Friday, 20 May 2016

Something to be proud of...King's Meadow

Within the realms of the sewing industry, I think I'm pretty safe in saying that I have a pretty cool job.  The majority of my day is spent playing with fabric, working out which ones I want to stock in our shops and imaging what our amazingly creative customers are going to do with it.
But every once in a while, an extra special fabric scoop comes my way.
This year marks Remnant Kings' 70th Anniversary.  Yep, we've been around since 1946 with humble beginnings in Glasgow's East End and now we're a household name locally for all things fabric and haberdashery.  We knew we had to do something special to celebrate and a chance conversation with on of our reps led to the perfect plan.  You see, Liberty of London came to visit us in our Argyle Street with a view to stocking their fabric there (which we successfully achieved) and mentioned that their minimum print run was only 300m (of course I use the word only loosely).

This got us thinking, could we find an archive Liberty print and re-print to celebrate our anniversary?  Turns out we certainly could.

We had the pleasure of working with Liberty's archivist and design team to choose a print from the 1940's and recolour it for 2016.  So please let me introduce you to King's Meadow.

 Liberty even named it after us!  We are the only stockist of this fabric and will only ever be.  We have 300m exclusively ours to do what we like with which obviously includes selling it in-store and online here.  I'm sure you'll agree it's certainly something to be proud of and true career highlight.

I made sure to get my hands on the fabric first.  Armed with 2.5m, I had enough to wear to last night's launch party in the form of Papercut Pattern's Sigma dress and to also get a more casual look in their Moana top.  As with all Tana Lawn's, this fabric sewed up an absolute dream.  Doing what I wanted, how I wanted it to.  Holding it's shape well along with keeping it's soft handle on the gentle bias cut hem of the Moana.

My Moana was worn to work last week to get some pictures taken for a feature I'm doing soon, here's me posing at what I do as my day job!  Please ignore my messy desk.

Sewn up as is, with only a 3" lengthen to the bottom as the first time I made it I found it came up a little short.

My Sigma dress, was also as is, however instead of gathers on the front of the skirt, I used box pleats instead.  I prefer this finish for my shape.

I lined this in plain poly cotton sheeting from work and tried an unusual way of lining the bodice to enclose the shoulder seams, which I'm pretty pleased with.

It's been months of hard work prepping for this fabric launch and also for our wider anniversary celebrations.  Please join in the fun with us online using the hashtag #RK70 and be sure to check out this special fabric in-store and online!

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Monday, 16 May 2016

Me Made May - the first 15

Thank you for the lovely comments welcoming me back to blogging.  It feels good to be part of the wider online sewing community again.  As much as I love the likes of instagram, you don't really get to geek out over the technical details of sewing.
 I wasn't sure how best to round up my MMMay16 posts.  Weekly, fortnightly or just whenever.  So I decided half and half.  So here are my me mades for the first 15 days:

Days 1 -5

On day 1, we were traveling back up from wolves so it was me made pj's when I got home.  Sorry no pic of these :(

Day 2 was a lazy at home bank holiday where we chilled in the house, wearing my Liberty print trackie bottoms.

Back to work on day 3 wearing my (unseen) Liberty Hubert print Sigma dress.

Day 4 I had a daddy daughter date to the theater so I put on a girly dress.  I love this print (was a total bargain from work last summer sale) and the Ruby dress by Simple Sew patterns.

Day 5, i went for comfort over all else in my By Hand London Zeena dress, which the lovely BHL ladies featured on their Instagram :)

Days 6 - 10

Wore my go to Morris Blazer on day 6 made up in this awesome geometric print textured jersey.

Day 7 was super sunny and we were down in Wolves, so I wore my Liberty print Alder Shirtdress, I adore this print, it's the perfect balance of colour.

Day 8, was another traveling back up day, but not before I played with my new babies.  Another Liberty make, this time a Roxanne tunic/tee hack.

