Sunday, 18 December 2011

Fate and a ' Posh Frock '

I have a friend, who always thought she would never need me to do any sewing for her, as she just did not get invited to an occasion where she would need a 'posh frock' .

This year however, quite by accident, she met a new man.  You cant help but believe in fate sometimes !!  She rang a phone number, twice, left messages, thinking it was someone that she knew.  What are the odds on typing in a wrong number TWICE, the person  rang her back to inform her of the mistake, not only does he live in the same town as her, but he was single . They started texting each other, met up and fell in love.  How amazing is that !! 

So, his boss had arranged an evening of fine dining and a casino, hence the need for the 'posh frock'  .

I have not made the dress, it was ordered over the internet and although they ask you to measure for the sizes, this dress arrived 1-2 sizes bigger than we ordered, so extensive alterations were needed and the train was taken off the back.
The other thing I did was to make a black satin bolero and a matching clutch bag to finish off the outfit.  The picture is a bit fuzzy because we were laughing :) But she was so pleased, and so was I.  It is a lovely story and I am so pleased that she finally gets her very own 'posh frock ' x

Monday, 21 November 2011

Beautiful Bride xx

Today I received an email with these gorgeous pictures. This is my bride that I have written about in two previous posts and I couldn't be prouder of the how lovely she looks when all dressed up . 

Friday, 11 November 2011

Poppy Dress, For A Different Remembrance x

Earlier in the year I met a Mother of the Bride and made three purple bridesmaids dressses, which are on a previous post.  Whilest I was making the dresses, her sister, who had been ill for a short time, sadly passed away before the wedding took place.

On one occassion, whilest bringing a bridesmaid for a fitting she mentioned that there might be another project that she may want me to do.
Before her sister got ill, she had made up the lining for a dress which she had picked out this fabric for but unfortunately had been unable to finish it .

The fabric is just lovely with embroidery and some poppys are attached
She tried on the lining, I did a few alterations , used the lining as the pattern and made up the dress for her . 
It was picked up today, and she loves it. It is obviously very special to her for her own reasons of
remembrance.I felt quite honoured to be asked to be asked to finish it for her  

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Well, I seem to be up really early, so rather than trying to get some more sleep , figured I would do something useful .LOL Have not blogged for a bit but thought I would show you what I have just completed.
I have a lady who I do alterations for , she raises money for a charity involved in helping people in the Air Force who have become injured through their work. Something she knows about personally.
 Well, she sent her Mum to me because she too  needed some work doing, as she is to receive an award in London for her fundraising. Fabulous, and well deserved. It always amazes me how much of a positive person she is when she visits too, even though she is no doubt, in constant discomfort.

Basically the job to do was to change a stole, into something easier to wear, now that the weather has taken a bit of a dip.
Luckily the stole was nice and wide, so it was no problem.  Here is what the stole is now , along with the top of the dress it is to go with.  She was very pleased, and a very proud Mum.
Here's wishing the family the best of luck on their trip to London and congratulations on a well deserved award xxx

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Buyer Beware

When making a dress in ivory only, you do always need to make sure that you use good quality fabrics, or you run the risk of being able to see through the dress !!!

However, I had a lady ring me up with a bit of an emegency. The bride had bought a bridesmaids dress from Debenhams and considered that it was rather indecent for the bridesmaid as you could see right through !!. The dress itself is lovely, however the skirt was made up of 2 layers of low cost lining fabric and 1 layer of tulle.

So I took the skirt away from the bodice, removed the tulle layer, inserted another lining and added 2 more layers of tulle , just to add a bit more body to the skirt.
I had a look on the Debenhams website and it has actually had nothing but good reviews.  One of them even said the quality of the fabric was good !!  Still, managed to improve it for my customer

Monday, 26 September 2011

Proper Bust Measuring, so easily explained !

Recently , whilest working with a patterns I had given to make a dress from, I decided to look on the internet for information about measuring .

Obviously I have been measuring people for quite a while and one of the areas I always have to remark about is getting the underwear right . This is actually a very important area because it needs to be the correct fit, and you do not want anything showing if you are having, for example, a strapless dress.

Whilest, browsing/wasting time !!! on the internet, I came across a site that explains the bust and cup size measurements with such ease .

In google search, type in   and go to the section underneath which says MEASURING GUIDE.

It really does explain very easily the size of bra you should be wearing and the cup size of it.

BTW, I am nothing to do with the Amplebosom website , just thought I would pass on the information

Paula x

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Cant Wait Any Longer !!

