Saturday 26 January 2013

Bolero - Butterick 4731

Phew, I am very pleased to report that I have completed the bolero which will keep me (or at least my arms) warm for the winter wedding next Saturday. I have a complete outfit now! 

I used Butterick 4731, view B with the long sleeves from view A. It was very simple, and only required a petite adjustment for the sleeves. 

It is fully lined - I used the same crepe backed satin for the jacket, and as tempting as it was to buy some faux fur for the lining, I opted for this beautiful viscose lining.  I just love the delicate print!

I cut a size 6, and it fitted really well. I'm so glad that I found this pattern - I was on the hunt for a decent bolero pattern for quite a long time, but this one finally won me over with its simple design. The instruction was super easy to follow, and changing the sleeves was also simple enough. All in all it took me less than a day to complete, and I'm very pleased with the outcome. 

With my outfit sorted, I am really looking forward to the wedding now. Before then though, I still have a little bit left to do on the bride's bolero - I've used the same (tried and tested) pattern, so we'll have matching boleros on the day! 

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Wedding favours - lavender bags

I have been a busy bee - when we were "snowed in" last weekend, I decided to spend my newly freed up time in "Alice's sweatshop" and knocked together 50 square lavender bags as wedding favours for my mother-in-law's wedding (in 1.5 weeks time!), and 2 heart-shaped ones for the bride and groom. OK, you got me, I may have made a few more to keep for myself...

The colour scheme for the wedding is purple (all shades, from lilac to plum), so I got a lovely purple fabric selection pack from ebay, and it did the trick nicely. 

I got my dried lavender from Lavender World, at £10 per kg. And the best bit was, this is lavender grown and sold in Yorkshire in England (read: free delivery)! and there I was, foolishly thinking that I'd have to get it from Provence... 

 I won't bore you with the details as to how these were made, unless anyone demands a quick tutorial. I think there are plenty of those on the internet already, but if you do have any questions, please feel free to ask. 
Needless to say, it was the most relaxing few hours of my life. Watching Mad Men in the background (turning my head a lot more than I should, as it is undeniably "eye candy" in simply too many ways...), looking out to the snow-covered garden, and surrounded by air saturated with the smell of lavender... it was very enjoyable indeed! 

Thursday 17 January 2013

Bridesmaid dress - work in progress

As promised, here's a sneaky preview of my second attempt at Butterick 5457. 

Following all the troubles that I had with my first version, and of course all your extremely helpful comments, I think my new version is turning out just as I imagined it. So here are a couple of pictures:

Here's my to-do list to finish it off:

  • Add a waist stay;
  • Insert a handpicked zipper (great suggestion by a few of you - thank you!)
  • Hand stitch the bodice lining to skirt lining/seam allowance;
  • Hand stitch the bodice lining at back opening to zipper;
  • Overcast any open seams;
  • Hem;
  • Remove chalk marks (I used a yellow tailor's chalk on the lilac bodice where the pleats are - they don't appear to come off easily! Any suggestions/ideas would be much appreciated!)

Sunday 13 January 2013

I'm back!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a lovely break, and are excited about 2013. 

Yep, I am back now from China. After a 2.5 week holiday back in my home town, Beijing, when my parents spoiled me rotten, and enjoying a free upgrade courtesy of Swiss Air on the journey back (champagne served in tumblers, anyone?), I do feel a lot more refreshed. 

I wanted to check-in here before you all think that I've disappeared from the face of the earth. I am pleased to report back that my bridesmaid dress is coming along quite well, and I can't wait to share some photos with you - just waiting for a day with some decent daylight at the moment... 

I am also aware that I have a few other things to report back on - I will be back next week to start sharing it with you all, I promise!
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