Holiday skirt

 The notebook came out after our trip away. I usually find something to give me ideas…the fashions worn, activities done or just the sights seen! 

 
Luckily my sewing usually looks better than my scribbles😃 High waisted shorts were popular & I think these could be a future make. The curves of the Gaudi architecture & his influences from nature have given me an idea for a dress with curves & structure with possibly embroidery & panels of different shades. A lot more thought needs to go into that but my idea for a skirt jumped to the top of my list after seeing an unusual camouflage effect fabric in a local store. 

Carrying passports & money safely in a money belt I thought I’d try and incorporate it into a skirt. So out came the skirt blocks I made last year on a course at Social Fabric (this is where the fabric came from too) and the tracing started.  

 
Tracing off the top section of the skirt to form a yoke I wanted this as a shaped piece without darts so the darts were slashed, overlapped & taped before adding seam allowances and cutting out of calico to fit. Once the fit was checked I cut the front & back yoke then re-drew the front yoke pattern marking the zip line. This line was then cut to produce 2piece front yoke section as well.  A zip was then inserted along this line before sewing the two front yokes together to produce a pouch.  

 

Finally the lower skit sections were attached, side seams sewn & a zip closure added. Instead of a traditional waistband I extended it so it could be tied in a knot or bow to add interest to the back  

 
I’m happy with how it turned out & when worn with a loose top you can’t see the pouch at all…..so now all I need is another holiday✈️😎 

 

Barcelona🎶

feeling a bit like a travel rep this week, so many of my clients in the salon have wanted to know about our visit to Barcelona. I could do with commission for the recommendations I’ve been doing! 

Although we love to travel we aren’t the adventurous sort so it’s usually a 2week all-inclusive package so we can just chill & not have to think about anything. I’m sure a city break where the flights & hotel are pre-booked is pretty tame to a lot of you but a bit of an adventure to us! 

Apart from the slight hiccup of starting off at the wrong terminal at Gatwick, the journey went smoothly, we arrived at Barcelona clutching our hand luggage (amazed myself how little I’d packed) & made our way out the airport hoping that the transport into the city was as good as the guidebook said. Within minutes we had found the stop for the Aerobus , a very frequent link to the city, purchased our tickets and were on board clutching the map & information they provided. Next stop Placa de Catalunya. 

This vibrant square seemed to be the hub of the city so was a great place to get our bearings. Luckily we had driven right past the hotel so knew which way to head once we had a spot of refreshment.

 
I’d chosen the hotel after a quick flick through a travel brochure & a read of  trip advisor. I wanted a hotel just out off the main centre so it wasn’t too noisy.  The H10 Cassanova fitted the bill perfectly, it was clean & modern, quiet (you wouldn’t know you were on a main road unless you opened the windows) and had a rooftop bar that was a lovely spot to relax with a drink or cool off in the plunge pool. 

 
The breakfast buffet at the hotel set us up for the day there was so much choice. The staff were helpful and efficient, the lady who served us in the rooftop bar made the best sangria I’ve every tasted🍷

Having picked up tips from other people’s travels we decide to do both a bus trip & a walking tour while in the city. So day one saw us sitting on an open top Hop on hop off bus tour. It was a fantastic way to see the city. Due to our short stay we just bought a day ticket, doing both the red & blue routes in day was a bit ambitious but we found by being selective with the amount of stops we got off at we could fit it in. Earphones & an information booklet was provided so we learnt a lot as we traveled & much of the architecture could be seen from the bus.

 
When we did get off we were treated to amazing views; wether it be from the Palau Nacional with its waterfalls or Parc de Montjuic high above the harbour. 

  
Our favourite stop of all had to be one we hadn’t planned to do! A problem with our bus ment we had to get off at the stop for Tibidado, a theme park high on the hill top. You could travel up to it by tram & funicular. We didn’t travel to the top but strolled up the steep hill to the funicular station, by this point we had built up a thirst so visited a little bar opposite. Unfortunately we dont remember its name but we do remember the view we were treated to as we walked in, the perfect spot to sip a beer, it was hard to drag ourselves away. 

Day 2 involved a free Photography walking tour around the Gothic Quarter. We hadn’t taken a camera with us but were given tips on taking pics with our iPhones as well as a bit of history. It was a fun & different way to look around with an enthusiastic guide who earned his tips at the end! 

  
The rest of our time was spent wondering around the lovely Marina, tasting the local cuisine & strolling along the waters edge. 

Barcelona is a beautiful city which we will definitely go back to & recommend. As for being more adventurous well it was such a success that we have booked flights to Amsterdam later in the year😃

  

All about the fit

part of the reason I decided to blog was to make myself take the time to get things right so with a couple of structured gowns in the pipeline for later in the year getting the fit right is becoming more important! 

