Sunday, 30 June 2013

Club Tropicana at The By Hand London party

It's Sunday, I could go get my groceries with the bags under my eyes, and I just bawled my eyes out at Tanya leaving in Eastenders. Typical tears from a tired alcohol-infused Clarey.

However, I wear my dark eye bags with pride as they only serve to show I had a bloody great weekend. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to attend the 1st Birthday Party of By Hand London.

I travelled with Sally (Charity Shop Chic) and we looked like a right pair on the tube in our brightly coloured ensembles. The Jubilee Line has never been brighter!

After getting the invite, I heard a calling from my fabric stash; a little Miami-tinged voice saying, "use me, baby, use me". No, it wasn't Robot Don tangled up in the swimwear elastic again thinking he was back in Hawaii with Megan, but that amazing 'Palm Tree Sunset' fabric I found in Rolls and Rems, Lewisham (yeah that place AGAIN!).

So, I thought, it's screaming to be made into a Victoria Blazer for their Club Tropicana theme. I started on this at 6pm Thursday night, thinking, you're a crazy cow because you're NEVER going to get this done in time (what with having to attend an awards do on Friday night at the Tower of London, dahhhhling) - BUT, let me tell you, this pattern is a DREAM.

In total I think this took me 7 hours. The pattern and instructions are so easy to follow and everything went together perfectly.

Did someone say Miami Vice?

I love how this blazer co-ordinates with my pop-art Elvis. Look at Pink Elvis, he's giving it the stink eye, no doubt out of pure jealousy as I am centre of attention again. Yellow Elvis looks a little more appreciative. 

Although I made this blazer for the party, I am actually quite a bit in love with it and will definitely wear it a lot. It's also booked itself a place on the holiday for sure. 

For the party I teamed it with a black lycra (yes, lycra) mini-skirt and vest for that 80s feeling and clashed the whole thing with some leopard print - bag and shoes. I don't mess about. 

The party itself was bloody fun. I had such a great time and I'm in love with everyone. After some important drinking was done we all ended up dancing in Elisalex's kitchen to Stevie Nicks' Edge of Seventeen: oooh baby oooh baby OOOH.

Here's a few photos of the day...I'm shit at taking photos especially when there are tequila jelly shots and cava to neck down my throat, but I did remember to take a few. 

With Fiona and Sally in their beautiful dresses. Fiona was wearing
a very awesome Lonsdale and Sally was sporting another incredible refashion of 
what was once a three-piece suit. 

The most wonderful Nicole Needles. I think she could hula in
her sleep! 

Power posing with the most gorgeous Rehanon. Look at
those prints side by side. What a colour infusion!


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

All around, all of the guys call her flamingo: McCalls 6331 Romper

So, the other day I was sitting at home reading blogs when my boyfriend Elvis calls me.

"Hey baby, pack your bags, we're going to Hawaii"

"Hawaii? But I have to go to Amsterdam for work, and then an awards event, and I just did some grocery shopping."

"Baby, come on, I wanna play house with you in Hawaii. I'll sing you songs on the beach, we can drive a fast red car, hang with the locals. Hell, you can even bring robot Don."

"Really?.. Well okay, send a car, I'll be I HAVE TO MAKE MY ROMPER!"

Jeez, Elvis doesn't give me much warning, but if there isn't a more appropriate incentive for making my romper, it's a holiday with the King in Hawaii. So here it is....cue dramatic pose against a brick wall.

Pattern: I used McCall's 6331 pattern. I've been looking for a cute little romper pattern for some time. I made up a quick muslin, which seemed to fit fine, but unfortunately Mr S wasn't home to pin me at the back and me being me, I decided to skip putting in a quick zip. So yeah when I made up the finished romper it was pretty loose. I didn't really mind this as I was pleased that I had a good fit on the shorts particularly on the crotch and my bum-bum.

To rectify the looser fit wasn't a big job, just an inconvenient one. I took in the side seams first then the zip seam. I also made up a simple tie-belt as well as I felt it needed it. I ignored the pattern's zip instructions, actually I didn't read them at all as I knew I was going to put in a lapped zipper as that is one of my favourite zips, especially on a retro item.

The pattern is faced with the main fabric just on the bodice, which makes for a nice neat bust line. I am loving the little bodice flaps.

The straps are pretty easy to do, they just need some adjusting once you have made most of the romper.

Fabric: This is the most awesome flamingo fabric from Fabricland. I've had a couple of metres of this beauty sitting in my stash for a while. I thought, as did Mr S when he saw me cutting it, that it would be the fabric for the Graceland dress, but I thought a fun romper needed super fun fabric.

Okay I'm not 21 anymore, but I love this. It's comfortable and Mr S thinks it's pretty sexy. What do you think? Would you be tempted to make a summer romper? Holiday with Elvis not included.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

You're in my heart and some nonsense about leopard print

I'm feeling poorly, looking even worse, and have more congestion up my nose than the gunk tank on Fun House (US peeps, that was a most awesome show when we were kids), but I've still got my lovely Twitteraties keeping me company. For those lovely girls (and guys, Mr Horak!) I give you Rod. (That sounds rude, but Heather, you know I would if I could).

Thanks for hanging out with me everyday.

Monday, 10 June 2013

But there's a pretty little thing waiting for the King down in the Jungle Room

Mr S has been travelling a lot for work recently, which is bad news for my blog posts as he's also my resident photographer. Tripod now added to my birthday list. No scratch that, Mr S is reading over my shoulder and NOW decides to tell me he already has a tripod and the camera has a timer on it.

Anyway, finally I have photos of my Jungle Room Pencil Skirt. 

Mr S actually spotted this awesome fabric in the remnant bin at Rolls & Rems in Lewisham. As he picked it up he suggested it might make a nice head scarf (so sweet!) but there was enough of it for something larger and at the time I thought it might make an interesting top. However, as I began to plan what I wanted to make for the Road Trip this summer, I figured this jungle print was destined for only one place and it had to have sex appeal if I was going to wear it while hanging out with my boyfriend Elvis. This is so weird, but he actually has a lounge that he calls the Jungle Room!

So, what's sexier than a pencil skirt? Here are the details:

This is a self-drafted pattern. I drafted up a standard pencil skirt pattern with a back vent and waistband. I prefer including a vent on a skirt rather than a slit as when sewn properly, a vent can withstand wear and tear better than a slit. You may find that a slit will tear with certain movements.

Originally I made the skirt with pockets, but I removed them as I felt that I lost the nice shape on the hip line.

Even though it's going to be pretty hot in the south when we go, I still wanted to give this skirt a lining, so I used a very lightweight black cotton lawn from Fabricland. I had fun and games when it came to lining that back vent but I found Colleen's video tutorial over at the Fashion Sewing Blog really helpful. I definitely recommend this. 

I used a 9" invisible zip. I prefer using a 9" as I can ensure that the skirt will open enough to go over my hips. It's always worth considering this with skirts as the worst thing in the world is hearing that tear of zip/fabric as you try to breathe in through your thighs!

For the waistband, I drafted a standard waistband with lapped finished. I have used some snap fasteners for closure but I think I will change these to my normal hook and thread 'eyes'. For a finishing touch and in tribute to the King I have added a faux gold button. I spent ages looking for a button with a lion on it as per Elvis' famous belts in the 70s, but could I find one? Nope, so this will have to do:

I am really happy with this skirt. It's so comfortable and I am loving the fit, plus the print is fun for the summer. I teamed the skirt with a black body and some new black wedges from Marks & Spencer's that I am in love with, so much so I bought the animal print pair too!

And there you have it, the Jungle Room Pencil Skirt has left the building! a.k.a the sewing room.