Vote for me (if you want to of course!)

 

So I’m not sure if all you remember this coat from last year? I guess it depends how long you have been following my escapades!

It’s the coat I made from old jeans and thrifted lining and actually am super proud of and has had LOTS of wear this winter. A denim duvet to wrap yourself in in the depths of winter? Yes please!

Weeeeelllll….this here coat has been shortlisted as a finalist in the refashioning  and readers choice categories for Dressmaker of the Year! Yowzers! More (very detailed) info on the process and what was involved in making this coat (erm….alot was involved!) can be found in the original post here. If you like what you see and think it’s worth your vote then you can vote for me here until 25th April! The awards are run by Make it Today: Dressmaker Magazine and you will be entered into a prize draw simply for voting not to mention the fact that it would be totally awesome for a refashioned garment to win an award like this! And check out the other awesome makes nominated too. Feel very proud to be in such company 🙂

 

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Frixon Felt Tips (aka genius fabric markers)

Have you heard of Frixon pens? I first heard of them a while back from Karen’s post and promptly bought me some. Essentially they are erasable pens that will mark fabric….then when you apply heat with an iron, the marks disappear! Like magic! (You’ll see from Karen’s post that they also reappear if you put the fabric in a freezer. But since none of my clothes get worn in sub zero temps….no biggie).

The original handwriting pens I bought, while useful, only really made marks on a limited number of fabrics. Really handy for precise work on a calico/muslin toile. But wouldn’t make marks on alot of my dressmaking fabrics.

When I noticed that Frixon had expanded their range to include these erasable felt tips, I thought I’d buy some and give ’em a go….Frixon pens as fabric markers
I’ve shown the marks here on calico, but these do actually mark a whole range of fabrics much better than the handwriting pens. The nibs on those are sharp and not particularly ink laden, and can drag fabric. The nibs on these, being felt tips, are softer and wetter and more readily mark fabric…Frixon pens as fabric markers

And after applying heat with an iron…Frixon pens as fabric markers

As you can see…gone….for the most part. The pink left a slight trace of itself behind. So I’d always swatch test first just to check no marks are visible after the application of heat.

Overall, really impressed with these so thought I’d share 🙂

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Top Tip: Pre-cut interfacing strips

If you make alot of waistbands or button plackets, you may like this! (That is if you’re not already doing it!)

You know those fiddly little tasks in sewing ? The ones that make you go “ugh” and slump your shoulders when you reach that point in  make? Well cutting long narrow strips out of floaty lightwieght interfacing is one of those for me. Specifically we’re talking waistbands and button plackets. Invariably my sheet of interfacing is an odd wonky shape from where I have cut out pieces for previous projects. And I’ll have oddments of interfacing that are too small to be of use but will come in handy “one day”. Which I find  quite  messy and a little bit wasteful (as I probably won’t end up using those pieces anyway), and makes it tricky to find the right spot to cut your piece of interfacing from.

It occurred to me when I was cutting some interfacing for  a waistband the other day….why not cut a whole lot of it in one go?
Sewing tip pre cut your interfacing stripsI generally cut the same width of waistband on every make as I have found a width that is comfy on me. So I always need the same width of interfacing. So I just cut a load extra and rolled it onto an empty masking tape roll to store for future use.

Easiest way to do it for me was to fold my interfacing several times and mark out my strips in the right width….then cut…and you have multiple strips ready for future projects…and no waste!Sewing tip pre cut your interfacing strips

Sewing tip pre cut your interfacing strips

 

Makes me wonder if there is a product like this already out there? Rolls of interfacing strips in various weights. Like wundaweb but only sticky on one side? In any case…I won’t have to be faffing with interfacing strips for a while 🙂Sewing tip pre cut your interfacing strips

 

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FO: Vogue 9160 & The Eve Appeal + a Giveaway

VOGUE PATTERNS BLOGGER TOUR FOR THE EVE APPEAL - VOGUE 1960 - PORTIA LAWRIE (3)

 

