Monday, 21 October 2013

I'm back! Briefly. Halloween dressmaking. Butterick 5209

I have been so busy its ridiculous. I decided to set up a business you see. Not a full-time-drop-everything-else-I-must-have-a-shop business. Simply an I-want-to-make-stuff-when-I-can-and-sell-it business. 
So I have.
All set up on Etsy, Facebook and have me a website too. Tbh I seem to have such a big list of commissions at the moment I'm not sure when I'll be able to make any stuff to pop on etsy, however thats fine. I'm just enjoying the creativity!

Here's a shot from yesterday at the Polka Dot Rock halloween tea and craft party - getting my hair vintaged by Dawn from Foxys Vintage Hair!

The dress in the pic is Butterick 5209 B.T.W. - made especially for this event. It wasn't too bad to sew up - in fact I may even do it again. If you look closely at the fabric its halloween themed!

Monday, 19 August 2013

1940's and beyond

Ramsey 1940's Weekend. We go every year, although this year the location changed from the airfield to the rural museum. This is a shame, because the airfield was perfect (apparently its been sold for housing) and whilst they did an amazing job at the rural museum site, it wasn't quite the same.

I'm hesitant to say 'as good' but the 'feel' didn't match. Also the big top tent was something I didn't love. The tea dances used to be held in an aircraft hangar, so they obviously did their best to replicate the size. The tent was difficult to access though unlike the hangar which had a large doorway and plenty of room to move, and they had the sides down, meaning it was very dark (you can't tell from my photo due to the flash, but only the floor area was lit) and very hot and stuffy. The dancers even requested that they would like the sides to be raised to lowever the temperature a bit, but it didn't happen (whilst we were there anyway) 

Otherwise, it was a lovely day. We werent there a long time (nearly long enough) because the boys got bored. I really really wanted to browse the stalls but didn't get the opportunity. Plus there was an amazing fabric stall and I wish I'd known or I'd have raided the piggy bank first (I asked him if he had a market stall - no apparently - he only opens his stall once a year at the Ramsey weekend?!)


I heart this dress from lindy bop. I could just buy it online as its only £30, but what I REALLY want is the pattern for a dress with that bustline. Plus I really want to stop buying clothes (and making them) until I've lost weight.

Noah gets to handle a rifle. 

Joey looks the part
Is he real mummy?!

I have started my diet again today. I'm very fed up of fat. I have a new motivation tool. I bought this italian charm bracelet on ebay. You can replace each link with patterned links if required. I have bought extra links with numbers: either '1' or '7' to signify lbs lost. Each week I shall update my bracelet with the appropriate numbers so in total my bracelet will display how many lbs I have lost. I'm hoping that this little visual reminder will do exactly that - remind me I cannot make/buy any new dresses until I've lost a decent amount!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Busy Busy

I've been so busy lately, I haven't bothered doing any updating. Bad me. So a little one now methinks. 
Its the summer holidays of course. That means slightly more time with children, and attempting to entertain those children. We've been on holiday to Weymouth (lovely) We've seen Dr Who monsters in Peterborough. We've banged drums at Wicksteed Park. We've gotten disgustingly sandy and wet at Stanwick lakes. We've been out on bikes, off to the park, beer gardens, paddling in Cambridge and Papworth and rampaging at Activity world. Lots to fit in.
I'm currently praying the rain will stop so we get to go to the 1940's even at Ramsey. Fingers Crossed.

Other important events - Joey (6) lost his first tooth yesterday. He proceeded to tell everyone that wasn't interested :)


I have been busy on my new machine, making bags. I'd like to say lots of bags, but #4 is below. I would love to knock them out at a faster rate than one per week, but with my schedule that simply doesn't happen. I'm loving it. I'm also going to be selling them at some point as I can't possibly just keep them all.
This is my favourite, even though its not yet finished, I know I'm going to make another one. Flamingos and red gingham with bamboo handles.
Part of the reason they take so long, is because I've been designing different patterns for each, until I come up with one I really like. I'm hoping its going to be this one!

 Cutting the pieces out and interfacing them: time consumer #1

Inserting a pocket: time consumer #2

Gathering the outer fabric and inserting piping. Time consumer #3

Bamboo Handles. Not particularly time consuming at all! Now I've just got to put it all together.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A new machine, a new dress, and lots and lots of Pims!

