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.

The concept of the book is interesting. It is aimed at people who are seeking renewal and restoration during life’s transitions and after deep loss. I bought the book as I thought it would be good to try out a craft book that was not solely for sewing projects. I do agree that crafting can be therapeutic and has a positive effect.

There are only 6 (out of 20) sewing projects in this book: the Wise Cap, Scarflette, Breathe Cuff, Survival Satchel, Sheltered Shawl, and Power Poncho with hood. There are no sewing patterns included.

For the beret, I have used a soft fleece from my Poncho, and a soft corduroy lining  from my Apron Dress. It feels good to make a project from my stash and not spend anything.

This beret consists of 6 pieces of fabric.  As a template for the top, I used a 12″ diameter saucepan lid. There is also a ring and a band. The cap/beret is lined for extra warmth and stability. There is the option of having it reversible – 2 in 1!

I do like the design of this beret as it can be tilted to the side of the head. Wearing it makes me feel rather French – Oui, Oui!

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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).

This was a stash busting project using a green fleece from the Popover Poncho and a soft floral corduroy from an Apron Dress for the contrast lining.

This scarf has a modern wrap design with its diagonal edges overlapping each other and which are fastened with snaps. There is a big button for decoration. For some variety, the scarf can be arranged in a number of ways to suit you.

This is one super snuggly scarf to keep out the chill!

Posted in Accessories | 2 Comments

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).

I bought this smart and stable double knit fabric (1.5m) from my favourite fabric supplier, M Rosenberg & Son who was present at The GBSB show (see my post of 23 September 2017). The grey/black floral print attracted me instantly. It has a beautiful quality, does not fray and sews like a dream. I turned the edges under and used a slip stitch, producing a more professional finish.

If you are looking for the perfect garment to wear for Autumn, this is it! And the great news is that it is suitable for both woollen and double knit fabrics – a double win. It looks equally good on a dress or on trousers/pants and can dress up any outfit.

To keep out the chill and for a totally different look, I will make a woollen waistcoat. This is such a versatile garment, it would be a shame not to!

Posted in Jacket/Vest | 4 Comments

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.


I am not keen on wearing a woolly hat and this vintage style hat makes a great alternative and looks smart and feminine. Add a statement flower (mine is made from 3 different sized circles and a button as a bud) or another embellishment.

Autumn is well and truly here which means more sewing with knit fabrics which I love. It is my favourite season to sew!

Posted in Hat/Headband | 2 Comments

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.

This book really appealed to me as I do feel the cold and need to wear winter warmers (preferably stylish). The main problem that I have with my husband is that he likes the windows open (even on a cold and windy day) and I do not! Does anyone else have this dilemma?

This poncho (on the book’s front cover) has a loose, wide neck and a bow. For a toasty yet lightweight version I made both of my ponchos from fleece and cut a size L. The multi check one is for my sister, it has a shorter funnel neck and a flower instead of a bow. The poncho in the book has a big accent bow. Mine is much smaller as I did not want a big bow.

The other garments included in the book: capes (including a hooded version), bolero, robe coat, wrap jacket, drape vest, drape jacket, coat dress, quilted coat, quilted vest, wing-collared jacket, infinity scarf and faux-fur collar.

I am sure that I will make more garments (drape vest and cape) from this book as the designs are absolutely fabulous!

Posted in Cape/Poncho | 4 Comments

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.

I have been watching Tree’s tutorials on Stitchless TV for quite some time. Tree makes sewing very entertaining and I love her character, energy and quirky style. She is fun to watch.

As an added bonus, the suave Patrick Grant (The GBSB Judge) made an appearance at the end. Well, this caused quite a commotion amongst the ladies, who were clearly smitten with Patrick and surrounded him to take a ‘selfie’ with him. I did not want to impose myself on the poor man, so just stood nearby, took a quick photo, and watched in amusement as the number of ladies grew, vying for Patrick’s attention and they were not leaving in a hurry!

While the ladies were busy with Patrick, I took the opportunity of approaching Tree to have a chat and a photo. She was lovely and it was great to meet someone who is talented in the sewing/dressmaking industry and whom I admire. Thanks Tree! I wore my tie-dye print denim Cleo and had received several compliments, including one from Tree, which made my day.

There was a fashion show dedicated to sewing pattern designs and compered by Debbie Shaw  (standing at the back of the bridal gown photo) of Thimblelane and a Create & Craft TV presenter. Debbie’s specialty is sewing crafts, accessories and soft home furnishings.

The team from Tilly and the Buttons  were there (minus Tilly). Tilly is expecting a baby any day now, so she was unable to attend for a very good reason. Hope it all goes well for you Tilly! Two of Tilly’s lovely designs were featured in the fashion show – the Zadie and the Cleo.