Cocktails anyone? A couple of weeks back Vogue Patterns (The McCall Pattern company) launched a year long sewalong in aid of The Eve Appeal. Part of this includes a blogger tour which is where your’s truly comes in today. Yep I’m up….and….well….running a liiiiiitle late this morning. Might be to do with all the champagne and peach schnapps I had to drink last night. (My fave cocktail. Dunno what that’s called, lol!) So why the references to cocktails? Well you may remember I took part in last years event The Big Vintage Sewalong….and well….you gotta have a theme right? And this years theme is cocktails! Yum! They’ve even come up with their own recipe and you can sup it while joining in with sewists nationwide, by sewing up one of the patterns from a selection of 20, and raising money for The Eve Appeal in the process. Savvy? Good…here’s me with an empty glass having drunk the house dry…VOGUE PATTERNS BLOGGER TOUR FOR THE EVE APPEAL - VOGUE 9160 - PORTIA LAWRIE (9)

Soooooo, what did I make then? Not being a cocktail dress kinda gal, (and actually not at ease in any kind of “formal/dressy” attire), this one really pushed me out of my comfort zone. But not one to shy away from a challenge (that would be super hypocritical of me considering what I put you all through every year with The Refashioners , ha!), I duly accepted said challenge and this is what I came up with. You know….if I ever get invited out for cocktails….VOGUE PATTERNS BLOGGER TOUR FOR THE EVE APPEAL - VOGUE 9160 - PORTIA LAWRIE (9)

My Idea of dressing up is heels and a bold lippy, whilst keeping the outfit itself understated. Indeed this make (in a gorgeous grey washed linen from Ditto fabrics that I’m in love with) would look equally at home with a cropped stripey tee and birkies! I love clothes that do double duty don’t you?

The pattern is Vogue 9160….yep…. a jumpsuit pattern….Now I have been admiring the jumpsuit trend from afar since it emerged. But I’ve steered clear as I KNOW it won’t suit me. I’m too conscious of a tubby middle section right now (I’ve gone up a whle dress size recently!) One piece garments rarely do. So my original intention was always to adapt this into a two piece, with the appearance of a jumpsuit, by making it out of the same fabric.VOGUE PATTERNS BLOGGER TOUR FOR THE EVE APPEAL - VOGUE 9160 - PORTIA LAWRIE

I knew I didn’t want the scalloped lace or lining elements of this pattern. I wanted to pare it right down and simplify it by just using one fabric for the whole thing. But I really struggled to find a fabric (in time) that would be substantial enough for the bottoms but not too heavy for the top. Crepe would be a good one I think.  Or a mid weight cupro or sandwashed silk. In the end I decided that the linen was not quite right for the top portion, which led me more towards view C.  A Contrast top and bottom with a tie belt. I swapped out the top portion of the pattern for a looser fitting top in a lurex knit (I’m not a fan of anything too close fitting up top), then set about turning the bottom half of the pattern into trousers by adding a simple narrow waistband and back zip fastening.

But what elevates this make to something dressier I think….is the tie belt. I made a slightly longer version than the pattern so I could wrap it round twice and wear it more Obi style…VOGUE PATTERNS BLOGGER TOUR FOR THE EVE APPEAL - VOGUE 9160 - PORTIA LAWRIE

I like…..NEVER…wear anything tucked in. That’s how conscious I am of my (lack of ) waist. But I do have proportionately narrow hips so from a “glass half full” perspective, I try to focus on those instead. But what I like about this make is what the belt does. Aside from the added interest, it cinches me in at the waist and draws the eye down to hip level where I’m narrowast. The overall effect is actually quite slimming and I don’t feel self conscious at all in these…VOGUE PATTERNS BLOGGER TOUR FOR THE EVE APPEAL - VOGUE 9160 - PORTIA LAWRIE

VOGUE PATTERNS BLOGGER TOUR FOR THE EVE APPEAL - VOGUE 9160 - PORTIA LAWRIE

It even camouflages my Mum/crisp/bloaty/bulge at the front! So the obi style tie belt may be a bit of a revelation for me!

Vogue Patterns  are giving one reader the chance to win a copy of this pattern…VOGUE PATTERNS BLOGGER TOUR FOR THE EVE APPEAL - VOGUE 9160 - PORTIA LAWRIE

To enter,  share this post on social media, then leave me a comment to let me know where you shared. Multiple shares gives multiple entries. Giveaway is open UK only (sorry) and closes at midnight GMT on Friday 24th March! Good luck!

More info on this year long event and the list of patterns can be found here and you can find out more about this fantastic charity and their other awareness and fundraising activities here.

VOGUE PATTERNS BLOGGER TOUR FOR THE EVE APPEAL - VOGUE 9160 - PORTIA LAWRIE

 

 

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