With the year drawing to a close we took a late afternoon walk on Worthing beach. The landscape to the east was coloured in soft pastel shades of blue with sandy brown footnotes.
Introducing my first Scarlett et Marguerite Baba Yaga dress! Scarlett et Marguerite is a boutique and fabric store based in Nancy, France, which also designs and sells its own patterns for easy-to-sew clothes. Their aesthetic reminds me of 1970s Clothkits, far-out Gudrun Sjödén and 1980s Camden Market bohemian chic. Theirs is a world of unashamedly colourful homemade clothes in easy-fit shapes, embellished with all manner of brocades, ribbons and pom poms, sewn together with love.
The Baba Yaga is one of their most sewn (and blogged) sewing patterns. I've craved making one myself all year long but put off buying it mainly due to the high cost of postage from France (almost as much as the price of the pattern itself). Eventually, a timely year-end discount code persuaded me to take the plunge and order it online. Once ordered, the pattern was delivered quickly and arrived in a delightful package - a joy to receive! It even included a Scarlett et Marguerite sew-in label to add to the newly created dress. The written instructions are only in French but the illustrated diagrams were clear and when in doubt I used Google Translate to decipher anything I wasn't sure about.
Extra special fabric was required for this folkloric design and Carolyn Gavin's gorgeous Petite Fleur collection of organic cottons was just the thing. I used three different prints in a navy/red colourway; Swallow Garden for the main dress and sleeve panels; Poppies for the dress border; and Floral Impressions (a navy/white stem print) for the front and back panels. I spent even longer deliberating on which ribbons to use for the centre back trim before settling on a red gingham (for the time being).
There are just a few remaining appliqué uke bags left for sale (some in my Etsy shop and a few in shops in the UK) but all the uke gig bags have now gone to new homes.
I have enjoyed making every single one of them, delighted in carefully packaging them up and sending them out, and loved receiving emails and hearing kind feedback from happy customers.
All good things must come to an end and I'm marking the close of the year by saying farewell to my ukulele bag production line. Here's to new exciting sewing adventures in 2015!
Possibly the finest frock I've made this year, or my current fave at least. As promised, it's my second Wiksten Tova, this time in Fantasia fabric from MoMo's recent Avant Garden collection for Moda. This colourway is Aqua Skies, the print is so splendid! I was overjoyed to find MoMo's designs in my local fabric shop – Worthing's Eclectic Maker. They had both the cotton, and linen/cotton mix varieties of these prints. I chose a linen mix as it felt more suitable for autumn/winter wear and also bought a small piece of contrasting Poppin Poppies print for the yoke.
I used a lightweight blue printed cotton to make the Tova dress, with a small leftover piece of Liberty Pick and Mix Tana Lawn for the yoke and sleeve trim. I also cut out some contrasting patch pockets to give the Tova more of a 1970s feel (with this sewing pattern in mind).
I made a few modifications: I narrowed the stand up collar; interlined the front yoke piece to give it more body and sewed up the placket a few centimetres at the bottom to slightly close up the front. This also stops the front neckline gaping too much and means I can wear it without a vest underneath, modesty assured!
The fit of the Tova is superb. Very happy with this one, I've already sewed a second – watch this space for Tova #2.
Getting through the colder months with greying hair and sun starved sallow skin – without looking completely washed-out and middle-aged – is a challenge best tackled by wearing more colourful clothes. So having bought some crazy coloured chevron fleece fabric from Brighton's Fabric Land (unsure whether to make cushions or clothes with it), it dawned on me that making a fleece dress in this bright material would solve so many problems.
I've made it into another Art Teacher Dress from Ottobre Design's Autumn/Winter 2014 magazine.
As before, the pockets in this dress design are perfect, and lovely and soft to the touch in fleece. I cut the multicoloured chevrons in different directions, machine finished the hem and sleeves with a fancy topstitch and used bias binding for a neat neckline.
Fleece is so quick and easy to sew – no fraying seams! And did I mention how warm and cosy it is? Fleece fan John Shuttleworth would be thrilled to pieces with such a sensible fabric choice, I'm sure. I still have enough fabric left over to make four cushion covers (for Xmas presents), so will be spreading the fleece love this Christmas. Fleece Navidad indeed.