Mini Tulip Tote

I knew immediately that I was going to have to make this pretty bag

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I loved the positivity of it, hope that makes sense lol..it is just a cute little bag, with pretty gathers and a lovely curvy shape

I made the straps long enough to sit on your shoulder, but I also love the shorter handles, they’d be perfect for an evening out

The fabrics used are a linen and cotton blend for the gathered outside and for the straps and the lining I used some of Amy Butler’s Gypsy Caravan fabric

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The design is by Sarah Markos, you can read more about this bag on her blog

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Notice that the bag stands up all on it’s own, inside is some clever stabilizer in the form of foam, so it is light but holds it’s shape. There are two pockets, both divided so you can keep your valuables safe and to hand

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The bag has a squarish base, so when it is open you can see all your stuff easily

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The bag closes with 2 strong magnetic snaps, one on each peak of the bag (love those gathers in the side seams)

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If you’d like to order one of these bags, please do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you :)

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FLASH SALE this weekend only

If you missed my 25% discount code for my shop earlier in the week fear not, I am repeating the offer this weekend

Just use the code FLASH25 in the checkout process, this code will expire at Midnight Sunday 2nd August 2015

There are some very beautiful products for sale, all handcrafted with love by me over many weeks

Clothes and bags for sale at picperfic's Fluff-n-stuff

I am particularly proud of the children’s clothes section, a new venture for me, I have only sewn clothes for family members until now, I have had great fun choosing the patterns and fabrics. Everything is unique, the patterns are mostly from indie designers.

I hope you enjoy browsing my shop and snag yourself a bargain

Have a lovely weekend

Marianne

x

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Dangling Conversation

Dangling Conversation

It’s been a while since I blocked a shawl, a few years I’d say….

This curving shawlette had me fooled for a while as I was knitting it

I didn’t realise that the long curving beaded edge was actually the neck edge

It wasn’t meant to be this big, but once I started I couldn’t stop, I love adding beads with a tiny crochet hook, the pattern is rhythmical and easy to remember once you get going

I love the twinkling beads

I have used them on the long curved edge and on the cast off edge

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Where the beads are placed is unusual, but I love not to conform, it is hard to work out where you are in the pattern, which side goes where?

The photos of it blocking show the shawl soaking wet, I let it rest in the Eucalan bath for about half an hour before squeezing it and pinning it out

The yarn is some handspun of mine, Polwarth and Kid Mohair, in my Red Delicious colourway

The kid mohair is giving the surface a wonderful soft halo

I love how the stitches have opened in the blocking, I really think I am going to love wearing this

Oh, I made the larger size, but then I wanted to keep on knitting with this delicious lace yarn, I didn’t want to waste any, so my Dangling Conversation is rather off centre which adds to the unique quality of it!

The pattern can be found here, I’ll make this one again, that’s for sure

I’m in the middle of a bout of cluster migraines…feel druggy and yukky but I know I will be feeling more like myself in a few days time. I hate it when these headaches strike, so frustrating when I have so much I want to be doing!

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What a Lovely Weekend

me spinning at Handmade at Haddenham!

Well, once we got the Gazebo up an in the right place we began to settle down and enjoy ourselves!

It is such a lot of work, just getting everything ready and packed, I always make a list and note down things that spring to mind so that hopefully we leave nothing behind

I did think that I had left my phone at home but found it near the end of the first day, still couldn’t use it much though.. :)

I’m spinning on my Victoria in the photo above, Barry took that shot on his Ipad, it came out very well

I wore my new maxi dress that I finished on Thursday, it was so comfy and I felt lovely and cool wearing it. A gorgeous pattern too, I feel I need another one! I haven’t worn a maxi dress since I was 16! That one  was a pretty, hippy, indian cotton peasant style dress. I think it cost £3.50 and I paid out 50p a week out of my wages from my Saturday job working in Smith Bradbeers in Romsey, until it was mine, I can still smell that fabric now, oh the memories..

We had such a good spot, which was in shade most of the weekend, it was really hot on the Saturday and I was so grateful not to have the sun blaring down on me…

Steve and Janina came to see us on the Saturday afternoon, baby Josie arrived sporting the romper and trousers I’d made her a few weeks ago

I have no idea what she was trying to do in this photo, but you can see what she was wearing, great photo Steve ;) (not very flattering of me though)

Barry was playing with Somersham Town Band on Saturday afternoon, they sounded so good in the summer sunshine

At the end of the visit, Josie’s nappy needed changing, and her clothes needed changing too so this is what she went home in

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look at those yummy little knees!

