Thursday, 7 November 2013


Feeling well and truly motivated. 

I have missed this feeling...the NEED to sew.

I have been helping out a fellow, local crafter with some embroidery and it has re-invigorated me! To see a picture of a little elf I have made check out my Facebook page

I have received my latest issue of Sew Magazine (issue 54!) which contains a little bear pattern. I am thinking that I will make that for the littlest Little with an outfit (maybe 2 or 3 depending on how they turn out!). This will go along with the Rapunzel doll for the biggest Little and the 2 horses.

Am currently wishing that I didn't have to go to work - I just want to sew all the time :) And just in time for Christmas.

Do you have periods of time where you loose the need to sew? I am loving having my mojo back :) I may even buy myself an overlocker as a treat!!

Thursday, 24 October 2013


Ok, definitely going to be making dolls for the girls for Christmas. Rapunzel style for the older girl (hopefully I have enough left over from the Rapunzel dress I made for her birthday - check out the previous post).

I am going to use felt for the face, arms and feet (as Rapunzel is barefooted - at least in "Tangled"). I chose felt as it came in the colour I am happy with (and the fabric I really wanted was £12.50 a metre...I couldn't justify that for a doll!). I have chosen a pale purple fabric for the 'vest' and 'tights' - although I may go for something stripey!

For the Littlest Little I am going to grab something ditzy and floral from the fabric stash - she has no preference for what type of doll she has! I am quite looking forward to having a bit of a play with my creativeness - what should the face look like? Should I do rosy felt cheeks? Oh the possibilities...

Have finally finished the big Roman Blind - pictures to follow. Unfortunately the small one was a smidge (literally 1cm) too I had to unpick all my hard work and re-hem :( BOO! I am hoping that they both fit now.... I have seen the curtains and I think they look great in-situ.

Halloween is drawing near...we don't celebrate it as such - but I wonder if any of you lot have great Halloween ideas? Do you make your own outfits?

Monday, 14 October 2013

Isn't it amazing?

Since the last post I have purchased a new sewing cupboard (bargain at £10!) - I have painted it a lovely pastel shade of yellow. I think that it used to be an old computer desk/cupboard, but it is perfect for my sewing stash.

Sorry about the rubbish lighting - it was night time
It is organised, I promise!

And what a difference it has made. I can lay my hand on any piece of fabric I own really easily (even found some that I had forgotten about!).

I can store my "to do" projects and access them as and when I decide to sew them.

It has certainly helped my motivation, it just makes the whole sewing experience soooo much easier.

I have sewn my first curtain - not for me. A MASSIVE patio door single curtain (I can see why curtains come in pairs - what a mission sewing that much fabric all in one go!). I have also sewn one small blind, of the roman variety and am now cutting and pinning (how much hemming?!) a larger version. I am really happy with the results - so much so that I want to sew all new curtains for every window in my own house!

Once again Christmas seems to be looming.

I have left it a bit late to do that mission of homemade gifts that I did last year. I am limiting myself to smaller gifts this year.

Requests from my children are a unicorn (see previous posts)
and a Rapunzel doll. I have done a bit of a Google search and think that I will use this tutorial and pattern. But instead of felt hair I will probably do long woollen locks so that they can be plaited and put into pony tails.

I was also considering making jam (my husband has found a surplus of plums in a garden of a house that he is working at) and giving them away...and perhaps some stewed apples.

What are you sewing for Christmas? Do you have a long list or do you limit your homemade goodies to close friends and family?

Monday, 23 September 2013

Anyone seen it?

So it has been a while...

Various reasons for this - I went on holiday to see my Dad (in Spain). I had quite a bit of sewing to do before we went - dresses for the girls, a top for me. I didn't really leave myself enough time to finish them and found it a bit stressful!

(cute huh? Matching dress and skirt!)

We had a great holiday, on the way to the airport my handbag got stolen. As we were on the way to the airport my handbag had EVERYTHING in it - passports, money, phone, sweets, prescription glasses, Tesco clubcard...everything!

Hubby had to catch the flight (he kept his own passport in a different bags) and the girls and I had to stay. Nightmare.

Thankfully Flybe (our airline) swopped the flight to another day at no extra charge. Unfortunately the form for my travel insurance (Debenhams) is complicated and I have yet to hear...

After 3 weeks of holiday (issues getting temporary travel documents, no flights everyday) I am finding it hard to get back into the swing of everyday life.

It has been 20 days now and I only just feel like I am getting into some sort of normality! Slow to adjust or what? I have some sewing to do (orders for various people), but, since I have been back I have done no sewing. I seem have lost my mojo.

Part of this reluctance is the fact that my fabric stash is a mess, I did sort it, but it sits in a big bag in the kitchen. This results in my having to turf out the bag every time I want fabric...which just messes up the pile again.

I have been looking at various storage options - I am hoping that getting organised will help me get back into the swing of sewing. Alternatively I probably just need to get on and do some - I know how much I love it.

