Archive | February, 2013

Smile for the birdie button-back blouse and the giveaway winner announced!

26 Feb

First up my giveaway!


Let’s announce this bad boy. Random number generator has chosen…..


Congratulations!! Send your postal address to me at and I’ll arrange delivery.

Moving on. My love affair with New Look 6808 continues.


I cooked up the idea of adapting it to use buttons at the back quite a while ago but couldn’t wrap my brain around the logistics of the conversion.

I finally figured it out last week and realised I’d been so silly over thinking it!

To adapt the back bodice pattern piece I traced a copy, then extended the fold line by about three inches. Then I added the marks for my buttonholes where the original fold line had been, marked a new fold line and I was all set. I also did away with the darts as they would have messed with the fabric pattern.

I used a gorgeously soft, grey rayon I bought at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show. It has lines of different bird cages with birds on it! It is rather see through though.

I didn’t line it other than the sleeves which is a feature of NL 6808 I love.

This top uses 8 buttons. It felt like a lot! I made contrast covered buttons from a black twill I had in my stash. It needed to be twill because the white of my button base kept sewing through. Can you get black ones?


The first time I wore it a giant German Shepherd dog slobbered on it so I know it’s popular with the animal kingdom!

What do you think? Hope you like it!

Giveaway time!! (Aka time I stopped winning and started sharing)

19 Feb

I recently won two giveaways. I’m not bragging I promise. Though I am super chuffed!!

The first was the Anise coat as mentioned in my last post.


As soon as I won fear excitement made me immediately book a jacket making course!

I’d mentioned previously the course was a Christmas gift I was lucky enough to receive. Well I’m hoping to get stuck in the world of tailoring with a Chanel jacket and build up to Anise from there.

Next up I won the sew grateful giveaway from Vintage Follies, thanks to the delightful Cherise. She’s great if you’re not aware of her blog. I mean check out this awesome dress she made before including the remaining fabric in my giveaway.


I won a vintage pattern, oodles of gorgeous red buttons and the leftover lingonberry fabric!

Well winning more than one giveaway when I didn’t host a giveaway myself is unbearable to me!!

So here is my giveaway. It’s modest but I hope you like it.


You can win the Kirsty Allsopp Craft book, a vintage simplicity dress pattern (single size 12 bust 34), vogue 8666 dress pattern (sizes 6 to 12), 9 unusual black and white buttons, 9 square mother of pearl style buttons and a cute owl tape measure.

I’ll send anywhere! To win just leave a comment on this post before midnight (gmt) Thursday 28th February.

Good luck!!

Sew grateful week – Winner!

12 Feb

SGW normal size

I wanted to join in with Sew Grateful week but talked myself out of it.

What a total lemon right?!

OF COURSE I’m grateful for the awesome sewing community that spurs me on, celebrates with me, kicks me in the butt when I’m slacking and offers wonderful advice and support, all with such good humour and friendliness.

That goes without saying.

So I probably shouldn’t have entered some of the amazing giveaways being hosted since I chickened out myself.

But I did cos I’m a cheeky madam like that.  Hahah.

And oooh my gawd. I won the most amazing and probably the most difficult pattern I will ever work on. The Anise jacket by Colette Patterns!!


Humongous thanks go to Sonja of Ginger Makes for this awesome prize. I’m sure you all read her blog; she’s the girl with the mile wide smile and one of the elite Mood Sewing Network (pretty much making her a sewing super hero).

In other blog news the sweet petite Stephanie fom Love-Teach-Sew nominated me for two awards that seem to have been merged into one: The Lovely Blog award and The Inspiring Blogger Award.


Since the awards were married these have become the new rules:

1) Thank and link back to the awesome person who nominated you.  2) Share seven things about yourself.  3) Nominate ten other bloggers and comment on their blogs to let them know. Easy!

1. Love-Teach-Sew is a super new little poppet of a blog, created just this year! Stephanie is so excited to sew in a country where sewing classes and textbooks are hard to come by. It’s pretty awesome to be that determined to sew. Thanks Stephanie!

2. Hmm what fantastic facts can I dazzle you with.

  • I’m a huge James Bond fan and I wrote my Degree dissertation on the gender relationships in Ian Fleming’s 007 novels. I could go on for hours about this. I’ve edited this comment back down twice.
  • I’ve been a vegetarian since age 14. Primarily because I don’t like the taste, texture, look or smell of meat. Learning about the treatment of animals has also certainly affected me. Plus vegetables are so damn scummy, why bother with meat!?
  • I am currently on financial lockdown while saving for a new home. I am being very good about fabric shopping. If I ever start to wobble into excessive spending I think about how I’m going to decorate my new sewing room. Mmm….
  • I have a younger brother who everyone thinks should be a model (Pffft…! He’s getting a big head) but is actually a talented trainee architect. I call him Little Fro instead of little bro because of his curly mop top. 
  • I write most of my posts on my smartphone wordpress app during my ludicrously long commute. Like this one. Hello Mr Conductor.
  • I dream about Tim Gunn and Stephen Fry marrying and adopting me. Think of all that sewing and general knowledge plus comedic brilliance!!
  • Last but not least I ate my Shrove Tuesday pancakes with strawberries and chocolate. Hey, no one said these couldn’t be topical!

3. For my ten foxy bloggers I tried my best to find blogs on my Google Reader who don’t already have this award and so I hope they’d appreciate it:

All this lovely community spirit has got my sewing engine revved up. What have I been doing being sick and pathetic and unable to sew?!

I need to get cracking.

Being creative… in one way or another

4 Feb


I’ve been hit with a case of February blues (hey, I just invented it, leave me alone). I’ve finally recovered from my mystery virus that lasted most of January, but I don’t feel fully up to speed yet.

Part of my problem is that I just can’t say no to after work plans. I feel too guilty if I just try and stay in and do nothing. But my brain and body need some recovery time.

I’ve lost the energy to sew right now too. I’m doing 15mins here and there and progress is very slow.

This week I was busy with Mr AR’s birthday! Surely a good reason not to sew?

On Friday we took a day trip to The Deep submarium in Hull. What’s a submarium you cry? Why it’s a submerged aquarium!


We saw beautiful and amazing sea creatures (e.g. a blue yabba lobster and tiny moon jellyfish) and went in the glass bubble elevator that lifts you through one of the large tanks. This let us see some of the sharks (the birthday boy’s favourites) up close in all their toothy glory.

Thanks to years of watching my mother work her magic, I’m not too bad with my baking. I’ve posted some baking related items before on the blog (here and here).

Mr AR’s favourite is chocolate cake… who can blame him. I have a go to sponge recipe perfect for my 7″ cake tins. To add something more to it I made strawberry butter cream frosting and used strawberry jam in the centre of the cake as well. Mmmm chocolate strawberry cake.


Keeping with the aquatic theme I used fondant icing in blue, grey and red to create a Jaws style attack scene.

And just for fun I created a gif of it all coming together! Hope you like it.

picasion.com_0d824baca3bde72d2246c69362d5b774 (1)

If anyone is interested in the cake recipe I used or some scintillating facts on the development of blue lobsters, get in touch!