I didn't share what I wore on the 9th, as a plain top isn't really that exciting.  However, I did share the cushions I've made for the flat.  Which match my yet-to-be-hung curtains.
Day 10 was a funny one, cause the weather had turned and Glasgow was sunny!  So I worry my Tilly & The Buttons Bettine, but in jacquard jersey which was far too warm.
Days 11-15
Day 11 was another warm one, so I preplanned and wore a silk print Scout Tee and got my legs out (I'm not a fan of the local taps aff mentality, but legs oot worked for me! hah)
On day 12, I was bad.  I wore something I shouldn't have and loved it.  It was me-made, but doesn't officially launch until the 19th.  Check back here on Thursday to see more ;)
Day 13 was another boring one, plain black Starboard jeans.
Saturday wasn't a good one at all for me-made and I actually didn't wear anything me made.  It's the first day I've failed and the last I intend to.  I had good reasons for not wearing me made, but not ones I particularly want to share here unfortunately.
Today, I was back on it though.  Wearing my yet to be blogged, Alder Shirtdress in super comfy but super creasy viscose from work.  I'm tempted by another viscose version for summer.
And there you have my first 15 MMMay outfits for this year.  I've got tomorrow sorted with a new make and have something special coming up on Thursday.
I love MMMay and the way it brings this online sewing community together.  I love wasting hours away scrolling through all the posts and getting equally inspired and jealous!  Can't wait to see what you all wear the rest of the month :)

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Friday, 13 May 2016

Saturday Sewing Sessions

There's one kind of bittersweet feature of this new blog story.  The reason for it is my best and worst distraction from sewing!  Given that it's going to be story of the most important dress I'll ever make it's inevitable that my spare time is now spent with my boy.

However, a few weekends ago was one of the first we've spent apart for quite a while.  We were still temporarily 300 miles apart but were try to do weekend about at each others part of the world. (All change now as we're in our own flat)  It was strange but, on a completely selfish note, good because it meant I had a nice Saturday Sewing Session!  I've been really good lately at growing my stash but not so good at powering through it.  Well all that changed this weekend.  I managed to get 6 different projects cut out and prepped for sewing and two of 3 of them actually sewn up.  Two of those I wore today and loved both the look and comfort of it.

The top was made using Tilly & The Buttons Orla pattern.  I've had it in my stash since it came out before Christmas and made a Christmas version but wasn't overly keen on it.  However I think that was more down to my fabric choice of a novelty print craft cotton.  I was eager to try it again in something with a little more drape to see if I liked it a little more, so this print was ideal.  I picked it up at The Rag Market in Birmingham when I was down a few weeks ago.  It was the first time I'd ventured in and got to say, I wasn't overly impressed (but that's another story).  It was only £1/m and my fashion eye recognised it as being from Peter Pilotto's collab with Target from a couple of years ago, you didn't have to ask me twice if I was buying!  I figured since I bought 4m if I didn't like the top it was no big deal as I would have some left over.

So luckily I loved it!  I put a little extra room in the front as I don't like too close fitting a top but tapering out from the neckline.  Apart from that I made no changes other than to use a shorter zip on the reverse as that's all I had in my stash.  I think the end result looks pretty good.

The bottom half of my outfit is the new Starboard Jeans pattern from Papercut Patterns.  As much as I loved my Ginger Jeans, I felt I had to butcher them to make them skinnier, however I now realise why.  I thought the Starboard jeans looked exactly like what I wanted but once made up they too were baggier through the lower leg than I wanted.  I think I've come to realise that is more down to my legs than the patterns!  You see I'm bigger round my middle so I always accommodate for that, but I'm not particularly large in the leg or bust, where I need to make the most alterations, proportionately.  I had to take them in about 2" at the ankle through to 1/4" above the knee.

This aside, the rest of the pattern is great, after wearing them all day though I'd possibly take in the back seam a little and the legs slightly more as they stretched out with wear.  The fabric I chose was one of our new Pique's from work.  It's 98% Cotton, 5% Spandex which is outside of the stretch requirements for the pattern, but I thought it would work fairly well.  It did in terms of fitting, but as I said they stretched out a little with wear and I think a larger spandex content may have helped a little with combating this.

