Thursday, 31 July 2014

Eight & Sixteen in July

Here's a round up of my second month of posts over at Eight & Sixteen.
It's been a really fun month and as we've just launched our next We Love... series in tribute to all things Harry Potter, I reckon the next month is going to be even better :)

I'd love to hear what you think of e&s so far, and we're now taking advertisers so if this is something you're interested in then pop over to find out more!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Thoughts & A Catch Up

This month marks three years since J and I moved to Brighton. That's mad! That means it's been three years since I graduated, 2 years with Pixel in our lives and almost two years that I've been at my current job. Time is going so quickly! I know it's so easy to say that, but I really do feel like it's slipping away from me.

This is one of the reasons that I'm so thankful I started this blog; I can pick a day, a month, a year, and go and read about what I was up to or what I was making. It's awesome.
But, I've never really been that good at the whole sharing thing. I'm very private, and it takes a lot for me to open up to people. Despite my blog starting out as a lifestyle blog, I definitely veered it into primarily DIY and crafts. This is a good thing; it's my online scrapbook to share my craftiness, but I wish I could balance the crafts/lifestyle posts a little easier.
I want to be able to post photos of Pixel being daft, of an outfit that I like one day, of adventures I have. But I have this fear, (and I'm trying to overcome it) and I wonder if anyone else feels this too? I know for so many bloggers now over sharing is the norm, but do you ever stop and think "why am I telling hundreds of people about the day to day activities in my life?"

A lot of it for me is based on very personal experiences, but I really would like to open up just a little, and show a bit more of myself. The negative side of only posting DIY's and crafts is that I feel a lot of pressure to always be making things. In creating an online space for myself to document my life, I've actually ended up sharing a small snippet of it, and trust me, there are some days (& weeks!) where I can't even contemplate making something, sewing, upcycling, etc. Granted, it does take up most of my spare time, but there are so many other things going on that I leave out (like having my sister and her boyfriend to stay and spending hours on an arcade style ps4 game or spending my evenings binge watching American Horror Story!).

J and I have started planning our wedding, and this is huge. It's an event that I have genuinely never considered, so I feel completely overwhelmed, excited and a little bit nervous! Despite everything being very up in the air at the moment, I really want to be able to document the planning on here when I can, coz this is exactly the sort of occasion I want to be able to look back on and read again in years to come.
Most people I have spoken to have just assumed I'll be making my dress, which even though I am, suddenly felt like another pressure to be added, although I really am excited for the challenge. Then obviously as much as possible regarding the day will be DIY, upcycled, thrifted, the works... and I guess here's the thing: so much of my life is DIY and crafts, and if the two merge so well together in reality, then why am I struggling to merge them both on this blog?

So, here's to me opening up a little, and documenting the every day things as well as the DIY's. This weekend seems like a good place to start.
I've been sea swimming with J and made a pact to go as many evenings as possible after work, cried watching the BBC documentary 'Clothes To Die For' which Laura has reviewed better than I ever could HERE, sat in the garden and crossed my fingers that my tomato plants keep growing and don't get eaten, stayed in my pyjamas too long watching old Skins episodes on Netflix, started sewing a dress, worked on a few projects for Eight & Sixteen, created chaos in our living room by putting up our tent to check it in preparation for Green Man Festival, and after writing this, I'm going to sit and practice calligraphy for Eight & Sixteen.
And that's me.

Monday, 21 July 2014

White Tree Fabrics x Grainline Hemlock Tee

For my next White Tree Fabrics Project, I chose this incredible warm jersey in grey. I intended to make the long sleeved top from the v8879 pattern, but after making the blue version, I knew that this fabric needed something different.

Enter the FREE Hemlock Tee from Grainline. This pattern has been sat in my downloads folder for far too long, and I knew its time had come.
This pattern is amazing - I can't believe it's free! Jen clearly knows her stuff, and the hundreds of versions of the top you can find online by other sewers is testament to that. I can't wait to make tons more, especially proper tshirt versions and not jumpers! (If White Tree Fabrics start stocking stripy jerseys then I'm in real trouble!)

Anyway, the fabric is amazing and exactly what I'm looking for in a knit fabric. It's soft, cosy, has a subtle marl effect and was so nice to work with. Basically, I can't sing its praises enough!
I was a little worried about using a heavier knit for the hemlock pattern, but I love the finished result and it came together so quickly.

All in all this has been a winning combination for me, and I'm pretty excited to see this jumper become a part of my everyday wardrobe; thank you White Tree Fabrics and Jen :)

Monday, 14 July 2014

White Tree Fabrics x Vogue V8879

Well would you look at that! Skye, the girl with the huge jersey fear has finally bitten the bullet and made tshirts.

Even though I had moments of second guessing my choice to keep things simple for my first White Tree Fabrics project, I'm so glad I did now as I feel like I've had a little sewing breakthrough.

The pattern is Vogue V8879 and I've made view A and then a mix of B&C. If I'm honest, I'm not 100% sure that I'd call either top a roaring success in terms of fit, but the fact that I made them (mostly) problem free is definitely an improvement on past experiences with stretch fabrics.
The twist on the arms of the blue top is a feature I thought was pretty cool, but I'm really not sold on it in these photos. I also love the fit of the black tshirt, it's the perfect oversized slouchy fit that I go for, but again there's something not quite right about the sleeves.

My determination to really take on making my own hand made wardrobe has increased tenfold, and I have a feeling these fabrics had something to do with it. These jerseys were amazing to work with. Still slippery little suckers, but man what a difference good quality fabric makes. Although they're a little heavy for this weather, I love the drape of them and I hope these tops will become everyday pieces for me when it's cooler.

Anyway, as a special treat from White Tree Fabrics, you guys can enter the code "ARTICHOKES" to receive 20% off and free delivery on their site - so what are you waiting for, go!

I have one more top to share with you which I'm saving for another post, and it's definitely my favourite make so far - stay tuned :)

Friday, 4 July 2014

Crafting: My Second Quilt

Here it is, my second quilt! My beautiful little niece arrived on summer solstice; she is perfect. I completely adore her, and I couldn't be happier for my brother, his girlfriend and their new little family.

There was a little chaos getting the binding sewn on in time, resulting in very sore fingers (and once again reminding me that I really need to get a thimble!) but it all came together really well. Sewing this quilt on my Janome made a huge difference - if only I could go back and re-do my first quilt on it! Maybe I can make room for another quilt for myself in the future...?!

Anyway, I'm so pleased with the fabrics and colours I chose in the end; it's so happy! The backing is a super soft flannel which I'm hoping will be nice and cozy, and I decided to go with chevron quilting to add a bit more detail - I love the effect of it.

I'm a little sad not having this burst of colour dotted around the flat anymore, but giving it as a gift was the best feeling. My brother and his girlfriend seemed to really love it which made me super happy, and hopefully as my little niece grows she will come to love it too :)