A Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress (and one epic, life changing relocation)

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll probably know that we moved from Surrey in England to the South Bay area of Los Angeles late last Summer. It was an opportunity we grabbed with both hands and now after six months of Southern Californian living I can safely say it was the right one. I am loving these sun filled days and now that the boxes have been unpacked and I’ve found my feet, my creative energy is flowing again and I’m bursting with ideas.

The Myosotis Dress by Deer and Doe Patterns has been steadily populating my Instagram saves since it was released a couple of years ago so felt like the perfect thing to dive into after putting sewing life somewhat on hold over the last year. Below is my finished dress and some thoughts on this pattern!

This dress is perfect for me because it has a really flattering, breezy shape but crutially, the dress makes a pretty shape all by itself and stands away from the body. Meaning I’m free to slouch around inside it or sit down without any uncomfortable, stiff edges digging in to me. I also love the sleeves which are breezy like the skirt but provide a good level of coverage and comfort if there is a chill in the air. The only part of the dress I’m not totally sold on is the collar – whilst it does provide a counterpoint to all those ruffles, it was quite fiddly to sew and I cant help but feel that a collar-less version would be more flattering.

I found this pale blue viscose/lyocell blend at Joanne’s Stores and loved the fluid texture (I love the look of chambray but find it quite stiff in reality) which is perfect for this pattern – the ruffled skirt and sleeves have a lovely weight to them. I think the pattern would also lend itself nicely to a double gauze or silk too.

I’m definitely going to make another one without a collar and will come back to share it here soon. In the meantime you can browse tons of Myosotis dress inspiration from the Instagram sewing community by checking out the hashtag #ddmyosotis.

HOW TO MAKE A BOW SCRUNCHIE [DIY TUTORIAL]

This quick-to-make bow scrunchie is the perfect sewing project for using up fabric scraps or up-cycling a favourite garment that’s on it’s last legs. You could rock a different one every day of the week or make one to match all your favourite outfits. This DIY bow scrunchie also makes the perfect present – you could give them as holiday gifts for your entire class, make matching ones for your #girlsquad bachelourette party or use them as stocking fillers!

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SUSTAINABLE SHOPPING (or more accurately, how I have been doing the complete opposite of this but am trying to do better)

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So about three years ago we discovered Aldi for the first time. We had heard about the award winning nappies and thought we would give them a try – one weekly shop later we were hooked and didn’t look back. I loved that I could fill one of the enormous trollies to the top and it would come to £100 (where as in Waitrose you can easily dangle £40 worth of shopping from your wrist). Aldi began to shape our lives. During the Summer we bought the gardening things, in the Winter we bought the logs. I bought Cbeebies magazines, colouring books, biscuits, bottled water, pocket sized packets of tissues and all kinds of other things that had never bought before in my life because they were luxuries that I quite frankly couldn’t afford. But then two things slowly dawned on me… Continue reading

FRUIT & FLOWERS: Finding Allotment Inspiration in Sussex…

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Happy 2019! I’ve still got that excited ‘New Year’ feeling – like I’ve just opened the front cover on a fresh exercise book. Last year was very quiet for me blog-wise whilst I poured my energy into other areas of my life but things have a way of coming in cycles don’t they? And now I have so much that I want to share –  starting with a visit to Charleston Farmhouse (the former home of Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and various other members of the Bloomsbury Group at one time or another) back in October… Continue reading

HOW TO MAKE: A LINOCUT PRINTING BLOCK [DIY TUTORIAL]

How-To-Make-A-Linocut-Printing-Block-DIY-Tutorial_edited-1Spring has finally sprung here in the South-East of England – everything is a really vivid shade of green and bursting into life. The ferns in my back garden are unfurling long, sinuous tendrils which inspired me to make a patterned fabric featuring this intricate botanical. I had wanted to try linocutting for a long time so this felt like the perfect opportunity. I loved the process of designing and (armed with my Mum’s old linocutting tools from her art school days) carving my printing block and thought it might be helpful to show you the steps I took in case you feel inspired to try it too! Continue reading

GLOOM & GLOW (AND PLANS FOR 2018!)

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Hello and Happy New Year! I really wanted to share some photos from the last couple of months by way of a little catch up. I’ve been taking Sara Tasker’s new e-course Gloom & Glow which has really helped me see the magic in these dark and gloomy days and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of getting out into the fresh air in search of photographs (and also hiding indoors with my fairy lights and blankets). Continue reading

HOW TO MAKE A QUILTED HOT WATER BOTTLE COVER [DIY TUTORIAL]

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Winter where I live can be pretty brutal – grey skies day after day, freezing temperatures (but seldom snow to make it pretty), rain, going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark…

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I can think of two things though that help make Winter better wherever you are – hot pyjamas straight off the radiator and going to bed with a hot water bottle! The pyjamas you can probably figure out for yourself but I’m excited to share my new and improved  Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cover sewing tutorial today! Continue reading

PAPERCUT PATTERNS RIGEL BOMBER [MY LATEST MAKE]

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It’s been a while since I sewed a new garm so I’m excited to share some photos of my finished bomber jacket today! The pattern is, of course, the Rigel Bomber by Papercut Patterns – a simple, unlined bomber jacket with welt pockets. I chose a pink sweatshirt fabric (rather more lurid than these photos make it appear…) as I wanted something warm, comfy and easy to care for. Also, since it’s super cosy, fleece backed sweat-shirting, I thought it might be nice to see the contrast in texture on the inside of the jacket.

I learned a couple of things while working on this project. One thing, which is blindingly obvious in hindsight, is that (of course) if you choose to make details like ribbing, zips and welt pockets in a contrasting colour then any imperfections will stick out like a sore thumb. But if I stand at a jaunty angle like this then perhaps you won’t notice 😉 The other is that although this is a simple enough jacket pattern, jackets are inherently more difficult than dresses as they don’t look ‘pretty’ in-and-of themselves and don’t ‘spark joy’ in quite the same way. Also there are more straight lines and corners to match up so if something is slightly off then it’s harder to sort of ‘use the force’ and ease on down the road and lose the excess in the side seams (or wherever – hope it’s not just me that sews like this!).

I’m hoping this will be a good addition to my day to day getup, especially once the temperature drops a little more. I’m already planning a silk version for work but think I might try lining it this time – and maybe skip the pockets to save myself a whole load of time (and a little bit of heartache – my overlocker chewed up two side panels as I tried to make the inside of the pocket situation look neater). Thinking about the pockets just then made my heart feel all heavy and then it hit me – making jackets feels a lot more like ‘tailoring’ and a lot less like ‘dressmaking’ – more mathematical somehow with fewer nice, curved seams and pretty necklines. One thing I have realised though is that I desperately need to sew more every-day things so perhaps jackets are something I’ll come to enjoy more with practice?

One last thing (to do with my upside down feet). Long story short, my tripod is broken. I really wanted to show off these trainers which are by New Balance though as they just go so well with the jacket – what a coincidence 😉