Saturday, 29 September 2007

Flickr Groups

I've been using Flickr for quite a while now, but have just joined the Last Minute Fabric Gifts and the Bend the Rules Sewing groups. Really great ideas, and useful to see how other people's projects have come out.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Purses & Pouches

These are the two zippered pouches that I made today. The green corduroy one from Cynthia Treen's book. I was pleased with that. It was v quick to make, her instructions are very very clear, and I find the illustrations easy to understand. There's no lining in this one so I didn't have that extra hassle, but I do need to overcome that. Looking at it, I could make it longer to make it a pencil case. The shop I bought the material from is in Hove, called Fabric Remnants, and it is closing down, so everything is pretty good value. Zips were 30p, and the corduroy was £6 a metre, I only got 1/4 though!

The stripey pouch, was harder, I didn't like doing the lining by hand, that seems to not give as good a finish as machine sewing, that was the Bend the Rules book, which I didn't see any bending of the rules in this pattern! Still the more things I make and do, the better I'm going to get.
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Zippered Purse

I thought I'd try the zippered purse in the Bend the Rules Sewing book, which went ok, but you had to hand stitch in the lining, which didn't give me the neatest or strongest stitch. So I think I would adapt the pattern to machine sew in the lining for a more satisfactory product, and it would be faster to make as well. But I think it's good to follow patterns, and work out how to make them better for yourself, as everyone has their preferred way of working.

Monday, 24 September 2007


Today I got a parcel from Amazon which I had been expecting, it came alot sooner than their 2nd October delivery date (thankfully). I bought Amy Karol's Bend the Rules Sewing (angry chicken blog) and Cynthia Treen's Last Minute Fabric Gifts. They both have some great projects in them. I've already made my son a tiny bunny rabbit from Last Minute Gifts, he'll see it when he wakes up.

I have my fabric bucket to make next, then I'm going to try the zippered pouches, both books do them, so I'll see which one to go with. Will post the results!

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Muffin Recipe - Louise's Recipe

4oz Butter or margarine
10oz Sugar
1 tspn Vanilla Extract
2 Large eggs
2 Cups of SR Flour
1 tspn ground cinnamon (optional)
Pinch of salt
2 tspn Baking Powder
Half cup of milk (anything but skimmed)
1 Pint of berries
2 tspn demerara sugar

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy and add eggs one at a time,add vanilla
Fold in flour and baking powder with the milk - do not over mix, batter should be mixed but lumpy
If using blueberries crush half a cup and mix in first
Mix in the fruit
Fill muffins nearly to the top and sprinkle with sugar (also can mix inhalf a tspn of cinnamon to the sugar topping)

Bake at 190 degrees c for approx thirty mins


*Strawberry and white choc:200 grams of white choc chunks
Lrg punnet of strawbs - chopped (use them from the fridge - the colder thebetter)
*Raspberry and choc - same as above just don't chop the rasps (works reallywell with frozen rasps)
*Banana and Pecan:3 small very ripe banana's squished in at the egg stage150 grams of pecans (or walnuts - both work well)
*Choc chip and macadamia nut:200 grams of roughly chopped macadamias150 grams of chopped plain choc

The variations go on.....have a play!

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Busy Day

Today at my son's school, was an Eco day, and they were having a fair at the end of the day. So I made a Victoria Sponge cake, from Nigella Lawson's How to Eat book, and some summer berry muffins, from my friend Louise's recipe, which uses just about every known measuring device known to man. I'll share it with you one day soon.

I also made a shopper bag, from Danielle Proud's book House Proud. The instructions were pretty good, although the handles took far too long to make, with turning them inside out. She tells you to sew one end, but it's better not to, so you get a neater edge when you sew them on the bag. Still it's an interesting book, with some practical projects in (reupholstery).

Here are my collection of doorstops!

Shopper Bag

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Wednesday, 19 September 2007


I bought these lovely gladioli for £1.99, in Asda, as they are grown in Britain. They are stunning all by themselves.

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There is something very satisfying about waking up to freshly baked bread. And although I do love kneading dough, I do not have the time, or wish to get up at 4am! So I have a bread maker which does it all for me, and I'd heartedly recommend them.

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Chicken Doorstop Completed

I finally made my chicken doorstop, using the fabric I bought last month. I'm rather pleased with it, although as the pattern was quite widely spaced, I had to play around with the pattern to get the best fit with the design. This means I had to waste material. Still I'm very pleased, and I plan to make a few more things for my son's room with that material.

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Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Unfinished Projects

I don't know if you are like me, but I'm quite guilty of starting projects and then not quite finishing them. This is for a variety of reasons:
1. Move house, everything goes into a box, and I don't see box for another 2 years!
2. Need to buy something to finish project off and never get round to it.
3. (This mainly applies to knitting) The sun comes out.
4. Think up a brand new project and want to crack on with that instead!
Anyway, my terrible secret is out and now I must start to make amends (a bit of a mid year resolution if you like). So here are some photos of not quite finished cushions that I did my first attempt at embroidery/ applique on (I think my husband put me off as he doesn't like 'girly things'). We were living in Scotland at the time, and I was inspired by local artists and what they were doing.

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The material isn't coming out too great, but never mind!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Bunting and other things

I've just had my post deleted, before I published, so I'll start again, except it's probably not as good! This time I'm publishing as I go.

Anyway, as I was typing, last night my husband was out to a gig (The Police) so I took advantage of the children in bed, and some peace and quiet and got out my sewing machine. I wanted to finish my
chicken. Anyway, I cracked on with it, and managed to muck it all up! I decided to put in a velcro opening, rather than sewing it all up, after my sister had scared me about rice going off after a few years. Well, I should have sewed the velcro in first, not last, so that doesn't look so great. Also I've managed to make my triangles go skewiff so it all needs to be redone. However, my son likes it, so I do have a happy customer. (thankfully 4 year olds aren't too picky!)

I bought a few weeks ago from Bert's Homestores on George St, Hove some bunting. I finally got round to personalising it with some brightly coloured felt for my baby, Samuel. I was pleased with how that came out. I just used fabric glue that I got in Hobbycraft.

I also bought him some letters for his bedroom door.

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I made Sam, a lovely hat from Debbie Bliss' book Baby Knits for Beginners, before he was born. That came out really well, I also made a gorgeous multi-coloured blanket from the book as well. I would recommend that book.

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Tonight I've been going through the massive pile of boxes that we still have to get through since moving in April. I finally managed to liberate the box with all my sewing stuff in, that my husband had put at the back. For that, I refused to end some things for him! My knitting box is at the bottom of another pile, but after moving around several heavy boxes, I gave that up for another day.

I thought I'd share a nifty product with you which are my plug icon stickers. I bought them at the Design Museum in London quite a long time ago (6/7 years) so I don't know if they still sell them, not on their website. I just really like them, and they are v useful in multisockets.

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