Saturday, 31 December 2011

Goodbye 2011

Well friends, we made it ! Another year gone !!

I would love to be able to do a 'round up' post filled with all the garments I made over the last year - but I cant as I only made like 3 (2 Ginger skirts and a Sencha). I would be embarrassed to compare that to many of the lovely sewing people out there who have managed to conjure up clothing out of thin air ! (Thin air and LOTS of skill !).

Ladies (and man), I take my hat of to you - every single one of you inspires me daily in some way - and I thank you for that.

Mr P and I have decided not to go out, and rather to stay at home. So my friends, I am sewing ! I have just traced the pattern pieces for the Peony, and am just about to make a full muslin. As I have never made a dress before I am going to make a mock up of the full thing, so I can check sleeves, skirt length etc. Exciting !  Looking forward to sharing some snaps using my tripod - hopefully I can get it finished before I go back to work on Tuesday.

I hope that whatever 2012 brings - it makes you happy. I am raising my glass of bucks fizz to you all and am leaving you with my facebook status - which I like alot !

I hope that everyone has a wonderful New Year !!! Think of what makes you happy and resolve to do more 
of it in 2012. The new year can be a clean slate with which to redesign the story of life - make sure you fill every page with health, happiness, kindness and laughter. Time to forgive and start afresh. I wish you all the very best for the coming year ! xxxxxx

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Happy Christmas

Happy happy happy Christmas !

I hope everyone has had a very happy time full of love, cheer and the odd glass (or 3) of champagne.

Santa brought me the coveted tripod - so operation outfit is a go for the new year. I managed to take these pictures of my tree (but none of my family- doh !)

Colour theme - variations on silver and purple - with a hint of green.

We went to see 'the girl with the dragon tattoo' last night - and it was pretty darn good (other than a few parts where the old hands went over the eyes !) We were lucky to have got in as my 18 year old brother forgot his passport so we were all for swapping the tickets for Sherlock Holmes, until the cinema dude took pity after seeing our gutted faces and let us in - YAY !

I have leaked a few tears today as my mum and little brother left for their respective homes. I don't get to see them that often as the road system is not that great in North Devon, and most places, although not difficult to get to, usually take quite some time in terms of hours (and cost lots in diesel!).

When I was a kid, every time I left my granddad's house, he would always be crying over a bowl of washing up (to hide his tears). I seem to have taken on that tradition (sans the bowl to hide over) which is more than a little embarrassing seeing as I am a thirty something woman about town !

I made both my mum and little brother infinity scarves but did not get pictures of either the finished scarves or them wearing them. Friends I have knitted 3 scarves in the last 6 weeks and have given myself sore wrists in the process, I will not be knitting for a few weeks to come ! Lol, its quite funny that I have injured myself  making knitted Xmas gifts !!

Oh well, I hope you have all had the most wonderful of Christmases, and are looking forward now to a fresh New Year.

A clean slate with which to redesign the story of life.

People, look after each other and love and live life to the absolute maximum that you can. Take a moment to reflect on what makes you happy and decide that 2012 is going to be your year to make it happen.

On that note I am off to watch the 'Wizard of Oz' - man I LOVE that film.

With much festive love,

K xxx

Friday, 23 December 2011

Burda Style January 2012

Hello friends

I have finished work now for Christmas ! YAY !!!

I do not grace my desk with my presence again until 3rd January 2012 ! That's what I am talking about !

On top of that I am sat at home after our boss gave us a half day - that's what I call getting into the Christmas spirit !

AND as an extra doubly bubbly - my January Burda style arrived !  So lets take a quick peek shall we ?

                                                     The source of all these lovely images can be found here

LOVE the ballerina style of this one !

Yes please

WOW this dress is FINE

What a pretty horse ! The cover-up is not too shabby either!

Think this is for sleeping in ? But it would make an awfully pretty summer dress.
WOW - Thank you Burda !

There are some beauties this month. Of course - these are only my picks of the bunch  - maybe you would prefer this ?  (LOL  :-)))

Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is to look like a massive raspberry !
Well, best go and do xmas stuff ! 

K xxx

Thursday, 15 December 2011

The good the bad and the ugly


As this blog is a journal of sorts, I am going to partly use it in the coming year to document outfits so that I can see what works on me and what does not.

