My friends are AMAZEBALLS!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Hey guys!

I just want to take this opportunity to say how excited and proud I am of my friend Fiona from Diary of a Chain Stitcher - she is living the sewing dream!

If you haven't yet heard, Fiona has been chosen as one of the Mood Sewing Network International bloggers - a major deal! You'll be seeing her over the coming months sewing up some amazing fabric that you and I can only dream of in the UK! Although Mood now ship internationally, so maybe not quite a dream anymore if you gots the $$$

If you don't yet follow her, go there now! She is the cutest thing in the world (I'm constantly having to stop myself from putting her in my pocket), and an amazing seamstress to boot - and she buys fabric for a living. I'm constantly jealous.

I found out a few days early - Mood out up her picture a leeetle early, and I nearly lept off the couch in excitement (but of course I kept schtum)! I can't wait to live vicariously through her!

Congratulations Fiona!!

Love you lots!

Emmie x

Vegas Baby!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Hey Guys!

If you hadn't heard already, I'm taking a trip to America this April, which I am MASSIVELY EXCITED about. The whole trip has been planned around going to Las Vegas for the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Convention, which I can't wait for :)

Although within all of that excitement is a modicum of STRESS, because I need to make a holiday wardrobe. Who's bright idea was that? My main focus is Vegas, as Viva las Vegas (hereafter VLV) is a massive event, and all of the Rockabilly and Vintage ladies bring their A-Game. And they look amazing in regular day-to-day life, so imagine the level of amazingness.

I will be spending the next 11 weeks or so, sewing up a frenzy. I need a minimum of 4 day outfits and 4 evening outfits. The day outfits could be cobbled together from things I already have, so the major focus is the evening outfits.

I have considered how stressed I get, so I am also going to have a look round some vintage shops in London next weekend. Take the pressure off a bit. I'm willing to spend a reasonable amount, but only for something I love.

So, in a bid to fit the bill of both Vintage and Rockabilly, I decided to start off my wardrobe with a Vintage style, Leopard print dress :) I know I said I was focusing on evening, but I think this is more of a day dress.

This dress is my newest Minerva Crafts make, and is their Animal Print Stretch cotton, which can be found here. I had originally intended this to be a circle skirt, but the cotton turned out to be a lot lighter than expected so I felt that it wouldn't hold up as a circle skirt - so I decided on a dress with a circle skirt. 

I hadn't ordered enough fabric for a full circle skirt to be on the dress, but I got the guts of one!

I used the BHL Anna bodice, and I used this Simplicity skirt pattern as a basis for the skirt, but I got as much width out of the fabric I had as I could. 

I really love how the dress turned out - I did a back neck adjustment on the pattern of 3/8" as per Sonja's tutorial, and it's definitely better, but I could possibly do with tweaking out a tiny bit more. I also shortened the bust pleat by 1", as I noticed that they had been coming up over my bewbs. Clearly, this shouldn't be the case! I also ended up taking more out of the waist, I think because the cotton has stretch it had more give.

Anywho, I love it! May all the rest of the wardrobe some together as clean and easy. This really is my easy TNT pattern now. My first one!

The Dress that Broke the Overlocker's back...

Monday, 3 February 2014

Hey Guys,

Just popping in to show you my first (almost didn't finish) make of 2014. I decided to ease myself in after the Christmas burnout with something that I thought wouldn't be too taxing, but as anyone who know's-me-knows, those are my famous last words.

Dearies, everything in my life is a trial. All of my molehills morph into mountains. I'll tell you one thing, it makes me want to become a recluse and not venture into the modern world ever again.

If you follow my social media (@inkfairy on twitter, and @vintageinkfairy on instagram) you will know that my overlocker and I almost came to blows last friday afternoon. I had a TWAT shaped moment, and caused some damage.

Basically, I knew that in my 'Beginner Serging' class on Craftsy, that She shows you how to insert a zipper with your Overlocker. What I wanted to do was just to secure the zipper tape to my fabric. However, I didn't really consider what to do when I reached the zip. I thought about just serging off before I got there, but I thought, sher maybe I can pull the zip through like I do on my machine.


I should've taken the foot off, or something sensible. But I got the zipper stuck, and then trying to get past it/off it, I hurt my poor overlocker. It didn't want to chain the left needle thread after that, and then didn't want to chain at all, and it all ended in tears that looked like this.

I am now a threading ninja, and have absorbed the process through which the needles and loopers interact, and the threads chain (at least on the surface of the machine). From examination of mine and another Janome model, it appeared to me that my upper looper had been dislodged slightly, and I spent an evening doing micro-adjustments to it until it was decent. It's not 100%, and still skips the odd stitch, but it's a band aid for now. Part of the issue may be that I replaced the needles that were there since I got it with Stretch needles instead of Ballpoint, but I can try and remedy that at the weekend. It did go off a bit on Saturday again, but I tweaked it back. It's definitely useable for now, but I can see a service looming in my future.


Those things are intricate. And when I say micro-adjustments, I mean MICRO. Those needles come within a fraction of a millimetre of each other when they are working in unison. You do not want to balls it up any further. I know I'm the one to talk - I bloody well did it myself, but I was confident that I knew what the issue was and what needed to be done.

Now, let's resume tonight's scheduled viewing

I tried out my first long-sleeve Anna bodice, with a Simplicity 2444 skirt (I know, a Dolly Clackett special!) with some leafy and birdie print fabric from Fabricland in Brighton.

I know I've made the Anna pattern before, so things to note after this version:

I did Sonja's back neck adjustment of 3/8". It worked, but I may need more. Or maybe I just hold my shoulders odd sometimes. I damaged them a number of years ago, and they sort of have a mind of their own.

If you do the adjustment, don't forget to go back and redraft the facing (if you use them).

Don't underestimate the width of your arms when drafting the sleeve! I did, and had to go back and let out the sleeves.

The Simplicity skirt pattern marks the pleats quite far down the pattern piece, even though you are only supposed to pleat the top. Be careful not to mark it the whole way down with carbon paper (which I did without thinking in Sewing Club) and then have to spend time in the bathroom with a bottle of Vanish.

The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that I managed to cut the front skirt panel upside down. Whoops.
I even TRIED to make sure I cut them all the same way. 

I think I will reduce the bust pleats on my next version, as these are coming up over the beginning of my bewbs.

I prefer how the skirt looks in these photo's but in real life, I feel that my shoulders/bust are looking slightly bigger than my hips, which isn't usual for me. I think if the skirt had more body I would be a lot happier - not to self, make a very light petticoat. I have a built in petticoat in one of my favourite dresses that consists of little more than some satin and a small tulle ruffle at the bottom, but it does the job.

I've worn this twice already, its very cute and comfy - I think I need a few more! I didn't line it, as I wanted it to be a light Spring dress, so I think I'm going to have to get around to making a half slip to avoid the sticking-to-tights trauma.

Well that's it for now dudes!


Emmie xx
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs