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Lady Skater Dress

I made the Lady Skater dress by Kitschy Coo. I have resisted this pattern for ages, didn’t think it would suit me, would I wear it, you know all the arguments. Two issues with this pattern, one is that I hate PDF’s, all that printing and sticking, using a whole roll of sellotape, no, not for me. The second issue is that I have never sewn knits and it looked too difficult, the neck band on any knit T shirt patterns has always put me off. I didn’t think I would be able to make the neck look good enough that I would wear it.

After buying an overlocker a few weeks ago I decided that it was time to try my hand at sewing with knits, and this pattern was the one I chose. There are loads of this dress on the web, all absolutely amazing but would I be able to match them.

I don’t like the process of sticking PDF patterns together, it seems a waste of time to me to me but after overcoming my aversion to sellotape just got it done. You choose a size according to your high bust and high waist measurement and being a typical English pear shape I measured a 3 for the bodice and a 5 for the skirt but the pattern has you blend the sizes which worked out fine.

You are advised to make a muslin but I didn’t bother, I cut the top and basted it together to see if it fitted, if it had been wildly out I had enough fabric to cut the bodice again but it wasn’t necessary. Amazingly the dress fitted without any adjustments, the only thing I omitted was the bands on the arms. I’m so pleased with the result, the neck band was a dream to sew, the instructions are absolutely spot on. 2015-02-15 lady skater and on a roll t shirt 002 2015-02-15 lady skater and on a roll t shirt 001See for yourself, can’t wait to wear it, just waiting for my twin needle to arrive in the post so I can finish the hems. Already trawled the net earlier and ordered more Ponte knit in a dark green to make another.

The fabric I used is a medium weight grey Ponte Roma jersey.

Andrea x

I Love My Overlocker

Its been a long time since I’ve been here, nearly a whole year. We had a very busy summer (my excuse) as our son moved to Oxford as part of his uni course and this entailed numerous trips up and down the motorway looking for somewhere for him to live.  He was in the middle of exams and revision so couldn’t spare the time so it was up to us to pick a place that fit his criteria, quiet road and a driveway to park his car. So, look at a house, send a photo, wait for a reply, on to the next place. Eventually we picked the one place we just hoped was good enough. Then the big move, another trip down the motorway with both cars packed to the rafters but all went well and he was settled in. Then he wanted his bike, then his trolley jack, I swear my husband’s car could have driven there all on its own!!

After the big move his room was stripped of furniture, carpets, bed, ready for redecorating, new carpet, bed etc. Then I moved in with my sewing machine and what a pleasure its been since. No faffing about clearing the dining room table, getting the machine out, sewing then tidying away. Previously I have kept my sewing stuff under the settees or under the bed, but no more, I have everything out where I can see it and use it.

I am getting to the point here..I have always wanted an overlocker (serger for our American friends), but I had nowhere to keep it, would I use it if I had to get it from its hiding place? Would I be able to thread it, all the horror stories on the net put me off. Well, now I had a room, it was my birthday last week (29th Jan), my husband bought me an overlocker and I love it to the moon and back. Its a dream to thread, not difficult at all, just like threading your sewing machine but with four threads not one.

Already made two T shirts, a skirt and a sweat shirt on it, only using my sewing machine for the hems. Its brilliant. I got a Brother 1034D and I can’t praise it enough.

2015-01-31 Brother Overlocker 1034D 001

I sewed a quilt for my son’s girlfriend for Christmas, it was a nightmare. Not that it was difficult to make, just finding nine fabrics that I thought suitable for a 20 year old girl was so frustrating. Got there in the end but I won’t be doing that again. I made a cushion with the left over nine patch but it seems I didn’t take a photo. She liked it.

2014-11-16 georgia's quilt 001

Andrea x

The Great British Sewing Bee

Has anyone been watching The Great British Sewing Bee? Well, of course you have and I know that everyone will have an opinion. For what it’s worth, I’m disappointed.

I’m disappointed that Linda has gone and that Tamara is still in. From the beginning Tamara has had more failures than anyone and certainly more failures than Linda. I thought the programme was to find the best all round home sewer, not the best that week, we all have off days!! I shall change my allegiance to Heather.

Not too sure that I will be bothered to watch the final now.

Andrea x

Another owl cushion

I made another!! I love making these they are so cute.


secon try owl cushion 002


A second pic, couldn’t resist.


secon try owl cushion 003


Andrea x


A couple of finishes

Another paper pieced pattern, Enamel coffee pot from  Sew-ichigo.

Not too sure about this one, will probably have another go, maybe its the fabric that’s putting me off!!

I made a pot holder/mat to match. Now I love this pattern, its from a book called Patchwork Please by Ayumi Takahashi.

tea pot cushion 005

tea pot cushion 002

Finished two baby quilts, this one is 28 inches square, made using Zoofari by Riley Blake

rain coats, tops, quilts etc 021

This one made using Oink-a-Doodle-Moo fabric by Moda, I made two of these but still have to hand sew the binding on the second one.

Its bigger than the other one  33 x 43 inches

rain coats, tops, quilts etc 027

rain coats, tops, quilts etc 028

Both these quilts are on eBay, thought I’d try and sell them

Andrea x


My first paper pieced block made into a cushion for my sister in law’s birthday. Pattern bought from Bubblestitch on

owl cushion 002

I really enjoyed sewing this pattern, although when you first start paper piecing you have to concentrate. Once you get the hang of it away you go.