There were also many stands full of fabulous fabrics (yes, I did some shopping), indie sewing patterns, and other goodies. As well as exhibits featuring garments which were made by The GBSB contestants and garments made from gorgeous Liberty fabrics.

It was a fabulous day out and I do recommend it although the final day for the show is tomorrow so be quick. Enjoy it if you have not already done so.

Posted in Craft | 1 Comment

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.

This time I had used a jersey knit that I bought from a fabric superstore on the beautiful island of Madeira. I was so enthralled with this superstore that my hubby lost his patience waiting for me and almost had to drag me out – I did not want to leave – it was pure fabric heaven!

This jersey is smooth, slinky and has a wonderful drape. The bolero consists of only 3 rectangles (1 for the body and 2 for the cuffs)- it is so simple to make. I have made the cuffs narrow for a smarter appearance.

If you are looking for a garment that is simple and quick to make, then this is it. I cannot recommend it enough!

Posted in Cardigan/Shrug

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?

For the cocoon dress, I have chosen a medium weight linen in a blue pinstripe from my stash (view B). Other fabric suggestions are cotton, viscose/rayon, crepe and even ponte roma knit. View A has 3/4 length sleeves.

I have cut a size 12 on the fold but omitted to remove the centre seam allowance as I was not sure of the size (the sewing pattern only states the finished garment measurements). However, I had to take in quite a bit from the side seams as it was too large. Next time, I will remove the centre seam allowance!

This dress has a V-neck which is not my usual neckline and deep in-seam pockets. I think this style of dress would look better in a lighter weight drapey fabric. I would like to make it in a ponte roma knit for the Autumn. Its wonderful to find a dress sewing pattern in which you can use either a woven or knit fabric!

Image result for audrey hepburn givenchy sack dress n1958

Givenchy had incorporated the cocoon design with his sack dresses of 1957/8. It was also modelled by the Hollywood film star Audrey Hepburn.

What is your opinion of the cocoon? Would you wear it?

Posted in Dress | 2 Comments

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.

Posted in Travel/Places | 2 Comments

The Capable Wife

How hard it is to find a capable wife. She is worth far more than jewels.

She keeps herself busy making wool and linen cloth.

She is a hard worker, strong and industrious.

She knows the value of everything she makes, and works late into the night.

She spins her own thread and weaves her own cloth.

She doesn’t worry when it snows, because her family has warm clothing.

She makes bedspreads and wears clothes of fine purple linen.

She makes clothes and belts, and sells them to merchants.

She is strong and respected and not afraid of the future.

She speaks with a gentle wisdom.

A woman who honours the Lord should be praised.

Give her credit for all she does, she deserves the respect of everyone.

Proverbs 31: 10-31  (the Good News Bible translation)

 

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Cherry Cleo – Tilly and the Buttons

Yes, I admit it, I am a Cleo addict! I bought this dreamy cherry print denim and could not resist making another one. Thought this is my summer Cleo so I can justify making a third one.

This light-medium weight denim with some stretch is from  M Rosenberg & Son (they stock a fabulous range of fabrics including printed denims) and they are my favourite fabric supplier. It is a light enough denim to wear for the summer. It would be incredibly uncomfortable to wear a heavier denim in this heat wave.

The dress is knee length although I omitted the front split as I cut this fabric on the fold (removing the centre seam allowance) so there is no centre seam. I think it looks better to do this when the fabric has a busy print. Cutting on the fold also makes this dress a quicker make so its a winner. I made a front top pocket and two patch pockets.

This is my last Cleo for now. It is my favourite sewing pattern and I do recommend it. Though this pattern will more than likely have you hooked especially when there are so many dreamy denims to choose from.

Happy sewing!

Posted in Pinafore/Jumper | Tagged | 4 Comments

A Cornwall Postcard

Here I am on a cliff and admiring the lovely view (my reward after a long climb) of Cornwall’s coast. A great walk of St Anthony’s Head (6.5 miles) which includes a coast path, cliffs, tidal creek, sailing boats and lighthouse. A steep climb from the lighthouse which you can see faintly in the distance.

Walking/exploring/travelling is a love of mine which I do with my hubby. I also love to sew but spending time outdoors is equally important.

Discovering a beautiful bluebell wood on a walk around Lanhydrock (3 miles), its National Trust House and its parkland which runs along the River Fowey.

I love walking and exploring as I do not know what is around the corner!

We are members of the National Trust and have visited many wonderful historical buildings and gardens.

 

Views of Polruan from Fowey on the St Catherine’s Castle walk (2.5 miles). Afterwards, we went to the beautiful harbour town of Fowey for a Cornish ice-cream and watched the sailing boats. I had witnessed a seagull swipe an ice-cream out of a man’s hand so I ate mine in the back street away from its view!

