Sunday, 12 August 2012

Mauzumi Blue

Recently it was friend Beth's birthday and as her birthday falls often in my summer holiday, she is accustomed to receiving handmade gifts!

And this year I gave her this amigurumi mouse! Mauzumi blue i call him, but i am not sure what she will call him. a nice friendly face for a birthday though.


Tomorrow I have to go back to work after this long holiday so it is a bit of a glum time. But i suppose it wouldn't be a holiday if it was never ending. It has been such a treat to have such a break! And so much achieved too. I give this holiday a ten.

Emilia. x

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Project Bridesmaids

This summer holiday has very much been defined by 1. the olympics and 2. bridesmaids dresses!

I was so honoured to be asked by my friend Jess to be a bridesmaid, and even more honoured to be trusted with the task of creating our outfits.

There are five of us altogether, but Jess was happy for us all to have our own style dress rather than forcing us all to match and after some consultation of bridesmaids dress websites we all came up with our designs.

here is my rough sketching of the first 4 to work out the designs in my mind

I decided to make the dress patterns too. In one way this is a lot of work for me, but i think even with commercial patterns it is difficult to get a good fit sometimes and they can also be expensive and a headache. It also means that I can use similar features in the patterns, even though the dresses are all different, and so hopefully we will look fairly co-ordinated. I really enjoy drawing patterns and was really up for this task. I only hope my skills are adequate!

my file is crammed with block and pattern pieces

The fabric came from singapore where Jess was living and met William so I think that will be lovely to have us in a fabric from there. It is so beautiful - a green/blue dupion silk. I am really looking forward to getting started on the dressmaking!! 

We also have this great fur fabric for stoles! the wedding is in january i must add so it's going to be perfect!

And i am pleased with my progress so far. I have three of five toiles made now and although it is hard to tell until they are tried on, i am pleased with how they are looking.

lovely gingham curtain came in useful 

I am anticipating there will be some alterations necessary but hope that I am on the right track! I am very exciting to have a fitting soon to see how they look - it is so hard to tell with them just on hangers.

I haven't made a toile for my dress yet, but i think I will adapt my poppy and daisy high waisted dress pattern for a dress for me as really like wearing this style, and also will help balance our designs out a bit too. This means that I can probably make a start sewing the silk for mine quite soon. I'm excited to get to that next step! 

Yours maidenly,
Emilia. xxx

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Tying a Bow

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and amongst the wonderful gifts i got this book* - Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi:

*i just want to mention to you that I have just added a link to Tomoko's book using an amazon affiliate link which means you can support me if you decided you wanted to get this book. But it has not influenced this blog post in any way and has been added long after writing. But it is a gem of a book.

It is a wonderful book to help me build on my pattern cutting skills. As you can see from the cover picture, it has some really amazing designs and shows how to draw the patterns to make your own.

One of my aims for my holiday was to have a go at one of the patterns myself while i have lots of time to spend on it and yesterday proved to be the perfect day for it.

The first task was to draw a japanese style Bunka block (she calls the block a sloper, as i think these are made up in paper in 3D, but i kept to flat pattern drawing as you will see).

This actually ended up not dissimilar to my english style block which I am used to working with, but the the drawing experience was quite different, following a diagram rather than a full step by step that Winifred gives. It looked quite daunting to begin with but in the end i really preferred this method. Another difference was that with Winifred there are a great number of measurements to work with, where for the bunka style the whole block is based on the bust, waist and body length measurements only. Tomoko also gives a chart with every calculation worked out for each section of the block which really saved me trouble doing the arithmatic myself. it was all very clever and very pleasing.

And here is my finished bunka style block:

(compared to my english close fitting block incase you wonder how they differ):

The design i wanted to have a go at is called tying a bow. There are a few variations but the one i wanted to do looks like this:

a pretty and vintage style.

I followed the instructions for block adaptation which again take the form of a diagram. This is what i was aiming for (eek!):

and here are my finished pattern pieces:

and so the moment of truth came with the toile. and i'm pleased to say it all came together wonderfully:

 here is the untied front as in the book:

and my untied toile as modelled by Harriet:

and the moment of truth:

I fear i have not tied my bow as neatly as the book, but nonetheless I am so so pleased!  The photo doesn't really do this achievement justice at all and the reality is very lovely. And I have tried it on and it fits so wonderfully which is a real triumph. 

My next step will be to make a dress i think, using this pattern i've made as the basis so I will be back with news of this. I have a rather good stash of fabric for just such a project.

Yours bow tied,

Emilia. xx

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


the summer arrived and took me quite by surprise! luckily i discovered i do have a great many summer dresses- but all the same decided it was time for another. and also luckily i found i had this lovely piece of liberty print cotton in my draw ready and waiting.

This print is called poppy and daisy

and i made this lovely high-waisted delight. i love wearing it with it's full skirt. a good one with my sandals (and also really nice with my new bolero)

I am pleased I have also got a small piece of this liberty fabric yet to use:

i think a little blouse with this as i just have an 80cm length. the print is called a boys dream. i will let you know.

liberty bell. xxx

Monday, 6 August 2012

Bacall - i have been knitting!

It was ages since my last update - but i fear i am well and truely in holiday mode and avoiding the computer in favour of my sewing machine (or the beach)

But  now i have started and finished a new project for knitting!! It is from the same series of patterns and my dietrich cardigan and my lombard jumper. This one is called Bacall, after the american film star Lauren Bacall. It is a lovely short sleeved bolero style and you can get the pattern here for free!

This was a great project for me to help me ease out of my knitters block. It's knitted on quite big needles and has short sleeves so was quite an easy knit and a good one for the summer, nice to have a short sleeve for my jumper drawer.

I just needed 4 balls of rowan kid classic which is a mohair and lambswool blend. i chose the colour Tattoo - a nice dark blue-green. The colour of tattoo ink i suppose. this was EXACTLY the right amount of wool - not an inch to spare!

and here is my finished item...

very lovely.

and i hope this is just the start of a great number of holiday updates! sorry about that!

love in mohair,
emilia. xxxx