And the winner is….

Unless you have been living under a little rock for the last few days it probably hasn’t escaped your attention that there has been a prestigious award ceremony recently.

Yes Ladies and Gentleman (Dave, that’s you :-)), it’s true. Peggy’s Pickles has been nominated for a Sunshine Award 2012.

I would like to begin by thanking Janene over at Ooobop, who kindly nominated me. Without her none of this blog post would have been possible.

(I met Janene when she came to my Pillowcase Dress Party at Drink, Shop & Do and she is indeed a lovely lady, and wore a very nice handmade top that I was jealous of :-))

Secondly, I know you are all dying to know what I wore to the ceremony. Personally I think I looked great considering I’m over 4 months pregnant.

The dress was just a vintage Dior I found at the last minute in my wardrobe. It did the job.

Now down to the serious stuff…

As a nominee of the Sunshine Award, there are rules you are meant to follow.

Rules:

Thank the person who gave you the award. 
Write a post about it. 
Answer the questions that come with it.
Pass it along to ten people and let them know they’ve received the award.

I can safely say I have now completed the first two, and my answers are below for the third rule. The last one however has already been done so well by Janene and other nominees such as Jane that there’s not much else for me to say – there are a lot of lovely blogs out there!

Questions:

Favorite Color: Turquoisey-bluey-something-or-other maybe
Favorite Animal: Peggy (I realise I’m meant to say cat, but she’s my fave)
Favorite Number: 15 (because dinner will be ready in 15 minutes)
Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: None, all I want is an alcoholic one at the moment because I can’t have one
Facebook or Twitter: Am not too fussed by either. What did they do to Facebook recently?!
My Passion: Dresses. I quite like Dave my husband as well
Getting or Giving Presents: Both!
Favorite Pattern: Liberty, any of them
Favorite Day of the Week: Friday
Favorite Flower: Today I like daffodils

Image source
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/304916/20120227/oscar-2012-red-carpet-best-dressed-stars.htm

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Burda Bump Wear

Some of you may have seen, but BurdaStyle have just issued a maternity range and I am debating whether to try a couple of the patterns. The first is a pair of trousers.

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After the stress of my first pair of Clovers (back in the olden days of 2011 I simply didn’t know what I was getting myself in to by attempting trousers!), I’m not sure I want to tackle another pair, but they are definitely something that would come in useful. I may even have enough fabric left from the Clovers so they could be relatively cheap to make as well.

The second thing I might try is this skirt:

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I definitely have enough black jersey left from my New Look 6000 dress, so it would be another relatively inexpensive make.

I am hoping that by making these items, they will also transform me in to looking like the glamorous model with her unrealistically small chest. I am currently sitting here covered in an unsightly rash from an allergic reaction to something, so I would be happy even with a little bit of her glamour right now :-)…

Although on closer inspection her bump is a bit of a weird shape isn’t it? It definitely has a more cushion-stuffed-up-the-tshirt outline. Maybe I should be careful what I wish for!

Has anyone else tried Burda Patterns? If so are they any good?

New York, New York!

As predicted I can safely say I ate more than my, and the baby’s, fair share of food whilst in New York!

This photo does risk proving what a questionable role model I am going to be when it comes to table manners, but I have decided we are all friends here so it is safe to show you. Dave also kindly posted it on Facebook, so it is already out there anyway!

These had to be by far the best cupcakes I have EVER tasted – Sno Cap Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. Almost worth the cost of a flight just to eat one I would say (although not recommended if you’re trying to impress someone, about to romantically propose outside Tiffany’s etc).

Now, on to New York-y sewing-ish related things. I didn’t buy any fabric this time as I still have some left from a previous trip, instead I got this little beauty…

Look – even Peggy has been admiring it in all its sparkly glory!

Found on sale in a vintage shop in Williamsburgh, I could just about get in to it a week ago with a little help from the lady in the shop. I am guessing I won’t be able to now though as my bump is blossoming (no, it’s not twins thank you very much Walter The Bell-Boy, hummmmph).

Instead I will have to save the dress for after the baby is born in July. So if anyone fancies planning some kind of event that I can wear it to in the autumn I would be very grateful!

Looking at the design and the details I would estimate it is from the 1960s. The zip is metal which is often an indicator, as apparently plastic zips came in in the 1970s.

Much, if not all of the dress is handmade to a really high quality by a company called The Needle Craft, Atlantic City. A quick search hasn’t really uncovered much about the company except that The Needle Craft Shop was owned by Ruth Preis Bloom and her husband Maurice Bloom from 1934 until 1980. According to a press notice for her funeral in 2009, it was “…a widely known destination for designer women’s clothing…”.

I think all in all you’ll agree this is a highly practical dress for me to be wearing as a new mum in the autumn 🙂 Definitely one for special occasions, but one that I just couldn’t resist.

I also found this collar at a flea market which the seller suggested might be from the 1950s / 1960s.

A similar one sold on Etsy was dated as 1940, so who knows! I think I might try and make a really simple black shift dress to go with this.

And finally I bought a Tomberry! I have know idea if this pincushion is meant to be a strawberry or a tomato, or both, so I have officially renamed it the Tomberry.

