I’m coming for you L.K Bennet

For long I have been looking at L.K Bennet clothes and shoes and drooling over their beauty, but clutching my heart with sadness at their prices. Today I went to their website, just to check if by some stroke of luck, they would be having 90% discount sale ( stranger things have happened). But no. They persist in tormenting me. I think they know I am watching. Countless sighs have escaped my lips when I think of their dresses.

My expedition to their website today did not result in any pin number punching activity, but it did introduce me to this:

The Selina Dress

The normal procedure everytime I visit the LK Bennet website usually goes something like this
  • Dibs gets excited by beautiful dresses
  • Dibs checks prices after having fallen in love with dresses
  • Dibs’s eyes threaten to fall out of sockets ( trust me this happens all the time, even though i know how expensive they normally are)
  • Dibs quietly logs off
  • Dibs sits in the darkness for 30 minutes, pondering at life’s unfairness, and her lack of a bank account  to rival Paris Hilton’s.
  • Dibs resolves to play the lottery (again).
  • Dibs goes searching for Dulche de Leche hagen daaz ice cream.
But not this time LK Bennet. Because this time, Dibs found a friend in Burda magazine May 2011. And that friend gave her this

Not quite the same but it will do. The only difference, from what I can see, is that the Burda dress does not have front in-seam pockets like the LK Bennet dress. But thats all right. I don’t mind, because for once, I will make something for myself that is similar to an LK Bennet dress, and no, I will not spend £195 to make. Thank you very much.
This takes priority over any project I was going to shop for on saturday at the Goldhawk Road Fabric Fandango. Except of course stuff I have to make for Me Made June. Oh, the thought of actually making this dress. I wonder what fabric I would make it in. The LK Bennet version was made with silk shantung. I am not that crazy. Not yet anyways, when I have no experience dealing with such experience fabric. Hmm…..
What do you reckon?

2 hours well spent

Yesterday after work I decided to do an inventory of things I would wear during Me Made June.


Not only did I not have up to 10 things I’d consider wearing to work, I realised I did not have any me made skirts. At this rate, I run the risk of going 7 outfits for a whole month. Not a pleasant  thought.

So, like any self-respecting sewist, I hit the blogosphere to find inspiration for a quick skirt project. I decided on a gathered skirt with an elastic waist inspired by Alli, of One Pearl Button. The drafting instructions are here, on Grosgrainfabulous . The good thing about this apart from being quick to sew, was the fact that it does not have a zip, my nemesis.

Skirt getting ready to go to work

Skirt helping me make mincemeat of pivot tables at work

There were two issues I had with making this.

1) I did not have an old skirt or dress as the instructions called for, so I had to do some calculations of my own, and come up with a gathered skirt.

2) The skirt does not have pockets, but I wanted my skirt to have a pocket, so I had to modify it somewhat.

What did I do?

  1. I measured my wasit = 30″
  2. I measured the length I wanted my skirt to be = 25″ ( including 1″ hem allowance)
  3. I used my waist measurement to cut my elastic band. = 30″
  4. Then I added 10″ to my waist measurement, and and cut two pieces of fabric with that measurement = 2 seperate pieces of 40″ width by 25″ length
  5. Then I cut four pockets using the pocket pattern from the simplicity pattern I used for my green dress
  6. With right sides together, I joined the pockets to each side of my skirt front and back pieces.
  7. Then I joined the front and back pieces together and overlocked the edges ( if you don’t have an overlocker or overlocker foot, you can use a zig-zag stitch, or finish the seams using french seam or any other seam finishing techniques.
  8. I stitched two lines round the waist, using long machine basting stitches, and gathered the skirt.
  9. I stitiched the edges of the elastic band together, and pinned it to the skirt, right sides together.
  10. I used a zig-zag stitch to attach the skirt to the elastic.
  11. Press your skirt, and job done.
Not much of a tutorial. I don’t consider this a tutorial as I did not come up with the idea, but adapted Alli’s method, to suit my needs. I hope I can make more easy skirts in time for June.
Now this is completely random, but I noticed coke has joined the vintage bandwagon. I’m addicted to coke, and its nice to know that it is going all retro too.
enjoy your day,

