Saturday, 28 December 2013

Belated Festive Merriment and Looking Forward to the New Year!

Well hello everybody! I hope you've all had splendid Christmases! I'm typing this while compulsively chomping down slices of Terry's Chocolate Orange from my stocking that was lovingly put together by my bloke. As is the Christmas tradition I have eaten, drunk and made merry with family and friends and it's been very nice and cosy. I was also the very happy recipient of not one but three By Hand London patterns for Christmas (my folks take hints well) as I just couldn't choose between them and have seen so many amazing mash-ups and pattern hacks doing the blog rounds that I'm super-keen to try (I am very inspired by Roisin's 'pattern-hacked' versions of the By Hand dresses, especially this one and this one!)

I've just had a pretty productive day selecting materials from Brixton (the fabulous Simply Fabrics, as Atlantic Silks has been stripped bare in the closing down sale, bar a few ribbons and notions) and starting to trace and cut pattern for my very first Anna Dress! I've been following the tutorials on By Hand London's blog and am very pleased as I have nailed steps one and two today, and am just waiting for my fabric to dry before I can get snipping! 

I haven't got too much to show right now as my traced pattern pieces are resting under a pile of heavy books as I cut them from a roll of greaseproof paper (a tip from a nice lady that happened to be in Simply Fabrics who overheard me asking where I could get pattern tracing paper from) and so have to press them flat to stop them from rolling up! I'm quite chuffed with the results so far - I cut my very first FBA (made very simple from the tutorial) and decided to add the 3/4 length sleeves too (which aren't on the printed pattern, but again the tutorial gives simple instructions on how to make this addition). Excuse the overuse of the word 'simple' here but I really do find the Sewalong tutorials helpful and a bit of a confidence boost, I feel I'm gaining skills!

As I haven't got much in the way of finished products to show, here are a few shots of my fabric finds from Brixton...

Printed cotton drying after its prewash on the banister, destined to be my first Anna dress
Amazing Paul Smith elephant-print shirting cotton! My bloke has this pattern on a Paul Smith shirt in a different colourway - I had been teasing him about making matching outfits but now how can I resist?!
Tartan and garland printed rough silk. Destined to be another Anna I think, with the V-neck (when I get confident enough to start pattern-matching)

That's today's lovely haul from Simply Fabrics. Not sure what to do with the elephants yet- I don't think there's quite enough to make an Anna (there were only 2 metres left in the shop) but I've never made a shirt and wouldn't want to use this on my first try! Some kind of smart top would be good- suggestions welcome!

And these are a couple of nice bits I got for my stash last time I was in Brixton when I found out Atlantic Silks was closing down and had to get a couple of mementos.
Mugsy always has to get involved!
Very pretty but very sheer. Only bought a metre as it was just £1 so might have to stay as a scarf.
I have a pair of trousers in mind for this lovely stuff, if I bought enough! I'm thinking a snappy '60s-style ankle-swinging pair of party trousers from the same Simplicity pattern as my column skirt, once I get a bit more experience!

And that's all for today! I'm off doing more family things in the next couple of days, then myself and the Salacious Sirens will be performing for New Year's Eve, so I won't get a chance to move on with my Anna for a little while yet, but as soon as I have any progress I will share!

Until then, I hope you've all had a lovely festive time over the last week and have a smashing New Year!

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