Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Inspiration: Dear Creatures SS2013

Since I have three finished projects, but weather and personal stuff are keeping me from photographing them, here's some more drool-worthy clothes to muse on.
I would personally be delighted to wear every single piece in this collection, I adore it.

*If you've already seen this post, it's because I'm a big doofus and I mistakenly published it on Sunday! Sorry!*


Sunday, January 27, 2013

"Watch This Lace" Guest Post - My Bird dress

Today I'm the very proud guest of Marie's blog, "A Sewing Odissey" with this lovely bird printed dress, definitely a new favorite.
Chance is, if you follow me, you probably know her blog already, but in case you don't, go check it out!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Inspiration: Orla Kiely SS2013

The perfect collection to put me in the mood for spring/summer sewing...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Eliza M's Giveaway Winner

Drumroll, please...

Congratulations, Kessem! I'll contact you right away.

For everyone else... I promise there will be more giveaways soon, so stay tuned! :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stretch Yourself: Block Printing a T-shirt

This post is part of the Stretch Yourself series, hosted by Miriam of Mad Mim and Miranda of One Little Minute. It is a two week long series about sewing with knits that started last week, covering various topics like fabric selection, pattern-making, construction, finishing techniques and projects by 10 guest bloggers.

Today I am very happy to be one of the guest bloggers! Please check out Rachel at anu*miki who is also posting today about fabric printing.

For my tutorial, I wanted something very simple and beginner-proof since I am myself a beginner with stretch fabrics. I decided it was the perfect time to experiment a bit with block printing, something I had wanted to try for ages.
I'll show you a very easy way to give new life to that old, plain t-shirt that lays forgotten at the bottom of a drawer.

Here's what you need for this project:

✄ A plain t-shirt (or fabric)
✄ Fabric paint
✄ Carving block (linoleum or rubber)
✄ Carving tool
✄ Something to help you spread your color (a brayer or a sponge)
✄ Wood (or acrylic block) and glue to mount your stamp

After you've gathered your materials, you need to choose the subject you want to turn into a stamp. If you're a beginner, try something with an easy silhouette. I chose a moustache, which is quite trendy, geeky and because I just love quirky prints.

You can either draw your silhouette directly on the lino/rubber block, or you can draw it on tracing paper with a soft pencil...

... put it face down on the block and trace over the lines with the pencil. It will be magically (ok, not really) transfered on your surface.

Now cut your shape leaving some space around the edges... and start carving! I always start with the outline, trying to be as precise as I can.

Keep carving until you're satisfied with the result. At this point, it's a very good idea to try your stamp with an ink pad on some paper to see if there are areas that need to be refined.
Take your time, you want your stamp to have clean edges and look nice and sharp.

When you're satisfied with what you have, glue the carved block on your wood block and allow it to dry.

And you're ready to stamp!
Use some cardboard to make your t-shirt lay flat; this will also prevent the paint to bleed on the back of the t-shirt.
Spread the paint on the stamp: I had the best results using a disposable cosmetic sponge, but one of those spongy brushes will work as well.
For a more precise result, you can mark the position of the print on the t-shirt with little dots. I just eyeballed it.

When you're done printing, allow the paint to dry and follow the instruction to permanently stabilize the color. My paint needed to be ironed at low heat.

My t-shirt was just an experiment and although it's far from perfect, it turned out very cute!
It definitely got me excited for this technique: it's a great way to jazz up an old, plain t-shirt (but also a cardigan or a sweater), but also to create your own printed fabric from scratch.
The sky is the limit! 

Read more about sewing with stretch lace over at anu*miki
and the see the rest of the “Stretch Yourself” series
on Mad Mim and One Little Minute!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Burdastyle Magazine 02/2013

I don't have a proper intro for this post. The preview of this issue left me indifferent... nothing to really despise, nothing that makes the issue worth buying. You be the judge. Ok?

When I said nothing to despise, I meant except this stuff:
These patterns just make me say "Fuck you, Burda" to my computer screen.
In the past, some of you rightfully pointed out to me that it's useful to have patterns for absolute beginners, but I still think that you don't need a pattern for this stuff. Especially a pattern you have to trace off a complicated sheet and add sewing allowance to.
I do am (can you said that?) a person that gets pissed off easily, but this just infuriates me.

Moving on to some nice(r) things.

VERY cute. I couldn't figure out if it's a designer pattern or a vintage one or what. I'm not over the moon about this simply because I don't have any occasion to wear a dress like this. Other than that, it's pretty great. 

Cute skirt (especially for a beginner), cute top, nothing you haven't seen before if you're a long-time-Burda reader.

Don't like the sleeve frills, but it's a nice button-up (ooh! concealed button holes!). Again, there was a very similar pattern not too long ago.

Cute and interesting. Terrible photo, of course...

At a certain point, while I was looking at this preview, I started thinking the Burda team is thinking WAY ahead of time. A drapey, sleeveless maxi dress with sandals in February? I'm going around wearing multiple layers, boots, a coat and a wool hat, how am I supposed to get excited about a pattern like this one (and the previous one)? By the time I can wear something like this, I'll have probably forgotten entirely about these patterns.

