Rain Stops Play

My sewing activity has been somewhat curtailed due to the horrendous rain we had recently.  Our conservatory sprang a leak and before I realised it the long (and thankfully cheap and cheerful) table that I use for cutting out fabric was completely soaked.  It is now drying out but sadly the laminate finish is peeling off.   The table is currently lying on its side and there is a bucket in its place waiting for the next downpour.  Discussions are in hand as to where to go from here (I’m hoping major improvements!) but in the meantime the conservatory is a chilly, damp and slightly mouldy place that isn’t conducive to creative activities.  I’m not posting a photograph as it’s a rather depressing sight!

As a result I’ve been sticking to smaller projects that I can cut out on my sewing table without having to move everything off it.  I’d been wanting to make another Anya Bag, this time for me, with the leftovers from my mustard denim Brumby Skirt.  There was JUST enough fabric, although I had to adapt the straps slightly.  The instructions are to fold the fabric strip into the centre along the long edges and then fold in half again before stitching along each side.  I just folded in the edges about 1cm and then folded in half but the fabric is sufficiently robust for this not to be an issue.

I had hoped to line the bag with the lovely fabric that was part of my #stitchingsanta gift but there wasn’t quite enough.

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As an alternative I used some fabric my mother gave me during a recent clear out.  It was originally used years ago to make a dress for a rag doll and I think it works quite well here.  I love making this bag.

I was going to use the bag today but I decided that matching your bag to your skirt was probably going a bit too far!

I’ve recently started following Jen from My Make Do and Mend Life.  Jen’s journey began when she decided that she and her family would spend a year buying nothing new and she is now committed to lessening their impact on the planet.  Having recently watched Trust Me I’m a Doctor and heard about the scary chemicals that lurk in off-the-shelf cleaning products (including some eco ones) I’ve been researching the possibility of making my own and Jen is something of an expert.  She’s even made her own dishwasher tablets!  I’ve also been trying to further reduce waste in our house since watching Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s programmes.  I was horrified to see what some people chuck out!

Where is this leading ….?   I’ve managed to avoid buying new RTW clothing for quite a while now but one thing I’ve missed is knitwear.  I can knit but I always struggle when it comes to following patterns, shaping and anything fiddly.  There is a half finished cardigan hidden in my sewing room that is testament to this.

I decided to combine two projects, reducing waste and kick-starting my knitting, by making a dishcloth!  I found a sweet pattern on Ericka Eckles blog and produced this.

I’ve now sewn the ends in and just have to bring myself to ditch the disposable blue cloths and actually use it!  I bought two balls of cotton yarn so I’m now working on another pattern I found here.

 

I’m really enjoying it and it is a lovely cosy thing to do on chilly evenings.  My mother is always horrified when she sees me knit because I don’t hold the needles properly and she is determined to change this.  Previous attempts have resulted in me wailing in despair because I just can’t get it right but perhaps now is the time to try a bit harder!

Associated with reducing waste I also did a spot of refashioning.  For several years I’ve had a favourite striped dress from a well-known online retailer which had gradually shrunk until it was no longer wearable!  I love the fabric so decided to chop off the restricting top half and turn it into a skirt with an elasticated waist.  I looked up various tutorials for adding the elastic but when I tried this I just couldn’t get this wide elastic to stretch as I sewed.  In the end I just joined the elastic in a loop, gathered the cut edge of the fabric using the dental floss trick and sewed the elastic on with the join at the back.  It was already hemmed so this was a very quick project.   I’ve worn it a couple of times and it seems to have worked.  It is SO comfortable!  Not sure what I can do with the leftover top half?

I will get that Moss Skirt cut out eventually but in the meantime at least I’m not sitting idle.  Mention of the Moss Skirt has reminded me that as a result of my following Jen on IG – @makeandmendlife – I connected with @vintage_charity and we met for lunch this week.  It was just lovely.  We had already discovered so much in common (including these shoes) and then she mentioned that her next sewing project was this very skirt!  At the rate I’m going I think she’ll get there first.

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#stitchingsanta Reveal

I hope you all enjoyed the festive break whatever you were doing to celebrate.

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I blogged here previously about this year’s #stitchingsanta organised by Sheila of Sewchet and there are now lots of reveals appearing as everyone shares what was in the parcels they sent out and received!

