Christmas is coming….

Feeling more festive this weekend and beginning to sew again. To get into the Christmas spirit I spent a lovely evening with friends at Wisley Garden glow event. Here are just a few of the lovely lights that we saw….

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Sew bad luck…..

After waiting for a couple of months to get back to the RSN, I was finally booked in last weekend and was so looking forward to putting the finishing touches to my crewel work – before hopefully mounting. Unfortunately (and I blame the little ones at school entirely), I chose this week to be ill! I managed to drive in and spend the morning in class, but as soon as lunch hit – that was it! All I managed to stitch were a few French knots around the head of my bird. Owen demonstrated feather stitch in the tail, which came out immediately as I didn’t like it. Spent the rest of the week moping!

On the plus side I finally got my pass – so now can get into class early and not have to wait to be escorted through the palace. Christmas was also on show at the Palace.DSC_0524

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Sew inspirational….

There are lots of sewing blogs that I like to read, but one I often dip in and out of is by Cassie Stephens  – I just love the all the fun clothes that she makes and she is always a good source for classroom inspiration! I recently saw a fantastic pair of Christmas shoes that she had painted and these set me to thinking that it was about time I made myself a Christmas outfit. I haven’t made a dress for at least 3 years (before I got my new machine in fact), so this could all go horribly wrong! I found some suitable festive material on-line called ‘Nutcracker’ by Michael Miller and chose a pattern by simplicity called the ‘Amazing Fit’ dress. How could I possibly go wrong?


Well, not really sure this is the ideal material for the dress – but it is just a bit of fun. I thought I could outline the pockets, neckline and hem in white fluff – lights would also be fun – but could be a step too far for my skill level?

Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Still have my beetle to finish, not to mention my Jacobean Crewel work and I am going back to the RSN in three weeks time!



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Got to pick a pocket…..

To continue the theme of sewing this weekend I set to making a couple of small bags as gifts – one of which will be included in my stitchingsanta parcel. I found a simple little pattern on line called the Pick-A-Pocket purse which was free to download.

Then it was back to the material stash to find two or three coordinating fabrics. I decided on two navy blue designs – which I hope are not too conservative. You also need some fusible interfacing.


Although an easy pattern once you know what you are doing – it did take me a little while to realise that all of the bags lining was made by turning the main fabrics over on themselves! After that it was easy – simply cut and fold the fabrics and lay them altogether on top of the interfacing. Place the handles over the top and stitch everything in place. Do the same for the back of the bag.

The larger pieces of material act as the lining too. Stitch the back of the bag to the front piece with right sides together, leaving a 5inch gap at the top. Then box off the bottom corners and finally push the bag and lining through the gap you have left and slipstitch the lining. DSC_0510

Et Voila! One finished bag with 6  little pockets. I would recommend this little pattern to anyone wanting to spend an afternoon crafting with an outcome. Great fun!

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Pea pods

Another break from embroidery and back to the sewing machine. I often forget how much you can achieve in an afternoon when you turn to the sewing machine – as embroidery is so much more time consuming. So today I decided to make a little gift to go into my stitchingsanta parcel. I found a pattern that I downloaded some time ago for little zipper pouches called sweetpea pods and decided to give them a go. Ended up making eight of them!

They are very quick and easy and I managed to use up several little fat quarter squares that I had stashed away – a stash that only ever seems to grow as every time I go into a sewing shop I always find something I like! All I need to do now is finish two tote bags and I think I can go back to the embroidery.

Happy stitching peeps!

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Starting to bug me…..

Slow progress on the bug front. I have just padded the head of the beetle in white felt and outlined with No. 1 pearl purl. I filled in the pronotum with a mix of Japanese thread and metallic purl.

On closer inspection of the pictures you can see that my overall design was not evenly drawn out in the initial stages, making the central coloured bands of the pronotum very unequal in size. The trouble with working on a piece like this is that you can get so involved in the little details that you miss looking at the overall picture. Still, maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on myself as this is a first attempt. I plan on using chippings to fill in this area and then I will turn my attention to the eyes. I want quite bulbous, textured eyes – any ideas?

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The ‘C’ word….

I have taken a rest this weekend from embroidery to do a little bit of sewing. I was hoping to get a couple of little gifts made for C*****mas – but as always, when ever I sew anything, I jump in feet first and completely disregard the pattern until it is too late! I thought that I would attempt a very simple bag, but so far have removed the handle three times! I can only apologize in advance to the recipient. I chose a very vivid, bold pattern by Joel Dewberry called Nottinghill – and am now worried about this too!


Other preparations are also underway. I am generally useless in the kitchen, unless it is to make a cake and, although a little later than usual, I now have the fruit soaking in copious amounts of alcohol.


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