Loving life, family, cooking, eating, knitting, sewing, lots of fabric and enjoying a few bottles of wine on the way...( not when changing the baby or operating the overlocker though!)....

Thursday, 26 February 2015

I didnt see this coming...........

Do you sew?
If you've popped by here before you will know that it is quite a passion of mine. 
However................
This week has sorely tested both my patience and had me questioning my own ability!

It all started quite innocently with this pattern


Vogue 2401, a Retro Vintage dress. I bought it some time ago intending to wear it to a Christmas do I think, but never got round to making it. And then suddenly this year is all about a vintage wedding, Twinwood vintage festival and now Goodwood Revival too. The perfect opportunity to give it a trial run.
What a stinker......... Whoever dreamed this up must have had the design skills of an aeronautical  engineer but failed to appreciate that unlike aircraft  we ladies don't like our undercarriage on show.

It took me ages to fit the bodice ,sleeves and especially the front ties neatly. Accurate marking of all those little dots was a must. The worse part by far though was the front skirt, which is little more than a flap fastened at the back with ties around which the back and side fronts overlap. The trouble is as you walk the side fronts lift and reveal your bare thighs in all their vintage glory. They are not anchored to the front panel in any way, so unless your fabric weighed a ton I really do fail to see how It could work and preserve your modesty.
Thank goodness for once I had decided to make a wearable toile as I had intended to use some rather expensive fabric to make it up for the wedding.
Needless to say I have changed my mind on that score!
I have saved the dress from the bin however by making a complete underskirt. I just had enough of the vintage fabric left to do so though I had to add a panel of a contrast colour to the hem to make it the right length, I also balanced this by making turn back cuffs in the same contrast and at least I like it enough to wear it at one if the vintage events now.





The sad thing is I still love the overall look especially the top and the stand up collar, but will I ever make it again...I very much doubt it and at £14 it was certainly not worth it.

As it is now intended for a festival and not this years main event, I even went as far as to make my own 1950s hat, using images on the Internet for inspiration and a 1940s pamphlet on how to create felt flowers. I am quite pleased with the overall look but cant decide if I should add a veil. What do you think?


I have now found what I think will be my alternative pattern Butterick 5880. and apparently there is a brilliant video tutorial by Professor Pincushion, so I hope my journey will be less traumatic. I am off to the NEC on 22 March so I may even find the right fabric, lets hope!

Have you had any dressmaking disasters lately or even found any vintage patterns (especially the retro ones which have been adjusted to fit our less than sylph like modern figures while retaining the original style) that you would recommend. I would be interested to hear about them.

Have a great week, I'm off to make a Peter Pan outfit now. Cant say I don't get variety in my sewing!

TTFN
Jenny xx

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Well we did it........

I am so excited that we have finally launched our own website for Olive and Edna. It has been a while coming but I think we are pleased with it. So lots of excuse now to go scavenging for vintage and collectible bits to fill it.


Perhaps I won't feel so guilty now every time something 'falls' into my bag when we go out and about.
We are looking forward to filling the shop with all the kinds of things we would love to keep if we had room and some recycled bits and pieces too.
Do pop by and take a peek, you never know we may just have that little something you have been looking for.


 TTFN
Jenny & Heidi

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Who turned the light off!

This morning as I sat in bed having my first cuppa of the day it felt like the middle of the night and yet it was 7.30am! The light seems so unpredictable at this time of year, never mind the weather. It's no wonder that so many suffer from SAD!
One  Friday a couple of weeks after Christmas though could not have been more different, after quite a drawn out (for us) holiday where we had entertained or been entertained every other day for about 10 days, we arranged to take a walk out to Belton, only a couple of miles away from where we live.
That day dawned amazingly bright and crisp, perfect walking weather with just enough of a nip in the air to give us a glow.
We are very fortunate here in the countries 'most boring town' to be surrounded by some beautiful countryside just a stones throw away and one or two stately piles where you can enjoy some lovely walks.
Our goal was a local garden centre, not to start planning our gardens I fear but to break off for one of their delicious Lincolnshire sausage baps and a cuppa for our breakfast before we headed back home through the parkland of Belton House.
It was beautiful and just the tonic we needed having felt like we were in hibernation for so long. My body certainly feels as though it has been storing fuel (fat) for a rough winter!



The bare trees, the glistening river and the deer strolling around the park provided  some sumptuous  vistas.








