Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Skirt Refashion

I've been meaning to do this refashion for ages. I thought it would be quite quick, but it took ages. Not sure about how I feel about the end result either. The applique and embroidery needs blocking and I broke a needle sewing the hem - grrrr.

Anyway, less of a rant and here's how I did it.

1. Cut the skirt to above knee length, using the shaped panels as a guide.

2. I cut leaf/ petal shapes and circles from some of my stashed fabric - all previously garments - I played around with the placement until I was happy with it then used a little iron on hemming tape to secure the pieces in place.

3. I used my machine to do straight and satin stitch embroidery (I tried doing a little more ambitions decoration, but the tension on my machine, puckered the fabric too much - so I unpicked it).

4. Hemmed the skirt - some of the seams were rather thick and although I took out as much fullness as I could I still had sticking sports on the panels and broke a needle.

Finished skirt needs a good press with the iron, I think it will be worn with leggings/ tights and boots for the winter. It's a touch too short for me to use with bare legs in warmer weather.
So What do you think?

Sunday, 25 September 2011


That's it - done with procrastination and we've booked tickets to London and theatre tickets. Just had a quick look at what's on and think that the V7A will be getting a visit. Haven't been there for about 7 years!

Friday, 23 September 2011


Tomorrow My Family and I will be joining thousands of others all over the world to walk 10km for China's abandonded and disabled.

After spending time out in China, working with the children cared for by ICC. I can't not walk. The gift of love hope and opportunity for these precious children. The Trouble is ICC can only help so many at the moment and want to help more. The money raised from this sponsored walk will help fund community based group homes, which will allow children and young people to live in the community as a real family. It will help support families with disabled children. giving them access to therapy, support and respite care.

When you've held the hand of a child who could've died without the work of ICC and they smaile and want to play with you. it touches your spirit and you never forget them.

It's not too late to sign up and walk. there are walks all over the world - possibly near you - check it out here
Or Sponsor me - go here
You might want to think about joining a team to China. Short term teams run 4 times a year. go on sign up - check out ICC's web page here

Thanks folks

Thursday, 22 September 2011


I've just started getting the Burda magazine via WHSmiths. I wasn't too impressed with September's collection of designs, but I just got October's - I'm gonna have to get me some fabric - almost every page had something I loved on. Especially the Chanel Influenced designs - I'm gonna be a busy girl.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Why when you want something, can you never find it?

I just can't find it! It's frustrating me!!!
What? you might ask.
A DVD with teaching resources on!
I've spent years teaching and have had several Laptops - and with each one comes more resources that I develop and save to use in the future. So when I had to hand back my last laptop I put all my resources on A DVD and put it somewhere safe. I just can't remember where 'safe' is. To add to the frustration  - all the places it might be have been moved as we're having the "study" plastered this week and all files, DVD and stuff have been boxed up and moved out of the way. I'm hoping it's in one of the boxes and I know I'm going to go mad until I find it.

I'm not even sure it will have on anything I can use for my teaching at the moment, but I think it has!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Stash Busting, Good finds and SSS'11

Why is it that Saturday seems to fly by?  I walked t the haberdashery to buy thread for a top/dress I wanted to make and forgot the fabric - doh! I inevitably ended up with the wrong colour, which I had to change later in the day.

Each week I pop into St Bart's cottage shop - a couple of weeks ago I bought books, including the Batsford guide to sewing (lots of great tips). Today I went in looking for a tankard for John to drink his home brew from, but instead I noticed that they had a selection of sewing patterns at the extortionate cost of 20p each. So I bought 3.

Fiona, Richard and Vikki came over and we walked into Newbiggin and had a cuppa in the new Maritime Centre. The have some of my art works and I was pleased to hear that some had sold!

I spent some time re drafting my weekend blouse pattern to include sleeves, and cutting fabric for said blouse and for a multi coloured polka dot blouse based on the coffee date dress. Slowly but surely i'm getting through my stash of fabric. I then need to find somewhere to put the clothes!

