workbox #8 pin cushion

I’ve always thought it daft to spend time embroidering a pincushion just to ruin it by sticking pins and needles into it but since a pincushion is included in the Home Sweet Home workbox accessories, I’m making one anyway although I’ve never made one like this before. The intention is that the lesser embroidered side will be the top. I’ve basted the segments but the pincushion has to be put together and stuffed before they’re sewn permanently.

Pincushion from the Home Sweet Home workbox book.





box of birds robin 2

A little fat robin now added to the other birds.


Tut tut Amazon 2

It’s been a while I know but once again Amazon UK outdid itself with over-the-top wrapping. This time for content that is no more than 5cm in diameter and 43cm long and which was right at the side of the box, not even protected by approximately 6 metres of crumpled paper. I’ve now created a new ‘over-the-top’ category to cover things like this because I just know that this won’t be the last time I come across totally unnecessary excesses like this! Grrrrr!


new neckline, new sleeves

Two posts in one day – you lucky readers! Way back in August, when I was waxing lyrical about my new sewing light (still fab by the way) I showed a top (smaller image below) I’d made from leftover ponte de roma fabric. I subsequently didn’t like the neckline much. Turtles and tortoises came to mind each time I tried it on so I restyled the neckline to lie flatter with an additional button detail. No piccies of that I’m afraid and not long after I did that, I decided I’d change the neckline again. I’m a woman, go figure.

This is the third and final change – Tee shirt fabric of a lighter weight than the ponte was used for the sleeve cuffs and neck binding with top stitching at raglan seams etc in matching pink thread. The upper sleeves were also re-shaped to give a better fit. I’ve worn it a few times and I’m happy with it. It might seem from the image that one sleeve is shorter than the other but I assure you they are both the same length and the hem is level all round too!pull on top


refashioning clothes

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been busy with patterns and fabric and refashioning charity shop finds. I thought that it was time to expand my limited skills when it came to sewing knit fabrics and a larger size wrap dress in a charity shop was an excellent candidate for practising on. If the end result was less than perfect or totally useless, I had only spent £6. I used the Retro Jersey Top pattern from the September issue of  Make It Today! Dressmaker magazine but altered the pattern by raising the front neckline a little, omitting the centre-front inverted pleat, giving the side seams a little flare, and stitching the neck facing on the inside. I don’t own an overlocker so I tested various stitches on fabric scraps before settling for the standard knit stitch on my Janome and then trimming the excess fabric with scissors. The knit stitch is a pain to unpick and there’s really no need for you to ask how I know that. My new top is very comfortable to wear and has a nice drape to it and whilst wearing a bold patterned fabric like this is well out of my comfort zone I didn’t get odd looks from anyone when I wore it in public so that’s a win as far as I’m concerned!








just in

About twenty minutes ago, I heard our letterbox flap lift and went to retrieve our Sunday newspapers only to find that they were still in the process of being stuffed through the gap. When I opened the door, the delivery man pointed out the egg on our doormat and said he’d been met by a flurry of noisy pigeon wings as he turned the corner to our flat. It’s been a few years since we’ve had an egg laid on our doormat and I thought that in the absence of feathers and twigs in over a year that they’d found a better place to roost. Silly me. The information that our doormat is reasonably secluded and therefore safe from predators other than the human variety, is obviously shared (by pigeon post?) amongst the birds in the neighbourhood.  The delivery man told me quite sincerely that to have an egg laid on our mat today of all days was a gift from God and therefore lucky but I’d prefer a milk chocolate version any day.


meet Jasper

I returned home on Wednesday evening after spending two weeks with Big Sis and this little guy.  Sadly, Dave the dalmation left us for the great hereafter just before I arrived but we’re sure that he must have left secret notes for Jasper as he seems to have already learned some of Dave’s old tricks! As I write this, Jasper is just over ten weeks old. He’s a scruffy labradoodle who’s very bouncy, has a fondness for furry slippers (mine), squeaks a lot, is not quite sure yet what cats and birds are for, loves to tug at labels, and is soooooo adorable that I was almost tempted to sneak him into my case and bring him home with me. He wasn’t quite ready to venture out into the big wide world so days out with Big Sis were limited but Jasper was an excellent distraction and a constant source of entertainment so I didn’t mind and I did succeed in doing lots of embroidery during our time indoors but I’ll save those photos for a future post.