The lady vanishes

So I knew I hadn’t posted for a bit, but I didn’t realise it’s been nearly three whole months since I posted anything.

Partly it’s because I got ill, which wrote off August, then September was spent holding the fort because Jon was going for a promotion (which he’s got) and spent every weekend either working on his job application or interview practice, so I ended up having to do a lot more house jobs and cooking during the week instead of sewing. In the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on stuff, but although very straight forward, it’s a larger project than I tend to do these days so it’s taking multiple weeks to finish. 

However I have finished this hat for Jon…..

It’s another Bobeek hat, Jon liked my Red hat so much he wanted his own model. 

We went to Loop in Islington, which seemed a good idea at the time as John Lewis and Liberty are not amazing for masculine coloured chunky wools.

Jon chose the wool, it is Misti Alpaca Chunky in colourway M620. It was a bit pricey at £15 a ball, but according to how much yarn you need according to the knitting pattern, it should have been easy to do from one ball. So that doesn’t work out too bad for a luxury hat (it’s 100% baby alpaca)

Of course I needed more than one ball. Luckily it was by a respectable amount rather than like one row or something, but it’s now a £30 hat. & my knitting is not up to the quality needed for £30 hats. Grrrr!

It has also come up a bit larger on the top bit than my other two versions. The band is ok and the right size, but I think with it being slightly thicker yarn it’s a fatter hat than the other two were. Luckily Jon likes this, & likes the hat, so it’s all good. & he’s accidentally chosen a stunningly fashionable colour, so he’s really happy.

Next up for knitting is a pair of wristlets and a neckband for me out of Cascade heather, am a little apprehensive about this as it will be my first time playing with cable since I took knitting lessons.

In other satisfied customer news, heres a picture of my Mum in the Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress I made her in summer…..

Mum really likes it.& now she is thinking of getting into sewing again (she was awesome in the 70’s) to make her own versions.

Anyway, I’m aiming to have the dress I’m working on finished for Halloween, so I shouldn’t be absent for as long a time next post. 

2 shades of grey

So actually I’ve been quiet on here, but fairly busy with sewing.

I’ve finally finished my Colette Patterns Moneta dress. I’m reasonably impressed, it was easy to sew and all, and this being my first time making it I followed the instructions pretty much to the letter.

However I was much concerned by there being no instruction to stabilise the neckline. & indeed the neckline on mine is somewhat lower cut than on a lot of the versions on the internet (though it does seem to be more of an issue with the plus size pattern range looking at peoples photos, than with the standard sizes.) If I make this again I’m going to have a good look round for pattern hacks on the internet for ideas how to stabilise it better.

Part of the issue may be the fabric I chose though, the jersey I used was terribly soft but somewhat drapey and stretchy and a little bit see through. One of the things I’ve noticed about high street clothes over the past couple of years or so, is that since cotton prices went up a few years ago, instead of putting prices up the way you’d expect them to, the stores have shifted to using slightly thinner cotton in their jersey fabric. this is noticeable on the street, but also on the local market store, as they get samples from the hIghstreet stores design studios. Luckily I have a massive stash of all different types of jersey some going several years back, but the piece I used for this dress is a tiny bit thin and stretchy for my liking, and that reflects in the low neckline.

I actually quite like the neckline though, it looks deliberate and super off the shoulder necklines are in fashion right now, so its really not a problem.

Anyway, photos…..


The necklace in the photo is  from Curiology & says Witch. Their site is down for a few weeks at the moment, so I can’t add a link, but I am completely obsessed with their jewellery, I have three pieces. I love the fact they can make an fairly normal outfit instantly and casually goth.

The other thing I made this month was a dress for my Mum for her birthday. She really liked my versions (here & here) of Tilly & the Buttons Coco dress, so when I found some grey sweatshirting down the market stall, I thought it would be nice to make her one as well. (It also helped that there was a sale on some of the patterns, so my Mum has her own custom size one now, which is just as well as she goes across 3 sizes, which is a nightmare!)

