Saturday, 28 May 2011

the 50p skirt



A couple of weeks ago, myself and Steve went along to our local car boot sale, which was on a rather rainy, cold and windy morning.  (I hear it's supposed to be summer right now, but you could have fooled me.)  Apart from the small, cute collection of teacups that I managed to accumulate, and the vintage bedding which I used to make a dress, I also spotted this skirt amongst a huge pile of clothes.  It was one of those double take situations, I saw the camel and navy blue striped combination, and in I dived!  Not in a mood to ponder, due to the rain lapping down on my face, I handed over the 50 pence that the stall holder had asked for.  And, I must say, I am very glad I did!  I finally tried the skirt on this morning (it had been at the bottom of our washing bag since that very morn), I thought that it would be too small, but it's a pretty good fit!  It's a great length too, I think it will look splendid with some sandals when the sunshine comes back :)  Steve however, thinks it looks 'circus-y', which I don't think is a bad thing at all!

What has been your best bargain from a car boot sale?  I think I would struggle to pick mine, maybe one day I will do a post of all of my favourites :)

Friday, 27 May 2011

cut copy create

I was very lucky a few days ago, and won a Twitter competition that Cut Copy Create organised!  I was very pleased, as I have been a bit of a secret fan of all of their old technology inspired goodies, from Polaroid and Lomography Cameras to cassette tapes and old typewriters (just a few of my favourite things!) for quite some time.  

So what did I win, I hear you cry? It was these wonderful illustrated camera pin badges, which I decided to give to my boyfriend, as he is a photographer - and he loves them :) The illustrations are so cute!

(I might have to pinch one every now and again though to wear on my cardigan!)

You can find out more about Cut Copy Create by clicking on the following :)
Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Etsy.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Katies adventures into dress making land part 3

I am pleased to say that yesterday evenings class was tons more productive than last weeks, and I came home with a smile on my face and feeling motivated, as opposed to last weeks' big grump!

My skirt is very near completion, with only the hem to be stitched and the buttons sewn on, hooray!  I managed to sew my button holes very effectively (easy when you know how, I hope that I can transfer this skill to my own sewing machine now!) I also attached my waistband, and the gathers which I did at home on Tuesday night (first time!) stayed in place until the bitter end :)  I'm going to finish those few little bits over the next two weeks, no class next week as it's half term.  I also talked through my next pattern - a shift dress, with Janet, so I aim to make a start with that too.

Knowledge
  • how to sew button holes.
  • how to create 'tram line' i.e. tacking to mark the location for button holes (so much easier and effective than my first attempt with a ruler and tailors chalk, woobbbbly lines).
  • what sewing needles to buy - size 9 is apparently a good place to start.
  • Polish pins are the best so I am told, and ones from China can tend to pull your fabric.  
  • to add 1 1/2cm for seam allowance on a pattern.
Mistakes
  • drawing woobbbbly lines to mark my button hole, I'm told that I am, in fact, NOT lopsided :)
  • missing a tiny section when sewing my waist band to my skirt, but I did resolve this very quickly :)
  • attempting to attach the bow waistband to the skirt so that it
    would create a bow on one side, rather than in the middle, and finding out that it didn't quite work!  The result?  One side of the bow being about 2" longer than the other, oops!
So here are a few photographs to show you all how it's looking so far :)




    I also wanted to quickly share another work in progress.  I had a go at making a simple strapless dress with some recycled 1970s bedding (which, I must add, I love).  I need to use a wider elastic and adjust the hip measurements though - a little bit too tight!

    As always, I would love to hear your thoughts :)  

    Tuesday, 24 May 2011

    Katie and Diana do London













    Gin and Tonic drinking
    Bethnal Green wandering
    tube riding
    BBQ eating
    garden dancing
    art viewing
    cape wearing
    Canary Wharf waiting
    people meeting
    friend hugging
    Drop Dead Gorgeous watching
    rucksack carrying
    cake munching

    Thursday, 19 May 2011

    Katies adventures into dress making land part 2

    Argh!

    Yesterdays evening class was frustrating.  The main aim of attending this dress making course was so that I could practice all of those things that I am not great at i.e button holes, zips etc.  So far, all I have managed to do, are the things that I was fairly confident in doing anyway.

