Saturday, 30 June 2012

Baking: Jammy dodgers!

Yesterday I whipped up a batch of these scrummy home-made jammy dodgers, recipe courtesy of Teen Granny, found in her guest post over at Did You Make That?

Despite slightly overdoing the first batch, they were incredibly yummy. I filled mine with seedless raspberry jam, but they would be delicious with any number of fillings. I'm contemplating adding cream filling as well for my next lot (I still have enough dough left for another six or eight biscuits).

Lovely stuff :)

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Chambray Shirt Dress

I can finally cross this item off my Want List! I've had the idea of making a shirt dress for such a long time. It's one of those iconic '50s daywear pieces that would have been a staple in most women's wardrobes, yet the project has always been put on the back burner in favour of those fancier or quicker projects- the blouse in that pretty fabric I just bought on a whim, the skirt to wear to this event etc etc.

Handbag made by my lovely sister Kally, who blogs over at Kalandra Jane- Millinery and Musings

On a fabric shopping trip last month I spotted a roll of lovely cotton chambray amongst the racks of wool suitings, in a beautiful soft grey colour. The colour of a chambray fabric is created by weaving white weft threads with coloured warp threads; in this case, white is woven with black to create the grey. It struck me as the perfect fabric for a shirt dress: it has a lovely crisp hand with a good weight and drape, and is breathable and cool for summer wear. And only cost me £1 per metre!

When it came to a pattern, I improvised a little. I used my Butterick kimono sleeved shirt pattern for the bodice, cut at the waist. Oddly, this time I was perfectly happy with the fit straight out of the envelope unlike last time I made up this blouse. I drafted a three-quarter circle skirt pattern, and cut it in four gores. The whole dress took about 2.5m of fabric (which I think was 60" wide).

For closure, I used two vintage buttons from the batch I purchased a few months ago; grey pearlised flower shapes 1.5" across. I think with the simplicity of the bodice style the large buttons really work well. It also meant I had to try bound buttonholes for the first time, which turned out better than I expected! I also found a buckle in the same lot that matched the buttons well enough, though not quite perfectly, so made a self-fabric belt. The skirt has a short zip at the centre front as well for ease of dressing. The hems are hand finished with a near-invisible catch stitch, and the sleeves are finished with self-fabric bias facings, also hand stitched in place.


The photos were taken in our local park, which is set in the grounds of the now ruinous home of the local Lords of the Manor, which dates right back to 1362 when the original pele tower, now the central building of the large manor house, was built. I just wish this place wasn't all locked up- I've always been fascinated by the ruins of castles and old buildings and would love to walk around inside.  I'm amazed I've lived here for two years now and never knew this place existed though!

Cuteness :)

For more shirt dress loveliness, pop over to A Fashionable Stitch, where Sunni is currently hosting a very wonderful looking 2-in-1 Shirt and Wrap Dress Sewalong, complete with inspiring eye-candy and online fabric discounts!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Vintage in blue

I've been on a bit of a blue kick lately. It's not a colour I've ever really sewn with or worn much before, but lately I find myself drawn to. There's already been the blue polka dot '40s dress. The two shades I'm drawn to most are bright royal blue and those lovely light turquoise blue shades that are so typically '50s. It's a colour that was fashionable right through the '50s and '60s, in everything from clothing and accesories to homewares and appliances. Blue oven, anyone?

Top row:

1.  Sky blue chiffon prom dress. Not something I'd ever wear, but beautiful detailing in the ruffles.

2.  I'm working on my own version of the Advance 7114 illustration in the exact colour and pattern right now! I'm easily influenced by the covers, obviously.

3.  Check out the gorgeously summery print of this tropical dress.

Middle row:

4.  Did you see Britanny's new shoes? So very lovely.

5.  I just love this stripy dress. Perfect for sunny days on the beach.

6.  A surprisingly successful colour combination with red by Chronically Vintage.

Bottom row:

7.  I love glassware, modern or vintage, and these milk glass pieces are no exception.

8.  A very beautiful sarong dress in deep sea shades.

9.  Fabric that would have been perfect for number 5, now all sold out. Damn.

What colours are you loving at the minute?

Friday, 15 June 2012

Home Notes, September 1947- Free patterns

These are a few pages from a copy of Home Notes dated September 19th, 1947, including a couple of sewing and knitting pattern freebies.

I love the striped dress the girl on the cover is wearing- so bright and cheery!

Free drafting instructions for a basic short sleeved evening sweater, to be sewn in silk boucle. This pattern would make a great starting point for adaptation to so many forties styles.

The only coloured printing inside is reserved for these two adverts for mail-order patterns and fabric cut-out kits. The short sleeved blouse is certainly catching my eye!

And finally a free pattern for a "Two-way Cardigan Jumper", knit in a zig-zag ribbing with a high neckline and choice of sleeve lengths.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Purchased in May

Just a quick round up of some of the things I picked up this month.

Let's start with my first win on a blog giveaway, courtesy of House of Marmalade. The prize was 1.5m of a choice of fabric from Dragonfly Fabrics, and I went for this one:

Originally I had thought to make myself a '40s style blouse with it, but when it arrived it's very fine, so will better suit a lovely floaty summer dress for the little one. It's really a gorgeous fabric and super soft to the touch, and was wrapped in a ribbon bow, with a 3m reel of matching pink grosgrain ribbon thrown in free.

I picked up this pattern for a whole ten pence from a charity shop recently, which might make up nicely in it, with a little lengthening. The first and only time I've found sewing patterns in charity shops, I don't mind the rarity so much if that's how cheap they are when they do appear. It's in pristine factory folds too!

I grabbed a few knitting patterns at the same time, all for twenty or thirty pence each. The little sailor outfits are so sweet, and the angora cap is a definite to-do for winter (I even bought yarn!).

A girl can never have too many buttons and buckles in her stash, and these are welcome additions. These came from the Haworth 1940s weekend, from one of the vintage shops in the village. The cream buckle is 1940s celluloid with so much detail in the form of lilies, roses and chrysanthemums. Definitely a special occasion piece!

This piece also came from Haworth, from a stall on the vintage market. A pretty 1950s brooch.