OWOP a night!

And there we have it – seven days of Violet blouses, all over in the blink of an eye. But by golly we gave it a good send-off. I met up with Karen, Tilly, Rachel, Mela, Laura, Tamsin, Alana and another lovely lady named Clare (Claire?) last night at a cocktail bar in Kings Cross. It was two-for-one and we made the most of it. Mela brought chocolate macaroons – can you believe I’d never had a macaroon before? And I discovered we live not far from one another so I’ll be popping round for seconds if she’s not careful.

In my excitement at meeting so many lovely sewing bloggers I entirely forgot to take any pics of myself at the cocktails. But Tilly and Karen have already done some lovely round-up posts where you can see me – wearing the TLS Violet and grey skinny trousers. But here are some lovely pics of the rest of them.

Disclaimer: despite the red lighting and despite we were in bordello territory of Kings Cross, we were not up to anything dodgy… promise.


Karen in her beautiful Sorbetto

Tamsin and Mela

Tamsin and Mela - you can't see the macaroons... because we ate them all

Rachel raises a glass!

Rachel raises a glass!

Tilly, Karen, Laura and Alana

Tilly, Karen, Laura and Alana - not working girls, honestly!

I managed to down three cocktails in about an hour and a half (well I am Irish) and had to scamper to another pub to see some chums from Wales who are staying with us this n – we’re all off to see Pulp tonight! Ooh I did get a pic – of the top half of me anyway.

Me and him

Today we mooched around the British Museum which I have NEVER been to in all my 12 years in London. If you live here or plan to visit – do give it a whirl – it’s stunning! Check out the ceiling.

British Museum

I have loved doing OWOP but I can tell you I was so relieved to slip into a stripey t-shirt instead today! Thanks to Tilly for coming up with the whole thing and I can’t wait to see all the round-up posts. Have a great weekend everyone xxx

OWOP! Day 6…

We’re on the final home straight! Today I went for a more low-key relaxed approach – just jeans and  a cardy with my first Violet.

OWOP Day 6

Karen from Did You Make That? had the fabulous idea of celebrating the end of OWOP! in style with cocktails tomorrow night in B@1 in Kings Cross. I’ll be popping along in my final ensemble. Will you join us?

OWOP! Day 5…

OK it’s getting a little harder now. Far be it from me to complain about the weather – I can’t, it’s just too gorgeous, but it sort of scuppers some of my Violet styling plans, like wearing one under a woollen pinafore. It’s just too hot for woollen pinafores man!

But it’s not too hot for tights. I’m not getting my bare legs out in March – are you serious? There’s about two weeks of tanning and exfoliating to be done before the blue lifts off.

Owop! Day 5

It’s a first outing for the Tuck ‘n’ Silk ‘n’ Lace Violet, teamed up with my Ginger Bodgers skirt, grey tights and some nice little shoes from Office. What are your thoughts on tights and open toed shoes? I think it very much depends on the shoe – if there’s not too much toe, you’re good to go.

Apologies for the slight seam alignment issue there – ideally the blouse opening should be lined up with the front seam of the skirt but I was in a rush!

This pic was taken in the morning (I’m now writing this in the evening) and I am happy to report that all the loops stayed fastened on the Violet and it didn’t crease much at all during the day – except for where it’s tucked into the skirt.

I reckon this is my favourite outfit so far for OWOP! What about you? Have you found a new killer look from this week’s experimenting? I’ve seen some great outfits around the web so far, including Elisalex’s swing top/pencil skirt combo and Mela’s Ginger remix. There are a lot of quiet bloggers out there as well who I KNOW are doing OWOP so I’m looking forward to a bunch of great round-up posts  come the weekend!

Completed project: Ginger Bodgers… plus a giveaway

You might have spotted this little lady in my OWOP! day 3 outfit post. It is indeed a Colette Ginger, created in bits and bobs over the last week or so. I had attempted to start it whilst in the throes of my womanflu on Friday night but after three sessions of seam-ripping I realised stitching and sneezing just don’t go together and left it to the Sunday to finish off.

OWOP! Day 3

So let’s look at what’s right with this make. The size is almost perfect for me – I cut out a straight size 4 but then freaked out once I saw the waistband – I was positive that it would be too small for me. So I constructed it using just a 3/8 seam allowance on the side seams. Now it’s complete, I think maybe I could have got away with the normal seam allowance but now I have the added bonus of pudding space and one must always consider space for pudding, non?

I like the shorter length – I removed about three inches when hemming so next time I’ll take that out at the pattern tracing stage.

Front back skirt

I used up some of what was left over from my Minoru – the grey corduroy. And it was here I made my first mistake. In an effort to save on fabric I thought it would be a great idea to place one skirt pattern piece from top to bottom, and the other alongside it from bottom to top. Happily on I worked, piecing together the front and back, only to realise to my horror that this really affects the colour of the corduroy! So now I have a dark front and a light back, or something like that. In some lights you can’t tell but in others it looks quite patchwork-y. But y’know – it’s kind of a wearable muslin so I’m not complaining too much about it…. yet.

