Sunday, 8 July 2012

My finished Simplicity 2599 Ruffle top!

Isn't it gorgeous! It's been a bittersweet journey with this top. I cut out in November, and it sat patiently in the queue behind my multi fabric skirt for some considerable time. I must confess before I created the ruffle I wasn't at all happy with it, I was wondering if it might end up in the bin for a while. I'm so glad it's worked out. I have already worn it to work and with jeans last weekend. With this weather we are having a bit of sunshine yellow is cheering me no end, especially as I have had an aching all over- snotty virus. 

I have been asked several times whether it's made of real silk, it's actually a cheap poly-cotton, but I'm still hand-washing it! It cost just over £3 for the 1.5 metres of fabric and £8 for the pattern, which I will definitely be using again.  


I had the coordinating button in my collection, but it was bought at The Pin Tin - my local haberdashery store. Andrea has some fantastic buttons and ribbons in stock. 

I'm really pleased that the back neck ruffle has turned out so well. It felt like a gamble putting it together  as it was my very first top. I will be making another in better quality fabric, now I know it will work as it's perfect for so many occasions!

Finally, I had to add my Madonna/sewing obsessed reference to this top. I was a teenager when the Immaculate collection was released, and spent many a weekend with my BFF making up (poor) dance routines to Material Girl, it was easily my favourite track on the album. And I am still truly 'a Material Girl'...(if not dancing and singing into my hairbrush on a regular basis!!).

Thanks for reading,
Emma x

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee bunting & a new Lisette pattern!

The Diamond Jubilee weekend celebrations went ahead despite a mixed bag of weather. The Thames pageant was an epic event and the concert featured stars of British rock and pop. Here in Plymouth we celebrated with street parties and fairs. I baked cakes and made bunting!
I have a new pattern to make including a dress, top and skirt. I love them all, but I'm not sure which to start with and what fabric to use, any ideas?

Emma x

P.S I'm having terrible problems uploading photos to blogger at the moment. Excuse the grainy photos!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

My new label writer

If you haven't already discovered the immense power of the label writer in organising your life, now is the time to get one. Sick of having to look through a range of storage boxes to find your craft or household items? Want to simplify your life? The beauty of the Motex label writer by OH MY - see their shop on Amazon or search for 'oh my motex'. 

The writer is really simple to operate and comes with tape in a range of contemporary and retro colours and patterns, my favourite is the blue spotty tape which coordinates so well with my Ikea storage boxes. I have also been using the label writer to make funky sentiments for handmade cards. Try it yourself. 

Thanks for reading,
Emma x

Funny how an owl always creeps in somewhere, twit twooo!...

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Trims and things project: Sew Serendipity Multi Fabric Skirt

9 months and many sewing weekends later, my Sew Serendipity skirt is now complete. I'm really pleased with the result. I have learned so many new sewing techniques from this project:
  • Sewing with ric rac
  • Creating a pocket
  • Sewing an invisible zip
  • Making ruffles
  • Finishing seams
  • Attaching a hook and eye

I definitely feel like the project was more difficult than the beginner patterns I have bought since, but I don't feel like it was an impossible task. It just took me a while to grasp each technique. Kay Whitt is great at breaking down the instructions with diagrams and illustrations. Anyone who has sewn US to UK or vice versa patterns will know there are subtle differences in phrases in the instructions. 

If there was one thing I could change about it I would take in the waistline a little more, it fits perfectly at the hip but is a little baggy around the waist. I didn't adjust it more than the instructions because I will wear tucked in or long tops with it this summer. Having said that, I'm really looking forward to showing it off!

I hope you like it.

Thanks for reading,
Emma x

The finished article!

Ruffled hem

Ruffled pocket edge

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Thank you flowers!

It's a lovely thing to be thanked, I recently came to the end of a 10 month secondment at work. My colleagues bought me this beautiful bouquet of Spring flowers. The blooms lasted for over a week, but alas had to go today. I make a point of taking photos of all the flowers I get, it's not often I receive them! 

The owl vase is not actually a vase, but a utensil holder. Unfortunately I didn't have a big enough vase for my flowers and my utensils are to big for it, so it is now! I am a bit of an owl fanatic at the moment and my colleagues know this. I also received a £10 haberdashery voucher, woop! 

I am so pleased with my achievements in my temporary job, but I am glad that the return to my original job means there will be more time for family, friends and crafting :)

Emma x 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Trims and things Jubilee project: Telephone box phone case

I made this phone case for my sister over a year ago now. I came across it whilst organising photos on my laptop. I suddenly had an epiphany, some jubilee fabric on the square and this could be the ultimate celebration gift, and I happen to need a new phone case myself. Spooky! :) 

The pattern was featured in Cloth Magazine's Spring issue 2011. You can purchase back issues on their website. I added the cute little heart shaped buttons to decorate. Happily my sister loved it, she isn't much of a crafter and paid me a great compliment when she said "this is the first thing you made for me that looks like it's shop bought and I will use." 

Don't forget to email me photos and your experience of any projects you make after reading the blog: sewnotorious[at]gmail[dot]com

Thanks for reading,
Emma x

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Trims and things: Spring fabric wish list

Fabric rehab have some gorgeous cotton prints in for Spring/Summer, I'm loving Little Kukla - Doves teal, Marrakesh, Retro flowers (very Orla Kiely, no?) and finally for a fun, jubilee make London big stash bundle! Check out their website for many more gorgeous prints. 

 Images via Fabric rehab.

Don't forget to check out the new fabric ranges at Saints and Pinners and Raystitch too. 

You'll be pleased to hear I'm currently adding the hem to my Sew Serendipity Multi-Fabric skirt. Pictures and pattern tips coming soon! 

