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Simplicity 2226 strikes again, I make a start on Simplicity 2591, and I realize I need to start attending FBA (Fabric Buyers anonymous)

4 Aug

Simplicity 2226 review (again) The autumn edition

Pattern Description:Simplicity’s Learn to Sew pattern collection. Misses’ skirt in two lengths and tie belt.

Pattern Sizing:6-18. I cut and made a straight 10. My measurements are 36, 26, 36. As usual the measurement suggested I made a size 14 which would have been huge. I made a toile waist band (nothing else) and decided the 10 would be a good fit. I suggest you do this very simple step (pattern pieces 4 and 5) so you can see which size will be appropriate to how you like your skirts to fit.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, following the instructions and choosing the correct fabric will make you a very wearable skirt that looks as good as the picture.

Were the instructions easy to follow?   As this is the second time I have made this project I initially used a sew along by noodle head, but this time I followed the simplicity instructions and found them helpful and usable.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really liked the pockets, and small amount of material needed to make the skirt. I used 1m of main fabric and 50cms of contrast fabric. Good cheap project.

Fabric Used: I used a one way printed fabric that I could try to match up neatly, as I will be using a plaid fabric on another project and wanted some experience now. The fabric used is a quilting weight cotton for a warmer Autumn skirt- Amy Butler’s passion Lilly in Mulberry. I bought 2m in the sale from John Lewis for £6m making this project an under £15 garment all together with thread and binding. I lined up the pattern at the back seam, which worked to a point. As the pattern is on the grain the back seam is not totally straight but it looks perfect from a meter away- its only really close up you can see the alignment.

Happily enough the pattern repeat and the size I made meant that the side seams which I was not worried about also aligned up! :)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  Of course every project I make I have to challenge myself just a little and this skirt was no exception. This version includes finished side and pockets seams using the ‘French seam method‘ which does give a really lovely neat and long lasting seam, and eliminated the need for bias binding. The binding on the pockets on my last version was a little bulky at the end- the French seam worked perfectly. I also took 2 inches of the shortest pattern suggestion as I am so short.  Although I did not use the carriers on this project, I did use bias binding just to finish the waistband facing. Keep it neat :)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  This is the second make from this pattern (3rd in you include the version I am helping a friend sew up) and I am just as happy with this one as I was the first. I will make another one of these again- it is now in my ‘go to’ collection.

Conclusion: I am slightly struggling with what to wear on top with these skirts! Nightmare! I have been wearing my trusty boden shirt but as it is slightly to large on me I think my silhouette is slightly swamped. I have invested in a new black jumper from Boden’s new range ‘the 60’s jumper’ which is not super fitted but should skim me and keep me warm. I want to wear this skirt with tights and brogues for winter. Let’s hop the jumper sorts out the issue’s… or a totally plain version could also work…. Thanks to my two friends who took the pictures for me.

Finally a simplicity 2591 Muslin

Firstly- sorry about the mess in the picture and the picture quality but I was on my own, it was 2am and I had just finished two projects in a day. Studio is gonna be messy.

This said, this muslin has been a long time coming! I went on a hunt for this Out of print pattern when I read Stitchywitch’s review in early 2011. I managed to swag a copy from ebay for about £10 and then got excited, bought loads of different fabric ‘for the dress, traced and cut a straight size 10 on to pattern paper and then life got in the way. I moved house, lost a job, lost a boyfriend, gained a stone, lost two stone, bought a dog, moved house again, had a major operation and then remembered about two years later how much I wanted to make this dress.

So with all that life in the past I sat down and sewed up a muslin in 5 hours. :)

This is made from 1.5m of brown sheeting cotton that I seem to have 10 meters of from god knows where. It actually made a lovely dress! If the fit had been right, I had not sewn the back seam on the outside of the dress and if I could figure out what the instructions meant!

Of course this is the point of a muslin and I am very happy I made one. I need to make a size bigger- a size 12 would give me more room over my waist, and I can grade the bodice to a size 10 when sewing up the seams. This muslin does not have a zipper mind! I was able to sew up the back and then yank it over my head. :) I also took a whole 4 inches off the length and think I could make it 5!

