Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Following on from the success of my dress, I made two handbags last week. I have loads of fabric in the loft and it was fun to choose which ones to put together.
The first one features my lovely button from Penny and Toby and it goes really nicely with this floral fabric. It also matches the brown of the checked lining fabric. The bag has an inside pocket and a loop to fasten it with.

I got the pattern and instructions from this nice lady's blog. Look at her tutorials on the top left. It was quite hard to follow because I was sewing in the living room and then coming back into the office every five minutes to check the computer to see if I was doing it correctly! It took me about a day and a half to make which sounds a bit too long when you look at the finished article. My first attempt though, so I'll forgive myself!

I got cocky
with the next bag because it was my second go. I didn't need to look at the pattern as much because I knew what I was doing (or so I thought!!) Silly me. I made a couple of minor mistakes which I won't point out. That will teach me. Anyway, I'm still pleased with it. The bag is black corduroy with a silky, shiny, slippy, navy-blue lining (a nightmare to work with but it looks nice) and I've made a pocket too. The button is from Duttons for Buttons in York which is an amazing shop selling gorgeous buttons of many different sizes and shapes. This is quite a simple button but it's nice and shiny and contrasts well with the texture of the corduroy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I've made a dress!

Hello. Yesterday afternoon I spent about 4 hours making a dress. I've never made any clothes before so am quite impressed. Most of the 4 hours was spent deciding how I was going to do it and being scared to start cutting the fabric in case it all went wrong. The actual sewing part didn't take too long.
I started with this black top/dress which I found in Primark reduced from £8 to £3. I chose a cheap top because I was only going to chop it up.

Not a great photo but you get the idea. So then I tried the dress on and decided where to cut it. That was the scary part..I cut slowly in a straightish line. I then attatched my deer fabric to make the rest of the dress. I've done it very basically- no pleats or anything- but I'm really pleased with it. The top is a stretchy, jersey fabric and the deer material was a cotton so I had to be careful when sewing them together to make sure I didn't pull the top out of shape.
Here is the finished article:

In total it cost me £15 and I know you could buy a dress for that price these days but it was so satisfying making it myself. Also, nobody else will have one! It's not perfect (I wouldn't like to show you the stitching inside) but I'm pleased with it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Three cheers for Ladysnail!

A few days ago I decided to buy one of Ladysnail's rainclouds. It arrived this morning but it wasn't alone! But before I go into that, here is the raincloud. I only asked for three raindrops but Ladysnail added an extra three so I now have six! Very kind and generous of her.

The raincloud and raindrops are screenprinted onto a cream coloured fabric. It looks lovely and even better in real life. What I didn't know before I bought it was that the 'strings' between the raindrops are not just bits of cotton thread; they're strung with cute, transparent beads which give it an extra detail and they look great. Look:

Hope you can see that? Anyway, moving on... these little friends were also included as a complete surprise!

A Pidgeon, which Ladysnail also sells on her blog (if she has any left), a g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s Ladysnail card with a beautiful button, a little tooth (which was too shy to photograph) and a selection of glittery threads to hang up my new friends.
Now that they've been here for nearly two hours, they're slowly getting used to their new home. Ladysnail advised a cup of tea and a chocolate digestive is the raincloud's favourite treat, so he's had a cuppa and a choc chip cookie (which he said would do) and he's been fairly talkative ever since. He's told me about his brothers and sisters and how he'd love them to find friendly homes. He said the journey was scary but the Royal Mail staff were quite gentle with him. Here he is in his new home:

Pidgeon was very quick to settle in and flew toward the lounge window to be near the trees outside. She said she's too tired to talk at the moment but is looking forward to having a chat later. Here she is:

The little tooth has been more subdued. I think he just needs a good night's sleep. He's very shy and a bit wary of my kokeshi dolls. I'm sure he'll be fine.

Thanks Ladysnail, such a kind, generous, thoughtful blogging friend xxx

Monday, July 09, 2007

Stormy, cloudy sky and cute, little deer fabric!

I took this photo earlier today of the view outside my studio window. I think it's rather symbolic of the way I'm feeling at the moment. The dark clouds seem to be taking over but then there's a hint of light poking through. Now the view is very sunny, so hopefully that's a good sign.

This cuter than cute fabric arrived for me today from Reprodepot. Little deers dancing all over the place. They do it in a few colours and also one with sausage dogs. I'm a big fan of dogs but these little deers were even cuter! I only ordered it a week ago and it's all the way from the USA, so I'm impressed. My plan is to 'make' a dress from it. I've never sewn a dress before so am cheating...watch this space and I'll show you what I mean!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Monkey: Journey to the West

On Tuesday night James and I went to see Monkey: Journey to the West, at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g! The music was composed by Damon Albarn and all the costumes, set design, illustrations and animations were designed by Jamie Hewlett, who both worked together on the Gorillaz. (Sorry if you already knew that!) It tells the story of Monkey who accompanies characters Tripitaka, Pigsy, Sandy on the road to enlightenment. They encounter gods, demons and lots of weird creatures on their way.
A combination of opera, martial arts, music, animation and circus acrobatics, it was truly spectacular. The performers were unbelievably agile and there were so many jaw dropping things going on you didn't know where to look in case you missed something else. Giant unicycles, back flips-a-plenty, contortionists, cast members flying through the air, spider women, buddhas, sea creatures, people balancing on eachothers heads- some using only one hand for support, imaginitive, funny and gorgeous costumes and magical music.
Haha, I haven't been paid to write this but was very impressed. It really is worth going to see- last night tomorrow then it moves on to Paris.

A lovely gift

A prettily packaged gift arrived for me this morning from Penny, Toby and Lawrence. A beautiful golden brown button, the same as the green one I have! Thanks so much xx