A Different kind of sewing….

I have a little brother who is quite fussy about his clothes. When he finds something he likes he tends to buy upwards of 5 of the same item as he hates shopping and doesn’t like ‘wasting time’ on what to wear. His clothes are all similar colours and shapes therefore interchangeable.

While in Japan, he found a jacket he liked but there was only one in his size. No problem he thought – “my big sister can copy this jacket for me and make 5 more“. Luckily he visited with us at the end of August last year with his jacket and an express desire to go looking for fabrics that he likes. I took him to Fabworks where he spent all of 10 minutes before deciding on a wool suiting in navy blue.

Original jacket sans right sleeve.


Now, though I was in the doldrums at the time, even I refused to just copy something and not add a little extra…….something. My philosophy is that if you are going to ask Michaelangelo to paint a ceiling – then LET MICHAELANGELO PAINT A CEILING LIKE THE SISTINE CHAPEL!!! I refuse to spend hours working on something that is just going to look …..bland. That’s not me.

At. All.

So, I stood my ground and insisted that there had to be something different to denote that it was truly a one of a kind. He agreed to look at contrast fabrics for the lapel/facing. This was huge. My brother is not one to change his mind or indeed concede his sartorial choices. He chose the Liberty Tana lawn which reminds me of a Wuthering Heights’esque moorland. Still, it was better than nothing.

Image from Vampires in Wuthering Heights


Did I mention this was at the end of August last year?

With all that time I didn’t come back to the project nor think about it until he asked me during a recent Skype session. Feeling bad I set to it this past weekend and copied the jacket using carbon paper and a tracing wheel. It’s not an exact science but between my pattern drafting knowledge and common sense, I made some headway.

A weird thing happened. Duty and honour (and some guilt – ok mostly guilt – that I had made him wait all these months) drove me to start on the project. At some point I started enjoying the process. It felt like the wild west (why am I saying this? I’ve never experienced the wild west nor do I wish to); but as a metaphor, its meant to say that I was excited and curious at how I would do. It’s been a long time since I have felt like that.

When acquiring a new skill set there is joy/exhilaration when you first learn to do new techniques. But, as time goes and you gain more experience that sense of fear/anxiety/exhilaration that keeps you on edge is gone because you get to a point where you know how to do this that or the other. It becomes easier to execute a vision and the high is never is as good as that first high of nailing a fly front or easing a sleeve for example. Which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself…..

But this was new territory for me.

Not only was I making it for someone else who has a very clear expectation of what he wants; I also had no pattern.

Figuring out grainlines, forgetting notches, not adding ease to sleeve cap………so much minutiae of things I forgot to do but I carried on. Lessons learnt. Falling forward.

To frame the time period here:

August 2017 – Assignment given and materials procured

15 March 2018 – Casual enquiry about jacket over Skype

18 March 2018 – Copied jacket, cut fabric and sewed up body

19 March 2018 – Sewed collars and sleeves.

20 March 2018 – Hems, buttonholes and final pressing.

This is the toile. I had no fabric that was similar to this wool suiting to use and since he wants 5 of them I reckon by the time I get to the fifth one, it’ll all be gravy.

I have written this before I send it off to Switzerland tomorrow. He will now have to feedback to me before I embark on the next one. I am at peace and in calm within myself. I tried my best.

Hand on heart tried my best. And thats good enough for me.

Thread chain to anchor facing
Bias bound back seam with vent


Even if he doesn’t like it – it doesn’t matter to me any more – it won’t affect my sense of pride and achievement in this. I had tried to express my feeling that I feel now but last night as I read the closing chapters of Bartlett and the Ice Voyage (a great book btw) to my kids Bartlett said the words for me so I will share them…

For a long time he (Bartlett) gazed vacantly at the last two pieces of pale iceberg. If the ice melted, if the melidrop thawed and rotted, then everyone would say that they had failed. But hadn’t they really succeeded? He and Jacques, together with Gozo, and Captain Wrick, and Mordi, and Michael, and all the others who helped along the way, had captured an iceberg, and towed it across thousands of miles of ocean, and preserved a melidrop for weeks. No one had done any of these things before. Did it really matter now if the melidrop reached the Queen?