My recipient was Sharon over at Creativity and Family and I feel I know her really well having studied her blog in so much detail! She is a very creative lady with a lovely family and I was really pleased to be putting together some gifts for her

On the making front I thought that one of Zoe’s Anya bags would be a perfect gift.  I’ve already blogged here about the first one I made as part of the pattern testing process.  I went on to make a second one as a Christmas present for the lovely lady who helps my parents ….

This one is made from a curtain remnant and has a grey and white polka dot lining.

For Sharon’s version I decided  to use another floral fabric.  The pretty fabric I had was slightly too lightweight for the outer part of the bag so I strengthened it with a layer of interfacing which seemed to do the trick. I went for another polka dot lining and decided to make a small zipped purse with the spotty fabric – this time with a striped lining.  The design was from a Simply Sewing magazine giveaway earlier in the year and the pleat matched the Anya bag.

I then found a tiny zip in my collection so made an even smaller zipped purse, this time with the stripes on the outside. My final make for Sharon was a little lavender bag using the lavender flowers from my friend’s French garden.   Almost the final make …. I had a big padded envelope to send the gifts in but I wanted something to hold them all together.  Enter some very heavyweight calico that had previously defeated my sewing machine but this time I managed to sew up a quick sack which I tied at the top with a ribbon.

I nearly forgot to mention what I actually bought for Sharon!  She has such a wide range of crafting interests so it was quite tricky to choose but in the end I bought her some pom pom makers.  I also forgot to take a photograph before I wrapped them but I have some and they are brilliant!  I also chose some yarn for felting in lovely shades of purple/mauve as I know Sharon enjoys felting – again no photograph!

Here’s (nearly) everything before it was wrapped …..

And ready to go in the post …..

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It’s quite nerve-racking choosing gifts for someone you have never met but I was relieved to read her latest blog post – she certainly seemed pleased with everything.

When my own parcel arrived I was very good and hid it away until Christmas Day. When I came to open it I was SO pleased to see that it was from Beth of After Dark Sewing. I’ve been following Beth’s blog for a while and she was the winner of my recent fabric giveaway.

The contents of the parcel were beautifully wrapped – like fabric origami.  I love this fabric! I may use it for a zipped purse but am also tempted to use it as a pocket lining with a plain fabric. We’ll see.

This little brooch is just perfect. I love anything in miniature and this has tiny scissors, safety pin, sewing machine, mannequin and my initial. The brooch was in a little drawstring bag with some pot pourri which I’ve been carrying round in my handbag it smells so amazing!

Beth also sent me this pattern which has lots of options. Having said previously that I never wear trousers I can imagine making these in a lovely linen. I think I’ll get plenty of use from this pattern for next spring and summer.

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Next up was a sweet little lined zipped purse filled with chocolate coins. Did I mention I like small things?  Finally there were some pretty magnets for tethering all those important things on the fridge.

Such lovely presents – thank you Beth and thank you Sheila for organising #stitchingsanta.

Happy New Year!

It’s A Wrap!

I had so many plans for innovative Christmas wrapping this year including making some cornstarch dough labels I’d seen on Pinterest.  HA HA HA!   In the end I only just managed to get my cards in the post by the final posting date!

What I did achieve was around an 85% success rate with my pledge to restrict present buying to local or independent shops.  This was assisted by the shopping opportunities around Tewkesbury and Lyme Regis, a trip to London with W’s girls and and couple of vintage fairs.    Clothkits in Chichester was the source of my #stitchingsanta gift.  My own #stitchingsanta parcel has arrived which is very exciting!

I did have to resort to ‘the high street’ for a few things but this year there wasn’t the usual regular arrival of brown cardboard boxes in my office from a well-known online retailer!

Despite the lack of handcrafted cornstarch labels, after two midnight finishes I have finally (almost) completed the gift wrapping.  This is something I really enjoy doing, I just wish I hadn’t left it so late.   I’m a big fan of plain brown paper so stuck with that again this year and invested in a small amount of fancier wrapping paper to brighten things up.   I’ve stuck to red and white spots, checks and stripes for the theme and all the ribbon used will be recycled!

The big fabric bows are from a remnant which I tore into strips – strangely satisfying!

What’s on your Christmas list?  On the sewing front I’ve asked Santa for a walking foot for my sewing machine and a learn to use your overlocker course at The Fabric Godmother!

This will be my last post before Christmas so I hope everyone has a very happy time.  See you in the New Year!

 

 

Secret Sewing

A few weeks ago Sheila over at Sewchet announced the launch of this year’s #stitchingsanta.