Eh. Something cute and trendy. That's about all I have to say about it.

To sum up this post... YAWN.
But what about you? Are you going to buy this issue?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Birthday Giveaway Winner + Disqus

And the lucky winner of a Deer and Doe pattern of her choice is...

Congratulations! I'm sending you an e-mail right away.

Everyone else... Don't be discouraged! There's still time to enter the Eliza M pattern giveaway and I promise there will be more soon.

On a side note, since I had two giveaways on the blog this week and commenting was essential to enter, I received some tweets and emails from some of you, having trouble to leave a comment. These issues usually had to do with Disqus, the commenting system I use on the blog.
Apparently, Disqus doesn't like Internet Explorer (you need to use Firefox or Chrome), nor mobile/tablet users. I'm very sorry if this system is causing you discomfort, but I find it so much better than standard Blogger comments.
I try to keep my blog as user-friendly as I can, so if you have any suggestions on how to make it better and more accessible to you, I'd be thrilled to hear it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Interview: Eliza M's Vintage Sewing

You know I'm a sucker for indie pattern designers, so when I found out about this beautiful new line of vintage inspired patterns via Jane, I had to know more!
Here's a little more about Eliza and her patterns.

- Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? When did you start sewing?
I have three children ranging in ages from 17 to 4 years, two boys and a little girl.
I started sewing fairly recently, abut two years ago as I was fed up with mass produced clothes and dresses that didn't fit me.

- How did you start Eliza M's Vintage Style Sewing? How did you choose the name?
I did start with genuine vintage patterns, but as a beginner found them too difficult to make. I found a pattern cutter to make vintage style patterns that were easy for me to make and from there on I was hooked. I thought there must be other women who would benefit from using the patterns I had created for my own personal use, and Eliza M Vintage Sewing was born.

- Do you have formal training (art, design, sewing, etc.)?
I have a degree in Education, I worked in schools for quite a few years and still have a passion for life long learning, but previous to taking my degree as a mature student I was a Field Sales rep for many years. 

I am completely self taught, I believe that a little time and effort go a long way, I am though addicted to learning new things and being creative, I love to sing, paint (badly) and dance, I believe a creative life is absolutely essential for confidence and well being.

- What are your main sources of inspiration? Your favorite designers or style icons?
My main sources of inspiration come from old movies, particularly from the forties and fifties. I love the timeless style of Greta Garbo, Grace Kelly and so many more of those old movie style icons.
Dita von  Teese is also a form of fashion inspiration, the next collection of patterns will include more 'bombshell' styles. I have concentrated mainly on the practical for the first collection, but I think a little self indulgence doens't go amiss once in a while!

- Why did you decide to stay away from multi-sized patterns?
Original vintage patterns were always single sized and I wanted to be as authentic as possible, however we will hopefully be launching sizes 10-16 as multisized patterns in the New Year.
16 plus sizes will remain single sized.

- Do you still sew for yourself?
Yes, I still sew for myself. I made the majority of the samples used for the photographs and I continue to sew around three dresses a week, often more for private clients from my patterns and samples for the new children's range due out in Spring. I love to sew so much I could never stop now.

Elisa was also generous enough to offer my readers a combo of one of her patterns + a packet of Eliza M Liberty fabric covered buttons.
In order to win, go browse her site and just leave a comment below telling me which combo you'd choose in case you won.
The giveaway closes on January 17th, 11:00am GMT.
(And if you haven't already, there's still time to enter my birthday giveaway!)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Hey! Today I turn 26 and it's also my blog's second anniversary!

I just can't believe it's already been two years.
I started writing here because ever since I started reading Gertie, I was so in love with the sewing blogosphere and I really wanted to be part of it.
I've grown so attached to this blog, to the possibility to share one of my main interests with other people and to the incredible support I've received since the beginning.
Thanks to this blog, I've been motivated to sew more, I've met some incredible people and I've been included in lots of amazing projects.

One of these, and definitely the dearest to me, was contributing to Deer & Doe. Ever since I discovered Eléonore's patterns, I was more than smitten by her talent and was a huge supporter of her work. We started emailing regularly, we decided to host a sew-along together and speaking of the huge request for an English translation of her patterns, she asked me if I was interested in translating them.
I'm a trained translator, and while I would usually refuse to translate into a language that is not my mother tongue, I am confident enough in my English sewing vocabulary that I accepted. And after some opportune proof-reading, the patterns are finally available in English!

I'm not a big fan of birthdays, I get embarrassed when I'm the center of attention and although I like to receive presents, I also love to give them! So, to celebrate little old me and my blog, and to show you all my gratitude, I'm giving away a Deer & Doe pattern of your choice.
To enter the giveaway, you need to be following my blog (please specify how) and just leave a comment telling me what present you'd like for your birthday. Please leave an email address for me to get in touch.

For extra entries, you can:

 Tweet about it (+1)
 Like me on Facebook (+1)
 Share on your blog (+1)

For each additional entry, please leave an extra comment below.
The giveaway ends on January 12, 11:00am GMT. Good luck!