A brilliant thing about having a blog is the fact that you can write like a diary AND add photos. Then you can flick back to see what you have been up to. I created this blog for myself, to see how far I could get with trying to make a wearable wardrobe that I love, making clothes that fit me well; as well as documenting things I am interested in. I did not start it up hoping to win popularity contests (although I feel very blessed when people make lovely comments and care about what I am saying or showing  - and I love the sense of community ! Sisters unite xx). I love reading other peoples blogs much more than you could ever imagine ! I especially love to see outfit posts and seeing how people are styling their makes and their wardrobes in general, it makes me feel inspired !

I am excited as I am pretty sure that Santa is bringing me a tripod ! So outfit photos should be much easier to snap than they are currently. I feel a little self conscious in front of Mr P and the snaps invariably make me look more than a little gormless when trying for a 'show and tell' style pic.

I am finding that sewing my own clothes has returned to me an interest in what I am wearing. Clothes are often an expression of the self and this last couple of years my expression has not been one that I feel happy with.

I used to wear such lovely clothes, working in London money was no object for clothes buying (this sounds so arrogant ! YUK !! but I merely write it to illustrate a point )  and people outdid themselves to win in the style stakes. Since moving to Devon my style has become somewhat 'laid back' in nature and altogether not very well thought out ! (and MUCH CHEAPER as I now work for a charity !)

This negative reflection of myself in the last few years is highlighted by the fact that all my clothes are on the floor in jumble sale like piles. My beautiful collection of shoes are all packed away god only knows where. Add this to the fact that my body has also changed over the last couple of years (due to under-active thyroid and little time for exercise) and I feel not quite so stylish as I used to - not so well thought out or put together.

Friends, I don't want to win any fashion contests ! I don't even hanker after people telling me that I look nice. I am not 'in it to win it'. I just want to feel stylish and well dressed for myself. It makes me feel good to wear nice things, and I have more of an 'eye' since I have been starting to make my own clothes.

I need to marry together what actually works on my body with what I think looks good. And for this I need photo documentation. It's just not the same looking in a mirror. I think its more subjective when looking at yourself in a picture.

Sooooo, rather than make a new years resolution, and feel gutted when I fail, this year I am going to make one resolution that I feel I can keep. I am going to document my outfits so that I can see what looks good and what does not. Then I can have guilt free 'culls' of clothing without worrying that I am chucking away the wrong stuff and I can hopefully get a clearer picture of what suits me and see where I have wardrobe gaps.

(Then maybe, just maybe I will actually purchase a wardrobe ! Or something else other than the floor, where I can keep my clothes).

I am hopeful that this time next year, when I am sat here reflecting on the year just passed, I can notice that I am altogether a far more stylish person then than I am now. I can read this post and think, HA, made it !

Not for anyone else but myself.

Much love

K xxx

Saturday, 10 December 2011

It's only flippin Saturday !!

Why hello there my favoured sister of Friday !

Today I will be making up the Jasmine in some sari fabric as a trial run. The sari fabric is the closest in drape to my actual fabric so I am going to give it a go !

I am also in the process off finishing up my second scarf as a Christmas gift for my younger brother (not sure he will like it as not 'labelled' but if he doesn't then I will keep it !). Its made out of a dark blue wool with turquoise and red flecks, slightly thicker than the wool I used to make my green infinity scarf. I am only using knit stitches this time (I think this is called garter stitch?) rather than the curling 'stocking stitch' (one row knit - one row purl).
I think I prefer the feel and the look of the garter stitch.

In other news, last night I created a new cocktail (well for me anyway). It was delicious ! I used gin, tonic and a splash of elderflower cordial. It was scrummy !

Also my copy of the Colette book arrived = one very happy and excited lady !

Well, best get on, I have lots to do this weekend as next weekend I am going home to Bournemouth for the weekend and so I have limited time for Christmas shopping. Hoping to get my tree up and all my Christmas shopping done by tomorrow :-)

Hope you have all had cracking weeks and are looking forward to a happy weekend !

K xxx

Monday, 5 December 2011

From here to infinity

Hello !

Well, after buying this .....

And watching these ....

