Zen and the art of......Colouring and Crazy Shorts.

It's nearly holiday time and what better way to get a bit of head space than colouring. I first remember seeing colouring books for grown-ups a few years ago in France - seems like the rest of the world has just caught on as they are absolutely everywhere at the moment. Its supposed to stop crazy scatter brain by focusing your attention on one thing only, repetitive and colourful. Worth a try :-)

(Tip: Don't go into WHSmiths asking for an 'adult colouring book' - friend nearly ended up with some rude dot to dot situation.)

And of course with holiday colouring came the excuse to buy fresh pencil crayons....that joy will never get old. To go with the crayons - a quickly whipped up pencil case!

Follow the link for a tutorial on how to make one of these!

Of course right at the last minute I though I would whip up a pair of shorts! This fab aztec style print ponte roma is from MyFabrics and the pattern was the top half of my Floral Trousers! (Simplicity 1696) I just traced around the pattern, straightening the legs rater than curving as the original pattern does for 'slim fit'. As they are elasticated I also skipped out the darts - 4 pieces, 1 waistband cut and sewn in about 30 mins! I like making my own shorts as you can choose the length and not have ones from the shop that just seem show your ass cheeks pretty much. Sunny crazy shorts!

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Radio 1 had a big weekend and so did I....

At the time of creating this latest project, BBC Radio 1 brought their Big Weekend festival to Norwich. (Seriously, Snoop Dogg in Norwich, what the hell). Despite thousands of tickets being available to 'locals' I think I know of only 1 person that actually got hold of any. Not bitter at all ;-) (Any possibly my accent still precludes the term 'local' :-)

We were therefore resigned to watching it on tv - which in all honesty was probably better as I don't have to queue an hour for a £5 beer or try and clamber over anyone with huge hair just to try and see a stage. I think I remember Jack Dee saying that you could recreate the experience by putting a CD cover at the end of the garden and getting a stranger to pee behind your sofa. Again, not bitter or anything.

Anyway, taking full advantage of a long weekend and some good music, out came the wine and the cutting scissors. Having myself a big weekend - just less cider and more geeky - probably the same amount of anorak.

What better 'big project' to tackle that my Liberty print Anna dress! Been waiting so long to do this....


I cannot get however how good this pattern is and how well it fit. The size chart was incredibly accurate - only a few minor tweaks were needed as mentionedd here. I was initially dubious about the bust pleats thinking they may be a bit billowy but they are a great touch and fit really well.

By the way...this fabric (it is Liberty tana lawn Gustav and Otto) originally bought from AliceCaroline is now on sale on PlushAddict under 'Wildlife Scroll'! It is an utter dream to work with.

The dress was mega long and I chopped about 9cm from the bottom. It was surprisingly quick and easy to construct with super instructions - find out how to do an invisible zip with my little tutorial!

The dress feels really elegant to wear - very ladylike! Added to the fact it is ridiculously comfortable, to the point you forget you're wearing anything makes it more of a winner as its far more likely to get worn!

I ❤️ Anna.

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The day I got fit up with Anna

It's time to talk about Anna. I fell in love with her some time ago but never plucked up the courage to bring her on home.... ;-)

There are so many amazing creations out there to lust over, take a look at all of these! Of course I am talking about the formidable and somewhat famous Anna Dress by By Hand London. Not only are beautiful variations plastered all over instagram, twitter and the web at large - it also made a couple of appearances on the last series of Great British Sewing Bee!

Having made a cheeky purchase look what beauty arrived...

 In addition to the pattern and instruction booklet, you also get a little fabric sew in label!

As noted in my previous post about Liberty fabric, I had saved a copious amount of reptile fabric especially for a floor length Anna dress. As I am now a reformed character, instead of diving into cutting, a muslin was in order to test the fit first! I set about this project thinking I would be in for another week or so of adjustments, but to my surprise there was very little to change and the pattern was quite true to size using the measuring charts provided.

The only things I did were to remove a bit of gaping at the neckline using Method 1 on this blog post by Phat Chick Designs. Nice and simple :-) As a result of the slight adjustment I then lowered the V a bit to compensate for the cm I took out. Love the bust pleats, makes a nice variation on usual darts. There was also a bit of a gape at the back neck so I popped a couple of darts in (BEFORE seeing By Hand London's own tips on how to deal with that! There is a whole sew-along on their blog which is very useful - if you choose to read it before making your dress :-/

I'd found some cheapo viscose fabric ages ago to make a wearable muslin and this is the result! Anna test dress #1

I completely disregarded any respect for pattern matching - what the hell - looks wearable to me right?! Actually cannot wait to make some more versions of this dress...

Have you tried this pattern? Would you like to? I'd love to know your thoughts :-)

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