Friday, 3 July 2015

Made By Me #136

I've been meaning to share this dress for a while but kept forgetting I had photographed it!  As you can see the photos are pre-haircut.  Looking at these photos I am glad I got that haircut.  And the plants in my garden have grown so much since, easy to forget how small they started off now they are in full bloom.  I made this dress to wear to my lovely friend Rosie's wedding in April.  I struggled to decide what fabric to use and even bought a couple of others with the impending nuptials in mind but totally lucked out when I found this vintage beauty on Etsy.  I snapped up about 3 metres of immaculate condition vintage barkcloth for a mere £16 including shipping from America.  Pinch me now!!   

Before I made this dress I took a bodice fitting class at Sew Me Something in Straford Upon Avon with the expert tuition of Jules and Heather Jacks, the winner of the second Great British Sewing Bee.  I made up a toile ready for the class and Jules helped me work out some of my issues.  It turned out the alterations I had made to the shoulders to stop the gape had in turn caused issues around the front of the arm.  With that fixed we carried out a 1" Full Bust Adjustment which meant the bodice fitted perfectly in the calico and in the below barkcloth dress but left me with a way too full bodice in quilting cotton.  Thankfully though I had listened and learned so was able to do a 1/4 FBA by myself which is perfect for the quilting cottons and voiles I usually use.

Jules also showed me how to turn the two darts on the back bodice into a seam and reduce the gaping I get at the back of the neck.  I had been doing this by graduating the back seam when putting in the zip but wanted to learn a more professional way which means I could pattern match on obvious prints if I choose to.  I enjoyed my day at Sew Me Something and love that Jules has lots of tips to avoid unnecessary hand sewing, that's definitely my preferred option!!  I really loved wearing this dress, I also made a bright pink silk jacket to go with it and felt great!

Dress: Made by me using vintage barkcloth found on Etsy
Shoes: New Look
Necklace: Tatty Devine (old)

A couple of close up photographs of the front and the back of the bodice, I was really happy how this one turned out and as you can see the extra fabric fold I sometimes get where the front bodice meets the sleeve has gone!


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Wednesday Wants

Mid season sales are in full swing so I have browsed my favourites to find my highlights this week.  The only thing better than a pretty dress is a sale bargain pretty dress! 

Oh my look at this print!!  I love anything geometric and with the colours chosen this one has a really retro vibe.  Well played, Boden.
 Dress: Boden

Whilst I am not a massive fan of florals I couldn't resist this asos dress, I love the cut and the colours.  Oh the colours!  Whilst the dress is lined and supported by a bit of net it is described as a soft prom dress so I bet this feels lovely to wear.

 Dress: asos

Unfortunately I decided too late that I need the Cath Kidston x Gola cloud trainers and they have totally sold out in my size.  I did manage to snap up both colourways of the floral ones though and have my eye on a sweet spotty pair from their AW15 press day.  You can't beat polka dots which is why this beauty is my pick of the Cath Kidston sale rail.  The shape is oh so flattering and I love the colourway on this one, green I am warming to you!

Dress: Cath Kidston


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Little Steps

I've been noticing more and more lately that I have really let my fitness levels suffer.  I live in a three storey house and if I am on the ground floor need to fetch something from the top floor I am struggling for breath by the time I have climbed up the stairs.  I know this really isn't good and it's something I have been quietly ignoring for sometime.  It came to a head a couple of weeks ago when my car went in for service.  I was without it for two lunchtimes so walked the 15 minutes to the supermarket and back each day and found that when I woke up the morning after my hips were so stiff it was untrue.  From just an hour of walking.

I know how this has happened. Go back five and a half years ago and I walked everywhere.  I walked miles each day.  I couldn't drive and didn't have a car so didn't have much choice.  Even once I could drive it didn't have too much of an impact as every Saturday and Sunday I was stomping around the high street looking for my latest must have purchase.  Most lunchtimes too if I am honest!  Shopping kept me fit, it motivated me to move so when I stopped shopping around a year ago it meant I stopped moving too.  Shopping was literally my cardio.  Added to the fact that both of my main hobbies, blogging and sewing, mean I sit down on my bum wearing my favourite Esprit PJs for hours at a time it's not hard to see what an impact this could have.

I need to do something about it.  I bought a FitBit Flex and have made sure I have walked at least 10,000 steps a day since I got it on the 17th.  I have found it tough both physically and freeing up the time to go walking.  I am trying to fit as much of it in during the day as I can but the majority of my steps are walked in the evening which means I have less time for my hobbies.  I am having a bit of an internal battle over this as I really love my hobbies but know my health is way more important.  To help motivate me and keep me moving I treated myself to two bits of Cath Kidston that will do just that. I swooned over this navy backpack when it was first released but am not the kind over person who will spend over £200 on a bag no matter how beautiful it is.  It has gone in the sale and is now a way more reasonable £125 so I made it mine along with a pair of Cath Kidston x Gola trainers which will still look good with my dresses and mean I can walk more steps without my feet complaining.

I recently received a pair of earphones from Sudio so have been walking around listening to Taylor Swift, putting on some feel good music really does make it easier and the time passes so quickly.  The earphones are great, the studio quality sound makes you realise all the detail you miss listening to the album on the car stereo.  They are really stylish too, I love the leather pouch they come with meaning I can keep them in my bag without worrying they are going to tangle or get damaged as other headphones have before.  They work with iOS too so I can answer calls and change the volume using the controls on the headphones.  Sudio have kindly offered up a 15% discount code, Amilliondresses15.  They also offer free worldwide shipping.

Have you got any tips on how I can improve my fitness levels?  If you have had a similar experience, have had a word with yourself and sorted it out I would love to hear how.  I'm making sure when it's time to get into my comfy PJs and relax I have earned it!

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