 

A wonderful wall of wisteria at the National Trust’s Trelissick Gardens.

The Trelissick walk (3.5 miles)includes a peaceful woodland path overlooking picturesque Lamouth Creek.


At the Eden Project, looking at the Biomes (Rainforest, Mediterranean and the Core). The Eden Project and its numerous plants are amazing and it is most educational. A great day out.

The outdoor botanical garden is also vast.


 

Inside the rainforest which is the largest indoor one in the world. The warmth was a welcome relief from the downpour of heavy rain. The enormous plants are spectacular. One half of the Biome grows crops: coffee, chocolate, rubber… It also shows other crops i.e. palms, sugar, bananas, coffee, bamboo, nuts and spices.

The plant based exhibits show the plant/people stories that reconnect us all to our world, to encourage us to care about it.


 

 

The view from the walkway at the top of the rainforest.

 

 


 

Having fun on the canopy (wobbly) rope bridge – not for the faint hearted! Walked all the way across (23 metres).

 

 

 

A lovely view of sailing boats at St Mawes on our walk of St Anthony’s Head.

 

 


 

Secluded Polridmouth Cove on the St Catherine’s Castle walk.

 

 


 

 

A riverside view of Truro Cathedral.

 

 

 

 


 

A magnificent stained glass window of Truro Cathedral. The sacred art inside is beautiful. Incredible craftsmanship.

 


 

Little knitted figures of Jesus and his disciples on the altar of Lanhydrock parish church. Most original!

 

 

 

 

Our walks were taken from the yellow book Crimson short walks of Cornwall. I hope that I have inspired you to get your walking boots on and discover the beauty of nature.

I love Cornwall, it is a lovely and charming county. Its a great place to enjoy the outdoors. The coastline and cliffs are spectacular. The walks are wonderful. For food lovers – Cornwall has the best fish and chips, ice-cream and of course, Cornish pasties!

Posted in Travel/Places | Tagged

Reversible Tabard Apron – Dottie Angel

 

I am dotty about Dottie Angel’s apron dress/reversible tabard sewing pattern, Simplicity 8230. I have a pinafore/apron habit and this pattern is my latest fix! The Dottie Angel apron dress (view A) is on my list too.

I love Dottie Angel’s vintage style of lovely floral prints, pretty aprons, cute cardigans, shawls and crochet.

My tabard (View B) consists of floral and polka dot fabrics which are vintage style prints, appropriate for a Dotty Angel apron. Dots and an angel (by my feet) = Dottie Angel!

This tabard is perfect to wear while crafting, cooking, baking or gardening. There is a kangaroo pocket on the front.

The old Granny look meant wearing rollers in your hair, headscarf, pinny, wrinkly tan tights and orthopaedic shoes. Hilda Ogden and Nora Batty spring to mind!

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Granny Chic is a big fashion trend. Some young women have fully embraced Granny Chic and have dyed their hair grey.

Only last week, the pinny, headscarf and curlers of the Coronation Street character, Hilda Ogden, sold at auction for £4,200 to a film producer. The auctioneer said “the iconic outfit was part of media history”.

Image result for grey hair young woman

Image result for hilda ogden

A daring shade of grey

 My blog posts include utility chic, nun chic and now Granny chic. What will be next?

Posted in Apron/Apron Dress | Tagged | 1 Comment

Dreamy Denim Cleo – Tilly and the Buttons

I have been dreaming about making a denim Cleo. Though this is no ordinary denim – its a striking black/grey tie-dye print denim! I bought this fabulous fabric in M Rosenberg & Son which is a family-run business and my favourite fabric store. They have a wonderful range of fabrics and I have made 2 pairs of Owyn Pants and a Dungaree Dress with their denim.

This denim Cleo is in the same style (front pocket, knee length and front split) as my corduroy Cleo but I added two front patch pockets which are larger than the hip pocket included in the pattern. For the top stitching, I have used a matching grey thread and opted for large buttons instead of buckles as I prefer the pinafore-style rather than dungaree-style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1969 a writer for American Fabrics magazine declared “Denim is one of the world’s oldest fabrics, yet it remains eternally young”. This is so true.

Denim is an amazing fabric, so practical, versatile and durable. I have bought another dreamy denim so watch this space. Denim has come a long way since it was invented. Today, with many different colours and prints to choose from, denim has never looked so good!

Posted in Pinafore/Jumper | Tagged | 3 Comments

The Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts Show, 20-22 April 2017

I have been to The Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts Show at London’s Excel today. Its the place to discover ideas, inspiration and craft supplies. There were some wonderful exhibits too!

My first stop was at the stall of M Rosenberg & Son which is my favourite fabric supplier. It is a small family run business with fabulous fabrics and a friendly service. They have an amazing range of denims and this has become my indulgence – watch this space!

