Laura Ashley Goodness!
Heidi hi! I just thought you might be interested in a little “crafternoon” I went to…..have a look - it was great fun, courtesy of the wonderful COW Studio in the Jewellery Quarter (http://www.creativeopenworkshops.com/) and of course Laura Ashley (http://blog.lauraashley.com/make-and-do/cow-studio-winter-craft-party/)
What a great team!
Recently, thumbing through a sewing magazine I came across an article for something called “Dress a girl around the world”. This is a charity that provides dresses to girls in poverty all around the world. I was intstantly drawn in and happy that I’d found a charity that I could put my sewing skills to use for.
Basically the idea is to give little girls, who rarely have the chance to own something of their own, a pretty dress. It sounded like an absolutely brilliant idea to me. The dresses seemed easy to make, using just a pillow case, a bit of bias binding (the bits that make the straps) and a couple of pieces of elastic.
So I appealed for pillow cases and James’ mum came up with a couple. I’d mentioned to James that he could help, but before he knew it I he was making one of his very own!
So James, now known as “Birdie Junior” has had his first sewing machine experience, making a dress (I am most impressed) and has helped out a charity too! Cool eh?
So, I thought I’d share some photos with you all (below). If you’d like further information you can go to www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com. Also, if you have any spare pillowcases, please let me have them (patterned ones, that aren’t see through are preferable).
This is how they began…….armholes cut out!
Ironing down the hems…
James marking out his hems….
James at the helm….
I’m not sure if this is a smile, a look of panic or pain!?!?
The finished article…..an amazing achievement for the first time on a sewing machine!
My finished dress
These are going to go off for two little girls, somewhere around the world.
So - do you have a spare pillowcase somewhere? Let me know, I’ll gladly take it off your hands!
New home - new sewing room
So, those of you that know me well will know that I’ve lived in Moseley (Birmingham) for 11 years and this is where Birdieblue started. You will probably also know that I’ve sewn in various rooms of various houses and most recently the bottom of my bedroom! This didn’t work out as well as I would have liked, purely because I could leave all my bits and pieces lying around! Partly because it was impractical and partly because it was a total mess!
Anyhow, the time has come for Bramble (my hamster and frankly, my boss) and I to move, and the time has come to leave Moseley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moseley) - which I am going to miss immensely! So now we are installed in Selly Oak and the most amazing news is I HAVE A SEWING ROOM!
I’ve painted it a lovely colour (with the help of my fantastic other half James) and it is now filled with sewing goodness and crafty items made by me and many others. Birdieblue has been a little bit quiet over the past 6 months or so but my enthusiasm has returned and this summer the sewing room is going to get used quite a lot! Mega excitement!
Anyway………….a few piccies - enjoy!
The grand entrance………..
Sewing bits and pieces………plus a few gifts made by friends etc….
Newly installed artwork…….I’ve waited 12 months to put this up!!
Dressmaking, it’s not that easy!
As many of you will know I’ve been steadily crafting over the last couple of years and never cease to be enthusiastic about learning new skills and learning how to make things for myself.
Something that I’ve tried many many times is dressmaking, this, for me, has been very disheartening, infuriating and more than frustrating at times. My first dressmaking attempt ended up with my managing to completely sew up the armholes and not realising until I’d put the dress on! Needless to say, that one went in the bin. Followed by a few others too. I had a fairly successful attempt not that long ago, but had completely failed to take note of the measurements and sizes on the pattern, which resulted in a dress that was too small and also ended up (in anger) in the bin!
After all of these attempts I’ve managed to understand a dress pattern (it’s like another language) fairly easily, so I decided I would have a go at the dressmaking workshop with the lovely Francine at COW Studio in the Jewellery Quarter ( http://www.creativeopenworkshops.com/ ).
I have to report that it was a lovely day, so much nicer to have someone to show you where all the pattern pieces go rather than trying to read and make sense of some of the crazy words you see on a pattern. It also made a refreshing change to be with other crafters, so when you make a mistake you have someone to laugh with rather than cry/scream/shout/swear (delete as appropriate!!).
So here are some of my photos, although I didn’t quite manage the finished article, I still have a few threads to tidy up, shoulders to sew and hem to do, but hopefully I’ll make light work of those tonight. The finished piccy will follow :)
So first stage………pattern pieces cut, interfacing fused on and ready to get myself onto the sewing machine……… (I find the cutting of material and preparation a little dull but I guess patience pays off in the end).
Top half (bodice) sewn together and my ruffle attached.
Close up of my ruffle and material. My lovely friend Clare randomly bought me a piece of material on the way to the class and it just happened to fit in VERY well (as you can see!).
The top or bodice of my dress, waiting to be sewn to the rest of it! (More pictures to follow when it’s done!)