Posts Categorised: DIY/Projects

Harry Duley Top and my home made Colette Clover Pants…

This is the first time I have used a Colette pattern and although I had to fiddle about a bit with it – I’m really pleased with how these pants turned out. I say pants, but to me they are trousers. But .. I’ll go with the original. :)

I don’t know if it’s just me but I cut out the pattern using my measurements and the pants were massive on me ! So I shaved off a lot of fabric from inside and outside leg ( naughty me, should’ve made up a toile first ) and some from the crotch – too much information ? :) Obviously, I had to make the waistband length shorter too which took no time. I used version 1 of the 2 but took out the front pockets.









When I make some more ( which I definitely will because they are so comfortable ) they will be much more fitted and 50s – probably in a gingham fabric.  I’ve cut the pattern to a size 0 now because with stretchy fabric it seems this is the size for me with these … ( not usually the case ! ) My only other observation is that the back waistband sits lower than the front but not a problem – it works.

British Clothing brand Harry Duley very kindly sent me the low cowl neckline, capped sleeve top that I am wearing with the trousers – it was so beautifully wrapped when it arrived. It felt like a real treat opening it up. All of their items are designed and made in the UK – and feel really soft !

I do love a t – shirt and needed a bit more colour in my wardrobe. I’ll wear it for Summer, then layer it up for the colder months. The draped front works on most shapes, I think. It’s good for me as I am quite large busted with a smallish frame and it feels nice to wear.

They also do an item called The Tube which looks interesting, it’s essentially a band of versatile fabric shaped from waist to hem that gives the effect of wearing lots of top layers, without having to actually wear lots of clothes. There’s also one for Mums to Be. Great idea, don’t you think ? :)

Have a look at their site – to see more.

Have you tried using Colette patterns before ? How did it work out for you ?

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I have received no payment for this post from Harry Duley. Just the lovely top to review !

Pocketful of dreams … Part 1

IMG_0464I’ve had a super fabulous mind bending, surreal time in New York this week. Had little time to prepare for it and was in there before I knew it.

Thought I’d take the opportunity to visit Andy out there as he was working at Madison Square Gardens. Got there late, dropped my suitcase off and ( and really late if you count the time difference ) – popped into the gig, met the band he’s working with and crew who were all lovely and then caught an hour of Muse. They were excellent – I forgot my camera though so I took a few instagram pictures instead.

It’s not the first time that I have been to the Big Apple, but it always feels like a film set when you step out onto the street. The energy is just what I needed at the moment ( more about that in part 2 ) and I find New Yorkers so engaging. NY1

As we only had a few days, we squeezed loads in – the first day we wandered down to the fashion district and went to Rosen and Chadick – a store of my fabric dreams ! Literally every type and colour that you can think of  – some I’ve never seen before. Great service too. I got a few – the leopard print is actually silk and feels sooo soft. I looked down at the pavement as we were walking away and spotted the Betsey Johnson plaque right there by my feet. I chose to study her work when I did a design course at London College of Fashion so it was quite apt, really. NY2

Then a cab ride to SoHo for some excellent Boutiques and a very sweet cafe called Smile for a little bit of lunch. American Apparel is everywhere in New York but I do love that shop so it was a treat ! I love their hoodies and finally got their shiny leopard print leggings that I’ve had my eye on for ages. How cool is the massive television below and the caravan ? They were in the Orla Kiely store. I can’t recall the name of the one with the eye balls for heads but couldn’t resist this pic ! IMG_0460

After a few hours we headed over to Brooklyn as I had tracked down a really good Barbers called TomCats on India Street who specialise in Vintage haircuts. Andy was in need of a cut and it was well worth the journey ! He has had a really good late 30s re style. The place was buzzing and the staff – really lovely. I just sat and people watched. IMG_0481IMG_0479IMG_0477

It was only a short walk to a boat ride from Brooklyn ( on the way I snapped some awesome graffiti – too many to add all ) to East 34th Street and then we walked back, freshened up and went out for some Japanese food at Monster Sushi. Great Bento box – very tasty ! IMG_0518
A few people had recommended 230 5th – a rooftop bar – and WOW the view was incredible. We sat and sipped cocktails and listened to some Ambient House music. They give robes to people if they get a bit chilly – it is heated up there but it was nice and cosy to wear one. We looked a bit like something from a Star Wars movie though… but, then again – so did everyone else.