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I decided to take part as I like making presents for people, although there usually comes a point as the festive season looms closer when I decide I must be mad!  In my previous job I had quite a large team and, as we worked in a creative environment, handmade gifts seemed particularly appropriate.  One year I knitted at least a dozen scarves and the next I made a similar number of fabric bags!  What was I thinking??

There were two categories to choose from for the #stitchingsanta, sewing or knitting/crochet.  I picked sewing.  There’s a spending limit of £10 in terms of any purchased gift but looking back at blog reports of last year’s efforts there seems to be no limit in terms of the number of gifts that you choose to make to accompany it!

Once I received details of my recipient I spent some time reading (stalking) her blog to check out her tastes.  I did notice a day on my blog stats around the same time when there was suddenly a large number of views against a much smaller number of visitors.  I suspect someone may have been carrying out a similar investigation!

My recipient has quite a wide range of crafting interests which made it difficult to know what to buy but I found something I hope she’ll enjoy using.  I’m not going to reveal any more about the handmade contents of the parcel I posted off yesterday other than to say that it might just contain another Anya Bag!  As you can see I’m going for red accessories for my gift wrapping this year – stripes, checks and polka dots!  I kept these ones quite simple as they’ll probably get a bit squished in the post.

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I hope she likes her #stitchingsanta presents and I’ll reveal all after Christmas!

Testing, Testing ….

As a long time follower of Zoe over at Sozowhatdoyouknow I thought I’d volunteer when she put out a call for testers for her new bag pattern, the Anya.  I was quite excited when she emailed me to say she’d like my help and for once I decided not to leave things to the last minute and got on with it straightaway!

Quoting from Zoe’s blog :

The Anya shoulder bag pattern is a deceptively voluminous, lined shoulder bag with an optional button tab closure which measures up at 38cm (15″) wide and 27cm (10½“) high without the straps. It can be made in a variety of woven fabric, from heavier quilting cottons to upholstery fabric and curtaining. It requires just 80cm (32″) of outer fabric and 65cm (26″) of lining (or less), so it is an excellent stash buster as well as a great show case for prints and solids alike. 

The outer layer of the bag is designed to be made from a heavier weight fabric and although I wanted to make the test version with fabric from my stash, frustratingly I had used up most of my supply of this type of fabric when I made 20 Morsbags a while ago!  In the end I decided to go with a medium weight cotton with a very sewing/haberdashery themed print which I bought ages ago but never found a use for.  The lining was a piece of lovely Robert Kaufman chambray left over from this make.  The pattern calls for a medium to heavy weight interfacing but I didn’t have any so used two layers of what I had to hand which worked fine.

I did have to discipline myself to make sure I followed the pattern to the letter rather than just deciding I might know a better way as I often do!  I also made notes as I went along to make sure I could give Zoe (hopefully) constructive feedback.  The whole thing came together really quickly and I really enjoyed making it.

There are some very helpful tips in the pattern including making sure that when you top stitch the straps you begin stitching from the same end of the strap for both rows to avoid the strap twisting.  I’ve also always avoided making things with buttonholes and this forced me to do one properly and I don’t really know what I was worrying about.

I sent off my feedback to Zoe and it was really nice to see where this had been incorporated into the final version of the pattern!  The pattern is now released and you can buy it here.   The instructions are really clear and there are lots of photographs which make it ideal for a beginner.  There’s also now an extra page at the end with a condensed version of the instructions – really useful as a quick reminder once you’ve made the bag a couple of times.

There is so much scope to make this bag your own with different fabrics and I’m already working on two more as Christmas presents (I can say the word now that we are in December!).  One is using a curtain fabric remnant which definitely gives a great finish and the other with a similar weight fabric to the first bag.  I think I might try another one with short straps and an inside pocket.

There is a giveaway on Zoe’s blog at the moment (deadline midnight on Friday) so check out her latest post with images of all the testers’ versions of the Anya.

 

Shopping in Lyme Regis

Thank you to everyone for all the lovely comments on my last blog post which celebrated one year of Jane Makes.  The delay in responding to them was the result of being in Lyme Regis for a few days – a really lovely place but slightly lacking in phone signal and access to the internet!

My second ever blog post was all about a visit to Lyme Regis and it was great to be back exactly one year later.

On the way there we stopped off in Dorchester to stock up on essentials – wine, cheese, fruit and skis!  Yes, W spotted some skis in a sale so for the rest of the journey they were wedged in just over my right shoulder.

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He is looking very pleased with himself.  All he needs now is some snow!

