Wednesday, 30 April 2014


I've decided to join in the fun with Zoe this year! My home made wardrobe isn't that extensive, but  I do wear everything that I've made quite a lot, so I hope I will manage to achieve my pledge. I won't be posting daily photos as I haven't yet come up with a good strategy for photographing outfits, but I will try and put some summary posts together.

'I, Julia, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2014. I will also try to end the month with no UFOs.'

I also hope to go for quality not quantity for my sewing for May, by making some really well finished garments: A Grainline Archer with the lovely striped linen that has been in my stash for months, and a fabulous dress to wear to my cousin's wedding in June.

Monday, 28 April 2014

An Epic Yarn

More fantastic hilltop poses for you today! I started knitting this cardigan many moons ago (it featured in my 30 days of photos series in Nov 2012), but I finally finished it at the start of this year. I clearly work at a snail's pace in everything I do as I am only just blogging about it now! This is the first proper cabling I have attempted, but once I had learnt the pattern it was an easy knit, and I think worth the wait, although perhaps I should have tried to finish it for the start of winter, it is lovely and warm. The pattern is by Rowan, called Benbecula, and I used a pure British wool aran made by Jarol, I'd never seen it before until I picked it off the shelf in the Wool shop in Bath, but it is nice real wool that you can still smell the lanolin on, mmmm Sheepy! Anyway, to the poses...

Hopefully there are no mistakes in this bit!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Domestic Jungle

I'm afraid the dreaded Pinterest has been influencing my life; the continual scroll of beautiful interiors induced a longing for some greenery, and I succumbed. So I'd like to introduce my new green pets, let us see how long I can keep them alive! The boyfriend obtained a macro lens for me, so enjoy some close-ups of my baby succulents. Look at the cells :)

On the journey home I managed to knock off a couple of leaves from the succulents, which have now sprouted roots, so hopefully some new plants will be on their way. I think it is a true wonder of nature that plants can regrow a whole new body from pretty much any part, or maybe it is just the science geek in me? I also have some jade plant cuttings on the go, free plants are a winner. So, plants! Oxygen!

Calathea, cuttings

Cute succulents soaking up the morning rays

Roots from a leaf

Maidenhair fern

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Sew for Victory - Scallops Galore

Firstly, apologies in advance for the bad photos, especially anyone who is here for pretty scenic views, you might just want to ignore this post ;)

So I thought I would have a stab at Rochelle's Sew for Victory challenge this year. I love historic fashion, and the 1940s has some particularly appealing shapes. I'm attempting to recreate a scallop fronted dress seen in one of the free downloads Rochelle has released (the green dress on page 5 if you have it). I'm using the Colette Hawthorn pattern, which I have sewn before (pic here), and getting creative with the modifications.

This is a first attempt at a muslin of the bodice. I've altered the neckline, added a scallop detail to the button band, and changed the shape of the sleeve and the cuff design. This is all a bit new to me and I have been making it up as I go along, so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Here is a (bad) photo of the full view, on:
I am quite pleased with the neckline alteration. There are bust dart issues, which seems to be a usual problem for me. They are always too pointy! I think the scallops are working quite well, but I am very much open to suggestions! The original dress only had 3 scallops between the waist and the bottom of the neck opening, so maybe I should make them bigger? I'll make the two sides of the neckline mirror each other, I was just experimenting with the scallop shape.

The scallops are a little messy, but I think that would be improved by more careful sewing, and better fabric.

I used facing and topstitching on the scallops, is this a good technique or is there something better? it was hard to get the points between them neat. Anyone know if topstitching was used in the 40s?

I also used a facing for the cuff, but I'm really not sure this is the best way, as it wants to turn in the wrong way as soon as I put my arm in the sleeve. The point is even sharper than on the button band scallops, so it is even messier!

So, sewing gurus, advice and feedback would be fabulous! I still need to pick out a fabric to make up the final version, I'm not sure whether to go for a plain or floral, decisions decisions...