Amelie Blouse

I am off to the Sewing Bee Live on the 21st September and felt the need to sew this pretty, 1930s inspired blouse by Now & Then. If I like it then I might even wear it to the show

I’ve only had the fabric and pattern a year. I bought it from Kirstie’s Handmade Fair. I’m hoping the designer will be at the Sewing Bee live this year

I am about to cut into it!

Liberty Tana Lawn, almost silk like cotton fabric, it’s lovely

I measure 41″ around my bust so I’ve decided to cut out the size 14 for my smaller shoulder and then taper into the size 16 for my bust and waist

After measuring the pattern pieces I’ve decided to cut out a size 14 altogether. Hope I don’t live to regret it (I didn’t)
Usually, with vintage patterns I need to cut out at least a size 16, but the allowances for our more rounded figures these days have already been added to the design. Even the size 14 was a generous fit

I folded the back piece in half and cut it on the fold…I’ve got this thing about cutting out a single layer, it always worries me, don’t know why.

I’ve also taken to using my rotary cutter to cut out my patterns pieces, resorting to scissors on the fiddly bits

This is going to be an ‘all things vintage’ garment … one of my favourite things is this tailor marker. I should have filled the bobbin with tacking thread but I was in a hurry so just popped in any old bobbin and the silky thread tended to fall out of the fabric so I ended up doing the tailor tacks by hand using good old tacking thread. I’m going to wind a few bobbins of the tacking thread for future use, the tailor marker is a wonderful thing that isn’t made any more

I sewed the back to the yoke as per the instructions but the fronts I added using the ‘baguette’ technique. This is a good tutorial, although the Amelie blouse has gathers. I bet they would have loved to have used this technique in their sewing years ago

One of the things I noticed on the pattern is that we’re not told to trim the seam allowance and notch the curves, it’s important to do this in order to get the collar to lay flat

one very important step if you’re doing the double pointed collar, is to snip into the seam allowance to the small dot, it simply wouldn’t work without this step 🙂

I love how everything looks so neat on the inside of the blouse

at this stage, I put the blouse away as I was going to my sewing group the next day and wanted to do some more sewing there

I was using my beautiful Vintage Singer Featherweight machine to sew this blouse. It seemed appropriate somehow

The side seams were sewn with french seams

I didn’t take any photos at sewing group, but I sewed the pretty sleeve detail of a boxed pleat which gives a soft flutter effect, you’ll see later

I used a singer zigzag attachment that I was also gifted by another generous friend on Facebook. I prefer to use my overlocker but I wanted to sew the whole blouse on my Featherweight

Using the tiny rolled hem foot produced the most perfect narrow hems on the sleeves and the bottom of the blouse

I couldn’t believe my luck when I found the most perfect vintage buttons in my stash…. I love the soft purple.

I even made the buttonholes using my Featherweight. I very lovely person in the Featherweight Facebook group sent me the buttonhole attachment, I am so lucky, it works beautifully

I love the rounded ends of the buttonholes, aligning them is a bit hit and miss as I’m still learning. I started at the bottom of the blouse and worked up towards the top. As I progressed towards the top I noticed the improvement.

As you can see, the blouse fits very well…still not convinced I look ok in it though

love the little flutter of the sleeves

The front tucks sit neatly below the bust, not quite this high as I was holding the camera out of the way but you can see what I mean

I put the blouse back on the manikin for the last few photos

Such a pretty sleeve

It is such a lovely blouse, the pieces all went together perfectly, a joy to sew

I hope I can get to feel the love for wearing this blouse

I have got some heavy aubergine coloured linen and want to make these lovely trousers with it…then of course I might need new shoes! Although, I’ll be doing a lot of walking at the Sewing Bee Live so I don’t really want to be wearing heels…maybe I’ll just wear something else!!

I’m off into the garden now,  to dig out a few more weeds from our front garden….it’s nice and sunny out there for five minutes

I really want to do more sewing though 🙂

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New Wall and Gate

It’s been a long time coming but last week this happened

then on Monday this week two lovely lads came and quickly started building the wall

The bricks were transported into position by wheelbarrow

Thanks Richard, for the photo, silly me forgot to take a before shot!

They worked quickly! At the end of day one, I realised that the wall was going to be too high, so in the morning I mentioned this to the boys and they agreed so it was decided that 3 rows of bricks less would look best

PS this is part way into day one, the foundations were already there for a double skinned wall (I think that’s the correct terminology)

We have plenty of work to do, wish these weeds would give up!!

Steve applying the top layer of Engineering bricks


Richard is constructing the gate

Nice boots…I thought they’d make a decent pair of planters!

Nice smile from Richard 🙂

This reminds me of Peter Pan!

Two happy builders! They’re a great team

When we’ve saved up some more money, they’re coming back to sort out the driveway and replace the decking, I can’t wait!!

The other side of the gate

We are delighted with our new wall and gate…who’d have thought that these changes would bring so much joy!

Thank you Richard & Steve, it was a pleasure having such happy workmen in my garden!

Now the hard work begins….garage doors first I think!

You can get in touch with Richard via his Facebook Page

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I’m still doing something

Goodness me it’s been such a busy year!

