Sunday, 31 May 2015

Make Your Tent a Stylish Retreat...


DIY Glamping...


Hello, how are we all? Spring is (kind of) in the air and last week me and the fella (and the dog) hopped off to The Cotswolds for a few days, for our first camping trip of the year.

I love love love camping! Most of my holidays as a child were camping ones, my dad still has the two man tent the three of us spent the week in Cornwall in!! 

Anyway, we've had our own tent for a few years now and for the past couple of summers I've thrown out the sleeping bags and really tried hard to make our tent something a bit different, more of a home from home. I thought I'd share with you some of the VERY simple choices I have made when it comes to our 'Little Blue Tent' and with the camping season upon us you might find some inspiration for your own tent...

Choosing a tent... 

I guess this is the most important part, you may already have a tent that you love but I just wanted to share our choice with you because why we chose it has really made a difference to the comfort of camping. 

The bloke in my life is a bit of a giant and when we were looking at tents we needed one big enough for him to sleep in comfortably. We chose this tent because it was adaptable. This tent is actually a 4 berth. It is supposed to have a partition down the centre to convert it into two separate rooms. We just don't bother putting up the partition, not rocket science I know but the difference is huge! Something to think about when buying a tent, can it be adapted in some way to suit your needs better?

Bedding...

I think people think I'm a little bonkers where I start pulling out my duvet and pretty sheets when camping but this makes the biggest difference to me. Think about all the 'glamping' pictures you've seen on Pintrest... not a sleeping bag in sight! A king sized duvet and king sized air bed is definitely where it's at. 


Mine were from Primark, cheap as chips and oh so much more comforting to snuggle down into on a chilly night in a field. Don't forget scatter cushions too. I use them as floor cushions throughout the trip or even as an extra prop up when you're

lying in bed with your book.















Also, the throw at the bottom of the bed... people laugh at me, but they don't laugh when you're the one with all the extra blankets keeping the chill away ;-)  

Accessories...

First stop is to raid the hedgerows and the campsite recyling, to make yourself a flower arrangement that will last the duration of the holiday. 
Homeware accessories... camping... really??!?! Yes, really! You have the lovely bedroom now you need the lovely cups to drink your morning cuppa out of and the matching cutlery set. 

There is nothing more annoying than going camping and realising you haven't got a teaspoon to stir your tea, or a bowl to eat your cereal out of. Been there, done that, learn from my experience. The easiest thing to stop this from happening is get yourself a picnic basket. They are already all kitted out with everything you need so you don't even need to think about it.















We bought a new one this year from Homesense and it seriously leaves you with not a lot else to think about. You won't loose anything because everything has its place and it's so much nicer using things that look pretty don't you think? I bought the mugs separately from eBay. A couple of quirky enamel mugs also need to go on your camping must have list. 

You must not forget your oil cloth bunting and solar powered fairy lights to make your tent stand out. It also helps you to find your way home across the dark fields! I also hung fairy lights inside the tent this year. Just use your Christmas lights, get more use out of them instead of just once a year. Again, so much more cosy than an old torch.

Seating...

Now, I'm not the biggest fan of those fold out canvas camping chairs. Yes they have a hole for your beer bottle but they are just not pretty in the slightest. Swap them for traditional deck chairs. I got ours from Ikea a couple of years ago. 


More scatter cushions...
They are a little bit of a pain to transport but look how inviting they are and just put your beer bottle on the floor or even on a rustic, wooden fold away table. Again, I got ours from Ikea, I think it was £20!

Now sit back and enjoy your creation...





Just putting in that little bit of extra effort to make the tent more homely really makes my holiday a more enjoyable experience. It's nice to look at and you somehow feel proud of the little haven you've created. You might get some looks from fellow campers but I like to think of them as looks of admiration. 

I still have a must have list, next I would like some old fruit crates that I can turn over and use as bed side tables and solar powered storm lanterns that I can leave outside in the day and bring in to use as bed side table lamps at night. 
















I just want to leave you with one more tip. Keep your camping gear as camping only stuff. You don't really want to be pulling your own duvet off your bed into a muddy field and if it's all kept together in a camping box, like we have, then it's easy to just grab and go.

I hope I have inspired you to spruce up your tent or maybe even show you that camping can be comfortable. This isn't an extensive guide, you might need something to cook on for instance but maybe I've just helped you look at camping in a different light. 

Now go and find yourself a wonderful camp site and enjoy the long summer days under canvas...


Amy x

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Emery Dress by Christine Haynes...




The story of my Emery dress. I went a little off piste...

It seems I'm a little late to the party with the Emery dress, in fact I'm late to the party with Christine Haynes patterns. 

I came across this pattern whilst on the hunt for a dress style that I've been after for a while and my Instagram pals came to the
rescue! In fact it was Amy over at What Amy Made, that did something similar, who recommended the Emery, thanks Amy :-)








This was my inspiration
*image from Pintrest*...
So, what did I want? I wanted a dress that was gathered at the waist but loose in the bodice. I also wanted it longer in length then most dress patterns I had. I guess you could describe it as a more relaxed 50's style dress. 

...and this is my
finished piece.













                   



I had never used a Christine Haynes pattern before, and although some of the terminology was more for an intermediate dress maker rather than a beginner, I was impressed with how easy this dress came together. The simple design also allowed me to go a little off piste, with confidence.

To get the "relaxed" fit, I did a couple of things. Firstly, I sized up by 1 size and I also left out the waist and back darts. I did keep the bust darts, mainly because the material was very heavy and I didn't think it would fall well without some shape in that area. Looking at the picture below you can't really see the darts, I think they're a little low, but that was completely my own fault. 
 

Due to leaving out the darts at the back of the dress, the pattern matching didn't go to plan at the side seems. I felt I had planned it well, but the pattern on the fabric was a little tricky. 


More pattern matching woes on the skirt of the dress, which completely flummoxed me, must try harder next time but I still blame the fabric! Pretty good fabric though, hey?? So all is forgiven there. You can also see in the picture above that I didn't insert a zip. This is because I up sized, bonus! FYI; I HATE inserting zips.

I also HATE inserting sleeves...
... but these fellas went in like a dream.



Must learn how to pose.

I am so pleased to have found this dress pattern. In principle it's a really basic design, which will give you freedom to make it your own, I'm already planing my next one. I must do one in plaid, which was my intention this time but I couldn't leave this fabric in my local fabric shop. 

Almost forgot about the pockets, gotta love a good pocket. 

Go and make the Emery and make it your own. I'd love to see it.

Amy x