Made by Me: Lekala 5972 Dress

I made this dress over a month ago, but due to various reasons I won't bother you with, I haven't found the time or the inclination to blog about it until now.
The pattern is Lekala 5972

For those of you not familiar with Lekala patterns, they are downloadable PDF patterns, customisable to your own size.  You can choose to enter only 4 "standard" measurements; bust, waist, hips and height, or go for a more customised fit by adding certain adjustments such as leg length comparative to torso and height, waist height, shoulder width, and a number of other options.
You can also choose to have the pattern with or without seam allowances - I think they charge a few pence extra for seam allowances.  The basic patterns start at $2.49, although they are currently on sale at $1.99 each.
When I bought this pattern I chose to use the additional adjustments and the pattern fit me pretty well.  The only change I had to make was to raise the waist about 1/2 an inch, and do a sway back adjustment of another 3/4 inch.
I had actually cut the bodice side panels and skirt side seams wider, as the fabric I used was a woven rather than a knit as the pattern called for.  However during fitting I ended up taking out almost all the extra I'd added in.  The only place I kept additional width was the sleeves, and in truth I could have done with a little bit more, as they are on the snug side.
I did change the back slightly, as I wasn't keen on the fact that the skirt darts didn't match up with the princess seams on the back.  I cut the skirt section a little wider and gathered it onto the bodice side panels, the same as the front.
The fabric is a wool/viscose/poly blend remnant I bought from Truro Fabrics when I was in Cornwall on holiday earlier this year.  It is lined with another remnant of satin from Ditto Fabrics, which I picked up whilst in Brighton for work last month. 
I finished the back with an invisible zip, inserted a couple of inches down from the neckline, then added a little loop and button closure at the top.  I sometimes find it hard to get a neat finish at the top of an invisible zip, and this solved the problem perfectly, as well as looking pretty.
I wore the dress out to lunch with some friends - I actually finished it about an hour before we were due to go out.  This is the second Lekala pattern I've used, and I wouldn't hesitate to try some more.  The instructions are a little brief, but if you are relatively experienced with sewing patterns they are not too hard to understand. 
Have you ever used a Lekala pattern?  Do you think you would? 


Christmas Decorations Swap

Hello!  I'm not even going to attempt to make excuses for why I haven't blogged in over 2 weeks.
Today I have some cute Christmas decorations to share with you.  A while back I signed up to join the Christmas Decorations Swap that Marilla Walker was hosting on her blog.
I was paired with Jo, who doesn't blog herself but does all sorts of crafty things, and strangely enough lives in the road I worked on a few years ago!  It's a small world!
It took me ages to decide what I was going to make for Jo, but I eventually settled on something that used the free motion embroidery I love doing.   I made a sweet little holly garland for her.
The base is some of that lovely pompom trim that I'm always admiring and can never normally find a use for.  I found the perfect use for it here.
I drew and cut out pairs holly leaves, stitching them onto burlap so they looked nice from the back too. 
Once cut out I added red sequins for berries, and a little bit of sparkle, then stitched the leaves onto the pompom trim.
A few days after I posted my package to Jo, one arrived from her.  I was very intrigued to find out what it was as she'd dropped several hints about it being something she'd had to go somewhere special to make and she'd had to wait a while to pick it up.
A very carefully wrapped package was received and I opened it with equal care, not knowing what was inside. 
Not one, but two gorgeous handmade decorations greeted me, with this one obviously being the one that had been made somewhere special.
Isn't it lovely? 
Jo had also included this pretty hand beaded decoration along with the handmade glass one. 

I'm not sure exactly where I'm going to hang them yet, but the decorations are going up this weekend, so I will make sure to find them somewhere special.
Thank you so much Jo for your beautiful decorations, and of course, thanks to Marilla too for organising such a fun swap.