And we are back!!

 
Hi Folks, its me, your long lost friend, now back from blogging purgatory with the intention of doing right by you lot this time and actually making and posting stuff.
Can you notice anything different? No? Pfff!!! Whatever will I do with you? Do you need a trip to Specsavers or something? Oh well, seeing as the Sun has been shining round these parts of late, my disposition is positively sunny, and so I will spare you the pain of wracking your brains and tell you what has changed.
First up, my blog address. The eagle eyed amongst you would have noticed you can’t get to my blog by using missdibs.com. I now use dibsandthemachine.com. Why the change you might ask. Long story folks, however, since I am most lazy, I will not be going into the long version. Count thyselves lucky. So, short version below.
As you may or may not know, I had been blogging at a frequency that could only be compared to that of an elfin woman having children, which is well…almost 1 every couple of hundred of years (feel free to google it). Somehow, I forgot to renew my domain name and some company bought it and now want to sell it to me for hundreds of pounds. Erm…no…not happening. It took me a few months to notice it, and because no one was reading my blog anyway, no one drew my attention to it. The only person who eventually asked me about it was my friend Claire .
Which leads to the next change. I am no longer with Blogger. I decided to start afresh, on a different platform. And here we are. I bought a wordpress theme and got some hosting sorted and migrated my blogger content to my new blog.
I hope this time around I will blog more. I spend all of my time on Instagram now and it is going to be difficult for me to get back into the swing of things with blogging, but I think I can do it. In Dibs and The Machine version 1, I focused mostly on sewing, with the odd millinery post. This time around, I will be writing about everything I currently love doing. During my blogging break, I fell into cake making, so expect to see a few posts related to that. I have also been travelling alot, but I don’t think there will be many travel related posts in the near future because I seem to have used up all my little money. Being an adult is so hard.
So, see you next time.

Something Blue : Mccalls 6282

So it’s been eons since this little blog has had some love. I have been going through a sewing and consequently blogging funk. I blame the second baby. That little terror is responsible for everything that has happened to this blog. That my friends is the absolute truth….hand on heart.

But not to worry. Things are hopefully going to be changing around here. I am slowly getting back to my pre-children sewing state. So while I transition back into crazy sewing, I will be posting about the FEW things I have since made, starting with McCalls 6282.

I made this dress in November 2015, when I joined a sewing club here in Northampton. Sadly I have not been to the sewing club since December 2015. Shameful I know, but sometimes life just happens and you have to prioritize. I will like to go back to the group, but I think I have to work up enough courage to show my face there again.

The dress was really easy to make, so I can’t really say much about the pattern, as it was an uneventful make. It sews up really quickly and is something you can make in 1 evening. I made this over 2 weeks, just because I only took it out of my sewing bag when I got to the sewing club. There are only 3 pattern pieces, the front, back, and the sleeve. I sewed the sleeves using the flat method and that went so much faster for me.

The fabric is a really cheap remnant I bought from Milton Keynes market for about £2/metre. It is like a double knit, but a bit thicker, and it feels so soft and luxurious. I used less than 2 metres I think. Forgive my hazy memory, it’s been a while. Plus though like fine wine I get better with age, I’m afraid my memory seems to be going pear shaped.

 I really love this dress, and I even took it with me to Barcelona in March this year when I went for a weekend with some of the girls from my secondary and high school. See me in action in Barcelona? That trip was so lovely, I even got to meet Paco, who is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. More on that in another post.

The lovely thing about this dress is the fact that it has some ruching in the stomach area, perfect for hiding my ever expanding pot belly. That belly is currently the bane of my life. Since taking these pictures, I have put on more weight, but the dress still fits, so yay for stretchy fabric. I have plans to make more versions of this dress as it is such a flattering shame for me.

If you like this kind of style, and you do not have this pattern, I strongly recommend you buy it. You won’t regret it.

Bemberg Lining: The Italian connection

It is an acknowledged fact that sewing is enjoying a revival in the UK, largely thanks to the Great British Sewing Bee. This has in turn led to the revival in fortunes of various sewing machine vendors, and the proliferation of many sewing related businesses. I feel everyday on the blogosphere there is a post about a new online fabric shop, or independent pattern company. Thats all well and good. The more new companies that come up, the more choice we as consumers enjoy. There is a limit to this resurgence though. Have you ever tried to find good quality lining in the UK? Don’t get me wrong, we do have good quality lining, but just not at a budget friendly price. Not at the prices enjoyed by those Americans. They who seem to have everything.