I had made two of these rompers in a fine cotton lawn fabric and still have the white version available….

anyway, I couldn’t resist taking a few more photos as Josie looked so delicious wearing it

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at 7 months, this little cutie loves to stand up on those sturdy little legs

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aww…love a little ruffly bum!

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Gorgeous Josie!

Oh, just before I go, there’s one more shot that I took of Josie playing Barry’s trumpet

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Handmade at Haddenham is a wonderful, happy, carefree sort of an event, with lots of demonstrations and workshops going on

The entertainment for the children was delightful too with magic and storytelling, hula hoops and stuff…

I’ll definitely take part again next year, and we’ll hopefully be showing off some of the amazing photos that Barry has been taking recently, truly, they’re stunning!

We stayed for a Hog Roast on Saturday evening, so so delicious and our friends Lesley and Paul came along too. There was a brilliant Jazz Band playing for us too, Barry Palser’s Savoy Jazz Men, they also played at the event  on the Sunday, an were accompanied by some Lindy Hoppers, only two though as the others had got stuck in traffic or broke down or something, but the two that were were so good to watch!

I’m really looking forward to next year now

Time to watch some tennis!

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My Sharona

Ever since I was asked if I’d take this pattern for a test drive, I have been singing this song! Did you click…are you now singing it too?

The design is by Maria of DelindaBoutiqueDesigns

It’s always a pleasure when Maria asks me if I’ll test a new design, I know it will something a little bit different

So what do I think of the bag…well I love it! The large pocket on the front pleases me and it pleases me even more because of the gorgeous seaside fabric I used…

I never know what fabrics I am going to put together, I just walk around my room holding up the favourite fabric to other fabrics and then I can see if there is a good fabric to contrast with the main. Luckily this gorgeous bag didn’t need much more than a remnant for the front pocket but it is definitely the focal point of the bag

Inside there a zipped pocket and an open pocket, you can see that the bag closes with a magnetic snap, I’ve used a funky square one, goodness knows where I got them from! They just seemed to go with the rest of the bag

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I love how the handles stand up all on their own, but that clever zipped pocket on the back is so neat! They’re the perfect length to sit on your shoulder but the pattern is easy to adjust if you’d like a longer handle

If you want a more structured shape to the bag, you can use headliner, or Bosal, or Soft & Stable, they’re all foam stabilisers,  I don’t enjoy working with that stuff too much so I went for an extra layer of interfacing and some fusible fleece, it worked well, it’s not quite slouchy!

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Another view of the magnetic snaps, you can see there’s also one on the front pocket

All in all, this is a fun project to make, surprisingly quick to sew too…if you’d like to make your own Sharona, you can find the pattern here

This is just one of the bags that will be on show next weekend on my stall at the Handmade in Haddenham event that I keep talking about…

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, I’ve just had a BakeryBits delivery so you’ll probably find me in the kitchen, if not then I’ll be in the garden or my sewing room… :)

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A Sourdough Adventure

sourdough starter

This is my starter, it is alive and bubbles away quietly waiting for me to use it or feed it

sourdough starter

You can see that while I was asleep my starter rose a fair bit in this jar and then fell back to this level, but it is lovely and bubbly and has such a lovely smell :)

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When it is resting I cover it with a breathable lid and do not seal it with the lid that is attached to the jar

On Saturday evening, I made a leaven for the Rolled Oat Sourdough Boule on the Bakerybits website. I didn’t photograph this step, but when I came down in the morning, it had done it’s job and turned into a lively mass. I only wanted to make half the quantity in the recipe but I made the full amount of leaven and just used half of it, it was really difficult to simply dispose of the other half, but it was only a bit of flour and water….I can hear Vanessa saying this lol

Just over a week ago, I spent the day at Sourdough School with the lovely Vanessa Kimbell. I had spent many a day trying my hand at the ancient craft of making bread using airborne yeasts, with mixed results that sort of pleased me but I knew that I should be doing better!

Turns out I was doing the first bit wrong, I had read so many articles on how to look after your starter, I ended up so confused and just did my own thing, based on all this information buzzing around the world wide web. I had tried to do the Paul Hollywood version with grapes and that died, then I bought a powdered version of a starter and I killed that with too much heat! (now that did pong!!) Then I bought a readymade live starter and managed to keep that one alive by feeding it every day, and I used that one in my trials…..the loaves that I created were ok, but were on the heavy side, and the length of time I had to leave the bread to prove caused the bread to be a bit too sour for our tastes

If you know me, you will know that I don’t give up easily!