We were pretty lucky with the weather over the weekend, although it was VERY windy on the Saturday morning.  My friend and I were so deep in conversation as we walked out along the Cobb that we hadn’t noticed how bad it was until we stopped to look at the view.  We didn’t stay long enough to take a photograph!

I did manage some shots of this almost deserted beach in the sunshine.  There were some VERY brave swimmers in the water at one point!

On to more important things.  Lyme has some great shops and since our last visit several new independents have moved in.  This gave me the chance to continue with my pledge to do all my festive shopping in independent stores.  Here’s where I went.

The Writing Room.  Their website is coming shortly but in the meantime they are on Facebook here.  The owner is Janis Lane who is a writer but it was her husband, Rob, who was on duty on Sunday.  The tiny but beautifully presented shop stocks a range of very tempting stationery including fabric covered notebooks, fountain pens, cards and ink stamps as well as some vintage finds.

Some of us were in here for ages trying out pens and spending our money.  W peered in through the window from time to time wondering what we were up to!  One of my purchases was this little rabbit (or possibly hare) stamp. I’m a sucker for anything rabbit-related.

Next stop was Sew La Di Da Vintage in Broad Street.  The owner is certainly a character, not least because of her amazing hair!   Caroline also runs a sewing school in the nearby Town Mill development and has her own range of vintage-style sewing patterns.  Her latest project is The Doll Collective, a collection of fabric dolls in kit form for you to sew and dress in vintage clothing!  The first up is Lou Lou and she’s already had her first photoshoot which you can see here.  There’s no mention of the kits on the website at the moment as far as I can see but the packing and presentation is really smart.  Each kit comes with the pre-printed fabric for the doll, a tiny pattern for the dress and a pack of pretty decorative bits and pieces.  She even has her own fabric ‘fox’ fur!  I didn’t get a photograph of Lou Lou without her frock but she is printed with all her underwear, including stockings!

The kits weren’t on sale when we visited but I did come away with some new sewing shears.  I’d seen these before on Portia’s blog over at Makery and really liked their vintage look.  They also cut beautifully so I’m looking forward to using them on my next make.  You can see my little scissors badge from MIY Collection in the background!

Further up the hill is Ryder & Hinks with its vintage shop front.

The company are interior designers and I think this is their first foray into retail.  They sell an eclectic selection of things from dustpans to succulent plants.  I was tempted by a leather iPhone cover with a very fancy cable but decided it was a bit extravagant.  I did buy some lovely mohair socks as a birthday present for the friend we were staying with and a book with tear out sheets of beautifully printed Japanese papers.

My final shopping trip was to The Natural Fabric Store which is just outside Lyme in an old petrol station.  The redundant petrol pumps are still out the front.   The Rousdon Village Bakery is right next door – very handy as they serve coffee for people not interested in fabric.  I know, who would believe such people could exist?!

The owner, Lucy, was away but the person looking after the store was very friendly.  We had previously spotted her designs in another Lyme store owned by her sister but unfortunately I can’t remember its name.  The fabric stock isn’t extensive but is all great quality – mainly denims, linens and wools.  I was really looking for something for another casual Laurel dress but somehow came away with a metre of the purple boiled wool you can see in the bottom right of the picture below.  It was rather extravagant but it is absolutely divine.  I wish now that I’d splashed out on something like this for my boiled wool cardigan as I think it would have turned out more like I’d hoped.

The shop stocks Merchant & Mills patterns and having looked at these more closely I’m quite tempted by the Strand coat, not least because it has a side pocket AND and an in-seam pocket in the waist seam.

Whilst the store doesn’t run classes, there is the opportunity to hire the machines on the big cutting table by the hour – by yourself or bring your friends along.   There are some really heavy duty machines there.  Lucy says on the website that she is on hand to help out if you need her – either with your sewing or getting a coffee from the bakery.  There were some seriously good looking brownies in there when we visited and the croissants are the size of a small loaf!

I think that was it on the shopping front!  The rest of the time was spent walking, chatting, eating and drinking wine/local beer!

 

 

Just a Card and a seasonal pledge

This is a post I wasn’t planning to write just yet but a recent re-tweet by Mollie Makes drew my attention to a campaign by artist and designer Sarah Hamilton.

Just a Card

Sarah decided to launch the campaign when the owner of a gallery that was closing told her …

If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought just a card we’d still be open

Anyone who has ever tried to make a living using their making skills will know just how difficult this can be and the aim of this campaign is to encourage people to support independent shops and galleries, even if it is just by buying something small like a card.  My card collection is testament to the fact that I’ve been following this approach for a while!  I just need to actually give some of them away now and again!

