Stitching Santa – part 1

Now that Christmas is almost over (bah humbug!) I wanted to share the goodies I received from my Stitching Santa this year!

Sheila from Sewchet hosted Stitching Santa for a second year, and I’m hoping she does again next year too as its such a lovely concept.The idea is the same as a normal Secret Santa – you get giimageven a name, and send them a gift you think they would like, but in this case it’s also sewing or knitting related, depimageending on which option you select.

My parcel turned up several weeks ago so was sat in my living room long before we put our little tree up! I also knew who mine was from based on the senders details (many thanks to Lynn who blogs over at Tialys for my gifts 😀 x) and I just wanted to share what she sent me. I will do another post when I know my recipient has opened their parcel – I know they’ve got it (thanks Royal Mail) but I don’t want to ruin any surprises!

First up, Lynn made an infinity scarf put of some beautiful green cottimageons prints. It’s quite hard to photograph but it’s lovely – I don’t wear a lot of green so this was a good gift!

She also made a little drawstring bag with a really cute animimageal print and a lavender bag which smells so gorgeous! It’s already tucked up in my pillowcase and I’ve had the best nights sleep in ages!

She also sent me a dress pattern from Serindipity Studio, whichimage has interesting details on the bodice as well as some fun transfers and the prettiest buttons! Also in the parcel was the pincushion at the top of the post – so cute!

Once I know my recipient has their parcel I’ll share what I sent them – hope they like theirs as much as I liked mine!

V1467 sewalong update 4 – Finished!

At last! My peacoat is finished! Actually it’s been finished for a few weeks now but I’ve only been able to take pictures today!

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I’m really pleased with how this turned out – it’s the most complicated sew I’ve done since graduation, and  I’ve learnt a lot about coat making, working with wool and using heavy fabrics along the way, so even if it had turned out pretty badly it wasn’t a waste of time.

I really do recommend this pattern though. Although Vogue has a reputation for designing difficult-to-sew patterns, I found the instructions clear and easy to follow. I do recommend making a muslin beforehand though to check fit as I found the pattern quite long (I am 5 foot 2 and 3/4″ though so…). I also found the pleat at the top of the sleeve created a weird crease underneath due to my wide arms so I looked like I had a weird 80’s power suit vibe going on. It’s a strong look. Just not for me. I cheated a little on this step – just unpicked the pleat and eased the extra fabric around my sleeve head. Next time I’ll actually redraft the sleeve but I was a bit short on my wool and feeling a bit ambitious this time, hence the shortcut.

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Serious modelling… At least my mouth isn’t open LOL

It fits really nicely, and is actually a little roomy as I did all my fittings over a thick jumper, but that means I can layer up when it does turn cold! Hayden and I went out today to take the pictures for this post (well, Hayden took the pictures, I mucked about feeling awkward AF), but I did a rubbish job of pressing it beforehand so the peacoat is a bit more crinkled than normal.

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You can probably tell that I’m trying to take slightly better blog pictures but as someone who finds having their picture taken very difficult it may take a while for my posts to improve – if anyone has any hints and tips about improving photos as well as dealing with the self-consciousness thing please let me know in the comments. I’m struggling with my weight too at the moment (more exercise, less Toblerone would be the key here) so I do feel a bit awkward sharing these photos with you as I’m a lot… curvier than I’d like to be. However I’m making minor adjustments with my lifestyle and attitude and trying to be more positive so I’ll get there, slowly but surely. But maybe I’ll put off rejoining the gym until January… 😛

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Renee Marciel, French designer – a Monday Mention!

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Today’s post is another Monday Mention! It’s also slightly different to normal but this is one I have had drafted for ages! As you may have seen, I really like collecting vintage patterns, although I have yet to successfully make any up – my small collection is full of gorgeous dresses but I’m more of a jeans and shirts kind of girl! I have a few gems I want to have a go at in the new year though, so I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime however, I inadver20151214_203543.jpgtently seem to have started collecting vintage fashion illustrations. Who knows where this will end?!

A few months ago I visited a local antiques fair and managed to pick up 2 original vintage 1950’s fashion illustration prints. I loved them on sight and bought 2 but there were dozens to choose from – so so hard to choose!

The designer was a woman called Renee Marciel, who I’d never heard of – however the French chap who was running the stall at the antiques fair informed me she has designed for Christian Dior which seemed dubious but didn’t stop me buying! The illustrations are so elegant and when I grow up I hope to be as lovely as these ladies! (I’m 27, there’s still time right?!)

Renee Marciel was20151214_203600.jpg a French designer who was based in Miami but unfortunately there is very little information about her online. Trained at the Beau Arts School in Lyon, she moved to the USA in 1946. Soon she began selling designs in the Fashion district in New York, and taught herself fashion cutting, draping and fitting before moving to Miami. Upon arrival she purchased several yards of fabric and began work on her first small collection of designs and eventually her work was noticed by buyers for Saks 5th Avenue who soon began to stock her designs.

The unfortunate thing is that that’s about all I can find out about her, and nothing to corroborate the Dior claim (one can dream). A Google image shows some incredibly gorgeous designs – this particular one is so striking. If I only I had an event to wear it to! During my image browsing I managed to find the actual dress for one of the design sketchesil_570xn.497459574_owa0.jpg I bought!

If anyone does have any more info about Renee and her work, please point me in the right direction! I’ve included the links and resources I used below for those who are interested! There are some gorgeous examples of her work to be found:

 

 

 

 

December goals

I can’t believe it’s DECEMBER. How the heck did that happen?!

I’m sooo close to finishing my peacoat and I am eagerly awaiting payday so I can treat myself to some new patterns (which may already be ready and waiting in my online shopping baskets) but for now I’m going to set myself a few simple goals to see me through to 2016.

1. Colette Patterns Sorbetto. I want to run my overlocker in a bit so this simple wardrobe staple would be an ideal first project as well as stash busting!
2. Sewaholic Granville shirt. I don’t have a fitted long sleeved plaid shirt and this pattern has great reviews and seems very versatile so I’m looking forward to making my own.
3. Sewchet.com Stitching Santa. First step, stalk my blogger. On their blog, I mean, not real life… Second step, think of something brilliant and organise it in time for Christmas. Right then…

What have you all got planned for December? Let me know your plans for the festive season in the comments! ☺