Thursday, 22 December 2011

A Sailor Jasmine

Like the wonderful Zoe, I have a slight addiction to all things nautical: red and blue are pretty much the only colours in my wardrobe, I love canvas shoes, I have contemplated buying this pattern more times than I can say (in the end, I'm cheap and it seems way too expensive), I even have a few pairs of knickers (that's underwear to all you non-Brits) with anchors on. So when I saw the Colette Jasmine pattern I immediately envisaged it in white and blue- who wouldn't? (If you picked red then you can be my friend too!)
Before I show you the finished garment let me just ask, who doesn't want to look like this? 

I mean, I know there's something wrong about it all: the patriotism, red, white and blue and all that,  the overtly sexualising of women to convince men that joining the navy was somehow right, the all-American nature of's all just not what I believe in. I don't know, I just can't help loving that 50's aesthetic, the pin-up style.

 Solanah is so pulling off that perfect sailor style right here...I need to get a hat like that.

And here's white, or creamish, with a blue collar and polka dots! Could anything make a person happier?

hmmmm i dont look very happy!

And I am happy with it, I am, it means I don't need to make a middy now, this covers it. It's just, not to be fussy or anything, I'm a bit annoyed with myself for not making a muslin. It's a bit big truthfully. Just slightly. I mean, I'll completely get over it and probably wear it any time I'm near water in case anyone asks me to be an actual real sailor, I'll be prepared.

My attempt at a salute sailor style...unfortunately for you my camera battery ran out before i had time to get truly into sailor pose mode!
But I just wish I wasn't so lazy sometimes. And I know I could take it in a little but you see I made french seams, and bloody hell, it's be a real pity to ruin those beauties. So this will have to fulfill some of my nautical fancies for now, I'd better go and make a pleated skirt to match it...if only I could pull off high waisted navy trousers, or even better shorts! Ooooo yeah, and that hat!

Readers, if anyone else out there has the same problem as me here are a few of my favourite sailor porn patterns!
40's sailor style
60's sailor style

Sailor trousers
A sailor middy

Look how happy we are to be sailors!

Fellow addicts, which is your favourite?

Monday, 12 December 2011

The pile of shame...

Readers, Christmas is fast approaching and with it the shopping frenzy that takes perfectly normal people into crazed monsters of consumerism. Not me, I'm slowing it down, taking it easy and decidedly not buying. It's true, lovelies, it's easier for me: I don't really believe in Christmas, I have small family (cats don't need presents), I don't work in an office with others where secret Santa is a must. All true. And I have taken the seamless pledge- I'm not buying anything, I pledged.
Instead I opened my scary cupboard door to find my refashioning pile, and do a bit of Monday mending; fix something up and you get an even better rush than coming home laden with bags of purchases.
Argggghhhh...the pile of shame!
 Last week I spent all day fixing up a couple of dresses, both needed work...badly. One I just trimmed, darted and took off weird pockets and it became a blouse.

The fabric is some sort of polyester but has these cute little heart shapes on it.

I added contour darts under the boobs for added waist definition.
The other I spent all day unpicking and then fiddled around forever trying to find ways to use the awkwardly cut fabric. I settled on a t-shirt which is not yet finished.

Still got to add the collar properly and hem it.

Cute pocket though?
 Both look a bit chritmassy don't they? Completely unintentional, but I'll go with it! Not my most exciting makes it's true but done, and out of the pile of shame.

A little lighter...?

As a pre-new year's resolution, and because this pile is getting out of control, I have decided to try and mend/fix/refashion one thing every week- perhaps we'll call it mid-week mending? On this week's list sewing a button onto hubby's jacket (it totally counts!), and making some little pressies from recycled fabric. I'll keep you in the loop.
Anyone else making pressies this year? Beiruti peeps, if you're stuck for inspiration or just can't motivate yourself come and join a class and make gifts for others- way nicer than stumbling around ABC looking for presents, no?

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Darling Collective

A friend of mine, back home in gray old London, has started a very cool new business. You know how I'm not really into big business, well this is just the kind of small independent thing I do like. It's called the Darling Collective and it lists a variety of different services all run by non corporate, non standard, one-off businesses. They list classes, food related fun, arts and craftsy stuff, and wellness and health services- and all these services are tested by them and then offered to you.
I like it, I think its a great idea. In a massive city like London it's hard to cut through the media crap and huge piles of things on the internet; its really nice to think there is a service out there, run by like-minded people who are trying to promote small businesses. Its tough being small and they are recognising that and bringing everyone together just like in a little commune of making, creating, learning and feeling good. Londoners, you should really have a look.
The best part about it though is that they asked me to do a guest blog. Isn't that nice? And so to give everyone in London a little taste of my "Old Fashioned" Beirut life, I did it. Over here.
What do you think? Would you use such a service?

Friday, 2 December 2011

The curtain coat

I've had this curtain knocking around the house for ages, it was a gift from a student at least a year ago. Around that time I think I cut a skirt out from it and then never made it, I did make a few purses and bags from it but now the piece de la resistance! The curtain coat (ok its a jacket but it doesnt really work so well with the alliteration!).

Its "Home sweet Home" week over at The Sew Weekly and so I thought it would be a good opportunity to use this curtain- get a little recycling karma and also test out some jacket making. A while ago I completely poached Joanne's idea to make a Trudy coat and haven't done much about it since then but I had seen this pattern on burdastyle and thought I could alter it a bit for the trudy coat; I also liked it as is and thought it looked a bit coco -ish.
Unfortunately when it came to making the actual thing I couldnt find the pattern amongst the sewing chaos so I drafted a quick one from a bodice block I had. It's true, the neck is a bit gapey and the back is a little loose but for a first jacket ever, hell yes, I'm impressed by myself!

And I made lining. Cool right? Its not even difficult. I'm so happy with the lining, sooooo happy. It's a bit of a cheat because the lining is not household fabric but some lovely soft, wool that, again, I got at a bargain.

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