Thanks for reading this far if you have. Ramblings sometimes take over…sometimes 🙂

Until next time,, Happy Sewing!





At some time in December last year, I came across a French pattern company on Instagram, DP Studio Fashion. The company ethos is to keep abreast of the latest fashion news to find out about new shapes, volumes and shades. They sell a collection of ready-to-use patterns through their online boutique. I was quite taken by the designs which are so unique and fashion forward. There had so many patterns I wanted to buy, however, I limited myself to two. Here is the first one – a skirt:

Le 406 is an asymmetric skirt constructed in one piece and has no waistband. The pleats on the right side create volume that is then added to a frill sewn on the true bias creating a front ruffle of full volume and effect.

This is the picture that got me 

Postage and Service

The ordering process was very simple. The online website has pages for english and french language users. Postage was incredibly efficient with the patterns arriving within four days via courier. I was impressed. 

I knew I wanted to make my Christmas outfit using this pattern. Looking through my stash I considered using a denim and very nearly cut it out in denim but at the last minute remembered some tartan fabric that I believed would be more festive.

A note on the pattern – it has one of the largest pattern pieces I have ever worked with! The main front piece has two pieces that have to be taped together. The 2 pieces were not aligning perfectly along the grainline points. I emailed DP Studio Fashion and they responded within a couple of hours saying that this was a problem they were aware of – an error in the printing. I had to tape it along the right side seam and draw in the hem curve. It’s a simple enough thing to do – I don’t know if subsequent batches of the pattern will have this error. This picture shows what I mean – it really is a minor issue.

All the pieces are cut single layer so this pattern requires a lot of fabric. I failed with pattern matching the side seams but I figured it could be a design feature.

As an intermediate level seamstress, I found the instructions clear and well written. There is a picture tutorial available on the website.

Sizing was spot on. I chose the pattern size based on the provided grid and it was perfectly right for me.

I made no changes to the pattern. The waistband is supposed to have a facing but I opted for a Petersham ribbon. Two reasons: it is quicker and more comfortable.

I managed to finish the skirt in the nick of time on Christmas Eve and was able to wear it on Christmas morning paired with my black BurdaStyle roll neck top. A fetching combo that I felt good in.

After a couple of hours I noticed that the side where the flounce is anchored tended to ‘drop’ creating an asymmetric waist look. My assessment is that the waistband needs to be snugger to keep both sides at the same level. But then again it might just be this particular fabric which has a slightly loose weave that seems to let out over time and tightens when washed.




Verdict: I love this skirt! I felt edgy when I was wearing it. The swish factor is a definite plus for me. It is a skirt made for striding forward towards…something! My sister in law said it had a Vivienne Westwood punk rock vibe. I was pleased beyond reason with that compliment :-).

I am looking forward to making another version of this skirt. It has much potential when using different fabrics. There are more patterns from DP Studio Fashion that I have my eye on.

Thanks for stopping by and until then, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,


BurdaStyle 01/2017 #105 Activewear Edition

I actually made this outfit in January 2017 (Yay for actually sewing a BurdaStyle magazine of the same month!).

Athletic Tank Top 01/2017 #105

Tha fabric for the top is a self wicking knit which has some stretch. The stretch is quite minimal and not like a t-shirt jersey. Unfortunately, I don’t know its exact specifics as it was part of a bundle of fabrics from MinervaCrafts that I had won on IG in 2016. It is very comfortable to wear and supports my bust well.

The top is made up of 8 pieces – nice seam detail to look at but a pain in the neck to deal with. First of all, when tracing it I forgot to write in the seam numbers that tell you which edge to join where and had to rip out twice and cut more pattern pieces (I was using an overlocker). Eventually, I got my head around it and it worked out nicely.  I even put in a fancy neon green exposed zip. The zip is purely decorative, in my opinion, as I can easily pull this over my head without using the zip. The next time I make it I will omit the zip.

