• Sewing

    The little velvet dress

    Velvet is everywhere- trousers, tops dresses. The high street is absolutely full of shiny slinky and soft velvet. But as ‘on trend’ as it is, I couldn’t really see myself wearing it…until I was randomly scrolling through Instagram (as you do) and I came across a velvet swing dress. Now, you know I’m not one to jump on trends but I.Could.Not.Get.This.Dress.Out.Of.My.Head. Velvet just screams wintery goodness to me- warm, cosy, soft. Even though the last time I wore velvet was in reception aged 5 (I was the Christmas tree in the school play and my mum had made me a green velvet A-line dress) the draw was too strong (I blame my winter baby genes). I found this sumptuous stretch velvet in claret on Tia Knight Fabrics and when it arrived I just wanted to roll myself up in it and knew it was worth the leap of faith! Of course Taufiq gave me that “umm…what are you doing” look when he saw the velvet, but that might just be a guy thing. I’m used to getting funny looks from family when I’m making something (*cough* the African print cape dress *cough*). I’m also quite good at ignoring them… So off…

  • Old blog

    A little world

    Call back the search parties! I’m here! Tentatively dipping my toes back into the big Blogging world, I’m bringing you a little felt version of the  world… You may remember my post from a while back on our wedding anniversary scrap book, Tree and I had decided not to buy each other gifts to celebrate our anniversary. We wanted to keep anniversaries simple and celebrate it’s meaning rather than pimp it up with shiny new things (thats what birthdays are for!). So we’ve stuck to the scrap book formula…until last year where I kind of cheated… I’m sure home made gifts don’t count, right? In fairness, what started out as a solo present idea ended up becoming a group project with us both adding something to the final product. It took so long to get the final bits done (*cough*Tree’s contribution*cough*) that the date of our anniversary came and went before it was complete. Once it was finished, we had no where to put it up so it ended up balancing on the floor looking forlorn. Thankfully it’s now found a place as part of our picture wall. 

  • Old blog,  Wedding ideas (Archive)

    A little walk down memory lane

    When our first wedding anniversary started looming I started to panic about what to get Tree. I pondered over gifts and searched the internet for inspiration but all I found were variations of the standard ‘gifts for men’; watches/wallets etc etc. Each of these had a hefty price tag and lacked the personal touch (unless you got it personalised in which the price tag would be stratospheric!).  And as a student at the time, my bank account was more on the malnourished side. It got me thinking- even if I managed to scrape enough money to get Tree a fancy watch, how could I top that next year? Or the year after that… Would I just be going for more and more expensive gifts in an effort to show how much I loved him? Doesn’t that completely defy the point of anniversaries? After sweating over what to do we both came to the agreement of not buying anything and instead planned to go for a lovely dinner together.

  • Old blog

    A little jewellery stand

    Something a little different today! A long while back I got asked how to store pretty hijab pins in a decorative but practical way. I’m a big fan of displaying jewellery as a decorative pieces (my mannequin is currently displaying half of my necklace collection!), so was excited about taking up this challenge. I’ve also been itching to use the Khangas (printed cotton fabric) I’d bought on our travels to Zanzibar, with their bright colourful prints.  As with most of my tutorials (I hope!), there’s nothing too specialised in the ‘materials’ list. I’m sure you know by now, but I’m a big advocate of using whatever you have lying around. A lot of what’s on the list can be exchanged for whatever you have to hand.

  • Old blog,  Sewing journey (archive)

    The little protege

    My niece (in the Asian sense of the word where everyone is your relative-> spreading the love) needed to dress up as a Disney princess for the last week of school and started asking around for a purple coloured maxi skirt to dress up as Princess Jasmine. Unfortunately, I don’t own a purple skirt so I failed on ‘super Aunt’ points. But half an hour later she sent me another message asking for a yellow skirt because she now wanted to dress up as Snow White. As luck would have it, I had the perfect outfit for Snow White- as pointed out by my lovely readers on my tutorial for a crop t-shirt. Super Aunt to the rescue!

  • Sewing journey (archive)

    The little chronicles of a small time sewer: The graduation dress, Part 2

    Day 4 Today it was the shoulder seams and side seams. Nice and simple. After this, the ‘cocoon’ shape really started coming together! It’s quite an unusual shape for a dress but I quite like it. After getting that done I felt encouraged to keep going, the day was young! Why not do the sleeves? …but after painstakingly hand stitching then machine stitching the first sleeve in place…I was too tired to do the next one…

  • Sewing journey (archive)

    The little chronicles of a small time sewer: The graduation dress, Part 1

    6 years of uni. 7 days until graduation. 1 dress. 0 experience. Could it be done? Day 1 I decided to use another print at home pattern from the brilliant people at Burdastyle (this time following the pattern to the T). Guess how many pages it required? 71. 71 pages!! Perhaps somewhat ironically, I decided to print it on the back of old lecture notes to save some trees. As I was sticking reams of paper together I realised that the pattern was made for ‘tall’ people. Being a ‘petite’ meant I had to cut out a (sizeable) chunk of the length from the middle of the dress (just taking it off the bottom would ruin the ‘cocoon’ shape) and hope for the best!

  • Sewing journey (archive)

    The little chronicles of a small time sewer: upcycling

    In the middle of revision week I got it into my head that I needed a tailors mannequin. Ok, maybe ‘needed’ isn’t the right word. Perhaps, ‘wanted’ was more appropriate…[I tried the ‘need’ argument with Tree and he gave me one of those who are you trying to kid looks…] But as you do during revision time, you let yourself get preoccupied with anything else but the books sitting open on the desk gathering dust. So I went on the hunt for a mannequin which would be both practical and pretty and entered a fierce Ebay bidding war (which I won. Mwah ha ha!). And lo and behold it arrived (mid exam week!) providing a much needed pick-me-up!

  • Old blog,  Sewing journey (archive)

    A little tee hee

    My sewing skills are still very much in the ‘extreme beginner’ realm (remember my maxi skirt fail?). That said, I have since managed to make a maxi skirt win! But I’m afraid that’s not what today’s post is about. It’s actually about an experiment with the remaining cloth from the maxi skirt. I had about 90 cm x 100 cm of cloth left so decided to make a top! I don’t know about you but I love this new style of ‘box’ cut tops out in the shops, with a very wide body to the top and cropped size. They’re so comfy to wear! I love the bagginess. And being essentially a giant rectangle with sleeves I thought: I can do this….right? With my blog in mind and fellow sewing extreme beginners- I decided to experiment and really simplify things (mainly to make sure the tricky step of  ‘inserted sleeves’ is avoided!). And also, why lie, I really wanted a cropped tee to go with my growing collection of maxi skirts!

  • Crochet patterns

    The little bunny blanket buddy

    Hello? Is anybody there? Yes? Oh good. I thought maybe you might have been put off by all the spider webs and tumble weed passing through this blog space that you might have all wandered off. What can I say? It’s that time of year again. Uni has started back up and it being our final year and with us potentially being let loose on the public in just over 10 months time, they’ve really hit us hard with studying and exam preparation and general “how not to kill your patients” kind of stuff. And phew, is it exhausting. So once again, productivity has gone way down and I make do with typing up my back log of patterns to fill the gaping crafting gap left in my world. So what have I got for you today? Well,