Thursday, 28 November 2013

New Pattern!!

Hello All,

So what so you think of this?

I'm super excited by it!! I'm thinking denim with bound button holes, sigh!  It's on my list!

Bye for now! Gem xxx

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Jumpsuit that's not a jumpsuit. . .


So today I decided to take you back to a piece that I made pre blog but that I am so proud of.  

My Maxi Dress

I must apologise for the terrible picture, I may actually redo these!

So this is the dress that wasn't meant to be a dress.  I bought Vogue Misses Jumpsuit Pattern 1249 

with the intention of making just that, a jumpsuit, but I couldn't find a fabric I liked at the time.  Simultaneously I fell in love with this knit fabric:

And the idea of a maxi dress based on the pattern was born.  Now at this point I had sewn one item of clothing for myself and I needed this dress for a night out the following weekend so not only were the pattern and my timescale fairly ambitious in the first place changing the pattern should have scared the 'beep' out of me but it didn't so let me tell you what I did. 

Here's a view of the front taken from the Vogue pattern sleeve.

I was going to show you the pictures of the pattern pieces but I think in maybe not allowed to do that so I'll try and talk you through it.

The Bodice
Fully lined in the same fabric
Sizing I cut a 14 on top based on my measurements.

The main differences in the pattern and my construction are:

1) As I made it in a knit fabric I had no need for a zip which as a newbie was quite good news for me.

2)  The bodice is intended to be made in 5 pieces. 1 front, 2 side front, 2 side back and 2 back however due to the absence of a zip I was able to make the back in one piece. (This doesn't include the lining which was separate) 

3) I added straps. Simple enough to do.  I chose the bra I intended to wear with it and once my bodice was nearly completed (prior to attaching the lining) I decided where I wanted the straps to sit, how wide I wanted them to be how long I needed them to be and then cut out 2 strips of fabric, rectangles, to the width and length I needed them plus 5/8" seam allowance. I folded right sides together lengthwise, and sewed down the edge.  Then turned right side out, ironed and set into the bodice. 

4) I wasn't going to keep the grill along the bust but cut it out anyway to try it and I loved it so kept it. 

The skirt
Unlined as the fabric was heavy enough not to need it
Size I cut the largest size in order to make it as full as possible.

1) Instead of cutting 2 trouser legs on the fold, I still lay the pattern on the fold but I didn't cut the crotch out.  I extended the width of the waist by cutting from the fold straight across to the top of the pattern and over.

2) Before attaching to the bodice I created box pleats in the front as gathers are not very flattering for me but I obviously needed to make the skirt for to bodice properly. 

I'm really hoping all this makes sense?  This is definitely a patten I intended to use again both in the same manner to make another maxi dress and to make a jumpsuit too.  Perfect for  Project 2014!  The actual jumpsuit utilises boning which is something I'd love to get my teeth into. 

So what do you think? 

Thank you for reading, Gem xx

Monday, 25 November 2013

Blythe Challenge Lauren

Hello everyone,

I'd like to introduce you to the second of my Blythe challengers today so without further ado I bring you:

Lauren is a lovely lady who I met through a few Facebook sewing groups but have since become friends with in real life!  How mad does that sound? 

'Im a foster carer from south west scotland, I love to sew and have an addiction to fabric'. (She's not lying about the addiction folks, what Lauren doesn't have in her stash isn't worth having!) 

Lauren learned to sew at school but has been doing it as a frequent hobby for the last couple of years.  Along with sewing children's clothes Lauren makes gorgeous quilts which you can see on her lovely page on Facebook,  Made By Lolly S

I sent Lauren this picture 

Original source: Custom Blythe Clementine by Rabbit Without Tears

Laurens make . . . 

A sweet baby girl dress in age 6-9month.

Complete with back sash and delicate frills.

When I asked Lauren why she got involved with this challenge this was her reply:

'cause I'm daft!!! Gem made idea sound interesting so thought 'why not!!' 

I think the inspiration Was clear from the get go, very girly and the same colour scheme.  

'The picture terrified me but after lots of stressing and panicking I made a decision'

Didn't she do a wonderful job?  It's most certainly the kind of dress I'd have put Bug in as a baby!

Thank you for joining us today Lauren! Hope you have a busy festive period at Made By Lolly S

Do you fancy taking a turn in the Blythe Challenge?  Drop me a line at and we can chat.

Thanks for reading, Gem xxx

Blythe Challenge Eleanor


Today I'm sharing my blog with the lovely Eleanor of CraftCreaseCrumb

As well as running CraftCreaseCrumb 31year old Eleanor is a home schooling mum, to a  brood of 5, from the south wales valley.