There are more details on the campaign to be found by clicking on either of the links above with ideas for spreading the word, including posting images of your purchases using the hashtag #justacard.   There is also a lovely web button that you can add to your blog.

Onto my pledge which has been further inspired by the campaign.  This is something I’d hoped to do last year but left things a bit late and didn’t quite manage it.  I am now approaching the moment where I have to use the words …. Christmas shopping.  There, I’ve done it!  My aim is to buy all my Christmas presentsfrom independent shops – apart from those that I make myself. I’m going to add charity shops to the list to allow for fabric or vintage finds that I can add to the mix.  I know this is going to be a challenge but now I’ve made a commitment in writing I’ll be more likely to stick to it.  I won’t be able to share everything I buy because some of the recipients read this blog and that would ruin the, hopefully lovely, surprise.  I’ve already got a list of shops lined up.  One of my favourites is Workshop in Prince Albert Street, Brighton with its irresistible range of carefully selected products for the home – and the people who own it are just lovely.  They also stock scrumptious chocolate bars from Nomnom in Wales. The mince pie version last year was a winner.

I’ll be reporting on other special independent retailers as the shopping progresses.

I also need to come up with a new gift wrapping theme for this year.  Possibly ideas include :

  • Something fabric related …. an opportunity to use up all those scraps
  • Recycling – I’ve done this before but this time I’ll avoid the ironing of plastic bags between baking parchment to create a new material!  Quite effective but the fumes were grim!
  • Hand-printed wrapping paper – I have a kit given to me by my sister last Christmas for carving a printing stamp so this could be the opportunity to use it
  • A recipe I found on Pinterest for making Christmas ornaments and gift tags using cornstarch, baking soda and water

This was last year’s theme which was reasonably easy to achieve because I only had to pick stuff from the garden (mostly other people’s gardens to be honest) and add some ribbon and brown paper.

I love wrapping presents – one of the best bits of Christmas in my opinion!

 

 

Simply Sewing Magazine : the next instalment

Having found the last issue of Simply Sewing magazine quite inspiring I decided to invest in Issue 6, not least to see the next stage of the instructions for the tulip skirt even though I’d already pressed ahead with it regardless.  In fact these primarily covered the addition of belt loops and piping at the waistband, neither of which I needed!

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The free gift with Issue 6 was a piece of faux suede fabric.  I have a major aversion to the feel and smell of real suede but the faux version is much more acceptable, feel and smell-wise.  There was a small supplement with some suggestions for using the fabric including patch pockets and an embellished collar.  I decided to tackle the Japanese knot bag.  The instructions were easy to follow, although top stitching around the  edge of the shorter handle (through which the longer handle slips to secure the bag) was a bit fiddly.

I lined the bag with some cotton fabric and was really pleased with the result. The bag is a great shape.

I made another zipped purse from some silk fabric I bought at a fabric sale in Petworth.  This one was for my goddaughter’s birthday and the fabric would also be perfect for a glamorous evening version of the knot bag (my sister’s idea).  I’ve held off making a garment from it because of its ‘crispy’ finish but I did find that ironing softened it up a bit so it might be OK  – and I won’t sound like I’m wearing a paper bag!

The red lining was a scrap from a pile of old fabric given to me by my mother.

I am turning into a bag lady … I’ve now made this cover for my new notebook/tablet.  All I did was draw round it onto some paper and extend the rectangle by 2 cms all round to allow for a 1 cm seam and a further centimetre for manoeuvring the tablet in and out.  The stripy fabric is lined with some chambray and I incorporated some wadding on each side for added protection.  I cut this to exactly the same size as the tablet.  The wadding did cause me a bit of a headache when I was turning the bag through the lining because the tacking I’d used to secure it temporarily to each side came adrift.  I managed to resolve the problem by sticking my hand through the turning hole and smoothing it out.

Going back to the magazine, it was almost worth it for the knot bag idea.  There are some nice home accessories using lovely fabrics – including some useful storage boxes. There is also an article about The Makery in Bath, an interesting item on sewing bloggers and some cute embroidered bunny building blocks.

I’ll go for anything rabbit-related!

My Sewing Space

We were busy at the weekend and the result of this was no sewing time.   I did manage to make another zipped purse on Monday night as a present for my sister because I can’t stay away from the sewing machine for too long.