Anyway, here it is, hanging on the door of my wardrobe before I sent it to Mum, due to the continuing heatwave I haven’t managed to get any pictures of her wearing it yet.



Anyway, future sewing plans are somewhat up in the air at the moment. Looks like there will be a winter version of the Goblin Kings Ball, we may well be going to the SciFi Weekender next year, & I’m determined to actually finish my xmas lolita dress, so theres lots of fancy sewing coming up, in amongst the less exciting but still necessary job of padding out my everyday wardrobe. So I’ve got a schedule again. & I really need to be getting on with things. Eeeek!

winter hat in summer time

Not that we’ve had very much actual summer this year, horrible gloomy weather, but its thankfully still too warm for wooly hats, even if I’ve had to have the heating on three or four evenings.

Anyway, here is my finished tiger print hat…..


I had no idea it was sitting so far back on my head when Jon took the photographs, & it doesn’t go best with the velvet dress, but its hard finding stuff that could pass as winter clothes but can still survive bonkers level humidity.

The hat is a Bobeek by Daniella Johannsenova on Ravelry, I made a previous one last year, i wasn’t intending on making it again for myself in such a hurry, but I felt I needed something plain to set off the tiger pattern. I am now well underway with a third one of the damn things because Jon liked my pink one so much (he looked so good in it the designer used the picture of him wearing it as a featured picture on the pattern page) that he’s been demanding his own version ever since. I’d give him the pink one, only its variegated between pink & red which means it goes with both my pink & red winter coats nicely, so I kind of need to keep it for myself.

The scarf is plain stockinette stitch, which I blogged here, and the dress is one I made last autumn.

I’ve been getting on rather better with knitting than I have with sewing at the moment, another hat is underway, and I’ve got my next 3 or 4 projects bought and planned.

The dress I’ve been meaning to make for the last couple of months is still sitting there in my work in progress basket, I’ve finally got my sewing machines out again to make a start, but its been overtaken by a dress for my Mums birthday I somewhat randomly decided to make (there is logic, i can do both without changing the overlocker threads). Luckily they are both quick projects & I’ve made one before so when I finally get going with it should only take a couple of hours each & then I can get back on track.

Finishing with a picture of our Elephant (& a couple of bulbs of normal garlic) that Jon has harvested from the allotment, its our first proper harvest of anything, so we are well proud of it. It is hanging up to dry at the moment. luckily I don’t mind the stink of garlic, because the flat reeks!


a whiter shade of pale

Over the bank holiday last month Jon took a coupe of days either side, & we used the time to sort out a diy job that has been bugging us for ever such a long time.

One of the things Jon brought to the relationship when we moved in together 13 years ago eek such a long time) was a rectangular pine table that had been the kitchen table when he was a little boy. Over the years its been several things in our various residences, a kitchen table, my sewing table, a desk in the study, & finally it became our computer desk in our bedroom.

Now basically our bedroom sharing a room with the study has never been an ideal solution, Over the years since we moved here we’ve gradually replaced a load of plastic drawers containing clothes with nice Ikea ones, however we were still left with a load round the computer. Our dream computer desk would have shelves above it and drawers beneath, but we were completely unable to find anything that practical, except recently in Ikea & that was made of completely shitty looking laminate & therefore not worth spending £350 on as only a medium term solution. (I do seem to think ikea has got crapper the last few times we’ve been there, the prices have gone down at the higher end, but the quality has as well, & virtually nothing they sell is made of real wood anymore.)

So we thought, how about we spend as little as we can get away with on a short term solution? And went to the British Heart Foundation Furniture Shop in Lewisham and bought a cheap, small welsh dresser instead.

In terms of storage, this has worked out ideal, it fits all our excess computer crap and stationary, with room for a few decorative items too. In terms of aesthetics, not so good.