And using some of this.......

image source

I made this .....

And a view from the side ....

It's my version of an infinity scarf / cowl (which I originally spoke about here after feeling inspired by Tasia)

I LOVE IT !! It is by no means perfect - but then neither am I      :-)   However, I could already see a difference in my knitting skill by the time I got to the end of the scarf. Tres excitmon !

Overall I am quite pleased with it as a first project, and pretty much cant wait to start something else. I have literally knitted non stop since Thursday to get it finished up.

I didn't use a pattern, I just casted on 46 stitches and kept on going (and going and going and going  - you get the drift). I knitted one row of knit stitches and one of purl in a continuous cycle. It is lucky that knitting is fun ! I used exactly 4 x 50 g balls of wool/yarn. I am going to make a few versions of this type of scarf as I always wear scarves in winter and this particular type of scarf I love alot.

It is very satisfying to see the creation of a fabric right under my very fingertips !

Next project for me is the Jasmine for sure.(er - maybe after another scarf !) I have seen lots of pretty versions of Jasmine made up on blogland, and you can see it is a very flattering top. Feel quite frightened about working with silk though - have read quite a few horror stories !

What has everyone else been doing ?

K xxx

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Knitting update

Hello there

Well, just a quick line to shout out that........


OMG - I was not expecting that. Not sure why I left it so long to pick up some knitting needles, but oh my gosh it was worth the wait !

Hope everyone has had a great day !

One more sleep - then it's only flippin Friday. YAY

K xxx

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

What's in the bag ?

Hello there

I went for a little shop after work today. Shall I show you what I got ?


Loving bags with treats in for me !

ooooo the suspense

Chartreuse Green (My favourite colour) and Grey / red /teal tweed effect.
I felt inspired after reading Tasia's post about styling up a summer dress to work for the colder winter. She used a cowl type scarf to style up her outfit and I must admit I was impressed ! It got me thinking about my own wardrobe (again) and how I can try and incorporate a few well thought about pieces to try and create  finished looks.

I also got to thinking about knitting. I used to knit when I was a kid, but have not owned any knitting needles since I was about 7. A new wool shop has opened in Tiverton, and since it has I have been thinking about going in there for a gander.  I went in today after work and decided to purchase some needles and yarn. To make a cowl scarf (or 2 - one green one blue).

Knitting is like the perfect way to stitch, especially if you don't have a dedicated sewing space. Every time I want to sew I have to drag out the machine, cutting mat, sewing box, fabric box, pattern bag  etc etc etc. AND then I have to clear the decks for space. Sometimes when I feel crafty I also feel lazy ! I don't want to spend 45 minuted getting set up ! Knitting seems a good way to scratch the crafty itch the lazy (ish) way  :-)

I cant wait to get started tonight on the old knitting. There are some really good tutorials on You Tube, and I will share some of these later. I think a scarf is a good 1st project, I think it will be sometime before I can match the skills of Gail, but I will have fun trying !

Weirdly - just looking for Gail's link on my blogroll, loads of my blogroll, actually literally ALL of it is displaying posts about knitting ! Weirdly Karen is talking about blocking and I was only thinking 10 minutes ago that I would like to know what that term meant !  I think there must be knitting in the air today !!!

In other news the kitchen is almost done ! I wish I had taken some before pix, but I didn't. Let me paint a mental picture instead. Hideous old yellow paint, yellowed with age. Tester patches of green paint on walls. Hideous old yellowed units. Collapsed shelving and falling apart base units.

Mr P and I stripped and emptied the kitchen, sugar soaped it to within an inch of its life and then under-coated in white. The ceiling was re-plastered. The new units and floor are now in and all we have to do now is the final paint job. We are pretty pleased with it. Once the painting is done it will need a final spruce up and then it will be finished - YAY !

Not quite finished so excuse the mess - we are deciding what to keep / chuck

New units, floor and worktop all look nice - we are super pleased !

To celebrate - I made this

I only made this last night - as yet I have had not one crumb. Mr P obviously has enjoyed it immensely ! Thank you Betty Crocker !!

Over and out

K xxx

Monday, 28 November 2011

Sew proud

I wore my Sencha to work today and it went down a storm ! Everyone was so complimentary about it and a few people were even shocked that I had made the shirt myself !

