Monday, 30 July 2012

Me-Made-Monday #5

Hello there lovely readers! Today's Me-Made outfit is brought to you from the gorgeous city of Cardiff! And not just from Cardiff, but from the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff!!

Dress: Made by Me, Cardigan: Made by Me

As an avid Doctor Who watcher it was pretty much a given that I'd be visting the Experience whilst in Cardiff, even though I have already seen the London version, and it was great fun. My parents are currently visiting me and so we all went together, it was a great part of a pretty much perfect day :) And I think my Me-Made dress in blue and white (a la Tardis!) was particularly appropriate!

I think the Doctor approved anyway...

Me, the Doctor and the Tardis, happy days!

Are there any other Doctor Who fans out there?

Katie xxx

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Results of the Shabby Apple GIveaway!

Hello there lovely readers, it's the moment you've all been waiting for: The Results of the Shabby Apple Giveaway!

A big thank you to everyone who entered and an even bigger thank you to the lovely people of Shabby Apple for making this giveaway possible :)

And without further ado, the winner of the gift voucher is...

Congratulations Shelley, I will be in touch very soon with details as to how you collect your prize :)

Thank you all for entering so much and I hope you all have a marvellous weekend!

Katie xxx

Friday, 27 July 2012

Calling all Stash Busters, you know what time it is!

It's time for the Bi-Monthly Round Up!

Yes my lovely Stash Busting friends, it's that time again and I want to see what you've been up to! Please e-mail me links to your projects at: 

misskatie (dot) littleredsquirrel (at) gmail (dot) com 

And remember this is for projects completed during BOTH the months of June and July! As always newcomers are always welcome so please don't hesitate to get in touch even if you just want some information or to ask a question! The closing date for submitting projects is  Tuesday July 31st, so get those entries in asap :)

I look forward to seeing what you've been up for the past two months!

Katie xxx

***For more information on the UFO/Stash Busting Project take a look here***

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #80

Hello my Wonderful readers and welcome to another Wednesday Wonderfuls post, particularly wonderful as Summer has finally decided to arrive in the UK! I am currently in sunny Cardiff soaking up the rays and enjoying the fact that I can finally wear all my summer dresses (of course I'm not sure how long this heat wave is going to last, that's the curse of living in the UK, but we're not going to focus on that right now...!)

Images, Each Line from Left to Right:
1. Reading in the sunshine, 2. Homemade gluten free carrot cake, 3. The inside of the theatre, so excited!
4. New to me vintage fabric! 5. Lemonade = Summer! 6. Yummy cocktails :)
7. The Millenium Centre, I can't believe I'm performing here! 8. I cooked jerk chicken and rice and peas! 9. Homemade bias binding :)

It's been a bit of a funny week in my part of the world, mostly because I have spent half of it off work and then the next half was spent travelling across the country and into a different country altogether! My week off was fantastic (thank you for all your well wishes, I really appreciate them!), involving lots of cooking, baking, drinking (yummy cocktails!), cinema and theatre trips, sewing, knitting and glorious time with my family, and yet now, much too quickly, I'm across the sea and miles away from home again... You would think that after almost a year of touring it would be easier to adjust to changes, but I have to say that no matter how many times I pack up my bags and head off to the next location it never gets easier. It is always hard to leave my family and my Sweetheart behind and I miss them pretty much all the time when I'm away. So it's good to have a bit of sunshine and general happiness to make me feel better! But I can only be glum for so long because both my parents and my Sweetheart will be visiting me during my time in Cardiff, I cannot wait for them to get here and to share this beautiful city with them! Yay! And this city is just ridiculously gorgeous, have you ever been? If you have you'll know what I'm talking about!

I have high hopes that this is going to be a splendiferous week, so to get things started let's have some Wednesday Wonderfuls!

Now let's all get out and enjoy the sun while we can! 

Bye for now,

Katie xxx

Monday, 23 July 2012

Me-Made-Monday #4

Hello lovely readers! Today's Me-Made-Monday is brought to you by a very special sponsor... the Sun! (and I mean the actual Sun in the sky, not the dodgy British newspaper!). The Sun has finally come out so obviously I had to throw on a cheeky sundress and sunhat :)

Dress: Vintage Revamped by Me

I'm thrilled that I've finally had the chance to wear this dress again, it's the first time since the Me-Made-May Challenge, and this is the first time I've felt warm enough since then to pull off this outfit! Sadly for me though my holiday is over and I'm back to work tomorrow, this time I'm heading to Cardiff, anyone know of any good places to go there? I'm sure you all know what type of things I'd like :)

Anyways, enjoy the sunshine if you can my lovelies, and I'll see you again soon!

