Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting


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Strawberry Thief Liberty Emery dress

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I haven’t done any sewing for a few weeks now, what with being in London for work and all, but I did make this beautiful (if I do say so myself) dress before I went. I don’t really know what to say about this dress, except that it’s another Emery pattern, in a Liberty Strawberry Thief print. I really love my Liberty print!

Despite making quite a few of these dresses now, this Emery still turned out differently, even though I followed the same instructions. I’m not sure whether I was a little bit tighter with the seam allowances but this one was bigger in the waist and bodice than any of my previous attempts. Hmmmm.

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I’m also a massive fan of the length of the Emery dress, but the last one was just a little bit too long. So I shortened this one quite a bit and now the length is perfect for me.

I loved working with the Strawberry Thief fabric and I loved that it had quite a straight print as it made me really take notice of how I cut it and of making each part match up. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

The only thing that’s slightly annoying me is that I made a facing for the neckline. Although I love facings generally, this one seems a bit bulky in the front and needs pressing down. My initial plan for this dress was to make matching bias binding for the neckline and arms, but I cut out the facing before remembering my plan and didn’t really want the beautiful fabric to go to waste. I think, in the future, I may take it out and try the bias binding option.

Like the other Liberty fabric, this one too is very thin but I’m sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of this dress. Plus, it’s Strawberry Thief! Who doesn’t like birds picking fruit from a tree on their clothes?

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An Emery for a wedding

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Anyone who is anyone in the sewing world has attempted an Emery, haven’t they? Yep, it’s one of those classic dresses that everyone goes mad for and I, of course, lag way behind (like I do with 90s TV shows too by the way – so at least there’s a pattern).

Anyway, the story behind this dress is that my good friend Phoebe got married last month and I decided to set myself the challenge of making myself a dress with only about a week to spare (great planning there!). I didn’t want to use any of my tried and tested dress patterns and I knew I wanted to use a Liberty fabric, so enter months of debating over which pattern to use and telling everyone I knew about my plan to make a dress, and I had finally decided on the Emery.

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In the end I think I had about four days to cut and trace the pattern, make the muslin and sew the final version. But I managed it and the dress is a firm favourite now. I think the Emery, although suitable for a wedding, is also wearable in a casual way. I’ve been adding a cardigan and flats and wearing it that way ever since.

The fabric is Liberty’s Tatum, which I pored over during my last visit to London but ended up buying online in the end. It is quite thin and creases a bit, but is a really good quality tana lawn. I love the colourway as it is summery, floral and perfect for a wedding, but I’m definitely tempted by this colourway too.

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I now know why everyone raves about the Emery. It’s such a lovely pattern to work with and so versatile too. I’m longing to try out the longer sleeved version ready for the autumn and I already have plans for more Emeries.

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I bought my Emery pattern at The Village Haberdashery and my Liberty fabric at Shaukat.


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A pinch of mustard: a completed elastic skirt

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A little while ago I picked up some remnants of a silky type fabric from a local craft shop for £2.00. Immediately I fell in love with the fabric, which was a lovely mustard yellow colour and I had lots of ideas of what I could make out of it. I wanted to make a skirt, but I also dreamt of using the leftovers to make a large, drapey scarf. Unfortunately, there wasn’t that much of the fabric (and none left in the shop) and so I had to settle for making only one thing – the skirt.

I followed my own really easy tutorial and completed it pretty quickly. As I wanted quite a full skirt, the amount of fabric I had (I think it was about 1 1/2 – 2 metres) was perfect and the silky texture gave  it a nice drape. I would have liked to have made the scarf too, but if I ever get bored of the skirt, I’ll just unpick it and sew the scarf.

Have you ever grabbed any bargain fabric? I’d love to know what you bought. Let me know in the comments.

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The skirt goes really well with navy blues

 


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Thrifting

I’ve mentioned before about how useful charity shops are for sourcing fabric and cheap clothing. Today I went on a fashion binge in one of my local shops. I hadn’t been for ages, so it was a nice treat for my meagre budget and I ended up buying quite a lot for a small amount of money.

Firstly, I bought two vintage floral pillowcases, in different patterns. Together, these were only £1 and I’m planning to make elastic skirts out of them. Once I’ve made one, I’ll put the DIY on the blog.

The pillowcases that I picked up for £1

I also bought a very nice purple stripy top, originally from H&M, a yellow floral Dorothy Perkins skirt that I’ve been wanting for ages and a Peter Pan collared polka dot dress.

This stripy top was originally from H&M

The Dorothy Perkins skirt

The Peter Pan collared dress I bought from a charity shop

Unfortunately, as is often the case when buying things from charity shops, the skirt is too big. But you have to take the bad with the good and I’ll probably just sell it on eBay or use the fabric to make something small.


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Easy DIYs: How to customise a pair of shorts

Have you ever bought something that isn’t quite to your taste but you haven’t wanted to waste it? So have I. A few months ago I bought a pair of shorts from a jumble sale, but when I brought them home, they weren’t exactly flattering.

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Although they only cost me £1 and I could have used the fabric, as it was Laura Ashley, I really didn’t want to waste them. The shorts were so easy to customise that you could potentially do it while you’re asleep, so instead of giving you a tutorial, I’m just going to tell you what I did. I folded the shorts up, pinned them in place at the sides and sewed. That’s it! The only thing I’d advise you though, if you do this, is to try on the shorts when you fold or roll them up and pin them while you’re wearing them (but watch out for your legs), as it’ll help you to judge whether the sides are equal in length and how short you want to make them. I folded mine three times, but they are a long pair of shorts and I wanted them short, so it really depends on what your taste is.

An unflattering pair of shorts can be made into something wearable with a little craftiness

And here is the finished product

So, you see, it is as easy as pie and the shorts can be customised in a matter of minutes. I actually made mine this morning and wore them straightaway, spending the day relaxing in the sun and drinking copious amounts of ice cream soda.


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Oxfam Boutique, Cardiff

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Last night, I went to the Oxfam Boutique on St Mary’s Street, where I attended their weekly Stitch and Bitch event.  Although not many people turned up, I had a great time and even got to learn a new craft.  Last night’s event concentrated on knitting for beginners, which some people argue is an important skill at this time.

The purpose of going along to the event will be unveiled in my soon to be posted feature, but it’s a great way to contribute to society, whilst creating something that you can be proud of.  So, if you’re ever at a loose end on a Thursday night, head down to the Oxfam Boutique and pick up a new skill.