Tea Blog: Sewing adventures

So the blog has been quite for a couple of weeks now because i have attempted a couple of big projects as part of my sewing adventures and as creative fodder for the blog. One turned out quite well, not quite perfect but i am very happy with it. Another was completed but didn’t turn out as well as i hoped and it was this project which swallowed up the majority of my time. These projects were a kimono/cardigan and a huge tulle skirt- none of these designs were my own i took a lot of advice from an awesome blog/Youtuber called WithWendy as well as an amalgamation of advice from numerous Pinterest posts.

Kimono/Cardigan

So…. sensible Maebhe went out the window when it came to experimenting with my new sewing machine and i went straight to a huge project with many complicated seams and techniques. Now it was eventually able to complete the cardigan ( this is project 2 mentioned above) however the shape, fit and look of the overall piece is a little rough and unpolished & therefore isn’t something i will probably ever wear. However i am proud of how much i learned in the process and would genuinely feel less intimidated when it comes to taking on another big project in the future. I also learned that velvet is one of the worst fabrics to try and learn to sew on. It sheds while being cut, it sticks to itself constantly when you put the right sides together to try and measure any templates out and is super slidie when the satin side is down.

However since completing the cardigan i have been thinking on how to use it as i don’t want it to go to waste. So i’m thinking since i heading to London in June to see the Harry Potter theater show i am going to purchase a Gryffindor patch to attach and make it a Gryffindor…. dressing gown…? 🙂 I will be wearing potter stuff from head to toe with my besties so i doubt anyone will judge but its an idea, we will see.

 It’s Sunday which means no make up and therefore my face ain’t made for the blog right now.

Tulle Skirt 

I was really happy with how this project turned out despite losing an entire weekend sewing layers of tulle together. Now before you judge, i realise its not perfect – the waistband needs a little work, and its very puffy therefore making me look a little bit like a Gothic cupcake but i really love it.


Like i mentioned in the intro- i got a lot of the basic skills from WithWendy and she tutorial are awesome but i still felt like her work was a little advanced for myself (see project 1) so when i came to creating this project i adjusted the foundation for the skirt by skipping the creation of an underskirt and used a body-con skirt that i never wear (it was a random purchase during high school). And then created the rows and rows and ROWS of tulle. Running two single stitch rows along the top of each of the rows and then pulling the opposite end of each row to create scrunching and then attached the accumulated layers to the skirt in a slightly tiered design.

9 layers of fine tulle in 3 rows / 4 layers of course tulle in 2 rows

 This ultimately resulted in a huge puffy skirt which i adore – which totally gave me flash backs to high school and my My Chemical Romance days and Helena – leave me a comment if you see it! And my Nike tee is probably not the best combo but who cares, because after all the rows of stitches i had used to attach the tulle it had affected how stretchy the skirt was, so it was a small miracle that i was able to get it on over my more than generous butt. And i loved my Princess Leia hair buns this day, they totally haven’t turned out this well since.

Please check out Wendy’s blog she can properly advise how to do something like this compare to me who depend on rough doodles example above.

I hope you enjoy and i will hopefully take you on my next fabric shopping trip and keep you up to date on my sew adventures.

Maebhe

 

 

Craftie: Sewing for beginners

Hellos!

So i mentioned in a recent post that i had signed up for a beginners sewing class in Belfast, inspired by my recent sewing machine purchase. I have always loved crafting but sewing is something i have only ever made the MOST basic attempts at i.e sewing on a button or sewing up a rip. However i love vintage clothes, and part of the shopping for vintage clothes is keeping an eye out for a great find rather than shopping for a size.

So far the idea of altering a piece of clothing has been daunting. Now, i do have a few pieces i’ve purchased that didn’t fit and paid someone to alter for me, often paying more than the purchase price to have it altered. My favourite vintage find is a gorgeous real silk, Chinese style dress which still had the tags on it which i found in a charity shop in Antrim of all places, for a fiver (£5)!! Then paying a small fortune to have it altered from a UK size 14 to a UK size 8 but i adore it, although totally haven’t been able to find the right venue to show it off at yet.

I know altering clothes is a long way off but I had to start somewhere and this class really did set a good foundation to learn from.

The Class


The class was at Lizzie Agnew’s studio on Queens Street Belfast. She is an award winning bridal designer from Northern Ireland, creating gorgeous vintage inspired gowns. I discovered The Lizzie Agnew School of Dressmaking through an evening of google hunting for some local basic sewing classes.