' I love creating "things". At the moment I am enjoying a sewing phase. But I also love to cook, crochet, needle felt, glass paint and make jewellery' 

She has taken The Blythe Challenge so let's she what she came up with.

I sent her this picture:

Original source can be found  here though I found it on Pinterest. 

Eleanor's make. . . . 

A beautiful bag based on Blythes own in the picture. 

(How beautiful is this?) 

So how did this gorgeous creation come to be?  I sent Eleanor a little questionnaire to get find out. 

1) First off: who are you and how long have you been sewing? 

 'Ive only been sewing for a few months. Started out making a bedroom runner and matching bed cushions and then got hooked on making clothes and bags!'

2) What made you to take part in this challenge?

'I love, love, love surprises and learning something new so this gave me a chance to do develop some new skills and have fun too!'

3) How did your picture inspire your creation?

'I instantly got grabbed by the oh so cute mini bags. I bought handles before I started sewing as something I "needed". Got the inspiration and supplies, sorted.'

4) Anything else you would like to add?

'In future I will be viewing pics on the laptop before I get inspired. On the iPhone the (original) pic looked red, oops.'

I'd like to thank this wonderful lady for taking part in my challenge, 'you did a great job, Eleanor'.  Good luck with both your Blog and Facebook Page!

Tomorrow we have Lauren joining us from Made By Lolly S can't wait!

Thank you for stopping by today!

Gem xxx

Saturday, 23 November 2013

The Blythe Challenge


Do you remember this post when I told you about my slight obsession with Blythe dolls?  

If not I'll tell you again!!! I absolutely LOVE them and if I could change myself I'd want to look like one.  It's ok if you find that weird, hubby does! Anyhoo so I love them and they will feature in this blog LOTS mainly in the form of The Blythe Challenge now I do appreciate not everyone knows what they are so here is a wee link. 

Check out my Pinterest (Gem Smith) you'll find a board on them. 

'What is this challenge??' I hear you cry! Well as the meerkats would tell ya it's 'simples'

Anyone taking part will be sent a Blythe picture by me and the aim is to use it to inspire a make.  This 'make' can be as close to or as abstract to the picture as you wish and can be anything! An item of clothing, an accessory, a quilt ANYTHING the only stipulation is that it must be a sewn item (or knitting). 

I want to see people Go wild!!

So pop in on Monday to see the first Blythe Inspired make from Eleanor from the blog CraftCreaseCrumb and the Facebook page of the same name. 

If you fancy giving the challenge a go feel free to drop me an email at

And I love chatting for feel free to drop me a comment below.

Bye for now! Gem xx

Friday, 22 November 2013

Stalking the postman!

Hello all!

I've been stalking the postie, should I really tell you that?  Does it make me sound odd? Or do you understand?  I was waiting anxiously/ nervously / excitedly for 2 pairs  of bamboo circular needles!  And guess what???!

They are here!!!!!!  Please ignore the wool in this pic I was too excited to wait for new wool so I cast on and had at it haha!

Eeeeeeeek!! 1 size 4.5mm (US 7) and 1 size 5mm (US 6) As you know I LOVE to knit but I've never done a big project and I've never used circular needles.  This is about to change when I start working on the the beautiful cardigan they (who? Eh all bloggers everywhere!) call the Miette!  It's a free pattern you can find here on Ravelry.  I've seen it on a few blogs such as Making It Well  so go have a look and while you're there go and read it ALL it's a fab sewing and knitting blog and Jo who writes it has very kindly agreed to help me should (read when) I get stuck, thank you Jo.  

Ok so go read and have a fab weekend! Gem xxx

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Wearable nearly!

Hello all!

Ok so don't laugh, they aren't exactly stunning BUT here's my first pair of knickers nearly finished!!

I have learned so much which I will share with you in the next couple of days when I have collected my thoughts a little better on them.  I am super keen to make more!   Project 2014 is taking shape!

Also next week I am going to be showing off the work of 2 of my sewing friends.  I set them a little challenge recently and I'm so excited to show you what thy both came up with!

Bye for now! 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Down memory lane

I recently spent a wonderful afternoon with the paternal grandmother of my husband.

 Infact we spend lots of lovely afternoons together but this one was exceptionally fun as I started to wander down memory lane with her.  I've got a huge need to gather as much information about our family as I can in order to share our heritage with Bug and Squish once they get older. 