The main issue is that wrinkling on the bodice front. Not because its too tight, but because I do not understand instructions 6-7. Not at all.

I have emailed simplicity with no joy- the person who replied did not even read the body of the email and just assumed I was making a request about an OOP pattern. I have now messaged a few of my favorite bloggers who have also made this dress to see if they can shed some light on what the heck I am doing wrong.

This is the offending part of the dress. It is where the bodice, skirt front and pocket facing is attached to the bodice sides. I have no idea how to get it all to fit without bumps and lumps. I am wondering if I went wrong at the pockets when you are meant to under stitch… think i may have top stitched. Also looking at the pockets on the instructions those dots have me confused. ANY HELP OUT THERE?  I will be making another muslin so hopefully I will make more progress…but any help would…. help. I did take time with the pattern markings with this project. After reading the Colette handbook I decided to actually machine baste the darts in. I have to say, taking the extra time to do this really payed off. Who would have thought? :)

AND finally the fabric. ALL the fabric.

I am a sucker for printed fabric. A real sucker. I love cute prints and it is causing me hording issues. I have so so many cotton quilting weight fabrics that I do not know what to do with them. I buy them as I think ‘that will make a beautiful dress’ only never to find the perfect pattern to work with it. I have come to conclude that unless the fabric is silky, and has drape that quilting cottons can cause fitting issues- but still i buy them.  Any way, here are a few of my latest buys.

  1.  Little Red Riding Hood in icing is from the Walk in the Woods fabric collection designed by Aneela Hoey for Moda. 100% cotton  from Cotton patch @ £11.40m Planned for a dress
  2.  Foxes in icingis from the Walk in the Woods fabric collection designed by Aneela Hoey for Moda. 100% cotton from cotton patch @£11.4om planned for a dress
  3. Underwater sisters if from the the Mendocino fabric collection designed by Healther ross for Spoonflower. 100% cotton poplin from Spoonflower @ $2om planned for a dress

If you are reading this post solely for the underwater sister’s tag- you will be asking ‘where did she get that from, it is all sold out!’ but you would be excited to know….it’s not! Woop. Although the original colours are not being reproduced, Heather has lovingly adapted the Under water sister’s to a mix between blush, natural and Ivory. WOOP!!!! I had considered spending £50 a meter at one point. Madness! I am not bothered it’s not an original but I MUST find a pattern to make a lovely item out of it. I bought 2 yards for $47 (about £30) on the cotton poplin and will a) review it for others b) panic about custom charges until it gets here. I would have bought 3 yards but I am concerned it is gonna rack up the charges. Kind of a test!

  1. Petite odile in Oyster from the French general collection for moda. 100% cotton from bedecked @ £14m planned for another 2226 skirt
  2. Cocoon Butterfly by Valori Wells for freespirit. 100% cotton (very silky) planned for a special  dress
  3. Carline in red by Liberty of London, tana lawn from Fred Winters @ £10m planned for a dress

I am afraid I can tell you were I got the butterflys from as it was an amazing Birthday gift. :)  Well that is the fabric wind up- I am off to spend all day perfecting 2591! Have an awesome weekend people

Boden Autumn 2012 preview- too many wants on the list!

17 Jul

It is no secret I LOVE Boden. I am far from a yummy mummy- having no children or husband to classify me with such a title. None the less Boden seeps into my want list season after season. Now I lie! It did not last season! The summer collection, in my opinion was just not me. I felt the same way about Joules too. In fact I bought more clothes from oasis than any other brand put together, which is not normal behavior for me. Some how, it was all just too…. yummy mummy. I usually buy a few items from Boden. Simple lines and without embellishment. They can be few and far between, but you can find them. I remember a few months back Boden doing a survey asking what I thought about the latest collection. I was honest and said I disliked it and had bought nothing. I wanted hipper clothes. Hipster was the word I actually used.

