Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Coming apart at the seams - Miss D's 2011 sewing review Part One

Aloha my darlings,

I bid you an Hawaiian greeting to combat the icy temperatures whipping around Demeanour HQ here on the South coast brrr time to warm up the left over mulled wine.

Well, well only a few days between this blog post and the last so I am getting better.  That said I acknowledge that I'm arriving a little late to the party in doing a review of last year's escapades when we're already into the second month of this year.  I do have a good excuse *presents an offering to the blogging Gods* unfortunately over the Christmas break my laptop did just that.  Well specifically my hard  drive cue much panic and a visit to the Apple shop with Legendary Uncle (LU).  He will feature a great deal in my blogging future because a) he is a legend and b) he's a technological whizz.

The lovely fella aka Apple Genius told me, "Boom your hard drive is shot!  But I'm sure you have a backup?!" or words to that effect.  I can't really remember because by that point in my head, "I was thinking I don't, I have lost everything.  Oh Lord it's just like in SATC when Carrie's laptop packs up and she loses all her writing from over the years.  Except I'm not in New York I'm in Kingston upon Thames and I'm not wearing Manolo Blahniks but I am wearing a dress I made, aha Carrie I've got you there!"  LU then broke my chain of thought by suggesting he take me for a commiseratory slice of cake. We then had a discussion about how we might retrieve the last 5 years of my life that was currently trapped inside a small metal box.

I wish it had been this simple to sort out :s

Fast forward a month from a huge slab of brownie and a few tears and I have a new hard drive installed by LU with the old one off to the computer doctors to see if they can do anything and I have now retrieved from Facebook photographic evidence of my first year as a seamstress.  Thank heavens for social media I say.

Rooting through the timeline I can't quite believe how many things I've made but before the opening of this post gets anymore text heavy without further ado and in chronological order here is what I stitched.

First thing I ever made was the stripy bag stitched at Kat's sewing school when I learnt to sew in January 2011.

The Go Wild dress the first of many, which was also made on the course using trusty M2401 and always reminds me that now I can sew I can forever live in leopard.  Photos by the delectable Aymi D :)  I'm sew grateful for her help for taking photos of my endeavours and even lending me her sewing machine when I was waiting for my own to be delivered.


The Sun Shines Out of My Ass skirt, which I made at Wendy Ward's excellent skirt workshop.  I still love it but fully acknowledge that it makes me look like a mad children's TV presenter.

The Minnie Mouse Sencha where my love of polka dot fabric began.

My self-drafted Mime Artist stretch top in black and silver glittery jersey.

The Royal Wedding Macaron, which like Miss Middleton's dress has only been worn the once to celebrate the auspicious occasion with my friend Jo aka Queen of High Tea and cake.

The Queen of Hearts Ceylon, which was meant to be finished for the nuptials of my gorgeous friends Jo and Martin Badder-Goode (seriously she was Miss Goode he was Mr Badder it was always meant to be).  It didn't get done in time but to be honest I feel it's slightly too girly a dress for me and it's in my jazzing up pile.


The Hello Sailor double breasted wiggle dress, which was my first attempt at a vintage pattern and finished just as I was walking into the ceremony of my lovely friend Lana's wedding. Doesn't the bride look just lovely :)


The Dali tribute mini skirt made using Simplicity 2451 (a thoroughly excellent pattern), which has been worn to death.  The pug in the pic is Jo's dog Kenneth Dougray Valentine Evans or Ken to those who come bearing sausages or jewels.


The You Are The Sunshine of My Life modelled skirt modelled expertly by Delilah (she was my sewing bargain of the year at £12.49 from Ebay!) made from gorgeous vintage fabric gifted to me by the ever generous Zoe.  I used this really good  tutorial and I had a new skirt in an hour ah the joys of sewing :)

The 60s Summer Holiday A Line dress that I wore to the Pride Parade.  As luck would have it I had dyed my hair marmalade orange and it matched perfectly with the print :)  It was drafted from a tutorial in the winning beginner's sewing book by Eithne Harris, Yeah I Made It Myself!  It's such a great book and I bought it a few years before I learnt to sew and now find myself delving into it often for inspiration.