I really like this top because despite all the seam lines it is very comfortable. The upper half is self-lined so no overlock seams rubbing against my skin. Its fussy but well worth it.


Athletic Leggings 01/2017 #106B #106B

The fabric for the leggings is deep dark brown ponte roma with a shiny surface. I quite liked the angular seams and the high waist of these sporty leggings. Though fussy to sew up if you are trying to line everything up, I think they are worth the hassle. The pattern actually calls for zips at the ankle side seams. No thanks.


For both patterns, I cut the size 38 without any adjustments. I have worn both of these quite a lot over the last year, especially for yoga classes. The leggings are a tad too warm in summer but perfect when the weather is on the cooler side (on account of the ponte).

This outfit was/is a win for me – a great addition to my activewear collection!

Athletic Tank Top BurdaStyle 01/2017 #105


Thanks for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,


Facing my fears

I felt the urge to write after I got back from my swimming lesson. I have never been able to swim. My whole life I was convinced that I will meet my death in water. Sure I could wear a swimsuit and I could get into a pool – hardly ever straying from the shallow end of the pool. If I happened to get near the deep end, I always stuck by the edges where I could hold on.

The funny thing is that I was always so ashamed of the fact that I couldn’t swim that I vowed my own children wouldn’t feel that way because I was going to make sure they will be able to swim. All my children have had swimming lessons from babyhood. Smugness was a feeling I carried around whenever I thought about how enlightened I was. Even though I can’t swim I wouldn’t pass on a fear of drowning to my kids because I have empowered them! How wrong I was.

As a family, we travel a lot. Most places we end up have some large body of water. The kids and my husband love the seaside (especially a warm beach like Dubai or US ones in summer). 

During these times I was constantly on edge, worried, concerned, agitated, tense. Constantly exhorting them to be careful, to watch out, cautioning. I would move from these gentle feelings and actions to stronger admonishments and occasional freaked out yelling the longer we were at the beach in the water.

Ocean Grove, New Jersey. June 2017


My kids are comfortable in water. I was not. My anxiety was ruining what would have otherwise been an awesome time. The sad thing is that this wasn’t why I realised that I needed to learn to swim.

My decision to learn came out of 3 separate but interrelated issues

  1. My anxiety around water was the fear that I couldn’t dive in and save my child should they need me to.
  2. Feelings of powerlessness contribute to depression and taking an action helps with mental wellbeing (for me). I felt powerless about this possible scenario and learning to swim would empower me.
  3. I needed an aerobic regular exercise in addition to yoga (endorphin release that happens with exercise is good for mental wellbeing)  that was gentle on joints – I had tried running (again) and after 2 weeks I remembered why running never sticks with me – my joints don’t like it.

These 3 combined pushed me to take the plunge and find adult swimming lessons. I was lucky enough to find a space on a Tueday morning class in October 2017. I have had 8 Tuesdays of swimming so far since I started (there have been half terms, school training days and Christmas holidays in between).

Guess what? Swimming was nowhere, nowhere, near as hard as I thought. I can now do front crawl and backstroke. Currently, I am working on improving on my left arm stroke, making my breathing more efficient and improving stamina. I can do laps now. The one hour in the pool flies by and I LOVE the time I am swimming. The glee that I feel when I am splashing about and diving around is all powerful. Why, oh why, did I not do this sooner? Why did I have to wait 37 years? I want to apologize to my children for curbing their enthusiasm and bliss when they were in the water and feeling like I now do. All I could see then was danger. I now know the joy – which I didn’t even consider while deciding to do it.

Even though I had made sure they had swimming lessons I was still passing on my fears because I hadn’t faced my fear. I did. I conquered it so easily it was like in those movies where the protagonist walks up to face the large, tall and menacing shadow looming from around the corner but it turns out to be a small creature standing in front of an angled light.