All our bedroom furniture is either natural wood antique (0r natural wood that we’ve jazzed up a bit to look antique) that we’ve inherited from various parents over the years, or  white ikea units, & now plonked in the middle were these 80’s style orange varnish cheap looking desk & dresser.

I forgot to get a picture of the desk before we painted it, but here is the dresser in its original state….


In real life its a lot more orange and looked horribly cluttered with all our stuff on it.

So yeah, over the bank holiday, Jon painted it all!🙂

This was a  bit of a mammoth task as we had to do it in the living room & it took over all the space & the kitchen for 5 days.(so we ate out a lot, which was awesome then, but has somewhat come back to haunt us now its the end of the month) Also we were idiots and bought the cheapest primer and undercoat all in one we could find in B&Q which meant it was quite drippy, so the finish isn’t perfect, & it took about 2 coats more than we were planning,

However, given it is our first real try at painting furniture, I am really pleased with the results…


Here they are back in situ without anything on them. Already they go so much better with our  bedroom.


and this is what we changed the doorknobs for. While I was immensely tempted by the gorgeous expensive mineral ones in Anthrapologie, we found these randomly in the clearance section of TKMaxx, six for a fiver, & I think they do fine.


& here they are with everything back on them. Obviously we need to work on that chair cushion, but it makes the room look so much more coherent and brighter! (due to a whopping great wardrobe in the middle of the room & the bed taking up much of the rest of the space, our bedroom is pretty impossible to photograph.)

So because of the painting i had to put my sewing machine away & kept it away for a couple of weeks, but its back now, & in the meantime I’ve finished my hat, which I have yet to photograph properly (mainly cuz it won’t stop raining😦 ) This means I get a fun trip to Loop in Islington for wool for my next project (rubs hands together).

grey like the skies

So I haven’t posted for a while, spent 2 1/2 weeks at my parents recovering from London and illness basically, then came back and spent 3 weeks recovering from overdoing things physically whilst at my parents. Have been busy doing things, just not sewing.

Except for what I’m about to blog about….

Made this a few weeks ago actually, & although its boring, with a pattern I’ve used millions of times before (Sewaholic Renfrew) I actually really really like this, it fills a massive hole in my wardrobe, is totally versatile, & despite the fabric being some weird, slightly stiff jersey off Lewisham market, its actually really soft and snuggley to wear.



Skirt it is worn with is this devore grey one from 2013. The black velvety bits have finally worn off now, but it is still going strong, which is not bad really. I am never sure how long any clothes, let alone hand made ones, are supposed to last, but I don’t think three years so far is a bad lifespan at all, specially for something that gets worn pretty much constantly.

The next thing on my list to make is a heather grey Colette patterns Moneta dress. I’ve got it all cut out ready to go, but had to put all my sewing stuff away this weekend whilst we painted some furniture. I’m also about 3/4 finished with my tiger print hat, I got a load of knitting done at my parents, but haven’t really touched it since. It feels too much like summer really. Which is silly cuz its tipping it down right now.


Easter animals

So ok, it’s taken me a terribly long time to post this, but I have actually been making quite a bit of stuff (just not posting about them)

But here are three little embroidered animal decorations I made a month or so ago out of a kit in Mollie Makes…..

The kit had the animals drawn in in black lines, so all the coloured bits are my embroidery and then I sewed up the edges and stuffed them.

The stuffing is quite random actually, I had no actual toy stuffing anywhere and couldn’t think where to get any in a hurry since our local branch of Smiths had closed. So I used the scraps from my overlocker and the scraps from cutting out the fabric round the embroideries. I think it’s worked rather well.

I am also quite proud of my embroidery, even though it is very simple. It is the first time I’ve embroidered anything since primary school!

I went to a rather old fashioned girls prep school for my last two years at primary school. We had a mint green 1930’s style uniform, wooden desks with lids to store our stuff in, & an embroidery teacher. She  was meant to be teaching art, but because the classrooms were small and didn’t have sinks in, she had to teach stuff that wouldn’t make a massive mess.

