Dotty Dungaree Dress – Marilla Walker

Many a sewist has made this dungaree dress from The Roberts Collection by Marilla Walker, although mine is a dotty one. This sewing pattern contains an amazing 4 garments (dungaree dress, dungarees, jumpsuit and t-shirt). Its a winner, Marilla!

I think that you cannot beat this style of dress as its so practical, versatile, comfortable and its great for layering. You can wear it with a t-shirt in the summer or with a long-sleeved top and cardigan in the winter. My clothing style is more utilitarian than girlie so this dress is right up my street.

This polka dot denim (medium weight) is perfect for a dungaree dress. I made View C (midi length), size 2 and the dress has enough ease for me to put on without side closures. For my first Dungaree Dress, I had cut a size 3 but it was far too big and needed altering. The side pockets are nice and roomy.

The first time my hubby saw me wear this dress, he asked me “Are you about to cook?” (implying that it looks like an apron)!

I have also made the Dungarees but I do prefer the dress.

A dungaree dress is a good wardrobe staple, and once you make one, you will be hooked!

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Posted in Pinafore/Jumper | Tagged | 4 Comments

Catalonia Postcard

Hola! I’m standing by the sandy San Sebastian beach in Sitges. We were blessed with lovely sunny weather in Sitges, Barcelona and Montserrat during our short stay in Catalonia.

Sitges is a smart coastal resort (known as the St Tropez of Spain) with several sandy beaches and an incredibly long promenade lined with palm trees and restaurants. I did indulge in some delicious paella, of course!

During a pleasant walk, I had stumbled across what I though were people but, on taking a closer look, were in fact stuffed toys dressed in colourful outfits sitting on top of some rocks on the beach. Bizarre indeed!

The Old Town is the oldest and most picturesque part of Sitges (located near the church) and is made up of narrow and winding streets.

Outside the magnificent Cathedral of La Sagreda Familia (the Holy Family) by Gaudi. Both the exterior and interior of the Cathedral are most impressive. I would recommend booking the ticket for entry in advance otherwise you could be waiting a very long time – this is the no.1 tourist attraction in Barcelona. It only takes a 30 minute train ride from Sitges to the city of Barcelona.

A mother duck and her 9 (baby) ducklings enjoying a swim – cute!

We took a private taxi to the Benedictine monastery and shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat (the patroness of Catalonia) which is on a mountain. It is a lovely drive and the scenery is stunning. All people can appreciate the beauty of the place, whether they are religious or not.

The piazza outside the Basilica. There is an art museum on the left which displays a wonderful and vast collection of antique/modern paintings and sculptures. It is a beautiful collection and a feast for the art lover. The antique Sacred art had really impressed me.

The location is remote and tranquil which is ideal for rest, relaxation and prayer. There is nothing more relaxing than just sitting and admiring the wonderful view. Heaven!

The holy image of the Black Madonna which is venerated by pilgrims in the throne room and it is a spiritual and worthwhile experience. Arriving early is recommended to avoid the long queue (before 10am, preferably earlier). Because I had arrived at 9.30am, I had been able to spend 10 minutes with the image and pray before the crowds arrived, otherwise it is only a few seconds each as people need to keep moving, such is the demand.

To reach and see the image, you need to ascend the stairway which leads to it’s golden and ornate altar. There is only enough room for 1-2 people to stand at a time as the space is so small.

(Front view of the image on balcony)                   (Back view of the image on balcony)

For people who have limited mobility and cannot manage the stairs, the image can also be viewed at a distance, from inside the Basilica and looking up at the balcony. There are also several chapels inside the Basilica.

At 1pm, the choristers gather to sing in the Basilica and they sound angelic. This is very popular with pilgrims/tourists. Even though I was inside 30 minutes early, there was only room for me to sit on the marble steps to the side. Many people had to stand.

Adios!

Posted in Travel/Places | 3 Comments

Pretty Plum Poncho – Stylish Wraps Book

Have you ever thought about clothing which makes it easier for disabled people to get dressed? Well, I have a lovely disabled sister, Marion, who is quadriplegic and a wheelchair user. She also has contractures in her arms which make her arms bent at the elbows so she is unable to straighten her arms to put on a jacket/coat. Therefore, any outer wear must consist of a poncho (which just pops over the head), a wrap or a cape.

I had a good reason to make another poncho (on the book’s front cover) for her from the super Stylish Wraps book. The first one was a winter fleece version in a check print. This pretty plum poncho (without the funnel neck) was made using a ponte roma knit fabric to wear for the Spring.