Andrea x

Christmas 2013

A Merry Christmas to everyone, here in the UK and overseas.

Christmas 2013 002

Christmas 2013 003

Christmas 2013 004

Christmas 2013 005

Have a fun day everyone, we’re off to my sisters so its no cooking for me today. I have contributed though, made the stuffing, bread sauce and two deserts, homemade ice-cream and a yummy New York baked cheesecake. Forgot the Viennese mince pies, only made 12 dozen this year, but I have shared my recipe so folks can make their own.

Just waiting for the grumpy teenager to emerge and we can open the presents.

Andrea xx

Caffe Rizzoli-Saturday

Although it is officially summer here in the UK, it rained on Saturday. Well, we Brits have come to expect this, it must be my age but I don’t remember summers being as bad as we’ve experienced the last two or three years. I suppose when you’re young the weather doesn’t have the same impact, you can play whatever its doing outside. Now, as adults, we are concerned with getting the laundry dry, and little feet trailing mud etc on your nice clean floor!!

Well, I digress, it rained so we went shopping when we would normally go walking. Now, we’re fair weather walkers, my husband drags along his tripod and camera and you can’t take photos in the rain, heaven forbid that you expose your camera to the odd rain drop!!

Usually when we go shopping together my husband parks himself at a well known coffee place (can’t bring myself to type the name) gets himself a coffee and plays on his iPad. Now I hate this well known coffee place, I thinks its expensive, the coffee is no better than anywhere else and to top all that, you queue and wait and when you get your drink (eventually) its served in a thick mug that a rugby forward would have trouble picking up!!

I’m getting to the point here. Even my husband was getting exasperated with the indifferent service and expensive coffee of the well known brand that we decided to try another place, hence the title.

We have been twice to Caffe Rizzoli now, and both times its been a pleasure. They serve you, they have proper china crockery, and when I ask for Earl Grey tea I get Twinings, which in my humble opinion is the ONLY Earl Grey tea. Nothing else will do.

My husband had coffee and Pane Tostato with butter and preserves for his breakfast. He had already eaten at home so this was a little snack. I could see others around us tucking into luscious food, well presented and reasonably priced, what more could you ask. The place is comfortable, the staff are pleasant and friendly and they don’t rush you. All in all, a very agreeable hour was spent there on a rainy Saturday morning.photoAndrea x

Spring is here (I hope)

Well, I thought spring had arrived but its freezing today. We did manage a walk yesterday and it was beautiful for most of the way. I think we did 5 miles but by the end my legs were aching. We dropped our rucksacks in the car and walked to the little National Trust coffee shop at Longshaw, it was only the thought of a cup of Earl Grey tea that got me from car park to shop!! Its always the last few yards that finish you off!!

We sat outside to have our refreshing cuppa in the little garden, the sun was shining, the birds were tweeting, it was lovely. Longshaw encourage the birds around this area, there are feeders in trees and even a camera pointing at one of the feeders dangling from a branch. The encouragement certainly works as there are loads of lovely little birds darting about. Now, I have no idea what sort of birds these are, neither has my other half , but we do know they are gorgeous little things. They are probably a common variety so I’ll leave it to someone to enlighten me.

Birds in the Longshaw EstateThis was taken yesterday

Birds on the Longshaw Estate

This photo was taken at Longshaw in March

Higger Tor and Carl Walk from above the Burbage Valley

Yesterday in Derbyshire

Last Saturday we went to Bakewell for breakfast then for a long walk, I think we did over six miles. There was still snow at the side of fields and in hidden hollows although the day was quite warm. To start with. Then it rained. I spotted a hare in a field, other half quickly unattached his camera from his tripod and zoomed in.

Hare near HaddonI know it doesn’t look much but we were at least two fields away. I know hare’s are big but I was surprised at how big.

On a different subject, I sewed four fleece neck warmers for my sister to wear at the stables, well, one for her and the others to give away.

And had the notion to make myself a pair of trousers. I used a pair of jeans and traced a pattern on brown paper. I wanted to make jegging type trousers as I hate wearing tops and T shirts outside trousers only to see lumps and bumps where the zip and waistband are. I thought if I made them with an elastic waist and fitted at the hip then hopefully they would be smooth in order to sit under t shirts. Well, a pair has been made in white cotton denim and I’m very pleased with them. No photo yet, the trousers are drying on the line as I washed them before I stitch the hemline, just in case of shrinkage. I normally wash all my fabric as soon as I bring it home so its probably already been through the laundry. Another wash won’t hurt it.

Have a great week

Andrea x

A bit of sewing

No posts doesn’t mean no sewing. I have been quite busy since June last year but I can’t possibly show everything I’ve made, you would be bored. I’ll just show the latest, fabric baskets. I searched around the net for ideas and saw a fabric basket tutorial by Pink Penguin. Lovely little basket, this lady used patchwork for the upper part of the basket but I wanted to use one piece of fabric and a contrast so, although this tutorial was the inspiration, I went on to fashion a larger basket. There are loads of tutorials out there if you’re willing to take the time and search.

baskets 072I thought this basket would be a lovely present filled with baby things for a new Mum.

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I made four baskets, hope I know four new Mums to give them to!

baskets 086A small basket, made four of this size too. I’m keeping these for Christmas gifts.

baskets 091Draw string bag.

Used a pattern purchased on the internet from Jeni Baker Patterns. Its fully lined, the pattern has a number of different size bags for you to choose from.   I made the Everything bag, 10 x 7 x 3.

See you soon!

Andrea x