So we learnt sketching and watercolours, simple woodworking and lots and lots of sewing.

I made a sampler into a work basket lid, which I still have, though it lives in my parents attic & we did embroideries of a flower garden which were made into a needle case for my mum.

Looking back I am quite impressed that a ten year old made that kind of thing, but I was always aware mine was a bit scrappy. I wasn’t great at selecting colours, my best friend at the time had a mother who was a seamstress and was always that bit better than me, & I could never get the hang of satin stitch at all. 

After primary school I never really had the chance to try it again, so I walked away, not thinking I was complete shit at it exactly, but that embroidery was quite hard and probably wasn’t for me.

Recently though I’ve been seeing all the beautiful subversive and artistic modern stuff going round the Internet and have been looking for an easy way in to give it another go.

So trying it as an adult I found Satin Stitch a lot lot easier. & I found the whole process so relaxing! The finished products have gone to live with my mum as they match her kitchen decor perfectly.

I know it’s only a baby project, but I’m quite excited at the idea of trying something else, & am currently looking for a slightly more advanced kit that sparks my interest.

I have a couple of projects queued up that I haven’t got round to posting about yet, so my blog shouldn’t die entirely. But at the moment I have become totally unexpectedly ill  with my mental health issue and I’m currently recovering in the countryside so the only creative stuff likely to get done at the moment is my knitting. However that is progressing rather faster than normal, so hopefully I’ll still be making things, albeit not sewing for a while! 

Eye of the Tiger

I think one of my recurring problems with sewing and knitting is that it takes so long between conception of a garment and actually finishing it, that sometimes I have no idea what to do with it once I’ve made it.

This was pretty much true of my latest creation. A scarf started about this time last year and finished two weeks ago. It was a good six months before that I had the idea of making it in the first place, having had a drink or two one night and deciding to google animal print yarn; to my slight shock, given the amount of fair isle self striping yarn there is around, no one was really making very much animal print. Except for Stylecraft who had made a brilliant (though somewhat acrylic) range called Safari, which sadly had been discontinued in 2012. So I decided I really needed the tiger print version, so set up an eBay search (which I now don’t know how the hell to take off, nearly two years later) sat back and waited. Six months later it succeeded and I became the proud owner of 8 balls of tiger print wool.

So its taken me ages to knit this particular scarf, largely because I was using it as an easy project I could chat through whilst I was at knitting group, which was only twice a month, and working on other stuff at home. & by the time I finished it I was really quite sick of it. The tiger print yarn, although really pretty is so acrylic that its actually quite unpleasant to the touch to knit.

& I didn’t really know what to do with it, my winter coats are bright red and pink (not really my choice, its what was available in the shop that fit, & a present from my mother) so teeming them with tiger print seemed a bit garish, its something I’d have done in previous years, but not really me now…


Here it is over a bright red blanket and sofa to show what I mean.

So I put off photographing it as I wasn’t sure, & then the weather started getting warmer, & it wasn’t really scarf appropriate anyway, except I decided I absolutely needed photographs, so I somewhat randomly teamed it with my green jacket and a black dress just to get it done, went out to take them, and then was just blown away by what I saw when Jon showed me the fist couple of photos, its accidentally cool!


In many ways I’m such an idiot, I was a massive Manic Street Preachers fan when I was in my late teenage years, so I should have known khaki and animal print really go well together, but until I saw the first photo Jon took I hadn’t realised my scarf could look urban and cool rather than just a bit kitsch.

So now I’m desperate to get the matching hat done. I had 5 days at my parents over Eater and I was planning to make a good start there, however I stupidly brought the wrong length circular needles with me (so can’t be bothered to do the entire hat on a magic loop) so I did a jigsaw instead.

Hopefully I will get it started in the next day or two anyway.🙂