You shall go to the ball *in an Elisalex

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I am super proud of this dress – it’s taken quite a while to make as I’ve been so picky and careful about all of my finishes. I made it to wear to my cousin’s wedding on Saturday and everyone had a wonderful time – Congratulations Mr and Mrs B!

I’m normally a bit slapdash with finishing dresses off, just wanting them to be done and wearing them straight away. But with this gem I took my time learning loads of new techniques in the process and I think the end result is absolutely beautiful (also the shoes were pretty perfect too).

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Apologies for the windswept look, I wanted to get a picture by the lovely lake at the wedding but it was a bit blowy! This is a sort of practice run for my wedding dress, which will be made out of the same silk dupion (in ivory this time). I’ll keep the sleeveless Elisalex bodice (from the amazingly talented ladies at By Hand London), attach a full circle skirt, make a tule petticoat and then create a French guipure lace overlay for the bodice (which I’m terrified about).

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But I’ll be talking more about that dress later. Let me show this one off first – My princess seams and inverse box pleats all line up on the front, my invisible zip is the best I’ve ever done, the bodice is fully lined and hand finished around the waist and zip, all my seams are finished a la Hong Kong style, bound with black binding and I hemmed it by hand with a herringbone stitch.

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Off glavanting

20160108_082542Apologies for the radio silence, we’ve been off gallivanting around Mexico. Getting back to the daily grind now, gradually finding our feet again.

I’veĀ got the photos to sort, wedding cakes to bake and a dress to hem this week for my cousin’s wedding, not to mention trying to get my own wedding invitations finished and written…

I’ll get there… while I do, here is a holiday snap from Chichen Itza for you to enjoy.

Wet, wild and wintery weekend

I’ve had a lovely weekend! I had a wonderful friend come and stay, we brunched, drank coffee, explored, got very rained on and generally had an awsome time! Saturday evening was pretty Blue Peter with crafting and sewing, and Sunday I persuaded everyone it would be nice *really* to go to Lyme Park for a walk in the rain!

I had a fair amount of work to do this weekend but it all worked out well and was rounded off with ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ in preparation for the big day on Thursday!! Have you got tickets?

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Eeny meeny miny Moneta

This was my first step into jersey – I was a little nervous. I’d read about stretch needles, ball points, stretch stitches, sergers and more; but I was/am determined to crack jersey! It works out a bit cheaper than other fabrics due to its width 150cm over the usual 110cm, it’s super soft, and it (seems) really easy to fit!

I’ve got a stretch stitch on my machine, I bought some cream and white jersey fabric off the lovely people at my fabrics, the Colette Moneta pattern in pdf and off I went. *I’m going to come out and say I didn’t buy any ball point needles… I just went for it – I didn’t come across any snagging or pulling, but I can see how some pulling could happen, and have since bought some ball point needles for my next projects…

(I’m pulling it out so it looks less wrinkly as I was fighting the setting sun to get a photo in natural light – not an easy thing to achieve this time of year at the top of the northern hemisphere!)

I way over ordered fabric, so you’ll probably be seeing it again at some point. I really liked the cream and white stripe Colette used in the promo picture so I decided to play it safe for my first project! (I’m a sucker for navy and white stripe so I think I’ll go for something like that next!)

I actually found the whole dress really quite easy to make! The jersey behaved itself and I didn’t make any adjustments size wise. The one booboo I did make was seeing one of the patterns sleeve wrong side out, but since it’s really quite tricky to tell which way *is* the right side I’m going to forgive myself on my first attempt!

I’ve seen loads of Monetas out there so this is another into the mix! Take a look and let me know what you think?

Toria

Winter wonderland – Tatton Park

 We had so much stuff to sort out this weekend, with exams for both of us this week, a holiday to Mexico at the end of the month, a dress to wear for my cousins wedding to make we were really busy.

  
But not too busy to have a wander around outside. I really wanted to go for a walk, and get away from the city for a couple of hours – at the moment my office has no windows and it’s dark when I leave for and come back from work so I REALLY miss the daylight.

  
  
  
I thought it would be fun to go and have a walk around the lake at Tatton Park, and it was lovely. I took my camera with me and had a play with all the amazing textures around. We even saw some deer running around – I like to pretend they’re small reindeer :D

Did you do anything fun at the weekend?

Toria

Swishy swirly circle skirt

I really like this really simple circle skirt – I originally bought the fabric to make a dress – but I found it a bit too scratchy against my skin, so though it would make a lovely casual skirt.

I originally tried to hem it normally – double turn and stitch, that it looked a bit of a mess, and I think it also needed something to break up the sea of blue, so added green bias binding at the hem, which I think works rather well :)

At the back of the skirt is a non-invisible, invisible zip as I only had a normal foot at the time, and it was my first ever zip! I’ve since bought an invisible zip foot and had really good results (such as in the hygge Kim skirt). When I have a moment I’ll take the zip out and put it in properly!

I always forget I can alter clothes I’ve made!!

Toria

Spiced apple cake – feeling wintery

 With Storm Desmond shaking the windows and rain smattering down it’s definitely a weekend to stay in at home, this is my home happy baking face:  

We’ve put up some twinkling lights and a few decorations and with carols blaring on the radio the afternoon called for a tasty warming apple cake. 

I found this recipe online as I really wanted something to use up these lovely apples that I got from my parents’ garden – my normal apple go to is a tarte tatin, but for once I wanted something a little lighter and less pastry based :)

  
  
  
  
You can find the recipe on the Hairy Bikers’ website.

With cinnamon, allspice and I added some extra ginger as well it was really warming and perfect for a chilly witner’s afternoon.

Toria