Pretty much passed out in a jet lagged and Bellini induced world of sleep once we got back to the Hotel…. Zzzzzzz.

Part 2 coming tomorrow….

Have you been to New York or do you live there ? Which are your favourite places and stores ? …

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What I made this week with Their Nibs Fabric

I was extremely flattered when sought after Designer kids label Their Nibs of London dropped me a line to say that they love my blog. Their clothing and fabric prints are inspired by the 50s, 60s and 70s and what they do is  unique – so the feeling is pretty darn mutual. :)

They sent me over some of their hand designed fabric prints to work with on a couple of projects. How could you go wrong with the Toadstool fairy print ( above ) My daughter wore the dress today and we were stopped in the street by a lovely lady / complete stranger who said she thought it was beautiful ! I’ve never made pyjamas before, so thought I’d make some for my friends son …think he’s going to really like the pirates and cross bones.

I’ll tell you why I really enjoyed working with this Their Nibs fabric ( and then we’ll move onto the 5 metres giveaway !! :) ) ….

The fabric widths are 150 cm *rapturous applause* which seems rare nowadays but wholly a good thing in my opinion.This means you can get so much more out of each metre and make circle skirts etc with no faffing, front seams etc. The Cotton Poplin was very easy to manipulate with the pyjamas and they both press up lovely, like. I also think the prices are good. There endeth the lesson.

Win 5 metres of Their Nibs fabric – and you get to choose which print !

If you would like to enter this giveaway – you will need to do 2 things:

1. Go to the Their Nibs website HERE and pick out the fabric you would love to win – 7 to choose from ! NB: The Mermaid fabric is the only one currently not available. Then leave me a comment under this post telling me which one you have chosen.

2. Tweet or facebook this quote:

I’ve just entered the @lucylovesyablog giveaway to win 5 metres of beautiful @TheirNibs fabric. Enter here:

You must do both of these things to validate your entry. To be clear: the winner will receive 5 continuous metres of one fabric print. 

NB: I will be in the Big Apple for a few days this week ( so very excited ) … but will publish your comments when I get near my laptop so don’t worry if it isn’t showing for a few hours – it will !

T’s and C’s

The winner will be picked at random on Monday 22nd April at 7pm.

One entry per person.

Prize not redeemable for cash and no alternative offered.

Postage and Packaging supplied.

This giveaway is open to UK and Overseas residents.

I will contact the winner straight after this ends and will need a reply within 24 hours or a new person will have to be picked.

Have a look at the Their Nibs babies and kids clothing….extremely cute :) – and you can follow them on facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for news and offers.

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Make Roman Blinds – a Tutorial

As promised recently, having shown you my new sewing room roman blinds – here is a tutorial on how to make one for yourself. I’ve had some emails and tweets asking where my fabric is from – Kingdom Interiors and it’s Perroquet by Nina Campbell.

Before we get started, you will need:

Main fabric ( we will work out how much shortly.. )

Interlining ( Optional )

Blind lining fabric

Thread and sewing needle, scissors, pins, fabric chalk, tape measure, scissors, sewing machine, staple gun

Wooden baton cut to size inside or outside recess

Dowel rod and base bar – both of which you will need to cut to size.

Eye rings, blind cord, blind acorn, screw eyes and 1 cleat with screws.

All of these things should be obtainable from your local fabric shop, if not, try eBay.

Measuring up

Main fabric

You will either want the blind to sit inside or outside the recess. As you can see the one I made sits outside. You can do either as I have instructions here for both. Either way this tutorial is based on you using a 20 mm deep wooden baton. There are other methods but this is how I like to make them. If you are going outside the recess, the width of the window sill is your guide on how wide to make the blind and cut the baton.

Whether making for inside or outside the recess – measure vertically and horizontally , the top of the blinds will be stapled to the very top of the baton so remember to add allowances in the fabric length for this –  plus 5cm for a return at the top and 12 cm hem for the bottom. Each side of the blind will need 5cm return = 10cm total.

Work out all of these measurements below before buying your fabric to ensure you have enough – make sure too that your fabric width is wide enough for your window. Unless you have a plain fabric or a non obvious pattern you won’t be able to use the fabric sideways.

Horizontal: Desired width of finished blind + 2 x 5 cm ( 10 cm ) = Total width to cut.

Vertical:  length from very top of baton down to window ledge or desired finished drop + 17cm ( return and hem ) = Total length to cut.

