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.

Until recently, I have resorted to altering shop bought camisoles (with cups) and shortening them to make a bralette. However, I have now made my first bralette, and it feels so liberating. Why has it taken me so long?

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.

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 I am wearing it. I will be making more of these beauties!

Do any of you ladies wear an alternative to a bra and do you make your own?

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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.

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!

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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?

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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

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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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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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A Birthday Beret – Hope, Make, Heal Book

Happy New Year!

A relative of mine had seen my beret during Christmas and hinted to me that she would like one. As it will be her birthday next month, I thought it would make a lovely gift.

This beret is made out of a beautiful blue boiled wool and lined with a soft jersey fabric. The boiled wool has given the beret a much smarter appearance than my fleece one. The project is from the book Hope Make Heal (20 Crafts to Mend the Heart) by Maya Pagan Donenfeld.

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Boxy Pincushion

I hope you had a Merry Christmas!

I had the desire to sew a small, simple and satisfying project, after the busy Christmas festivities, and this boxy pincushion was perfect. During the Christmas holidays last year, I had made a couple of pretty pincushions (cupcake and petal).

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Christmas Blessings

May your Christmas be filled with peace, love and joy!

An embroidered banner of the Madonna and Child. Beautiful!

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Church Christmas ad

A lovely, heart-warming Christmas advertisement (still picture above): “Christmas starts with the power of love: share the story”.

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Classic Cap/Beret – Hope Make Heal Book

Its another satisfying stash busting project. I do love hats and chose to make the cap/beret from the book, Hope Make Heal (20 Crafts to Mend the Heart) by Maya Pagan Donenfeld. In the book it is referred to as the ‘Wise Cap’ because it tells you to write some words of wisdom on a piece of fabric and stitch it inside the band, although I did not.

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Button Wrap Scarf – Simplicity 8036

The weather here is turning chilly which means that its time to sew some wonderful winter warmers!

Simplicity 8036  Misses’ Knit Cold Weather Accessories (slouchy hats, headband, scarf, cowl and boot toppers) from Elaine Heigl for knits only. I made the scarf (view A).

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Dressy Waistcoat – Sewing World magazine (Pattern House)

A dressy (knee length) waistcoat which is a departure from my usual casual and comfortable style. This sewing pattern is an exclusive design for Sewing World magazine (issue 260).

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Vintage Style Hat

What do you do with remnant fleece fabric from a couple of  stylish wraps? Make vintage style hats, of course. Perfect!

I have made the purple hat (with a stretch trim on the brim) as a gift for a relative and she was delighted with it as it will keep her warm and looking stylish when she is out walking her dog on chilly morning days. These hats make lovely little gifts and look unique.

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Stylish Wraps Book – Yoshiko Tsukiori

Another lovely Japanese sewing book has been added to my collection – Stylish Wraps by Yoshiko Tsukiori. (the author of Stylish Dress Book). Ponchos, Capes, Coats and More – Fashionable Warmers That Are Easy To Sew.

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The GBSB Show at the Excel, 21-24 September 2017

I had a wonderful time at The Great British Sewing Bee show at the Excel, London. The highlight was watching a challenge with the sewing bee finalists of the incredibly talented Chinelo, Tamara and also Tree of Stitchless. The challenge was to transform a blouse within the allotted time. Chinelo also made a tailored skirt using a striking African wax fabric. It was great to see these top-notch seamstresses at work, cutting, sewing and pressing.

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Bolero Cardigan/Shrug (#2) – Simply Sewn Book

Can you believe it? A garment that I have made which is not blue! I know that I need to be more adventurous with my colour choices.

This bolero cardigan/shrug was made from the Japanese sewing book of Simply Sewn: clothes for every season book by Michiyo Ito (the Designer of May Me). I liked my first bolero so much that I had to make another one. This type of garment is so versatile.

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The Cocoon Dress – Simple Sew patterns

I know, it has been a long time-no sew. It feels good to be back in sewing world!

I have seen many lovely cocoon dresses made by other sewing bloggers and knew that I had to join in. This is a different silhouette to my usual one (A-line), but it is good to try something new even though I was not sure whether it would suit me. What do you think?

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Slovenia Postcard

Greetings from Lake Bled, Slovenia!

Lake Bled is a beautiful lake in the Julian Alps. We booked our holiday via Inghams, the lakes and mountains holiday specialist.

Here I am on Bled Island, which is a tiny, tear shaped island and can be reached by a pletna (gondola). A most enjoyable and peaceful ride with stunning scenery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A magnificent view of Bled island from Bled castle which is perched atop a cliff more than 100m above the lake.

Bled island and Church of the Assumption.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Bled island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We did a 6km walk around the lake and another walk, alongside cornfields and woodland, up to the picturesque village of Zasip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stunning views in the Julian Alps. Travelled by coach to the Triglav National Park on a route with 54 hairpin bends!

Wearing my comfortable Owyn Pants.

The Soca river which is the clearest and most beautiful river in Slovenia.

At Predjama Castle which is a Renaissance castle built within a cave mouth to make access to it difficult. It has an interesting history relating to Erazem Luegger, lord of the castle in the 15th century and a renowned robber baron.

Sewing a Tapestry                                                      Spinning Wheel

The capital city of Ljubljana. In 2016 Ljubljana was awarded the coveted title of ‘Green Capital of Europe’. It is a beautiful city, full of culture and striking architecture.

We took the funicular railway up to Ljubljana castle and also did a guided walking tour of the city which is easily walkable. There is a lot to see and do.

Bled Castle can be reached on foot via one of three trails. It dates back to the 11th century.

On my hotel balcony (wearing my Summer Tunic) with views of Lake Bled, Bled island, Bled castle and St Martin’s church.

Postojna Cave is one of the most famous show caves in the world and the only cave where you can experience an exciting train ride through a breathtaking underground landscape. Riding under magnificent underground arches is an experience that I will never forget. It has 24 km of galleries, tunnels and magnificent halls with an enchanting beauty.

There was a walking tour of the cave (around 90 minutes). The first ascent is quite steep and there is a handrail for assistance. Wear comfortable shoes and a warm sweater inside the cave as the temperature (10 C) does drop significantly when entering from outside (25 C in summer).

There was a stall (Zankarija/Romana Gaspirc)) of lovely hand knitted goods on display by the lake. I bought an asymmetrical poncho which is light enough to wear in the summer. I like to support the businesses of fellow crafters as I appreciate their skills.

Slovenia is one of Europe’s most forested countries. It is rich in outstanding natural beauty and a feast for the eyes. It is an amazing place to partake in outdoor activities  i.e. walking, cycling, rowing, sailing, climbing and skiing. I do hope to return one day.

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