There’s something about the while cotton I’m using. It just seems to go wrong as soon as I re-fill the bobbin. Can a cotton be too fluffy? I googled this and came up with this blog post from Tilly (and her buttons)


I shall de-fluff the machine. And continuously re-read to reassure myself that I’m not the only one in world to encounter such frustrating problems.

And relax…


I’ve just come across this lovely post from ooobop.com, which I shall also re-read when I am feeling stressed out by sewing!


Right now, no. 6 ‘Practise, practise, practise’ and 2. ‘Measure twice, cut once’ are ones I need to take on board!

Crochet blanket colours

The plan was to make a blanket inspired by one I had when I was younger. The reality is that I’ve seen lots of pretty blankets on Pinterest and I’m currently in love with daisy flower blankets.

Especially this purple one:

Tillie tulip purple crochet flower

Tillie tulip purple crochet flower


and the blue ones here:

sparkly toad blue

Which I found at https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/granny-square-love/

and then these lovely multi coloured ones:

Color 'n cream Daisy travel blanket

Color ‘n cream Daisy travel blanket


So naturally, I bought some colours, which feature in all of these, but don’t put them together in quite the same way…

Crochet flower square with a lot of GREEN

Crochet flower square with a lot of GREEN

So…I feel that if I keep going like this I will end up with one very green blanket. I’m not sure quite how much I like green in soft furnishings. I’ll make a few more and see how I feel about it. I love how quick granny squares are to make, so it’s not the end of the world if I make a oodles of them in different colour combinations to get the perfect result!

12 months 12 projects: Dress making

I started the dress making course in June. It was meant to be a 5 week course around sewing a skirt, but everyone in the class really wanted to make dresses. We were warned that it was unlikely that we’d get that far in ¬†weeks, but we were OK with that.

I chose a butterick pattern, and have, predictably, lost the packet with the image of the dress on it. However, I’ve just done a quick google, and here it is

Butterick B6016 dress

The pattern is Butterick B6016


I loved the class. It was so relaxing. It’s rare that I stop to concentrate on just one thing for any length of time. I like that you have to be quite accurate and patient, and have to take the time to measure and press things. And I was well aware of how much I’d have to unpick and re stitch things. All part of the process.

So, I had my 5 lessons, and by the end of this I had one fitted bodice with a lining complete. Whoop!

Then I did nothing…..until this weekend. 5 months later, and I very nearly have a whole dress!

I got it out last night and sewed the skirt panels together, skipping over pockets but making sure that the pleats were correct. I was very proud, and then this evening I attached the bodice to the dress. Oh it was coming on wonderfully.

And then I held it up in the bright lights of the kitchen. And I realised that I’d sewn half of my skirt on the wrong way round. Eek. It was going to happen. The fabric is dark navy and it’s quite hard to tell the front from the back. So I have spent this evening unpicking my wonderful evening’s work. And decided that I shouldn’t sew in the dark until I have a bright lamp to help me see what I am doing!

So, while it may not look like I’m much further on than I was 5 months ago, the fact that I was really really close to finishing (just the zip and hemming left to do!) means I am confident that I can finish this dress off next weekend and will be able to say that I’ve achieved my New Year’s resolution for 2014: make a dress. Yipee!!!

And then I can safely go out and purchase the amazing shirt dress pattern I desire (below), and get cracking in January. Whoop whoop!

MCcalls shirt dress

The dress is McCall’s pattern M6696


And I have just come across this lady’s fine blog in which she is sewing many shirt dresses this autumn. Yeay! I particularly love the brown polka dot one here. I had a lovely version of this from H&M for my graduation ball. Almost 10 years ago. Wow. I feel old.

Inspired by Gran

There are so many exciting things I want to write about today, I just don’t know where to begin. I will give some snippets and write fully about them all in due course.

I went home for the weekend and spent a magical (if slightly dusty) time with Grandma taking inspiration from her creative past times and photographing her quillow of inspiration. It’s always been very confusing to me as I’ve never worked out how she packs it so neatly back in to the flap/case, and always manages to get the log cabin block on the outside. Low and behold, this time, I took a thorough look at the make up of the thing and I realise that I’ve been tricked! There is another log cabin block hidden in the flap section so that you can pack it all away and have the log cabin block showing. Years of mystery and failure washed away on a rainy afternoon in November!

Here’s the fabulous quillow in all it’s glory:

quillow out

as a neat little pillow

quillow as pillow

Gran also got out her prized quilting creation, her pyjama case! She is very proud of this as it uses a technique called Japanese paper piecing. And it looks rather fine don’t you think:

japanese paper  quilting

roy courage tag

I like that she sewed in Grampy’s name into it so that it wasn’t ‘borrowed’ by anybody else when he was in hospital, and also that she always signs her creations:


While I’m displaying works of creative genius by Gran, let me show you my beloved cat blanket which has travelled far and wide with me and my friends, keeping us warm wherever we are. Here it is keeping us cosy on the road during our three peaks adventure earlier in the year:

cat blanket en route

All the¬†quilting was done by hand – and that’s one big blanket! And she made three of these, one for my brother, sister and I. Not all covered in multi coloured cats. Somehow my sister got dolphins – hilarious considering she was in her most angry gothic stage of life. Maybe Gran was trying to cheer her up?