This post is connected to the previous post, which shows ideas and information I was given.

I do not have any official photographs because Emily only got married yesterday, but I do have some that we took on completion. I look forward to seeing some when she is all dressed up properly.

After our first talk, I knew she did not want anything too fussy. The main focus was to be the lace.
I ordered this from  They very kindly sent me a sample and , after looking at several different types of laces we decided on the best one.

Here is the final dress.

I love this dress, and most importantly, the Bride and her Mum do too .
It was a pleasure to create Emily her dream dress .

The main body of the skirt is Satin, with a Chiffon overlay.
The buttons down the back are covered in the lace, because, for me , the back of a wedding dress is just as important as the front as this is what people are looking at throughout the ceremony.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Happy Birthday :)

Woo Hoo !! Tis my birthday today.
I hope the brides I have worked with have a great day and the weather is kind, its not  been too bad where I am .

I love my birthday because you get random emails and texts from allsorts of people wishing you a Happy Birthday.
 This year Next have been in touch with the offer of £5.00 off my next order of £25.00. Lovely, one of my favourite shops
Snow Patrol sent me an email and a text !!! Makes me feel VERY special LOL. They are one of my favourite bands, even before they were texting me.
Also, I had Best Wishes from a community I have slightly neglected of late. It is a fabulous craft forum and highly recommended . There are lots of lovely people on there.

If you sew, knit, crochet, craft, or like to chat, have a craft -related problem and need advice, thinking of starting in business etc . People are there to listen and try and help if you have any queries.
The people range from complete beginners to very competent and experienced. Most of all, this site is just lovely and very friendly, and anyone who cant be , is removed.

There are so many useful tips etc, and although its UK based, there are people from all over the world on there. 
Ok , enough waffle, I think  I have said enough !!! LOL But even as someone who has been sewing for quite a while, I still learn new tips/ techniques and I have passed on my own tips too. 

Basically wanted to say is a site worth looking at XX

Friday, 16 September 2011

Ooooh Excited !!

Cant wait !! Cant show you the proper dress yet, the bride is getting married tomorrow but I love the dress I have recently finished.  As a bit of a pre-lim to the actual pictures I thought I would write a post on the ideas that she came to me with. 
I often get people come to me with some pictures of dresses which the person likes a bit of one and some of another but has had no luck finding the RIGHT one .
My bride to be came to me with some pictures, and she had also been to see another dressmaker too, who had created a drawing for her based on what she thought the dress would look like. Our 2 ideas were totally different even though we had been told the same things.
So, the Bride to be went off and considered, and came back to me because she liked my idea.  Which I consider very lucky, because my drawing is not especially good !!!! Something I really need to work on .
Here are some of the comments and pictures that I had to work with

I dont know if the writing might be a bit small to read, but it basically says everything I needed to know about the style she wanted. Top part of lace, with an asymmetrical ruched part, Aline skirt with a bit of volume and train.  Quite simple but elegant , no jewels or crystals .

I just hope the weather is kind tomorrow !! I have been telling her it is always nice in September , its my birthday tomorrow and it usually is a nice day !!!  I have a new rule now, never talk about the English weather !! Really, nothing is a given anymore !! The weather forecast is not too great !!

I just hope she has a lovely day.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

My Sewing 'Bible'

Just thought I would share with you, what I consider to be my sewing 'Bible'.

When I went to college, back in ........ (Too long ago !!) I was told that the best book to get would be Readers Digest Complete Guide To Sewing.  It has so much information that it really has been unnecessary for me to purchase any other sewing book for techniques of everything I need.  Although that has not necessarily stopped me !! After all , I am a woman who likes to buy books even if I never open them again after I have bought them LOL

Every now and again I will get it out and go back to basics, it is surprising that even though I have been sewing for many years , that I can still learn a technique that saves me time.

I found the tutorial on invisible zips, that I had avoided for a long time, was actually very easy.  I dont have the correct foot for an invisible zip, just a normal zip foot that came with my machine and once you get the hang of it, was so simple to fit that I was annoyed with myself that I had not tried sooner !!
You do not necessarily need to have loads of fancy gadgets and gizmos, just a bit of practice with what you already have .