So I was very excited when the rumor mill churned out the news that Boden were doing a new more ‘hipster range’! Woop. You can read the article here– but I am slightly confused about the release date/name of the new brand. Is it Shoreditch like the hipsterville London area, or just the name of one item. Who cares. The point is after much deliberation here are my wants from the new range.

As the grand total for this shopping expedition would come to around £1,100 I think I am going to have to choose my very very favorites and deal with not having the rest. This would be:

  1. Casual belted dress. It comes in petite and I can wear this all year (if summer is going to stay this cold)
  2. Peter pan top. Cute cute cute!
  3. Millie spot top. To be worn with the peter pan collar top and jeans or skirt.

My want but can not afford list

  1. Boiled wool coat- maybe Santa will read this?
  2. Lottie tunic.

What are your favorites this season?

New Boden collection in! So many wants.

7 Jan

As you all should know by now I have a few loved and trusted retailers who I return to season after season to provide me with items I have not got the time or know how to craft myself or I just really love. As the winter season is swept out of the stores like so much flotsam Boden has released its Spring collection with gusto teasing us with 20% off most new styles and free delivery. Yum yum.

From top left: Blanket stitch scarf in buttercup: £35, Trench coat in sand: £129, Classical satchel in tan: £129, Straight leg capris in grey/white stripe: £49, Retro swimsuit in brown: £49, Textured stitch jumper in sulphur:£59, Riviera shirt dress in truffle magnolia: £89 and favorite pull ons in lavender county garden: £29

Yum indeed. As you can see I am still in love with yellows, browns and blues using neutral colours like cream and grey as fillers.

Jumper detailing

My all time favorite of this collection is the textured stitch jumper. It is just so wonderful. The rich shade of yellow, the textured knitted detail, and the cute buttons on the neckline. The detailing is the thing I just love about boden. I am not mad for their distinctive prints- I leave that to mrs Kidston and I generally buy my outsidey type clothes from Joules but when it comes to making a jumper a beauty or a casual tunic a winner Boden know what women want. This women wants it all! I have already given in to temptation and ordered the jumper with a 20% off offer as I would be very sad not to have one. The next item on the list is the dress. I am not 100% sold as the colour combination is a little off-key for me and the picture makes it look a little frumpy. I shall wait for Cath to bring out her new collection (which I have been told by an insider that the dresses are well designed, retro and cheaper than last season) and decide then. I still have a lovely gift voucher for Cath Kidston and Joules to spend at my leisure thanks to my many santas delivering the goods. As for the trench apart from the lining I bought almost the same design from Forever 21 in autumn so really I am just being cheeky adding it so as to remind myself how great it will look. The scarf is cute but I could and should make my own version. I would use a brown spot fabric (which I already own) and blanket stitch mustard embroidery thread around the edges (which I already own) so watch this space. The satchel is lovely but I bought a red/brown version from Oasis before christmas as I really needed to replace my £7 primark version. I wore it everyday for about 9 months and it died a horrid death :( The oasis version is like a owning a Porsche in comparison but I have had a few minor issues of loosing items in the many pockets. Maybe if this item goes in the sale…..other wise I would be tempted to buy the Pedlers version.

Trousers are always an issue for the vertically challenged of us and as I have ample curve in my hip and short legs I am always sceptical of online purchases. I recently gave 40% of my old wardrobe away to charity due to space restrictions and weight loss so I have only one pair of summer/spring trousers that should fit okay. They are blue and linen. The thing about these trousers apart from the lovely grey stripes are that they come in petite! woop. They may actually be Capri length rather than turn ups and they are on discount…..okay, I have talked myself into it :)

The last little beauty out of these wants is the swimsuit. Brown, spotty and retro. I am drawling! But, I hear you say…what about that other ‘i will wear this forever’ swimsuit I bought last summer. The blue one. The one waldo made me tramp about in whilst pulling  him over wet sand. The thing is- although I love that swimsuit and it did all the things it needed to last summer, I am now another stone lighter and a cup size smaller…. yay for me but nay for bagging all over the top swimsuit.