'Concealed' zip

Now this is what we call a demi-concealed zip. It’s all the rage you know. Especially if you ‘feature’ it by making it a completely different colour from the fabric – cripes! I hope I’ll get better at these, and I’m positive I’ll never again go so far out of the colour palette in my choice of fastening!

All in all? I’m pleased with my first attempt, despite the obvious issues. It’s terribly straightforward to make. I’d love to try out the chevron stripe matching in another version but perhaps only after I have a few more version 1s under my belt. I specifically made this one to go with my Tuck ‘n’ lace ‘n’ silk violet and it goes perfectly with it so hooray!

Question for you Ginger-afficionados out there – any great tutorials for adding a lining? I’m a newbie to lining and can’t quite work it out for myself so every little helps!

Now for the giveaway bit!

You guys – this is a milestone. This in my 100th post – hooray! To mark the occasion I’ve got a lovely retro uncut pattern, all ready to whip up for the summer!

Butterick giveaway

It’s a retro 50s-style dress from Butterick patterns with bias binding straps and a full skirt. Just right for twirling the night away.

To be in with a chance of winning just leave a comment. The giveaway will be open until Saturday March 31st midnight, UK time. Good luck and thanks for sticking around!

OWOP! Day 4…

Another bright and glorious day in the capital. At lunchtime I took my crochet bag down to St James Square off Piccadilly and knitted me some granny squares filled with sunshine. I’m now closing in on 50 squares – about 150-200 left to go…

OWOP! Day 4...

Today I am back in the sequel Violet and more skinny trews – navy this time. I’m teaming them with these fabulous red flats I bought yesterday for £15. Bargain.

As an aside, something rather exciting happened right by our office today. I work in Heddon Street (right off Regent Street) which is where David Bowie shot the front cover of Ziggy Stardust, 40 years ago. Check it here:

Today a plaque was being put up to celebrate and commemorate the event. There was LOADS of security around so I convinced myself that David Bowie could conceivably be unveiling the plaque itself, just metres from where I worked. I sped down there with my camera like a veritable spider from Mars.

No such luck. First of all, I arrived long after any hoohaa had died down leaving just a few straggly tourists, and secondly I found out later on that it was Gary Kemp from Spandau Ballet who actually did the unveiling. Now, excuse me?  Gary Kemp? Now Gary, I’m not having a go at you love, you played a splendid part in the ‘Ballet and all and you did a nice turn as one of the Kray brothers alongside good ol’ Martin and I wish you all the best in your future endeavours, but you ain’t no Dayyyyviiiiid Boooowwwwiiiie, alright? That is all.

Oh and here’s the plaque!

And a final aside before I go – have you ever seen this many London buses in a row ever? I counted 11 and they’re all in use!

OWOP! Day 3…

Me again – are you sick of me yet?

It’s back to porridge today. I’m feeling much better now so it’s back to work in the sunshine (boo!) and close proximity to John Lewis (yay!).

OWOP! Day 3

Today I have teamed my first Violet with a recent make – the Colette Ginger. More on that in an upcoming post. Blimey, I appear to be posting twice a day at the moment.

There are a lot of soft colours (jade, moss green, um… violet!) in this blouse which go nicely with grey. And I’m in heels again. These are (shush) Hush Puppies from (double shush) Clarks. I promise you they’re not for old women. They’re just a bit more supportive and comfortable than regular heels. Ahem.

So that’s OWOP! day 3 down. Four more to go… how are you getting on? Are you finding the pressure is on to create a new look every day? I’m rather enjoying it so far – it’s made me dress better for a start! I haven’t worn jeans in three days!

Mad Men dress challenge: It’s done!

Mad Men 1

It’s done! It’s out there! Here it is!

Um… can you tell I’m super-excited about this dress?

As soon as Julia Bobbin laid down her stylish gauntlet for the Mad Men challenge, I jumped in with both feet. ‘I was so excited I almost peed my pants!’ (Can you guess the film quote?)

After thinking long and hard, I simply had to follow Julia’s lead and take the Joanie challenge. This is the dress I chose:

Joan Holloway - blue

Now I know what you’re gonna say – hmm Joanne the trim is a bit different and it’s not exactly the same shape and I’m pretty sure that’s not wool crepe in the Joanie pic and… LISTEN. It’s an inspirational starting point right? And, um, I forgot to check the original pic when I was putting on the trim and by the time I realised I should have had the ribbon going DOWN instead of ACROSS the dress it was too late and anyway I love my little dress so shush. Let’s not speak of it again. Just like that time with the chihuahua and the lit candle ok? Our little secret.

So, onto more pics.

