Tuesday, 16 July 2013


Have you heard about the fabulous website known as Pinterest?    Check it out for lots of crafty info.  I saw a great Pin about an owl recently and just could not resist downloading the pattern and making these two fine looking fellows.  My daughter-in-law has recently revamped their sitting room and I know she is going to love finding these two little guys sitting on her couch when she gets home from work!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Little girl's dress

I've been busy recently making more little dresses for Dress A Girl Around The World.  Someone asked about using shirring elastic, and as I have made several dresses using this method I thought you might like to see what I did.

I cut one straight piece of fabric 102cm wide by 61cm long, and four pieces 51cm long by 4cm wide.  Taking the large piece I stitched a tiny hem at the top using a fancy machine stitch.  This gives a pretty ruffle effect when the dress is finished.


Measure 8cm down from the hem and mark seven lines for the shirring (on the front of the fabric).  Loosely thread your bobbin with shirring elastic and the needle with thread.  Slowly sew across the fabric.  When you reach the end carefully draw out a few cms of thread and elastic then turn and sew across the next line.  (I found that I could stitch three rows before I needed to fasten off and refill the bobbin.)

Now add a ribbon or lace trim if desired to the skirt.  Join the single back seam with a French seam.  This makes for a neater finish.  (A French seam is stitching a small seam down the length with the wrong sides together, then turn wrong-side out and stitch the seam again, encasing the raw edges.)

Turn up and stitch a small hem at the bottom of the dress.  Then stitch the straps along the length enclosing one end.  Turn right-side out.  This can be a bit tricky, see the note below.

Hand stitch the straps (seam inside) tucking the raw open edge under slightly.  Start and finish the stitching just below the top hem to leave the ruffle free.

You can choose to press the straps flat or leave as a rouleau.  Press the skirt, but don't  press the shirring.  Just hover your steam iron over the shirring, which will tighten it up.

In this photo you can clearly see the before and after effect of hovering the steam iron over the shirring.

And here's a view of the finished dress - hope you like it.

By the way - don't spend money on expensive Loop Turners to make the straps.  I used a drinking straw and a chopstick!    Slide the straw down inside to the stitched end of the strap, gently push the chopstick into the end of the straw and slide the fabric up over the chopstick.  Simple!  

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Busy, busy - I seem to turn around these days and a week has passed by!  Where does time go to?  Think I'll hop on a plane and head west and keep going, so every time I cross the International Date Line I'll recapture one of those lost days lol.

Thought I'd show you a photo of my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bracken, today.  He is such a lovable little chap.  He was recently diagnosed with a heart problem, so we have to be extra careful with him now and he is on medication for life.  Love him to bits xx

The grandchildren are back at school and our holiday is looming, still a few more bits to do.  A cousin contacted me the other day, asking if I could do some research for him on his paternal line (we are cousins through our mothers), so I've added another line to my family history research.  That makes eight trees I'm working on now!

See you soon  x

Friday, 31 August 2012

Along with sewing for my holiday I am still making dresses for girls-around-the-world.  I have recently heard of a charity that wants help making wiggly-bags.  These are little bags to hold hickman lines for children in hospital.   http://strawberrypatchramblings.blogspot.co.uk  is the site to check out if you are able to help in this very worthy cause.
Team GB Paralympics are off to a good start - well done everyone.  I think these athletes are quite incredible - not only are they fantastic at their chosen sport, they have had huge difficulties to surmount to reach the peak of their ambitions.  Every one of the 4,000 plus men and women from around the world deserve medals to my way of thinking.  And wasn't the opening ceremony terrific too?
Been busy these last few weeks - helping out with the grandchildren during the long school holidays.  And sewing like mad so I can have a few new things to take on holiday soon.  Also been trying to lose a bit of weight, so those new outfits fit!  

 A friend saw the iPad pouch I had made and asked if I'd make one for her - finished it a few days ago and she is happy with it (thank goodness lol)  I enjoyed making it, but not sure I will do another one.  Having enough material left I made a patchwork cushion cover to match.  

         Front views below.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Wasn't the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics fantastic?   I didn't intend to stay up to see the whole show, but once it started there was no going to bed.   I think it was a great window on GB and must have raised millions of smiles around the world.   Some of the items may have needed explaining to viewers in other countries - and I wonder how many people now believe that our wonderful Queen really did jump out of a helicopter?????   In my opinion Danny Boyle deserves a knighthood for that fantastic show.  His ideas were out of this world - and proved to be one of the best evenings of entertainment and enlightenment on tv for a long time.   The next must-see on my list is Tom Daly - come on Tom win another gold for Team GB.  We are off to a good start - with the silver in the women's cycling road race today - and more to come I'm sure.  Let's fly the flag for Team GB!