I eagerly awaited the date of my day at Sourdough School, the courses get booked up so quickly, but I knew that this was the course I needed so that could understand what I was doing (and what I was doing wrong)

It seemed an age that I waited for my turn at the School, and in the meantime, I was still doing my best to produce a good loaf, and seeing my results now, I realise that the bread that I thought was OK, wasn’t really OK at all!

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This pretty garden greeted me after my 1 1/2 hour drive to Northampton, I had to get up very early! Well early for me!

This is Vanessa’s stunning vegetable patch, I am totally jealous, but I will have a veg patch probably next year now, we are having a wall built but that story is for another time

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and this is the dining area of the school, oh that lunch was tasty!

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Before lunch, we had a bonus visit from Vanessa’s Dad who produces the most delicious wine. I don’t usually drink in the day, or at night for that matter, but the thought of some fine fresh sparkling wine was just too tempting. I suffer with migraines and alcohol can be an instant trigger so I usually stick to fine Prosecco if I need a bit of fizz.  This wonderfully light fizz did not give me a migraine or headache of any description and went down a treat. Think that is what prompted me to buy a couple of bottles which is being kept for a special occasion…I’m sure there will be one soon!

Right, back to the Rolled Oat Boule

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This is the mix after I had done all the lifting and turning as required in the recipe. I could feel the bounce in the dough and felt very positive that this time, this recipe was going to work!

After a few hours the dough had risen to the top of the proving basket, I had been sewing whilst this was happening. I think that is what I love best about this method of breadmaking…it is a calm and relaxed way of producing something very special and well worth eating :) I am even more calm when making this now though, after that wonderful day of knowledge!

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I heated up my large casserole for about 15 mins and carefully plopped the dough into the very hot casserole

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It started growing as soon as it hit the heat so after slashing the top a few times, I popped the lid on and baked it, the smell was driving both Barry and me crazy, we needed to eat!

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This is the loaf straight out of the oven, isn’t it beautiful?

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I am so proud of this loaf!

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Now, there is a problem with all this bread making, someone has to eat it! We are trying to lose a bit of weight in this house so rather than having a too hot slice of this dripping with butter, we had a small slice each with no butter or topping of any kind. Then Barry sliced the rest up and I put it in the freezer! Out of sight out of mind, oh yeah…right…I am dreaming of this wonderful loaf!

My trouble is, that I don’t want to lose or forget my new found skills, so I am aiming to make just one loaf a week, at the weekend. Well that’s the plan, I think I’ll have to start giving this bread to my neighbours lol…anybody want a bit of my new amazing starter to play with? I can still see Vanessa telling us that people might start avoiding us if we keep giving away our special potion, here’s comes that crazy lady that wants us to love and use her funny bags of squidgy mess! Haha…it’s only flour and water, get over it Marianne!!

Wonder what this week’s loaf will be…I’m rather thinking it might be the apple sourdough recipe from Dan Lepard

And then there’s Vanessa’s sourdough scones…..and those yummy chocolate and banana muffins that my Knit-n-Natter group enjoyed a while back!

Meanwhile I am still sewing my heart out to get enough stock together to take with me to Handmade at Haddenham in a week or so. You can see some of what I’ve been sewing in this Flickr Album, I will be taking all my dyed up fibre too, and all the bags that I’ve made, my spinning wheel will be coming with me too!…it promises to be a lovely day out, I’ll be there on the Saturday and the Sunday

Once that event is over, I intend to sort out my sewing room, it is a bombsite in there!!

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Sewing a Haven Sunsuit and Sundress

Last week I made a Haven Sunsuit, more about that further down the page :)

Haven Sunsuit

Today was spent sewing another Haven, this time I made the dress version

Haven Sundress

So much fun!

I found the beautiful lace in John Lewis, it was quite expensive but I only needed a small piece, I love the colour

Haven Sundress

I love the colour which tones so well with the pretty floral fabric

I used a fine cotton fabric, it is very smooth, almost a lawn in feel

Haven Sundress

I love making ruffles but what I love more is a neat rolled edge. I am very lucky to own a beautiful Babylock Evolution overlocker and it does this magic wave stitch where it pulls up one of the looper threads and then it pulls in the opposite direction

Haven Sundress

I used two different coloured variegated topstitch threads in the loopers…one of the colours matched the colour of the lace on the bodice and the other was in paler colours within the fabric

The back of this little dress is so pretty, with the ruffles and the fine rouleau straps tying into a pretty bow at the back of the neck