People I have made dressses for say that I must be a very patient person !! But they are quite wrong, if I cant get something straight away, I tend to give in and go back to my own methods, but really, with a bit more patience !!! you can probably save yourself time in the long run .  Think I might have to try my own advice on this one LOL . Happy sewing xx

By the way, if anyone who reads this has any other books they consider to be fabulous, please feel free to let me know. I love to nosey through a book, even if it is only once LOL  I liked this books so much, I now have 2 because found one in a charity shop for a bargain £1 !!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

A Big Thankyou, and New Look 6699

Before I get to the dressmaking part of this blog. I would just like to thank those of you who take the time to read and comment . Unfortunately, due to being a more creative person, computers and their terminology baffle me still !!  I used to be able to comment back to my readers, but for some reason its telling me I cant anymore !!!
 So I would just like to say THANKYOU XXX 
All those that I follow, I do read too, just so you know and dont think me rude :)

This post is connected to a previous post about purple satin and the pattern NEW LOOK 6699.
I made 3 bridesmaid dresses for a lady whom I never met ! Her Mum came to me with the idea of a style, so I suggested that she look at dressmaking patterns to see if there was something she liked, well, New Look 6699 it was.
All of the bridesmaids lived in different areas of the country, none of them, near me !!!
So I gave a list of all the measurements I needed and they were filled out by each lady and sent back. One of the ladys could get to me , so I started on hers first, made a sample garment to check the design was correct, this was photographed so that the bride could see and confirm she was happy, she was in London.
The other two lived in Liverpool and Chester, so I made sample garments in calico which were sent to them in the post . They got them, tried them on, photographed them at 4 different angles that I had asked for and sent me comments about the fit .  Its always difficult relying on someone elses measuring, and also, as happened here, us women have an awful habit of changing size in the shortest of time !!
So, after all of the fit changes, I made the dresses and the Mother of the Bride picked them up.  Well, I didnt hear anything for ages and I am a stickler for a proper fit so I was a bit worried !!! However, got a phonecall and the Mother of the Bride popped round with the wedding photos for me to look at, which I love doing, gave me some photos for my portfolio, and some more work. 
The dresses had been fine and fitted well, there had been no need for me to panic LOL

And guess what, this is a photo of a photo, because I have 'misplaced, in a safe place' my disc for my printer/scanner so I can connect it to my laptop !!!! Ooooh technology :) Hope you like xx

Monday, 22 August 2011

Anything is possible , well , probably

I quite often get asked about changing a zipped back dress into a laced up dress.  There are several reasons, mainly because a dress doesnt fit anymore !!!
 However, this time it was because a bride had bought her special dress but had always wanted a laced up wedding dress.
 I normally forget to take a photograph !! However, I thought I would take one for my collection.
The dress is beautiful , and by Amanda Wyatt.
This is the before............
I removed part of the zip, leaving it in place up to the waist.
 I had to remove some of the back of the bodice too, giving it the V shaped back, which meant I also had to take out the boning  from the lining and move it over.  I inserted loops, made the tie and a modesty panel for the underneath
And here is the after ......
Luckily, for this dress, I had a perfect match in my fabric stash to do this.   The bride is very pleased, which is always the main thing xx

Friday, 5 August 2011

I love Purple x

This year my sewing has been slightly different in that I have had some people bring me patterns that they have bought.  Normally, I just get some magazine pictures which people like bits of different dresses !!
One of the patterns I have used and found to be a really nice dress was New Look 6699.

Unfortunately, I dont have a good picture of the three bridesmaid dresses, but I made the style on the model, in purple satin.

In fact, I liked the pattern so much, and the purple satin, that I made a dress for myself !  I had an 80th surprise birthday party and a wedding to go to this year, so thought it would be ideal.  I changed the top part of the dress though and here is an actual picture of me wearing it
I have since read some reviews on the pattern, and they seem to be all good.

Friday, 1 July 2011

All Dressed Up for Prom Night

Here is my prom girl, in her dress, she looks gorgeous, her hair is fabulous and make up too.  She lives across the road from me and so she popped over so that I could see everything together.  Her belt and shoes are from Next.  She hugged me again, and considering her age and the fact that she does not really know me, I thought that was lovely.  I am so pleased to have made this, although, I do hope she doesnt cry in it , as she keeps saying she loves it so much she wants to cry !! LOL   It would spoil her gorgeous makeup.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Grecian style Prom Dress

Grecian style Prom Dress by Paula Goldstraw
Grecian style Prom Dress, a photo by Paula Goldstraw on Flickr.    Aaah , there is usually a way around these things.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   I wouldnt be able to wear it myself !!! LOL  But for the 16 yr old , slim, lovely girl !!! Its perfect . Hopefully will actually get some pictures of her in it.