What do you do to re-inspire yourself? Do you ever find yourself in a slump?

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Pink Strawberry Dress

It is complete! My second attempt of the party dress from issue 41 of Sew Magazine (did I tell you that my orange strawberry dress was featured in August's issue of the magazine?? I am just a teeny bit proud :)).
If you remember, I had issues with the pattern and had an awful lot of adjustments to make with the orange strawberry dress. Well - as I suspected - it was my inaccurate cutting that was the problem and NOT Sew's lovely pattern.
I made this one with sleeves (puffed, very tricky) and I decided to leave out the zip (not sure I do them right anyway) and included a button closure (think it needs more practice!)
 I used my "new sewing machine" to make a decorative stitch along the edge of the button closure bit. A tiny detail that you only notice when you look really closely - but I like it.
 I included the fake placket of buttons - very similar to the orange strawberry dress (it looks wonky in this picture...but I am sure it is not in real life!)
I love the combination of this fabric and this pattern. A "proper" little girl's dress. Like a princess!

With appropriate Princess dancing! Enjoy the summer weather - wherever you are :)

Monday, 8 July 2013

Time wasting

Do you find yourself spending hours online? (please say it isn't just me!) To "help" you here is a list of my favourite sewing blogs - they are super inspiring. These people are so amazing - and many of them off great free tutorials.

I will list them in no particular order;

MADE - written by an amazing woman can Dana, super talented. I love this site - lots of wonderful pictures, bright colours, and well written. Prudent baby - has plenty of free and handy tutorials (I particularly like the baby swaddle blanket). Craftiness is not optional - a lovely mix of sewing, food and tutorials. Sew like my Mom - an wonderful blog, LOADS of tutorial (mainly for little girls...but she has just had a boy so I assume there will be some boy ones in the future!), I don't know how she fits so much in with 4 children under 4! No Big Dill - another big family, not much sewing...but lots of inspiration for the home, family, ideas generally!

Ok, there are more, but I think that is enough! I shall do a Part 2 at some point perhaps.

What do you enjoy looking at on the web? (keep it clean people). I am always looking for some new sewing blog inspiration! I would really like a UK one as most are US and I can't get the same fabrics very easily!

On sewing news - I have sewn together the strawberry dress for my eldest girl (I did make a mistake cutting out the pattern for my 1st one - as mentioned in an earlier post!), it looks super cute. Just got to make some bias binding and I shall post some pictures.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Tea vicar?

I have noticed that I tend to sew children's clothes...

I think this is because they are on a smaller scale than adult clothes and tend to have fewer technical elements (i.e. darts),

fewer fitting issues (i.e. hips and busts!)
that I can finish them quicker (although this is not always the case - as mentioned with the strawberry dress below...but then I did cut out the pattern wrong!)

A finished project is always more satisfying than one that drags out for weeks (and requires repeated ironing!).

But I want something. I have sewn a couple for dresses for myself, early on in my sewing career. I do wear those dresses...but I love dresses...and it is sunny this week and I want more! (and I am also sewing a Simplicity pattern (4070) - but this is a very scary and complicated pattern and I am procrastinating and making several excuses not to continue sewing this dress - perhaps it warrants another blog post!)

The Daily Mail - it would appear - have teamed up with the Great British Sewing Bee and are offering (in exchange for some coupons and postage) some patterns. One pattern includes a tea dress as shown on Molly Makes (it is the brown and white spotty dress).

It has inspired me, it looks quite simple and I have read (apologies as I don't know which blog I was reading!) that it can be sewn in a day.

I thought I may use this fabric

As I felt it had a bit of a vintage feel whilst still having a bit of colour. What do you think? It is quite expensive per metre...but I think it will make a really original looking dress.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Summer - strawberries and cream anyone?

Do you have a wish list? Things that you want to sew at some point in the future? I do, there are loads of ideas that I have seen or thought of and want to sew together, when I get the time!

Well, I sewed one!

It is gorgeous! I got it from Sew Magazine issue 41 (I recommend this magazine!!). It is a pretty "little girl's" dress. You know, in the traditional way, gathered skirts, below knee length, pretty buttons etc. The next version I will sew also has gathered sleeves.

I used new techniques (to me) in this make. I successfully made and used my own bias binding tape (have made it before, but it was NOT successful!). I gathered the skirt (a lot!) to the bodice - I can't believe how much fabric is in the skirt!

The bodice is lined as the fabric is quite thin (I didn't bother with the skirt, and I think that was the right decision). And I actually loved adding the detail on the front - I normally hate things like that...I just want to get making. But I am so glad I did, it really adds to this dress.

(And aren't those buttons a perfect match?!)

I had a problem with the pattern, the bodice front was way too big, and far too high at the neck - I have had to adjust the neckline (lots of unpicking, remaking, sewing in darts etc) so fitting was a problem. I think, this was because I cut out late at night and ended up using the back bodice piece as my template for the front of the bodice. I have cut out the pattern in the bigger size (VERY carefully) and shall sew that together for my eldest daughter and see whether it is me, or the pattern!