A National Trust property that is well worth more than one visit and certainly gets our thumbs up.

Well 'the Wedding Year' has truly begun and the first 150 flags for the bunting we are going to use are sewn, only about another 2000 to go......... Wish me luck! We popped out to the village hall today where it will all be going on and were really pleasantly surprised. Although it was built in 1929 it looks clean and fresh inside with great facilities, and the outside looks just like a real old school building! Exactly the look the bride to be was hoping for. Phew!!

 PS. This looks as though it will be our busiest year ever, not just the wedding but we're off to Twinwood and Goodwood too!, tickets for the latter being another stunning Christmas present from the happy couple and family. We are so lucky....but now I'm panicking! Wedding dress, MOTB dress, 50s outfit  for Twinwood and 40s for Goodwood! I  have however just found a 1980's does 1940's suit packed away ready to go to a charity shop. I think with a bit of sewing magic I could have myself the perfect look for Goodwood.I have the perfect shoes and bag, just a hat to find!  Watch this space, I'll let you know how I get on.

Have a great week and do come and visit so I can check to see what you are all up to.

TTFN
Jenny xx

Thursday, 1 January 2015

May 2015.....

Bring you health, happiness and all you desire! You are awesome and don't let anyone try to tell you otherwise.
I really believe in the power of positive thought and love so surround yourself with people and things and places that you really connect to..... And live your life as you deserve to......


Big Hugs
TTFN
Jenny xx




Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Another year over........

Well what a year, and how quickly it has passed. I still cant believe that tomorrow is Christmas day!


Like so many others this year my posts have been a bit sporadic, but I'm not apologising as usually it's been because my life has been so delightfully full that I haven't had time to sit at the computer and how many people would love to be able to say that!
I am so lucky to be surrounded by a wonderful loving family and good friends.


That's not to say though that everything is always good.
This year we learned that my darling boy has tested positive for prostate cancer. He is currently going through tests and being very up beat and we are all rooting for him. What can I say except that if love alone would cure him he would be better already.
...and then to the other extreme...our darling girl is to be married in 2015 to her man of 17 years.


 I can say something now as the save the date cards have been issued and all the important things are booked.
To say we are excited is an understatement. She is to be married in the same church as we were 47 years ago, a proper village wedding which I will share with you in due course.
So 2015 looks like being a bit of a roller coaster but I know with all the love we share we will get there.

So I will sign off for this year by just saying.....
 A Very Merry Christmas to you all and all the best for 2015



TTFN
Jenny xx

Friday, 28 November 2014

Beautiful adjustable hair bands - A Tutorial

So Christmas is nearly here and as well as the frantic shopping and cooking most of us will also be turning our thoughts to what to wear! Of course if you have little princesses the task is even harder as they seem to get fashion savvy at a much younger age nowadays.
One of the things I have noticed though is the number of young ladies (and older ones too) who favour wearing decorated hair bands, and as I make a few to sell I thought I would share how to make your own from a small length of soft elastic, a discarded bra, and a small scrap of fabric.

Materials.


 24 inches/ 60 cms of soft elastic in the colour of your choice.
I buy mine on line and the bi-fold elastic works a treat and only costs pennies a metre.

One loop and one slider from an old bra.
If it's the wrong colour you can either spray it or paint it with nail polish. Use tweezers to hold the small parts to colour them. If you are lucky to find clear ones these are even better.

Fabric of your choice torn in a 2 inch strip. The length will determine how full the rose is. I just tore a strip across the width of my fabric.


Method

First make your flower.
Take the fabric strip and fold in half with the right side of the fabric on the outside.


 At one end take the corner of the folded edge and bring it down to the torn edge. You will have formed a small triangle.

 If you have a hot glue gun put a tiny dab if glue at the bottom to hold in place. If using a needle and matching thread make a couple of small stitches here to hold the base of the triangle in place.
Next you are going to roll your strip a couple of times tightly to create the flower centre. Again you will need a spot of glue  or a stitch at the base to hold the centre in place.

Now you are going to twist the fabric strip about twice and then turning the flower in your hand glue or stitch the fabric around the base to create a rose shape.