Sew proud ! It is so amazing being able to make your own clothes, not least because no one else will have exactly what you have.

I wore it with a red cardigan and navy pencil skirt. I am hoping that Santa will bring me a tripod for my camera this year (damn I have been good !) so that I can take some pictures for my blog journal.

Since I started sewing I am looking much more critically at my wardrobe and many items have been culled. I think it would be useful for myself to document outfits so that I can see what works and what does not !

I hope, if anyone is reading this - my little corner of blogland, that you have had a fabulous Monday !

One sleep nearer to the weekend people.

K xxx

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Burda Style December 2011


There are some beauties in this months Burda. It was waiting for me when I got back from work today and my word I was not disappointed ! Look at these fabulous frocks ! (I may be just a tad biased - after all green is my absolute favourite colour !)

Let the eye candy commence.

                                  The source for all of these lovely images can be found here

My favourite 

Ahhhh if only I had the skills (and figure !)

If I could make this I would wear it ALL THE TIME. Asda 's anyone ?

Yes - look at me in my beautiful dress - I bet I make you quite literally GREEN
I am also pretty keen on these snazzers !

                                             The source for all of these lovely images can be found here

Pretty ?? Me ??

LOVING this whole ensemble (except for the shoes - which are so wrong). Show me the sparkles baby !
In other news the kitchen is coming along nicely, Mr P and his bud have been working pretty much solidly for the last 5 hours and I can at last pull out a chair to get to my laptop :-). Still nothing on the sewing front, but I have a few things that I cant wait to get started on.

Well, it is Friday ! We made it ! YAY !

K xxx

Friday, 25 November 2011


I just had 5 days - 5 DAYS !!!  Away from work, and friends I wanted to sew up a storm !

Alas, my best laid plan was foiled !

I inadvertanly booked my time off work the same week that Mr P is fitting a new kitchen. This has meant a paintbrush instead of a sewing needle and a dyson instead of a sewing machine. Its meant scrap cleaning cloths instead of delightful fabrics.

It's also meant that everything from the kitchen is rammer jammer in the rest of the downstairs living space along with the new units all nicely boxed up.

I cant even get to the phone, let alone my sewing machine !


I hope to sew again soon. The Jasmine is calling !!

Happy Friday !!

K xxx

Thursday, 17 November 2011

You have mail !

That is what Mr P cried as I came through the front door this evening.

And, lookie here - he's only flippin hit the nail on the head !

A parcel pour moi
So, at this point I was very excited ! I love surprises ! And what a lovely surprise this was   :-)

I carefully opened to see what was inside.....

Its like a gift in a bed !

Escaped !

Exceptionally prettily wrapped.

At this point even I could guess at the fact it was book shaped !   ;-)) So I knew that this was the gift I won over at

I like to savour the unwrapping of a mystery gift - its very satisfying to prolong the excitement (and let me tell you - a girl in rural Devon takes excitement where she can !)

2 gifts in one !
I cant believe Karen was thoughtful enough to include a bookmark ! Class, no ?

This is my excruciatingly slow unwrapping......  (by Now Mr P's attention was wandering and he had moved onto other excitements - namely Battlefield - pink wrapping is obviously a girl thing).

1 step

2 steps

3 steps

Then I properly went for it !

What a beautifully cool book !
This pretty much sounds like the book was written FOR ME
Have a sneaky peek inside !

Extremely apt !

Err yes ! I recognise these actions rather too well !
Sooooo excited to start reading it ! I LOVE books on all different subjects and love to go to bed and have a good old read before I go to sleep (christ - I sound dull lol !)

How rock and roll is the pink tissue wrapping ?

Thank you sooo much Karen !!  I totally LOVE the book, and it was extremely generous of you to let me win it !

I am sure anyone who looks at my blog has already met Karen, but if you have not then you must pop over and say hello. Why not get yourself a vimto and take a look at some of the fabulous creations that she has made. She really is a very talented lady.

Thanks again Karen ! Big loves.

So my friends, that was my evening so far. How was yours ? Hopefully as exciting as mine !

In other news I am off work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (oh yes I am excited !) and am thinking of making a silk Jasmine.

