Back with a vengeance!

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My last post was mid-flu. While writing, I thought I was getting better, but then the next few days were spent with me barely able to get myself off the sofa for more than half an hour. Exhausting and extremely frustrating, not being able to do anything.

It’s now 3 weeks later and finally, I’m almost feeling my old self again! Yippee! Bursting full of ideas for my sewing adventures for this year. Please come along with me, give me feedback, hints, tips, advice, etc. I’d love to hear from you and see what you’re doing.

So, have sketched out a few ideas in my sketchbook: things I’m planning to make this year.

1. Skater dress. Free pattern with one of my sewing magazines a month or so ago. It’s a Simple Sew pattern. I love indie patterns (if you do, see Sew magazine this month, with a cool article on indies). I have a length of pinstripe wool that I think would look great for work. Watch this space, as I think this is my next project!

2. Pyjamas. Have made pjs for myself before, a couple of times, and some sweet ones for my little boy in a pirate fabric. But want to make Margot pjs from Tilly’s book Love at First Stitch (have I told you before how much I love her stuff?! I must have done! She is totes my hero in sewing right now, and the reason I got into sewing clothes rather than bags all the time!) Although I still lurve making bags!

3. Another Ruby dress. I made the first one in a lovely navy floral fabric that I had in my stash (looks a little bit Joules). I have worn it a lot and it’s a cute little dress. I fancy another – maybe a red one?

4. Francoise dress (another Tilly pattern). I bought the pattern a while ago but as yet haven’t found the right fabric. Looks lovely though – fancy the sleeved version.

5. Oven gloves. How glamorous! I need some, and want some more funky than the Tilda/Cath Kidston-style ones that are everywhere!

6. Kids’ clothes – in particular, girls’ dresses & skirts. I don’t have a girl myself, but really hate the sea of pink, flouncy, sparkly offerings that clothes manufacturers think girls want. I fancy superheroes, dinosaurs, space, etc. There’s been stuff happening on twitter about this very thing this month – M&S are stocking Natural History Museum dinosaur clothes…”for boys”.

7. Skirt(s)…my fabric stash calls!

8. Another Coco dress as I love mine and it’s so easy to wear. Polka dot this time? Stripey? Dinosaurs? Hmmmmmm….

9. Stag head on tweed cushion. Maybe one for next winter.

10. More knickers! (Many people have seen my post on this and commented!)
I’m also planning to blog more often – aiming for twice a week if I can. Look forward to seeing you!

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Love these totes – you can never have enough! Here I’ve contrasted different fabrics and added my fave – the button!

Also awaiting some exciting news about selling my bags & bits, so will let you know when it happens!

2015 and all that

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Happy New Year to you, my lovely reader, from me in beautiful Norwich!

As I write this, I am slightly delayed in welcoming in the New Year in all its glory. I had planned to get Christmas out of the way, and then feel raring to go with tons of ideas for new makes, sorting out my sewing space and developing my little business, but then the dreaded lurgy struck. We’ve all been unwell over the last few days and despite rallying round for a few hours for a lovely little party with good friends on New Year’s Eve, have all felt pretty rubbish and devoid of energy and enthusiasm.

But this evening things are looking a little brighter and I’m beginning to get my mind in focus ready for lots of fun things to do and make in this, 2015. I have plans! I have also signed up for the Create & Thrive 30 Questions Challenge, to help me focus on what I want to do with my sewing as a business. You can sign up here for what looks to be a fun and thought-provoking month of questions for yourself!

I got some lovely sewing presents for Christmas and my birthday (which is unfortunately Boxing Day – that’s the 26th December to you folks not in Britain!) – a pom pom maker, the Merchant & Mills sewing book, some awesome fabric my mother in law brought back from California for me and a lovely turquoise IKEA wheeled trolley for storing all my crap sewing essentials.

IKEA trolley - all ready for storing my stuff!
IKEA trolley – all ready for storing my stuff!