I didn't want these to look overly casual as I'm lacking good black trousers, which is why I chose to omit the zips and top stitching.  But for my next version (I'm definitely seeing more in my future) I think I'll add these.  I love the shape of the front pockets and the easy fly insertion, although I did manage to mis-read the instructions and grade back the wrong front side, so my fly is the wrong way round and I have interfacing rather than fabric showing there.  But I'm pretty sure if anyone is down there looking, I have a bigger problem than that!

The fabric is super soft against the skin and looks great as both a casual and as a more formal fabric, which was one of the reasons we chose it.  We've brought it in from one of our favourite European suppliers in safe colours, brights and in two colorways of a print (coming online soon).  I think it would make an amazing jacket as well as a trouser, and the stretch content is always a bonus when it comes to comfort and fit.

Both of these were great projects to spend the weekend working on, one simple and easy.  The other a little more involved with some good techniques.

All I've got to think about now is what my next Saturday Sewing Session will bring...
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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Back to Blogging

Well hi everyone, it's been too long!
I'd been in two minds about how to come back to blogging and built another site, bought a domain and done very little with it (apart from the next post) before deciding that I's wanted to continue here.  But you'll notice, a change of name and a new look for 2016.

So what's happened in the past year to cause all this?  Well I met a boy, fell in love and on Hogmanay 2016 he asked me to marry him.  Obviously I said yes.  The first few weeks were a buzz and one question that kept coming up was would I be making my own wedding dress.  I started to feel like it was so expected of me that I didn't have a choice.  But after a good long think about it, I decided that I probably wouldn't be happy without some input to my wedding dress and wanted to document the process, so Diary of a Dress seemed the more appropriate way to go.
My aim is to not only blog my wedding dress creation, but all the other makes in between.  Cause let's be real, every new make only allows me to be a better seamstress and in turn, forms part of my wedding dress story.  I'm not going to promise that I'll be blogging regularly, but I do promise to blog all the important parts.  So I'm glad you're still here to join me in this journey.

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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Silk Tops

Lately I've been wanting to wear simple tops every other day to work since they're easy to throw on with jeans or trousers and don't require much thought.  So when I was away over Christmas, I treated myself to some silk prints from Mood and got to work earlier in the month.
In all honesty there isn't much exciting to say about them.  The first is the Grainline Scout pattern, which is a staple in my stash (and Helen's too, she's just made another awesome version!).  I immediately fell in love with this black & white rose print silk.  It's exactly the type of print I like and knew would work with such a simple shape.  Again I swapped out the sleeves for the Ava ones.

To finish the neckline on this, I used bias tape rather than a facing.  I can't remember if it was on here or instagram I mentioned that this is my new favourite way to hem/neckline/finish a garment.  It's simple yet pretty effective and practical!
I also felt like being a little fancy and french-seamed the shoulders and sides ;)
The second top was intended to be Vogue V1387 but I tried to play around with the pattern and it went horribly wrong.  I had this on and off about 100 times before I decided I was happy with this way it sat.

Basically there's like 4 tacking stitches holding it together at the front, but I do love the waterfall-y drape it's ended up having!  Again I fell for the simplicity of this houndstooth print with the odd blue and grey mix with the black and white.
The last top is Vogue V1367 but with short sleeves rather than full length.  I really liked the gathers on the bodice and the yoke constuction (which is hidden by the print).  I did come to hate the yoke though.  I've got quite a strange shape at my upper back/shoulders and I had to mess about with the yoke pieces taking them in at random points so it sat flat at the neckline.  But finally it worked and I'm delighted with the results.

Again I bias-bound the neckline and I quite like the contrast on this one.  I think this might be my favourite of the prints I bought.  I'm pretty sure its ex-Thakoon a designer that I really admire.
What I love most about these tops are that they are a bit more special than your everyday tee.  The silk is definetly the difference, and I know if I couldn't sew I couldn't have that kind of fabric wrapped round me on a daily basis!
I only wish I was nearer to Mood so I could fill the craving I have for all their beautiful prints.  I've still got more of my Mood fabrics sitting there ready to be used so I'm off to get a move on!

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