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  1. eternal magpie custom Star Wars Hallowe'en dress

    My husband asked me recently why the things I make for myself are never as carefully-made as the things I make for other people. The answer is probably "I'm always in a hurry when I make things for myself, because I feel as though I should be spending all my time on my work instead"... but at the time I protested mightily and said that of course that wasn't true! 

    And then I made this. 

    At first glance, it looks okay. It's a 1993 fit-and-flare shirt dress, Vogue 1290, view C. I've had the pattern... not quite since 1993, but it was certainly one of the first that I bought when I started sewing from patterns in the late '90s. (It's not just me who has 20-something year old uncut patterns in their stash, surely?) 

    I checked the size chart, checked the actual garment measurements... and yet it's still come out far too small. I forgot to make my usual short waist adjustment (I usually shorten the bodice pieces by about an inch), so the narrowest part of the dress sits below my waist, making it bunch upwards. And despite the garment measurements allegedly having a fair amount of ease over and above my body measurements, it's turned out to be far too tight all over. To the point where if I overlap the front pieces to put the buttons in, I've got no hope of actually fastening them. 

    I've bought a bright orange zip from Ebay. I'm going to stitch that in, and hope for the best.

    And then there's the most enormous elephant in the room, which is that the print IS CLEARLY UPSIDE DOWN on the front panels and one of the sleeves. *sigh* 

    I didn't have enough fabric to make the dress, so I bought another piece, meaning that I was working with two 2-metre lengths. I had it all very carefully worked out so that I could fit the back panels on one piece, the front panels on the other, and a sleeve on each, shortening the dress slightly to fit. Sadly, the thing I didn't carefully work out was whether the two pieces of fabric were the same way up when I started cutting out. And OF COURSE the upside down pieces are on the front. That's just the way these things happen. 

    Anyway. If the dress fits once I've got the zip into the front, I'll wear it anyway. Hopefully people will be too busy saying "oooh, glow in the dark skeleton Darth Vader!" to notice that he and ghostly R2-D2 are actually upside down. Fingers crossed. 

    I have to admit that I did think twice about sharing such a glaringly obvious mistake with you all. Then I decided that, you know what? It doesn't matter how experienced you are, at pretty much anything, occasionally you'll still make a really silly mistake - and sometimes it'll be a really big one! 

    To make myself feel better I sewed the world's simplest sweatshirt dress afterwards, which cheered me up no end. I'll show you photos very soon. 

  2. eternal magpie blog: William Morris Envy

    I've seen quite a few adverts around the place for the new H&M William Morris collection, and I have to admit that I was extremely tempted. I mean, who doesn't love a fancy blouse with a William Morris print? 

    I had a little look online and picked out a couple of cotton tops that I thought would look good with jeans, and that I'd wear a lot. Then I tried to buy them and discovered that all of the larger sizes were already sold out, which was very disappointing. 

    At the weekend I was actually in H&M for the first time in about a year (buying a pair of sparkly tights because, with the best will in the world, I can't make those!) and I completely forgot to even look at the William Morris range while I was in there. Oops.

    When I realised, I thought "I don't need H&M! I can buy some Willam Morris fabric and make my own!", so off I went to Ebay to have a look for some curtains or duvet covers or anything that I could turn into a dress or a top. Because it's so popular it turns out that, even second hand, William Morris products are rather pricey. I ended up being outbid on a pair of torn and mildewed curtains (the only thing I could afford!) by 50p, which was anoying, but just as well because... 

    ...when I looked in my wardrobe I realised that I HAVE A WILLIAM MORRIS TOP ALREADY! 

    There it is, on the right. A beautiful Strawberry Thief print, on Liberty tana lawn, in a gorgeous purple and mustard colourway. 

    In all my excitement of "I MUST HAVE A WILLIAM MORRIS BLOUSE", I'd completely forgotten that I already have one. And it't not even something that's been hidden away in the back of my wardrobe for ages - I wear it all the time! 

    Oops. 

    I was going to set up a search on Ebay so that if they do turn up second-hand in a few months, I'd be ready and waiting.

    And then I thought, you know what? How many William Morris tops does one woman need? Is it more than one? For me, right now, perhaps it's not. 

