Vintage Fabric & Notions

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Hi All,

Just wanted to share the goodies I got last weekend at the Chelsea Vintage Frock!
I took out lots of money when I went (as that usually jinxes me finding something to buy) but I left with empty pockets.. oops :)

I sure as hell didn't go there expecting to find any sewing bits, but I sure was wrong!

First thing I found was some vintage Grosgrain. I had encountered this before, and its so stiff, and perfect to support waistbands. This one was even stiffer, and I was bloody delighted. I bought the whole roll and the remnants of another. That was my first score.

Then on the same stall, I found this lovely fabric. I thought it could be a beautiful Shirtwaist dress so I closed my eyes and asked for the price.... and he said £25 so I snapped it up! There's just over 2 metres so I should be able to squeeze something out of it!

Then I stumbled across this beautiful vintage dress stall, although at £150-£300 they were well out of my price range! But he had some lovely patterns too and I got these two.

THEN I found this little old lady with beautiful notions and lace, and I carefully chose a few bits. I tried to ensure I would use them all, so I spent a lot of time picturing what I could do with it. I thought the lace and Broiderie Anglaise could trim a skirt or waistband to make them more vintage styled. I even thought I could make a press stud waistband with some of them.

She also had some cards of button, so a picked out my favourites of those too! I hate when I want to do a project and I don't have any buttons and she was selling them off cheap!

Happy happy happy.... The OH has told me that I need to stop buying things now and start using them!

(Shhhhh...... also picked up these two patterns on eBay.)
Don't tell!!

Love Emmie x

The Holy Grail of Tracing Paper

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to do a quick post on my new tracing paper (although am not sure you can call it paper!) that I got at a car boot fair just over a week ago. I was walking by this stall and saw three rolls lying there.. They all felt slightly different, and all had an almost plastic-coated feeling. The guy said that they were £5 or I could have the 3 for £10. I know, I was tempted, but I have nowhere to store them, nevermind carry them all,

Here's a picture of Mr.G carrying the beast! I think he said there was 48 (meters? feet?) on each roll, but I easily picked the biggest one I think that was a random guesstimation. It looks like it will last a while anyways!

Now I'm so glad I dragged Mr.G back to the stall, as since I've got it home I've realised it has every quality that I want in a tracing paper:

  • Its very see through

  • Its a decent thickness, which means the marker pens I use won't go through to the pattern (like they do on my Burda paper). 

And the best thing - 

  • Because its a bit plastic-y, I can roll my tracing wheel to my hearts content and it doesn't tear!!! I found the last time I used it on the tissue paper it just tore straight through... :( 

My solution to that was taping all of the necessary places with invisible tape.
And I just checked, it rips and tears just like paper. 

Now the only thing that I haven't tried (and am a bit nervous of) is pressing it. But as far as I can see, I shouldn't really need to press it at all. Just roll out, cut a chunk off, trace, cut and I'm away!

Now I haven't actually used it yet, as I'm working with a pdf pattern at the moment but I will let you know when I do....

The Holy Grail of Tracing paper!

For purchase enquiries, please traipse around The Hop Farm Boot Fair on a Sunday in Kent. 
Man with long hair and a white van.
Should be easy enough to find, no?

Emmie xx

My Oh Sew Vintage Life - The Liebster Award

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Hey guys!

 So the big news in my world Is that I got nominated for a Liebster Award by Clare at the uber-cool Sew Dixie Lou. Thank you so much Clare for this. I don't even believe anyone reads my blog, never mind likes it enough to nominate me - you made me a very happy lady!

So, The Liebster Award? What is it?

It's apparently a neat idea someone came up with to help bloggers who have under 200 followers. It enables them to get to know other bloggers, as well as promote their blog to get more followers.

I found this on another blog: The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Thats really sweet, eh?

To accept the award there are a few rules to follow:

  • Each blogger should answer the 11 questions the tagger has set for you.
  • Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award on to and link them in your post.
  • Create 11 new questions for the chosen bloggers.
  • Comment on their page to tell them about the award.
  • Each blogger should post eleven random facts about themselves.
  • No Tag Backs!!!

So here are Clare's (tough!) questions and my answers:

1) If could sew an outfit for someone famous who would it be?

Hmmmm... if I could sew an outfit for someone famous... That's difficult! The first person to pop into my mind is Anna Fur Laxis, just because she is cool as f**k. And she is one of the nicest people ever. Maybe someday!

