This has been my year

1.Top Five of 2013

As 2013 draws to a close, I have been reflecting on the previous months and what they have meant to me from a creative point of view.  Last year I blogged about the highs and lows of 2012 (oh my, I did have a couple of lows).  This year I have decided to join in the fun with Crafting a Rainbow and tell you about the Top 5 of 2013.  I have decided to share with you the opportunities and experiences that have come my way this year because of my wonderful hobby.

1. Road Testing a couple of Patterns for Sewing-Online

Back in April I was approached by Kim from Sewing-Online who asked me if I would like to create something from a couple of patterns of my choice from them.  When I had blogged about my creations my posts would be mentioned on their site. Well I was beside myself with giddiness, I had shared one or two of my projects with Kim (as I do love to show anyone who remotely shows an interest in what I make) but it came as such as shock that someone thought my dressmaking was worthy of promoting on their website!

Simplicity 1699

Simplicity 1699

I decided on the two outfits pictured here and completely loved both of them.

Simplicity 2442

Simplicity 2442

2. Appearing in Sew Magazine

I do love a bargain (who doesn’t?) and also any freebies I can lay my hands on.  Sew Magazine are fantastic for putting free patterns with their magazine.  I have quite a collection in my sewing room, some I have used already and others I have earmarked for the future.  I decided to make one of the dresses from a Simplicity Project Runway pattern.  Sharing my progress with companies who have an interest in seeing what I make from their own products is something else I find very rewarding.  Lo and behold a couple of months later there was Dolly (my mannequin) sat proudly in the magazine.  That was me giddy as a box of frogs for the second time this year.

Simplicity K1913

Simplicity K1913

3. Winning a competition with Abakhan Fabrics

Moving on with my love of sharing creations with companies who have had their own input in some way shape or form.   I have purchased most of my fabric from Abakhan Fabrics store in Manchester this year and I like to show them what I have created out of their gorgeous fabrics.  As it happens, a dress I made in October this year was entered into their Project of the month competition (without my knowledge) and it won!

Flowers

Simplicity 1874 Flowers

I was beginning to get a little overwhelmed at this point with all the attention, totally gob smacked is the phrase I would use!

4. Becoming part of a Bloggers Network for Calico Laine

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any more exciting, in November I was approached by Calico Laine who asked if I would consider joining their Bloggers Network. I will make some of my future creations from fabric (which I will get at discount price) from their site.  When I blog about it they will share the experience on their site………wow!  How could I turn that down?  I am currently in the middle of finishing my first creation, it is sew exciting.

Blogger

5. My ever so over the top dahhling dresses

My final entry in the top five reflections of the year has to be my evening gowns, both sit proudly at the top of my accomplishments this year.  After all none of the above would have happened if it wasn’t for my sewing.

Simplicity 1874

Simplicity 1874

I still can’t quite believe I do something in my spare time that brings me so much joy and happiness and to top it all it has introduced me to some incredibly wonderful people.

Smplicity 2253

Simplicity 2253

Once again I wonder what next year will bring, but if this year is anything to go by my sewing future will be a glorious one.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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A dress fit for a Queen

Seasons Greetings one and all!

Formal Evening Photo You will already know of my cruise this year on board the Queen Mary 2 (I’m sure I have mentioned it once or twice recently).  This was a very special holiday to celebrate by husband’s 40th birthday and as such I felt the need to create two very special dresses.  Actually, I will rephrase that, I decided to make one dress which I finished a couple of months ago (you can read all about it here).  The dress was such a success my daughter decided she would not be upstaged by her mum and wanted one too.

Full Length FrontSo I went on the hunt for something just right for a teenager who is never out of sweats and joggers (no mean feat I can tell you).  I decided to make Simplicity 2253 a gorgeous dress inspired by Jessica McClintock.  It is very similar to the first dress in that it comprises of front panels to create the bodice and is off the shoulder with added detail to the front.  This dress as with the previous one has two different lengths, my daughter chose the shorter length and the fabric which is Duchess satin, bought from Abakhan Fabrics in Manchester.

ReverseThe construction was very simple, all front and back panels are sewn together to create the design.  The skirt comprises of a back centre seam and front and back darts, which is then attached to the bodice.  One of the main differences between the two dresses is the cute little sleeve which sits underneath the lovely folds of fabric on the shoulder.  The dress is partially lined, which is attached around the neck edge and armholes, it finishes just below the waistline.

Finally there is a concealed zip and folds of fabric which cascade around the shoulder seam to add a lovely finishing touch.Front

I am very proud and pleased as punch to say my daughter loves her dress and wore it with pride (twice) on our cruise; she even mentioned wearing it to her prom next July.  I am sure with my new found ability to throw the odd evening gown together I will be able to rustle up something else by then.

Happy holidays everyone!

Tis the season to be jolly

FrontHere we are again my friends it’s almost Christmas.  I can’t believe how fast this year has gone. It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago since I was writing my blog post about the creations I made for Christmas last year.

This year I have to admit I have recreated a top I made last year because it was so comfortable to wear, looks good and it can be dressed up or down, to suit the occasion.   The pattern is Simplicity 1716 made from Bamboo jersey fabric which I bought from Calico Laine. Cowl Neck

Not much to say about the construction, 3 front and back pieces and sleeves.  The front has pleats at the shoulders to create the cowl neck along with the extension which laps over to the inside.  The back has a centre seam and neck facing.  The sleeves are set in but I decided to create little gathers at the cap instead, all extremely easy to put together (although the jersey did have a mind of it’s own and wanted to go in the opposite direction to me!)Shoulder seams

There we go, I managed to squeeze in a little blog post before I set off on my jollies later this week.  It definitely is the season to be jolly and this week will be no exception aboard the Queen Mary 2 taking in the sights of Brussels and Paris, I am wondering if I will have enough room in my suitcase for my sewing machine?! Failing that I have had plenty of tips about various fabric shops I can visit along the way.