NB. Before you cut, if the fabric has an obvious pattern – make sure you have decided on which parts of this you want to use and that you have it the right way up. In other words, frame in your mind the finished blind and how you want the it to look. I made sure on mine that the birds were as central as possible.

Interlining ( optional )

Same measurements as main fabric. I like to use this as it makes the blind more sturdy and it blocks out some light. You could use black out lining instead if you are making a bedroom blind – this will make your room much darker when they are down.

Lining fabric

Horizontal: Finished width + 4.5 cm either side ( 9cm ).

Vertical: Finished drop + 5cm return for top edge.

You will also be adding rod pockets to the lining – so will need to also add on 2.5 cm per pocket ( dependent on size – the larger the blind the more rod pockets will be required )

Putting your baton up

I recommend cutting to size and stapling the rough side of your velcro on to the top before doing this. You can always do it afterwards but if you have little space between baton and ceiling it will be trickier once it’s up.

Making the blind

Cut out your fabrics. Double check you have the right measurements ( above ) and go for it. Do the same with your lining fabric.

Starting with your main fabric – lay out flat with wrong side facing up. Place the interlining on top of the main fabric so that all corners match up and press both sides towards you by 5 cm. The interlining should be sitting inside the main fabric. Snip the corners ( see pic below ) off the interlining at the bottom of the blind to avoid too much bulk later when you mitre them ( you will see what I mean .. ). Then fold the lining fabric in by 5cm each side too and press.

Now, you need to work out where the rod pockets are to be sewn in on the lining fabric.

To give you an example – my blind has 3 rods and so is divided into 7 sections ( the number of sections is always the number of rod pockets multiplied by 2 then add 1 ) from the base of the screw eyes to the bottom of the finished blind is 121.5 cm so divide this by 7 and each section measures 17.4 cm – therefore the spacing between each rod pocket is 2 x 17.4 cm which = 34.8 cm.

Making sure the wrong side ( the side you have pressed the seams into ) of the lining is facing up Stick a pin where each rod pocket is going to be and then mark 125mm either side of each pin. One by one, fold and press each pocket so that the marks are facing each other ( each ” loop ” should total 2.5 cm ), press them and then machine sew all along the widths of the blind. You now have your rod pockets.

As above, lay out you main fabric ( if you have added interlining this should still be sitting inside ) with right side facing up. Lay the lining on top, wrong side up – checking that the top and bottoms of the main and lining fabric are adjacent and that the lining is placed centrally, you’ll find that the lining is just short in size of the main fabric – about 2.5 cm each side. Ease out any wrinkles, then mitre ( fold corners ) the bottoms of the main fabric inwards ( this is why you cut the the corners off the interlining ) so that they are the same width as the lining and pin to the main fabric. Machine sew a 1 cm line along the width off all of these layers to hold them together.

Turn the main fabric and lining out the other way so that the right side of of each is on the outsides. The interlining is now in the inside, still folded inside the main fabric. Pull the top of the lining up so that it matches the top of the main fabric and ease out any creases in all layers and then pin all along the top and sides. The recess bottom of the blind should look like this:

Give the blind a pressing all over. Double check for any creases because you are next going to machine sew a 1 cm line all along the top width of layers. Once you’ve done this, either machine or hand sew the soft side of the velcro all along the top of the wrong side of the blind ( above ).

Place the base bar inside the bottom of the blind. They generally come in metre lengths so you may need to cut to size.Now, from the very bottom of each side, herringbone stitch the reverse of the main blind to the lining. Don’t yet stitch up the rod pocket as you haven’t inserted them yet :)

Hand sew eye rings 5 cm in on each rod pocket and then space others in between, depending on how many cords you are using vertically, to pull the blinds up ( I used 3 on my blind ) and then stab stitch just under each of the rod pockets. I tend to do two stitches as find it holds all layers together better, especially if you have interlining.

Insert your cut to size dowel rods and then sew up the ends of the rod pockets. 

Screw the screw eyes into the base of the baton. They need to be directly above the threads and one above the cleat – time to decide here if you want this to be on the left or right of the window. Screw the cleat in half way down the window ready.

On each bottom eye ring attach a cord by tying a knot and then thread up through each eye ring above then to the left or right, dependent on which side the cleat will be.