How many more fears have I not faced that are holding me back from living my best life? What I have gained from facing this fear is far more than I could have imagined when I decided to face it. So – this year I will continue to face my fears and let’s see where that takes me.

Thanks for reading my internal dialogue. Have you faced any fears in the recently?

Tuesday 16th Jan 2018 10:35am


Peace and love,


Vogue V9112

I actually first made this toile in June 2015 – I know because I have a log of the picture of the muslin.

Vogue V9112 is an asymmetrical seam detail dress design by Marcy Tilton. Loose-fitting, pullover, sleeveless dress has single-layer, pleated, stand-up collar, seam detail, side pockets, bias neck and armhole facings, shaped hemline, and narrow hem. Wrong side shows on collar and hemline.

Here is the cover picture:


….and the line drawing which shows all the lovely intricate seams:


I was put off this pattern by how much ease it had after making the toile. I cut the size medium based on the pattern size recommendations (this was before  I figured out the lack of finished garment measurements). Needless to say it sat around in the UFO box for a while then I picked it up again determined to fix it as I liked it in principle. However, I was very ruthless in removing ease and ended up with something that barely resembles what the designer intended. I am okay with that though as I made it work for me.

I took it in by a lot on the sides and the back seam. I omitted the pockets as this was a toile. Although now, with hindsight, I should have just added the pockets since its turned into something wearable. Being linen – it if of course lovely to wear. It’s the sort of thing I will throw on when its nice and hot and I want to be unfettered.

I will  be giving the pattern another go definitely – in linen again maybe with some Sashiko embroidery on one of the curved pieces.


The original size was quite baggy on me.
Vogue V9112 Gathered curved hem
V9112 Collar detail


Vogue V9112

The final result is something much more fitted at the bust and loose-fitting everywhere else. I finished the armholes with bias binding. The only thing I need to change now is the colour – I am thinking of dyeing it a deep violet colour.

Verdict – worthy of a second shot at it because despite the fit issues (based on personal preferences only) I still like it. I do need to remember to be careful when cutting it out as it is all cut single layer – I got away with it because I was using a plain solid fabric but with directional fabric I would have messed up.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time, happy sewing!

Peace and love,




This weekend saw some delightful weather in Yorkshire which prompted me to get busy in the garden. Actually something else prompted me- apart from my love of gardening. Little person number 3 who is 4yrs old had to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. The operation was on a Friday in March. It went well and I had to stay overnight with him as they needed to monitor his oxygen levels. Being in a hospital for 48 hours and surrounded by illness especially in young children (the ward we stayed in had quite a few long-term patients). It gives one pause for thought to appreciate how lucky one is to have healthy children and indeed to be healthy enough to not be in and out of the hospital. It’s something that is easy to take for granted. During the night as I slept on the cot bed next to my son’s bed, I couldn’t help but think of the stress and anxiety I felt in the lead up to, during and after the operation – seeing your little one  knocked unconscious and slump down as if all life has been snuffed out of them is a test of fortitude. Readers I am not a crier (except when I am pregnant and hormonal) but I did in that moment. As I was struggling to sleep, I kept thinking how incredibly privileged we are here in the UK to have the NHS. The mere fact that I didn’t have to worry about whether I could afford for my son to have an operation for his sleep apnea shouldn’t be taken for granted. I was vigilant in thanking the staff for looking after us and wrote a letter saying as much. I am proud that my taxes and National Insurance contribute to such a vital service. It’s not perfect but still worth it. Thinking about it while I was there I see it like this – the NHS is like a firefighter who saves you from a fire but while he/she is carrying you out of the burning building your head gets bumped against the door frame; yes your head hurts but at least you didn’t die in the fire. With that in mind I left the hospital with a firm resolve to involve myself in any Save the NHS campaigns.


In other news Brooklyn Tweed  released their Winter 17 lookbook a while back and I am smitten with the Kirwin here. Perhaps it is the colour that calls to me but I think it’s a lovely design. When I get round to it, I will probably try to go for the same deep red the model is wearing.


