Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Mustard Sunflowers

Hey guys! 

Time for sewing has been sadly lacking recently - I have an essay due next Wednesday and am working to get it finished! However, last Friday I did have some spare time to sew up a new dress for a trip to London at the weekend (yes, Liberty fabric was purchased!) which has quickly become a wardrobe staple. 

I loooove this dress! It feels so autumnal with the warm, rich shades of mustard (the pattern is lots of teeny flowers, I'm not sure you can see on this photo). The sleeves also mean that it's suitable to wear as a winter piece, especially with a cardigan. Speaking of cardigans, won't it go brilliantly with my Mama Vertebrae cardigan once it's finished? 

Apart from a slight hiccup ... yes, I may have sewed the neckline to the skirt (don't ask) ... this dress came together smoothly. My favourite part is the skirt - look at the volume! Entirely natural by the way - there's about three metres of fabric gathered round that waist. 

Fabric wise, it's a simple medium weight cotton found at the local market on a visit home a few weeks ago. I fell in love with the pattern and knew it would make a stunning dress. The weight of the fabric gives the skirt a lovely body as well. I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out, especially when paired with my black cardigan. 

You can see the pattern a bit better on this photo. I think it's so adorable, but not too summery even though it's so floral. The richer colours mean I'll definitely be wearing this dress all winter long - but I can envisage some thick tights having to be bought if I'm to brave the Welsh weather! 

Have you been sewing much recently? Share your makes below! :) 

Beth x

Sunday, 23 November 2014

New Etsy Shop Items!

Hey guys! 

As long time readers will probably already know, I opened my very own Etsy shop, Elizabeth Stitches ( a few months ago and am really excited to tell you I've had a little shuffle around of pictures to refresh the appearance of the page, as well as added some new listings! 

The first major new addition, perfectly suited to the season with winter soon on the way are these lovely knitted fingerless mittens - 

I persuaded my boyfriend David to model them for me as they are unisex and should comfortably fit most hand sizes. I used high quality yarn containing 10% merino wool to make them with so they are soft and cosy to keep your hands warm in cooler weather whilst remaining unrestrictive thanks to the fingerless design. 

I've also updated the photos for my 3 in 1 scarves to demonstrate some of the many ways they can be used to add an extra detail to any outfit - 



or Hairbow! 

If you like the look of these items, there's even more over on the Elizabeth Stitches webpage ( all handmade by me, so please do feel free to pop over and take a look! 

Thank you very much for reading and I hope you all have a great week. 

Beth x

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Review: ProcrastaStitch

Hey guys!

Today I wanted to share with you a review of the lovely Etsy shop ProcrastaStitch, run by friends Emma Tiernan and Lyndsey Waite, which sells cute cross stitched items like keyrings, door hangings, bookmarks and badges.

Emma is the Chairman of the Craft and Sewing Society at my university, and asked me if I would be interested in reviewing the products in her shop when she realised I had a blog. Don't worry though, be assured that all opinions stated here are my own.

What sets ProcrastaStitch apart from other Etsy sites selling handmade cross stitched goods is that instead of the cutesy teddy bears and flowers we normally see on little accessories like these, the products from ProcrastaStitch have a brilliant nerdy fandom theme. Dedicated Whovian? Pokémon trainer? Waiting for your letter to Hogwarts? Then this is definitely the shop for you.

I can certainly vouch for the high quality of these products; I have a cute little keyring from the site decorated with a cross stitched Minion (Despicable Me anyone?). The detail is beautiful, even down to a few little strands of hair. For the work that goes into each one, including the cost of sourcing the materials, I would say the retail price of £4 is incredibly reasonable. I enjoy the occasional cross stitching project and can say from experience that even a little picture like this one takes hours to complete - I have no idea how both Emma and Lyndsey find the patience to turn out keyring after keyring at such a high standard, which can only be a testament to how much they love the craft.