I recently had 4 of my delicious Grandchildren to stay and we had a lot of fun!

The three eldest all made at least one item using my Vintage Singer Featherweight sewing machine

We made cakes

We went to the cinema

We went to the play area

We visited Peckover House

Here’s a photo of Sullivan after he tried on an outfit there

I loved how he embraced the moment, couldn’t get Millie or Maddie to dress up this year though 😦

You can see all my photos from our visit to Peckover House here

And you can see photos from my phone here, we were very busy and very happy and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen!

I’m missing them now but I have made Esme a new dress…hope it fits! It was a special request from Esme before she left, she gave me a list!

It’s the Nori Wrap Dress by EllieDactyl

I also made one of these dresses for little Josie

Here she is is giving me a twirl! Love her little red nose, she decided that she needed to stamp her face when we arrived 🙂

I’m also knitting myself a jumper using some of the most delicious yarn that I’ve ever touched

The design is Natsumi and you can read about it here

My version will hopefully be looser and longer

The construction is clever…knitted sideways, I’m well into the neck shaping where you work with 2 balls of yarn at the same time

love the cables which go across the front and the back

The luxurious yarn is called Opus and I bought it from Fine Fettle Fibres after lusting after the red jumper that Judith posted about in her newsletter

Time to go and do some more crafting now…well after I’ve tidied up a bit x

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Today’s Photoshoot

It’s been a while…I know, I really have had the most busy year so far and it is still feeling a lot busy

This week I am taking advantage of a ‘no appointment’ week and photographing everything that I have created for my shop

Today I photographed this little lot

yesterday I photographed even more than this but they need editing

If you’d like to see the fluff in individual bigger photos then you can see them in this album

Tomorrow I will photograph all my bags…I have so many and there will be some exciting bargains to be had as I need the space!! (so I can make more bags lol)

This one is proving popular

It’s a small cross body bag that is slim enough to wear under a jacket without making you look a funny shape haha

It has a handy card pocket inside

If you’d like me to make you one of these bags then do get in touch

It measures 8″ across the widest part and 10″ from the top to the bottom

I can also make it right or left handed!

PS If you want to make your own version of this bag then here’s a link to the pattern 

Back to the photos now x

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Today’s Photoshoot

It’s been a while…I know, I really have had the most busy year so far and it is still feeling a lot busy

This week I am taking advantage of a ‘no appointment’ week and photographing everything that I have created for my shop

Today I photographed this little lot

yesterday I photographed even more than this but they need editing

Tomorrow I will photograph all my bags…I have so many and there will be some exciting bargains to be had as I need the space!! (so I can make more bags lol)

This one is proving popular

It’s a small cross body bag that is slim enough to wear under a jacket without making you look a funny shape haha

It has a handy card pocket inside

If you’d like me to make you one of these bags then do get in touch

It measures 8" across the widest part and 10" from the top to the bottom

I can also make it right or left handed!

Back to the photos now x

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Spinning Singles from a Batt

I just came across this album of photos showing the sequence that I used to create some lovely singles yarn

The last photo tells you how I lightly full them to remove the springiness of the yarn

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Shop Update

I feel like I’ve been promoting my shop update everywhere, so forgive me if I’m flooding your inbox

I have dyed up loads of luxurious fibre blends and had great fun in the process

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In between dyeing I’ve been sewing a few of these very cute Hexibags

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They’re all like a mini work of art. I loved choosing the fabrics. Many of the fabrics are remnants that I bought ages ago, it feels good to have used some of them up. I still have plenty more in my sewing room

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I designed the Hexibag to store everything you need to make some hexagon’s for The Beekeeper’s Quilt

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I soon realised that it was a fun and very useful project bag

Whilst I was dying the fibre above, storm Doris was blowing a hoolie outside. I felt so cross, the noise of a damaging wind gets me like that. Somehow though, I created this new colourway, I’ve called it Doris, does it look like a storm?

This is another new colourway, Crocus, very rich and vibrant

The pretty fibre above was dyed by a new method, I call it Pretty Graffiti. The aim was to surface dye the gorgeously soft fibre leaving plenty of the natural colour. I imagine this spun from finger width strips so that the colours are short and there’s plenty of white in between. I’ve saved myself some of this one to play with 🙂

Matt’s Peacock, named after viewing the lovely photo below taken by my brother Matt Dean16804481_280195852401611_8778891220599908067_o-1

If you subscribe to shop updates by email then you will have received a discount code to use on everything in my shop. The code can be used as many times as you like within the next fortnight

You can sign up here

All the delicious fibre and gorgeous Hexibags can be found here

You can see an album of all the products here

Today I shall mostly be wrapping parcels ready for posting

When I get a minute I am going to sew myself a dress as a reward for all my hard work.