2) If your sewing machine could talk, what's the first thing you would ask it?

Why do you keep making that clunking sound? Why do you suck in the ends of the threads and mangle yourself up? And mostly, how do the top thread and the bobbin thread do their magic dance, because its sad to say that it is something I never got around to looking up! Maybe that's something I should do now...

3) Where is your most favourite place in the world?

Tough one. Whenever I think of being happy in a place, I always think of the summers I spent camping in France. Granted it was a fancier type of camping, but still. Either that, or Cornwall was absolutely beautiful!
Well those answers are in terms of places I've been, as you can see I've not been too many places. In terms of places I haven't been, my dream destination would be Bali (รก la Eat.Pray.Love). It just looks unbelievable.

4) What's that one song that can make you feel better about a bad day?

Everytime I read this question the song 'Bad Day' by Daniel Powter starts playing in my head. This is not the song that makes me feel better about a bad day! I'd find it much easier to think of songs that give you that 'tug' inside. I don't know if I have a bad day song!
I know quite a few of The Cure's songs make me bounce around - Just like Heaven & Friday I'm in Love to name two. To be honest, the other songs that get me upbeat are very much guilty pop pleasures, that I am very much mortified by.

5) How would your friends/loved ones describe you in five words?

Quirky, Intuitive, Loyal, Reserved, Doll

(The last one is true, and is a running trend through different friends through my life. I don't understand why!)

6) If you could go back to college what would you study?

I would let myself study something to do with sewing, either Pattern drafting or a Costume Design course...
The other thing I would go back to study would be Sign Language. I don't know why but I'm pretty obsessed by the thought of it. There was a Deaf studies course in my University that I didn't know existed until I was in mine. That sucked, but as every country has an individual sign language, if I was to work in the field I would have had to stay in Ireland. Or learn another! I did do a level one course, and was reasonable by the end but I've let it all slip away now.

7) The one thing you can't live without?

Glasses/Contact Lenses. The world is a very scary blurry place without them!

8) It's date night and 1985, who do you pick to go out with and why? Andrew McCarthy, Emilio Estevez or Judd Nelson?

mmmmmmm Andrew McCarthy. I'm a sucker for a cute face.

9) Who is your style icon?

Style Icon.... Lauren Bacall is the one that springs to mind, I just always remember swooning over her clothes in 'How to Marry a Millionaire'. Effortless! It was the first old movie that I properly sat down and watched the whole way through!

10) You just got detention? What's the thing you most likely did to get in trouble?

Talking. I was always getting into trouble for talking. Even now if I'm late back from lunch/doing a 'two second job', its because I was talking to someone. I just love to talk to people!

11) You're playing spin the bottle. Who DON'T you want it to land on?

Anyone! I do not do well in situations like that!

Ok, now 11 Random facts about me

If I'm not more careful, you will see me in about 30 years time on "The Hoarders Next Door". It is no joking matter! 

My favourite colour is Turquoise/Teal, although I love many shades!

I have had my hair red for 5 years now

I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat

I used to play the Drums

When I'm going up tube escalators and there are continuous 'video posters' alongside with people moving around in them, I feel like I'm in Harry Potter

I love Tattoo art

I always wear Odd socks

I hate Coriander

I love playing cards and especially love the suits of cards. The wonderful bf got me vintage diner glasses shipped from Canada with the suits of cards on them for my birthday.

I apparently "sleep like a monkey". Thanks Karl (the bf)

Well that's definitely enough about me!

And here are the Blogs that I am passing the Liebster award on to :) Which is difficult because some of my favourites appear to be very popular! Or some blogs don't show their followers... darn it. I guess I'm gonna have to pick some fantastic blogs and be done with it, screw it!

I'm sure she technically has too many followers, but I love how Lauren swears in her blog post! 
Swearing makes me comfortable - Is that weird?? And she's a fantastic sewer to boot! Love it.

Sew Little Time
I can't manage to sew & knit as much as Joanne and she has kiddies to run around after... amazing.

Sleek Silhouette
I love the fit of Katy's dresses... which is apt given the name of her blog

One half of the infamous Dolly Collins/Joan Parton duo. Not to be missed

I love the dresses that Janene makes, and she is Kick Ass in real life too

Rockabilly Ruby
I love Roxanne's vintage style, and I love her outfit posts!