Wish List

I also came across the McCall Pattern YouTube channel and saw this video with some of their winter releases.

Isn’t it funny when you don’t notice a pattern until you see it on someone in motion? The Paco Peralta long tuxedo jacket appealed to me. They are now on my wish list for when Vogue next go on sale in the USA. I am lucky that my FIL visits us twice a year and he is happy to be a sewing pattern mule 🙂

TV Shows

….well The Collection was a major letdown and that is all I will say about that. Thank goodness I was always knitting when I watched it otherwise I’d feel like I wasted my time. I have heard good things about The Crown – and though I am not a fan of the monarchy – I think I will use a Netflix free month to watch it , then cancel Netflix. If there are any other good things to catch on Netflix please let me know – because I intend to ‘sweat the asset‘ as they say in accounting speak. In more distressing news – I heard that GBBO is moving to Channel 4 and apparently there is a strong possibility that Sewing Bee will go as well since it’s the same production company that makes both shows. Only Paul Hollywood is  moving with the Bake Off – apparently the others have decided to stay loyal to the Beeb. Though Bake Off was getting a tad annoying for me – I am not sure I like the idea of it moving to C4  – can you imagine all the product placement and the sponsored weeks? Things change I suppose.


I have been reading Outlander again – the first time I read them I  was in a (Jamie) frenzy so this time I am taking my time with it and savouring it (Jamie). I have decided to be more proactive with my reading list in 2017 and will be making a list of 12 books I want to read. I have been wanting to re-read all the classics I love like Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre etc. I think I will make 2017 the year of the Classic book for me.

Loosing it

My oldest started high school in September and its been hard to realise that I have very little control over what he does. High school is so different to primary school  and I am finding navigating it quite challenging. I have joined the PTA and a couple of parent organisations there so I can learn what’s what in high school. In fact, I recently went to my first ever parents evening in high school. It was chaos of the first order. To start with my darling hadn’t bothered to make any appointments for me (their system has the kids collecting the appointments) so I had to wait till a teacher had a free spot. Each slot is 5 mins in theory , however I discovered that on average it took about 15 mins each so all the teachers were so far out of schedule that it didn’t matter anymore. I also found, much to my amusement as I had to wait for 3 parents ahead of me to see the Math teacher, that the teacher more or less repeated the same stuff to each of us. I went by myself to the event, whereas almost everyone else had brought the OH and high school child in tow. Hence I had the luxury of listening in on conversations in a quietly unobtrusive way. It was fun – I havent had the opportunity to people watch in a long time. Anyhow  – patience is not my strong suit so I abandoned it all after seeing 5 of the 11 teachers. I figured if there was something very wrong with my son’s progress they would get in touch with me. I nearly fainted though when I got back home and was mulling over the fact that I will have to do this every year. Then it hit me. My other 4 are 3 years apart. So there will come a time when ALL 4 OF THEM ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL at the same time!!! And I will have to do parents evening for the 4 of them. 4 kids x 11 subjects = 44 x 5 minute (in theory but really closer to 15 minutes) slots!!!! I had to sit down when it hit me. Many choice swear words swirled about in my head.

On that note..thanks for coming by.

Peace and love,





Petersham ribbons – an expansion post

My last post on the self-drafted skirt led to this post on petersham. Naomi asked me to expand on petersham ribbon and I said I’d do a post since my reply was getting long.

But first this:

The first time I used ‘petersham’ I had actually been sold grosgrain. Since I had asked the shop assistant who very nicely showed it to me – I just assumed I had the petersham that I had read of. I recall even asking if it would curve and she said yes. As I was sewing, it remained suspiciously straight but I reasoned that maybe it had to be worn before it does its thing. However, after wearing the skirt a couple of times with no change in the shape of the ‘petersham’, I started considering the possibility that it wasn’t me who had made a sewing mistake. Continue reading

Early 2017 Springwatch


This past weekend presented itself with some lovely weather so I was out on Sunday in the garden – cleaning the greenhouse, sowing seeds, etc. The etc includes taking in the beautiful spring sights.