I also helped John out with his home brew. The house smelled of hops and malt and reminded me of a certain day in the week when I was growing up and could smell the brew coming from Mansfield Brewery on the way to school in a morning.

As for SSS'11. I failed again yesterday - I spent most of the day stripping wallpaper in an old t shirt and pair of jeans. Today I at least managed to wear my refashioned shirt. I think I need a wider range of clothing to be able to do this justice. Maybe next time I take part i'll have a lot more me made stuff.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

SSS'11 update

So this is the dress I wore on Tuesday and today.

I used this simplicity pattern that my MIL gave me a few months ago, I omitted the collar and added a tie front. The fabric came from my trip to China. The pattern I used was a size 14 and rather shapeless around the waist, so I took in the side seams and added back darts to create a better shape.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Where has my time gone?

It's now 5.30pm on Wednesday and I wonder where my week has gone? I spent all Monday ( and I mean ALL Monday) making a dress, which I wore yesterday.  Today I've been to visit the school I'm going to be working in until Christmas. I'm just working .4, but I'll be teaching Art again and I'm really looking forward to it. I know it will mean less time for crafting and blogging, but I'll just have to adjust to that.

I need to post the stuff I've been wearing for SSS'11, this week, but I've been so busy that I didn't take photos. On Monday I wore the refashioned jumper I wore on day 1 and today I wore the weekend blouse I made a couple of weeks ago. So all that remains is to photograph the dress I wore yesterday - I think i'll wear that tomorrow.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Monday Monday

What a wild one!
I've been productive today - I made a dress - the photos will follow. It took all day (9.30am - 8pm). I must break up my sewing into more manageable chunks!
While cycling to pick up Bethan from school I was literally blown off my bike - this resulted in a grazed elbow and sore wrist (which is getting worse and may warrant a trip to A&E)

Sunday, 11 September 2011

What a week!

Fabric from the Mela
 Well it's finally Sunday and this last week has been rather full. I've been to the Job Centre 3 times; Made a dress; visited a school; got a PT temp Job until Christmas (whoop); tried to wear something me made every day for Self stitched September (it's only day 11, and already I'm repeating items) I've been to the Mela in Newcastle today and bought fabric, Bethan had a henna tattoo and the kids went on fairground rides.

Day 11. Self made cardy, dress from Asda, scarf from White Stuff.

Day 10. Self drafted and made skirt, donated cardy & fat face vest top.

So as I said - my creation this week has been a dress - it's pretty much a coffee date dress, with a slightly fuller skirt and a bright pink sash. Tomorrow I'm making another dress, as I need it for Tuesday!

This week's creation
I'm also thinking about renaming the blog - so look out for some changes in the next few weeks.

Friday, 9 September 2011

SSS'11 Day 8 my take on the coffee date dress

I bought this lovely fabric back from China. It's been crying out for a dress to be made from it - so here it is and I wore it yesterday, along with a spotty jacket I bought from White Stuff in the sale.

I lengthened the bodice and omitted the ruffle for this version as I thought it would be too busy. I made the skirt slightly longer and fuller and added a contrast sash.

Today I have been bad and have not worn anything made by me - mainly because i've been doing stuff around the house, altering blinds and stuff - I'd have got filthy! and seeing as though most of my me made items are quite nice it didn't want to get them covered in sawdust etc.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


First up - SSS'11
Yesterday I wore the refashioned man's shirt I made earlier this year and realised it's still too big! Today I wore the same thing as I did on day 1.

Secondly - the schools are finally back! John took the boys off to school and I walked Bethan to school. New school building and it was slightly chaotic, although the staff were great at directing everyone. So I had peace and quiet for a while today - I just don't seem to get much done. I've made loads of phone calls, been to sign on - hopefully not for much longer - and done a bit of painting.

