Sunday, 13 July 2014


Well, it may seem like a bit of a surprise but I am moving to a new and improved blog!

LOVELY AND UNRELATED will be my new space to share my inspiration on sewing, but I will also be opening it up to wider subjects, including fashion, beauty, other crafts and general lifestyle posts. I think it will give me a bit more freedom to write on a whole rage of subjects!

So please head on over to and let me know what you think! I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks :)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Fabric Paint Experiments

Lately I have been trying out a few ideas involving fabric paints, which has been so fun! I have actually never tried using fabric paints and I wasn't sure what to expect, so I decided to start out small and cheap and experiment with some little bags, made out of plain scrap fabric. 

I saw a bag in H&M recently with some song lyrics on. The bag itself was so simple, just a drawstring bag like the ones you took your PE kit in to primary school. I was really tempted to buy it and use it as a beach bag for my holiday, but then I thought that it was definitely something I could make myself at home.
So off I went to The Works and came back with black acrylic and some fun neon paints ready to get stuck in. I decided to do the painting part first to avoid any messy mistakes once I had sewn up the bag, so I first cut a few pieces from an old white cotton sheet. I decided to go with a few lines from some songs you may recognise (who doesn't like a rap pun?) 
I don't think that it's too bad for a first attempt. I didn't use a template, I just painted straight on free hand, waited for it to dry and made it up into a drawstring bag. I realised pretty late on that I didn't have enough cord to go all around the bag, but I added a contrasting one, I'll just pretend that was deliberate haha.
So here are my final results, I also used some neon pink paint to make a make up bag.
I used them both while I was on my holiday in Tenerife recently; I meant to take some photos, but I forgot. I promise that the beach bag fits my towel in and the make up bag fits all my makeup in!
I'll leave you with some inspirational music to think about fabric paint.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Practicality is overated

For some strange reason I have wanted some fluffy shoes for a long time. While most of my shoes are not considered to be practical enough for normal wear, I think shoes with marabou trim are in a bit of a league of their own.

Who remembers these as a little girl? Well I do!

I do love a bit of glitter and fluff, but maybe these are a bit too much for regular wear. I definitely didn't want to look like I was wearing boudoir mules either.

Trust Carrie Bradshaw to give me a bit of style inspiration.

Alexander Wang did some amazing ones too.

My version of this type of shoe was so simple to make. All you need to start with is a pair of simple strappy heels in a neutral shade.

These things help along the way too-
  • Half a metre of marabou trim
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • A sharp thin needle
They do this type of strappy shoe in so many places now, but I got mine from Primark. They were plain silver, which I wanted, so that the fluff could really stand out, with a strap over the ankle and a strap over the toes. They also only cost me £10, which was great!

I then got about half a metre of white marabou trim from the market. I chose white, because I wanted it to match the silver of the heels, (and make them even more impractical to wear of course!) but you could get any colour at all. I'm just thinking that some neon ones would be nice!

I then cut the length of marabou the same size as the strap which goes over the toes.
Using matching thread to the marabou trim and a fine sharp needle, I attached it by hand sewing from the underside of the toe strap, starting from one end and working along. I looped the thread over the trim, piercing through the strap back to the underside. I carried this on right to the other side of the strap.

It sounds like the thread will be visible from the right side of the strap but it isn't at all. You just need to be careful to sew as close to the trim as possible and this should be secure enough to attach it firmly. If you do get some of the feathers flattened down by the thread, you can pick them out with a needle to hide the thread.

These are definitely going to be reserved for strictly dry weather wear! I would definitely wear them with quite a structured outfit, to save me from looking like I was trying to recreate a Barbie fancy dress outfit or something.

Something like this. My high waisted, sporty looking trousers, with a structured cropped t-shirt, and some gold jewellery. I will test this outfit out soon and report back! Hopefully my fluffy shoes will last more than one wear!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Simplicity 1688

I have had this jacket hanging in my wardrobe for ages now and it has been out and about a fair bit, but for some reason haven't got round to actually talking about it. Today I managed to part with it for enough time to take a few marginally okay photos! 

I love all the co ordinate suit outfits that are all over the high street at the moment. matching skirts with crop tops, and boxy jackets with matching shorts. Here are a couple of my favourites from my Pinterest, including some Cluless references of course!

All images from various users on Pinterest

I made a top and matching skirt last year out of a baggy dress, so I decided to make another matching set. This time I'm going for a jacket and skirt. I wanted a suit that would be very summery and one that I can wear on holiday. (Although I definitely already have too many outfit options for a one week holiday!) I do also want to be able to wear it for work in the summer though, so I did want it to be fairly practical.

I went for this Cynthia Rowley Simplicity pattern for the jacket, as this looked quite boxy, like I wanted. I've never made a jacket before so I didn't want to go for something too complicated and fancy no complex button holes/pockets to deal with. Even so, I was expecting to have trouble with the facings and linings, but surprisingly this was one of the easiest garments I have ever sewn!