Katie xxx

P.S. If you haven't already then do check out my Fabulous Shabby Apple Giveaway!

Friday, 20 July 2012

A Fabulous Shabby Apple Giveaway!

Hello there my lovely readers! Now, I've been having a lovely week off, filled with fun and treats, so I thought it was about time that there was a treat for all of you! I'm so grateful that all of you take the time to stop over at my corner of the blogosphere, so when the lovely people of Shabby Apple got in touch with me about a giveaway I jumped at the chance!

Madison Avenue Dress

Together with Shabby Apple I can offer one lucky reader the opportunity to win a $50 gift card to use on anything they wish at the Shabby Apple website. Believe me there are some gorgeous items on offer! I have admired the vintage inspired collections of Shabby Apple for a long time, so I'm sure you'll find something to fall in love with :)

Seriously, have you seen some of the lovelies at Shabby Apple? Here are a few of my favourites...

Show your inner vixen in the Alto Sax Dress

Pretend you're in Paris in the Bellissima Dress

Channel Joan in the CEO Dress

Be a princess in the L'Argent Belle Dress

In order to enter this fabulous giveaway you only have to do a few simple things... 

First up you'll need to head over to the Shabby Apple facebook page and like them (go on, they're lovely, you know you want to!)

Next, leave me a comment on the post telling me what you'd spend your gift card on if you won (I'm just nosey and I'd love to know!)

And it's as simple as that!

Oh, one more thing, in order to enter you must have a USA shipping address. I know that this is a bit of a downer for all my UK readers, but never fear because I have another little treat up my sleeve! The lovely people of Shabby Apple are also offering all of my readers (no matter where you are from!) a 10% discount for a whole month! All you have to do is enter the code "littleredsquirrel10off" at the check out and voila!

So there you go, everyone's a winner :) I will announce the winner a week today, Friday, July 27th, good luck to every one of you!

Bye for now,

Katie xxx 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Summer Sewing Swap!

Hello lovely readers! Now is there any better way to start the day than receiving a parcel in the post? I have always adored getting personal snail mail, so when I heard about Kerry's (of Kestrel Finds and Makes) Summer Sewing Swap I was more than a little bit up for it!

The basic idea of the Swap was to be paired with a fellow sewing blogger and then the two of you will exchange some yummy sewing goodies. And I was very, very lucky indeed, in so far as I was paired with the fabulous Marie of A Sewing Odyssey, who is a really stylish gal with some killer sewing skills! I had a whole bunch of fun putting together Marie's parcel, but nothing could quite prepare me for how happy I would be when my parcel arrived. I am one happy happy bunny, do you want to see why? Just check out my lovely goodies!

Look at all my goodies!!!

I was lucky enough to be sent:

A beautiful dress pattern
Some gorgeous floral fabric
Some antique lace
Some smaller pieces of gingham fabric
A selection of vintage buttons and buckles

I adore this pattern, I'd love to made both versions!

Be still my beating heart at this lace...

These colours make me so happy :)

Can you see why I'm thrilled? I feel very lucky right now :) I can't wait to start planning the future of all these lovelies, they'll probably be finding their way into my sewing journal sometime soon! Thank you so much Marie, I couldn't have asked for a better partner in this swap!

**P.S. If you want to see what I sent Marie then check out her post!**

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #79

Hello there lovely readers! Happy happy Wednesday to you all :)

It's been a lovely old week on my end, I had a marvellous time in Plymouth which included a lovely night out at Annabel's bar with some delicious cocktails, and I'm now back at home for a glorious week off! I've already had a fabulous night out with my Sweetheart (to the Hurly Burly Show, where we got papped outside! Seriously, I thought I was famous!), baked some yummies, sewed and knitted up a storm, had my first taste of calamari and celebrated my parents' 31st Wedding Anniversary! So it's been pretty busy :)

Images, Clockwise from Top Left:
1. My Sweetheart and I at the Hurly Burly Show, 2. Oh hello Jimmy Choos! 3. Poser :)
4. Cocktail hour! 5. New to me fabric, washed and ready to go, 6. Calamari!

But enough about me, let's have a look at what everyone else has been up to on the old blogosphere this week, bring on the Wonderfuls!

Have a wonderful rest of the week my lovely readers, have lots of marvellous adventures!