I don’t know about you but I love the morning after a light shower. The flowers have the droplets clinging on to their delicate petals and its a lovely thing to see. I took these pictures using OH’s phone and I was rather impressed. Continue reading

KnitWeek2016 Pt 1 : Organising the Yarns, Supplies & Patterns

Hi guys,

The first of my posts in KnitWeek2016 begins with organising the knitting stash. I began in earnest in early October. I think that most of us in the sewing and knitting community are more of producers than consumers (only in the sense that we consume tools and raw materials to make an item rather than just purchasing an item ready made).  As a consequence we collect tools and materials for production. With that comes the challenge of keeping organised. Luckily my knitting stash is much (much) less than the sewing stash so the task of organising it didnt seem too daunting.

Cataloging the yarn

First I emptied out all the yarns I had and proceeded to catalog them all on Ravelry. I have been in awe and super impressed with how incredibly useful the Ravelry stash feature is. If you enter all your details correctly it will show you which patterns can be made up with the amount of yarn you have for a particular yarn. Also seeing what other projects have been made using that yarn in your stash is so useful for giving you ideas when you are in a rut, or if like me you cant remember what you bought the yarn for :-). So now all my yarn is cataloged and my gosh it feels good. If you would like to have snoop around my stash you can find it here <link>.

Yarn storage

I like to have my stash visible so I dont forget what I have, seeing as I am more of a more of an out-of-sight out-of-mind kind of person. The 80L plastic tub I use is great at keeping out yarn eating bugs, as well as keeping the stash visible.

All my yarn stash in this 80l capacity plastic tub

So then while I was at it I thought that much as I like digging out all the 29 stash items I have, I wanted to easily browse what I had without having to unearth them all. So a simple idea formed to have strands on a page with name and details. I used a laminated card with a hole punch to make holes for stringing yarn samples through and voila – my yarn directory! Its kept in the same binder as my knitting patterns.

Yarn sample catalog page in my knitting pattern binder


Knitting patterns

Next up I sorted out the patterns I have – printed and bought (Eeeeck I actually bought a couple of patterns from an actual bricks and mortar shop when I started knitting before discovering Ravelry). Anyhow those were neatified and filed in the binder.

Knitting patterns stored in plastic sleeves

Knitting tools and sundries

Next up my knitting tools – I have loads of circular needles, crochet hooks and DPNs. These were more challenging to organise. On the one hand I needed to have them all together but at the same time I need to look through by type quickly….for now my solution was to have them all in one old shoebox. I will be thing about how to improve on this.

Knitting and crochet tools in separate freezer bags within one shoebox…

I now enjoy the yarn in my collection rather than feeling overwhelmed by it. Having said this though I do realise I need to do some serious yarn stashbusting over the next year.

What are your favourite yarn stash organising tips? I will be back tomorrow with another knitting post sharing a finished knitting project. I actually finished some knitting projects guys 🙂

Thanks for stopping by.

Peace and love,


Sewing Plans…..sort of…ish….

Hello again,

So I have been mulling a bit on my sewing plans. This last week with the sewing goddeses smiling upon me has meant I have been doing what I like to call intuitive sewing – which roughly translates to sewing without a specific plan. It rather entails stumbling across a fabric and thinking this could go with that other thing I am making and then I immediately cut it and sew it up and I look for some more fabric that could make something to go with the thing I just made previously…and so on….

More importantly – one of my new habits (that I am trying to form) is making sure that no remnants are left – if the left over bit is large enough for a top its gets cut immediately or if it is leggings for my twinks it gets cut and anything left over insufficient for a garment gets chucked. A very good thing for how it is depleting my stash slowly.

Anyhow I digress – the purpose of this post was to pull together my thoughts on what I want to proactively achieve over the next few months.