I made no alterations to the pattern as I didn't need it to be especially fitted anyway. I cut in between a 12-14 (which is larger than I would ever need in high street clothes, but I have learnt to ignore this after coming out with tiny doll clothes too many times!)

The fabric I used was a cotton; black with cherries on. For the lining I just used some old silky scrap bits and pieces, because I am too impatient and didn't want to wait to until I had brought new lining to start the project. So inside, there is a mixture of red, black and green satin going on, which I can pretend was intentional. They all came from various tops and skirts I have cut up in the past. 

I followed the pattern exactly which is rare for me, but it came together pretty well and I am really happy! The only thing I didn't think about well was matching up the print. But as the cherries are pretty hap-hazard, I don't think it matters too much. So a matching skirt in the same fabric is next on the list!

The only slightly difficult thing about this pattern was making sure the curves on the neckline and bottom of the jacket matched up, but they came up fairly symmetrical. I'll definitely be using this pattern again, perhaps for a slicktly thicker fabric in a tweed.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Great British Sewing Bee!

I brought my Ipad to work the other day and started watching The Great British Sewing Bee on my lunch break in the staff room (I do have friends I swear). I managed to convert a few non sewers into watching it and I'm sure that by the end of my break, they were as gripped to see whose prom dress was going to turn out the best as I was. (Okay I say gripped, they may have said interested)
I love this series! Apart from the actual sewing, I love the friendliness of all the contestants involved. It's not very often that contestants in a TV show have no arguments, help each other and actually seem to want each other to do well. Even the lovely judges are never horrible to anyone!
I think my favourite contestant this year is Chinelo. I just love the way she makes clothes, using no patterns, but still makes everything fit perfectly. I really want one of her velvet wrap dresses she made the other week. I recently found out that she has a blog where she shows us how to make similar garments to the ones she makes on the show. She also gives away some of her secrets for free hand cutting and making your own patterns! I really want to try the wrap jersey tutorial; I may have about 10 wrap over skirts already but ah well.
I do love Heather though too. There is a soft spot for her and her pin dog in my heart, haha. I can't wait to see who wins, but my money is on Chinelo, Tamara and Lynda in the final. 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Back to clothes!

I have been working on a few projects recently that are a bit of a change from all the accessories and homey things I have making over Christmas. I love the fact that you get to see results so fast with smaller projects, (I can be a very impatient sewer) but its good to have a change and mix it up a bit. 

So I'm back onto garments for a while, including a dressing gown/robe for my Mom. She has been obsessing over a kimono style robe with massive sleeves that she saw Skyla wearing in breaking bad. Kind of like this I guess.

No luck finding one of those anywhere so she asked me to make her one. The pattern we found is a Vogue one and also comes with patterns for slips pants and camisoles, which I can't wait to try!

I made the robe slightly larger than the pattern as I knew Mom wanted to have more fabric to wrap around. I also added about 25cm to each sleeve width, to get the more drapey, kimono effect. Obviously this proved a bit of a challenge when attaching the sleeves to the arm hole! I ended up gathering most of the upper part of the sleeve and adding a little pleat at the top of the shoulder. That seemed to sort it out.


The fabric is a lovely, drapey, satiny floral type. Love the grey! The pattern itself came together quite well! I used french seams on most of the seams, something I never normally do (I prob should make a bit more effort on the insides now, french seams look so neat! I think I'm converted) One really tricky part of this garment was where the collar joined the rest of the front of the robe (I guess it would be the lapel?) I don't think the instructions were that clear and I had a few strops with it. They aren't perfect, which is annoying, but it's covered when you wrap it over to fasten it, so I suppose it doesn't matter so much.


All in all I'm pretty pleased. My mom likes it anyway, so that's the main thing. I'm now working on a little skirt to match a jacket I have just finished, so more on that later! 

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Blue String Vintage and Handmade Fair

Well I have had a lovely day at Blue String Vintage and Handmade Fair.

As it was my first ever fair I had no idea what to expect, but I had a great time and it went really well!

It was so fun being able to set up my stall and display my things in fun ways. I decided to have a Christmassy section, with tree decorations, stockings, and Christmas bunting.

I stole a jewellery holder from my mom which did a good job of being a tree and displayed some of my bunting and decorations in pretty dishes.


For my other non-Christmassy items I used an old suitcase which used to belong to a great uncle, opened it up and hung some of my little hearts at the back, with my clutch bags inside.

My door stops went happily on the floor next to my sign. I couldn't decide whether to make a sign, sew one or get one printed, but in the end I decided to use a very old chalk board which was my moms when she was a little girl.

I'm so chuffed with how it went today! I actually made a profit which has made me really happy! Haha. I came away with a few orders for Christmas wreaths too.

Here are a few photos of other items I brought with me.

Look out for a new tab coming soon to order any products online!