Monday, 29 April 2013

Been buying again. Fabric and Handbags. Which is almost as good a shoes ;)


So, in the aftermath of my selling the packabe bag successfully, I decided I could finally place my order with U-Handbag. I have two bags in mind, one as I've mentioned in a previous post is the Graceful kelly bag, which I intend to use my bargain Cath Kidston fabric for. This has been on the back-burner for a bit, and remain so, because it has been pipped to next in line by the puppytooth bag I intend to make, to match my Poetic Licence Shoes (see below)

regency puppy toothThe fabric I've chosen is this puppy tooth stuff from Regency Rags (for no other reason other than I'm hoping it will match the trim on the shoes) I'll be using the Betty Bag pattern for this. Any lining/trim on the bag will have to be in a similar blue to the ribbon on the shoe (midnight blue? navy blue? royal blue? I'm not sure) but in my head, I'll be leaving the outside plain, possibly with a tiny bow or something. Not sure yet. I don't want the bag to HAVE to go with the shoes, hence possibly leaving the outside plain. IMAG3794

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Fond Farewell ju-ju-be packabe

Last night I sold my changing bag on ebay.

It was time. Noah is after all a pre-schooler now and Joey is 6.

I used it constantly for 5 years after my friends bought it as one of my birthday presents. Pounds per use, it was the best bargain ever. Especially after it sold for £26.50!!! (yes you heard that right)

The end of an era. Goodbye old friend, you have served me well. (now where's that fabric I had my eye on - I can afford it now ...) IMAG3704

The tiger trousers are finished, but he point blank won't wear them


Nothing more to say. I'm working on him. But he's 3, so short of threatening to to wear them myself (and I might get one arm in) I'm not sure there's any way of convincing him!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Made a start on the swing dress. Still not finished the tiger trousers.

Time is so lacking. I have the longest To Do list ever, but in the midst of that I still want to try to get some sewing done. So last night I made a start on the swing dress. Which means I got the fabric cut out. This I generally find is quite therapeutic (as long as its not silky material!) as the scissors make a nice crunchy noise on cotton fabric, however I bloody hate cutting out those little markers.


I also unpicked Noahs trousers and started again. Not quite from scratch. I am a rusher. And in my tendency to rush, I don't do it as neatly as I want it. This bothers me for some time until I then have to undo it and start again. So that is what I have done. Waistband unpicked and elastic removed, and both waistband and cuffs now tacked and ready for machine sewing. I should have tacked in the first place. Anyway, next time I post about them they should be finished and modelled  by the boy.


And also a second series of the Great British Sewing Bee has been commissioned. Yey!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Am I being a bit too optimistic in wearing my flipflops?

Before you ask - these aren't new.

OK strictly speaking they are 'new' as in 'unworn, just pulled out of the packet'.

However, as I bought them at least 6 months ago, they don't count (I use that phrase a lot it seems!)


I'm just wondering though if I'm tempting fate by putting them on - will the sun cease to shine? Or do I just make the most of what we have this morning and if the rain comes later then so be it

(They are fitflop hooper sandals BTW - and no I didn't pay 45 quid for them.)

Friday, 19 April 2013

Whoops - I did it again. Cath Kidston Alert!

Firstly, can I just say - MY NEW SHOES HAVE ARRIVED _ WOOO!!

I am very pleased. Mostly, because I wouldnt call them grey at all. I'd go so far as to say they are taupe. This means that I won't have to dye them. I didn't realise all the trimmings were blue (obviously I noticed that the shoelaces are blue!) The laceholes, and the soles are blue, and there is also a very narrow blue leather trim below the fabric section, but I'm not too worried. Will figure something out to get them to match my dress.


Secondly, I did have a valid reason for heading to CK again - my stepmums birth day is coming up. I didn't manage to find her anything but some lovely bluebell handcream, but I did get Noah some supercute pj bottom for £4. ( I bought Joey a dinosaur set a while back too - but stashing those till his legs get a bit longer!)


Finally though, they had these cards in the bargain bucket. It took me a while to figure out they are baby congratulations cards (I only saw the boys one first)


IMAG3795    IMAG3796

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Want your crafts featured on TV?

Then have a ganders at this:

No good for me. But for someone out there, this is the perfect opportunity to get your work seen!


I didn't get spendy yesterday, unless you count the bowling session

I thought I'd try bowling yesterday, since Noah has been nagging me ever since we met up with Amanda for soft play at Strikes.

Its so expensive I'm reluctant for the whole family to go, but the new Basement Lanes has just opened, and they have a Little Pins session with free shoe hire and endless games (I don't know if this is true, but we left before our session finished and we were there for over an hour) on a Wednesday for £3.50, which includes a hot drink for moi. Not too budget busting.


