involved far more preparation than I had thought….I think it took me around 2 hours just to set everything up, machine, ironing board, laying everything out on the table, ironing the pattern and fabric, pinning and cutting out…phew! as they say…it’s all in the preparation!!

The sun has been beaming into my front room filling the place with warmth and how lovely to not have to have the heating on! hooray! The dog has enjoyed finding his rightful place stretched out on the carpet enjoying the rays….it’s a hard life Muts!

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I love the way the sunlight catches our little mirror mobile….the reflection casts tiny patches of sunlight all over the sitting room which my youngest always says looks like fairies!

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Ok, so there’s a little artistic licence with the camera work and editing but it seems so pretty I had to share it!

The title of this post is ‘sew a little happiness’ and I wanted to share with you some of my more smaller sewing makes, which I have given as a gift…hence the sew a little happiness theme.

Needle case

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This was made for a lovely friend who has just recently discovered the joys of sewing…I just embellished with some ribbon trim and velvet ribbon loop for the button closure.

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blue needle case back

And here’s one I made earlier….

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I do apologise for the wonky size pictures and picture quality….they were taken on a dull day….I just can’t seem to be able to get the edit right on here and make sure all my pictures are the right size or in the right place!! I reckon I need to go back to the drawing board and try and find where I’m going wrong!

Up and coming…I have a little crochet make on the go which should be finished shortly….pictures to follow.

In the meantime, thank you for stopping to read this and thank you again for all the lovely comments I have received so far….it’s really rewarding to be complimented in this way…I feel like I have a little blogland family growing by the day!

Kate x

Bespoke bunting :: so easy to make something beautiful for your home

Today the sun was out then the clouds came and the heavens opened…..so I decided it was the perfect day to get on and finish my most recent project….some gorgeous bunting for my friends birthday. It doesn’t matter how often I make bunting, I always love choosing the fabric and creating something pretty. This bunting is ‘bespoke’ because I chose colours that my friend had in her lounge…I just hope she likes it!

Here are some of the ‘flags’ made and ready to attach to the bias binding….

Bunting flags

Aren’t they gorgeous prints and colours? I used three fat quarters of fabric in total (one of each print) and purchased these from the lovely http://www.owlandsewingcat.com which is a wonderful shop….I dare anyone to go in there and come out empty handed!

I pinned on the cotton bias binding (I prefer cotton than polyester mixes as poly/cotton binding can stretch and move more when stitching; cotton is quite a lot easier and can be of great help to someone new to machine sewing.

flag and binding attach

Then I stitched the binding to the flags or flags to the binding, whichever way you want to look at it!

I then considered what type of finish I should do for the end of the binding….leave them plain on the ends or make some sort of loop so that the bunting can be ‘hooked’ up?? I decided on making little loops and then hand sewed some small buttons (purely for decorative purposes of course!), to finish off the loops.

I think the end result looked really neat and individual….what do you think?

button loop

button loop 2

Finally, I had to try out the bunting and take some photos before wrapping it up….it would have been rude not to, I think! I got a bit carried away with the pics but the bunting looked so lovely (pics not great but am afraid it was a bit of a gloomy light due to the rain!)

bunting stairs 2 bunting stairs bunting wall 1 bunting wall 2 bunting wall 3

Then it was time to fold it up carefully and wrap, ready for my friend to enjoy……..

all wrapped up

** I loved the fabrics so much that I may just buy some for myself and make some mini bunting…hmm, yes, this sounds like a very good plan. So, hope you like my ‘bespoke’ bunting…it’s so easy and quick to do and a great first time project for the novice sewer. I love the way the colours all come together and it is such an effective way of injecting some colour and individuality to your home or wherever you fancy putting it! I’ll never tire of making it. I might try and get a small tutorial together for it soon.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post….I’m very new to this still!