We initially started talking about how she and her husband met but was quickly diverted to discussing fashions when she brought out her photos!  I asked If I could share these pictures with you and lucky for you all she said yes! So here's my 2 favourite to whet your appetite.  They have inspired a ton of new ideas for me! 

So here we go:

Isn't she beautiful? I am in love with this dress! Polka dots are one of my favourite patterns ever!! I love the bateau neck on this dress however it wouldn't suit busty me (lol) so I'd change the neckline but it really suited her.  Also check out the doggy! I've kind of covered it's wee facey with the border so look: 

This particular dress has inspired me to get my Polka Dot on for Project 2014 so last night I ordered this fabric.  I'm thinking either a skirt or a dress.

Infact as I added the picture to this post I was reminded of a stunning fifties style pencil skirt I bought to wear during my school work experience at a local solicitors office. It was beautiful!! A pencil skirt complete with flounce along the bottom! I bought it from our local Red Cross shop and style it with super high heels!  Ah I loved it so much and felt uber glamorous!! I wonder if I'll go down that route again?

I've had to crop this picture right down as it included 4 other ladies which is why it's a funny size, just in case your wondering.

Anyway the dress!  Slash neck again and a beautiful full skirt!! It looks like the fabric might be floral.  I do love old photos but sometimes it's so hard to make out the details isn't it?  Oh how these pictures make me wish I had started sewing for myself a long time ago, I could live in these styles daily! I WILL live in these styles daily you mark my words!!  Along with my polka fabric I've also got this coming and I'm thinking if my Cynthia Rowley turns out well I may do another in this:

Although I do really fancy this pattern too *hint hint hubby if you're reading* 

With this is mind I'm wondering is their anyone in particular you look to for inspiration? 

Happy weekend everyone! 

My first Cynthia Rowley Dress

Hello all 

This post will mark the start of my first series of posts chronicling the making of my first Cynthia Rowely dress from start to finish. 

The Pattern

I bought this pattern aaaaagggeeessss ago to make as a wedding outfit but then I found out I was preggo and not only did I completely loose my sewjo I refused to make something that I knew I'd never fit. Now Squish is 10months old and I'm ready to lock and load. 

I have chosen to make view C as I love the shape of the neckline, very flattering for my shape I hope! However I shall be leaving off the tabs as I'm not keen on them and also lengthening both the body (this is where my height is) and the skirt as that's a tad too short for my liking.

The Fabric

Michael Miller Garden Wall, Windsong fabric

Dont you just love it??!!! I'm in 2 minds as to whether this will make up the whole dress or if I will use it along side something else but it will definitely make up part of the dress.  I bought this on eBay and have already prewashed and ironed it ready for this project. 

A Muslin

For the first time EVER I am making a full muslin before I start eeeeekkk!!! I so want this to turn out well so I figure a toile is the way to go.  I didn't particularly want to use any of my yummy stash fabric for this though so I saught an alternative. A bedsheet! Genius!  So I nipped down to Asda and came home with this: 

I don't have a dressmaking dummy so I will be cutting my pieces from this, basting them and fitting them to me.  Ill rope hubby into help me with this.

Soooooo the next step will be getting my muslin cut and made I hope you'll join me again soon and see how I get on.  

Do you have any advice or tips for me?

Thank you for coming, Gem xx

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Woop woop I'm a Spoolette!!

And I'm wearing my badge with pride!!

I had fully intended to explain it all to you in this post but after feeling rubbish all day (woe is me) my brain is too foggy to choose the words soooooo I recommend you pop over and read it in the lovely Clare from Sew Dixie Lou in her own words!

I'm off to wrap up warm so bye for now and thanks for reading, Gem xx

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

In other news . . . .

My first pair of knickers are nearly finished.  I have to overlock and topstich and I'm done.  I'm pretty impressed with them and know I will go on to make more. 

Last night saw an epic battle between slippy slidy satiny fabric and a zip, find out soon who won!

Thanks for coming, Gem xx

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Ohhh Lulu knickers . . . .

Hello everyone, loooooookkkk!!!

finally got my first pair of knickers cut out ready to sew, what do you think? 

They look huge but let's pretend that's because of the camera angle and not because my bum needs lots of fabric to cover it!  In reality the frilly fabric matches the other fabric fairly well, that is just bad photography making it look otherwise.

This is my tester pair but if they fit I can see I will be making loads.  Full review of the pattern and pictures of the final product coming soon!! 

As you know I've set myself a challenge for 2014 you can  read about it here and join the Facebook page Here I really want to be wearing my 'Ohhh Lulu' knickers all year!! 