    I am very sorry for the rant, but last night, I attempted to do some gathers on the waist of my skirt about four times.  The thread kept snapping, and in the end, after 2 hours, I thought it best to pack away and just come home!  I did get to do some over locking though, which I secretly love (I'm such a nerd).  I have decided to sort out the gathers at home one evening, along with pressing the hem and adding wonder web (which I need to buy).  Then hopefully next Wednesday I can finally get my button holes sewn, buttons sewn on and waistband added.  And then - it shall be complete!!  I also want to begin to make a dress, so I will be cutting out my pattern pieces ready for Wednesday too.

    Knowledge
    • how to thread an over locker.
    • machine stitching the thread for gathering in smaller sections, to avoid the thread snapping (although, this still didn't exactly help me!)
    Mistakes
    • Not connecting the three separate parts of my bow waistband correctly, therefore having to unpick some of the stitching and do it again.
    • Not tying the ends of the threads properly when attempting to create gathers, which resulted in them all 'disappearing' and then consequently, me getting very fed up (even the chocolate hob nob didn't help!)
    This week has generally been a bit crazy, and I have eaten far too many cakes and biscuits.  Sorry that there are no photographs to accompany this post, but hopefully I will make up for that next week when I head off to my class with high hopes and optimism!

    P.S. I have created a 10% off discount code for my shop - click here to find it :)

      Wednesday, 18 May 2011

      cheap as chips

      I'm feeling rather generous at the moment, so I am offering you all 10% off your purchases from my Etsy shop when you enter the code CHEAPASCHIPS at the checkout :)
      This discount is available to international buyers as well as those in the UK.
      Offer ends at 9pm on Tuesday 24th May 2011.

      Sunday, 15 May 2011

      crochet beauties now in my shop

      I came across this little collection of crocheted purses while on my travels this weekend.  I absolutely love them!  They remind me of my elderly next door neighbor from when I was a child, who recently passed away.  She crocheted me a blanket when I was born, which I adored.  
      I have five of these beauties in total, with three already listed in my shop, and they're only £3 each :)

      I have been experimenting with making some simple dresses today, which so far seem to be a success.  I will find some time to get some photographs taken during the week - would love to hear your opinions!  Also, thank you so much to those of you who left such wonderful comments about my handmade polka dot skirt!  But right now, I would not take a good photograph.  I'm sat in my pajamas watching James Bond (an old one, therefore a good one), and will soon be making a delicious paneer curry for dinner, yum!  Not a bad Sunday so far, but such a shame that it will soon be Monday :(

      I hope that you've all had a great weekend!

      Thursday, 12 May 2011

      Katies adventures into dress making land

      So last night I began a dress making course.  Although when I say began, really was gatecrashing a three term course with only 9 weeks remaining!  Everyone else had been attending from the start, so had been given tutorials in how to do button holes, collars, cuffs, zips etc etc.  Me, I was going in pretty much blind.  Sure, I have given these things ago, but I lack serious confidence in these areas.
      I must say first and foremost, that Janet, the tutor, and all of the other 'students' were so friendly and helpful.  I was even brought a cup of tea and a biscuit! 
      I was rather optimistic about what I could achieve in my two hour session, which is nothing unusual (hence why I pack away unfinished projects to 'complete later' when I get bored or frustrated with them, and they never see the light of day again).  I took along a skirt pattern from Sew Hip magazine; buttons, bow, enough detail for a challenge, but not too much that I end up throwing the sewing machine out of the window.  I cut out all of my pattern pieces, although I need to do the waist band piece again as I clearly can't measure properly!  At the weekend, I aim to buy some more fabric and get my pieces cut out ready for the second lesson, so I can spend the time getting my skirt constructed and then start another garment.  Ambitious much?!
      As I will be going to these classes for the next nine weeks (with a one week gap for half term), I thought I would make this into a little feature on What Katie Found, so pop back every Thursday for my sewing updates!
      So here's a summary of week one...

      Knowledge
      • 'Pull' the edges of woven fabrics to create a straight edge.
      • Apparently Fenwicks sells the best interfacing you can get your hands on.
      • Cut out your fabric with the scissors flat against the table.
      Mistakes
      • Dropping the tutors tailors chalk on the floor, and breaking it.  Cringe.
      • Buying a fabric that will not only shrink if put in the washing machine, but will also fade.
      • Cutting the wrong size for my waistband.
      • Having some serious issues with accurate measuring.
      Today, I woke up just aching to make something.  Unfortunatley, I had to go to work first, but on my return home I began to cut out another skirt pattern (again from Sew Hip magazine).  This one had no buttons or zippers, just a simple elasticated waistband.   Overall, I am pretty pleased with myself :)  I love the yellow polka dot fabric, but it's polyester (just like all those beautiful vintage 1980s dresses I always see, but can't stand to wear), and I'd much prefer it in cotton.  I will definitely be buying some more fabric to attempt this pattern again.  I need to chop off some of the elastic around the waistband too, as it's a bit too loose.
      So here are a few photographs, please excuse my grumpy looking face, that's just how I look after intense concentration whilst sewing!
      I LOVE the big bow (but I want to make it BIGGER).
      So what do you think?  I'm still not feeling that confident about my sewing abilities, but it's certainly a step in the right direction :)

      Saturday, 7 May 2011

      crown and glory

      A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Sophie, the founder of the wonderfully whimsical company,
      Crown and Glory
      .



