Saturday, September 20, 2014

Guess What. I Have a New Blog Post Up.

Hmm, where should I begin - after such a long time. Well, the break wasn''t planned at all and I remember very clearly, that after finishing the jacket from my previous post, I began to sew a knit dress. I was very motivated, I cut all the pieces, made the bodice first... and then I realised, that the smallest size of the dress is just far too big in the upper parts and I needed big alterations. I needed to get rid of like 8 inches around my rib cage, which affected the cut of the bodice immensely. I was tweaking the thing for hours, standing in front of a mirror and trying to get it somehow right. Needless to say, this discouraged me so much, that I just put the dress aside for some time, with an intention to come back to it later.

I don't remember exactly the reason why, but as I was tidying up my table one day, I put the pattern instructions somewhere aside. To this day, I still don't know where. Don't ask me why it's not in the pattern envelope with the dress pattern, I just have no idea at all. I was looking for it, while keeping some rests of my original motivation together. To make this as short as possible -  the instructions are still missing, the dress is still unfinished and this whole story led to a complete loss of my sewing mojo. Bueeeeh...

While I was at that time not into sewing at all, I had a lot of creative energy accumulated and it needed to be used somehow. I don't only love sewing, but creating things in many other ways, like knitting, crocheting, making things from polymer clay and other stuff. So as I was not enjoying sewing that much at that time, I started to crochet. And told myself, that it's time to be more consequent and find the time be creative, 'cause there will always be something else to do and we only live once (at least this one life :). 
I am not sure if I have ever mentioned it before (I think I did not), that I have a small Etsy shop. It has never been really full, especially because of a lack of time (and the situation getting even worse when my son was born). But with the determination to not let go and do what I like to do, I started to (or came back) to "making stuff", either for myself or my shop and created an Instagram account dedicated to them, which I enjoy very much.

So this is the reason why I didn't blog for such a long time - I just had no sewing project completed and I didn't want to change this blog into a blog about crocheting (or handmade stuff/crafting in general). I do think about creating a different blog in addition to this one, one that would give me more space to write about other things than sewing, but I need to think about it for a bit longer. I don't have an intention to leave this blog (which I do neglect, but still like a lot) or be a lousy blogger of yet another blog. 

Even though now, that we all agree, that this is not a blog about crocheting :), it doesn't mean, that maybe some of you may not be interested in my crochet creations anyway. So I am dedicating this one blog post to the work (or a part of it), that I have loved for the past couple of months. And if you'd like to see more, you are very welcome to visit my IG account (LillyAndBelle), my FB page (Lilly & Belle) or my Etsy shop (LillyAndBelle) :)!

Before I finish this post with an overload of pictures, I want to say, that I am really grateful to everyone, who sticked with me and this blog for such a long time, as well as to those, who have decided to newly follow it, even though I am such a lousy blogger. It's very much appreciated. I hope I will get back to sewing some time soon as well, but I don't promise anything, since I am trying to do only things (creative-wise) that bring me joy and I still need to combat the frustration from my last sewing attempt :). But I do have a couple of pictures of a dress I made some time ago, that I think I have never showed here before (or at least not on me), so I will definitely come back with another post soon. 

And now, the pictures galore. If you are not interested in other handmade stuff than the sewn up one, it's time for you to leave now ;)))...



 Thank you for your patience :)!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Butterick 5259 Jacket

Yeah, I can't believe it either. I actually did sew and I even finished what I began to sew, so yoohoo, this is going to be a post about an actual garment sewn by me. Exciting, right :D?

So, this is how I've got back to sewing after something like a million years, or so.

My son Adam turned one on January 16 and it was a long time before that, that I made a decision to bake him a birthday cake, covered in fondant and decorated with fondant figures, all handmade by me. I have never baked such a cake before and I really didn't know what to expect. I read a couple of magazines about cake decoration, watched a YouTube video on how to create a fondant teddy bear and after 5 looong evenings spent with edible colours, a bucket of fondant and no pre-midnight sleep whatsoever, I ended up with a cake.