On a more socially acceptable ending to this new years want post- I wish you all a happy 2012. I hope this year is the start of something new for us all xxx

Boden blog’s Miss Hope marshmallow recipe. yum yum

18 Mar

This entry is a copy from Boden blog that I am reblogging so I keep the recipe at hand.

My old burlesque chum Fifi D’Amour is famous for two things, one of which is her recipe for pink, heart-shaped, marshmallows infused with the delicate scent of roses.

After a champagne-infused evening at Twilight’s, Streatham, where the annual Hope and Greenwood pole dancing competition was even messier than last year, I persuaded Fifi to share her marshmallow recipe with me. A short time later she was spotted in a state of undress, sharing her mallows with Tommy Turnbull, coiffeur to the stars.


Makes around 25 tokens of squishy love.

It takes 45 minutes to make but please allow for setting times of 2 hours or more.

Takes 30 minutes to squeeze into your burlesque outfit.

1lb. (450g) sugar
1 tbsp Liquid Glucose
7fl oz. (200ml) water

1 sachet of powdered gelatine
4 fl oz. (125ml) water

3 tbsps rose syrup
5-6 drops of pink food colouring
2 large egg whites
To Dust

Icing Sugar

Crystallized rose petals

You will need

20cm sq. x 4cm H. (8″ x 1½”) square baking tin lined with parchment paper.

Sugar thermometer

A very large pan

Heart Shaped Cutter

1. Line the baking tray with parchment and, using a sieve shake over equal amounts of the icing sugar and cornflower until the parchment is lightly dusted. Slip into your lace up corset.

2. Put the sugar, glucose and water into a heavy-based pan and give it a quick stir. Bring to a gentle boil and continue cooking for about 25-30 long minutes until the mixture reaches 260°F (127°C) on a sugar thermometer.

3. While you are waiting sprinkle the gelatine over the 4 fl oz (125ml) of hot water (following the makers guidelines) making sure it is dissolved properly. Add the rose syrup and the pink food colouring to the gelatine. Practice twirling your ostrich feather fan.

4. Drag your electric whisk out from the back of the cupboard and whisk the 2 egg whites together until stiff.

5. When the syrup reaches the correct temperature remove from the heat and remove the thermometer.  Pour the gelatine into the syrup. Be careful it will bubble and spit and rise to the top of the pan. Now is a good time for seams and heels.

6. Still whisking slowly add the syrup and gelatine mixture to the eggs. With the mixture on super fast, whisk for a further 25-30 minutes until the mixture is thick, shiny and holding its shape reasonably well on the whisk. You can bump and grind a bit while you are waiting.

7. Spoon the mallow mixture into the dusted tin. Adjust your tassels.

8. Leave the mallow to set for about 2 hours. Dust a second piece of parchment with equal amounts of icing sugar and cornflour. Turn the mallow out on to the paper. Dust your heart shaped cutter with cornflour and icing sugar and cut the mallow into heart shapes. Dust the cut edges and leave to dry on a wire rack.

Place into a receptacle of your choice and scatter with crystalised rose petals. Hang around in the hall, pole dancing on the newel post, until your other half comes home from work.

My new colour crush. Mustard. YUM YUM

14 Mar

I am having shopping withdrawal symptoms which includes me systematically looking trough all clothing websites only to find my favorites are all offering discounts and trawling Ebay for missed items of lovelyness.  Rubbish. It does not help that a certain person keeps taking me out shopping so he can find some new trousers leaving me to wander the female sections of my favorite clothes shops feeling needy. Today 4 different male shopping assistants asked if I was okay because I was forlornly stroking dresses and caressing shoes. I must look desperate. So as a way of window shopping (or maybe torturing myself)  I have complied a list of items I simply love, with one catch. They are all in my current favorite colour- Mustard.

This cute boyfriend/longline cardi is from anthropologie but at £68 I will have to budget that in my monthly expenditure. It is made from a cotton/linen/spandex which would give a lovely drape, but I would like it to have a ribbed tapered bottom as this always gives my curvy bum a more flattering shape. The one below from Ebay Facoup1 is a little more in my price range of just under £15 inc p&p. Saved for Easter buying me thinks. Also love it in navy…..