Putting the blind up

Velcro the blind together at the top. Now cut and thread the blind cords up through the relevant screw eyes above and then if going left thread all cords through each screw eye including the one above the cleat or vice versa if you are going right. Gently pull all cords down at the side so that the they are all taught at the back and threaded without any loose cords and then braid all cords together down the side ( this is for safety too ). Cut the braid where the cleat is and attach a weight on the end by threading the plait through and then knotting it underneath.

When you pull the braided cord the blind should pull up evenly ! It might take a few days to sit “right” so I recommend leaving it up for a few days for the folds to settle.

My new Sewing Room – Ta-da !

You may have noticed a lack of posts showing my makes recently, it’s been a transitional phase plus I have been doing alterations. Also, you might have heard me banging on and on about wanting a sewing room and then about it being on the way  – with the crescendo tweets of “I have a new space to sew.. finally !” – So I thought I would share my new love with you.

It is so much easier now to do dressmaking, the kitchen table just wasn’t cutting it anymore. A family friend who’s a carpenter made the craft block to my specifications which is amazeballs – now I don’t have to keep bending right over to draw patterns and pin clothes.

To have a permanent place for my machines feels like such a luxury, I’ve put pictures up and things around that inspire me – like this Magical Bunny lamp from MiaFleur. It was my Birthday present from Andy.

My Sister painted this old dresser top for me. She used two colours, one as the main and a green just peeping through where she distressed it. I really love it. If you are looking to have something up cycled look no further than Clare ! Email me if you want more details.

I made these blinds with Nina Campbell fabric from Kingdom Interiors. Look out very soon for a Roman blind tutorial, here on my blog if you fancy making one.

Hope you like my room ! Do you have space where you can work ? Or is it in the pipeline, like this was for AGES !

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Feel free to use my images – just please ping a link back to me here at LucyLovesYa.

To get on a red bus and go anywhere…

Hope you are having a wonderful Mothers Day weekend ?

It’s worked out well for us this time as Andy has been at home – it’s been a busy year for him and we missed out on being together for our First Anniversary and my Birthday last month so we headed into London yesterday for a family day – I took my new camera along and although I only used the automatic setting ( must try harder ! ).. I took a few pics along the way.

Andy wanted to make sure that I had a bit of pampering and fun – so we visited Selfridges. I had an impromptu manicure using Baker Street Nails Inc polish – very bright !.. As you can see, I have no nails to speak of so the lovely technician did an excellent job !


Not sure if I have mentioned before but I have a slightly out of hand, Converse addiction twinned with a penchant for leopard print so it was only right to give these beauties a loving home. :)


We had our lunch there, shared a few cupcakes and trundled onto Liberty London for a browse and I bought these fabrics, trim and buttons ( below ).. what to make ? – Then we popped into a very rammed Hamleys – up through Kingly Court and wandered for a while around the tireless streets.


I had a really good chat with the man in Castle Fine Art at St Christophers Place – if you’re ever in that area – check out their shop as they have some Stan Lee, Marvel ( signed ) canvases along with Bob Dylan paintings amongst other gifted artists. Well worth a visit. Marimekko is also just along there and their bold fabrics are as ever – stunning.


We took a boat ride to The Tower of London – even though it was grey, the sight of St Pauls Cathedral, Big Ben, The Shard and all the buildings on The South Bank warmed the cockles of my heart. Bliss.




Finishing off the day with a much needed 50s restyle for Andy at Rocket Barbers in Hackney.Touring leaves little time for such thing as a haircut ! :)

Being a Londoner at heart, I do miss the eternal buzz of the Big Smoke. It is true that you take things for granted when they’re on your doorstep. Almost everyday when I lived and worked in London I passed all of these places but was always in a rush to get to somewhere else ! I find it important though to get in now whenever I can for inspiration – I’m really looking forward to the Ideal Home Show next week.

What’s your favourite part of London and why ?.. How do you like to spend an ideal day ?

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INSPIRE ME – With Olivia Rubin







When leaving Central St Martins, five years ago, Olivia Rubin was picked for the prestigious Press Show and gained much attention with a “standout collection”.

I remember very clearly the first time I saw Olivia’s famous brick print pieces – this was because I immediately fell in love with them. Her prints are always distinctive with beautiful colours – and she creates “fashionable yet timeless” which I really admire in a Designer.

Five years on she has seven fabulous seasons under her belt, cool collaborations with ASOS, Dorothy Perkins, and a huge amount of fans including Fearne Cotton, Tess Daly and Una Healy.