Instead of the oversized bow in the book, I have made a smaller bow in a pretty stretch lace trim which was in my stash and attached it to the poncho.

There are disabled people, especially wheelchair users, who have difficulty in wearing certain types of clothing. There are a few specialist companies who offer Adaptive Clothing which makes it easier for disabled people to get dressed and it is a great idea. However, it is not mainstream and I think that it should become more widely available.

Marion also cannot wear shirts and blouses. Her clothes consist of jersey fabric with stretch for easier dressing (as she requires full assistance) and also for comfort. Elastic waistbands are in, skirts and trousers with zips and buttons are out.

Even though there are restrictions to Marion’s wardrobe, she always looks good. Her clothing style is casual as well as comfortable and looks like the clothing label Maine (New England), and it suits her. She has also been a recipient of my Vintage Style Hats!

Posted in Cape/Poncho, Japanese | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Drape Vest (E) – Stylish Wraps Book

It has been a pleasure for me to make another Japanese (my favourite) style garment from Stylish Wraps Book  by Yoshiko Tsukiori, author of the fabulous Stylish Dress Book.

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Posted in Jacket/Vest | 2 Comments

Wool Headband

A relative of mine has been a delighted recipient of my handmade hats as birthday gifts. Its another birthday, but this time I have made a headband from a blue boiled wool which has been lined with a soft blue jersey fabric.

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Posted in Hat/Headband | 2 Comments

Sewing Room Cushion

Its been a long time, no sew. I had to put sewing on hold as I have been busy doing other things which were important. It does feel good to be back in sewing world!

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Posted in Sewing Room | 2 Comments

Winter Dress – Sewgirl (Love Sewing Magazine)

As the weather is turning chilly, I have made a Winter dress from a soft corduroy fabric. I do love the print of this dress! It is a similar design to Marilla Walker’s Maya and Stylish Dress Book’s Box Dress sewing patterns. This dress has much larger pockets.

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Summer Trousers/Pants- Simplicity K1620

Some trousers for the summer. Above in Whitstable, wearing a pair made from lovely (navy) Irish Linen. It co-ordinates well with my Sailor Top by Marilla Walker.

Simplicity K1620 sewing pattern features a jacket, dress/tunic and trousers/pants (View C). The trousers sit 1″ below the (elastic) waist and have a straight leg (slightly loose) which is perfect for the summer. They are so comfortable, that it feels like I am wearing PJ’s! However, I do prefer the silhouette of the (tapered leg) Owyn Pants by Lotta Jansdotter.

Above, taking it easy in Eastbourne. Trousers are made from a light cotton chambray.

Hope that you all had a great summer – it was a hot one!

Posted in Trousers/Pants | 2 Comments

Polka Dot Headscarf/Neckerchief

This little (brown/turquoise) polka dot headscarf is a sweet and simple project to make. I like to wear a headscarf or headband to keep my hair back when the weather is hot – this was a hot summer, that’s for sure. This headscarf can also double up as a neckerchief –        2 for 1!

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Posted in Accessories

Denim Skirt – New Look K6351

It has been a very long time since I have made a skirt as it feels more comfortable for me to wear trousers. However, this is a very comfortable skirt due to its attached elastic waistband and that it is worn 1″ below the waist.

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Posted in Skirt | 2 Comments

Retro Bralette – Butterick B6031

Its time for a beautiful bralette (polka dot), using a stretch jersey fabric and stretch lace, finished with a cute bow. The difference between this one and my striped bralette is that I have used thin bra straps instead of stretch lace and the upper back has a thin strip of elastic for support.

This camisole (view A and B) sewing pattern (for stretch knit fabrics and stretch lace) was discovered by me whilst browsing Gertie’s blog for better sewing, and here is her tutorial on how to alter this pattern to make a brilliant bralette. There is also the option to make a slip and panties.

There are two bust darts in the lower front of the bralette for some shaping. I cut a size 14 as I am a 36B and it is a perfect fit. This bralette gives me some support and a decent shape. It is so comfortable that I can hardly feel that I am wearing it.

Image result for vintage pin-ups

This bralette is a beauty and has the style reminiscent of the vintage/retro pin-ups (above). Here’s to lovely lingerie!

Posted in Lingerie | Tagged

Retro Headband

This heat wave requires a suitable sewing project – a handy retro headband which is great for using up pretty scraps of cotton fabric. I have added a vintage buckle which gives it a slightly sixties style.