Thanks for reading,
Emma x

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

New project: Cloth Magazine Crochet Spring Scarf

New project alert! I have started crocheting this Spring scarf from the latest issue of Cloth Magazine. I love the wavy effect the pattern creates. This is my first proper crochet item (I started as a knitter) so I'm excited to see how it will turn out. Since being inspired to create the scarf I am craving a denim shirt purchase, aiming to recreate the model's chilled out look.

The Spring 2012 issue of Cloth is packed with fantastic ideas for simple DIY fashion and home projects. You can subscribe for £12 on their website. I have already been leafing through the magazine impatiently wanting to make their Shift dress, inspired by a Chanel creation worn by the gorgeous Michelle Williams to a recent premiere. As I don't have any silky fabrics in my stash some shopping needs to be done before I can start on this one, watch this space!

Emma x

Sunday, 15 April 2012

ebay bargains!

I love using ebay, there is no end to the bargains available. I bought this sweet Japanese mini-lunch box and brand new Owl necklace by Accessorize for £1.20 and 99p. The seller was also kind enough to combine on postage. Just shows how one person's random unwanted stuff can be another's treasure. I am loving wearing the Owl necklace. I have a bit of an obsession with all things Owl. I am hoping some wise will rub off!

I am listing some items for sale today, hopefully there are some UK bargain hunters looking for some lovely summery clothes. 

Emma x

Sewing project: Cath Kidston shoulder bag

This Easter I took some extra holiday and as a result have been able to sew in the evenings. Being at home for a while makes such a difference to the time available to sew. I really wanted to complete the Cath Kidston shoulder bag as it has been on my to-do list for so long. 

The most challenging part of the project was sewing the facings and the handle together. The rest came together nicely. I absolutely ruined the fabric provided in the kit for the roleau loop. The strip was so narrow it was difficult to turn inside out, despite 3 attempts. Luckily I had some thick pink cotton tape in my supplies kit and used this to attach the button. I am really pleased with the result. I also decided to add a solid card bottom (recycled from some packaging I already had) to the bag as recommended in the book to give a more structured look. I think it works really well. 

Has anyone got any tips for making a very narrow roleau loop? I think I have met my sewing nemisis!

Emma x

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Happy Easter!

Have a fantastic Easter weekend and thanks for reading my blog. Emma x

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


Instagram for Android is now available and I downloaded it yesterday. I have been playing around with the effects the app produces, my new tree shaped jewellery stand being my guinea pig. I still haven't worked out how to get the photo itself from Instagram to my blog so these are screenshots. I love the effects and I really like the retro feel they give your photos!

As I walked from my car to my apartment this evening I heard and then saw an Owl hooting in the tree. How apt to find a tree of my own waiting in the mailbox. My small items of jewellery will no longer be hanging from the wardrobe door handles, hooray!!!

I have been working on my Cath Kidston bag and will have pictures for you soon. Only one more day until Easter!

Thanks for reading,
Emma x

Monday, 2 April 2012

Looking back...

I recently found an old scrapbook with my favourite outfits. It's funny how my taste and aspirations of what I want to wear are the same as 2009 and 2010. Emma from Glee aka Jayma Mays is a long time style icon. And here are those scrapbook pages...

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Knitty nora!

I've been getting busy with the knitty just lately. I think partly because I go to a weekly knitting group at the Pin Tin, my local shop for all things crafty. I wish we had the same for sewing, alas my friend and I are planning some knitting days at our respective homes. As I am new to sewing concealed zips she is going to help me to get my Multi-fabric skirt zipped up!

I have recently finished 2 knitting projects: a mug cosy and a knitted bag. Take a look!

Patterns for these items are available in Funky Chunky knitted accessories by Jan Eaton and Fast and Fun knits by Clare Garland. Both fantastic books for present ideas!

Emma x

Oh My Gosh it's February 2012!

Hello! Long time, no blog. I am getting back on track after a crazy December and January, plus at work the launch of a new library in Plymouth. 

As I feel such a failed blogger, I thought this would be a good time to review my sewing progress from last year and also to think about revamping trims and things. 

Here is my list of to dos from 2011:

I have sew many resolutions for this year (you'll pardon the pun), here is my list:
#1. Project restyle - I made a cover for my steamer chair and restyled a boring garden chair into a reading lounger I could be proud of.
#2. Complete my long started (and languishing ever hopefully) Amy Butler Anna Tunic dress - The tunic dress never did come together despite 6 months work and help from a friend on numerous sewing days. Instead I started the Sew Serendipity Skirt, which is cut out and prepped ready to sew together.
#3. Sew my Cath Kidston handbag (the bag came with the Sew! book I received for my birthday - I have sewn the base of the bag together and need to add the straps and trims.
#4. Set up and launch my Folksy shop - My shop opened but didn't have much success. I sold the bags I made to friends to give as Christmas presents. Feedback was positive but making for me is where I will be focussing my efforts in 2012. Sometimes you have to recognise when you are beat!
#5. Add some more flair to this blog by taking part in Elsie's blog love e-course - I absolutely love Elsie's blog abeautifulmess and continue to be a dedicated reader. I am going to have a little shake up of my blog as a result  of Elsie's advice from the course and include some more lifestyle and broader craft features, not just sewing! I incorporate knitting and other crafts into my week and I am sure will appeal to you and enable me to post more regularly. 

So here is my new list for 2012:
#1. Complete my Sew Serendipity Skirt and Cath Kidston shoulder bag.
#2. Revamp my blog design with a new look for 2012.
#3. Share with you my knitting and other craft projects.
#4. Blog about my favourite places to go and craft related purchases made.
#5. Incorporate my style in fashion and home interiors for you all to see.
#6. Share with you my favourite purchases.

Thanks for reading my blog x