It’s this lovely design by Collette, I’ll make the skirt a little longer but I’ve seen some gorgeous versions of it on the web

Right, time to get this day going…xx

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It is very quiet round here

It has been a very busy few days

Indi, my youngest granddaughter came to stay for 4 nights

Every moment with that delightful child is such a joy

On Thursday we went to the Christmas Lights ceremony at Somersham where Barry was playing in the band, supporting the junior members

Indi enjoyed herself, happily munching on a mince pie and then a large homemade shortbread biscuit! These tasty treats were handed out from large baskets by the local Brownies

After the ceremony Santa arrived and the children all piled in to see him…I had to lift Indi up so that she could see him as there were so many in front of us!
Then we went into the Church to see the many Christmas trees on display there. Indi did enjoy seeing them and needed to touch one or two of the dangling decorations. She was very careful 🙂

Then it was time for Barry to go to his band rehearsal. We were concerned that Indi might need to go home as it was nearing 8pm by then
but she found a stage on which to perform and when she wasn’t pretending to play a trumpet she was doing some impro dancing

We went to buy our Christmas tree on Friday…we were all feeling a bit jaded that day for some reason but it was a precious time none the less and Indi had a great time in the play area whilst Barry and I enjoyed a coffee

Saturday was spent indoors, I was asked if I could make a Snowflake jumper for Indi and she busied herself with the toy box as I knitted

She is so adorable. Barry has taken some wonderful photos of this little darling but hasn’t had a chance to edit them yet….

Did I tell you how quiet it was round here today?

Barry left for Scotland this morning, he won’t be back until Wednesday…I’m going to listen to a story on my Ipad as I sew up an order….

Hope you all had a good weekend


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Studio Donegal goes funky

After stitching 3 of those rather gorgeous multi pocketed tweed or quilted handbags I really wanted to sew a different handbag and so I went back to the designer , Napkitten on Craftsy or Etsy, and found this very interesting design. Those handles intrigued me, I just had to give them a go. They didn’t disappoint, truly, I wouldn’t have thought that they needed to be twisted in the way that the designer told me to, but they do, I did as I was told and it worked! I love learning new techniques 🙂

This gorgeous design worked amazingly well in the handwoven tweed from Donegal Studio

If you remember from a previous post, I watched some of this tweed being woven, it is a very precious cloth ❤

Adding to the funky nature of this handbag, I removed the zipper pull from the green zip and added two complimentary zipper pulls in it’s place. It now opens so easily, with either both pulls or just one 🙂

The fabric that I chose for the handles and lining, is from a collection by Cotton + Steel, I am happy with how they tone in with the tweed beautifully

There’s a zipped pocket inside, perfect for your important bits and bobs 😉

I love how a patch of the purple fabric encloses and strengthens the ends of the zips

This not to big handbag is slouchy, but not at all floppy. All fabrics have been fully interfaced

I’m just off now to put this in my shop, I have a funny feeling this one might sell quickly….


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A Different Handbag

I felt at a loose end, don’t get me wrong, I still had a couple of orders to deal with but it was the day before my sewing group meeting and I needed a small project to work on. What on earth was I going to take with me??
I’d had this pattern for ages and kept coming across it when looking through my PDFs but knew it might be a fiddle to put together, so I just glanced at it and moved on. However, on this occasion I felt that it was time to tackle the beast. It’s not a beast at all haha

The design is by Napkitten and you can find the pattern here or here

The photo above is the work that I completed during my sewing group, I drew lines to follow for the quilting, my Singer Featherweight doesn’t have a quilting bar but this task would have been easier on one of my Janome machines. I wanted the girls at the group to meet my new baby though so drawing the lines wasn’t too much of an ordeal 😉


This clever design is not little inside though, it is like one of those Doctor Who bags, you can get quite a lot of stuff in those roomy pockets

It is so easy to keep your contents organised and safe

each of the side pockets have a magnetic snap closure and the wide mouth of the middle pocket closes with a zip

This gorgeous bag was snapped up moments after I showed it on my Facebook Page even before I had thought about whether I wanted to keep it for myself or not

So I did what any compulsive bag sewer might do, I set about making another one just for me!

I don’t make things easy for myself, Harris Tweed, interfacing, quilting weight cotton in multi layers and a bulky firm stabiliser used on the base of the bag really made my little machine have a panic attack. I removed that from the machine and turned the work over and all was well again. I have to say here that one feature on my modern machines that I use a lot, is the extra lift you can do with the presser foot. I had to almost force these bulky layers under the foot of my vintage machine. She sewed it though!!

I love finding fabrics to coordinate with the main fabrics of a bag

I chose a funky teal coloured lining to match the tiny bit of teal in the Kaffe Fassett print

You can see the gorgeous colours of the herringbone tweed in this photo, I love pink and orange together

I’m going to love using my new handbag!

I’ll leave you with some thoughts on the pattern, This is not a beginners design, the instructions had me thinking at times. But if you do as you are told it all comes right in the end. You aren’t told to cut out all the pieces before you start sewing but to cut them out as you need them. I like this logical approach, you don’t end up querying whether you have the right piece. There is some hand sewing involved, just a little bit, it’s quite doable and I love the relaxation of a bit of hand sewing. It is like you have to take a breather from the machine sewing so just go with it and enjoy the moment.  Take your time, follow the instructions and you’ll be fine 🙂

Napkitten has blogged about my bags here

Wonder what I’ll be sewing next?

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