    (I still want one though. Because apparently I am definitely not immune to marketing, no matter how hard I try!)

  3. eternal magpie - Spellbound dress

    Don't forget that if you'd like to send me your own fabric to make a Hallowe'en themed dress, I need to receive your fabric by October 19th - that's this Friday

    If you've seen some fabric online that you like, but you're not sure whether it's suitable, just drop me an email with a link to the fabric, and I can double check it for you. 

    I'll let you know how much fabric you need to buy, and how to send it to me. 

    Then all you need to do is pop over to the shop and buy a "Send Me Your Fabric!" dress, in women's sizes or for children

    eternal magpie: Spellbound dress 

    If you're buying a dress from stock, the deadline is the 26th
    (Earlier than that if you need it for a party on the weekend of the 27/28th!) 

    I have two subtly Hallowe'en-themed dresses in stock at the moment, one in a size 6-8 with a "Spellbound" potion bottles print, and one in the sample sale in a size 14 with ghostly dresses floating through the woods. 

    Excellent if you're accompanying a child to a Hallowe'en party but don't want to dress up yourself... or for anyone who just likes slightly spooky things. As you can see, I wear my own "Spellbound" dress quite happily at any time of year! 

    eternal magpie brooch: eye of newt

    Or if a dress isn't what you need, how about this? 

    I have just the one "Eye of Newt" brooch in a miniature embroidery hoop, waiting for you in the Brooches & Pins department. Perfect for popping onto your coat collar or cardigan!

  4. eternal magpie - Spellbound dress

    Don't forget that if you'd like to send me your own fabric to make a Hallowe'en themed dress, I need to receive your fabric by October 19th

    If you've seen some fabric online that you like, but you're not sure whether it's suitable, just drop me an email with a link to the fabric, and I can double check it for you. 

    I'll let you know how much fabric you need to buy, and how to send it to me. 

    Then all you need to do is pop over to the shop and buy a "Send Me Your Fabric!" dress, in women's sizes or for children

    eternal magpie: Spellbound dress 

    If you're buying a dress from stock, the deadline is the 26th
    (Earlier than that if you need it for a party on the weekend of the 27/28th!) 

    I have two subtly Hallowe'en-themed dresses in stock at the moment, one in a size 6-8 with a "Spellbound" potion bottles print, and one in the sample sale in a size 14 with ghostly dresses floating through the woods. 

    Excellent if you're accompanying a child to a Hallowe'en party but don't want to dress up yourself... or for anyone who just likes slightly spooky things. As you can see, I wear my own "Spellbound" dress quite happily at any time of year! 

    eternal magpie brooch: eye of newt

    Or if a dress isn't what you need, how about this? 

    I have just the one "Eye of Newt" brooch in a miniature embroidery hoop, waiting for you in the Brooches & Pins department. Perfect for popping onto your coat collar or cardigan!

  5. eternal magpie My Busy Week children's planner

    I was just going to post a little reminder about only having one planner left in the shop... only to read back through the blog and realise that apparently I hadn't written about them in the first place! Oops...

    So, this is "My Busy Week", a planner designed for pre-school or just-starting-school children who like to understand the routine of their week. 

    eternal magpie My Busy Week children's planner

    The first page explains some basic ways to add information. Write in the month at the top, and number the days of the week so you can see what's happening when. The daily columns are colour coded, so your little one might be able to understand which day is yellow before they can recognise a W for Wednesday. 

    Draw a shopping bag for supermarket day, stick a sticker when it's time for football or ballet class, or colour in the days when you go to Nursery. The planner is blank, and designed so that you can fill it in however you like! 

    At the moment the planner is only available as an A4 spiral bound book. 

    I take pre-orders for the books, to make sure that I can cover the printing costs, but this can mean that they're not always available. Currently I have one last planner in the shop, and once that's gone I'll start a pre-order for a batch to be printed in plenty of time for Christmas. 

    So, I was wondering... is this the sort of thing you'd like me to make available as a digital download? 

    It would be a little bit cheaper than the printed book, and you could download it whenever you liked... but you would have to print it out yourself. 

    What do you think? I know that digital downloads are a very popular thing when it comes to planner pages... so would you like to see this go digital too?