So I said to myself - hmm, since I am able to work on something in more continuous sessions and I've got all the creative energy right now, I could continue to invest it into some sewing. Who needs sleep?! So I rummaged in my fabric stash, found a piece of fabric probably as old as my sewing ambitions (probably a kind of wool blend with a velvet pattern on it), found an easy pattern - Butterick 5259 (not to discourage myself right at the beginning of my newly found determination) and this is the result.

If you think that the pictures are not of the best quality, you are right. The fabric itself is pretty dark and last days were very gloomy even in the middle of the day, so to show off at least some details, I had to infuse the pictures with a lot of additional light and get rid of shadows. Otherwise, I would look like wearing a splash of black colour with no definition at all.

the jacket closes thanks to a loop made of the fashion fabric
the jacket has got a high collar, which is a detail I like about it a lot
Except of the strangely sewn-in lining, which I made this way for the first time ever (not that I'd have that much experience with sewing jacket linings), this is a very easy pattern to sew with. Don't get me wrong, the lining was an easy work as well, I just didn't like the way the instructions made me do it - serge the interfacing piece and sew it on top of the lining piece. But I obeyed so that I wouldn't make my life more complicated (which is usually a part of my sewing routine :D, but I better behaved this time :).

I used a contrast coloured green lining of unknown origin from my fabric stash. It looks very wrinkled in the photo, but the reality is not that bad.
From tracing the pattern to the final stitch, I needed four long evenings to finish the jacket. I would have made it in three, if I was a vampire (and needed to sleep less :). So this pattern can be sewn up in a single day, if you are a quick sewer, a vampire or there is no baby in the diameter of 50 meters around you :). Or all in one :).

So this is it for today. I am working (even though just mentally so far :) on another sewing project - a knit dress. I've got the fabric, notions and a pattern ready to be used, but I still have to read a couple of clever hints on how to sew with knits, because it's been a long time now. The last knit dress I made was something like 18 months ago (I think I haven't blogged about this one (yet)), so I need to refresh my knowledge. Not that there is much to be refreshed ;).

Until next time and happy sewing to all :)!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Noialand Felt Cuteness

As I mentioned in some of my previous (very rare) posts, I still don't sew anything that would have to take me more than a couple of hours. It probably depends on the type of a worker/sewist I am - I need at least a couple of hours for myself to work on a project. I can't steal 30 minutes here and 20 minutes there to work on something. But since my Adam was born, my life has been pretty much like that - a couple of free minutes here and a half an hour there, so I didn't start to sew anything, that couldn't be finished veeery quickly. And since I am a very slow sewist (and have long been without any practice), even a simple top wouldn't fit the "quick project" category.

Having said that, I really miss sewing (and crafting), so in the past few weeks, I was trying to make at least something, even if it wasn't anything to wear. Which has finally brought me to the subject of this post (pheeeew :) - these cute felt dolls.

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon an Etsy shop called Noialand Patterns. It's a shop full of PDF patterns on how to make these completely adorable felt dolls. I've bought a handful of them, because I just couldn't resist and made a couple of them immediately. 

The wise owl is complete as you see it, as well as the little blue owl from this owl garland. The French bakery girl is still missing her shoes and a tray with some baked goods and the little snowman needs a hat to be complete, but I like the felt dolls so much, that I am showing them even like this. 

The felt creatures are all hand sewn and even though some of the hand sewing is quite elaborate (read time consuming), they are great fun to make. The good thing about projects like these is that even if I don't have a chance to start and finish them in a single sewing session, I don't have a problem with getting "into the project" again - I just pick it up and continue from where I last left.

If you are interested in dreamy and fairytale-like blogs, there is also a Noialand blog featuring the felt fairytale characters and many more cute things to look at. 

Since I am writing all these odes about these patterns, I need to say, that I am in no way affiliated with the Noialand patterns shop or its owner. I just think that the patterns are so cute, that it would be a shame not to let you know about them :)! 