This may seem fiddly and you are probably wise to practice with a spare bit of fabric first, but you will soon get the feel for it.
Once you reach the end of the strip, fold it down again as you did in the beginning making a neat triangle with the end and finally securing it to the base of your flower.
If you want a more open bloom, make the twists looser, if you prefer a tight looking rose keep the twists firm and even. The secret is to keep checking that you are securing the 'petals' or folds to the base with each twist so that the flower does not unravel.
Of course this is only one type of flower, you could make one from layers of felt petals, or my favourite a melted rose made from synthetic taffetas,organza and even dress linings.
If any one would like a tutorial for my take on these, just let me know in the comments.

Next the band. Now this is the bit I love because the band is adjustable and is therefore suitable for babies, through to children and even adults.One size fits all!
First you need to thread about one inch of one end of your elastic through the rescued bra strap loop and sew or glue in place.

 I use a glue called Fabri-tac and it sticks firmly and permanently in minutes,

 but you can easily stitch instead by hand or machine. Keep this join facing you for the next step as shown in the photograph.
Next you need to thread the other end through the slider keeping the elastic flat and then through the loop again.




Finally the trickiest bit. Where the elastic threads behind the centre bar in the slider, pull it out so that it makes a loop standing away from the slider.

 This is so that you can then thread the loose end of the elastic over the bar as well .


Pull this through about an inch and then stick or sew it to hold it in place in the slider.

Just to clariy this picture the two outer pieces of elastic are the main band the inner two are where the loose end has been passed over the slider bar ready to glue or stitch in place.


The finished fully adjustable band

The bi fold elastic has a shiny and matt side, so it is easier to make sure that you glue wrong sides together at the loop and the slider. If your elastic is the same both sides just make a pen mark at each end of the side you are going to treat as the wrong side. It does help to prevent twisting the band.

 So all that is left is to glue or sew on your flower. I try on the band and position the loop and slider at the back of the head before attaching the flower and then I can see more accurately where I want the flower to sit.

Hope this is useful and you will make some lovely creations to dress up your party gear. As I said if anyone wants a how to for the melted rose I will post one if requested. I've included a picture below of one I made earlier so you can see what I am talking about.



Enjoy playing
TTFN
Jenny xx

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

1940s dungarees, A pattern review.

Phew! Well I made them, the Wearing History 1940s dungarees, but it certainly wasn't all plain sailing. I think I made the common mistake of thinking that as a fairly experienced sewer, I would have no problem!
Big Mistake!

Oh there is nothing wrong with the pattern and Wearing History have done a great job of adapting it to our modern figure shape without losing the essence of the original. It was my hurry to get them done and not as the pattern company suggests, reading up on past sewing terms which was almost my downfall.
That and being in too much of a hurry to make a toile of course.


The one thing I did do was be very honest with my measurements. Despite the fact that according to the pattern sizing I appeared to be making a garment about 3 sizes bigger than I normally would. It was a very good job that I did because even then it really fitted where it was meant to!
The other thing which I almost slipped up on was the low rise. Fortunately I checked this out almost as an afterthought and I am so glad I did. Without losing the integrity of the 40s style when all trousers had a much lower rise than our modern equivalent, I still needed to lift the seam about 2 inches to prevent it almost hitting my knees.



The biggest learning curve though was the button placket or as the pattern puts it left facings. I could not get my head round cutting both front and back double. Especially as I was using denim.
I had decided to deviate a little by lining the front and back bodice, as I don't like faced openings, and so cut one each of the the side facings plus a second in lining fabric to keep the bulk down a bit. I also lined the pockets. I would be interested to hear how others dealt with the button opening as if I had followed the original directions there would have been five layers of fairly thick fabric once they were fastened! Perhaps I still misunderstood the pattern here!
I did eventually sort it out to my satisfaction whether right or wrong, and I do love the finished garment. It still niggles me though as I like to know what I am doing wrong if I can't fathom a pattern.
As you can see from the pictures I wore these to the latest pop up Olive & Edna shop last Saturday and they were really comfortable and very practical. I think they will be getting quite a few outings in the future.

Thanks once again to Claire at Liberty Rose Grantham for the friendly welcome and help, and to all the lovely folk who came and supported us. If you are interested in Vintage and Collectibles there is a Vintage Fair at the New life Church St Catherine's Road Grantham this Saturday, 22nd November and another that I will be attending at Liberty Rose on Saturday 6th December. So do come and say hello if you are in the area.

Off now to make vintage pinnies and some more Christmas slippers,

TTFN
Jenny xx