Have you made your own lingerie at all?  I'm interested in trying bras out too but the thought is a bit scary at the moment.  

I debated over whether to add this next picture but it's made me giggle so it might make you aswell.  Ok so the pattern calls for a small piece of Jersey for the crotch lining but could I lay my hands on some plain jersey? No so my pants will be lined with this:  

Hehe at least there's a purple spider so it kind of matches right? 

Thanks for coming by, Gem xx

Friday, 8 November 2013

One down 4 to go!!

After sharing my 5 things yesterday I got pretty busy with my knitting needles and completed number 5! 

I give you the Leaving on the Edge Cowl!

I'm so happy with how this has turned out and  going to make a couple as Christmas gifts! 

Next to be knocked off the list should be number 3 the Vite Cowl. All it needs is blocking and stitched together so that should be achievable tonight.

Well I have 2 sleeping children so fingers crossed I can go and have a cuppa in peace! 

Thanks for stopping by, Gem xx

Thursday, 7 November 2013

5 things . . .

Hello all!

Today I bring you my first '5 Things' post.  5 is the number of unfinished projects I have on the go at the moment and is my cut off point.  I won't start anything new until I have completed some of these.  I'm telling you this so you can feel free to give me a shove and tell me of if I don't stick to it!
It's a one in one out kind of deal.  When something is completed something new can begin.

Ok so let's see:

I gave you a sneaky peak of this but no more information.  I can reveal this will be a beautiful circle skirt.  It still needs a waistband, a zip and hemmed.  Not much then haha. 


My first pair of Ohhh Lulu knickers still need to be started!


The Vite Cowl still needs to be blocked (I meant to do this last night but got distracted) and sewn together (I couldn't find my darning needle grrrrr) 


Ok so this is a long term project.  I've cut out the pattern and decided on the view I'm making. C, minus the tabs and with a few adjustments. I have fabric ready to make my toile so that will be cut out shortly.  Expect more on this over the next couple of weeks.


This is another knitting project I started just last night, it won't take me long to complete once Mr Smithero picks up new wool for me today.  It's called Leaving on the Edge. <---- just click for the link to the pattern

What have you guys got on the go at the moment? Feel free to comment I love a good chat, Gem xx

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Let the sewing commence!

Now that this has landed at my house ....

I will get lots and lots of sewing done as the tv won't be able to distract me!!

How many other COD husbands are there out there? 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Windy Weekend Plans

Hello all!

What a storm we are having just now, the winds where we are have been crazy wild over night!  Makes me so glad I'm tucked up warm at home with the kids, though I am feeling sorry for hubby who had to go out in it to work!

Last night while the winds were howling I was working on the Vite Cowl by Kristi Johnson.  I found the pattern on Ravelery. 

I'm not sure if you can see but it will be a cowl scarf made up of leaves when it's finished.  This is my stitch practice run which I have done on size 7 needles, the pattern calls for at least 10s but I couldn't find mine and was desperate to work the pattern out.  This is like the knitting version of a muslin.  Do you do that?  I always do if I intend to make things for gifts as it means I can work out the kinks and saves me ripping out work when I'm making it to give away.  This pattern is going to be used for a couple of Christmas pressies this year.  My practice run won't go to waste though as with it being smaller it should be perfect for Bug.

have big plans for this miserable Sunday afternoon.  Firstly when Mr Smithero finishes work we will be having a nice lunch at home with his Granny and Grandad.  When I say nice lunch I only mean rolls as I'm not exactly the 'hostess with the mostess' but it's the company that matters and they are lovely company.  Today they are bringing old photographs to show us and I hope to hear some stories of their youth which I hope to document for when Bug and Squish are older.  I think it's so important for them to know where they came from, don't you?

Later on in the afternoon I intend to sit down and finally make myself learn to do the dreaded buttonholes!!! 

Photo borrowed from (I intend to use this tutorial for reference) 
For some reason I have shied away from doing these so far even though I know the theory behind both the normal and bound versions I have actively avoided doing them! Until today that is! I will master these you mark my words! They have been my nemesis up til now, what's yours?  I'll be sure to take pics (good and bad) and share soon.

So what are you up to this weekend?

Have a good one and thank you for stopping by, Gem xx

Friday, 1 November 2013

A day late but what the hey!

Hello all!

Just a quick post to say 'Happy Belated Halloween' Here's a pic of Bug in her mama made skirt.  Not scary but super cute!!
Ps I apologise for the terrible photography!

Pps she's wearing slippers as she is at nursery, they don't match but she carries it off, non? 

Thank you for the visit, Gem xx