Thursday, 13 April 2017

Autumn Wear

With the Autumn FINALLY here and the leaves on the trees changing colours, I've started to add more reds, yellows and oranges into my wardrobe. Since red is my favourite out of the three I am using it as the dominant colour. Here is the first outfit I have put together. My pre existing brown boots and dyed-brown maternity singlet are the base, with the occasional pair or tights if needed (since autumn is a tricky season, layering is needed) this look is mainly for the days that are on the warmer side.

Autumn Petal Skirt
After deciding I wanted a break from the hanky hem skirt, I wanted to try a new design. Still favouring the circle skirt (because apparently I don't wear anything else) I decided to try my hand at a style I have seen used frequently in faery clothing: the "panel style". This is basically a circle skirt cut into panels and sewn together as apposed to being one large piece. This helps with the fact that it's hard to find fabric wide enough and also to add more colours and textures. I'm pleasantly surprised as to how well this skirt turned out on the first go, the only aspect I dislike in the edging (I need to learn how to work with bias binding). I also decided to up the quality of fabric I used, choosing cotton drill which turned out beautifully. This skirt has three colours and is knee length, I purchased one meter of each colour, which gave me plenty with some leftover. I then got my circle skirt pattern, divided it into 12 pieces, added a "pixie point" to the hem and cut out 3 pieces of each colour to sew together. The skirt is sewn onto belting elastic like my other skirts. The only thing I dislike about the finished skirt is the hem, I just over locked and hemmed it, but bias binding really would be the way to go. All in all, I LOVE this design and will definitely be making more of them in the future.

Maple Bucket Hat
Considering that it can still be very sunny in autumn and I live in Australia, I decided to make myself a nice hat to go with my autumn wardrobe as none of the hats I had found suited (and my headbands are useless for sun protection). I used the leftover red and orange from my petal skirt, a Lost in Paris pattern I found online and was able to construct the hat with ease. The hard part came when I wanted to pimp it out a bit. Since maple leaves are the leaf I associate most with the season, I drafted three different leaf designs to use as appliqué. I cut out nine in total out of various orange, yellow and brown felt I had on hand and stitched them onto the hat. I only stitched the leaf detail and not around the edges as I wanted to give it a more 3D feel. We'll see how well it holds up, the overall technique is the same I use for my headbands. The major flaw in the hat is the top, as I was stitching the leaves on, the material folded and bunched awkwardly and didn't lie flat, next time I will be stitching the leaves on before sewing it all together. luckily you can't see this while I'm wearing it. I don't think I will ever make a bucket hat for myself again, next time I'd rather make a large floppy hat, but I did not have the interfacing needed on hand.

Maple Faery Wing Shrug
As I stated in my last blog entry, I LOVE shrugs! So it makes sense to make my own! I downloaded Sew Sew Simples pattern and went from there. The actual shrug itself only took fifteen minutes start to finish to make (as it's only one piece and two seams, although I extended the back to make a pixie point) but the faery wings on the back took a good two hours to stitch. Again using felt I had lying around, I whipped up a three piece wing design that complemented  the shape of the shrug and drew some detail with fabric chalk. I then used a small satin stitch to make the detail pop before satin stitching the wings onto the back. I used the same three leaf pieces as my hat to sew some leaves down the arms the same way. The shrug will need some kind of fastening but I am yet to figure out exactly what I want to use. The biggest flaw with the finished product is that some of the felt is bad quality and is piling, but since I just used what I had lying around this does not surprise me and is a good way to know where not to buy felt from.

In conclusion, this outfit is a real head turner and by far my favourite. I think I succeeded in my end goal ("Autumn Faery") more so than I did with my "Cherry Blossom Faery". I have even more Autumny goodness arriving in the mail, so stay tuned for a follow up (and lots more red!)

Next week is a very special entry in honour of my fourth wedding anniversary, I will be doing a wedding special! So stay tuned!


Thursday, 6 April 2017

TPF Faerie Wear Korrigan Shrug

This week I will be talking about one of my favourite items from my absolute favourite designer, TPF Faerie Wears Korrigan Shrug! if you have been following me for awhile or know me in real life, you will have defiantly seen me in one. Based it Whitby, UK, TPF is run by husband and wife team Helen and Steve, although Helen is the main drive behind the operation. She designs and sews, he photographs and sews. I stumbled across them years ago when shrugs was one of the only things they sold, now they have a massive range (and my bank account is paying for it!) of pretties for sale! I love that I am supporting a family by purchasing their products.

Shrug used for a bridesmaid
The first shrug I ever bought was actually for my bridesmaid back in 2013 as our venue was quite chilly and I took pity on her. I just bought a plain white one as she wore a white and green dress. Being made of eco-friendly recycled polyester fleece, she was lovely and warm on the day (I wish I could say the same for myself...). I loved it so much that I purchased a black one for me, that was the first item of Faery clothes I ever owned and I still wear it to this day!

The basic anatomy of this shrug is flared bell sleeves (although other options are now available) a "pixie point" back and a long "pixie hood" (again, other hood variations are now available) that is fastened at the front with a two buttons. The thing I love most about this designs in terms of being "mum friendly" is that it is completely over the bust! it does not touch my boobs at all and I don't have to worry about pushing it aside to feed. Living in Melbourne, I often leave the house and it is cold only to have it warm up later in the day, this shrug is perfect to throw on for the chilly mornings and not be big and bulky to carry back with me in the warmer afternoons. I have had a few cracks from people about "half my jumper being missing" but honestly it really does provide the perfect level of warmth, particularly in spring and autumn. Sometimes you want something to just throw over your shoulders. Since it does not cover your lower body at all it works perfect for the entire length of pregnancy.
35 weeks pregnant with my daughter

Last year I ordered two more of them in slightly different designs. Even though the basics remain the same, the look (and the price) can vary drastically due to their various colour and appliqué options. My pink shrug is of their "two tone" variety, which is achieved through sewing different colours together in stripes. I ordered mine to be part of my cherry blossom look and made a hanky hem to match. I also ordered a dark green variety with felted blue butterflies on them, it is gorgeous and so well made, the felting allows for a much nicer look than stitching. Both of these cost the same as each other, but considerably more than my good old plain black due to the amount of work required.

The only downside would probably be the flared sleeves can get in the way sometimes, but I find that I can easily fold them up whilst changing nappies, it really just depends HOW easy you want your clothes to be, the have a sleeve option called 'Satyr' which does not have the long belle sleeves, but I am yet to try it. I have changed many many nappies whilst wearing it and have wrangled my toddler equally as many times. It is also made of fleece, so in Australia it is not an all year round item, but if the weather permits I am rarely seen without one. It goes really well with jeans and a t-shirt or part of a more elaborate look, because of this, this garment receives my highest recommendation!

To summarise
Pregnancy: Ideal for the whole gestation as it does not cover lower body
Breastfeeding: Leaves boobs completely exposed so feeding is easy
Toddler wrangling: can be tricky to change nappies in, but not impossible

Elle Woods eat your heart out

Find them here

The green top is Leafy Creations:

This will not be the last TPF review you see from me, but I will try and spread them apart.

Until next time,

***I am not affiliated or endorsed by any of the brands I mention or review, I'm just an avid fan.***

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