So, it is a real pleasure to share this ‘Inspire Me’ interview with you…









Your brand won notoriety immediately on leaving Central St Martins  – how did this come about and were you ready for all the attention ?

It was very competitive to get into the press show at CSM so out of hundreds of students I was obviously super chuffed just to make it that far. My final collection was based on art deco lesbians and teddy boys so it had a very significant hand writing. I think this drew in attention particularly to my ‘naked lady’ prints and that’s when I started to grow my name and portfolio.









Is your home full of bold colours and graphic prints?

Definitely not at the moment. My husband and I are in the process of moving but as soon as we get settled into a new home I have big interior design plans. I am envisioning bold colour and possibly some brick print wall paper !

Was it always your vision to become a fashion designer ?

As clichéd as it sounds it always was. I inherited my grandpa’s artistic flair at a very young age and was constantly painting and sketching. I even used to set up a little stall outside my parents house and sold some of my paintings, so I think the combination of creativity and business nous was present in my early teen years.









You use silk in lots of your garments – is it your favourite fabric to work with ?

Silk lends itself to bright colours and prints so it was the obvious fabric of choice to start with. It is also a very luxurious fabric that can be manipulated in a variety of ways so it is definitely one of my favourite fabrics to use and a garment in silk lasts forever !









Your prints are so eye catching. Do you use manual screen printing methods or Photoshop – and why ?

At CSM we were always encouraged to hand draw elements to start off with to give prints a unique hand writing. That method has stuck with me and I normally start off with some drawing or painting and then develop the patterns on Photoshop to give them a more intense dimension. It also completely depends on the print/look I’m trying to achieve-some of my prints are bold and graphic which lends itself to computer lead work, whereas others have a more organic feel so I try and limit the work on Photoshop so they retain a hand drawn feel.

I love your signature print and have several of the dresses !  Might you ever produce a homeware brick print range ?

Definitely ! I have been really keen to explore where my prints could go outside of the fashion realms so I am in talks with different areas and licensors to discuss potential opportunities. I think it’s a natural progression I have reached in my career.









You have worked with ASOS,,  Dorothy Perkins to name a few – Who else would you love to collaborate with ?

There’s a lot of other potential retailers I would love to collaborate with. I don’t want to stretch my brand too thinly though so I think for the moment I am focusing on exploring potential ranges outside of fashion, which could work with my prints.

Please can you offer some inspiring words for new designers ?

Take your time and stay focused on your goal. Work experience is key as it really gives you an insight into what area of fashion you really want to focus on. After interning at John Galliano I knew my strength and passion was print so I started to concentrate more on that side of my work. Then when the timing was right and the perfect opportunity came along to showcase my collection I went for it and have grown my brand since then.









Five years on – what would you say have been the highlights so far ?.. and where do you see your brand in another five years ?    

So many highlights; showing at LFW, dressing Cheryl Cole, getting my first exclusive in Vogue, setting up my South Molton street showroom, working with some great companies and brands, meeting some life long friends, travelling, producing some key pieces….

The first 5 years was so focused on the fashion industry that I hope the next five I can take my prints and grow my brand into other areas and make my prints iconic while still retaining my presence within fashion.









Big thanks to Olivia for sharing some advice and her time.

I cannot wait for the homeware :) Do you have a favourite Olivia Rubin design ? 

Check out all of the S/S 2013 range here. You can also follow her on Twitter @OliviaRubin and become a fan on facebook :)

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All images copyright Olivia Rubin 2013

INSPIRE ME – with Tatty Devine

Rosie_Harriet_TattyDevieToday is a good day. A really good day and I’m a little bit excited… because I am sharing my recent interview with the creators of a brand that I LOVE more than all the tea in China…

Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine have made a big name for themselves over the last thirteen years as Co Founders and designers of cult jewellery brand Tatty Devine, creating the most unique, fun and clever pieces made from often from perspex, but also wood, veneer, leather and enamel.

Their designs are featured around the clock in magazines such as Vogue, Grazia, Elle, Cosmopolitan… and stand firm as one of United Kingdoms most original and exciting brands.

As it’s coming up to Christmas, I thought I might also mention their fab  “How to make jewellery with Tatty Devine” book – a really good idea for any crafty, jewellery loving people in your life. It’s 125 pages of creative inspiration and shows you how to transform any object into a new accessory and, what you will need to get started. At £12.99 I think it’s a very good price ! It’s on my list ! You will also find on their website that they sell stitching patterns and run jewellery making workshops too.