I've started 4 new paintings. they never look much to begin with, and as I like to slap the paint on I need to leave it to dry. I have a short attention span and this method of working usually suits me. I constantly flit from one thing to another - whatever i'm doing, and my brain is always thinking about what else I need to do. I'm trying to hold off on the sewing this week and concentrate on the visual art for a bit. I have some ideas I want to work through - then I want to marry the two together and create some fabric designs.

Thirdly - I'm searching for a job. I'm applying for stuff, but would love to consider using my creative pursuits to make a living. I'm realistic about this - making money out of art and craft is difficult (well to make enough to live off is), but I'm beginning to think about how I might use my teaching skills and art skills to develop some sort of business. Suggestions gratefully appreciated!

Monday, 5 September 2011

SSS'11 Day 5

Another busy day - finally finished the coffee date dress I've been working on, had a walk out and caught up with a few people I've not seen in ages and wore my self made crocheted cardy (rather cool for this type of garment though!).

Sunday, 4 September 2011

SSS'11 Day 4

So here it is - worn. I've been making this all week and I finally wore it today.
Weekend Blouse - self drafted and made (available on Burda).
Fat Face trousers (I got these at a clothes swap party) - altered as they were too big.
Shoes From the New Look sale.
Necklace - from International China Concern

Saturday, 3 September 2011

SSS'11 and Free blouse tutorial and pattern

Well so far we're on day 3 and I've managed to wear something created or altered by me every day.
Yesterday I wore this yellow dress, which I refashioned from a child's dress (it was the skirt).

Today I'm wearing this brown linen tunic, that I got from a car boot sale and I embellished with embroidery and new buttons.

And finally - I finished the blouse! I made some flowers and used buttons for the centres, and as requested I did at tut and pattern. I've uploaded these to Burda and you can find them there. I'd love you to have a go too and let me know it works out for you. Email me with your creations based on my pattern and I'll post some of them here!

I've called the pattern WEEKEND BLOUSE. It's really easy (especially if I can come up with it).

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A new start & self stitched September

Well - how to begin?
Today is a new start. I have been made redundant from my job and the world seems full of new opportunities. I'm not sure what they are, but I'm sure they'll be many. I feel well and healthy - not something I could have said a few months ago.

I have experienced some of the hardest moments of my life during the last year. I have suffered depressive illness, been bullied at work and found freedom and release in my creative activities. My family (especially my Husband) have supported me every step of the way and have been my backbone. My faith has been attacked and I wondered why all this happened - but ultimately I know that God has a plan for my life and I'm willing to trust him for everything I need.

I started a new Job a year ago - looking forward to challenges and new things, I was excited and ready to give it my all. If you'd have told me then that in a year I would have been redundant, I'd have panicked and thought you were mad. However right now it is the most "right" thing to be.

I thank God for getting me through the last few months, for the amazing friends I've been provided with and the support they've given me and John.

There was a time when I felt useless and pathetic, not good at anything, but I found self esteem in my art work and sewing (which I rediscovered recently). I used my art as threapy and produced enough work to stage a one woman show. I sold work to fund my trip to China with International China Concern - which was amazing btw.and I'll continue to help support their work.
John & Bethan @ Beaumaris Castle on Anglesey

It has to be said my family are amazing, I've been so well loved and supported and my recovery has a lot to do with them. I've changed my world view, the way I see work and education - overall I think my values have changed -but that's another story!

And so it was that yesterday was my last official day at work - today I made a claim for Jobseekers allowance (and prayed that I won't be on it too long); Met up with the fabulous Judy and Allison for Lunch; looked for buttons for my top (without success); and cut out some of the fabric I'd bought back from China - more to follow.
September 1st - reworked sweater worn with a vest tom and charity shop jeans

Oh and I signed up for self stitched September - now that will be a challenge.

Apologies if my ranting is rather incoherent - I've had two glasses of John's lovely clear sparkling Cider and it's gone to my head:)


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