I’ll have a double please.

Right, I think I have enough dresses now for Spain. The trouble is, yesterday morning, I thought I had enough dresses for Spain….then I went home, deciding to tackle more undies and my swimsuits. But I ended up doing this……

…..and this….

I did not use a pattern for any of them. I also did not use any numeric measurements. Very unscientific of me I think. I did use my visuals though. I draped them on myself, and pinned until I got the fit I wanted. Draping and pining on yourself is not for the faint hearted. At the end of it all I felt like a voodoo doll, owned by a very angry and spiteful person, and put to much use. I spent alot of the time swearing and cursing….nothing too filthy mind you, just “sugar” and “fracking hell”!!!!! Yeah I was addicted to Battlestar Galatica.

These dresses basically cost me nothing, ( except a few vials of blood), as I got the fabric from Claire when I went for the Brighton meet-up last month. So Claire, if you are reading this, THANK YOU!!

I wanted a little racy maxi dress. I have been admiring these for some time, though I wondered if I’d be able to get away with baring all that flesh. Don’t get me wrong, I am no prude (ahem), but still your whole back exposed? Scandalous!!! Anyways, I figured  I was going to another country, where i would be practically living on the beach, and i think it will be ok to bare some hot chocolate. When I did this one, I modelled it for Mr.Dibs, who looked quite nonchalant, until I turned around, and he smiled. That smile did it for me, and I knew this dress was getting into the plane with me.

Printed silk-chiffon maxi dress by IssaPrinted silk-chiffon maxi dress by Issa

This one has a belt from the same fabric. I don’t know why I made the belt, I just wanted to I suppose.

I really have to stop making dresses now. This time I mean it when I say I have made enough dresses for the holidays.
Have a nice day everyone

Shirring some African love

Its a few days to my departure for Spain, and as you can imagine, I am sewing away like crazy. I am almost done with my wardrobe, but I fear I shall not be wearing shorts this summer, as I have not managed to make one. What I have managed to do though, are dressses. Loads of dresses!!!
I have also been keen to use some of the African print I bought the last time I went to Cameroon. Normally, fabric is sold by 5 or 6 yard bundles. You sometimes get them in 12 yards. I went crazy while in Cameroon, and bought loads, but I have not really been using them. I see this trip to Spain as the perfect opportunity to use them, because the weather in Spain is similar to what we have in Cameroon, so in a way, it will make me feel like I am actually in Cameroon. That is untill I want to buy someting, and have to stammer my way through my Spanish phrase book.
Looking around for fast and easy dresses to make, I came across this shirred dress tutorial from The Weekend Designer. Back in 2009, when I had not even bought my sewing machine, I used to read his blog, and I remember downloading every single blog post he ever wrote, hoping to one day make some of the projects. For those of you who don’t know him ( very few I imagine), his blog was all about drafting patterns for designer inspired outfits. I say “was” because sadly, he stopped blogging as the Weekend Designer. I have learned alot from that blog, and I suggest you check it out. You will love it. He has another blog now, Bag’n-telle, which is focused on bag making. Another great resource should you be bag making inclined.
As of now, this dress does not have straps, as I am still trying to decide the placement of the straps. What do you think?

Or reguar should straps? sorry this picture is so bad. I was taking the pics myself.

I loved the outcome so much.

It was the first time I was shirring, and I must say it is such an easy thing to do. The machine does all the hard work for you. Well you have to set the correct tension first. With shirring, you use elastic thread in the bobbin, which must be wound by hand. DO NOT stretch the elastic thread while winding the bobbin, as it does not need tension. Doing it the first time might be tricky, I had to do it about 4 times before I was abble to get a good result. There are many tutorials online on shirring. You can look here, or here, or here, or for those who like to learn by observation, this good video on youtube, found here.

Once you start shirring, you won’t ever want to stop……strapless floor length gown

mid length

I also have these two unfinished maxi skirts I am making with African prints. This red one needs elastic in the waist…..

And this one needs the waist and hem finished. This type of print is called “Afritude”. That is a french word. Cameroon, like Canada, is billingual, and 80% of the population is French speaking. Afritude prints are very popular in Cameroon, as they usually contain images of African symbols.

While we are on the subject of African prints, I will be starting a new series focusing on African fashion, called AFRITUDE ( I just love the name.). Hopefully that should kick off when I come back from Spain. Is there anything you might like to know about African fashion? If yes, do let me know, and I shall indulge.
For the first post in the Afritude series, I am hoping to interview an up and coming Cameroonian fashion designer, Sarah Divine, of Maison D’afie.. These are a couple of her designs.