  1. Pattern Review are doing a One Pattern Many Looks contest which I have decided to enter. In the past I have excelled at such a challenge based on how I did at IPM 2015 and 2016 One pattern 2 ways contest. See here the Giselle Maxis I made in 2015 and the Carme blouses I made in 2016. I haven’t yet picked a pattern but my cogs are turning. You can check out the PR details here.
  2. I found out about the Little Red Dress Project over on Youtube – its not limited to vloggers – its just how I first came across it. Its a challenge to make a red dress in time for the Christmas holidays. I am realising that red looks good on me and I want to add more reds in my wardrobe so this is great for me.
  3. Separately I want to make another pair of jeans. I have bought the Mimi G pattern during the Simplicity sale. I have the fabric and I just need to trace the pattern.
  4. I signed up for Stitching Santa run by SewChet which I am quite excited about. To shake things up for myself I decided to go with knitting instead of sewing. This is my first time signing up.
  5. I need to catch up on my Burda Challenge 2016 – I have done 8 garments to date but I really need to have a total of 12 (one pattern/month) to justify the subscription. I didn’t renew my subscription when it ended in August but I actually really like Burda  patterns. Their fitting is pretty much perfect on me and they have some fun designs, so I would like to have a 12 month subscription for next year. My Burda makes so far here..
  6. I have enrolled on the free class Fall 2016 Knitalong on Craftsy. Its focusing on knitting 3 accessories over the fall months : a cowl, a hat  and fingerless mitts. The idea is one item for each month of fall. The class is free and it includes the 3 patterns. I am liking it so far since starting my cowl.

So those are some of my loose goals for the coming season’s sewing and knitting. In the meantime – I have been going through my fabric and pattern stash selecting ones that I will never use and taking them along to the Sew Up North meet up on Saturday 4th November. I cant tell you how excited I am to be going even though I know I am not going to be buying fabric (actually I have a teeny tiny £20 budget) but still I cant wait to meet everyone who is going to be coming and help out in any way I can. Plus just to soak up the feeling of being in the company of  like minded individuals. More details over here at RedWSews.wordpress.com.

Is there anything else going on in the sewing community that I have missed?

Until next time – Happy Sewing! I will be back soon.

Peace and love,




Ramblings etc..

Remember in my last Ramblings post I  mentioned our first camping trip?  Well …it rained and rained, and then some more rain even when we were packing up the tent. Everything got wet. Basically the entire 3 days we were there, it RAINED!  Not giving up though – I cant imagine it could possibly get any worse than that. The only way must be up surely.

I bought 2 sewing books while in the tent at night struggling to sleep in cramped quarters. Boundless Style and Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book. Looking through the books was fun the first time but I quickly realised it was unlikely I will be making anything from these books. I think buying them was a reaction to my dropping sugar on top of being stuck in a tent with 5 excitable kids.

Speaking of sugar -its been well over a month of being sugar free now and I can honestly say that I am past the cravings. I do not crave it anymore. I can walk past the candy aisle in the supermarket and not be tempted. I am now moving to the  next stage which is swapping over my simple carbs for complex ones. Apparently our bodies treat refined flour like sugar so that means I am swapping to whole grain pasta and whole grain rice for now. I bought some quinoa and hated it. Brown rice was not too bad but too chewy – unsurprisingly the kids dont like either of those so I have to cook a separate portion for myself.

Knitting – why am I so bad at finishing knitting projects. I have 5 in the process. A Marion cardigan (needs blocking) , a Miette that was finished well over a year ago but is yet to be blocked. A green Antler cardigan for my third child. An Owls sweater for me. A purple chuck sweater…………..I wallowed. I threw myself a pity party – but I didn’t let the self pity settle for long (thankfully) and got tough with myself!  So I set myself an ACTION challenge in which I just have to take any action with the knitting. The deadline being a blog post in first week of November. Don’t judge me – sometimes I need hard deadlines to push me :-). Knitting means a lot of TV shows in the background.