He wore his dinosaur trousers. And the cutest little bowling shoes (its only been open for a few weeks so all the hire shoes are shiny new)

He also wound the poor bloke who was supervising up no end. Noah is always the one who has to do things like a) attempting to walk on the lanes b) pick up balls way too heavy for him then drop them c) climb on the seats d) try to use the wrong lane/s e) drag the bowling frame all over the place and aim it at places other than the lanes f) throw more than one ball down a lane before other balls have reached destination g) throw ball before skittles have 'refreshed' and the list goes on. Its very hard work keeping a 3 year old in check.

Also I delayed starting my swing dress to start Noahs tiger trousers due to the weather getting a bit better.

They arent finished yet as Joey had a play date and I can't sew and supervise three young boys, but I made a good start and just need to sew the leg cuffs and get the elastic in there now. The fabric is gorgeous. Really soft.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

I'm like some sort of crazy shopping person this week


I need to rein in the spending this week. I mean its not like I spend loads, but I have purchased thus far (bearing in minds its only Tuesday):

1/2 metre nightfox fabric £10.95

Earrings from Dotty P Sale £1 (how can that count -really)

CK pouch £6

and now Poetic Licence Shoes in grey. I like the retro style;  and the fact that they were £13.05 (thats including postage - I'm being an honest spender!) However I really want to dye them. Dark green probably. Which will knock up the actual price.

£31.05 this week. Oh deary me. I'd better sell something. Those Laura Ashley curtains will have to go...

The drawbacks and benefits of working v. near the Cath Kidston Outlet...

The drawbacks are obvious. I spend lots of money on things I probably wouldn't even think about if the shop wasn't RIGHT THERE and I have very else to do on my lunchbreak. I just bought this to keep my phone in. Yes I could probably make one. But this was the last of its particular kind in store - and we all know that THAT IS A SIGN. That I should have it, I mean. So I bought it.


The benefits: well they do occasionally have some amazing bargains - and CK stuff makes great pressies. I bought some bags recently that I'm stashing for such use, and they were down from about £45 to a tenner merely because they had a musty smell. That is what febreeze is for!


I also got a metre of this recently for a fiver - down from £35pm. Its sort of velvetty. I want to make a graceful kelly bag with it.


Then of course theres my polka wellies. Down to ten pounds. We all need wellies!

Present Purchasing

It was Tanja's 40th on Friday (surprise partay - yey!) and I was the one organising the joint gift(s)

I love shopping - so this wasn't a particular hardship.

I decided the way to go was to buy her some lovely 'forever' jewellery, and then something a bit more wacky.

The necklace I chose was this dragonfly by Emma Ginnever. We (we - the gals - moi, Lucy, Alice, Jess, Pauline and Sonya) all agreed from the selection I suggested, that this was the most gorgeous and just right for her.

emma ginniver dragonfly 78

I also decided that she should have these Iron Fist Indecent obsession shoes and bag. A bit (ahem) OTT. But I know she was eyeing them up on the Blue Banana website after I went a bit mad in the sale and bought four pairs of shoes.

Whether or not she ever wears them further than her local (two doors down quite conveniently) or not, I don't know, but she'll have fun teetering!

bag       idecent obesssion

The Great British Sewing Bee

The Great British Sewing Bee is on tonight. I'm loving this (although I'm sad that Tilly got knocked out last round. She was a bit disorganised but she did create her own pattern for the shirt)

Obviously will have to be whilst JP is in the bath as he can't fathom why I would want to watch it. I'm actually learning things (although the 'beware of sewing with silky fabrics' episode came too late for me) and I love seeing what they come up with.

Should I pay to customise?

I have decided that instead of customising, I shall change my theme to something a bit more modern. The font is better. I can't bear the times new roman. I’m not yet sure on the layout but I kind of like the column to the right with just photos. So we’ll have this for now :)

On the back burner

I have two patterns I'm supposed to be tackling at the moment.Again both modern forties style - I love that look.

The first is New Look 6089 (the option which is shown in green)

I wanted to do this in plain black, and came across just the right amount in the Cath Kidston outlet which is over the road from where I work (its that, Tesco or B&Q for my lunchtime shopping excursions) which was on offer for a tenner. 'Meant to be', I thought. And bought.

The fabric itself was a mistake, but having not sewed with it before I didn't realise until I started. Its really slippy - some sort of silky stuff - and stretches all over the place. The gathers that were supposed to be on the front of the bodice at bra strap height have disappeared. It makes me look like Mr Puffy on a bad day. So I havent got the sleeves on yet and I'm considering scrapping it and trying to rescue the fabric.

I also think I may try this again, but in black jersey, possibly with a pattern but I'm not sure.

Because I'm now preoccupied with my green swing dress, however, it will have to wait.


The other dress I want to do is this one. New Look 6183. Its not so dissimilar to 6089 - its that version in yellow that I'm after - some sort of small floral print I expect (actually I really like that yellow). I like the neckline on it.