In Preparation of Pattern Making

I’m starttinig my first ever series on my blog, and its about pattern making. I shall at this point own up to the fact that I do not have any noteworthy pattern making skills, so bear with me if I get things wrong ( which I am sure I will do on many occasions.). The reason for starting this series is simple. I am getting tired of buying commercial patterns, that may or may not fit me, so I want to try my hand at making my own patterns.

Nothing too complicated for a start, but things which I may be able to use to make the patterns I have now more unique. If you have been reading my blog, you will know by now that I love to deviate from the pattern instructions, by adding little trims here and there. By starting this series, I will be able to document my foray into customising my commercial patterns with different necklines, or dart positions, or sleeves or collars. It won’t be easy I know, but I think if I can sew, then I can do this as well. Plus there is alot of information on the blogoshpere for pattern making, so I know I will be okay. The road will be bumpy, but I will get there someday.

Last year I bought Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear by Winifred Aldrich, which can be bought from Amazon here. I found a bit complicated, probably because I did not have making knowledge. I still do, but it might work for someone else. So you can check it out if you want.

This year, I bought another book, Pattern Making for Fashion Design by Helen Armstrong found here at amazon.  This book is not cheap (£46.29), but I think if you are serious about learning something, you should invest in it. Buying these books work out cheaper than paying for a beginner course in pattern drafting, which will only teach me things I can figure out myself. So my strategy is to start studying on my own, and then when I feel the need to, sign up for an intermediate course which will teach me more advanced things. I also like learning by experimenting, so there.

There are also many resources online to learn pattern drafting you are interested. I have been reading the Fashion Incubator lately, and there is a wealth of information there. I will also be uploading more pattern drafting themed sites as I go along.

While reading about pattern drafting, the recurring theme was investing in good tools, some of which are quite pricey. Some of them you already own, like an awl, or good rullers, and cello-tape.

I’m not going to go over the most important tools to use as a beginner, because lets face it, I am just begining myself so I do not know my left earlobe from my right index finger, but you can find a good article over at Burdastyle on the important tools you need for drafting your own pattern.

I have started buying the essentials I think I will need now, and which I can afford at the moment. I found this really cool thing called the Shoben Fashion Curve.

Shoben Fashion Curve

Apparently it is the industry standard here in the UK, same as the Fairgate rulers are in the US. I really want the Fairgate rulers, but getting them was not cost effective for me, as I can’t find any supplier here in the UK, and I am not willing to pay for postage that is the same price as the product itself. So another thing to jot down on my christmas wish list.

Fairgate designer kit

After watching Martin Shoben ( the creator of the Shoben Sashion Curve) demonstrate how to use the fashion curve, I quickly ordered it. Apparently it combines 12 pattern making tools into one. You can use it to draw straight lines, curves , find your bias and seam allocwances from 0.5 cm to 5cm i think. You can watch the video here . The ordering is old fashioned. You fill out the order form, with your details, and card details, and send.  Then they “review” your order, taking into consideration your location, before sending you an email with the charges for posting. Sweet non? They send the email quickly though. I got my email 5 minutes after sending the order form, so hopefully my parcel will be with me tomorrow.
Is anyone else learning how to draft their own patterns?

have a nice day



Look what the postman brought me

Imagine coming home to these….

……From the lovely Kate at M is for Make……
…..And seeing these all the way from Collete Patterns…..
…..And seeing a little booklet of sewing instructions.
How would you feel?
I can feel the endorphins being released.
Now what do I make first? Beignet or Macaron? Hmm, decisions decisions.
What fabric do I use? what trimmings? what buttons? oh, my head is bursting….better sleep on this…
any advice?