The Crustacean Celebration Macaron made to go and support one of my besties, Michelle at her son's prom parade.  Doesn't she look proud :)

My upcycled denim shorts from a tutorial on Gem's blog, who featured on one of my fave programmes from last year Super Scrimpers and my huge little brother Jamie.  He's a carpenter and I'm Sew Grateful for him because he's fixing up my sewing table and he was man enough to pose for Self Stitched September :)

The It Can Be Summer Every Day top.  It started life as a mini dress version of M2401 but I decided I liked it more as top so I lopped off the bottom and the sleeves.  Whenever I wear it I feel I have carte blanche to drink a cocktail.

The Curtain Couture shirt dress made using M4769  and a pair of vintage curtains given to me by Zoe for my birthday.  This dress makes people smile I think it's because it looks I'm wearing the sea.

The Seaside Cafe Owner's skirt, which is the bottom half of a Macaron with a self-drafted waistband.  It appeals to my nautical nature and the belief that I was a mariner in a former life.  You may also be able to see my heart of gold brooch, which is made by epic jewellery designer Sarah Meredith.

The September Heatwave stretch dress and my first attempt at sewing with my newly purchased Janome 134d overlocker (another Ebay bargain £47!).  I used the Neon Twister pattern from Burda.  It was also the last handmade item for my first try at a sewing challenge Self Stitched September.

The Peppa Pig pillowcase dress that was made for Peggy's wonderful pillowcase dress challenge and a reminder that sewing people are very kind folk :)  I was also lucky enough to attend a night of pillowcase dress embellishment at Drink, Shop and Do.  At the last count an epic 177 dresses were made for amongst others the wonderful charity Dress a Girl Around the World

My first piece of crocheted clothing a bowtie from a pattern Craftzine.  I wore it proudly with my pork pie hat and braces when I finally got to see The Specials on their reunion tour.  They were so good and Terry Hall is still dreamy.

The Spirit of Captain Morgan Cape - I sew for pirates as well as land lovers.   I made it for one of my Mum's friends' husband.  That's Pete and Trish on the right in full pirate regalia.  He was so pleased with it he's asked me to be his personal costumier!

The Bertie Bassett skirt blogged about here.  I made the pattern when I returned to Kat's sewing school for pattern cutting lesson.  It's really smart so great for work but I just love how bright it is and the electric lining is just the icing on the cake :)

Accessorising with bunting at the first Craftaganza craft market co organised by Zoe in March.  Despite my larking about it was a roaring success. 

Sewing took a back seat to crocheting throughout November and into December as I whizzed up woollen decorations, bike seat covers and bowties for my stall at the excellent craft event that was  Christmas Craftaganza.

I got a little lost with the pattern for my first bike seat cover and it was the equivalent of over egging the pudding.  It came out huge but the entrepreneur in me marketed it as horse riding saddle cover :)

Here's Jo and me manning our pitch on the day.  For the dog lovers among you Jo runs a luxury handmade dog treat company Star Barks and they look so good that we had to put a sign up to let people know they weren't for human consumption! (Well I say technically not for human consumption but they're mainly fruit and grains so I tried one and it was nice).

Last and but no means least my final make of the year was the Bet Lynch Eat Your Out NL6000 made for Scruffy Badger's Frock Fest.  This was a great frock to see the year out and got plenty of use over the party season.

Phew, for those still with me all told that means during my first year of sewing I made 21 items of clothing whoopee!

Anywho I think this post is sufficiently long enough for me to be deserving of a little glass of something.  So I will bid you farewell and see you in part 2 with my plans for 2012.

Until next time my lovelies for heaven's sake back up,

Miss D