Um, do you reckon its safe for a newbie to try and stitch silk pretty much straight of the bat ? I have read many horror stories but am sort of thinking 'ahhh just go ahead and try'  !

Any tips ?

Also, in case anyone needed reminding - its only nearly the flippin weekend !! What has everyone else got planned ?

Well, I shall bid a happy farewell, as I am off to check out what my new book says about getting men-folk to cook the tea !

Au revoir

K xxx

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Completed Sencha ON !!

Hello people

As promised here are some snaps of me in the Sencha.

I apologise in advance, I hate having my picture taken, and Mr P has had to pop out thus I had to take the snaps stood on the sofa with a camera pointing at the mirror.

Well anyway - here are the pictures. The top looks sort of lopsided as I am lopsided taking the snaps !

Untucked -glad of the extra length !

Please ignore the face - photo face is never good !

Tucked in. Oh ! The versatility !!

I must say - wearing the Sencha for the 'photo shoot' has shown me that it is a very comfy top. So although I am not sure if it is at all flattering at this point - I am certain I will wear it (probably with a cardigan) and it has a place in my affections. It will not be culled with the jumble sale pile of clothes !

A very happy bunny !! Just debating if I should start on the Jasmine now or watch telly.

Happy Sunday people

K xxx

Finished Sencha

Hola !

I have been right busy these last 48 hours. I managed to squeeze in a trip to Amsterdam (which I will post about later) and when I got home I was brave and finished the Sencha (I just had the buttons to do !).

Here are some pics of the finished article. I will see if I can get one snapped with it on me later !

There are 6 buttons but Dolly's derrier must be bigger than mine  !

Loving the nautical theme !

I didn't follow the instructions exactly, for example I didn't turn the back opening edge 1/4 inch, rather I turned them back half inch.

Measuring perfection.

(I have only just started to appreciate the value of this ruler thingy - it's flippin great !! It's both extremely useful and fun to use !)

I also didn't sew the back flaps UNDER the facings, rather I sewed them on top as I thought the extra stitches holding the facings down would not be a bad thing.

NOT sticking to the rules !
This blouse involved quite alot of hand sewing.

Well actually, other than sewing the seams, pretty much the rest of the sewing is hand sewing. I have found more and more that I actually rather enjoy hand sewing ! Its quite mellow to sit with a glass of wine and the goggle box and catch stitch away. It is very satisfying to look on the right side of the blouse and see almost invisible stitching on one side.

I did sew some strengthening stitches at the top of the side seams as I fancied they didn't feel sturdy enough for the job. The arm holes feel lots more secure now.

Overall I am pretty pleased with the finish on this top - I feel very proud with how it has turned out. I spent lots of time pressing and trying to be perfect and I feel it shows in the finished garment.

I practised button holes on my machine like no ones business before sewing them into the shirt. The buttonholes are not perfect, but will do for this first attempt. I fancy a go at some hand sewn button holes for next time I think (assuming its not TOO time consuming !)

 I will share a snap later with it on so that we can talk about the style on my body - as I am not sure that this shape is for me.

In other news I am very excited to have won a mystery book gift over at Karen's place, (thanks Karen !) and am very excited about opening the wrapping to see what book is inside ! I LOVE books soo much (especially sewing ones) and am totally stoked to have won.

I have promised to share the opening of the book and what is is with the blogging community and as such expect to see some pictures here real soon.

I am also thinking of starting a new project today - I am thinking of the Colette Jasmine in a brown silk and cotton mix, or a blue and ivory silk. I am not going to make a muslin as the Sencha pretty much fit, with the addition of 2 inches added to the bodice length. As the Jasmine is another Colette pattern I am hoping that it will also fit with the addition of 2 inches to the bodice length.

I am going to fit as I sew rather than make a muslin and hope for the best !  Wish me luck !

Right - I am off to Asda to get stuff for a roast for Mr P and me !  Hope you all have a cracking Sunday  :-)


K xxx

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Dear friends

I am having a crisis !

(well actually a wardrobe malfunction - it is the same thing really !)

Mr P and I are off to Amsterdam tomorrow - just for the night. We were supposed to be seeing the band 'Little Dragon' until we got an email last night telling us that that they have cancelled the show. Which is not great seeing as we are going to see them all the way in Amsterdam from the UK. Oh well. We can get some cafe culture in and a canal trip instead !