Noialand Wise Owl
a French bakery girl - a snowman from a Christmas garland - an owl from an owl garland

I hope you all have a great year behind
 and an even better one ahead!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Christmas time 2013

I hope everyone is having a very merry Christmas. This is just a quick post to say Happy Holidays

I have not started to work on any bigger sewing project so far, because I don't want to end up with yet another UFO as a result of a lack of time, but I do have something sewing related to write about, so let's meet here in a couple of days ;).

In the meantime, enjoy the holidays :)!

Zuzana

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Scary Halloween


I am a very lousy blogger lately, but my 9 months old son Adam has made the decision that it's about time to learn to walk (apparently, crawling and pure standing is not so much fun anymore), so I have to keep an eye on him for most of the time and don't have much spare time for a lot of "me" activities (like sewing and blogging). That's why I am writing at least this very short post - to say Happy Halloween, because even though I don't sew right now, I did not forget about all the lovely people who read and follow my blog. That's why I wish you all a

Happy Scary Halloween ;)!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Unfaithful (to Sewing)

First of all I'd like to thank everyone who reads and follows my blog, even though I have been such a lousy blogger recently. Even lousier than my lousy standard. So THANK YOU VERY MUCH for not giving up on me and my blog. I have to admit, that I would have the time to blog, only if there was something to blog about...

Do you know how you can find out that you really miss sewing? It's been months since I was able to sew at least a stitch on my sewing machine and the other day I just needed to repair something like two centimeters of a ripped seam on a pair of trousers and the couple of stitches on the sewing machine I made made me feel very happy :D. So that's how I can say that I really miss sewing...

My little son Adam is already six months old and I don't know where the time has gone. But that is a completely different story :).  
This blog is a blog about sewing, but because I did not make a single stitch on my sewing machine for ages (if you don't take into account the trousers I have just mentioned and I suppose you don't :), I did not write a post in ages either. It makes me feel somehow bad, but what I hate about the situation even more is the lack of a creative outlet I just need, to have a kind of a balance in my life. So I figured that until I get to my sewing machine I need to find another way to be creative. 

The last week we've been to a week-long vacation and I made a decision to finally learn to crochet. I have learned to knit as a child, but I couldn't learn to crochet if my life was dependent on it, even though my mum showed me how to do it as often as I asked - and it wasn't once... 
So I have bought the book First Crochet: Projects for Beginners from Lesley Stanfield, a couple of hooks and some wool and packed them into my suitcase together with my firm resolution to finally learn to crochet.

My first day ended up with three failed attempts to get the pattern right - as it was portrayed in the book, but I eventually got around it and here is the result so far - a future blanket, which is going to be finished some time around 2030 I guess, knowing the number of these squares (something between 400 and 475) I need to complete:


The squares are still far from perfect, but as a complete beginner I am quite happy with the results so far - I am sure the square number 475 will be just impeccable :).

I apologize to my readers that this is not a post about sewing, but crocheting. A book, a hook and some wool are much more portable than a sewing machine and I was only able to steal a half an hour here and there on our vacation to make this piece of a (fingers crossed) future blanket. 

I very much hope to get to sewing very soon. But I am not my own boss since Adam was born :), so I can just hope. On the other hand, I don't forget what I promise and because in the comments to the post about this Burda top I somehow promised to get and post some pictures of me wearing it, I will do that soon. 

Until then, happy sewing and thank you once again!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Today was the first Mother's Day when I could call the day mine as well :). My little son Adam will be 4 months old this week and although the four months are not a time long enough to maybe fully understand what it means to be a mom, it definitely gives you an idea - it's a tough and underpaid job, which requires your full attention 24/7 - physically and emotionally. It doesn't sound like a good deal and sometimes it even doesn't feel like one, but at the end of the day, when you see your child getting smarter and happier day after day, you get your well deserved reward - a big toothless smile (or in my case, a very surprised face expression ;D).

March 2013

Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there :)!