 I need to practise my "hidden" zips too...not so hidden!
The pattern/fitting issues I had and being unable to do the zip has resulted in a finish that I am not quite happy with but...she loves it though :) It makes it all worthwhile.

My next one will be even better!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?...

I have sewn together a superhero cape and mask set. Because who doesn't love a cape to zoom around in?!
There are plenty of tutorials online - Sewlikemymom has one. And doing a google search will pull up plenty of others.
My cape is double sided (saves on attempting to hem slippery satin fabric - although I  have used bias binding before for the edges), with a satiny outer layer and a cotton under layer. I have left the ends to be used for tying, although some tutorials used Velcro - which I was tempted by! 

I used felt for the letter (I think I will try a better graphic next time!). I also think that I will zigzag around the outside of the letter in future for a more "finished" look. But I was concerned that I would mess it up - or that the satin would gather whilst I was stitching.

I made a mask for the little superhero too. This one is made completely out of felt with an elastic strap - for ease of use.

 Make special note of the matching bobbin and top thread! (I am getting quite good at bothering to match up the colours!)
Initially, I stuck the fabric eye pieces onto the felt. I had thought I would leave it like this (again, my fear of messing up my zigzagging!). In the end I felt that it required a bit more strength - and I had to sew the elastic on anyway, so I went for it.
 I like the effect (and I don't think it looks too bad where the zigzagging went a bit off course)- I think it makes the mask feel more finished overall. Especially with the two layers of felt - almost like a quilted effect.
One thing that I am not happy with is that I left one edge of the elastic exposed. The other edge is sandwiched between the 2 layers of felt, but because I had originally stuck the material together I couldn't slip one side between the fabrics.
But I don't think it looks too bad. And I double zigzagged stitched it so I don't think it should fray...too much!
A lovely project - quick to put together (unless you procrastinate like I did!) and with really good result. Next time I will not bother sticking the fabric together and shall just use sufficient pins to ensure it doesn't move whilst zigzagging (that spelling doesn't look right...).  And I shall take the plunge and do an edging stitch on the satin/felt combo on the cape - has anyone had an experience of this? Is it as hard to sew as I imagine? I suppose I could try it on a practise piece first - but that assumes that I am that sort of organised this space!


Monday, 20 May 2013


I bought some fabric the other day (I know, this is not a surprise). I got a bit carried away (it was in a flash sale on Facebook). When it turned up, I was not as keen on it as I had been. I discussed with a friend (who actually laughed when I showed her the fabric "Why did you buy gnomes? That is actually the FUNNIEST fabric I have seen" was what she said).

I did doubt myself, and I considered selling it on eBay. Then - Eureka! Here is my fabby idea for my gnome-y fabric!

A lovely fleece backed toadstool cushion. Cute hey?

I think this fabric pack (there are 6 designs in total) is really crying out to be part of a gnome quilt. I am not a fan of quilting...but you never know!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Rio 2016 here we come!

I am not sure why, but I have a love of ribbons on sticks. You know the ones, where really skinny girls dance around chucking ribbons in sticks into the air and making pretty shapes.

I made some.


And I made a cute drawstring bag to keep them in too.

This keeps all the ribbons neat and tidy and much less likely (although not impossible!) to get tangled up with all the other toys!

I used 12mm wooden dowel and cut them into 40cm lengths. I cut the ribbons to 2metres lengths. I used 30mm eye screws and pre-drilled the holes (well, hubby did...power tools and me don't really mix!). Then I sewed the ribbon on to the eye screws (note the matching coloured thread used!).

Let's play!


Look at that concentration!
If you have any budding gymnasts or just enjoy twirling some ribbon then have a go at making some ribbon sticks!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


I trained as a primary school teacher - I got pregnant before finding my first teaching job - but I have done a few term's of supply work. I currently work with children after school.

Gifts for teacher - do you give your child's teacher a gift? As a thank-you for them doing their job, or as a reward for the end of term? I love getting a gift - but I do find it a bit strange when a parent (whom you don't really know) gives you a gift because it is the end of term...or the end of a school year. Especially, as it is my job, so I am doing my job. I would continue to do my job with or without a gift... (am I too grumpy?)

Well, my eldest has started her first year at school. I have decided to sew her teacher a gift - just something small as a thank-you for being there during the first year. (And, as I have mentioned before, since I started sewing I keep making gifts for people that I probably wouldn't have bought a gift for!).

I used this tutorial from Mollie Makes shown on The Guradian's website. It was nice to follow, although the apple is smaller than I imagined - and was trickier/more fiddly to sew because of the smaller size.
I like this autumnal material that I bought from Patchwork Paradise (find the Facebook page here)
 There was a bit of hand sewing (which I don't enjoy) but it was a manageable amount!
I think it looks really cute - and a bit different from another packet of chocolates! I am going to get my daughter to write a label and I shall tie it onto the be treasured forever!