Tuesday, 29 July 2014

How to Make a Bow Back Nettie

It's no secret that I love bows. And the Nettie pattern from Closet Case Files was just screaming out for a bow addition to that lovely scoop back. As promised in my previous post, I'm going to share with you how how I made this variation. Full disclosure - I totally ripped off this idea from a top by Louche that I have in my wardrobe (bought from Joy - love that shop). I'd tried to buy the same style in different colours from them, alas they were all too big for me at the shoulders and back. Hurrah for making it myself!

1) Make a scoop back Nettie, using Heather's wonderful instructions (the pattern is for a body suit or dress, but I just made it into a top). Decide where abouts on the back you want the top of your bow to sit and place pins in either side of the scoop back at this point - for reference, the top of my bow lies 5cm (2in) down from the shoulder seams. Measure the width between these two points across the scoop.

2) To make the bow, cut a piece of stretchy jersey fabric the width of [the measurement you just took + 3cm (1 1/4in)] x 14cm (5 1/2in) length/depth.

Now cut the knot piece that will go around the centre of the bow - 5cm (2in) wide x 8cm (3 1/4in) long/deep.

3) Fold the bow in half, right sides together, bringing together the longest edges. Pin them together and zigzag stitch. Now fold your knot in half, right sides together, bringing the longest edges together. Pin and zigzag stitch.

4) Turn the bow and knot pieces right sides out. Fold the bow in half the other way, bringing the short edges together, with the seam line on the outside of the loop. Zigzag stitch the short edges together.

5) Slip the knot over the bow, positioning it in the centre, with the seam lines on both the knot and bow at the centre back. If you want to, you can secure the knot to the bow with a couple of hand stitches.

6) Turn your Nettie inside out. Line up the raw edges of the bow with the inside seam of the neckband just below your pin markings. Make sure the seam lines of the bow are facing up so they end up on the inside of the top. Try your Nettie on (be careful with the pins, obvs!) and check you're happy with the positioning of the bow. Depending on how stretchy your fabric is (and if you're using the same fabric as the top), you may also want to adjust how tightly the bow sits across your back (the bow will stretch when you wear it, as will the scoop of the back).

7) Once you're happy with the positioning of the bow, straight stitch the bow to the neckband using two parallel rows of stitching.

And there you have it! A lovely bow back Nettie for you to enjoy. Be sure to let me (and Heather!) know if you make one!

Friday, 25 July 2014

OMG Sale!

Guess what? I'm moving to a new office-studio! What does that mean for you? It means there's a flash sale on everything in the shop so I don't have to carry so many boxes. Woop!

Between now and the end of Monday 28th July, blog readers, social media followers and newsletter subscribers can use discount code MOVING ON UP to get 20% off anything in the shop (while stocks last). Just enter the code at the checkout - the discount option comes up after you've entered your shipping and billing info, just before completing your purchase.

So if you fancy whipping up a quick summertime Miette skirt or Coco dress, or if you want to take your skills to the next level by sewing the elegant Mathilde blouse, you can get your mitts on printed patterns for £10 each (usually £12.50).

If you want to show the world your love of sewing with the 'Dress Handmade' Fairtrade canvas bag and badge set, you can get them for just £8 (usually £10).

Or if you've been meaning to read the dressmaking tips in Love at First Stitch or fancy making the Margot PJs, Delphine skirt, Megan dress, Clemence skirt, Mimi blouse or Lilou dress (phew!), a signed copy of the book which includes all those patterns is only £16 (usually £20). You can take a peek inside the book here or check out the patterns here.

Check out my new studio! Swoon... it's so dreamy... I just can't stop looking at this photo and have been driving my friends up the wall by making them look at the picture of it on my phone like it were my newborn child (erm... screensaver... what?). I've been working from the spare room at home for far too long, tripping over boxes and driving myself slightly crazy by forgetting to go outside most days and working far too many hours all of the days. So I decided enough was enough, I need to relocate. I found this studio in West Norwood ("Dulwich") and fell head over heels in love. As you can see, I haven't moved in yet (this is the current tenant's stuff), I'll be moving in a couple of weeks' time. Can. Not. WAIT!!! You will of course get the full tour when I move in. Omigawd it's got a view of the London Eye!

If you want to help me out in the meantime by taking some stock off my hands, head over to the shop and use the discount. The discount code runs only from Friday 25th to Monday 28th July 2014, ending at midnight GMT, and is only available during that time to those in the know (no discounting on previous orders I'm afraid). Go forth and shop!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Bow Back Nettie

Oops I did it again. I made another Nettie top (here's my first one). It's got stripes on it, surprisingly enough.

This time I lengthened the sleeves and, since I find my bra straps keep peeping out at the back when I wear the first version, I brought the sides of the scoop back in a little. I think the fabric is from a shop on Goldhawk Road. Today I'm wearing Nettie with my favourite Delphine skirt, from Love at First Stitch - a match made in nautical heaven.

Oh yes, and it has a bow at the back! I'm going to share a little tutorial soon on how to make the bow, if you want to make one yourself. (Just in case you're wondering whether I really do have a beefcake body builder back as this photo would suggest, no. I do not. It was surprisingly difficult to get the angle right on this photo!)

What have you been sewing, please?

[Soundtrack: 'Somebody Else's Guy' by Jocelyn Brown]

Friday, 18 July 2014

Dates for Your Diary

Good day, my friends! I hope you're doing well and those of you in southern England are enjoying the heat wave and thunder storms (don't you love a good storm?). Today I wanted to share a few upcoming dates in my diary for crafty events that you might want to come along to...

The Handmade Fair

When? Friday 19th to Sunday 21st September 2014
Where? Hampton Court Palace

Hosted by TV's Kirstie Allsopp, this new crafting extravaganza includes talks from the likes of Kaffe Fassett, the V&A,  Cath Kidston and Pinterest; hand-crafted shopping goodness; the Etsy business school; and, perhaps best of all, tons of workshops on everything from paper cutting to cake decorating, cross stitch to furniture upcycling. Oh and of course sewing! I'll be running sewing workshops throughout the weekend in the Janome tent, giving complete novices the opportunity to make friends with a sewing machine, and beginners the chance to sit down and stitch the Brigitte scarf in an hour. I'll be popping over to the Quadrille stand for a book signing at some point too, and I hope I'll have time to explore some of the show because it looks fantastic. You should come!

Crafty Fox Talks: Blogging, social media and events

When? Wednesday 30th July, 6.30 - 9.30pm
Where? MOO, 32 - 38 Scrutton Street, London, EC2A 4RQ

If you run a crafty business and are looking to spread the word through blogs, social media, pop-up shops or workshops, this talk is for you. I'll be on the panel to share my experience and tips on blogging and social media, alongside speakers from HAM, Craft Candy and Eventbrite. I'm looking forward to picking up advice from my fellow panellists and audience too - it should be a really interesting evening.

Thread... a festival of textiles

When? Friday 26th and Saturday 27th September 2014
Where? Farnham Maltings, Bridge Square, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7QR

This lovely festival is celebrating the art of textiles with talks, workshops, exhibitions and a marketplace. I'll be giving a talk at 3 o'clock on the Saturday taking you behind the scenes on my book and sharing what's involved in putting together a craft book. I must admit I haven't been before, but it looks like a lovely arts centre (and I do know of them from my former career working with arthouse cinemas!) and a nice environment for meeting new people and getting inspired.

If you come along to one of these events, please don't be shy, I'd love to say hello! Hope to see you there...