I have been watching an Amazon Prime original series called The Collection which is set in Paris fashion house just after the end of WW2. I was quite looking forward to it but have found it to be quite slow and indulgent. Perhaps I was expecting too much actual atelier insight – a true glimpse into the workings of a haute couture house. Alas it has disappointed me so far. I am still watching it in the background as I knit at the end of the day in bed just to see exactly what all this meandering has been about. Have you seen this too? Another show I have been watching and loving is Parks and Recreation. Been doing a lot of knitting to this and even got hubs hooked on it too.

The Knitting and Stitching show is upon us Northerners in Harrogate. I had promised myself last year that I would go but unfortunately due to my excess fabric and yarn stash – I have wisely deferred to next year. I now have a hard target to reduce my respective stashes so I can go next year.

I will be joining in on Sew Up North – a sojourn arranged by Redsews on 5th November. For more information click here – it is going to be an awesome day out. I will not be buying fabric though. If you are in the area why  not drop by?

The Great British Bake Off – I had a funny conversation with my twins in the sewing cave. I snuck off to the cave while the whole family was catching up with GBBO. Less than 10 mins of blessed solitude later my twinks made their way up the attic stairs. They proceeded to upend my threads, pins and pattern weights to play with…..

Mom: GBBO is on downstairs…..


Mom: Why dont you go watch it downstairs?

Twins: No. We are girls.

I dont quite know what to make of that statement but the tone and finality of the stated fact immediately reduced me to acceptance of their presence in the cave. An hour later, satisfied with making 2 more Renfrew tops – my twins satisfied with building ‘Pin and Thread Town’, we left the cave. And that was that.

Oh and I usually like GBBO but I have been a tad annoyed with some of their challenges this year – they lost me at lace pancakes!!!! Imean WTF!! Who would seriously want to make lace pancakes? I love baking but that episode just felt silly to me. <maybe in time I will get over it and watch it before the season finishes>…..only time will tell.

I also caught Episode 2 of ‘The Apprentice’ on Iplayer last night and am glad that they finally stopped the pretense of being a show about real business. The contestants, as far I can tell (from the one episode), are crackers and will provide Big Brother style reality TV material. Nothing like how real businesses operate at all!

The sewjo goddesses are smiling upon me – I have never felt so motivated to sew and am whipping up so many items. I cant wait to do a photo shoot for the the autumn stuff I have made so far and share :-). How is your autumn sewing coming along?

Thanks for stopping by and I hope wherever you are in the world you are having/had a lovely day.

Peace and love,





Small luxuries

Life is about the small stuff right?  Favourite little extravagances to relish in. Everyone has something they see a small luxury in an otherwise plain ole life. I think that one should indulge in little luxuries whenever one can because if one is going to be working hard for one’s money, one should be able to treat oneself every once in a while. For some its a glass of fine wine, a Starbucks mocha latte, an expensive lipstick , designer handbags, manicures/pedicures. Life’s little luxuries are what keep many of us refreshed and relaxed when the stressors of work and home leave us frazzled.

I got to thinking about my little luxuries. Whats mine? It used to be the copious amounts of cheap candy and chocolate that I’d stash around the house in little nooks. Now that’s gone.  I dont smoke nor drink alcohol. I dropped coffee and tea when I started my baby making marathon 6 years ago and never went back to the stuff. I havent bought new clothes in decades (hate shopping). Car boot sales and charity shops have always been my preferred hunting grounds. Same goes for shoes. I love them but I only ever buy when massively discounted on sale but its mostly second hand on Ebay or car boot.

I don’t do manicures because I like my nails trimmed very very short and low maintenance. I do my own hair – no time for saloons – in fact I cant even remember when was the last time…16 years ago maybe.. I stopped wearing make up about 7 years ago and my skin has been the better for it. I use Dove soap and Aveeno cream on my face morn and night. I don’t wear perfume either – I went off it during my first pregnancy and never got into it again. Without the sugar,  I no longer have a small luxury. I need one. What’s your small luxury?

Peace & love,