Most of what is readily available here in the UK is regular anti static lining fabric, which does not inspire. Our cousins over in the US wax lyrical all the time about Bemberg rayon lining. A snoop around the Mood website revealed it was being sold at $6.99/yard. Back home, you can find the same thing here for £12.90/m, or here for £11.94/m . MacCulloch and Wallis also sell a version of this called Bremsilk at £11/m. I have for a long time now been on the lookout for this lining at a more affordable price but my forays into the Goldhawk road shops were largely unsuccessful. No one knew what I was talking about.

Fortunately, I recently fell across a post by Sylvia from the Sewing Princess blog, on Italian fabric shops. A couple of them had user friendly websites in English and I spent some time going through each of them. And what do you know, I came across the Pinotti website, and its massive collection of cupro bemberg linings, and other type of linings.

So I got out my calculator, did some maths and ordered 25 metres of white lining, because I could always dye it to any colour.  They have a fixed postage rate to the UK and other parts of Europe of €21,90. So with delivery and tax, it came down to €5.82/m (£4.13/m). Tidy!!

The delivery was by DHL and took a couple of days mainly because they sent me an email about wanting my phone number for communication purposes, and I did not see the message on time. As soon as I sent my number, my parcel was dispatched the same day. Plus they wrote to me in English. All in all, the service was really good.

Have you been using this lining here in the UK? If yes, where do you normally buy it from?

Work in Progress: Sewing Room

Ever since we moved from London to Northampton last year, I have been looking forward to the day when I would finally sew something in my sewing room. I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but the house we bought had a double length garage, and the old owners converted part of it into a bar, with a proper pub setting. My husband fell in love with the house, I suspect, because he had visions of doing the same thing when we moved in. Unfortunately for him, and since I am awesome, I managed to convince him the room would be better used as my woman cave.

It has taken 9 months, but the sewing room is finally in a state to be used. It is by no means finished, but the foundation has been laid. So here are a few pics of said sewing room.

Machines all laid out on sewing table, next to one of the two bookcases housing my sewing books and magazines.

The husband made a cutting table by doing an Ikea hack using 12 Lack side tables. I totally decided to do this after Mela posted a picture on instagram of her husband and father in law building one for her.

All the fabric I own found a home in an old Ikea wardrobe we had in our old room in London.

And here is the man of the hour with his tools.
My Babylock Enlighten overlocker is giving me life at the moment.

Same goes for this bad boy I won on ebay. The auction was for 213 spools of sew-all thread along with the display case. The person selling them was closing down her business I think. I feel like a proper dressmaker looking at this baby.

There is still some work left especially with my pattern storage. I plan on buying a filling cabinet from an office supply shop to store my patterns, and I also need to find solutions for all my other notions. The space behind my sewing machines is crying out for something. I originally intended to use pegboards there but those things are so scarce here in the UK. I saw a few places selling them for more than I am willing to pay, so I have to rethink that.

I also need to buy a new iron, and think of a way to have a pressing station . For now, all my pressing tools and rulers have been placed under my cutting table. I also need a few wall shelves and wall art. Slowly but surely, I will get there.

How do you organise your sewing notions?

In other news, I spent last saturday at the Millenium Hotel in Mayfair, London, having afternoon tea with a couple of my friends, for my baby shower. My friend and I decided to do a joint baby shower as we are due a week apart. I am currently 34 weeks preggers, and I feel it.

 I totally deserved that glass of champers. Its been a long 34 weeks.

What have you all been up to? Anyone working on a sewing room makeover?

Inspired By: Azzedine Alaia Planning

I need a little favour ladies ( and guys). I am on the hunt for some leopard sweater knit fabric to sew a dress for an upcoming meeting. Those of you who follow me on instagram will know I made a denim dress last month for my high school alumni meeting. I recently joined the Midlands regional branch because we moved to Northampton and they meet every other month. Each meeting has a theme, last meeting was “Denim Dress”, and the next meeting in November is “Fur”. A couple of months ago it was “Animal print” I think, and they even had “Onesie” a few months back. Needless to say, that meeting was hilarious.

I found this Azzedine Alaia dress on Pinterest, worn by Giovanna Battaglia.

 I have looked for a sweater knit on Ebay and my usual shopping joints, but nothing has caught my eyes yet. So, can you help? Have you seen a similar fabric anywhere? It does not have to be in the UK only. I won’t mind shopping from foreign stores. The meeting is at the end of November so I won’t mind waiting for the fabric to get to me from distant shores.

I really like this dress, and I am planning on using faux fur for the lovely collar. I have already seen some faux fur on Ebay that is the exact colour of the collar on the actual dress. All that is left now, is the leopard print fabric.

What are you all working on now?