The originality of this business venture is something which really impresses me - with so many craft shops out there it's hard to think of a product to sell that no one else has touched on already, but I truly think that is what ProcrastaStitch has done. By focusing their creations around fandoms like Pokémon and Doctor Who, they've become a one stop shop for completely one of a kind accessories that fans of the shows will treasure. 

So, if you're looking for a unique birthday present, a gift for Christmas with the holidays coming up, or maybe even just a little something to treat yourself to, head over to ProcrastaStitch or like their Facebook page and show your support for an independent crafting business - they'll even make personalised designs for you.

Disclaimer: I received a keyring from ProcrastaStitch free of charge, but as the prize for a competition in Craft Club, not as payment for this review. I agreed to review ProcrastaStitch's products because I genuinely think they are good quality and thought my readers would be interested too. I was not paid for the review. All opinions stated here are my own.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Recent Aquisitions

Hey guys! 

No sewing news around here I'm afraid, I'm at home for Reading Week (the uni equivalent of a half term) and didn't want to lug my sewing machine on the train. Plus, I've been busy moving all my belongings out of my bedroom so it can be redecorated! The walls of my room have been a garish shade of pink for as long as I can remember which clashed horribly with the red carpet, but now there's a lovely colour scheme of pale blue and cream which reminds me of the sea and makes me happy. 

I've also been shopping! Sadly there are no fabric shops where I live now, which for a place twice as big as my home town is pretty disappointing. However, now I'm back home I could visit Abakhan in Chester where I did go slightly crazy at the sight of all the precut fabric lengths just waiting to be snapped up....

Want to see? Of course you do! 

This is a beautifully soft lightweight cotton which looks far more white in real life than it does in this photo. I want to make it into a full skirted dress that hopefully will still be wearable in winter months with a pair of burgundy tights. 

Again, this a lightweight cotton in navy with a little white flower design. Predictably, this too is destined to become a dress (a girl can never have too many dresses, right?) 

I've volunteered to make handbags for my university's Craft Club to sell at the Christmas market, so I picked up some of this pretty fabric which has a thick linen feel and I thought would be sturdy enough to use. 

Again, this is bag making fabric - just look at that print! 

I know, I know, this is the girliest fabric the world has ever seen. But I thought it might offer the buyers at the Christmas market a softer looking alternative to the darker coloured bag fabrics above. Plus, there is an absolute ton of it (about five metres!) so I should be able to squeeze an incredibly twee dress out of it as well. Let's face it, every little girl has wanted to be a ballerina at some point in their lives (no? Just me then...) 

And finally, this floral georgette just sprang out at me as being perfect for a blouse, and the darker background means it would be suitable for winter wear if layered over a long sleeved black top. 

So! That lot should definitely keep me going for a while and stop me feeling too regretful there isn't a fabric shop near I'm taking a trip to London next week so there should be plenty of fabric buying opportunities there too! 

I hope you all have a lovely week, and feel free to share your makes below so I can sew vicariously through you all in the absence of my machine! 

Beth x

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Stripy Sailor Dress

Hey guys! 

Today I am proud to introduce my first EVER knit garment! 

This dress started out life as the Renfrew t-shirt pattern by Sewaholic, which I bought in a sale they had a while back. For my first attempt, I think this turned out pretty well! I shortened the bodice significantly and then just attached a simple rectangular gathered skirt to turn it into a dress. 

I did attempt some pattern matching because of the stripes, which you can see here on the sleeves. It is a bit hit and miss in some places, but on the whole I'm really pleased with how it looks. 

The one thing I did find hard to get right was the neck band - on the first attempt I didn't realise I had to stretch it, so when I tried on the dress the neck was just flopping forwards. However, in a surprising bout of patience, I unpicked and reattached the whole thing, which thankfully sorted the problem. 

This dress is super snuggly, I am sooo looking forward to wearing it this coming winter. Definitely look out for more Renfrews around here, they're so simple to put together! I don't know where poor knit fabric gets it's bad reputation from. 

So, with my sewing mojo back, I'm off to collect my jacket potato out of the oven :) 

I hope you've all had a good weekend! 

Beth x