Ribbon and flowers ballet pump tutorial

Hi everyone. The sun is out in full force today in London, and I am sooooo very happy. I decided to offer a little tutorial in celebration of this rare occurrence of sunshine.
On Friday during my lunch break, my colleagues and I went into Uxbridge city center to look around for things we might like to buy when we get paid ( pockets are quite bare presently). While they briskly marched into Debenhams and Clarks, I made my way into Oxfam (that’s my level you see).
I came out with a brand new pair of blue French Connection pumps, which I bought for £6.99. I really loved the colour, but felt it was too plain. So I decided to do something about that. So I refashioned it into this……


You will need:

1) A pair of pumps, new or old
2) A leather hole puncher
3) Ribbon
4) Fabric flowers ( I used suede flowers. This is optional)
5) Super glue

1) Starting from the back seam, measure and mark 1″ on both sides of the seam. Then increase the spaces by
     2″ until you get to the front. The front will have two marks.

2) Using the leather hole puncher, create holes in the pumps by punching through the leather.

3) Starting from one of the holes from the front, pass the ribbon through the holes. Each side will have two lines of ribbon.

4) To prevent the ribbon at the back seam from showing when wearing the shoes, use supper glue to glue it to the inside of the shoes. Use just a tiny amount of glue.

5) You should now have the ribbon round the shoes like this. Trim the excess ribbon.

6) Make a bow with the loose ends of the ribbon. You might decide to stop here, and wear the shoes like this. If you decide to use flowers like I did, go on to the next step.

7) Using super glue, glue the flower to the shoes. Placing it carefully on top of your bow, so that the ends of the ribbon show as well.

And that is it!!
Have a nice Sunday everyone, and do not forget to enter the Pattern Magic 1 & 2 giveaway, which ends on July 31st.
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Purple rain, purrrrrrrple rain

Its official!!!
I have given up on experiencing 1 straight week of sunshine in London. It’s summer, and it rains everyday ( well maybe not, but still….). So, sky dearest, if you insist on spoiling my “summer” with your agents, grant me one wish will you?
Next time you send rain down, I want some
Purple rain, purple rain
purple rain, purple rain
purple rain, purple rain

I decided to make a purple something yesterday because I had the Purple rain song on my mind ( does anyone else think Prince is a genius?). So here we are

My poor knickers looked quite lonely, so I decided to give it some company….

This has been lovingly stored away, it shall only see the light of day in sunny mallorca.
The camisole was a bit of a challenge for me. Though in the end, I had to smack my head because I had the solution infront of me all the time, but I had foolishly taken the hard way. The lace I used was 20cms wide, so I just measured my under bust, and cut two pieces of half that measurement. I did not add any seam allowance because it stretches so I figured I could get away with sewing without seam allowance.
For the triangles that protect my modesty (ahem), I tried to draft a pattern for them. About 1hr later, I was still fiddling around with my paper and pencil. Am I really that thick? I was not satisfied with any of the triangles I made. Finally, I traced the top part of a camisole I had at home, and that became my pattern.
Lesson learned: Never complicate matters when you can have easy alternatives.
Next up, swimsuit making. Wish me luck please!!
Have a nice day everyone.

What lies underneath!!!!

Yesterday, or was it Tuesday? I decided to check on Roobeedoo, whose blog I go to when I want to laugh (she’s very funny you see and has a very interesting and matter-of-fact way of saying things), and what do you know? she was making undies. If you are thinking of making your own undies, you should check out this post. She gives the low down on lingerie elastic.
Her post reminded me of the Jalie 2568 pattern I had in my stash, along with 4 metres of wide stretch lace I had lurking around somewhere. So, as I always do when I set my mind on something, I quickly went online to order more lace, and other bits and bobs for lingerie making.
Women's Underwear Pattern Cover
Yesterday, I could not wait to run home after work to make my first pair of knickers. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make, and it took no time at all. I decided to make View C, the Brazillian Hipster. Firstly because I like the shape, and secondly because of the name. My friend Rachel, is from Brazil, and this reminds me of her. This particular one only has 2 pattern pieces. The main body, and the gusset. So I traced it, using some swedish tracing paper I bought a couple of months ago. I think I have to do a seperate post on swedish tracing paper. It is just divine. It eliminates the need for muslins in my opinion because you can sew it too. You can get a 10metre roll  here, for £9.99, including posting and VAT.
Now on to the matter at hand. This was the first one I made, and I love it!!

I decided to use my personal labels on this.

I was so happy with the first one, I made 2 more.

And this morning, guess what the post brought me? Yeah, more lace !!!!! Can’t wait to go home today from work to make more undies. This time I will have some leftovers, which I hope to convert into bralettes. Imagine making your own lingerie set. oohh, the joys of sewing!!. A lace set from somewhere like La Senza, will set you back a good amount. I bought these from ebay, from Lindy Laces. She has really good prices, and a good selection of laces. Delivery was very prompt, as the goods arrived 1 day after purchase. How efficient is that?

And some lycra for the bathing suits I want to make for the spain trip. Can you tell someone is going gaga with colours?

spot my toes!!!!

I also bought 1 metre of cotton jersey to use for undies. It arrived today along with the rest, and it is so soft. oh la la!!! I can’t wait to make something out of it.

Has anyone been making lingerie as well?

I had never used Jalie patterns before, and I must say this has made me a convert. Just as well, because I also bought a pattern for swimwear, which I shall be tackling soon, for my self-stitched holidays.

hasta luego