Dance like no one is watching.
Blog like no one is reading.

Friday, 29 October 2010


Despite being half term I am still finding the odd hour to continue with my production line sewing. One bunting now completed, eight bags in bits almost ready for assembly and two more buntings to be started. I'm loving it!

Friday, 22 October 2010


Am I allowed to talk about Christmas yet? I think people who like to make things should have special dispensation to talk about it earlier than normally allowed by sane, not even thinking about shopping until December, people. Plans have to be made. I was laughing at a book the other day when it gave a 'Christmas Countdown' starting at 10 weeks to go.

"Ha, ha, ten weeks to go? Why worry about Christmas with ten weeks to go. Chortle, chortle. Hang on... it's nine weeks until Christmas isn't it? Oh my goodness, I've got to start sewing NOW!"

So, my little production line is busy whirring away, both inside my head and on my sewing table, powered by more tea than you can shake a plantation at. Of course, doing little bits of everything means nothing is finished - so I have nothing to show for it as yet.

So, if you would be so kind, please take the pile of fabrics above as my little test card.... normal service will be resumed soon!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

There are some lovely ideas in craft books written for children. They are usually quick and easy to do and I think a childlike quality in a crafted item is appealing.

The drawing above was adapted from a project in a book my daughter has called 'Christmas Fairy Things to make and do'. I have made it into a Christmas card.

And whilst on the subject of crafts for children. The little HoffiCoffi's made a wonderful collage today whilst Mr HoffiCoffi was running a half marathon. (I stayed at home and ate sweets!)

Naturally, Daddy is the runner in the green top winning the race!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

I wonder when I will be brave enough to cut into my 'proper' stash of fabric.

Here is a skirt I have made out of an old bedsheet!

The problem is that I always have to redraft pattern pieces if I am making a skirt. One of the reasons I was drawn to dressmaking in the first place was because I was having trouble finding skirts that would fit me in the shops. I have a respectable waist measurement but a hip measurement that sends me to the biscuit tin every time I think about it! So if I make a standard size to fit over my hips then the waist is far too large. So I make a toile (practice) skirt every time.

I find then thought that once I've cut it out and sewn it together, put in a zip (first time doing a lapped zip - so had to practice that) I can't bear to leave all that work unfinished. And once finished, I can't bear not to wear it!

So, how do you disguise the fact that it was a bedsheet? I decided not to dye it because it is a polyester/cotton mix and I wasn't sure if it would dye very well. So decided to fabric paint it. I can't take credit for the flower design - it is from Lena Corwin's book 'Printing By Hand'. I also added a co-ordinating border using a piece of fabric bought at the charity shop (a.k.a. donation boutique!)

I am hoping to wear it with these shoes....

which were also purchased from my local donation boutique. Only problem is that after five minutes wearing them I can't feel one of my toes.... that can't be good!

Friday, 8 October 2010


Yes, I am aware that the above sock looks a little bit... well... weird. It looks like something Twiggy could wear OVER her wellies but I assure you it works... thus...

You see, the ribbing makes for a very good fit even over my... ahem... substantial ankle and calves!

These are destined to be for Mr HoffiCoffi. Well, I say these, I've knitted one.

The thing is, you start all excited about the prospect of knitting your own socks and it is truly amazing how, with pretty much no sewing involved, you can manipulate a tube of knitting into a fully formed sock. You marvel at the emerging pattern from a stripey ball of wool, the anticipation of whether you will be able to pick up the exact amount of stitches around the gusset (not my favourite word that!), those few stitches at the end and voila! It's amazing... the first time.

What? I have to make another one? But I want to make something else now!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Normally, I act like a sane person and buy Birthday cakes. At other times I will do the second best sanest thing and ask Mr HoffiCoffi to make one. This time, however, with an increase in my allocated 'housewife' hours I decided to have a bash and make it myself!

Now, cakes are not a huge strong point of mine. I like making them but I don't have a real flair so it was with some trepidation that I started on my cakemaking exercise. But there is nothing like jumping in at the deep end is there? So I decided to make six cakes!!!! (All will become clear).

The first ones - ok, quite pretty.

The second batch - yeah, not quite sure about this...

The final bake - oh my goodness woman, what are you doing?!?

Once cooked, "sorry Mr HoffiCoffi, could you just decorate the top? I've been making these cakes allllll day!".

Cracking job Mr HoffiCoffi!

Then, why not stack them up into an implausible tower of a cake to make the long walk up to the swimming pool party look like an episode of Laurel and Hardy!

Luckily, it was all worth it when cut open....

Like all good epic tales, here are the end credits:

Thanks to:

The Idea of the Cake * The Internet
The Idea of the Top of the Cake * A book
Cake Decoration (not the icing - I made that!) and Chief Comedy Cake Carrier * Mr HoffiCoffi
Blue Cake Dye * Kindly supplied by Miss R
Official Photographer * Mrs J

Oh yeah, tasted ok as well!