Monday 28 October 2013

Super Tote for a Super Me!

I'm directing this post at all you mums out there.

I know that's marginalizing the rest of you but someone needs to say this.

We are SUPER.

All of you who stay up in the night to watch over a poorly child, then end up sharing your bed with another. Then spend the next day fueled by caffeine and the knowledge it is your sole responsibility to get food into the house and onto the plate of said offspring, whilst also holding down a job, maybe even two and at the end of it trying to find a little time for something that makes you happy and feel like a person. You are the super mums, all of you. It may seem a little big headed to say this but its the truth and we are all to often too hard on ourselves, so here's a little reminder.

I'm reminding myself in a very literal way, see I may have booked a little treat for myself as a reward for all the hard work i've been doing of late. And this treat means travelling and a couple of nights away, which we all know means I need a new bag! Enter the Noodlehead Super Tote. I just love Anna's patterns, they are simultaneously simple and stylish and so well written. They come together really well and are a delight to sew rather than a chore. I had planned on making a weekender for this trip but actually I wanted a fun sew and the weekender was irritating me before I'd even cut the fabric so I cast it aside! I am so glad I did.

Front outside of #supertote sewn. Slow sewing today!

I used very special fabric for this one, a vintage wool skirt id been saving forever for the right project (50 pence in a charity shop years ago) a FQ of Hello Pilgrim for the outside pocket and also for the inner pockets, my only ones but actually as painful as it is to use such precious fabric its so nice to see it every day on your bag (quilt, pouch etc) than occasionally in your stash.

Happiness is making things as nice in the inside as the outside. This won't be my only @noodlehead531 #supertote I know it!

I used an Orla Kiely dust bag for lining the inside and the inside pocket, another 50 pence bargain at a garage sale.

Outside done #supertote. All the pretties = vintage tweed @orlakiely, @lizzyhouse, mirror ball dots and metallic gold make me so happy!

You might also notice a bit of a gold thing going on here, I'm getting a little obsessed by metallic at the moment. I can't tell you which was more of a bugger to sew, the slippery yet somehow sticky gold piping or the tangley and awkward gold stitching on the handles (which I opted to sew after id put the bag together with my hand up through the turning hole in the lining because I didn't want my stitches showing on the inside of the bag) But I can tell you it was worth it.

Too much metallic? Should I have made the stitching on the handle brown rather than gold? #supertote

So there you have it, a Super Tote to remind me that I am (even if only occasionally) super too!

@noodlehead531 #supertote and hitchhiker shawl finished. Happy accident that they coordinate!

Oh and yay me, here is my latest knitting finish, a Hitchhiker shawl. I think my best achievement this year is learning to knit, finally. I am so pleased I got it after many attempts at learning, at last!

I am off to referee the half term shenanigans with the children and somehow find time to turn this into a birthday present for the youngest by Thursday, whilst she is not looking of course!

I have until Thursday to turn this into my daughters birthday present. Better get cracking!

Sunday 20 October 2013

a tale of two dresses

OK, so one is technically a tunic top but I'm not lying when I say that sometimes I am pretty jealous of my 3 year old daughter. This week she got 2 new dresses, I love them both and wish they were in my size. Of course I could sew clothes up for myself, but when they are little and cute like this they take practically no time and are a joy to sew!

Geranium Top

Actually that's a lie, they take no time and are a joy to sew until you decide that you NEED to modify the pattern and make a long sleeve, which of course you need to draft yourself, which you have never done before. But you wouldn't let that stop you, after all this is how you have envisioned it and you cannot defer from the top you dreamt about. So I did draft a sleeve, from scratch using her measurements, and it didn't fit, so I cut another sleeve. Thank goodness this one was OK or I would have been out of fabric!

Geranium top

Speaking of fabric, the wonderfully sweet Trudi sent me this for Juliette, it couldn't be more perfect for her. I have never met  a  girl who is so mad on moving vehicles, in particular heavy plant and construction vehicles and trains!

Geranium Top

The intended recipient was so pleased with her new top that she put it on and promptly went straight out to a party to show it off (again, this is why I am jealous of her, oh to have such a social life!)

Geranium Top
Pattern, Geranium Dress from Made By Rae
Size 4T
Modifications, drafted peter pan collar & long sleeves
gifted fabric from Trudi, children at play by Sarah Jane Studios polka dot collar and vintage red buttons from stash

Earlier this week I refashioned an old skirt of mine into another dress for Juliette. Same pattern this time with no modifications. I just loved the colours in my skirt but it was a really bad style for me and I never wore it.

Geranium in Purple

Button Detail on Purple Geranium
Pattern, Geranium dress from Made by Rae
size 4T
no modifications
Repurposed fabric from my old skirt and new glitter buttons chosen by Juliette

She choose the glitter buttons herself, it took a while! So happy to see the fabric on my daughter, if only I could stop her growing........

Sunday 13 October 2013


Possessed, that's what happened to me the moment I saw the amazing new quilt pattern from Maureen Cracknell. Her skull quilt got under my skin and I liked it!

See, I've not had a lot of time to myself recently, I mustn't complain but I'm really rather a victim of my own success these days. So much teaching to do and many commissions to sew, I am loving it but fear I might be on the brink of a burn out!

So when I spotted Maureens quilt on Instagram I worked like a fiend to clear my to-do list so I could get down to it. Which is precisely what I did yesterday, spent the day in my sewing room, being fed and watered by my amazing husband and whipped up a quilt top! It felt so good to selfishly sew something that didn't need to be made but wanted (begged) to be made. And then today the cherry on top was when he took me to our local ruin (literally 5 minutes from our house) to take some spooky photos!


It was a quilt top to run up, with the pattern giving very clear and detailed cutting and layout instructions. Of course, it wouldn't be me if I didn't deviate from the pattern slightly. I cut the background squares as large pieces where I could, rather than the many 6" squares called for. This not only saved me time in piecing but also precious fabric, I brought only 1.5m of background fabric and with clever cutting I still had almost a FQ left over.

I changed the layout of the teeth, being anal person, I wanted them symmetrical! And finally I changed up the layout of the eyes a little to make them clearer (in my opinion) and also because I had no more of the fabric left! I wish now I'd used darker fabrics directly around the eyes to help them stand out even more but I was desperate to include a little of my new Ghastlies fabric!


I cant wait to quilt this and get snuggling under it, my youngest was born on Halloween and will be 4 on the 31st, she really is a cheeky little witch and I am sure her birth date has a hand in her wicked humor!

In fact I think you can tell how excited I am by this quilt because its made me break my blogging hiatus!


I'm feeling like I have come over all American when it comes to Halloween in wanting to decorate the house up, we have such awful tacky decorations available in the UK so it is nice to put together something handmade. I also have a rather large itch to make a modern maples quilt in fall colours (see I told you I was becoming all unnecessarily American, I really should say autumnal colours) so watch this space.....