So for this weeks sewing I’ve tried out a full bust adjustment…not as confusing as I feared. I realised on my last make that this is an adjustment that would benefit my shape so have made the same sleeveless shell top again to compare. I used the instructions in the Sewing Bee book, Fashion with Fabric, but I’m sure there are plenty of other good sources online.  

 
Happily I managed to squeeze it in on this lovely piece of fabric which I won from The Avid Seamstress earlier this year. It’s a fantastic quality fabric that feels cool to the touch. 

  
It all seemed to be going well! Instead of my normal rush I carefully followed the  pattern, matched seams, slowly top stitched…then I tried on & realised I must have drawn the darts wrong, oops.

  
Unpicker out, luckily adjustment could be done without taking all apart. I’d transferred the markings for old dart onto fabric instead of the new one😞

Not perfect yet but this one feels a better fit so on the right track. Practice makes perfect 

 
  

Sunday afternoon sew

After weeks of no sewing I was starting to miss it, so a quick make was needed!  This gave me a chance to try the lovely sleeveless top I’d spotted in The Great British Sewing Bee’s book, Fashion with Fabric. This is a great book with lots of information, tips & lovely patterns. 

So pattern chosen & traced now to pick the fabric. As a last minute plan it ment a search of the fabric stash & I came across theses sari/sarong/wraps I picked up a few weeks ago.  

 
I have returned to sewing after quiet a few years break & I don’t know about you but I’m finding reasonably priced fabric harder to find so have been looking at different sources. One of these being a fantastic stall on the local market. They are on sale at a range of prices but I got these little lovelies for only £1 each. Great for me to practice working with fine fabrics (which I dread) & try out patterns.  

 
Back to the top! Being a sheer fabric instead of cutting the facings as the pattern stated I cut bias strips to edge the armholes & neck edges.   

   
Using a two tone fabric I stitched in one colour thread then overlooked in the other, just to add interest if inside edges were seen😃 

   
I made a straight size 10 on this one which was ok but think it would be a better fit on me by possibly dropping down a size & doing a full bust adjustment (I only found out recently that patterns are based on a B cup bust) so that’s the next thing to learn from the book. 

  

So that’s my little £1 top now what to do with the others pieces…. I love this black one! 
 

Mr Bs’ big birthday

Sewing has taken a back seat the last couple of weeks as there was a big birthday in the house. Time was spent sorting surprises, baking scones & making bunting…well you have to have bunting at a party don’t you!! 

I decided to do it a little different but it went down well so I thought I’d share. My personalised bunting was made up of collages of photos of Mr B from over the decades. Including the odd embarrassing one of course! These were then laminated just in case the bbq weather didn’t hold out & simply strung together with ribbon.  

 
It was a great look back over the years & talking point for our guests. 

After a lovely day spent with family & friends it was time to whisk the birthday boy off on his surprise trip, a few days in Barcelona. It’s a wonderful city & I’ll write more about that once I’ve sorted the pics. 

Like visits to all busy places it’s important to keep your valuables safe at hand & not wanting to carry a handbag, that might be mislaid after the odd Sangria, I took my little belt pouch that I made for Glastonbury last year.  

 
Made from off cuts from an old pair of jeans (you may have seen on my earlier blog that I chopped up a pile of old jeans to recover a foot stool) it was an easy quick make. The loops on the top means it can be threaded onto belt with either side on show. The zip up section is just big enough to hold a phone, passports & a small purse. The recycled jeans back pocket on the other side is handy for less important bits like my plasters…we did a lot of walking!!

Of course while we walked I people watched taking note of the fashions; there was lots of lace tops & dresses. High waisted shorts were popular with the younger generation. I loved these but they were a little high cut in the leg as well as the waist so I think that’s best kept for the younger ones & I’ll make some with a bit more coverage😃 There was a real vintage vibe too with lovely little boutiques. Alas this wasn’t a shopping trip & with only a few days we couldn’t  do everything….I suppose we will just have to back again! 

   
 

I don’t believe it…….

with 1st July approaching I eagerly awaited the results of the Simplicity Bloggers challenge There were so many fantastic entries how were the judges going to decide. Being away on a little break my phone internet was slow, I saw Simplicitys tweet that the winners were announced but it just wouldn’t download the link. 

Just imagine my surprise later in the day when I got a message congratulating me😃……me a winner I just couldn’t believe it! So here I am proudly displaying my badge 

 So now it’s sinking in I would like, in true Oscars style of course, to say a few thank yous’!!!

Firstly to thank Simplicity for running such a fantastic competition. It looks like it has inspired so many people to push the boundaries of their sewing skills and be inspired to do things a little different. 

Thank you to the judges for thinking my make was worthy of winning and finally to all of you that have sent me such lovely messages or taken the time to read my blog/tweets.

Well done & congratulations to the other winners, highly commendeds & everyone who entered. your makes look fantastic. So many unique ideas. 

I can’t wait till all my patterns arrive & get the opportunity to showcase some on their website. 

It’s all written in black& white on  Simplicity’s blog ……so now I really must believe it😃