I do like to keep my hair back when its hot, so this headband is ideal. I did this during my Mediterranean Cruise holiday and I am surprised to being doing it here at home to keep me cool.

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Bralette – Butterick B6031

How many women out there find it extremely uncomfortable to wear a standard bra? I do! It actually hurts me. I have found various websites which list comfortable alternatives to wearing a bra as there are other women with the same dilemma. For me, the best and most comfortable, pain-free alternative is to wear a bralette.

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Posted in Lingerie | Tagged | 2 Comments

Mediterranean Cruise

I have returned from a lovely cruise of the Mediterranean (the Greek Islands and Malta) on board P&O’s cruise ship, Oceana. Took my Pretty Pleats Bag (above) – its great for taking on holiday.

Cruising is a wonderful way to visit many different places in a short time and, in my case, it was one week in which to visit Corinth, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes and Valletta. We took a flight to Valletta, Malta, to board the Oceana.

Sailed along the impressive Corinth Canal with its sheer walls on either side. Its 4 miles long, 75 feet wide and 26 feet deep  – a great feat of engineering. A view of the canal from the bridge.

Standing by the wall in ancient Corinth that had been used as a platform by St Paul, Evangelist, to preach to the Corinthians. His letters to the Corinthians are in the Bible. This ancient site also includes ruins of temples and baths.

The stunning island of Santorini which is the supermodel of the Greek islands. Dazzling whitewashed houses cling to the edge of vertical, rocky cliffs. With my hubby (above), wearing my denim Cherry Cleo.

Its a unique and romantic holiday destination with amazing panoramic views.

Standing by the archaeological site of Knossos, the Palace of King Minos, on the island of Crete. Visited Heraklion, the modern city of Crete, with its picturesque harbour, currently serving as a marina.

The medieval walled city on the island of Rhodes which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old buildings and narrow cobbled streets are charming.

Upper Barracca Gardens, overlooking the harbour from the city of Valletta, Malta. Valletta was built by the Knights of St John and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The grid of narrow streets contains some of Europe’s finest churches, palaces and art works. Valletta has been given the award of European City of Culture 2018.

Wearing my denim Owyn Pants (above) – nice and comfortable for sightseeing.

We did stay for a day and a night at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, Valletta, before flying back home.

Republic Square with a statue of Queen Victoria. The island of Malta became independent from the UK in 1964. It is a popular holiday destination with the British.

Lastly, wearing my Ruffle Sleeve Dress for the Gala Night on the cruise!

Posted in Travel/Places | 2 Comments

Dress Shoulder Ruffle Modification

I bought a dress from John Lewis (to save time, of course) and decided to make a shoulder modification, as I plan to wear this dress during the evening on a cruise. I did not like the plain and boring black shoulder strap, so I made a floaty shoulder ruffle using chiffon, covered the strap with a black/silver glitter lace and the dress went:

from this…

                 to this!

This shoulder ruffle has made the dress look more like evening wear. I am really looking forward to wearing it on the cruise! I love being able to modify ready to wear clothes.

Its simple, yet effective. What do you think?

Posted in Dress | 2 Comments

Fabric Birds – Sew! Book by Cath Kidston

These fabric birds were made as a gift for my baby Godson, to hang in his bedroom. My friend, his mother, was delighted with the gift. Pretty soft furnishing fabric was used. A ribbon was used to join the birds together with a hanging loop at the top. The eyes consist of a satin flower. Continue reading

Posted in Craft | 2 Comments

Easter Greetings

May you feel the hope of new beginnings, love and happiness during this joyful Easter holiday.

A beautiful sculpture scene of the risen Christ.

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. (John 11:25 – 26)

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Slideshow Favourites

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Here are my favourite makes. Do you have one?

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Cocoon (Denim) Jacket – Sew Different

I did it again! A cocoon, that is. Only this time it is a denim version for Spring/Summer, following my wool Cocoon Coat. It is rather smart for a denim jacket, don’t you think? The sewing pattern is the Cocoon Jacket by Sew Different. It is a super silhouette.

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Posted in Jacket/Vest | 2 Comments

Cocoon Coat – Sew Different

Finally, I have made a winter coat, which has been on my  to sew-list for a long time! The Cocoon silhouette really appealed to me and I chose the Cocoon jacket by Sew Different, though I have made it as a coat as it is more appropriate for winter.

My mum said that she owned a Cocoon Coat in the 1960s. Mum, you had great style!

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Posted in Coat | 4 Comments