Bye for now,

Katie xxx

Monday, 16 July 2012

Me-Made-Monday #3

Hello there lovely readers! Check out my Me-Made outfit for the start of this week:

Dress: Made by Me

It's a rather dressed down and casual look for me today, I'm still pretty exhausted from my car journey back home from Plymouth yesterday (5 hours, ouch!) so my old faithful ceylon dress was a no-brainer :) I also jazzed it up with my gorgeous new belt by the fabulous Cassie Stephens, I seriously love it! Her beautiful belts always brighten my day no matter how tired I am :)

I'm thrilled to have a week off work ahead of me, so stay tuned for lots of sewing/knitting/crochet/general adventuring updates, I intend to enjoy myself over the next few days!

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

Saturday, 14 July 2012

UFO/Stash Busting Month Part 1 - The Amazing Sewing Journal!

Hello there fellow UFO/Stash Busters and welcome to UFO/Stash Busting Month! This month I will be writing a variety of posts all about Stash Busting, how I get motivated and organised etc. I hope you enjoy it!

For my first post I want to share with you one of the best tools I have in my Stash Busting artillery: The Amazing Sewing Journal!

Just a common or garden moleskin notebook, but stuffed with sewing goodness :)

Now I have seen the idea of a sewing journal on quite a few blogs, both Kerry and Tasha keep them, and if you haven't got one you really should! They are so much fun to keep, and although I am a huge fan of keeping track of my projects online (I write a blog after all!) I also love having something to physically hold and write in to get me motivated and inspired :)

However a sewing journal can be so much more than just for record keeping! Let me show you how I use my sewing journal specifically for UFO/Stash Busting purposes...

The Sewing Journal Breakdown!
The page from my Sewing Journal for my recently completed 1950s Novelty Print Book Dress

  • The Seasonal Dot - I mark each of my patterns with a different coloured dot depending on which season it would be appropriate to wear the completed garment in (blue = winter project, yellow = summer project, blue+yellow = suitable for all seasons, red = miscellaneous project i.e. lingerie/sleepwear) This means that if I want to find a suitable project from my stash I can just pick one of the appropriate colour. Simple :)
  • Pattern Picture - a photocopy of the pattern sleeve
  • Fabric Swatch - a yummy swatch of the chosen fabric for this pattern

*** If I have both a pattern picture and a fabric swatch that means that I have both the pattern and the fabric in my stash so this would be a good Stash Busting Project to start, lots of stash busting would be done in completing it! ***
  • Completed Dot - When the project is finished it gets one of these smug little green dots. It's a celebratory thing :)
  • Pattern and Fabric Details - specific details of the pattern/fabric, where I bought them etc.
  • Specific Pattern Details - which variation of the pattern I have decided to do
  • Alterations - any alterations done to the pattern for fitting etc.
  • Start and Finish Dates - do what they say on the tin! 

The seasonal dot together with the pattern picture and fabric swatch really help me when it comes to planning what project I will be starting next. I like to start projects that I know will make a proper dent in my Stash, so whenever I have both a pattern and some fabric for a project I enter their details in my Sewing Journal. So when it comes to starting a new project I turn to my journal and pick a project that I know is appropriate to wear for the time I am making it (that's where the seasonal dot comes in!) and away I go! It works for me, and it means I keep track of how many planned projects I have on the go at any one time - a great way to stop just buying patterns and fabric at random and hoping for the best!

This means that most of the pages in my Sewing Journal look a bit like this:

So there you have it, The Amazing Sewing Journal! Having this with me has really helped me to get motivated and organised, I hope it helps inspire you all too in your Stash Busting Adventures :)

And just to whet your appetites, here's another page from my sewing journal, a little taste of my newest Stash Busting Project...

Bye for now! 

Katie xxx

P.S. Don't forget to join the UFO/Stash Busting Flickr Group!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

UFO/Stash Busting Project - we now have a Flickr group!

Hello there fellow UFO/Stash Busters! I just wanted to let you know that I've (finally!) set up a Flickr group for us all! At last we have a place to easily share our progress and our projects :)

Head over here and join up, let's start adding pictures asap! I can't wait to see what you've all been up to!

Katie xxx

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #78

Hello there my lovely readers, happy Wednesday to you all!

Images, each line from left to right:
1. Red is definitely my colour :) 2. The view from my window at night 3. It's official, I have a cookbook addiction,
4. Wellies in July, *sigh* 5. Chocolate and orange scones, 6. Pretty shoes...
7. Crocheting whilst watching Wimbledon! 8. Beautiful buildings in Plymouth, 9. I love my new sweater :)

It's been rather an all-over-the-place kind of week for me, what with the weather not being able to decide what it wants to do (seriously, how do you dress for blazing hot sunshine AND torrencial rain?!) and the fact that I've gone almost two weeks without being home with my family and my Sweetheart. But it's not all bad! I've had a lot of fun this week too, particular highlights being Wimbledon, baking the most incredible scones not once but twice, getting some serious crocheting done, getting to wear my new sweater out and feeling like a princess in my Marie Antoinette style bedroom.