Lizzie was lovely, and there were only 4 girls in the class (myself included) which meant that we were able to get the personal time and assistance necessary when learning a new skill. Even though in the class i was working on a much older, industrial model of a sewing machine i was able to develop a basic understanding of sewing machines. So when it came to starting up my machine, for example threading the bobbin, even when i came across difficulties i was able to take me time and fix the problem rather than panic.


  In the class we were taught how to hand sew buttons and hems, basic machine use, machine hemming, and reverse stitch. Using the reverse stitch was honestly the most difficult part and demonstrated something i didn’t know was such a necessary skill for any basic sewing project.

  Lizzie Agnew’s School of Dressmaking offers a ranging of sewing classes from this one day course, to 8 week foundation dressmaking courses through to a bridal dressmaking course for sewing pros at varying prices. Anything beyond the absolute beginners class is a bit pricey for me right now, but maybe in the future once I’ve had some practice. I have made some basic sewing attempts on my machine now, but I am going to make a separate update post 

  More sewing updates to come soon.

Maebhe x

Tea Blog: Life Reboot

So hello to a new year!

I took some time out before Christmas for stress reasons as work was absolutely bananas and completely killed any writing inspiration/imagination my body held. However the world has calmed down thankfully and i have felt the writing void return, Yayyyy!

And i know i have written New Years resolution posts and their ilk before but i don’t want to go back there as i have learned that my tendency to set ‘goals’, sets me up for failure rather than aspiring to achieve as much as i can. They hover above my head like vultures  waiting for me to give up…and something i have learned in the last year is that my life in N.I. and current career, does not always accommodate a regular posting schedule as much as i wish i could. So as much i have been revitalised by the new year, my ambition is simply to write content which is as good as it possibly can be, as regularly as possible, and to take new challenges by diversifying my content.

In regards to reading I’m not goin near any (insert no. of books here) challenges. I have tried the fifty book challenges before & it has taken the love out of reading while I try to read anything quick & easy for numbers. So instead I am just going to focus on authors I love as well as reading so more classics and diversifying to read more factual books, my first being the biography of Vivienne Westwood, which is really interesting. And maybe investigate some more comic books if u can find somewhere to start, any advise or recommendations in the comments are welcome!

This is while i continue to job hunt for my next challenge. I realise i have only finished my probation period, which is truly the most depressing part of job hunting, voluntarily re-entering that ‘no-mans land’ of employment where i get to tell people, “Yes i did get a new job” while my insides turn into jellied snakes at the continuous fear of spontaneous firing, even while my inner cheerleader screams, “You can do this!”. I have my qualifications i just need more experience and to continue looking for those opportunities that will challenge me and allow me to grow. So, NO SETTLING.

Next, I am going to craft more. While i have struggled to find time write and make myself sit down at a internet device after sitting at a pc all day in work, i have been able to take time to craft (crochet) more. I have found that this is one way to get my brain to relax, especially after a rubbishy work day. As it takes all my focus and stops my brain wondering and going down the rabbit hole. As part of this aspiration i recently bought myself a sewing machine. I have never used a sewing machine…never touched one before mine came in the post. So its a entirely new challenge but is something i have always wanted to try, especially when it comes to altering vintage clothes and maybe one day creating something entirely by myself. So i bought my machine, have booked myself a beginners class and have overloaded a Pinterest board with sewing ideas and templates.

Let me stick in the obligatory ‘be healthier’, but only in the most general sense. Mainly because my current job has me stuck in a little room all day compared to my previous retail job which involved a lot of running around, meaning that the exercise i used to do everyday has been lost. So i simply want to take more time in the evenings to get my little Buddy out on more walks and get myself moving more. This is also a great way to air out my brain and allow myself to digitally detox between work and blog.

It was too wet today so here is an old beach photo

 

I have already started by taking a drive up the coast and having a morning walking the beaches with my fluffy companion, despite the freezing weather conditions in Northern Ireland at the mo, but its progress. A all it really takes is a cuppa tea in the car afterwards to fix the cold.

p.s im not driving

All these aspiration are purely with the aim of achieving happiness. Not to say that every second is going to be fun or easy, but simply working to make myself happier by doing thing and spending time with people who have a positive impact on my life and filtering out as much of the negativity that we all have to put up with in our lives.

I would love to hear your aspirations for this year and hope that regardless what you plan to take on or give up, that happiness comes your way this year.

Maebhe