Friday, 15 February 2013

peek-a-boo pink...and a surprise giveaway

Hello Stylish Ones!
Garden Party dress 3.0...
I know I'm very un-fashionably late for the party, but in the spirit of just-passed Sew Grateful Week, and Valentine's week and all the LOVE going around sewing blogs these days, I've got a surprise giveaway to tell you about...a .PDF pattern for this very dress (see versions one and two here).  As it's my first, and I've had so much fun putting it together, it's going to be FREE! 
I'm busy putting the finishing touches on the pattern, so stay tuned.  It will be on my blog next week, along with instructions.  
In the meantime, more about this version - same fabric, different band! The lightweight wool suiting has made another appearance - not just because it was 4 metres for the price of 1 at Fabricland (maybe a little) - but because I wanted to contrast with my earlier version, to show how the look of the overall dress is affected by the fabric you choose for the band.
This time I've used a heavyish grey lace with a pink peek-a-boo band, and I moved the band down the skirt a touch (so there's not too much peeking-a-booing)...the result: same pattern, same main fabric but that bit dressier.
The belt is the strap from a handbag I had as a teenager (!).  I snipped off the end clasps et, voilà! 
I added some hot pink binding to the inside of the sleeves as well
And in the spirit of bringing the garden indoors....

In other fun news, I received a blogger award from Almond Rock this week:

I probably don't need to tell you, Almond Rock's blog, rocks!  If you haven't already, check out her pattern reviews and lovely dresses in her gallery.  Especially love this polka dot number and top.
So, here are the rules:
1) Thank and link back to the awesome person who nominated you. 2) Share seven things about yourself. 3) Nominate ten other bloggers and comment on their blogs to let them know. Easy!
Thank-you Almond Rock and here goes on numbers 2 & 3:
  • I'm Canadian, but I live in London. 
  • I spent my childhood and teenage years training on the figure skating rink.  I also wasn't all that great at figure skating but I braved the cold, and the bruises, because I got to wear sequins on a regular basis.
  • This also applies to my current relationship with tennis.   Tennis 'style' - not tennis skills - keep me going.  Only this time it's not sequins, but the thought of crisp tennis whites that gets me up at 7am on a Saturday morning.  Every year I plan to make a dress for Wimbledon - this is the year.
  • I probably love 80s classic rock a little too much.
  • In 2012 I married a lovely Irish man who is desperately trying to educate me musically. And trying to teach me better tennis.
  • I'm crazy about european Christmas markets.  Thank you to my German parents for instilling in me a love for gingerbread, Glühwein and Gemütlichkeit.  How many days until Christmas again?
  • I'm also crazy about London street markets.
  • This afternoon I discovered broccoli makes a pretty decent pesto.
As for my list of ten, where do I start? I am endlessly inspired by all the fearless, confident and sassy sewists out there.  I've picked ten more blogs you may not have come across.  It's an international list -- it's one of the many things I love about this online community.  And, like love, sewing is an international language, non?
 Update: Wait! How could I forget Saké Puppets, with her craft inspired tales of life and culture in Tokyo.  Check out the recent needle festival post...great reading!

Friday, 1 February 2013

'Garden Party' revisited

Remember this summer's Garden Party dress?  I've sewn it up again, this time in a lightweight wool suiting with velvet band details.
 Inspired by Oona's glamerous snowy photos, I headed back to the garden...this time accessorizing with my trusty snowshoes, to keep from sinking to my knees!
You might recognise the navy ribbon belt, which I borrowed from the original dress.
(It was one of those perfect winter snowfalls, with heaps of white powdery snowflakes...)
The pleats help give the a-line skirt a lot of swingy movement - useful for playing in the snow (and for strutting in heels!)
I changed the bodice from the last version, ommitting the front slit and lengthening the sleeves to below the elbow.
Except for the wide green velvet band feature, the skirt is the same: six angled pleats on the front....
...two on the back...
...and that hidden hem band detail, which makes its way onto most of my pieces.
Snowshoes are optional :)
Stay tuned for a third version of this versatile dress!
Happy stitching everyone.