When you met at College, did you hit it off straight away ?

At Chelsea the year was split into 4 groups over 2 floors, Harriet and I were in different groups on different floors, so it look a while for us to become friends. In the second year the roof fell in on where I was living, I’d heard that Harriet had a spare room so I rang her up. Once I’d moved in we hit it of straight away.






You opened your first boutique on Brick Lane, thirteen years ago – did you know even then how loved and popular your brand would become ?

We had no idea ! We were just having so much fun and our criteria was to have a good time, make original things ( we just didn’t want to look like everyone else ) and not get ‘proper jobs’. We’ve stuck to all these things, although it could be argued that we now have proper jobs !

I can spot a ‘Tatty Devine’ piece a mile off.. what would you say makes your jewellery so unique and distinctive ?

I think its a few things, the first being that our techniques are unique to us as we have created and developed them, that we never want to go for the obvious – so I think there is always an unusualness to our jewellery and we like to think our jewellery is of the highest quality – which makes it stand out.

Do you have a current best seller ?

Other than the perennial name necklace we have been selling out of fox brooches and the Arrgh Necklace has been doing very well.

You have collaborated with lots of creative people so far, who would you love to work with next ? 

We’d love to work with Grayson Perry.


Where do you get your inspiration for new designs and how far ahead do you work on new seasonal pieces ?

We’re currently finishing off AW13, so for the non seasonal collections we tend to work3-6 months ahead.

Are you music fans ? If so, what do you like to listen to when designing ?

We love music, it’s always been central to what we do. When we’re designing we listen to whatever we are currently into, although there are always old favourites like Belle and Sebastian, Electrelane or ESG.

As well as making your products, you also run jewellery making workshops and sell a “How to make jewellery” book – what inspired this ?

We’ve always done events to celebrate Tatty Devine and get involved with the customer. Our customers just love anything experiential and at heart we are all about DIY so we thought it would be fantastic to do a book with making ideas and to support this with workshops to give people the chance to make some of the pieces with the Tatty team.

With your jewellery stocking in over 300 stores worldwide as well as your own, how do you make it all happen ?

We’ve got a team of 30 people that make it all happen. Harriet and I design and oversee everything, but then we have people making, packing, doing the admin, working in the shop and workshops, doing the press and marketing, the accounts, the customer care and someone to look after our wholesale customers and attend trade shows.

What do you love most about  being designers and having your own business ?

The freedom to do what we want to do and the joy of making people happy with our jewellery.


What are your career highlights to date ?

Opening our shop in Covent Garden, the pop up in Selfridges and working with people like Rob Ryan, Gilbert and George and Tate.


Can you offer advice to anyone reading this who has a unique brand idea but doesn’t know where to start ?

Start small, let it develop organically and put all your energy and enthusiasm into it. Most importantly have faith in your idea and in yourself.

What can we expect next from Tatty Devine? Personally, I can’t wait…. :)

So much, 2013 is going to be a very exciting year.

Highly inspirational stuff and thanks so much to them both for taking the time out for a little chat. Here’s hoping for a Grayson Perry collaboration soon !

Do you have a favourite Tatty Devine design ? Please do leave me a comment below and spill the beans… ? :)

Follow Tatty Devine on Twitter, Become a fan on Facebook and you can see an abundance of cool jewellery, learn more about their workshops.. oh, and check out the brill book on their website.

All images copyright Tatty Devine 2012.

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Tutorial – making a bag with bamboo handles









As promised, after the recent bag that I made – here is my tutorial on how to make yourself ( or a friend ! ) a lined bag like this with bamboo handles. Some of you mentioned that you were thinking of making one as a Christmas present – a nice idea and it won’t cost the earth to do.









You will need:

2 pieces of your chosen fabric for the outer bag ( this is a pretty heart needlecord from Fabric Rehab ) sized 40cm ( 15 7/8″.. ish x 20″ plus seam allowances all around each piece of 1.5cm ( 5/8″ )

2 pieces of fabric for your lining, 40  x 50 cm ( 20″ ), again not forgetting the 1.5cm seam allowance.

Sewing machine ( is it also possible to sew all by hand – will just take longer )

thread colour of your choice

sewing needle


fabric scissors

bamboo handles – mine are from Fabric Yard and size 13.8cm ( 5 4/8″ ) in diameter.