It was a very eventful weekend indeed. I'm just recovering now!

Friday night I went out with a friend who will be leaving us soon as her husband has a new job in Switzerland. Very exciting! I wore my new black maxi dress from Asda (,default,pd.html) and cycled into town without getting tangled once! Lots of giggles and Pims later, I cycled back again. Its a good job its cycle paths all the way :)

Saturday the boys had swimming lessons as normal, then we headed forAlconbury to the Norma Major Charity Cricket match. We did see John Major. We did not see the 'Weasley Twins' who either didn't turn up or just didn't play by the time we left. Joey was slightly disappointed by this - but not much. They just wanted to eat ice-cream and hotdogs and play in the park!


Saturday evening was spent at friends Sam and Adams house at their luvverly BBQ. Met new people. Drank much pims. The boys had a whale of a time and stayed up until an unheard of time. John stayed home and electrocuted himself on the hedge trimmer ( this has happened before - he really should stay away from outdoor electricals - he has already killed one hedge trimmer and the lawn mower. Luckily he has not killed himself)

Saturday night I stagged home with the boys, got them to bed, and dashed to the garage to unbox this little baby. My lovely friend Anna wants to sell it, but only to someone who will appreciate it - so I'm giving it a trial. So far its fantastic. I've never used a computerised sewing machine before, but my cheap Brother m/c is doing my head in.

So Sunday was a quick trip to the car boot sale (mainly for the bouncy castle) followed by a picnic and craft fair at the Gorgeous Island Hall   The boys always love to have a run around there. There were some older kids playing in the river and mine were very jealous - but its too deep for them to play in just yet!

Sunday evening - I ran these shorts up on the Pfaff in record time. I really wanted an overlocker - but the overlock foot on this machine does fine for my needs. There are a few different stitches available.

Noah wore his shorts yesterday, and of course came back from nursery with them entirely filthy. But thats what little boys do :)

I ended up in Cath Kidston again, and found this cute dress in the bargain basket. Only there due to broken belt loops, I snapped it up for twenty quid. When I got it home, I figured the waistband was too low (I'm quite short waisted) so made the decision to relocate it. I unpicked all the elastic and then sewed it on again 6cm higher up with the Pfaff. Easy peasy! Ironed it and you can hardly tell. I'm super happy.

Newly bought
 Elastic removed and replaced higher up

 Ironed and ready to wear!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

More Baby Shoes! Plus Gala Weekend in Goddy and Car Maintenance ahoy...

I'm actually not so happy with these. They are taken from the tutorial and they look super-cute but they aren't very practical because the seam is visible and to make it neat you have to overlock or zigzag. Well I don't have an overlocker, and zigzagging all those layers (where the frill meets the shoe) means that it wouldn't be comfortable for a baby. I'm going to have another go, without frills, and hiding the seams.

These arrived from China yesterday. I am mucho excited. They are bamboo bag handles. Oooh!!

Much of one week was taken up attempting to construct a propelled boat for the gala day boat competition. From a coke bottle, a milk carton, and eggbox, some elastic bands, some paper, and a few wooden dowels.

I eventually came up with Dewan the Dragonfly (which did propel - just very very slowly - a lazy dragonfly LOL)  
Of course my kids got all the credit - we won 'Best Decoration'

Gala Weekend in Godmanchester is wonderful. Sadly the Sunday event (Picnic in the Park) was cancelled last year due to torrential rain. The weather obviously had a guilt trip - because this year it was glorious all weekend!


I also found the time to do a car maintenance course (this is Maja changing a tyre) which was great fun and very useful ( I do the car stuff anyway, but I had forgotten how to change the tyre)

And bought this cute little frock in Tesco for a fiver - it was strapless, which I cannot cope with, so I chopped off the top of the bodice and made straps :)

Finally - Anna has offered me one of these babies Pfaff Expression 2046 which she doesn't use. For a price of course, but half what it cost 7 years ago. She's bringing it round later so I can have some trial time. Yey!!!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Baby Shoes Done :)

I'm very happy to report I actually finished a project these week. I'm really having trouble finding the time to get any sewing done. Fortunately, baby shoes take very little time at all and I did these in a couple of hours ( I cut out the fabric the other day)

This time I used the pattern from I've previously used the stardust pattern, and they are pretty much identical, however these are reversible as you can see, which makes them just that bit more appealing.