      Crown and Glory began just over a year ago, in early 2010. Starting out by creating hand painted butterfly pieces, Sophie's shop has expanded enormously, now stocking a range including floral headdresses (made to measure), bird themed accessories and fabric headbands. The perfect place to find something beautiful to dress your head!


      Sophie was suggesting that we did a product swap (seeing as we were both big fans of the others creations!), and how could I resist such an exciting offer? We talked about which items were our favourites, but it was all a surprise until we received our parcels!





      Since I finally got my hands on my parcel on Wednesday afternoon, I've been itching to try out the beautiful hair slides and very cute teeny tiny swallow brooch that Sophie kindly sent me.

      Flight Bobby Pin Set £7.00
      Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Polka Dot Bobby Pins £2.00
      I can't believe that the little polka dot bobby pins are only £2.oo for a pair (you can choose both blue, both pink or a mixture of the two). 

      Flock Brooch Free gift
      I was also pleased as punch to receive the tiny swallow brooch, which is a free gift with every order from Crown and Glory. It is seriously cute, will definitely be adorning my cardigans from now on!


      The Flight bobby pin set is so beautiful, I'm so glad that Sophie chose these for me. The vintage floral patterns on the swallow are definitely me! I rarely wear hair slides these days, for some reason I always seem to think that they make me look like a little girl, but these feel very 'grown up', and as Sophie said in her letter which she included in my parcel, Every bird lover deserves a flock of gorgeous swallows for their tresses. I absolutely adore them, and have already had some admiring comments from people :)







      Sophie has kindly offered all What Katie Found readers 15% off their order when you enter whatkatiefound at the checkout, visit the Crown and Glory shop here, and you too can beautifully dress your tresses! :)


      For more information about Crown and Glory, visit Facebook, Twitter and their wonderful blog.

      Tuesday, 3 May 2011

      shop update

      Over the past couple of days I have been adding more items to my Etsy shop, all of the above (and more!) can now be found if you click here :) It's back to work tomorrow, so less time to procrastinate!  I'm 'testing the water' with the vintage greeting cards.  I've now got quite a selection of various (and sometimes quite frankly, random) cards, so if you can't find what you're looking for, just send me a message and I can let you know what others are available. 

      What has made my day today, is this wonderful review of some of my items over at Crown and Glory's blog.  Sophie has taken some beautiful photographs and written many lovely things, so go and take a look!  Sophie contacted me a couple of weeks ago about doing a swap of some of our products, so keep checking back to see my Crown and Glory review very soon (my parcel arrived on Saturday, but I was still asleep so I've had to wait until tomorrow to collect it from the post office!).

      Monday, 2 May 2011

      the thriftiest of them all

      Outfit posts are a real rarity on my blog.  I'm a bit 'awkward' and hate the idea of posing (99% of the time, the best photographs of me are when I'm a) not looking or b) in mid laughter).
      However, as I was getting dressed this morning, I thought to myself that this outfit might be worth the pain of awkwardly posing, just so I could share some of my thrifty purchases with you!

      The blue floral top is vintage Marks and Spencers, and was £1 from a car boot sale a couple of weeks ago.  The blue denim culottes were also from a car boot sale last summer, and cost 20p.  Unfortunately, my shoes ruin it all a little bit, because they are a brand new purchase from Asda (I am a bit weird about wearing second hand shoes though...)

      A few people have asked me lately how I've been plaiting my hair.  I think it's rather messy, and wish that I could do it better, but I have conjured up a little video (made from photographs) showing the process!
      Here goes...

      Right, I'm off to list some more items in my Etsy shop.  Things are going quite well over there, I've had a number of buyers from Australia which is exciting!  Trying to get as much of my do to list completed as possible today - back to work on Wednesday and me and Steve might go to the seaside tomorrow (fingers crossed for sunshine!)

      I hope that you've all had a great bank holiday weekend, not long until the next one :)

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