Other things in Mustard I would love would be a pair of flat shoes or very low heels.

Of course I would love to wear very high heels but until they invent hip replacements that work forever I am fashion restricted. I like these Boden flats in ‘straw’ but think spending £69 is quite alot on flats that, no matter what I do smell like feet within the first month of wear because you can not wear socks with sort legs….yuk.

I have been on the look out for a cheaper pair but so far have drawn a blank…even the ones at office are £52!

I have found a lovely pair of heels that I could wear for short periods of time, and with the use of my stick, but will be searching ebay for cheaper options.

I also have come across a few other items of the mustard variety….the boden belt may already be one of my daily wears but I shall include it in this wish list as I would buy another if it goes into the sale. (fingers crossed)

I just love this belt. I wear it with loads of outfits and it just does its job of looking good. Sadly wearing it loads and touching it with grubby, school soiled hands have made it a little dirty. I will get it professionally cleaned in a few months to restore it to its former glory.

Another item I fell upon is a western style cow girl shirt by Irregular choice. Its yellow/mustard and would look cute with my Levi bold curve black jeans and red cowboy boots. Its on sale at a very reasonable £15. I do have a few vintage patterns for western shirts, but none are for women so whilst my make friends can rock out in my vintage inspired projects I have to resort to buying….at least this is my excuse.

Last but not leased I wanted this dress by ASOS. Sadly the colour shown here (oil yellow) sold out thanks to LOOK show casing it in their magazine. Thanks a lot look. Guess with my 32FF cups I would not find a bra to support me.

Other things that happened this week:

Although I hardly ever shop TK MAXX because I hate the rummaging around like I am at a jumble sale only to find a half decent Item that is still highly over priced, I am aware they are currently supporting red nose day with Vivien Westwood ‘designed’ t-shirts. I decided whist out on an excursion to Ikea to buy new fabric to make a slight detour and have a look at what was on offer. Not much was the answer. Like most high fashion designer’s who let cheap high street brands use their name, the choice was limited and quality pretty poor.

I know that I am unable to by clothes because its lent I feel this is a good cause purchase and I would not be in trouble for getting it. So I did. I think I would rather have her nipples on show rather than the red nose, but at least I can wear it to work. I’m not too sure why this and a punk’s face were the only two fitted ladies t-shirts in the collection. I would have bought one with queenie from black adder on it but sadly they were awful baggy ‘unisex’ t-shirts. I checked the website to see if they had the alternative design but all i could find was a tool to put my face on a tshirt. I am queenie.

Vintage pattern organizing, vintage fair’s, cooking, ebaying and internet shopping. All in a days work for elationcreation.

6 Mar


So although I have not posted for a couple of days this does not mean I have been slacking. Quite the contrary in fact. As I was brought up catholic (always the good catholic school girl) lent is on its way, and as Jesus did in the desert I have to give up something. Now usually people give up food at lent. My mum always gives up biscuits. Funny how when I offer her biscuits during the rest of the year she declines saying ‘I don’t really like biscuits’

I on the other hand i love biscuits, and chocolate and cocktails…..but their is one thing I would rather have over any of these things. And that is clothes. I can not stop buying clothes. Dare I say it, I would rather not eat and go shopping than eat chocolate. Maybe you are reading this and understanding my need to update my already massive shoe collection or buy another spotty dress…. yep I have a problem. SO here it is. For lent I am giving up buying clothes.

Of course I will still be wearing already purchased/made clothes. No need to panic.

This is not going to be easy. I have received the new Joules catalog this weekend and marked many items that would complement my current wardrobes contents. For instance…… This Joules Vintage sailor inspired Blanche top would look extremely cute with my Boden Drawstring slouch trousers.

Blanche Top £55

Boden slouchy drawstring trousers

I also would like to buy a new pair of heels that are unique in colour and style, but will be wearable with most of my new dresses. After purchasing this lovely spotty number from boden’s new summer range, which I wore today for lunch with my granddad I think these yellow shoes would be the best investment.  Just got to have an operation to be able to walk in them….all for the love of clothes.