Unfortunately for me though I have currently run out of yarn, so both the crochet project and the cardigan I have been working on have been sadly neglected. I'm getting serious craft-withdrawal symptoms, so much so that I've even started tackling my taxes in order to distract myself! I know, shock horror. But if there's one thing that's always guaranteed to brighten up my week it's some Wednesday Wonderfuls, so here are my picks from the blogosphere this week!

That's it for another week of Wonderfuls, I hope that the rest of your weeks are wonderful!

Katie xxx

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

My newly completed Fair Isle Sweater!

Project: Knitted Fair Isle Sweater
Stash Buster? no, I'm very naughty!
Items From Stash: ...
Date Started: May 2012
Date Finished: July 2012
New Techniques Used: none
Wear Again? yes as it seems the Summer is never going to come!

Well you could tell from my Me-Made-Monday post yesterday that I'm partial to a Fair Isle sweater, so say hello to the newest addition to my knitted wardrobe! It's the second piece that I have knitted from the tremendous book "A Stitch in Time, Volume 2" (the first being my mustard cardigan) and I think I'm going to love wearing it just as much as the first!

The original design and colour scheme

I changed the colour scheme from the original pattern completely because I was feeling a lot more girly when I went yarn shopping, so this pink heavy combination was born. I also used Rowan Cashsoft 4 ply yarn rather than the suggested Excelana wool, I love the Rowan Cashsoft, it's so soft and snuggly I can't get enough of it!

I paired the sweater with my New Girl dress
It's just as cute from the back!

This sweater was surprisingly quick to knit up, it took me just under two months from beginning to end, and it was a pleasure to work on, I just love watching a fair isle pattern grow as you work, it's incredibly satisfying! I'm also very happy with how to colour scheme turned out, I can see lots of future sewing projects in pink, blue and green to go with this sweater!

This project yet again affirms my love of the "Stitch in Time" knitting books, they really are the best source for stunning vintage patterns, everything that I have ever knitted from either Volume 1 or 2 has been a pleasure to work on and has turned out perfectly. Once again I am a very happy knitting bunny!

Now, if you'll excuse me I'm off out to show off this sweater on the streets of Plymouth. I think it deserves to be seen!

Bye for now,

Katie xxx

Monday, 9 July 2012

Me-Made-Monday #2

Hello lovely readers, welcome to another addition of Me-Made-Monday! Here is my favourite Me-Made ensemble of this week:

Sweater: Made by Me, Skirt: Made by Me

This is one of my go-to outfits, and it actually contains a lot of firsts. The sweater was my first ever project from "A Stitch in Time" which is now one of my favourite knitting books, both it's first and second volumes. It was also the first handmade sweater that I have ever worn regularly as a key part of my wardrobe. As for the skirt, it was made using my first ever vintage sewing pattern, so it marks the start of a beautiful relationship!

What Me-Made beauties have you been showing off this week?

Katie xxx

Friday, 6 July 2012

What I learnt from Me-Made-May...

Now, I know it's been a while since I completed my first ever Me-Made-May, but I just wanted to take a look back at the challenge and what it has taught me about my Me-Made clothes. So here's what I've learnt through Me-Made-May...

I basically live in dresses and skirts! 
Out of 31 different outfits only one of them involved a pair of trousers. Now I don't really see this changing any time soon, I love the feminine look, but a few more pairs of trousers in rotation in my wardrobe might be fun :)

Knitwear was a winner during this Me-Made-May!

The type of clothing I wear the most is knitwear!
I hadn't quite realised how many pieces of knitted clothing I have made over the past year and a bit, but almost everyday of my challenge featured a piece of my handmade knitted goodies. As far as I'm concerned that means more knitting as I clearly can't get enough of it, so happy days!

It's red as far as the eye can see!

Red was definitely my favourite colour in May.
I wore more red clothes or red featured items than any other colour in May. This really doesn't surprise me as red has always been my go to colour, I treat it like a neutral and am convinced it goes with anything! But yellow and blue were also quite well represented, so clearly I'm a primary colours girl! A few more different colours in my wardrobe might be nice in the future :)

I wore twenty-two Me-Made items during the challenge!
I've never really stopped to think about how many pieces of Me-Made clothing I have made over the past year and a bit, but I'm really quite proud of how many I have, of how often I wear them and the quality in which they were made. And I didn't even wear every piece of Me-Made clothing either!