So back to the crisis - I literally have NOTHING TO WEAR. Honestly, NOTHING.

I have a jumble sale sized pile of clothes, but absolutely nothing to wear ! I have some lovely fabrics to make a wardrobe full of further orphans. But I dont have any 'ensembles'.

Friends - this needs to be addressed - post haste !

I think when we get back from 'the Dam' I will be filling many a black sack with item after sad item of ridiculous clothing, and will be re-assessing my wardrobe and the clothing that is so desperately missing.

Wish me luck with this  - I think I may need it !

In other news I just finished a great book - by Dawn French. It's called 'A Little Bit Marvelous' and I highly recommend it. Defo an 8 out of 10. Made me laugh quite a few times, especially reading from Oscar's perspective !

Also - going back to the wardrobe again, I am going to make a dark denim Ginger - and a ivory and blue silk Jasmine. The Ginger should go with the Sencha (which is STILL missing its buttons !) so that at least is one outfit ! Talking of the Jasmine, I think seeing as the Sencha pretty much fit I am not going to make a muslin !

I am going to tissue fit and hope that the bias cut of the fabric hides any mistake I might make by not making a muslin ! Oh well, I have 5 meters of the silk (I was going to use it for a version of the V8380 but decided against it) so at least I can make another attempt if it goes horribly wrong !

I hope you all have had a happy hump day and I shall share some pictures from Amsterdam when I am back.


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Weekend meanderings and button fear !

Hello friends,

I hope you have had great weekends ? Mine has been pretty good. Watched an AWESOME fireworks display in Torridge (North Devon) on Saturday. I can hand on heart say it was one of my favourites and was an absolute bargain at £3 per person for entry !!  That my friends is what I call and absolute STONKER of a bargain ! Mr P was not that excited, then as the show started his little face lit up and I slyly watched his expression out of the corner of my eye. His face was upturned to the heavens, his eyes and mouth open with delight !

Mr P and I today met with his brother and sister in law for Sunday lunch at a pub called 'The Stag' in Filleigh. If you ever get a chance to go there for a roast DO !! Its totally amazing ! 10 out of 10 !

We have just returned from watching Tin Tin in 3D at the flicks, it was pretty good and both myself and Mr P rated it a 7 out of 10 - which is pretty good !

In other news - the SENCHA still languishes on Dolly - I have not the heart to start the buttons. I have placed safety pins where I would like the buttons to go and have been asking myself why I need buttons ? Cant I just leave the safety pins in and cover the badness with a cardi ? hmmmm I wonder if I could get away with that ?

In other news - a big welcome to you new folk joining me on my adventures   :-)   I hope you like to read about mine as much as I like to read about yours !

I hope to show you all pictures of buttons (and therefore a completed Sencha) sometime this week. Actually it may actually be the weekend (Sunday evening ?), but we are all friends here so who's counting  days to completion   :-))

See you on the other side.

K xxx

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Semi finished Sencha

Hello there

So, I been working on the Sencha and as you can see I am almost done.

Look at how beautifully Dolly models freshly made garments !

Dolly - ever her body confident self !

Blue ribbon

Neckline opened out ALOT
But I cant continue with the Sencha ! Friends, I can hear the chorus of 'why not's', but I have writers block over doing the buttons. Doing buttons looks HARD, or tricky at least. Not less because I want 6 buttons to grace the back of the shirt, rather than the prescribed 5 ! I am frightened to start, but hopefully I can get over the fear soon. I don't suppose anyone has any good 'doing buttons' tips ?

I am looking forward to finishing but not entirely convinced that this will suit my figure - but I am willing to ride it out and make that decision once the blasted buttons are on and I can properly see what she looks like on.

In other news I worked in Tiverton today and managed to steer clear of spending money on yet MORE fabrics ! (However I did manage to purchase a new coat somewhere on the way between the fabric place and home !) (( I am taking the coat back tomorrow - it's black and VERY similar to another coat that I already have - ooops ! ))

Well, I hope you have all had a happy 'hump day'. Friends, we have almost made it to the weekend !

K xxx