The Forties Floozy
I love vintage blogs too, and Alex's is one of them!

The Amazing Taracat
Tara makes wonderful dresses that I am so envious of!

I'm loving watching Caffy sew though her pregnancy and all the cute things her baby is going to love!

Have you seen the twirling 'Me-Made-May' pictures on Hannah's blog? Amazing...

And if there weren't tag-backs then Sew Dixie Lou would be top of this list!

And now, for my questions?

  1. Whats your most favouritest thing you've ever made? 
  2. Favourite chocolate?
  3. If you could be somone for a day, who would you be?
  4. What super-power would you possess?
  5. What item of clothing is forever sitting at the bottom of your wash basket?
  6. Favouite Perfume?
  7. If you won the Lottery, what would be the first thing you would do?
  8. Favourite Skirt Length?
  9. Favourite shoes?
  10. What is your dream job?
  11. What would be your dream day?

The Scottie Scenario - Elizalex & Simplicity K2588 smoosh

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Hey Everyone!

Just needed to write up a quick post about my Elizalex dress that I made up last week! I had seen the pattern a while ago, but hadn't really thought it was a shape that I would wear - That was until I saw Roisin and Tara sporting some beautiful Elizalexes at the London Meetup, and of course after meeting the beautiful Elizalex herself! So I hopped online after the meetup and made my purchase.

One of my favourite things about the pattern is the packaging.. It's just too cool.

This was technically a test garment, as I wanted to practice Princess seams - something I'd not come up against before. I also wanted to cut a size and try it out, see what I would tweak to make it perfect. I cut my bust size, instead of doing a bust adjustment (as I was being lazy, and really just wanted to try out making it up). The waist was supposed to be too big, but it ended up ok - who knows how? Lol. Nothing makes sense in my sewing world!

And this is what came out of it!

I had to use a pleated fuller skirt, as my material was quite floppy and the beautiful skirt on this pattern  needs a bit of support! I lined the bodice in a simple cream polycotton. I wanted to get away with not lining it as it was only a trial, but finishing the neck and armholes were going to be a faff so I decided it would  be easier and I think it was! I agree with everyone else who has said how fast this dress comes together!
I used the full skirt from my Simplicity 'Project Runway' K2588. (Which I got at the London Meetup - thanks!). So really its only an Elizalex bodice, but its the best bit.

The material I used... to be honest I have no idea what it is! Its a bit odd really, it has a soft brushed front, and a shinier back, but its quite thick and stretchy. I got it in Walthamstow, at £1.50 a metre, as I wanted some fabric to use while I was still getting to grips with the whole sewing business without breaking the bank. It was an odd shop, with odd patterns on odd fabrics, nothing really made sense but I managed to get a couple bits.
But to be honest, now that its in garment form, I'm really liking it. 

I actually tweaked the pleats so that they lined up with the Princess seams in the front, and tweaked them from pleats to box pleats in the back. Before I began my tweaking I matched up the side seams, centre fronts and back seams and used all of the excess in the pleats - very happy with myself! Its been a problem getting the right fit in skirts recently and I just winged it perfectly. 
I love the scoop in the back, shows off the nice bit without feeling like you're showing off too much skin!

Now there are a few slightly off bits; the front box pleat could be tighter, but there was a random spot on the front of the dress after I made it. It was near the seam so I just trimmed a bit and moved up the skirt a fraction. But i forgot to tighten up the box pleat.The right of the back is also a fraction higher than the left. 

But at the end of the day, only I will notice, and I've been getting loads of compliments about it.
Think it's the striking Doggies!


I'd like to try a smaller size and attempt the bust adjustment (gulp!)
I would like to lengthen the bodice, to see how it would look more on my natural waist, although I surprisingly do like it where it is now - You were right Janene! Speaking of Janene, she just finished her Elizalex too and its beautiful.

Of course I would like to use the actual skirt that it's supposed to have!
And I was to try it with sleeves - never done sleeves! Especially after seeing Tara's beautiful baby blue polka dots, I'm in love.

I had the BF take the pictures - our first photo shoot, and much more difficult than I thought it would be!
That will take practice!

I look like a frustrated 2 year old in this one!

Well, my first solo dress, Hope you like it!

Emmie x

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs