Wednesday, 27 July 2016

My Grainline Maritime Shorts..


Another finished sewing project for you today - I know that I don't always share everything here when I finish it, but I'm quite pleased with some of my recent makes and this is a pattern which was new to me, so I fancied sharing.

Shorts have been a fairly recent (I've only really been brave enough in the past few years) thing for me. I'm not a fan of my legs and the area of my body which I hate most is my hips, thighs and bum, so it does seem weird to wear anything which would draw any attention to these hated parts. But, as I really don't wear trousers, shorts and tights can be quite useful to team with a guides t-shirt for a weekend at guide camp or away with my unit on trips, etc, so I do wear them quite often these days - my casual wardrobe, I suppose.


I'm sure I've mentioned that I'm off to America soon on a guiding trip, for which we've been supplied with enough uniform t-shirts to wear each day, and I was having a bit of a quandary about what to wear on my legs. We've got a very heavy schedule and will be doing a lot of walking and sight-seeing, but I'm told that New York in August is a warm place to be, so shorts seemed like the natural answer. Which is where I began to struggle a little. Although I have quite a few pairs, a lot of the weights and squats I do at the gym lately mean that my body shape has changed a little and I'm kind of disproportionate, so it's getting harder to buy things off the peg and expect them to fit perfectly. Which sucks, as it's throwing my body confidence into all kinds of disarray.


I think I spied this dinosaur print cotton twill before realising that actually, I might be able to make my own, to measure. After a little research, I was recommended the Grainline Maritime pattern and they looked to be just what I had in mind. I ordered and downloaded the pattern, and set to work figuring out how to adjust the pattern pieces so that the shorts would fit both my waist, and my hips and bum. Although I didn't create a toile of them, I tried them on at each step and had ordered two metres of fabric, which I knew would be more than I needed, in order that I could cut out a piece again if I needed to.

The pattern construction itself was very straightforward but I was very pleased to be able to refer to this tutorial when it came to inserting the zip. This is probably the most simple to follow zipper tutorial I've come across, and I hate front zips, so it really was a bit of a lifesaver.

I like the fit on the shorts now that they're done and I'm looking forward to wearing them when I'm away. I'm quite tempted to make myself another pair, but perhaps a little longer, although the length of them isn't *too* short or anything. I can never quite figure out what the most flattering length of shorts is for me, but I'd certainly recommend the pattern and am very happy with these!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Tuesday Titles 101..

First Comes Love : Emily Giffin

Described as a "modern day Jane Austen", according to the back cover. Now, I'm not sure I'd go *that* far but I also feel as though that phrase is kinda over-used. Anyhow, on to the book itself..

First Comes Love is a story about the tenuous relationship between sisters Meredith and Josie. We pick up with them fifteen years after their brother, Daniel, was killed in a car accident. They both live with the consequences of what happened to Daniel and it affects both girls' lives, both in ways you would and would not expect. 

Career-girl Meredith has done everything right, hasn't she? High-powered job, husband and child; a family home which people need to remove their shoes to step into. Nobody could find fault with her life. Except her sister, Josie. 

Josie is a teacher who still regrets screwing up her relationship with the One Who Got Away. Desperate for everything Meredith ended up with, and yet equally desperate not to show it, she is trying to figure out the best way of getting her life back on track and getting what she's always wanted.

With chapters alternating between the two sisters, we really do get to see both sides to every story and argument and this book had me nodding in agreement so many times at the accurate portrayal of growing up and working on getting along with your sisters. 

I'd have liked a little more about the Will relationship, and if I'm honest I didn't really like either Josie or Meredith, but that didn't matter too much. I still enjoyed the book. 

First Comes Love will be released on 22nd September - let me know how you get on.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Simplicity 6926..


For the first time in what seems like forever, I had a weekend to myself. It was epic. I was able to sit back and relax, kind of. Well, my style of sitting back and relaxing starts with a long and very detailed list of things I need and want to do. So, I mostly filled my weekend with housework (it's been far too long since I was actually at home for more than just ten minutes at a time, so there was a lot to catch up on), running, allotmenting, baking and managed to find time to fit in a little sewing.


I've made this pattern up before, but I'm not sure if I really said a lot about it (the post is here, I didn't) and I've worn that dress only a handful of times since I made it, and yet for some reason, as soon as I saw this fabric online, an image of this pattern popped into my head and I couldn't imagine making anything else with it. I even ordered a roll of orange ricrac at the same time as I had envisaged finishing it off with that. 

Checking back on my fabric stash post, I haven't really made much progress. I guess I hadn't counted on making a pair of shorts (both pattern and fabric purchased after that post was written, but they jumped the queue and I made them up this weekend). 


Anyhow, the pattern itself is Simplicity 6926 and is one I was given in a bundle from a Guide leader I know. I like the button back detail, although both times I've left off the ruffle at the hem as I think it makes it too 70s for my personal taste. I love crossover straps, and have made other dresses (this Simplicity 1194 springs to mind) with similar details because I find them cute. 

The construction of the dress is pretty simple, and being fairly vintage in it's instructions calls for a lot of pinking and facings, which are fine by me. As always when I have cause to make buttonholes, I have to wonder why my machine will perform perfectly on a scrap piece of fabric and then insist on stuffing just about every other one up. I had to finish one of the buttonholes by hand and unpick/restart another, but that's not bad going to get twelve passable ones, I suppose. 

The skirt is constructed in four pieces, so has a centre front join, which usually really irriates me, but I don't think it's that noticeable with this fabric. which is good. More often than not, I'll swap out a pieced skirt and add a gathered one instead to avoid centre front seams, as I'm lazy and don't like pattern-matching.


Even though the fabric is already pretty quirky, I decided to add the ricrac I bought to the tops of the pockets. I'd wondered about adding it to the neckline or the hem as well but this was before I rediscovered these flower buttons. These (along with some tulips, sunflowers and bees) were once stitched to a green Dorothy Perkins vest top, which I used to wear with jeans when I was at college, like a little 3D garden on my front. I got rid of the vests many moons ago but figured I'd be able to do something else with the buttons one day and here they are. I chose two daisies to button the front straps of the dress and then went for brightly coloured flowers down the back of the dress to close it - ten in total. I wondered if it was too much, but actually really like just about every aspect of how this dress turned out. Perfect for popping down to the allotment with the watering can, no?

Doing a little research on the pattern, I've found a lovely version here by Catherine. I love seeing other people's takes on the patterns I've used. 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Sunday Shoes 115: Topshop RIO

Topshop RIO sandals
I know I've already mentioned these sandals, briefly at least. Frankly I couldn't wait to wear them and gave them their first outing on Tuesday when the temperatures were soaring. But in greater detail, here are some close ups.

The RIO sandals are a little different to their unicorn cousins (REALM), with two more teeny straps across the fronts, just behind the flamingoes. 

The flamingo motif is mirrored on each shoe, with tropical palm tree leaves, also in metallic leather. They're sturdy and very securely attached to the fronts. The ankle straps buckle at the sides and are fine on me - I sometimes find that I struggle with the length of ankle straps, which makes me wonder if my ankles are particularly huge. I'm not sure. 

The heels are chunky block ones, the same height as the unicorns and they're quite low for me, which means I was able to wear them comfortably for a day.


Friday, 22 July 2016

Friday Favourites 205..

FF205 Collage
001 // 002 // 003 // 004

Oh, what a glorious week it's been. The weather has me all happy and relaxed, which is lovely and I'm all about the summer prints and cute accessories. Here are my current favourites...

001: This Lady V London dress keeps catching my eye. Not only does it have a pretty red bow, which is always a winning detail in my book, but it's also a lovely cute macaw print. I think the red piping around the neckline is a wonderful touch as well!

002: Pineapples seem to be just about everywhere at the moment, and this coin purse would be perfect to keep hold of your ice cream money.

003: Super simple, but this Cath Kidston cardigan has a beautiful scalloped detail to the front, and would be the perfect cover up for the summer evenings when the sun has gone in.

004: Wonderful Kate Spade pineapple wedges. Because a girl can dream, right? 

What have you been wishing for this week? 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

All I wanna feel's a little chemical rush..

Dress: ASOS
Rio sandals: Topshop
Bag: Gift // Glasses: F+F

So, apparently yesterday was the hottest day of the year. Which I for one was thrilled about. I love the summer so have been longing for the hot weather. The hottest temperatures call for a cotton dress and new sandals, in my book, so I decided to give these Topshop flamingo sandals their first wear. More photos of them to come on Sunday's post, but they're pretty cute, if a little more strappy than I'd usually go for. 

The dress is a fairly ancient ASOS one which I've had squirrelled away for a long while and can't recall wearing more than once, but I'm not sure why as I quite liked the neckline. 

I spent most of my day prepping for a big meeting today, and then headed down to the allotment to water the poor plants, before going for a run, accompanied by the new Biffy Clyro album, which I'm currently obsessing over just a little. Long may this weather continue! 

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Tuesday Titles 100..

Finders Keepers : Sean Costello
I've been reading a lot more on my Kindle lately, which is down to spending more time on the treadmill at the gym. I still don't enjoy running, but when I'm reading something which grabs my attention, I can spend an hour on there without too much bother.

This book had me hooked from the start. Kate's father wakes up one morning and goes along with his regular routine, before checking his lottery numbers and finding that he's won the jackpot. Ten million dollars. Enough money to change their lives, so they drop everything to make their way to Toronto to cash in the ticket.

At the end of the first chapter, as I thought I was getting familiar with the characters and the pace of the storyline...BAM - something unexpected happens, throws me totally off guard and sets the tone for the rest of the book.

Without wanting to spoil the plot, there's not a lot I can share about the actual storyline, but if you want a thriller with a fast pace, look no further than Finders Keepers.