Spot On

What’s this? Two makes in as many days?! Someone’s clearly trying to make up for wasting the first half of their annual leave…

I was excited about this make before I started it and I still am! This is a miracle. Usually I screw up somewhere along the line and end up disappointed with the outcome. 

This Chelsea blouse from Sew Simple (pattern free with Love Sewing magazine) was not one I was immediately drawn to being as how the original has shirred sleeves. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but only kids and about 0.03% of the adult female population can get away with shirred sleeves – the rest of us look like we’re trying to be Bohemien but, in reality, look like we simultaneously shrank our top and inflated our arms. And another thing; who wants sleeves that ride up

Anyway, I loved the collar in this pattern and saw some other sewists take on it with plain sleeves so I dove on in. I had purchased a navy crepe de chine fabric with white polka dots a while ago on eBay with a garment like this in mind. I’ve not used crepe before so I was surprised to find how substantial it is! At one point I was trying to cut through four layers of the stuff and I might as well have been using a spoon for all the success I was having! However, I like the weight of it – especially now autumn has begun – and it’s dense so I don’t have to wear a vest top underneath. 

I made a size 10 and gathered the sleeves at the shoulder slightly so they would stand up a little. I didn’t want a Dynasty-esque shoulder but I wanted a little bit of shape! I didn’t use any interfacing as the fabric was thick enough to be stable on its own. I didn’t realise quite how short it would be so my hem is very narrow at the bottom to retain as much length as possible. When I make this again (notice the when not if word) I’ll make a longer version. I top stiches around the keyhole on the back as it wasn’t sitting quite right. 

When I modelled it for Karl (I tend to always run into the room with a big ‘TA-DAAAAAAAAA!’, which he tolerates very well) he said “It’s very you.” My theory is he must love it because it’s very me and he loves me! 😉 


And It Was All Yellow


In the normal way I don’t ‘do’ yellow (or orange) because I’m so, so fair (aka vampire pale) it just washes me out further. However… (there’s always a ‘but’, or, er, a ‘however’) I wanted to work with some chiffon again once I finished the cotton shorts yet I didn’t want to cut into my stash of destined-to-be-maxi-dresses-someday bundles, so this cream, grey and yellow fabric was my only option. I chose the Betty blouse by Rosee Woodland I recently purchased second hand because I liked the simplicity of it (though I imagine anything would seem simple compared to those shorts!)

I think I fell in love with the pink fabric rather than the pattern though! Oops! 

I actually started this project pretty much as soon as I finished the last one but I kept putting off finishing it. Namely because my pintucks weren’t that even so I contemplated ditching it altogether. But I decided to power on and finally finished it this morning. It’s not great. The neckline bias binding isn’t even and stands up weirdly on the left shoulder. The seams under the arms are a little bunched up and I’m not convinced the sleeves are the same length… Still, I walk, sit and stand lopsided most of the time so hopefully no one will notice! 😛

My attempt at ‘demure’…
I do apologise for this Stan Laurel expression…!

Butter Me Up

Day two of my week of annual leave and I saw the bottom of the first basket of ironing! Wow, do I know how to live it up! 😉 Seriously though, this is the first period of annual leave I’ve had since starting my new job in May and it’s a great opportunity to ‘sort’ stuff I’ve been meaning to for ages. My ironing pile only ever grows and includes clothing I’d long forgotten I even had so needs must. I also have exciting door painting plans, and drawer organising. I know – steady on, eh? Save some of the fun for the Christmas holidays! 😉 

In all seriousness, it is a week of more work and less play as I’ve officially enrolled on a Master’s programme via distance learning and am trying to get to grips with the various learning platforms and assessment schedules before term properly starts next week. I alternate between excitement and interest to utter despair and head-clutching ‘why-am-I-doing-this?!’ moments. I doubt there’ll be a reprieve for the next two years… 

As I’ve rather ambitiously settled on making many Christmas presents this year (yes, you may shoot me for mentioning the C-word twice in one September post!), some of my less productive, rather distracting habits have to give. So I’ve left social media as a starting point. I love blogging though so that won’t be going anywhere! 