I love my cardigan soooo much!

My mustard cardigan was the most worn item during Me-Made-May.
Yes, I am addicted to this cardigan as you all know. I'm not surprised that I wore it more than any other piece of clothing, I love it to bits and it has definitely made mustard one of my favourite colours :)

So where do I go from here? How will this direct my future sewing projects and Me-<ade ventures...?

Sew more separates!
In particular trousers, they are sadly lacking in my wardrobe, and also some blouses would be nice.

Fill the gaps!
I will only make clothes that go with or compliment items that I have already made. Some of my Me-Made clothes are not worn as much because they don't really go with much, so I want to give them a hand :)

A few more colours!
I love red and always will, but this challenge has shown me a love for some new colours too. Instead of just imagining everything I make in red I would like to try out some over colours too.

More sewing!
I need to catch up with my knitting habit, so I definitely think that sewing will be my priority for the mean time, I don't want to neglect one hobby in favour of the other!

I really did love Me-Made-May and I cannot wait for the next challenge, but for now I'll just have to be happy with my Me-Made-Mondays :)

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #77

Hello there lovely readers! Happy Wednesday to you all and also happy Independence Day to all my American readers :)

Images, each line left to right:
1. Hanging out the the wedding, 2. New styling for my hair :) 3. My Sweetheart at the Wedding,
4. The fireplace in my bedroom at the moment, swoon! 5. Wedding Cupcakes, 6. Love Is All You Need :)
7. Me at the start of the night, 8. I don't mind if I do! 9. Me at the end of the night!

I've had a brilliant week, filled with fun things including my beautiful friend Sara's wedding, which was a joy to attend. My Sweetheart and I had lots of fun in our 1950s style get ups, even if we were very differently dressed than all of the other guests! I am also now in Plymouth with the tour, which has been a bit grey and rainy so far, but as I type this the sun is definitely trying to come out, so maybe the summer is on it's way after all... :)

I have some great treats in store for you for this week's Wonderfuls, so without further ado here they are for your viewing pleasure:

I hope you all have a great rest of the week, and let's hope the sun finally comes out so I can enjoy the beach!

Bye for now

Katie xxx

My 1950s Novelty Print Book Dress!

Project: 1950s Novelty Print Book Dress
Stash Buster? yes, this fabric has been waiting for some love for a while!
Items From Stash: actual 1950s novelty print dress fabric *swoon*, vintage belt buckle
Date Started: March 2012
Date Finished: June 2012
New Techniques Used: none
Wear Again? yes please and as soon as possible!

 Thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my sneak peak of this dress, I think it's safe to say that you like it just as much as I do! But here she is in all her detailed glory for your viewing pleasure :)

This is my first time using a vintage shirt-waist dress pattern and I must admit that I was nervous at first. As I started cutting out the pieces I was worried that the finished dress would end up quite frumpy, after all it doesn't actually show much flesh, but it turns out that I couldn't have been more wrong! This dress is the perfect example of how a well made, figure hugging yet modest dress can feel super sexy - I definitely do when I'm wearing it! I feel like I'm channelling my inner Joan, so of course I couldn't be happier :)

I did very few alterations to this dress, apart from adding a couple of inches to the hips (for my ample posterior!) and taking a few inches from the length I left it just as it was, and it fits me like a glove. I'm particularly in love with the pleat details on the back and the little matching fabric belt I made with a vintage buckle that was a gift from a wonderful friend (thank you Harriet!).

I think you can safely say that I am a complete shirt dress convert and I definitely foresee lots more of these in my sewing future. They're a little bit more fiddly than your average dress, but my goodness they're gorgeous when they're done! And they're great for prancing around and posing in...

... which I think you can see I did!

Bye for now lovely readers!

Katie xxx

Monday, 2 July 2012

Me-Made-Monday #1

Welcome to a new feature of The Little Red Squirrel! I enjoyed my Me Made May experience so much, and I have missed sharing my Me Made outfits with you, so I have decided that once a week I will continue in the ways of the Me-Made Challenge and will share a picture of my outfit here. I hope you enjoy this as much as I know I will :) 

So for my first ever Me-Made-Monday here's a little something I've been working on for a while... My 1950s Novelty Print Book Dress!

Dress: Made By Me

Can I even begin to describe how much I am in love with this dress? I don't think so! You're looking at a girl who is well and truly smitten :) Consider this picture as a sneak preview, I will be giving you a much more in depth look at this fancy number tomorrow, but I hope you like what you see so far!

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