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

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Christmas Gifts 2013

Coming in just under the 2013 line (in the United Kingdom anyway) is my final post of the year and it is about the Christmas gifts I handmade this year.

I made these aprons for two lovely little girls.  They are sisters so there was the challenge of making them different, but not so different as to cause arguments!  I used a pattern from a BurdaStyle magazine, omitting a bib panel which I didn't really like and using scraps of fabric I already had.


And log cabins!

I also made a table decoration for my Mother In Law.  It uses applique and embroidery to make a simple design and I made it whilst enjoying all the bad Christmas films in the run up to the big day!

Hope you all have a Happy New Year!



Saturday, 28 December 2013

Top 5 of 2013 - Inspirations and Goals

Top 5 of 2013 - An Annual Blog Series

This is my final post in Gillian's Top 5 of 2013 linkup.  Time to list my inspirations this year and my goals for 2014.


1.  Online Friends

Who could write an inspirational list without mentioning the joy of being able to see people as crazy as you are making beautiful things all over the world!  I read too many blogs to be able to list you all but, rest assured, if you blog about sewing, I have come to visit!

2. Offline Friends

I believe everyone is creative, and I am lucky enough to know quite a few people who demonstrate this in their daily lives.  From my sister, who knits meticulously, to my friend Sarah, who has just started an art class, to these people who I am lucky enough to have photographic evidence!

My friend Siwgr who makes fabulous felt!  I wore this example of her work to afternoon tea this year.

Mr HoffiCoffi, a creator of board games.

My children, who leave little doodles like the one above around the place. 

3. Dare I say Craftsy!

I have started using Craftsy this year and did a bit of research before purchasing a class.  It seems a bit of a marmite subject but I have to say I have really enjoyed the experience.  I loved the teaching styles of Susan Khalje in her couture class and Beth Ferrier in her applique class.

My Cushion Following Beth's Class.

4. Wonderwool Wales

I went to Wonderwool Wales for the first time this year and loved it!  So much inspiration in several huuuuge barns!  Here is a photo of all the... ahem.... 'inspiration' that found it's way home with me!!!


1. Rip More Calico!!!

Honestly, I did it for the first time yesterday and it is such a great way to find the fabric grain - and it makes you feel like the Incredible Hulk.  Win win!

Actually this does lead me on to the next goal.

2. Pattern Fit More Effectively

I am going to be a big girl this year and really get to grips with pattern fitting.  Yes, I am talking about making a muslin and really examining the fit issues.  Full Bust Adjustment here I come!

3. Trying Couture Techniques

Susan Khalje's very gentle powers of persuasion have convinced me to give couture a go.

4. Find a HoffiCoffi Proof Iron

I am HoffiCoffi - destroyer of Irons.  Honestly I just want one with a soleplate that doesn't become all gunked up and is impossible to clean.

5. Understand the 'Pattern Magic' Books

I got Pattern Magic volumes 1 and 2 for Christmas on my request.  Don't have the slightest idea what they are on about... this may be a goal too far!  

Monday, 23 December 2013

Top 5 of 2013 - Misses

Top 5 of 2013 - An Annual Blog Series

My second post for Gillian's Top Five of 2013 link up is all about what did not quite go to plan this year.  Here are my top 5. 

1. 'Leather' Skirt

Urgh, this is the worst thing I have made.  Ever.  In my defence, I was working with a polyurethane coat I found in the charity shop, to make a leather look skirt for a refashion runway sewalong.  But that's no excuse really - it's just ugly and badly made. 

2. Peplum Shirt

Another refashion runway challenge.  I was happy with my finished work, changing a boxy shirt into a fitted peplum, but I still don't like peplums.

3. Fifties Petticoat

I feel a little bit bad about putting this petticoat on the list because I love it.  But that middle panel was not supposed to be there - I panicked and put it in when I realised the skirt was going to be a bit short.  Now it's too long.  Nothing that rolling up the waistband doesn't fix but it was a silly error on my part.

4. Cord Hat 

I decided to make a hat out of truly scrappy scraps of fabric - a headscarf for the lining that was badly damaged and the very, very last scrap of green cord I have had for ages.  The hat was fiddly to make but turned out ok, but was too big!

The only photo I have of said hat is on a friend's head during Me Made May.  Last seen in my wicker basket full of hats and scarfs, never seen on my head.

5. Brown Shorts Remake

Again, nothing actually wrong with these.  They are a simple refashion of an old pair of Mr HoffiCoffi's jeans into something rather cute for summer.  My only error in these was trying to get the things on.  Think I got as far as my knees.  Enough said.

So, there you have my top five misses of 2013.  I realize there is a touch of Goldilocks and the Three Bears about it all as I seem to be complaining things are too big, too small or too long.  Hopefully next year I'll get it juuuuust right!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Top 5 of 2013 - Hits

Top 5 of 2013 - An Annual Blog Series

I thought it would be hard to come up with my top five hits for Gillian's Top 5 of 2013 link up. I gave up blogging for most of the year but, of course, not blogging does not mean not creating!  So here is my top 5 of 2013.

1. The Ikea Dress

So called because it is made out of an Ikea duvet cover found in a charity shop.  A vintage 60's Butterick pattern was used.

2. Gingham Shorts

I made these for my daughter after she fell in love with a similar pair in a rather pricey catalogue! I had all the material already so my only other outlay was the price of the zip.  I used a modern Burda pattern but self drafted the heart shaped pockets to recreate the look of the much coveted shorts.

3. Floral Skirt 

This is a self drafted skirt pattern and the fabric is an old curtain found in a charity shop.  The photo was taken on holiday and I feel I blend into our sun tent on the beach quite well!

4. Plaid Re-Fashion

I enjoyed sewing along with the Refashion Runway girls this year.  My favourite refashion was turning a long plaid skirt into this dress.  It's quite festive so it may well be what I wear on Christmas day!

5. Ruffle Cuff Socks

Finally, I couldn't let my top 5 go by without slipping in a bit of knitwear.  These socks are designed by Ann Budd and are knitted up in Noro Silk Garden yarn.  Cosy and just that little bit crazy!

So there you have it.  These are a few of my favourite things!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas.

I had intended to make hand knitted intarsia baubles for all of my friends.  However, five hours later, still struggling with my first attempt - knitted in the round on teeny tiny needles - well, let's just say I had a change of heart! 

Maybe if I start in January for 2014.  That fair isle jumper is a long way off........