Mad Men 2

I used Simplicity 5961 for the challenge. What a lovely easy pattern it was to sew! Honestly, once I had the bits all cut out it was a cinch to put them all together. In terms of adjustments I reduced the shoulder width by 3/4″ each side and reduced the bodice width by about 1/4″ to the waist area.I had bought ribbon for the trim but bias binding worked much better on the curves. I liked it so much – I stuck it on the sleeves as well!

Mad Men 7

Hmm where is that naughty Scrappy doo? And has anyone seen Scooby?

The whole thing is underlined with royal blue polyester satin – it really feels like a properly-made dress. My first lined dress – hooray!

Mad Men 6

Channelling Bowie in that pic. TBH this dress kinda reminds me of my school uniform. But this is a GOOD THING because actually I really loved my school and have many fond memories of time there. So this dress is going to be called: The Rathmore in honour of my former alma mater.

How about you? Have you done your Mad Men dress already or are you frantically sewing away to get it finished in time for Julia’s big post? Don’t forget to check out Julia’s blog on 1st April for the big reveal of all the dresses!

OWOP! Day 2…

OWOP day 2

Hooray I dragged myself into and out of the shower and even did my hair and make-up for OWOP day 2!

This was the second Violet I made and it gets worn A LOT. But never before with these trousers. I fished out these wide-legged trews from the back of the wardrobe as I wanted to try something new and different in the spirit of OWOP. I also pulled  out my favourite platforms so I am waaaaay tall. I love being tall – look at how I rule the world! Platforms are about the only heels I can walk in without looking like I have rickets. When I feel tall I like to stand at the sink and laugh at how far below it is. Does that sound weird? It’s a point of reference – come on! Usually I have to tippy toe to turn on the tap…

I like this look – I look a bit like my mum circa 1979. Yeh! Rock on OWOP!

Completed: Tuck ‘n’ silk ‘n’ lace violet

Tuck 'n' silk violet

I’m breaking with tradition here by not modelling this make and I do apologise, but I’m displaying my Tuck ‘n’ Lace Violet here on the washing line for the following reasons:

  1. My husband has gone to the Tate Modern for an exhibition so can’t do pics
  2. I am still feeling poorly and snotty and don’t want to inflict poorly-snotty-pics on you
  3. As the result of 2 I am still in my pyjamas despite it being 1.20 in the afternoon
  4. I’ll be modelling it later in the week as part of OWOP!

Does that excuse me this one time, miss? Please?!

Tuck 'n' silk Violet

So I wanted to do something different with this Violet. I had some beautiful creamy gold lace in my stash that was just sitting there and I realised it would go perfectly with the bronze-y silk I was making the Violet with. Remember I got a whole five metres for £15? And it’s vintage Liberty silk?! I love this fabric but it is a BITCH to work with. Pressing seams leaves terrible water marks that you have to steam out, it frays like a mad fraying thing… but it’s gorgeous isn’t it? So we’ll forgive its diva tendencies.

Tuck 'n' silk Violet collar

I used no less than THREE brilliant Colette tutorials. One for making little loops for the buttons, one for making tucks and one for adding a lace overlay to the collar. My tucks leave a lot to be desired and some of my loops are a little bigger than I wanted but overall I’m pleased I attempted them and I reckon it adds a vintage feel to the overall make.

Tuck 'n' silk Violet tucks and loops

Another beautiful day here in London! I’m going to go and have a shower now, nip over to the garden centre to lust after plants and stop feeling sorry for myself! Have a wonderful weekend!

OWOP! Day 1…

Oh I’ve been remiss this week. It was only that I read Elisalex’s post on OWOP! yesterday that I realised it started today, and not on Monday like I thought. Oops! Actually I’ve been laid up since Thursday with womanflu. Nasty horrible headcold has left me quite out of sorts. I had planned to do my Mad Men photos today but after examining my swollen eyes and sore red nose I thought best not – let’s wait til tomorrow eh chuck?

Matt decided I needed a walk in the fresh air to convalesce a bit after being cooped up for almost 48 hours so we ventured up to Alexandra Palace to take in some sunshine. What glorious weather – for March!

OWOP! Day 1

This is my go-to outfit for the Violet – skinny trousers. Usually I wear them with boots but today it was warm enough for espadrilles! Fear not – I have more than just skinny trousers planned for this week.


There he is – my own Lawrence Nightingale. We took a walk down an old disused railway track that runs behind Muswell Hill. The views are stunning on a good day. You don’t get many views like this to the pound in London town:


When I’m faced with sights like this I feel compelled to say ‘London, England’ in my best BBC received pronunciation voice.

I have to say the walk took it out of me a bit so I spent the rest of day swaddled up at home on the sofa watching Downton Abbey, which I got as a boxset from the husband for Christmas. Isn’t it good!

Hope you’ve been enjoying the spring weather, wherever you are. Looking forward to catching up on all your OWOP pics  too!