A Cardigan for Cardigan designed by Lisa Hellier in celebration of the 900 year anniversary of Cardigan. Depicting the town’s heritage and created by people from all walks of life over one year.

A Sea Quilt of Cardigan Bay

Costume collection (1920s and 1930s era) from the film, The King’s Speech, worn by Colin Firth as King George and Helen Bonham Carter as the Queen Mother.

A couple of lovely quilts

There are also other exhibits, craft demonstrations and workshops. Its a crafter’s delight. Catch it while you can!

Posted in Craft | 4 Comments

Easter Sacred Art

Easter Blessings to you!

I would like to share with you some Easter Sacred Art which I have discovered. All of the art was found in a church apart from the first painting which was found by Lake Garda.

A painting of the Crucified Christ and Mary, His Mother.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

A beautiful sculpture scene of the risen Christ.

The Christ had to suffer and on the third day rise from the dead. Luke 24:46

A Mosaic Cross.

A painting of Calvary with colourful plants.

And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive. Matthew 21:22

An embroidered banner of the Cross inside the Crown of Thorns and decorated with flowers.

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

Posted in Craft

Simple Tote Bag – Lauren Guthrie

When your handbag just isn’t big enough to carry the extra items you need, this bag comes in handy. It makes a great shopping bag too.

A simple tote bag from the book Learn to Sew with Lauren which made use of the remnant denim fabric in my stash. I love a stash busting project, don’t you? This bag is practical, durable and looks good. The contrasting front pocket really makes this bag and is most useful for holding smaller items.

The main rectangle measures 18″ x 16″ for the front and back. The pocket measures 16″ x 10″. The straps measure 21 1/2″ x 4″. The cotton pocket has been stabilised with interfacing and divided into two sections with a button in the centre.

I will look forward to going out with this bag!

Posted in Bag

Birds Cushion

Here is a Birds Cushion (envelope style) for my spare bedroom. It makes a nice change to make something for my home rather than to wear. I have used a green floral cotton fabric for the cushion and made two bird appliques which were hand sewn using a slip stitch. The bird template is taken from the book Sew! by Cath Kidston (other templates include a heart, flower, dog, aeroplane, elephant and hexagon) and the birds are made using a multi tartan wool. I am a Cath Kidston fan and love her designs especially her bags.

I would recommend a really lovely book Making Cushion Covers by Debbie Shore which I own. This book contains many beautiful cushion cover styles (envelope, zip, corded, patchwork, box pleat, pleated edge and more). Debbie is the Queen of Craft and has many Youtube tutorials.

I find that sewing craft projects is relaxing especially hand sewing. I hope this will inspire you to create and craft!

Posted in Craft | 5 Comments

Box Dress (D) Makeover – Stylish Dress Book

The fabric of my Box Dress is a lightweight wool/cashmere blend and I love the texture as its so soft. However, the grey colour of the dress and the relaxed fit, made me look dowdy (like a nun) so I decided to give it a makeover with some black giant rickrack.

Rather than consign a garment to the back of the wardrobe, why not use some trim to jazz it up instead. I am so glad that I did! The rickrack has given the dress a different look.

There has been some high fashion nun-chic:

YSL HABIT

Back in the habit: Yves Saint Laurent

Valentino Pre-Fall 2014 <a href="http://Style.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Style.com</a>

Valentino Pre-Fall 2014

Will nun-chic catch on?

Posted in Dress | Tagged | 4 Comments

Corduroy Cleo – Tilly and the Buttons

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The Cleo pinafore/dungaree dress is my style of dress – versatile, comfortable and simple to make – so utility chic. I love the ‘all in one’ style of this dress with no waist seam, top pocket and front split. Tilly, this pattern is an absolute triumph!

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I have used a heavy weight navy blue corduroy fabric (blue is my favourite colour as you have probably realised) which gives the dress some structure. I chose the knee length version with front split which is appropriate for a 40 something woman.

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Tilly has a beautiful brand. I have also made the Coco (3 versions to date) and the Mathilde. The reason why I have not made more garments from Tilly’s patterns is that I think they look too ‘girly’ for me. I love the Cleo because it is a casual, practical utility garment which makes me feel comfortable. I need to feel comfortable wearing a dress otherwise I do not bother.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Tilly at the department store, Selfridges, about a couple of years ago where she was showcasing her business along with other entrepreneurs. It really made my day to have a photograph taken with her and we had a brief chat. I purchased a couple of patterns from the lovely lady herself.

The straight silhouette of this dress makes it look smart and I like it so much that I am already planning to make another Cleo in a black/grey denim. This has become my favourite pattern!

Have you made the Cleo?

Posted in Pinafore/Jumper | Tagged | 2 Comments