I don't know the gender of the baby (these are for Joey's teachers' leaving gift at the end of term - she'll be off on maternity leave and we don't know when she'll return - I'm hoping in time for when Noah starts reception next September!)

I therefore made them as unisex as possible. The owls are a bit more autumy tones, and the stripes are a bit more summer. I think the stripes are Riley Blake and the owls are Timeless Treasures. I just raided my stash for this.

They barely use any fabric at all because they are 0-3 month size, and therefore cost very little to make (I reckon I used less than half a fat quarter in total, so you're looking at £1.50 max depending on the fabric.)

I just have to figure out how to package them prettily now. I'm not good at that bit. Any tips would be good!

Monday, 1 July 2013

In which I start on some baby shoes, and buy a new lipstick

I know. It doesn't sound terribly exciting!

I did book a holiday this morning though. Slightly marred by the fact I managed to book entirely the wrong dates. Stoopid website. Quick phonecall though and I think its sorted. I'll only be happy when I get the confirmation though. I now have to go through the rigmarole of applying for two days off school for Joey, which I know he won't be granted, but I think its polite to ask anyway.  I've not done that before (taken unauthorised absence) but I'm just thinking what the heck. Its two days at the end of term. He's 6. What difference will that make?

We had a lovely weekend (doesn't the sun always make it lovely?) with the kids and I didn't get much done otherwise.  Noah insisted on spending all day Saturday dressed as a cowboy. Quite tame for him really. This is them in the library cafe - they go straight there for there Saturday morning treat - Angel Delight!

After lunch we headed for Diddington Country fair, which they loved. They got to sit on tractors, ride a mini steam train, and do a bit of archery (even Noah, who is usually too young) I browsed craft stalls, and we all indulged in some very interesting gooseberry ice-cream

Sunday was glorious (these shots are still quite early - about 11am - before the sun really got going) and whilst the initial plan was to head for Stanwick lakes, roadworks on the A14 meant we turned around and headed in the other direction. Ended up at Lammas Land in Cambridge. The paddling pool there is so great for kids. Really big but all shallow. I knew those rubber rings bought on impulse at Lidl would come in handy!

I also got my subscription delivered. It came with a letter telling me that its been discontinued. I'm not that sad - I didn't find it particularly compelling. Its still lovely to get things in the post though and I like to read it in the bath.

I also bought me a brand new lipstick. I do own it already, but I lost the lid which is kind of annoying. This is Barry M pillar box red (121). I think it looks very retro and is quite striking, but seems to suit me (its sort of orange based). I can't show you a photo of me right now - I did take one but it was in strong sunlight and there was too much 'tache for my liking (TMI LOL?!)

And finally... I made a start on Mrs Wilkinsons baby shoes. She has been Joeys teacher for the last two years, but is having her first baby in the next few months. I thought it would make a nice present as not sure when she's returning. I dont know the gender, so these are meant for either, and will be reversible.

Friday, 28 June 2013

In which I buy new glasses on a budget (and then use the budget on something else - FABRIC!!)

So as my FB friends already know, I went and had my free eye check the other day - after all, it had been a good  two years since the last one.
The lovely lady at Tesco did a check and informed me, that in fact it had been nearly half a decade since my last one. Oops! I only really wear them for driving and TV (when I really want to see it clearly!) but I thought I'd better get me some more.
I plumped for (who are excellent btw - really can't fault the service) and set myself a budget of £100 for some functional specs. This is what I ended up with!

The sunnies. I don't heart these particularly, but the only other options were not super-cheapo or big enough to really do the job of sunnies. They are prescription, which was the point of them.


The sensible everyday pair. these have black frames and pink 'inners'. I actually thought they had purple frames for some reason. Never mind. They are anti-glare, anti-scratch and whatever other wotnots they put on frames. And I can see. Hurrah!
(apologies for the just-out-the-shower-on-way-to-work-should-have-put-lippy-on car shots but thats where I keep my specs!)

The total was just under £54. 
So what did I do with ther other £46 of my £100 max budget?

Of course I spent it on fabric at :)

This is the cheaper stuff I bought for linings

And this is the more expensive stuff I intend to make bags/purses with. Hee!!!