Prom Time !!

Well, this year I have been working on several dresses, bridesmaids, proms and a wedding dress, which I cant show yet .
 I have been a bit lax on taking photos and following up my clients for photos.
However, one of my favourite styles has to be the 'Grecian ' look and I had the chance to make a prom dress for a dot of a girl !.. Size 6-8 and very petite.  I have actually taken a photo before she takes it away this week , just incase I dont get around to getting one of her in it. Its two layers of ivory chiffon over a lining of crepe de chine so that its not see through !!

Well, I know I have been away a while, but it wont let me upload a picture !! Anybody got any suggestions

Sunday, 6 February 2011

New Monthly Make in Time for Valentines

Told you I was on another design for the Folksy Monthly Make.

I am loving making these bags.  Unlike dressmaking, which can take quite a while.  These are more instant and are satisfying my 'impatient' mode.  A lot of my customers tell me I must be a patient person !!! If only they knew. LOL x

This bag has been finished just in time for Valentines and is in my Folksy shop

I love it, even got the royal seal of approval from my son ( a rare thing indeed !!)

Its made in Claret Satin      ( seems to be a theme with colours, last one was Cappucino, wine and coffee, my two favourite drinks).
I made all of the petals individually and have stitched the flower onto the bag along with a diamante centre.
Here is a close up of the flower.  I love the claret colour, its slightly darker than burgundy and is very rich looking, I think .

I can also make it in other colours, there are so many satin colours out there.

I have realised the pictures do not show that there are 2 straps, 1cm thick each. When they are pictured it is looking like one strap.

Well, I hope you like it as much as I do, and there is still time for a special Valentines gift to yourself xx LOL
Ooooh, what should I make next !!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Folksy Monthly Make !!

Well, for Folksy, I was supposed to make one item a month as a monthly make.
But hey, I made two bags.

The first one is available to view on previous posts.

But here is my second, and, believe it or not, I now have a third design on the go !!!
I have decided to do a wedding fair/fayre (never know which way to spell it) on March 5th at Rode , Nr Frome. I thought that I needed some things for my table.

Its made from Silk Dupion and has an ivory satiny lining. The flowers are made in the same fabric and attached to the bag..

My idea is, in this recession !, to have something that can be made in any colour of fabric to match something that you might already have in your wardrobe, thereby saving you buying a whole new outfit for that special occasion, wedding etc.

There are to be matching corsages or jackets. If you were interested in looking, they are at or my website gives details of how to get in touch There are so many colours available that these could be made in, please just ask .

Thanks for looking

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Mirrors x

I have been a bit naughty and spent some money, but couldn't resist !!!

I have a bit of a thing for butterflies , love their shapes and colours and having had the hallway re-decorated, I thought I would treat myself.

Took a bit of a while to put them up because I could not decide what sort of pattern to do with them .

Plenty of blue tack and the camera to take some photos , so that I could remember how I had put them up before !!

Have done it plenty of times, been working on a design, quite liked it the first time I did it, then start to mess around with it and can't remmeber how it was in the first place when I liked it best !! So, having learn't from that mistake I TRY not to make it again !!! Placed the mirrors in three different designs and, yes, went back to the first idea !!!!

I got them from They had sooooo much choice. As a dressmaker I was tempted to get the bodice mirror !!! But did not have anywhere to put it !!

BTW, I am in no way connected to this company and I am sure you could probably get them elsewhere too. This is just where I got mine

Monday, 24 January 2011

Photo Tips Tried

Well, my mission for today was to try and get a better photograph !!!
Here is the original. So , did I manage to get it to look better ? ?
First tip was outside. Cloudy day it is then, no sun in sight. However, no one warned me about the breeze factor !!! I put a covering on the floor first so that my fabric did not get damp, then had to hunt around for something to hold that down because it wanted to blow away into next doors garden !!! I had to wait until lunchtime too, because builders are next door blowing dust everywhere !!!
Tip two was to have a simple background, your item should be the star !! No problem to do that one, I have fabric everywhere !!
For some reason, one of the settings kept making the flash go off !! I did not want that, but it did not do it on all settings, so I just changed the setting I used , simples . LOL
Crisp and clear photos !!! I have had to delete several, they do not fall into that category !! LOL Thank goodness you can delete on digital cameras
This one is done indoors, and I quite like it, infact, I would have to say, I think they have all improved from the ones I took before.
Another of the tips that I read was to have things at an angle, this is to add depth. I like that too.