This was dated by the seller as from the 1930s which I think is a bit questionable, but I’ve been wanting one for a while, and I love junk vintage collectibles so I don’t really mind when this is from – it looks nice on my shelf!

Oooooh, pretty…

The other day I was walking along the Strand when something big, red and dress-like caught my eye as I went past the uber posh Coutts bank building. On closer inspection, it was really was a big red dress in the window of a posh bank building.

According to Coutts:

“A red silk crepe strapless ballroom gown, designed by Ralph & Russo, forms the centrepiece of the display. The gown is a unique one-off design and features a full skirt which was hand embroidered with over 100 metres of feathered silk chiffon flowers, each created by hand. The gown took 12 couturiers and hundreds of hours to complete.”

The window display is pretty impressive as well.

You can see a few more snaps and some extra information on their Facebook page.

My 1930’s dress so far

Due to missing my 20s and 30s lesson last week, I am extra looking forward to my lesson today and can hopefully catch up a bit. Thank you for all the comments on which dress I should try and make – most of you suggested the one on the left below, which is also my favourite so we are all in agreement!

I think I might make it a bit longer though so it is more in keeping with the period. I’ve also been thinking about the sleeves a bit more. They were in part inspired by some David Hockney paintings I like (how on trend am I – didn’t even realise the Royal Academy were doing an exhibition of his work when I did this :-)), and partly by the middle Vionnet dress below.

I think I want the sleeves to be a bit more sparkly though, which would obviously be an awful lot of work. I just came across this 1930s dress on vintagetextile.com – aren’t the sleeves amazing! I would estimate me getting something like these done in approximately a million years. Maybe when the baby is old enough I can make it do it for me ‘for fun’ (just kidding!).

Image sources
http://thelendinglibrary.blogspot.com/2011/05/david-hockney.html
http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG5614830/Vionnet-exhibition-opens-in-Paris.html
http://vintagetextile.com/new_page_155.htm#bot

Finished project: New Look 6000

It turns out that not only does sewing cheer me up and take my mind off things when I’m down, but for once taking photos for the blog actually made me feel better too!

The other day I was feeling a bit blue about the fact that I’m slowly growing to the size of a whale, or small house (yes, I know I have a lot more growing to do yet – let’s just blame the hormones on this occasion!). The last thing I wanted to be doing was taking photos of me. So in order to try and get myself out of this mindset, I sat myself down and explained to me that I have a new dress to show everyone – a dress that I’m actually quite proud of. I also pointed out to me that if I am going to be turning in to a small house there is really no better reason than because you have a little person inside you. It is far better to be growing in to a small house for this reason than because you ate too many chips. So I then put myself in the shower, had another quick talk with myself (in my head you realise, I wasn’t just walking round the house mumbling away), did my hair and make-up, and got the camera set up.

Lo and behold, when I was ready and in my new New Look 6000 dress I felt much better about things. And here is the finished article!

I think I like this dress more than anything I have made so far. Not just because of the style, which is quite simple but sophisticated with a bit of a retro feel, but because I was able to put quite a lot of what I have learnt over the last few months in to practice. I was also able to see where I went wrong, and how to do it differently next time.

As I mentioned in my last post on the dress, after a little chat with Handmade Jane we decided that making this fitted dress out of a double knit (which is stretchy), should work even though I’m pregnant. I ended up getting really heavy jersey from Saeed’s Fabric’s as it was only £2 a metre as opposed to £8.99 a metre for double knit from the internet. I decided if I loved the dress enough to make another one then maybe I could splash out on the more expensive fabric later! Buying the cheaper fabric did mean I was restricted to black, but you can’t really go wrong with a black dress can you.

So, fabric bought and washed I decided again to cut out the dress in the biggest size to accommodate my bust and bump. Rather than make a toile I made the alterations either to the pattern before cutting, or directly on the final dress itself. And quite a few alterations I had to make! I think my mistake was that I forgot to account for the ease that had been added to the pattern for woven fabrics, and I didn’t need as much because I was using a stretchy fabric. I could have made the dress a couple of sizes smaller and it would still have had room for growth really.

I only worked that out after it was all cut and made though, so on I went with the many adjustments that were needed. Firstly the bust darts were down round my ankles! So they had to be moved up, and A LOT of excess fabric had to be removed either at the back seam or by making the darts bigger. This isn’t a problem at the moment as I can let them out as my tummy grows.

I also had to take the shoulders in a lot, which I did both on the pattern before cutting out the fabric, and then on the dress itself. It’s the same problem I keep coming up against due to my funny proportions, so next time I think I may have to bite the bullet, make a garment to my shoulder and normal body size, and then do a dreaded full bust adjustment!

By the time I got to the lovely collar everything was a bit mismatched so I adapted the collar to fit in a slightly different way at the back. I didn’t need to put in a zip because I can get the dress on and off fine as the fabric is stretchy. I also didn’t have to line it or do any of the facings due to the fabric (thanks Jane for pointing all of this out to me before I started!).

The beautiful brooch was a 30th birthday present from a friend! The pattern calls for a button, so I’m just waiting until the right button finds me before adding it.

And one final picture of me, the dress and the bump. And yes, I do realise looking at these photos that the bump isn’t as big as it is in my imagination 🙂