I’m in the process of pre-washing and drying fabric for some new makes and I’m intending to start a new blouse today. I’ve also got to collect the fabric for Karl’s polo shirt later and make a start on it. Meanwhile, I’m in the middle of another crocheted gift using more t-shirt yarn (see below). 

As I was up at 5.30am yesterday I decided to make cupcakes (why not?) – simple lemon flavoured and plain (vanilla) ones. I then iced some of the vanilla ones with chocolate caramel butter icing, and some with coffee icing. The lemon ones were cored and lemon curd inserted before being iced with lemon butter icing. Might be a lemon-y overkill but hey! I tried piping the icing on but made a mess of it so I went for the trusty ‘rustic’ look in the end! 

This weekend I’m seeing some family members so I might be able to hold Karl back from devouring all the cupcakes before then to share some with others. The sponge is deliously moist and light and I’ve tried not to go overboard on the thickness of the icing as I find many cupcakes are too sickly for this exact reason. 

And apologies to the sewing community that I won’t be able to be at SewBrum this weekend as planned, only the rabbits have a vet appointment and then I’m seeing family. I hope to hear all about it through various blogs and will try harder next year! 

Happy CROCHETversary!  

This month marks a year since I first started crocheting. Needless to say, I haven’t completed half as many projects as I intended to buy then I am splitting my time between learning to bake and sew as well so I’ve done less crochet than I originally thought I would be.

My favourite yarn to create with has got to be t-shirt yarn. I love the stretch and it feels nice to work with, unlike some wools. It’s also pretty economical. I like chunky results best so my hook of preference is a 10mm or 12mm.

I’m terrible at following patterns so I start well and then just make it up as I go along… At least they are unique! 😉 I haven’t tried to make an item of clothing though so I can get away with it if the size isn’t quite the same as the pattern intended.

Right now I’m sat in the garden working on a present for someone in a navy t-shirt yarn. It’s working up really quickly because of the size of the hook and thickness of the yarn so it’s quite a gratifying project. It won’t be gifted until Christmas so I won’t be able to share it online any time soon but I’ll be sure to take a couple of photos to post in 2017. Christmas gift making in September – what has the world come to?! 😉

I’m debating what hobby/skill to learn next year… Any ideas? My list so far:

  • 2016 – Baking and dressmaking and tennis
  • 2015 – Crochet
  • 2014 – Driving
  • 2013 – Swimming

(Pre 2013 I was at uni and learning midwifery skills with little time for anything else hence why I’m only going back as far as 2013.)

Obviously I’m still learning all the time with all of the above – it’s not as though they are all mastered! (Even driving, though I have passed my test. There’s always more to learn.) The year marks when I started learning.

I was intending to do upholstery/furniture restoration but it’s an expensive hobby so it might have to wait.

2017 is the year I go on my first ski holiday so maybe I can put skiing down as a skill to learn next year?

Learning Spanish is ongoing as is photography. Maybe Karl should teach me car maintainence?! 😂

I’ll be completing a Masters over the next couple of years so there’ll be lots to learn there but I’d like to add another ‘soft skill’ to my list! Let me know your thoughts! 🙂

Thanks to the WONDERFUL sewing community, I have now been able to get my hands on a men’s polo shirt pattern! As you may know, I’ve been searching for a while and had asked around but no one seemed to have made one. Lovely ‘bellacitadel’, a blogger I follow, let me know about two (yes, they are like buses!) patterns she’s been told about so I’ve got the Jalie 3137 on order from an online UK shop called Habithat. I wouldn’t normally pay £9 for a pattern but this is a special exception! Now I’ve just got to find some fabric and win the boy over with whatever I make! 😉 

Unrelated but totally important, see below for my Number 1 driving pet peeve! It’s totally unnecessary and causes so many traffic flow problems! Likewise for anyone who sits in the far right lane – it’s lazy and it’s stupid. 😡