Thursday, 30 June 2016


When I first decided to start sewing with knit fabrics I had a good look around to see what was on offer, I am all about the prints after all.  I knew from my many hours trawling the internet that it's much harder to get hold of cute knit fabric than it is cute wovens.  I remembered Lizzy House bringing out her Hit Parade collection of knits so had a look to see if I could get my hands on probably my favourite print of all time, Cattitude in raspberry.  I hunted high and low but all I could find was either combined with super high shipping prices meaning I really had to want that fabric or less than what I needed in stock.  Booooo.

I hadn't made my mind up whether to splash out and just place an order when kawaii fabric shop Modes4U got in touch to collaborate.  I have bought fabric from Modes4U numerous times and have always been really happy with both the service and the fabric I have received.  I hadn't thought to look there for knit fabric but low and behold there nestling among to rest of the designer knit fabrics was my beloved Cattitude described as 'dark brown cat knit fabric'.  No wonder I couldn't find it!  As you can see it is a lovely cranberry shade with bright pink cat faces on it, not a trace of brown in sight.  The description was a blessing for me though as it meant there was still stock and I was going to get to make my third dress in this print.  Okay, yes that might be a little excessive but the first was made early into my sewing journey and as I loved it so much I wanted to make it again in a better fit and the third one is jersey which is obviously totally different and doesn't count ;) Haha.

Modes4U often have great discounts on their fabrics and have such a vast range that I never struggle to get my order to the value required for free shipping.  I really like the way they list their fabrics too, they include a close up of the print as well as a picture of the fabric on the bolt so you can get a good idea of scale.  They also include specific details on the fabric such as the dimensions of the cat faces for this print along with fabric weight and washing instructions.  The listing contained a warning that this fabric can shrink by up to 20% so I opted for 2 metres instead of my usual 1.5 to make sure I had enough fabric.  I should have measured the length before and after washing but didn't think to but I can confirm I wouldn't have been able to get the Lady Skater dress out of 1.5 metres so bear that in mind when ordering knits from Andover.  I have bought knits from most of the big fabric manufacturers now so I can compare them and how well they wash and wear, more on that in a future blog post.  This fabric was been pre-washed ready for sewing and came out of the washing machine looking the same as it did when it went in - no fading is always a good sign!  It is a lovely weight, sewed up nicely and is great to wear.  It's defo my happy dress, how can you not be happy when dressed in pink kitties?!

Dress: Made by me using Lizzy House Cattitude cat fabric from Modes4U*
Pattern: Lady Skater Dress by Kitschy Coo
Shoes: Orla Kiely x Clarks


Thursday, 23 June 2016

Cats Eyes and Polka Dots

I am finally getting round to sharing this post a couple of weeks after the photos were taken.  Notice the glorious sunshine? Yeah, I'm actually missing that.  The reason for the delay is for the last two weeks I have had a really heavy cold.  A proper scabby nose from all the blowing, voice losing, sinuses killing cold.  In June.  Seriously.  I cannot remember the last time I had a cold and I am almost certain I haven't had one like this since I was a child.  What on earth is going on.  I am about 75% recovered now, I don't think I am contagious anymore and I am back to just constantly sniffing and having an annoying tickly cough.  Lucky me.

Anyways the woe is me aside that is not why I am here today, I am here to share these beautiful Alexa sunglasses from my pals at Glasses Direct.  I love Glasses Direct, they always arrive super quick and more importantly my prescription is always spot on.  I usually opt for London Retro frames but this time I decided to browse through their own collection appropriately named The Collection.  I think they are really good value and there are so many nice styles to choose from.  I went for the Alexa firstly because of the shape, I do love a good pair of cats eyes and secondly because they are a really subtle teal snakeskin print.  I thought they would look perfect as sunglasses though they would look pretty awesome with clear lenses too. I really like the Andi and the Belladonna frames, in fact there are loads of pairs I would go for as regular glasses and they start at just £25!

I am having to wear glasses over contact lenses more and more and while I have a couple of pairs of London Retro glasses that I love and wear in rotation I didn't have any prescription sunglasses in my most recent prescription.  The lenses are both anti reflection and polarised so they are great for wearing while driving and help reduce the likelihood of a glare induced migraine. I am really taken with them, just need a bit more sunshine so I can get to wear them please.

Shoes: Asos (Old)
Sunglasses: The Collection Alexa Glasses from Glasses Direct*


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Teal Lady Skater

I've been perfecting my sewing with knits skills ready to tackle this beautiful wool mix jersey from Sew Essential.  I initially went for this fabric because it's my favourite shade of teal and I haven't made any block colour dresses yet but when I saw it was 18% wool I was really intrigued to see what it was like.  It has a lovely weight to it but is really drapey at the same time meaning it hangs beautifully.  It feels really luxurious to touch and sews up like a dream.  I'm thinking the wool will help as a temperature regulator too - breathable in the summer and warm in the winter and will report back when I find out.  It is the most expensive of the fabrics I have used so far coming in at £13.80 per half metre but I personally think it is worth that price tag and can see a navy version in my future sewing plans.  I originally planned to make the Out and About dress with this fabric but am glad it has become a Lady Skater instead, this also meant I over estimated the amount of fabric required so Gray may be getting a matching tee at some point!  Gray can now see the benefit of me sewing and has asked me to recreate his favourite tee.

As this is a solid print fabric I knew the hem would be pretty visible so wanted to give my twin needles their first outing.  I had bought both ballpoint and stretch twin needles in preparation and set up my new Janome DKS100 with two spools, inserted the ballpoint needles and grabbed a scrap to see how it looked and disaster!  The right hand needle was mostly skipped stitches so I re-threaded the machine, changed the bobbin, changed the presser foot tension and nothing made any difference.  I was ready to give up when I decided to switch the needles for the stretch ones and low and behold it worked perfectly straight away.  I had read that ballpoint was best for jersey type knits and stretch for high lycra content such as swimwear so thought I was opting for the right one.  I haven't been able to find any other details about how to choose the right type of twin needle so if you have any info I would love to hear it.  I am really pleased with how the hem eventually turned out and have used it on a couple of dresses since.

Sew Essential offer up a lovely range of dressmaking fabrics, I have my eye on some of this scrummy velvet for an Autumn/Winter version of the Lady Skater.  How perfect would that be?!  Christmas party dress sorted.  I can't believe I mentioned the C word already, haha.  Apologies for the squinting in the photos, I need to remember to wait til the sun has gone down before attempting outfit photos. Direct sunlight is not the most flattering, I am all squinty with too many harsh shadows but the dress looks ace so ho-hum.

Shoes: Orla Kiely x Clarks


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