Sicily spot dress

Calista shoes by joules £99

These shoes would look spiffy with this skirt from Joules, which fabric would match loads of tops I got over the Christmas period for cold days and my lovely Joules silk sheer shirt for the sunny days.  I love skirts with pockets.

I also have to say that each skirt have been sewn so they each have that lovely bird perched on the hip. Detail is what you pay for.

Carmella skirt £49

Here is a picture of me wearing my lovely brown sicily spot dress with my yellow tie front cardigan, owl and clock necklace and cream shoes. Sadly these shoes are hard to walk in and I have to use my stick- this does not co-ordinate well with my outfit hence why its not in the picture. I managed to walk the 100 paces from the car to the restaurant table and looked good doing it. All that matters.

Never to sure what to do in photos....

After having a meal with my granddad in Meriden I changed into my Pj’s and made some lovely Feta and spinach Pie for tea. This is a slimming world recipe slightly adapted for taste. You will need:

2 onions finely chopped and 2 cloves of crushed garlic placed in a frying pan with a little fry light. Cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes whilst you wilt 250grms of baby leaf spinach in a pan. Take out the spinach and drain. Slice a jar of roasted red peppers (the ones in brine, drained and washed) and add to the onions and garlic, spinach and add the lemon juice and some sweetener (splenda) to the frying pan for another 5 minutes. Add some oregano, basil and mint. Take about 100grms of feta cheese (low fat) and crumb using finger tips. Mix in with the rest of the mixture. Using a round cooking dish add all the mixture and then top with one filo pastry sheet rumpled up a bit. Add some fry light to help crisp the pastry and add to a 180c pre-heated fan oven for about 10-15 minutes until the top is golden brown. YUM YUM.

Feta and spincah pie. about 10 syns for the WHOLE pie. Free if feta is your healthy extra

And here it is cut, plated and ready for the eating.

feta deluxe.....

Other things I have been up to this weekend include the vintage fair over at the custard factory complex in Digbeth. We had some amazing cup cakes from vintage glamour days who will be booked for my 30th or wedding. Which ever comes first.

Vintage glamour days

We got there at 11am and had some scummy breakfast at yumm cafe and then sauntered around the old library searching for hidden finds. Sadly it was bedlam and I only managed to pic up some fabric buttons before it became impossible to maneuver.

Vintage buttons

Creating a life less boring

27 Feb

Welcome to my first blog about sewing and designing! After lurking on many sewing blog sites I decided it is about time I had my own! I am hoping this will encourage me to finish projects, share them, get advise from fellow crafters, show case some of my work and also save money by having a place where all my patterns are stored.I keep buying similar patterns on ebay! It’s very annoying.

Please feel free to wipe your feet,come in and help yourself to cupcakes, Just let me know you are here and share your ideas. That is what life is all about! Also I have a pug.

‘All you need is pug’

Captain Waldo is 10 months old and loves eating, sleeping, eating my sewing, sleeping on my sewing and me. I think. He is wearing a handmade creation by a lovely lady called Jessica Lynne. She sells wonderful items from her esty shop here: and also here which is my favorite as it tells you about the wonderful story of her gorgeous pug JD. Waldo did not come with a story- but he is making up for it by causing constant chaos.  This would include being the star of Red Candy’s big red blog. Here is waldo featuring in their ‘Where’s Wally Friday!’ section, in which every Friday waldo hides/visits somewhere and you have to guess where he is!  Go have a go, you know you want to. I will update his progress as he travels.

Other news for today would include Boden’s new additions to there Johnnie B range. I just love Boden and have already invested my savings for summer in a few key items. The new Johnnie B range has a playsuit that makes my heart beat faster and my bank manager frown. Here is the play suit and the other items I want to co-ordinate with it.


I imagine myself wearing this play suit with my vintage red sandals whilst eating a ice cream sundae. Yum.


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