A friend also gave me this cute magic box that opens up into a very cool little sewing cube – it’s very pretty and really useful.

A lovely decorative box...
A lovely decorative box…
Ta da!!!
Ta da!!!

I feel very spoiled! What crafty goodies did you get for Christmas? And what’s on your To Do list for this year?

Knickers to you, madam!

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Have been meaning to update the blog for ages. But it’s the end of a busy, busy term at school and I’ve hardly had any time! But I wanted to tell you all about my knickers!

How rude! I do, of course, refer to knickers what I have made myself, madam!

For ages I have been wanting to do the makeplace knicker making workshop. I do like cute knickers and fancied the DIY route! I attended the course as I was a bit nervous of going it alone! I enjoyed it and was really pleased with the results. Although on the downside, thought it was a bit pricey. £39.50  for the two and a half hour course. On the day, it only lasted a hour and a half, presumably as there were only 4 people attending. And I thought for the price, they could have included a cuppa and a free pattern to reproduce the knickers at home. If I ran workshops, there would always be lots of cups of tea!

These are my new pants, handmade by me! I love the colour combination (pistachio andIMG_5586 strawberry ice cream?!)  IMG_5587 IMG_5588

So, yes, those there were proficient enough sewers to be able to make their own pattern from the knickers they’d made. But I think it would have been nice to have provided a free one so as to save a little bit of time having to draft one. I was really pleased with them, though, and quite taken with the idea that they can be made out of upcycled clothing. So on the way home, I bought some more lace and then found a 50p top from the charity shop that I thought I’d chop up.

I made another pair! Both are very comfy and I plan to make several more. I have bought some stripey jersey fabric ready for it! Has anyone else ventured into underwear?

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Some new coin purses on etsy shop!

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Having a bit of spare time today (what?!!) due to a cancelled craft  fair that  I was going to do, I have at last got round to photographing and uploading a few of my most recent bits.

I love making coin purses – some of the latest ones are now available  online at www.luckybear.etsy.com and are perfect stocking fillers!

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Will be doing more over the next few days, in time for the Christmas rush!

Q-tips and the sewing machine

Doing the business

So, there I was, doing a wee bit of sewing a few evenings ago. As you do. (Or as I do, anyway!) I must confess,  I’m a bit of a monkey for sewing across pins without taking them out (although I am getting better, honest!). One of my bad sewing habits is that I’m a bit reckless on the sewing machine, throwing caution to the wind in my desire to get things finished! I find it annoying to have to stop to take out bloody pins!

Well, there I was, merrily sewing when…Doomfph! Crack! Ooops! One half pin left in my fabric, the other bit nowhere to be seen. Eeek! “It’s gone into the underneath, the bit where the bobbin lives,” thought I (as I do not yet know what that nether-chamber is called). “I’ll just have a quick look and see if I can get it back out.”

Well, therein began a journey of massive proportions. For the fluff that confronted me when I took the plate off was really something else! “Oh bugger”, thought I. “I really must clean this out a bit more regularly!”

So I went in search of Q-tips (cotton buds to those of us in the UK). Not just good for cleaning ears, but amazing for cleaning out the sewing machine. Much better than the silly little brush gadget that comes with the machine. So, I don’t know if you’re supposed to use them for this, but I’ve found it works for me…and it’s soooooo rewarding and satisfying getting into all the little nooks and crannies and getting the blessed fluffy stuff out!

Doing the business
Doing the business

Please take care if you are doing this at home – voided warranties, etc. may ensue. I’ve no idea. But definitely turn the bloomin’ thing off at the wall first, please!

So, quite a few minutes and a whole pile of cotton buds later, and my bobbin-house was lovely and clear of fluff. Such fun too!

Lovely and sparkly-clean!
Lovely and sparkly-clean!
What a lot of fluff!
What a lot of fluff!

But I never did find the half-pin. That’s for another expedition. Tweezers, anyone?!!!