Monday, 22 July 2013

Another floral top, madam? Yes please!

When I went to the rag market in mid May with my "ami francais" Katie, I spotted some viscose that I really liked the look of but because of time pressures, I didn't get a chance to purchase. Well, I kept thinking about it for a few days and then decided I had to go back and get some. Luckily there was some left! (In fact, there was still some left when I attended the bloggers' meetup where, funnily enough, Charlotte got some too!)

I now wished I had bought enough for a dress but at the time I only got 1m as I had a top in my head. I do need more tops though, so I suppose it's a good thing. Plus it only cost £3!

I didn't really have a proper plan for this top so I winged it and used the pattern for the Lydia pattern sans sleeves. Except I totally forgot that the pattern was meant for knit/jersey fabrics and forgot to factor that in so it's a bit more fitted at the hips than I intended! Luckily, I'll mainly be wearing it tucked in so no-one'll notice.

Oh and I may have cut the fabric upside down...Can you tell?

It'll do tho. I French seamed the entire thing and used self binding on the neck and armholes.

I made it ages ago, well before my holiday, so it's had quite a bit of wear now. It's in regular circulation for work, mainly paired with the cream Cambie skirt in the photo, but it also looks cool with a pair of shorts and flip flops on hols! 

Phew, one unblogged item down, another bajillion to go! 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

A few more Kenya safari photos for anyone that's interested

Look away now if
a) you don't like animals
b) you are expecting sewing related stuff!

Apologies for the photo-heavy post but pictures speak louder than words...

I think it's safe to say my favourites were the cats!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

It's too hot, I'll have a Sorbetto please!

Nothing that interesting or impressive - just a very quick make on my day off earlier this week. I needed to do some sewing after two weeks of lazing about in the sun in Kenya...

The fabric is the last little bit left over from some that I bought at the Brum meetup. The main make from it hasn't been blogged about yet as I haven't got round to taking photos.

Why does my nose look so big in this?!

I'm not sure why the neck is so big - I didn't change anything about the pattern since I last made it. Hmm, mystery. (Well, it could be the fabric I suppose)

Anyway, that's it for now. I have at least another two or three things to photograph from weeks ago (but am feeling too lazy) and a massive list of to do's. This heat has zapped all my energy. All I want to do is sit. Still, I'm not complaining - I'd much rather this than the cold!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Miles and miles of bloody Africa...

First of all, thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post and sorry I haven't responded to anyone else's posts for the last two weeks. You see, I've been on holiday - on safari to Kenya!

And it was bloody brilliant!


I took mainly me-made items to wear for the entire trip. In the few weeks before we went I scrambled around making loads of lightweight summer tops to wear with shorts in the daytime and I took a handful of dresses for the evenings.

But guess what? I was so captivated by the scenery and animals that I only got ONE photo of me wearing anything me-made. Yes, one measly photo, that isn't very can't even see the wildebeest in the background!

T shirt made with leftover
butterfly fabric

Anyway, despite the lack of sewing-related photos, I had a fantastic time. We went to a fair few different game parks and nature reserves all over Kenya and got to see loads of animals and birds. The game drives were awesome!

Elephant train

I don't have the "official" photos yet (we had one proper camera between all of us) so here are just a selection of some that I took with my iPhone camera. We were lucky enough to see all of the Big Five (elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and even the elusive leopard!)

The Great Rift Valley
Sausage tree

One of the highlights was getting stuck out in the bush in the middle of a game drive, in the middle of nowhere! We had to get out of our minibus and help dig out the sand from under the van then push with all our might to get it going again. It was exhilarating, especially knowing that there were wild animals that could attack us at any moment!

Mr Sabs making himself useful

And here's a photo to prove that I did take some crafting with me. 

Practicing my knitting beside the pool

I'm now going to spend the long but enjoyable task of reading through all the blog posts that I've missed while I've been away. Enjoy the sunshine everyone!

**Edited to add**

I forgot - I bought some fabric in Nairobi! I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't the huge amount of fabric that I was expecting in the markets but I liked the bright blue of this one. It's not wax fabric but printed cotton and I'm thinking it will make a nice dress with a border hem...

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Ma deuxieme Robe Sureau: The Dragonfly Dress

And I don't even like creepy crawlies!

But I fell in love with this fabric and had been eyeing it up for a while. Then I had lunch with my friend a few weeks ago - and  I screamed at her, "Anika, you're wearing the dress I want to make!" She'd only gone and turned up in a dress with a very similar pattern but larger (and green) dragonflies and my mind was made up, I had to have it!

I knew straightaway that it was to be another Sureau. But no sleeves this time. Initially I thought I would leave it sleeveless altogether but in the end, I preferred it with cap sleeves, yet again using the Washi dress pattern. That reminds me, this is part of Indie Pattern Month, celebrating all the  wonderful independent companies out there. Go and have a look at what everyone has been sewing up.

Oh yeah, I lengthened the ends of the sleeves to make them fit the armscye better - and ended up with Stormtrooper shoulders!! As I couldn't be bothered to unpick everything and make them smaller (lazybones like you wouldn't believe, me), I just put a little pleat in each sleeve and hand-tacked it down. I don't think you can tell tho so that's another trick up my sleeve for future reference (pun well and truly intended!)

The second boo boo was adding an extra 2-3cm to the centre back of the bodice to accommodate the zip and realising too late that the neck was a bit gapey. Again, laziness took too string a hold so I added a couple of pleats to the back neckline which seems to have righted the problem. Phew!

Basking in the sun...

The only(!) changes were:
1. Pockets again
2. Zip in the back, not the side
3. Cap sleeves
4. Lengthening the bodice by an inch and adding an inch or two to the skirt (so I can wear it to work without feeling too leggy)
5. Omitting the front buttons - altho I may still add them later, not sure yet

The pockets are an homage to my first Sureau, using up the last of the leftover fabric.

The fabric, actually a quilting cotton, is not at all stiff or rough (I was a bit worried seeing as I bought it online and hadn't had the chance to feel it up) and the dragonflies are really cute and not too big and scary.

I love, love, love the finished result! Great to wear as a summer dress (the photos are taken at RHS Rosemoor on a glorious day when I wore it for the first time) but warm enough in the winter with tights, boots and a cardi. Perfect!

I heart the Sureau!