I think this might be my favourite one so far,  but it is in the post so too late to keep it for myself.   Now the lined and zipped purse is on my list of achievements I’m thinking of making a large one for carrying round my new notebook/tablet on which I write this blog. I will incorporate some wadding for added protection.

Last night after sustaining a kitchen related injury which I blamed entirely on W at the time – although it wasn’t really all his fault – I decided to flounce upstairs and launch into a tidying-up operation in my sewing room!

I know I am really lucky to have my own room in which to create.  The room used to belong to one of W’s girls but now they are grown up they no longer need their own rooms at our house and so I claimed this one for myself.  It is fairly small but I also have the big table in the conservatory to use for cutting out, subject to the limitations previous referred to (extreme temperatures, bright sunlight in the middle of the day and piles of dead and toasted insects during the summer).  I also have a pile of Selvedge magazines in another room.  I’m beginning to understand why W thinks sewing is taking over the house!

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I am quite an organised person but sewing and craft stuff can very quickly get out of hand and I am inclined to keep all sorts of bits and pieces, including tiny scraps of fabric, just in case they might come in handy.  Yesterday evening anything that really wasn’t ever going to prove useful in the future was cleared away and I emerged with three large bagfuls of rubbish.  Everything is now where it should be and easy to find.  The very tidy pile of fabric on the shelf consists solely of large recently purchased and pristine pieces of fabric which have not yet been turned into garments.  There is a LOT more hidden away in baskets under the table and elsewhere.  The table is from IKEA and is just a top supported by two trestles which are great for providing extra storage.  It doesn’t usually look this clear on top!

Also under the table is a large basket containing knitting and crochet needles and a half-finished cardigan which I am fairly sure I don’t have enough yarn to complete (this was started YEARS ago and the yarn is no longer available).

The weather was quite gloomy first thing this morning so the pictures aren’t great but they give the general idea.

When it comes to yarn-related activities, I love crocheting squares and I have knitted quite a few bags in the past.  This strawberry one was my own design and when I look at it now I have absolutely no idea how I managed to do it!   However, larger knitting projects are really beyond my abilities and having adapted one of the cardigan sleeves to make it shorter I now have no recollection of what I did to it to enable me to repeat the process on the second sleeve.  I did spend some time last night untangling everything so perhaps I’ll have another look at it on a quiet evening.

Doris insisted on wearing her favourite skirt for her photo (have I mentioned my tendency to anthropomorphise?).  My Janome sewing machine is a relatively recent addition which I’m really pleased with and the storage baskets, tins and boxes have been accumulated over the years and are great for keeping things organised – and I’m determined to keep it this way.

I’ve still not finished the hem on the starfish skirt, although the lining is hemmed.  I’m having trouble getting it straight and turning it up the same amount all the way round leaves it dipping at the front.  W has agreed to help pin it up.  If that doesn’t work I’ll take it round to my mum at the weekend and stand on the coffee table!

A New Look Blog

I decided to try out a new look for my blog now that I feel like I’m here to stay. After trawling through what seemed like thousands of WordPress themes I decided on this one because it was nice and simple!  It is still a work in progress but thank you to Kyrie for her technical assistance!  I’m also now signed up to Twitter!

I wish I’d taken these photographs.

We have some lovely friends who are lucky enough to spend part of the year in Normandy where they have a cottage with a beautiful garden.

They grow lavender along the garden path and this morning was harvest time. The cut lavender has been tied up in bunches to dry and apparently it smells fabulous.  Some of it will be coming back to Chichester and I have been offered a share.

I am planning some stylish lavender bags for gifts and after a quick Pinterest search I have lots of ideas.

Now for a tiny sneak preview of the starfish skirt by way of introducing you to the new addition to the family – currently known as Doris!  She is rather better endowed in the shoulder and bosom area than me so the jacket toile fits her perfectly.  Hopefully the final version will look the same on me when I have cut a smaller size.  I bought her to act as a photographic model rather than to actually fit clothes on.  She was quite cheap (sorry Doris) so perhaps I’ll invest in a slightly slimmer version as it is rather a struggle to wriggle her into a skirt and zip it up.  She is decidedly uncooperative despite her stylish necklace!

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Just the hem to go before the final reveal.  Hopefully Doris will come into her own assisting with hemming.  My mother used to have us standing on a sturdy coffee table while she pinned up hems and we got a (fairly) gentle slap on the leg when she needed us to rotate!

Happy weekend!