Thursday, 19 June 2014

Minerva Crafts Meet Up and The Dress

Before I talk about the meet up and my dress...

...I won the Minerva Craft Meet-up £600 prize draw!!!!!!!! I am really sad that I had to leave before the winners of the various competitions were announced but I had to get my train back to Edinburgh. However, I actually squealed when I read that I had won on my phone, on the bus, on my way home from work last night (embarrassing). I am super excited about all the cool stuff coming my way (I even had a little(ish) glass of wine to celebrate). I think I am going to have to start having a de-clutter so I can fit everything in to my Little Sewing Corner.  I will be sure to post about what is in the mystery prize package when it arrives. 

Image courtesy of Minerva Crafts

I had such a fab day at the meet up. It did start super early though, with a 6am train from Edinburgh to Darwen. I was a bit worried about finding the center when I arrived but I had been assured that it was just round the corner from the station. That really was no exaggeration any closer and it would have been the station! The early start was soon forgotten when on arrival I has handed a glass of Bucks Fizz and given a very warm welcome. The day was full of action with workshops, talks and quizzes. There was also loads and loads of bloggers there and at some points it was quite surreal walking around the store bumping into people that you read about everyday.  Karen from Did you make that gave a great presentation on the lessons she has learnt from when she started sewing to now. I also took part in a covered button necklace workshop lead by Claire-Louise Hardie of Thrifty Stitcher (more on that later).  The centre its self was a treasure trove brimming with goodies. I also have to comment on the excellent job that the staff did. There was loads of them on hand and they were more than willing to give you all the help that you needed. I even got a special visit to the warehouse after asking for some help identifying what bengaline is. It was like the Ikea of fabric warehouses!

The By Hand London Girls
One thing that I really enjoyed was the talk from Elisalex and Victoria of By Hand London. The girls gave us a breakdown of the typical pattern release process, there day to day routine, the background of the creation of By Hand London as well as an update of the their latest venture into on demand fabric printing. We also got a sneak peek of their latest pattern which looks pretty cool and if I remember rightly they said it is at the printers just so it should be released in the next month or so. Their talk was really inspiring and made me immediately want to great create some more BHL garments. I already have plans for a couple of Anna dresses as well as a Victoria blazer but I decided to also buy a Flora dress pattern whilst at the meetup. I have a post coming soon on my plans for these along with some of the other things I bought on the day.
Hummingbird Cambie
I decided to make a Sewaholic Cambie to wear for the meet up. I have been holding on to the pattern for a while now waiting for the right fabric and a good excuse to get making it. There is nothing terribly complicated about the dress and luckily I didn't need to make too many alterations to the pattern to get a nice fit. I did find that I needed to shorten the straps a little though but, that was pretty easy as the straps/sleeves are the last thing to be sewn into the dress and in my case it was easy enough to just pull them into the dress a little further before sewing.

My lining
Here is a sneaky peek of the lining. As you can see the dress is fully lined. This means that once the outside shell and the lining are sewn together there is quite a lot of fabric to try and wrangle.

Hummingbirds and bows
Here is a close up of the fabric I used. It is a fantastic navy cotton with little white bows and turquoise hummingbirds. The hummingbirds are flying about the dress in every direction which adds interest and made cutting out a simpler task. I picked this fabric up from the same stall at the Sewing for Pleasure Show as I got the fabric and buttons for my recently made Viola skirt.

To finish off my outfit I also made a cute blue bow belt to match the hummingbirds on the dress. I had plenty of cotton left over from the lining so I used that to create my belt. You might recognise that it was made using Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons bow belt pattern. The instructions are available from her blog here and are also featured in her new book Love at First Stitch. I highly recommend this belt to beginners and anyone who is looking to use up fabric scraps. It is super simple and looks great. I whipped this up in an evening much to the entertainment of my man who was half watching me sew and half watching the telly. 

Lovin the shoes
In other news, I also recently purchased these gorgeous shoes at Betty's Boutique secret pop up shop. I don't usually go near second had shoes but these looked like they had never been worn and were just too cute not to try on. Once I tried them on there was no going back and at only £12 I just had to buy them.

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