I uploaded my pictures onto my laptop , transfered them to Microsoft Office 2010 and then edited them. I have hopefully made them so that they will be the correct size and shape to fit in my Folksy shop. I shall be going off to do that now. If you have any feedback to give then it would be much appreciated.

Thankyou for looking, and reading. Hope the tips help

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Taking Photos !!!! Tips to try !!!

Well, I put my evening bag into my Folksy shop . I asked for some opinions and got feedback to say that (as usual ) the photography could be better so I have been reading and reading about tips on how to take a good photo !!! In fact my eyes hurt looking so long at the laptop !!! So, I am starting off with my original photo and I am on a mission to make it better.

First thing to do, weather permitting is go outside !!!!! It better be warm(ish !!), thats all I can say, I dont think frost is good for me LOL

The sources I have read from suggest natural light, early morning in the shade, or second best is a cloudy day. Both of which are very likely tomorrow ( Sources are previous tips saved from Etsy and some from Folksy x)

Another tip was to have a simple background, your item should be the star !!! Ok, so I think I can manage those two no problem.

The next tip was to make sure the photo is crisp and clear. Sometimes , if you go to close its going to blur your item so may be better to take from a little distance . This one I struggle with !!!
Anyway, I am going to try these tomorrow, and sign off now because, as I said , my eyes hurt and are a little bit tired !!!
Wish me luck !!!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Folksy Monthly Make - evening bag

I have recently finished an evening bag which I have made to join in on a monthly make with the craft selling site Folksy. Set up by TheFeltFairy.
This is to make me finish my own projects, as well as my 'normal' sewing jobs.

I really like the shape of this bag.
Its made with black satin. The flower on the front has a brooch fastening so that it can be removed and the two pieces can be used seperately.

The flower is made up with chiffon, organza ribbon, satin and diamante.
Its the first time I have made the design .
I really like it, which is unusual for me . I normally have an idea and it sits in a cupboard on a piece of paper without getting made, so it was great to actually see one in 'real life'.
I think it may be the first item in my folksy shop, however, it might need to be photographed a bit better !! My photographty as per usual is not showing it at its best x
Hope you like it

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Well, I did it again !!

Well, as the title says, I did it again.
Yesterday I tidied the bathroom and my sons room !!

I am supposed to be trying to master the art of Getting Things Done as per the book !! But I just went ahead and did some stuff that, although needed doing, was not relevant to what I am trying to achieve. Habits are so hard to break , I am so used to not being that organised, that I am finding it hard to be organised LOL

However, I did manage to remind myself of some things that I wanted on my GTD list, for future reference, so I dont assume thats all bad . Sometimes, I guess you just have to go with whats good for you.

It might help if I got on with reading the book, because I havent got past the collecting information stage !!!!! So maybe thats why I am not getting it right LOL

I have however drafted a pattern for a wedding bag that I want to make for my new FOLKSY shop, which goes with a jacket that I am working on too. So I guess I am making progress.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Happy New Year - bit late, I know x

Happy New Year everybody.

I know its a bit late but now that son has gone back to school and normality has resumed after the festive season its sort of like a new year again.

I was unfortunately caught off guard by a bug the day before New Years Eve so had to cancel plans for NYE. My bestest friend has found 'love' and has decided that I now need to do the same !!! She had plans for me anad keeps trying to suggest a certain someone !!! She said that I " would do anything to get out of kissing ....... " LOL . It was a real illness , I promise !

Soz, I digress.

I dont make New Year resolutions, I hate to disappoint myself when I fail !

Last year I joined a Getting Things Done website and did not get to grips with the theory of it properly, although I initially did get things done !!

I have just bought the book and started reading. You are supposed to collate all information on anything that you would like to Get Done, then you have to process that information in different ways for future working towards any goals that you have.
Trouble is, you are not supposed to work on the wrong things at the wrong time. One of my items on my GTD list was to tidy my wardrobe !! Actually, just realised, it didnt even make it to the list. I just went ahead and did it !!!
That is not how its supposed to work !!! But I do now have a tidy wardrobe. However, I now have loads of things in my room that I have no idea what to do with !!!! LOL
This year I hope to stock a FOLKSY shop that I have just opened, with some of my own creations. Unfortunately I am a great procrastinator, and work better under pressure, which is why I generally have deadlines ie wedding dates, prom dates etc . ( My day job ) . So we shall see how well I manage with GTD and FOLKSY.
Love to you all for the New Year xx