Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 summary

As the year is finishing, some reflections and the ubiquitous summary are in order.

This year I had a long making and blogging dry spell, that started at the end of the summer in 2013 and finally finished at the beginning of the summer in 2014. Moving halfway across the country and changing jobs twice had a lot to do with it. But in June I made time for sewing again and I am so so happy I did. As far as hobbies go, it is my biggest love.

So the below is what I blogged in 2014. Some of the things were made in 2013 and some things made in 2014 are yet to be blogged, so it's not the ideal yearly summary, but ah well!

And let's not forget the OWOP Plantains.

The Plantains are definitely my favourite makes of 2014. So quick and fun to make, so comfortable and versatile to wear. An all round winner.

So looking at the above photos it is clear I favoured making separates over dresses. And I also used a lot more patterned fabrics than I remember. It was definitely a year of fun makes compared to practical makes.

Looking at these photos I am happy with these makes, I enjoyed making them all and I enjoy wearing them. But I also see a clear vision for next year. So let's deal with the 2015 re-sew-lutions at the same time.

In 2015 I will....

1. Sew more 'boring' clothes. I.e. practical items for every day use. Focus on high quality fabrics as opposed to fun fabrics.
2. Make more things. The time is there, I just have to learn to use it better.
3. Learn to take better photos. Too easy not to.
4. Finish and blog two quilts currently in progress.
5. Learn to knit and blog knitted projects. (Pleased to say I've started on this one....)

Righty-o! I hope you all are having a wonderful New Year's Eve and HAPPY NEW YEAR! xxx

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Sewing: Salme pattern Liberty blouse

This is looking like my penultimate post of 2014. And it's about a very special fabric. This fabric goes way back. To around spring 2013, if I'm not mistaken (for me that's ages, I don't really keep a stash but rather buy fabric specifically for a project).

So in 2013 I bought the Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges pattern and this fabric to make it in. The fabric is a Liberty archive (1940s, I think) reprint cotton lawn, bought from...I think it was Stone Fabrics.

However, I ended up having all sorts of trouble with the Darling ranges pattern (read about it in the original post), so I didn't use this fabric in the end.

Then in the autumn of 2013 I drafted my own, very simple dress and made it in this fabric. And it was great! Very comfortable, nice-looking...a great dress, basically. And ink pen broke and leaked all over the skirt part. What are the odds?

Anyways, I didn't really have enough fabric left to replace the skirt front, so I instead chopped the dress up, saving as much fabric as possible and hoping a real nice project would come along.

And it did!

This Salme pattern is actually for a dress. But no reason why it can't be a blouse. became a blouse. This blouse.

However, I let this special fabric down. I made the blouse when I didn't really have time to make anything. So I rushed through it. And didn't match the pattern. And also messed up the collar. No biggie, I'll simply have to wear my hair down whenever I wear this blouse, but it's annoying me. I probably have just about enough fabric left to re-do the collar, so I'll probably do that at some point.

I wanted to blog about it now, because the colour of this feels very Christmassy and it is fourth of advent today after all.

So on that note, I hope you all have a very merry Christmas, and see you on new year's eve for a round-up of this year's projects and some thoughts on next year's sewing.

Blouse, make-up and styling: me. Photos: Josh /

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

BIG NEWS! The Peppermint Store - The SHOP!

Guys, tonight I have big news. I have....*drumroll* opened an Etsy shop!

It's been a long time coming. When I started the blog the plan was to at some point open a shop. So in the summer of 2012 I was buzzing with ideas! And probably that was the problem. I had too many ideas, I saw too many possibilities, and I didn't know which one of those I wanted to do.

I've been going back and forth so many times over those 2.5 years and finally realised that I should probably sell the items I enjoy making.

Well, I like little floral beautiful but unnecessary items.

I have a magpie-like attraction to floral fabrics, yet I don't tend to make a lot of floral clothes. I'm most comfortable dressing in plains and neutrals. So by making floral, polka dot and gingham things to sell I can gorge on those fabrics without overcrowding my wardrobe with stuff I won't wear.

So that's my selfish motivation (I think we all knew sales wasn't my strong point) for the shop.

Why I think you'll love my handmade items? Well, look at them! They're adorable! ;) Just kidding.

I guess the type of customer I'm hoping to appeal to is somebody like me. Who loves pretty fabrics put together into something neat, yet rustic-looking.

I'm terrible at selling anything, so let me instead show you my current stock. If you haven't done your Christmas shopping yet I dispatch in 1-2 days. Just saying... :)

Union Jack patchwork-style cushion covers

Floral jewellery pouches 

 More floral jewellery pouches

And yet some more jewellery pouches 

White Christmas cards 

And cream Christmas cards.. 

Or why not both!

Until the new year I'm planning to only sell the Union Jack cushions, jewellery pouches and Christmas cards. I have a few other things planned further ahead, so if you don't see anything you like, bookmark me and pop back in a few months!

Whether you plan to buy something or not, I'd love to hear what you think!


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Sewing: Deer & Doe Chardon -the autumn version

I may have found my favourite skirt pattern! As soon as I finished my first Chardon I started dreaming up another. And while it spent a lot of time as a WIP, here it is - my autumn (& winter) Chardon.

The key difference between this and my summer Chardon is that this one is fully lined. I initially made it without lining, but the material kind of glued itself to my tights as I walked and scrunched up in the front in the most unflattering manner. So I went back to the sewing room (corner) and added lining. Problem solved! And it's a teeny tiny bit warmer too! That bit might be imaginary, but this is one thing I'm happy for my brain to deceive me about.

Two other small differences: I made the belt loops larger from the previous version and I sewed in an exposed zipper. The belt loops were the only issue for me about the pattern, but luckily that's probably the easiest problem in the history of ever to fix. The zipper is exposed because I simply didn't have an invisible zipper at home when I was making this. But I actually quite like it.

Aside from that, this one is very similar to my summer Chardon. Similar material, cotton poplin. Though not particularly wintery, poplin is so irresistibly easy to work with that I just couldn't help myself. Also, similarly to my original Chardon this one is in navy tones, but with a beautiful rose print.

This is probably the most accurate representation of the colours. I'm too lazy to go back and re-edit the others.

This fabric really made me think of Dolce & Gabbana's A/W campaign. You know the one with Claudia Schiffer?  Where she is wearing a gorgeous purple gown and smelling roses?

So I sort of drew inspiration from there for the result photos. Unfortunately I don't have a couple of leggy models, a mythical-looking forest and a team of photographers available, so when I say I "drew inspiration," please interpret that in the loosest sense of the word! As in, I went out and bought a few roses.

Ok, enough with the over-saturated, super high contrast photos. Please see below plain no-nonsense photos of the skirt.