Archive | August, 2012

I love Bunnies

31 Aug

Bunnies are awesome.

I doubt you’re going to disagree with me but I’m going to say why anyway.

I used to have a bunny called Honey. Yep that’s right, Honey Bunny. And I used to push him around in a replica of a silver cross pram. Only the best for my baby! (errr, I should point out that this was decades ago when I was like 9 or 10 and not last year).

He was awesome and I thought we’d be buddies forever. But Bunnies can’t last forever and Honey died of pneumonia. I was heartbroken and couldn’t bring myself to replace him.

Now Polly is an awesome rabbit that I’ve been impressed with from afar. I say “afar” because she’s a Swedish rabbit who lives with Ida (check out her sewing blog too).

I mean wowzers, a show jumping bunny? I’ve never heard of such a thing!

Cat’s are generally a seamstress’ best friend but Polly makes a good case for a bunny being a kick ass sewing companion too.

Finally the reason for this post is that a fluffy cutie bunny actually helped me win a competition!

I entered the giveaway by Fabric Godmother to win the book DIY Couture How to make a gathered dress by the lovely Rosie Martin.

And this is how my name was picked….

Unbelievable awesomeness right?! And check out that ace bunny cushion!

Many thanks to Josie from Fabric Godmother for organising this giveaway.

The book take a simple idea, clearly lays out the steps and expands on different variations you can do. It’s well photographed and presented, is slim and well produced and is already sat with the rest of me sewing books!

In closing I’ll say that the hint I gave in my last post about bunny related sewing is in progress and more to follow on that. Woop!

Sliding slippy shiny sleek silky and slick….

25 Aug

I’ve been head down sewing lately. I’m trying to punch out a dress before next weekend.

Best you can’t guess what I’m making it from!

Haha I’m the crazy lady who seems to only sew slippy see-through fabrics lately.

I can’t remember the last time I sewed with cotton yeesh! Next project has to be a cotton one I think or I’ll go mad.

At the minute I’m working with French Crepe in a gorgeous mix of colours — emerald, lilac, violet and black! (much better than saying green, purple and black eh?)

Just realised there’s no lilac on this picture! oops.

It’s hard work with slippy fabrics. I’ve been sewing some of the trickier curves using the tissue paper method, where you pin tissue paper to the fabric before sewing to help stabilise under the needle. But that gets messy so I’m keeping it to a minimum. The skirt should be whipped up quickly and then an elastic waist to save putting a zipper in.

I’m making my sort of cambie dress out of the pajama pattern I got for my birthday. It’s not going to be a patch on the cambie but it’s going to give me a good idea of it.

B5653 – The Cambie nightie

So I’ve made a muslin… that’s a lie, I’ve made TWO muslins as the first one was so far off the right size. I really love the colour of my muslin and it would almost be wearable if I hadn’t made the inside of the shoulder pieces white. Oh and the bit where I didn’t sew the shoulder in properly.

Darn it!

Errr don’t look at that wonky bit please. Or the iron in the background.

And now I’m well underway with my top part. Attaching the shoulder pieces before bed I think. Although it is quite late.

I’ve also been prepping for my first inkodye/Pebeo setacolor experiment.

Let’s just say it might just feature some of this….

Super cute

Super happy times!

16 Aug

Wowzer! Awesome week in the Almond Rock household.

There’s so much to fit into this post but I’ll try and keep it brief.

Wooo I’m a birthday princess… don’t argue

Dinner at Salvos in Headingley was lipsmackingly delicious. I had a vegetarian calzone with spinach and aubergine and gorgonzola stuffed inside. Amazing. And then for pudding I ordered lemon cheesecake and it came with a surprise.

The waiting staff singing happy birthday to me, ahem, I went bright red. THEN the cutest little girl with a green stripe in her hair and a huge birthday badge came up and gave me a spare badge she had as we were birthday buddies and she’d been sung to only 10 mins earlier!

Super cute!

I got awesome gifts too off lovely friends and family. It always amazes me how lovely people are.

And it’s great to get sewing presents as it makes my hobby seem more official somehow!

I was given some lovely Cath Kidston things; like polka dot wine glasses (see left), heart shaped buttons, pins in a heart shaped tin, a cherry print apron and awesome pink salad tongs.

I can confirm drinking wine from a polka dot glass is extremely beneficial to your mental health.

Hahah. Would I fib about it?

Pebeo setacolor soleil fabric paint! Lot of words to essentially say, the uk version of Inkodye. I got cardinal red and buttercup yellow!

Oh man you’re going to see some projects from me using that! Watch the video I linked to and tell me it isn’t awesome! A Beautiful Mess had their hands on some recently.

A murder mystery dinner party game! It has a character called Vivienne Westfield, who is  an upcoming fashion designer.

No one else is getting their mitts on that character, it’s alllll me.

Sewing goodies!

Some lovely heart print cotton fabric and Butterick 5653 pj pattern.

Reminds me a little of the Sewaholic cambie, right? And why the heckers couldn’t this be a proper dress or a top rather than just pjs? It’s all about fabric choice.

I also got some books that’ll keep me busy for quite a while. I got John Richardson’s book — It’s Not Me, It’s You: Impossible Perfectionist Seeks Very Very Very Tidy Woman. It looks hilarious AND intelligent.

I also got two biographies: 

She dressed all the women I love – Dietrich, Lombard, the Hepburns, Kelly and Taylor.

Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light which is a colossal book that got good reviews for not idolising Hitch and showing his excellent and lesser qualities.

I also got Edith Head’s Hollywood the story of the amazing costume designer and winner of 8 Academy Awards! (This is more of an autobiography since she co wrote it. Plus it features a foreword by Bette Davis who I love).

Top this off with a bunch of yellow roses, earrings, another dinner out at an awesome vegetarian Gujerati restaurant, a day out in York AND lots of cards and warm wishes.

All in all I’m a very lucky young lady.

And I saved the best until last. My super baker mum made me a cake…. And just to brag a little, it’s delicious as well as wonderful!

 Sorry if I come off smug. I’m just really happy. Wooooo!!!!!

uh oh!

9 Aug

Something unthinkable has happened…

I’m not digging my fishy dress anymore.

I still LOVE the fabric to death but I feel like I’m letting it down with how I’m using it.

Is this a crisis of faith?

I was too smug wasn’t I. Not posting pictures and dancing with glee about it. And now I look at what I’m making properly and I’m not sure I’ll want to wear it when I’m done!

Or is this just a result of my awful day?

It has been a stinker. If I’m honest I don’t feel the bestest either. I have a headache and feel slightly nauseous and grimly. Maybe that’s skewing my perception?!

I haven’t put the waist band in yet so it looks like a giant tent. Generally my sewing is up to standard apart from a ropey bit of hem that I want to redo.

I think it’s just coming off mumsy if that’s even possible. The necklines not low enough or high enough and the hem is looking far too long.


I’ve given up for the night. Not sure if I’ll be feeling the love again in time to finish it for dinner Saturday but I could alter my time frame and aim for next Saturday by which point maybe I’ll be loving it again.

Or have come up with a way to fix it.


I’m doing the right thing aren’t I? Sleeping on it and evaluating over the weekend?

Bookended by Burda

6 Aug

This post starts and ends with Burda.

First I want to shout “I bought a Burda Magazine”!! I finally got the courage up to buy one. I know it’s only £4.75 but I’ve never seen more than one pattern in there to make it worth buying and the lack of seam allowance/crap instructions scared me off. But this one is chock full of patterns I’m eager to make!

Mmmm lush red cape, long-sleeved skater dress and sweet little cap sleeve/gathered skirt dress. I’ll kick ass when autumn comes around

All to be picked up AFTER a couple of current projects.

I’m trying a new zen approach to sewing. I do a little bit at a time and stop when I start to get irate or stressed!

So my fishy dress is progressing slowly and surely.

I tried to put pleats in the front. I swear I did. But they just would not go in straight or neat or even sized or anything. Blerrrrgh. So I ditched them.

I’ve also been deliberating the best way to attach my collar and performing little trials is helping me learn.

All this work and NO photos. Well I put a sneak peek on Instagram the other day but I want a big reveal!! I was a bit gutted my reveal wasn’t yesterday to coincide with Oona’s promaballoona. But I’d rather reveal it next weekend instead than have it be out in the world too early.

It’s my precious and I’ll reveal it when I want to!!

In other bratty news…

Have you seen the subject of this year’s Tessuti Awards? I only saw it thanks to Julia Bobbin but in a way I wish I hadn’t! This is like my dream competition!! A spots and/or stripes dress contest with an unbelievable cash prize that I could use to get back to Oz!! I love Australia and want to go back desperately. 

The thing that is getting to me (and it’s a perfectly reasonable thing for Tessuti to ask) is that you can only use Tessuti fabric. But it’ll take 10 days to deliver worldwide and cost $30 just to ship the fabric!

With the deadline of Sept 19th and me going away the 7th – 14th of Sept, I’ll end up with no time to sew if I have to wait 10 days for delivery!


(even the pun hasn’t perked me up)

Finally a bit more Burda….

I’ve been downloading the free Friday patterns from Burda Style. Rather impressed a major company like them would give away patterns, though obviously it’s not every Friday. Is there a pattern to their giveaways? No pun intended, the word I need is ” pattern”!

I got the Sadie pattern and thought ooh this looks simply and sweet and a great trial into the world of Burda. I also smiled because I have a friend called Sadie.

I’d not been very successful with jersey in the past. I tried to reproduce this Modcloth dress months ago by mis-aligning the stripes and using red top-stitching. Lets just say my finished product was super sloppy.

Sexy Sadie

It was my first attempt though and the jersey was £1 a metre from my favourite place that I’m sure you’re all sick of me mentioning.

 I hacked up my efforts for Sadie but kept the misalignment of stripes and top-stitching down the centre front and back.

I used the same jersey to make sleeve binding but attached it a) in the wrong order and b) with the wrong technique so it sticks out a bit more than anticipated.

I kind of like it though. It’s like I rolled up the sleeves when I put it on.

I attached my neck facing correctly thank goodness.

I then realised it was rather short for my tastes hence the weird regular stripes at the bottom that creates that big black wedge on one side and the top-stitching stops abruptly.


I’m proud of the top-stitching though. And I’m not going to be afraid of jersey in the future (Sergei the serger handled it well). Plus I’m going to make a Sadie again but definitely add a few inches to the bottom of the pattern.

Is it worth uploading to My Projects on Burda style though? I think not.

Maybe when I make my awesome red cape I’ll upload that instead!!