Assuming you have already cut your fabric ready, pin the two outer pieces of fabric together so that right sides are facing each other ( and if you have a pattern on it, that it’s all facing the right way ! ) and stitch them together with a 1.5cm seam allowance, all along what will be the ( 50cm ) bottom of the bag and also stitch together 20cm up the edges –  I have marked the fabric on this rectangle piece to show you exactly what I mean. Nip the bottom corners off with some scissors, be careful not too cut through the stitching. Press the seams flat.















Repeat this process with the lining fabric, right sides facing.

Next, it’s time to sew the lining to the outer bag pieces. This sounds a little fiddly but when you’ve done it once, it will make sense.. hopefully !..

Turn the outer bag inside out and pop it inside the lining of the bag .. working on the left hand side of the bag first, place the unstitched side seams together with right sides facing making sure that both the lining and the outer bag meet at the 20cm stitch you made earlier ( see pic below ) and then pin it ( see second pic below )…
















Then stitch them together with a 1.5cm seam from the top of one side down to the middle where you meet the top of the 20cm stitch. Stop here. Then repeat this from the top of the other side ( we are still on the left hand of bag, don’t sew the right hand side yet ) so that you meet the top of the 20cm stitch poin again. Stop. Turn the bag the right way out and check it –  ultimately, when you turn the bag the right side out, you want it to look like this pic. If you still have a little gap then the stitches haven’t met each other yet.









Repeat with the right hand side of the bag.

Now, turn the bag all the right way out, to double check that the right side of your outer bag is on the outside and the lining is inside and all seams should be hidden away in the wrong sides of the bag. Give inside and outside a press as this is the last chance you’ll have to do this.









Turn back out to the right way again. Fold and press both the the lining and outer bag inwards by 1.5cm ( as above ) and press – and then turn it on once more by 3cm ( like the pic below ) and press again. If you have thinner or thicker bamboo handle, you may need to adjust how much you turn the fabric over by.









Using your first bamboo handle, fold the 3cm pressed fabric around this handle and pin it as you go. Don’t do it too tight, mind… or you won’t be able to gather the bag around the handle once you’ve sewn it.









Once you’ve pinned it all, sew the folded fabric by hand along the edge to only the lining inside ( so that you can’t see the stitches on the outer side ) and repeat with the other side and bamboo handle.









You’re done :)

Does this all make sense ? I hope so :)

I think in total, I spent about £11 on materials, so a not too bad priced pressie that just requires the time to make it.

Please let me know if and when you make this – and how you get on.. any questions just leave me a comment under here and I will get back to you in no time !

I love to hear your thoughts so please do leave me a comment…

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Kitsch fabric, 50s dress… I’m in heaven…

dress1I just wanted to show you this simple little vintage style dress that I’ve just finished. The fabric has been sitting in my cupboard for over a year.. maybe slightly because I like it alot, I didn’t want to use it up on something that didn’t get plenty of airings ! Luckily there’s enough left to make something else with it too.  It’s a nice feeling, making things that I can keep and pass onto my little daughters ( they already have their eyes on half of my wardrobe ! ) and this fabric is great quality so it should last the test of time… I just wish I could remember where I bought it from, incase anyone likes it.. but I can’t, sorry !

The bodice is from a pattern, in fact the same one I used for the polka dot dress for my friend, Lou ( I’ve added a detachable bow too, similar to her dress ) But, the skirt, I had to cut out a rectangle of fabric for front and back and gather it as it just wasn’t wide enough for full circle. I really wish there were more fabrics with wider widths, because it would make dressmaking sooo much easier. I guess there is always the option of having a seam down the skirt front as well as the sides, but personally, I prefer a simpler look. The dress has a cream lining and I popped some netting left over from my wedding dress, onto the skirt to add some fullness. I really recommend chalk marking the lining of the skirt where you are about to sew the netting in before doing it, it can end up wonky otherwise and it’s a right old pavlova palaver !

Now, accessorizing this… hmmm….Dolly Dagger have a very pretty Tarina Tarantino lucite bead bracelet that would work really well with the dress ( hint hint Father Cwistmas ! )…

… and I love these Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Patchuli III wedge heels, also from Dolly Dagger

What do you think, bow or no bow ? Are you making anything 50s at the moment ?  Do you have a favourite dress that you’ll keep forever more ? Leave me a comment and tell me, tell me !! :)

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