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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Mini Me and the Sewing Bee

Coco dresses and mini versions (using Flashback Skinny Tee)

Okay, okay. I know I said I would hold off writing things here until Kids Clothes Week was over.

But, is anyone else feeling sad that the Great British Sewing Bee is over? Look away now if you haven't had chance to watch the final yet.

Once again, those producers have succeeded in opening my eyes to another thing I'd like to make at home. A silk tie. I haven't sewn anything for my hubby before, but maybe this might be the thing I try doing. I felt sorry for poor Chinelo - I would not have liked to try and understand those complicated instructions under the pressure of timed conditions either. But the challenge of focusing on the neat constructions of one small thing, and making those hand stitched parts look truly beautiful when I have tonnes of time to spend on it really appeals. And I'd really enjoy guilt free shopping for some silk to make it with, knowing it was for someone special. And choosing lining to contrast - I'd like that bit too!

So, another new sewing challenge to add to the list.

On the vintage coat front, I read Tilly's review of the second GBSB book, and have spotted that the mustard coat Tamara made features in it. I'll definitely be cheekily having a poke through the book next time I'm in town, and maybe buying it now.

As for the final challenge. Wow. I sat watching them all, already with an inkling of who I thought was going to win. As the dresses started to reach completion, I knew Heather would win. Chinelo's dress was the one I would dream of wearing. And maybe, given enough time and practise, the one I could imagine myself making. But, Heather's skill and finished garment was just in another league from the other two, don't you think? It looked absolutely exquisite - it would be impressive for any amateur to make something like that, but to do so under such pressure was just brilliant. I thought the way she handled those metres and metres of organza and the way it draped was sheer perfection. I loved Patrick's comment about budget when he listened to Heather list the quantities of fabrics she planned on using. (Here's the clip if you missed it and want to know what I'm going on about.) And the bodice. Oh, my. And that detachable bustle, too. Wow. A well deserved win.

So, the final challenge is certainly not something I'll be attempting at home any time soon. Although it has been a great lesson in the art of the possible. Maybe by the time I have had the 30 sewing years experience Heather has had, I will be ready to whip up a wedding dress for one (or all four!) of my daughters. Now there is a task worthy of pulling out all stops.

For the time being, my little girls are happy with my current level of sewing ability. In their little world, I am super sewing mummy, who is like the Sewing Bee contestants. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

And, in their world, dressing so you match your mummy is COOL.

I have indulged them. And I am not even sorry.

Look away if you don't like Julie Andrews. (I love her, and the Sound of Music remains my favourite film. Enough said.)

This summer, there will be some matching mummy and daughter action going on when we're on our holidays in Devon. I will hold judgement on whether I'm going to allow it to happen closer to home. I might bump into people, you know. What will probably start happening, is I will deliberately get dressed after them (to avoid matching mummy and daughter), and, whichever daughter owns the dress that matches the one I am wearing, will rush upstairs and change into hers. I can still remember the matching sheep and hills jumpers me and my mum had when I was little, and how much I loved it when she wore hers at the same time as me. So maybe I should put my cringes aside and let them have their fun.

Grown up Cocos and mini versions for daughter #1 (scooters) and daughter #2 (spots)

For now, the washing line like this makes me smile without suppressing any cringes. And, I got both the mini dresses out of the leftover jersey from the 2 metres I'd bought for my own original versions. Bonus. In my head, that counts as free clothing for my children.


  1. Oh yes, I am so with you on the Sewing Bee, I will miss it so much. I bought the book the day it came out, as I happened to be in Costco and it was £12, even I thought that was worthwhile. I also thought Heather was going to win, it is a skills competition and Chinello had gaps, even if she is a totally amazing designer and will go so far. she just lacked a year or twos sewing experience. They were all winners, but especially Lynda, David and Jenni. I still haven't bought Coco, as I think I may try the skater dress from the GBSB book, but the dresses are so gorgeous. Of course they will change into Mummy's dress, I just know my three girls would shoot me now if I suggested it, my youngest is nearly 18!! Recently found your blog and love it!! Fiona

  2. and of course as well as matching your daughters clothing wise you can make yourself a dress and your husband a tie in the same fabric!!! How fab? I made matching ties to the bridesmade dresses at my wedding for the men, not in silk though. Have fun sewing xxx

  3. The mini me challenge is great! I loved what you sew!
    I'm so sad the GBSB ended...I discovered it recently and I'm totally hooked. Already watched the 1st and 2nd seasons and love it. My favourite this time was Tamara, but Heather is great too. Never thought of sewing a tie...don't think I will...

  4. The mini dresses are the cutest thing, EVER. I have a son so don't think I can get away with wearing the same outfit!

  5. Love it! Let's just hope we don't bump into each other in town - you in your spotty dresses and us in ours. As soon as I wear my spotty dress, Evie wants hers on and will wear nothing else. Hence I ended up in the range, all three of us in spots. Embarrassing for me, but the girls loved it, which is more important than what strangers think, surely?

  6. The mini dresses are so cute as are your COCOs too! Am amazed you got both dresses out of 2 meters. I really want the Coco pattern but at the moment I can't justify the cost. It's on my wish list though.