Back on the blogging horse (summer roundup)

Uh-oh, August?? Where did MayJuneJuly go?? Between finishing one job, a whistlestop tour around the UK, getting back to Genf, starting a new job, and jumping in the lake a lot because it’s just SO FLIPPIN HOT, crafting sort of fell off the table this summer. Whoops.

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see how pretty? can you blame me?

But that’s not to say I haven’t done anything at all in the last 3 months. Here’s a little roundup…

1. Elisalex round 2
I loved my first Elisalex dress SO MUCH I decided to make up another, but try it with a gathered skirt this time. The sleeves had been a little snug on the first one (hello sausage arms) so I looked around l’internet and sought advice from sewing guru Granny before deciding to try making them with a bigger sleeve head.

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Sewing with Granny

Sadly, this was an error. They came out all poofy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the poofy sleeve in the right context. But what with the gathered skirt and the brilliant-but-intense Dutch African print it was all a bit frumpy and drowning-in-fabric and not at all what I had envisaged (lesson learned – don’t get all pattern-hacker before you can crawl, or something). As you can imagine this was VERY disappointing, I wore the dress a couple of times but kept being re-disappointed every time I caught sight of my reflection.

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Hello frumpy (just me, not the gorgeous gals to my left)

Finally I just shoved the dress in a big pile of “mending/alterations” on top of my sewing table and tried to forget about it…. time passed… and then it got hot. Like, REALLY HOT. The perfect weather for twirly gathered skirts and bright prints I thought to myself, eyeing the forlorn dress in the pile. But those sleeves… so I took a deep breath, reached for my scissors and started unpicking. I ripped those bad boys right off and made a little bias binding from the cutoff to finish the raw edges. I also added some waist ties so I could nip that gathered skirt in just a little bit more (I’d unpicked and re-sewn it a couple of times but it was still a bit baggy). And hell since I was kneedeep by this point I adjusted the front seams a little bit too (mysteriously it was a little baggy here too, unlike Elisalex version1. I refer to my above note re. pattern-messing).

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I tentatively put the dress on, looked in the mirror and BEAMED because it was just SO. MUCH. BETTER. And after that folks, me and the little green dress twirled happily all summer, with a mutual agreement never to mention the puffy sleeves again.

2. Geneva hoop
The very first friend I made in Geneva is Yvette. We arrived at the same time back in 2007, working and living together, so she is very much part of my Geneva experience. She is a musician and a wonderful free spirit and has celebrated every birthday by the lake since she arrived. This year was a big birthday so I thought I’d stitch her Geneva. Inspired by Sublime Stitching, I carefully sketched out hills, mountains, the lake and the giant Jet D’eau, Geneva’s famous fountain. Then, using a few simple stitching techniques I began to outline and fill in the shapes.

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Work in progress. Totally forgot to take one of the finished item (oops) but Yvette’s promised to send me one.

UPDATE Jan 2014 – and here’s the finished item:

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3. Painted doormat
Ok this is not sewing, but it’s still crafty so I’m counting it. We bought a cheap doormat, taped it up with masking tape and painted on the chevrons. I smile at it every day.

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4. Makeup bags for birthday ladies
Sadly for most of my summer birthday friends, I didn’t manage to be very organised. In fact, I failed to get a single present or card to anyone on time, apart from Geneva-based Yvette. Disgraceful, I know. I just still haven’t really adapted to the whole overseas, got to post it 2 weeks in advance thing. I’m working on it ok? I did however make a host of little makeup bags to send them (belatedly) so hopefully they won’t judge me too harshly.

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Making the bags really reminded me how much I’d missed my sewing. And then a few days ago I got a notification to approve a comment on one of my posts. Not just a message of support from a friend/relative (although I love those too) but a genuine from-the-public comment. This was very exciting and was exactly the kick I needed to get back on the blogging horse. So thank you Sara!!! I really hope the window blinds work out 🙂

Siobhan xx

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