The first Haven that I made was the shorts version

Haven Sunsuit

I inserted some lace on the bodice, as I did for the dress, only I put the pretty edge of the lace on the top for the dress, it was too lovely to hide away in a seam

It is still gorgeous though

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I used a lovely shot red cotton for the shorts and a fine cotton lawn for the bodice

Oh and a plain rolled edge on the ruffles

Haven Sunsuit

There is nothing plain about this pattern, it must be a good one if I sew it more than once

These are both in an age four size, I shall have to trace off a different size if I am going to make it again

There are so many options with Haven…you can add a big sash and bow to make it even more special, or a layer of tulle over the skirt

This pattern is by Violet Field Threads, I can feel that I need to try another of her designs

Wonder what I’ll create tomorrow?

All this crazy sewing activity will slow down a bit after the Maker’s Fair on the 4th and 5th July…maybe I need to make a few more bags?

I also need to tell you more about my day spent at Sourdough School on Friday…really, I had the best day, but more about that another time :)

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Reversible Bubble Dress

I have made myself the adult version of this dress so when I saw the child version I knew that I really wanted to make this pretty dress It is Vogue1455 You simply make two dresses the same and sew them together via the shoulders and the armholes I love how the fine floral lawn fabric and the soft spotty poplin feel together The skirt is very swishy…the bubble hems of both layers are buttoned into position and the under skirt supports the over skirt There are tucks in the back and pleats and buttonholes on the fronts to let the ribbon feed through I put the buttons where it was suggested but felt that the skirt was too high up, so I lowered the buttons to let a bit of the contrast skirt show at the bottom A gorgeous little dress, I’ve done age 5 here but I can make any size from 2 to 8 years I have also finished a little cardigan for Miyah to go with one of the dresses that I have made for her birthday It’s the Cove cardigan designed by Heidi May I love the leaves going up the front and the gathers on the back the 3/4 length sleeves are so cute…hope she likes it!

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Petal

Une Rose Sur la Lune

I have no idea how I found this blog…maybe pinterest? Who knows!

Anyway, the designs were so neat and beautiful, I immediately tried to find the patterns

There is an etsy shop, and there was just one dress in the shop, which is beautiful but it wasn’t the one that had caught my eye

It was this one

It was the sleeves, the little petals and a button that got my attention…

I contacted the designer and she told me that the Petale design would be in the shop today

So this morning I looked and it was there, so I bought it! :) However, there was a problem, the instructions were all in French! I do understand a little bit of French….I can do this!!

The detailing on this pretty top are so beautiful and such a pleasure to do

There is even piping around the facing on the inside

and the hem…those pleats, I used my ruffler foot to get them so even

There is an alternative design to make out of a knit fabric with the tighter hem to make the top a blouson shape

I managed to work out the instructions by the pictures, but I had started to cut out the pieces when I began to think that they were looking a bit small for the age 10 size that I had chosen

So I went back and managed to work out that we were told not to forget to add seam allowances! I went back and added a SA of 1cm to my pieces, I like that amount…gives me enough to work with but not too little that it frays away if there’s a need to upick :(

All went well until I went to do the buttonholes, I realised that I had placed the skirt curved opening a bit too near the end of the bodice so the lovely open bit below the buttons isn’t as flat as it could be…next time!!

I can see this pretty top being worn with shorts or cropped trousers on a hot summer’s day…

I’ve got a very busy week ahead of me so my sewing will slow down somewhat, but tomorrow afternoon is my sewing group, so I have to decide on what I’ll be taking with me to work on

There’s that other pattern in that shop…maybe I need that one too?

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Good Dog Car Coat

Well as is usual these days, I’ve been sewing! Today I bring you The Good Dog Car Coat designed by Ruby Jean’s Closet What a darling pattern this is! I have had my on it for quite some time I love the way the dog wraps around the whole coat I really enjoyed doing the appliqué… after applying the pieces to the coat using bond a web, I worked a blanket stitch all around the edges This is the 1 year old size, it looks to be generous to me, but then you could put lots of layers underneath I used a quilting weight peachy pink cotton fabric for the lining and a linen and cotton blend for the outside and then I found some vintage buttons that seemed to blen in perfectly I’ll be making more of these! This little coat and all the other clothes I’ve been showing you will be for sale on the weekend of 4-5th July. I shall be taking part in Handmade at Haddenham, Barry will be there playing along with Somersham Town Band on the Saturday afternoon. It is just a most lovely place to visit…. You can see more of my makes in my flickr album Hope you’re enjoying a lovely weekend…

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