Monday, 15 April 2013

In which I accidently buy more fabric...

I must not buy more fabric. I must use what i have before I buy more ...and repeat.

The nightfox jersey is my latest purchase. I couldn't help it guv - the shipping was free and all!

Its the cheap this stuff, not cheap at all, but actually when you work out what what you can make with it, its cheaper than buying a full price pair of trousers from a supermarket (will get to that) I just love the scandinavian and german jersey fabrics. They are gorgeous.

So the dinosaur fabric (below) has already been sewn up (see my 'Sewing' page) into comfy trousers for Noah.

This tiger fabric is in the queue for sewing too. I don't think I'll do a waistband for these, just elasticated waist and cuffs for summer.

So then we get to the reason for purchase. This is Noah. He is three :


Noah likes to wear many things when he's out and about, but bog standard trousers are not included.

He hates trousers. He went through a long period of refusing to change out of his pyjama bottoms (we still have trouble with that) and so I had to find something that looked like pyjama bottoms but were in fact, not.

Polarn o Pyret leggings were a godsend. Lovely bright stripes and a soft velour fabric, he has worn these all winter (and boy that winter has been long).

I stocked up in the sales and he wears them in rotation in three different colourways. He will also wear lightweight fleecy jogging bottoms so he has a few of those too. But its warming up outside, so we need summer casual bottoms.

                                                                 Noah in his polarn leggings



I decided we'd have some a bit like the polarn ones, but in nice cotton jersey, keeping the cuffs as they mean the child can wear them for longer as they don't hang over the feet.

The jersey fabric is generally about £20 a metre - expensive no? - but the quality is excellent - and at the moment half a metre is enough (sort of - see below) to make a pair of trousers plus either shorts, couple of pants, or a t-shirt. Which makes it not so bad.

After I ordered the fabric (half metre) I then realised that he was too tall to just elasticate the waistband, so had to add a waistband as well as cuffs.

Noah wearing his dinosaur comfy trousers, with friend Lucas (who happens to be half swedish, although his cute little scandi t-shirt is hidden by his jacket)

My next battle is to get Noah out of his Splats wellies which are the only things he has worn on his feet for the last four months (not counting socks!), and into his shoes. Tried and failed to do that this morning.

Luckily, my eldest Joey, who is 6, doesn't give a monkeys about what he wears. So he lives in what ever I can locate in his drawers that day!

Jersey Fabrics from:

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The tedious part of dressmaking

Today I thought I'd sort out the pattern for the swing dress I bought from Sense and Sensibility

I have never downloaded a dress pattern before, but it was cheaper and more convenient.

Now I understand why its cheaper.

It involves printing out 'tiles' (there are two pattern sheets - and each produced 20 tiles) then trimming those tiles and matching the patterns, and sellotaping together. It took ages.
IMAG3742  Trying to match up each A4 'tile'

After finishing both sheets, I decided I couldnt face cutting the patterns out in my size (there are different lines for sizes 8 to 26) in case I need the pattern again in the future and might be a different size (wishful thinking - I may shrink!)
IMAG3743 Sheet #1 completed.

So I finally made use of the  pattern tracing paper I bought on a whim at Lidl ages back - traced the whole thing but just my size.  Then I had to cut those out.

Next step - actually cut out the fabric. Will have to wait until Wednesday if I can distract Noah with some TV for a bit!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Thursday, 11 April 2013

I'm on a roll!

green micro

And my next project. I'm going to make the swing dress

from Sense and Sensibility patterns. I love this green fabric which has teeny tiny stars on it - I'm hoping the colour is accurate though - I like the sort of dark-sageyness of it.

The two other fabrics I had my eye on were this blue poplin which is very pretty:

blue cotton poplin

and this red lifebuoy, which I decided I probably wouldnt be brave enough to wear, even in the black version!

polka lifebuoy

Finally - two finished frocks!

I've had this dress sitting in my cupboard for ages requiring modification. I bought it in Peacocks sale for a fiver because I loved the retro fabric and skirt, but hated the bodice which had round very high neckline and sleeves that were too tight. It was also too big. Sadly I now fit it, however we shall focus on the good things. I've chopped and darted and seamed and bias binded the edges and now have a dress that I really rather like. Result!


This jersey stretch dress worked out really well too. although you can't tell from the photo as it looks a bit all over the place. When its on I love it, but I'm not taking a photo of me wearing it! I got it in the tesco sale for £7, which is cheaper than buying the fabric and starting from scratch, but the body was too long (I'm short waisted) and the neckline too high, and the sleeves too long. It took me many evenings to unpick it all (they are stitched really well - who knew?) and re-shape and stitch the neck facing back in and make little gathers on the front and puff the sleeves, but its done. Ta-dah!


..and then there's this little cutey bag I got off ebay. Added some of the cute polka/lace trim I bought and didn't know what to do with - just to pep it up a bit.