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Christell Askew
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England
Interests: Film, Fashion, Natural Beauty Products, DIY, Sewing, Crochet, Crafts...
Recent Activity
Yikes, I downgraded my typepad account and got a new, funny background! Anyway I'm posting at a new address now: http://belespritcreates.blogspot.com It's been a busy few months, but I have lots to share, so stay tuned! x Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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I went to take a picture of Chloe in the hat I just finished... and not only was the hat a little too small for her, but I noticed -- MY god! She's had a growth spurt! She's looking so grown up... This hat is for a baby... and my baby is no longer a baby. She's a little girl! I think I'd better jump back into some of my sewing projects soon - or the patterns I've been meaning to use will no longer fit her! I came back from the States with an amazing stash of fabric -... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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Or in this case, trick AND treat! I know, I'm a few days late but I couldn't help myself, it suits today's lunch so well! It's been two months now that Chloe has almost totally refused vegetables along with just about everything else that's not a breakfast food. I was starting to worry, despite everything I've read about how it's "normal" at this age for them to suddenly become picky - even the most hearty eaters (like my little one). She's still eating, but it's down to porridge, toast, beans, and fruit. Everything else gets thrown on the floor with... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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...I've been waiting for a chance to try out the pom-pom maker I scored at a yard sale last year for 25 cents! Love it. Cutie-Pie in the cap: Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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I haven't abandoned my blog, it's only that I've been crocheting like a mad-woman! I have totally broken my rule about completing a project before I begin a new one - as a matter of fact, I'm working on about five different crochet projects at once right now - ACK! But Christmas is coming, the weather is chilly and wet - We're all in need of scarves, gloves, hats, and all those adorable, crochetable things, right? I have no choice but to sit back, relax, and crochet! *insert contented sigh* Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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I didn't realize how much I missed crochet until I came to visit my family in the States this past week and had a chance to hang with my mom at Knit 'n Crochet Night - where I crocheted for the first time in almost a year! Chloe's new hat... And a teeny teddy in progress: Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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Let's take a moment to admire the shoes... Oh so beautiful - found at Junkee Vintage and Antiques in Reno... for six bucks! I nearly tripped over myself trying to get to the counter to pay for them before some other lucky girl took notice. The dress still needs hemming and the zipper put in place, but other than that, it's ready to wear and all that I hoped it would be. Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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I've been at work on the bodice and it's coming out well so far - I just LOVE this fabric so much! The seam allowance of the piping and the bodice meet at the edge - on the outside (right side) of the bodice: Use your zipper foot to sew the piping onto the garment (below: I've pinned piping to the armhole as well as the neck - that's why you see piping running parallel - I'm sewing the shoulder). Here's what it looks like once the piping is in place - along with the lining (also in pale pink... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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What you need to make your own piping: A length of cord Your fabric of choice Tape measure Meter stick or yard stick (or ruler of some sort) Fabric pencil Rotary blade Cutting board Sewing machine with zipper foot Pins and scissors You will be cutting strips of fabric to create your piping. To determine how wide your strips of fabric must be, you need to measure the circumference of your cording. Add to this measurement 2 x seam allowance you need. For instance, the circumference of my cord is 1/2 inch and I want 1/2 inch seam allowance --... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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I love this pattern. I made dress B last summer and, although it needs a little taking in now (I had Chloe just 6 months before I made it), it's still one of my favourite dresses! I made my own piping for this one, and it was so worth it. I checked the shops and they had white and yellow but I really wanted to bring out either the lilac or the gray-blue color in the dress. I ended up using a gray-blue cotton fabric. Here's a close-up of the piping: I have some beautiful pink vintage fabric I've been... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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Once you begin DIY-ing you start seeing fabric fabric fabric - everywhere you look! Chloe has discovered the snaps on her nighties so for the past week, every time I've gotten her out of her crib in the morning, her nightie has been completely unsnapped and hanging off. I am quite sure she does it before she goes off to sleep and then spends the rest of the night half naked. And it's cold here at night! I've been so worried I have been doing that thing we parents hate to have to do: Entering her room at the risk... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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Simple and sexy: the pinstripe definitely steals the blue ribbon in my man-shirt to sexy dress challenge! There were a few little things I changed... I didn't take out the darts below the waistband because I liked it fitted against my body and I removed the lowest cascading fold -- well see here, it just looks better without: These dresses are actually quite easy to make. I am going to complicate things a bit on this dress because instead of using buttons or a zipper in the back, I've decided to have it lace up back. I think it will... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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This reconstruction came out completely different than the first - not just because of the black pinstriped fabric, which gives it a more classy look, but also because this shirt was bigger which means the skirt came to a more conservative length - and, really, everything is just a bit longer, and I like it. Alot! Below I'll post some of the steps... and Mmmm the last of my delicious birthday cake :D The bottom of the shirt (cut just below the sleeves, all the way across) becomes the skirt: The sleeves, once they're cut open along their seam and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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I've got all the bits taken apart and I'm in the process of sewing them together again Sewed the darts and getting ready to fit the waistband (which is, same as before, all the cuff pieces taken apart and then linked together in one long strip) Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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My peplum is tiny compared to the original, also my button placket came out too short to overlap my waist band so I'm guessing my shirt was altogether a bit smaller than Carly's but I think it came out very cute. Here's another shot and a close-up of the bodice: I also couldn't find time to run out and get a zipper but I remembered I had all those left over buttons from the button placket - so my dress buttons up the back. Can't get a decent pic of the back over my shoulder, so it'll have to wait... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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We were in London over the holiday weekend for Christopher's birthday But don't worry, I didn't forget about my project, I started it yesterday and it's coming along fine so far. Advice: get a friend to help you pin. It will cut the time in half! Pinning and re-pinning while twisting your body to look at the back of the dress can be a bit tedious and besides, it would be fun to do this project with a sewing partner anyway. Other than that, it's pretty easy. You might want to take a peek at a dart tutorial if you've... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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For my next project, I was thinking I'd love to try and create a bustier so I did a google search to start gathering information, pattern recommendations, tips, etc. and during my search I discovered this fun craft site called Cut Out and Keep along with my new "next project" which promptly went from bustier to funky bustier dress, reconstructed from a man's dress shirt! I just love what this crafty lady has created - super cute and funky! Here is her website: Chic Steals The first thing I did was try to raid my man's wardrobe but it turned... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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Trying to gather my ruffle, which is double the length of the curtain piece, was quite a learning experience. First, my gathering foot only gathered it to about half of what I needed it to so I tried to gather it by hand with the thread, twice. But the thread kept breaking so I tried something I've never tried before - and it's great when you're working with thicker fabric, or more layers. You take some twine, yarn, or string, whatever you have on hand. Lay it along your fabric where you want to stitch the gathering, and zig zag... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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Decided to make Chloe some curtains, without a pattern... how hard can it be, I thought, picturing two long rectangles of fabric hemmed at the bottom. That was before I went to the fabric store. Suddenly polka dotted ruffles seemed like a great idea, and then I realized curtains should be double sided, and wouldn't that solid green look great with this fabric! And who would have ever guessed that so much math *gag* would be necessary?? Thanking my lucky stars for this site! The big challenge now is to steady my hand enough to cut straight lines without a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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It might just be a phase but is sure feels like summer has come to an end here in the UK. It's cloudy, rainy, and there is a brisk wind that chills me to the bone... I know, I know, this is England - but I still love my summers and I think every year, as long as I live here, I will continue to pine for my beloved sunshine days from June through September and bask in every moment of blissful sun we get! During these cold gray days nothing is lovelier than a long delicious bath to take... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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In the end I decided against the pockets - but they've inspired another piece: perhaps a little jacket to match? stay tuned... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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So I had some pretty fabric hanging around - just enough to make another little dress for Chloe with the pattern I used last time, only this time *drum roll...* I decided I was going to conquer the dread teeny tiny heart motif! And guess what?! It has come out very cute! Also going to add some fun puffy pockets to the skirt from a post I found in Made by Rae. Here we go so far: Ok, lying in bed last night I imagined a different kind of pocket -- one with gathers instead of pleats, and with a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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I have always had puffy eyes. I've tried so many different potions - gels, creams, pads, tea bags of all sorts and to my great shame, I even went through a short phase of using Preperation H under my eyes *blush* but I've finally found a recipe *slightly adapted from Beauty Magic - J. Knapp* that really does the trick so I thought I'd share it! Ingredients: 2 Tbsp Dried Eyebright 1/4 Cup Boiling Water 1/2 Cup Aloe Vera Gel (tip: health food stores usually carry aloe in a purer form than typical drug stores do) Pour boiling water over... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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So, I have started a new project - a sweet little dress for my sweet little girl. I have the softest fabric in brushed cotton with a floral print - mint, burnt orange, and yellow - don't be frightened - it's much nicer than it sounds... I'm changing a few things, leaving out the ruffle at the bottom and the heart motif. The last time I used one of these tiny motifs I ended up cutting about 15 before it came out halfway decent and then attempting to sew it onto the dress... well, let's just say it'll take me... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2010 at Bel Esprit
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What, you might ask, is this garment? Perhaps a bathrobe?? No! It's a 1970s Simplicity "Jiffy" pattern shirt-dress which should have been made with a light cotton or linen fabric... but I fell in love with this heavy suede cloth in floral/paisley - learn as you go, right? By the way, it was anything but jiffy ha ha 'with nap' fabric, facing, interfacing, darts, gathers, french cuffs! The heavy fabric I chose plus that groovy 70s style resulted in these extremely chunky cuffs and collar -- it came out a bit over the top. Don't worry, I have a plan.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2010 at Bel Esprit