Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A wee dress...that will probably never be worn...

Little e - queen of fussy dressers (and eaters but that is a whole other topic..) requested a dress. Yes, the girl who will only wear dresses if they are jersey fabric and not made by me actually asked me to make her a dress.

She chose this pattern

 and some pink gingham fabric with flowers printed on it.

I had to shortened the skirt by about 1/3 of the length as it was proper party dress length and she doesn't like dresses below the knee. Also, I lined the bodice which hides some of the scratchy seams...

It looks nice on the hanger, if only I knew what it looked like on, but of course she says it is a party dress and there have been no parties to go to yet...

My bets are that it is never worn and ends up as a gift for one of our friends daughters.

Oh well, it was nice of her to ask..

Monday, 28 April 2014

Me Made May 2014

I am going to bite the bullet this year and join in with Me Made May, so,

 'I, Alison of Heavenly Handmades, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear one handmade / refashioned item for 5 days per week of May 2014'

I seem to go through phases of wearing me made clothes so hopefully this will identify the things I should be sewing to fill the gaps in my wardrobe! I probably won't manage to take daily photos but I will try and do a roundup each week.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Mary Berry's Lemon Pavlova

I made this for Easter Sunday dessert and it was amazing, even my 97 year old Granny enjoyed it and she is normally my harshest critic! I have never been totally sucessful with the whole crisp on the outside and squishy on the inside pavlova thing but I managed it this time - yum!

I used this recipe. Be warned I used half the lemon curd I made and half the amount of cream specified and still had too much. I do have a nice jar of lemon curd in the fridge now for toast :)

I like a bit of fruit on a pavlova so used chocolate pebbles (mini eggs were sold out everywhere!) and blueberries for the decoration and didn't bother with the candied lemon rind - too much like hard work! Also, I only put the cream and lemon curd on 2/3 of the of it, little and Big E are fussy about things like that... I will definitely be making this again, a perfect spring summer dessert.

Linking to some of these fab linky parties.

Sunday, 20 April 2014


little e: the girl who is supposed to be giving up thumb sucking...!

Big E: Helping in the garden and giving me 'the look'!

Joining in with Jodi again for the 52 project.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

For the last few years, since living here and having a hall really, I have decorated an Easter Egg 'tree'. I use branches from our hazel tree in the garden and decorate it with paper mache eggs my Mum gave me. I do feel it is a bit away from the meaning of Easter though...

This year I decided to use the Palm Sunday crosses (there are 3 in there, bad photo!) I have been collecting for years just to remind us.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

DIY Statement Necklace

I have had these discs kicking about for years, they were strung as a rather odd belt which I never wore... I think the discs are coconut, my Dad brought the belt back from one of his trips to Brazil, but whatever they are they are very pretty just not as a belt!

Since I am on a 'make no clothes for me until I shrink a bit' plan I have been playing with my jewellery making stuff instead (a nice relief from the insane amount of painting, tiling and building units that has been going on in the Utility room and downstairs loo!) 

I used 6 discs, lots of jump rings and some fake leather string from something else I had taken apart ages ago.

It is exactly the kind of thing I have been looking for for ages to add colour to plain outfits. I wish I was a scarf person but I am just not so, from now on, it will be big, bright necklaces!

Linking to some of these fab linky parties.

Crafty Allie

Sunday, 13 April 2014


Big E: Mid crazy dance move....
little e: No I absolutely wasn't standing on the coffee table a second ago....
 Joining in with Jodi again for the 52 project.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

DIY Elsa from Frozen Dress

First, if you haven't seen Frozen, watch it, it is great, Sven is my favourite character..!

See the end of the post for more Elsa Dresses and a hairband!

I asked a friends daughter if she could dress up as anyone who would it be...her reply, "Elsa of course!" I knew what I was making for her 5th birthday!


I had to use a lot of creative license here as really this is a slinky dress for a lady with curves but I gave it a bash.

It started with a mass purchase of fabric from ebay:

Snowflake organza,

turquoise stretchy sequined fabric (1m), sheer ivory stretchy fabric (1m), pale blue crystal organza (2m) and turquoise stretch satin (2m). The whole lot set me back £24 and is enough to make 2 dresses, considering the dress from the Disney shop is £40 it was a bargain!

You will also need  about 30cm of decorative elastic and (waist size x 2 and a bit ) of narrow fairly light weight elastic.

I didn't have a suitable pattern so used an old t-shirt to make the pattern, here is the 'how to':

If your t-shirt has a collar cut it off then cut straight across just under the arms and cut it to the length of a correct size dress bodice ( I chopped about 3 inches off the bottom of this one). Get rid of the very bottom piece.

Cut the shoulder seams and up the centre of the sleeve and cut the remaining side seams.

Fold the pale stretch fabric so it is double layered. Pin the top and bottom section to the ivory (should be pale blue but I couldn't get any..). Here I used the back top piece as it needed a high neckline.

Here is where you have to wing it a little...

Cut round the t-shirt leaving a seam allowance all the way round. Extend the arms to full length.

(Aside: I ended up chopping the arms off, the final dress has short sleeves, because the fabric was only a one way stretch, check yours is 2/4 way before you go long sleeved...!)

Take only the lower portion of the t-shirt and cut out the sequin fabric (folded so you get 2), again leaving a seam allowance.

Take a bodice piece and pin the sequined piece to it, right sides together but with the sequins extending over the top of the bodice:

Stitch it in place and then flip it down:

Do this for the other bodice piece then place them right sides together and sew up the side and arm/shoulder seams, matching the sequined parts of the bodice.

It was this point I realised the stretch, or lack of it, issue and chopped the sleeves!

Next, take your Snowflake organza and cut it to length (under arms to floor on lucky recipient). My organza was narrow so it was just under twice the width of the bodice.

Take your decorative elastic and cut it to the width of the back bodice

You are now going to sew the organza on to the elastic while stretching the elastic so it is the same length as the organza is wide. You will have to hold front and back as it goes through the machine as it pulls on the needle otherwise.

Then take the organza on elastic and sew with a stretch stitch on to the bodice. I positioned it just under the seam line for stability.

Next you need to cut the fabric for the skirt. Lay the satin and pale organza on top of each other and cut them into a large rectangle, the width depends on how wide you want the skirt, mine was 46 inches, and the length entirely depends on the person it is for! I made mine calf length so that there is no tripping!

Join each piece of fabric individually so you will have 2 tubes. Place the satin inside the organza.

Take some narrow, fairly soft, elastic and sew it on to a loop that is waist sized.

Then, using the stretch and sew technique as before sew the 2 layers of skirt to the elastic (elastic on the inside).

 You will end up with this:

Trim any stray threads (if your fabric is like mine there will be millions!) then put the bodice inside the skirt, right sides together, and stitch them together. I used a stretch stitch and sewed in the elastic then overlocked the raw edges.

Lastly hem the skirts, neck and arm's. I used a rolled hem for the bodice and the normal fold 0.5cm then fold again 1cm hem on the skirts.

Turn the dress the right way out and give it a shake!

 The waistline will always be a little lumpy as there is elastic there but it is a dressing up costume, stretchy enough for kids to take on and off themselves and that is all that matters!

 Recruit a willing model  (bed head optional) -  little e is a lot taller that the little girl it was for so it is very short on her..

It must be ok, little e now wants one of her own and the little girl it was for declared that she loved it, phew!

Edited 30/12/14: I have made another two different Elsa dresses and a hairband, click on the pictures!


Linking to some of these fab linky parties.

 Threading My Way_Featured