Sunday, 22 May 2011



how are you?  I haven't seen you in AGES! (well I have probably seen you, in blog form, but you haven't seen me so much)  Where have I been you ask?  Well it's been a bit of a crazy time around this way lately.  For about a months or so after my last post we were away every weekend visiting family and friends which meant loads of catching up with chores at the weekend and the poor blog got left to one side for a bit.  Within a couple of weeks of that busy period being over my boyfriend and I split up and ...well it's all been a bit chaotic as you can imagine.

All that aside I have still been sewing, and even managing to muster up a bit of excitement about my creations, and so I wanted to show you all my good work.

My friend and I both turn 30 this year (she in September and me in December) and after reading the lovely Joy talk about her 30 by 30 list on her blog joy the baker we were inspired to write our own.  Some of them are achievements we would like to have under our belts by our birthdays, some things to do and others just plain acts of kindness to make us nicer people as we enter our fourth decade (urgh - that sounds CRAZY!)  We have written seperate lists and have some similar things on there but mostly different - some of which we plan to do together so we will actually end up with more than 30.  I will post the finalised version of the list sometime soon (as with joy we went with a multiple or significant use of each number 1 to 30 eg I have sew 12 different garments each incorporating something I haven't done/used before) and mine has a few crafty things in it.  My friend also has learn to sew # things with Natalia - so I'm teaching already!  hahaha  the blind leading the blind?  She thinks being able to operate a sewing machine is qualification enough so we'll give it a go - I'm sure it will be funny if nothing else :o)

Anyway, I can hear you screaming: enough of this chit chat I wanna see the good stuff, gimme pictures dammit! well I'm now 3 garments into the 12 I'm going to make before my birthday.  You saw the pendrell blouse last time - I'm thinking of knnocking out a sleeveless version to go with my two new makes and I'm fancying some lace...  anywy I'm getting side tracked again aren't I :o)

First up Collette Beignet - despite being graded as intermediate I found this really straightforward - thanks to very clear instructions.  I checked out some other people's online and had originally intended to go for some pretty yellow flower buttons I got online.  But after seeing  Tilly and the Buttons triple Beignet wonderousness I decided to take the self covered route - classy.  I'll have to bung the yellow buttons on something else, maybe a cardi.....  New techniques: lining, buttons and it's my 1st skirt

After completing this I was feeling pretty confident and got straight on to Vogue V8604, I made a muslin (using swedish tracing paper because that's all I had - no pics unfortunately - despite the opportunity for a laugh) just of the top half and they seemed a good fit.  However when I got to sewing up the side seams in the fabric they were far too big so I took 3 inches out.  They are pretty snug now but that has been a good reminder for me to hold my tummy in and sit up straight at least.  The fabric is a really lightweight stretch denim and overall I am pretty pleased with how they have turned out.  I'm sort of job hunting so I may make another pair in black with the jacket to match for smart interview wear.  Overall these were super easy, I changed the front pleat to a dart because I don't like pleat front trousers (they don't flatter my belly at all) and I also left the pockets out as they are on the side seam and I don't find that too flattering on me.
New techniques used: invisible zip, lapped seams, darts, sewing with a stretch fabric, basic fitting adjustment and these are my 1st trousers!

So that is where I have got up to so far.  I have a few things queued up:
  • This afternoon I plan to make (or at least start) the tap pants from Collette Nutmeg using the old silk/poly scarves I have been collecting from charity shops
  • I have ordered the new Debbi Bliss Summer 2011 magazine and the wool to knit the capelet on the cover (it is a teal colour) I still haven't finshed "The Jumper" but I'm feeling deeply uninspired to continue with considering the circumstances so thought I would treat myself to something small and pretty to get my knitting back on track. I've not knitted a huge amount of lace patterns before but this is only small (under 3 balls of wool) and I'll be glad to have something that needs a lot of concentration.
  • 12th June is my 1/2 birthday and as part of my 30 by 30 I have chosen this date to recreate my 18th birthday (which was itself a recreation of my 8th) so I'm thinking of making a party dress, probably that vogue pattern I posted here with some pink gingham I have had in my treasure box for years.
Phew!  I think that'll probably do for now.  I promise to come back soon, even if it is just with some work in progress (or a picture of a pile of silky rags after I realise that I'm being overconfident with the pants :o))

Here's a thing I didn't realise until today - I miss you guys!  Thank-you for keeping me in your "following" list despite the lack of updates.  I love reading blogs and do so every day (not least because work is pretty dull at the moment so I like to fill my time there with nicer things, we call it "homing from work", ssshhhh don't tell the boss!) if everyone was as slow at posting as me I would get all lost at sea!

Ok, maybe some lunch and then pants pants pants :o) (and a bit of street performance art later)

Hope you are having lovely weekends!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

heart shaped distractions


So I am posting mid-week but not quite the mid week bonus post I promised before - but as I have already pointed out - I'm a bit of a lame-ass.  However I have been busy away from the blogging world - although I have been flitting around between things (this is the problem with having a big backlog of projects I am too excited about doing them all and can't just sit down and finish one at a time! am I the only one who suffers from this?)

Valentine's day took over a big patch of the week, Pip cooked us steak with a baked potato for me at my request (I am trying to go for healthy options) and wedges for him.  I made the dessert - lemon mousse and home made orange flower water, cardamom and hazelnut biscotti.  I also rustled up a pre-dinner cocktail of pomegranate, mint and vodka - it would have looked better in a proper cocktail glass but wine glasses are all we have so it had to do.

valentines flowers from Pip :o) x

pomegranate cocktail - healthy!!!

Biscotti and lemon mousse - mmmmmmmmmmm

Last nigh we went out with friends to see Penguin Cafe supported by Portico Quartet who I love - I definately recommend you look them up!  Anyway this is relevant because I mentally included it in our valentines celebrations.

Over the weekend I cycled to the train station (as if I didn't get enough of it monday to friday) and caught the train to Bath.  It was a lovely sunny day and I had a little rummage around the charity shops and haberdasheries :o)  I got myself some lace trim and knicker elastic and I picked up some purple felt and bits to make my friend some Christmas decorations (I made some little white felt birds for my tree last christmas and she really wants me to make some for her tree too - the theme of which is purple and silver.)  Once I got my goodies home I couldn't just put it all away so I may have made a bird or two - I will post pics when they are finished.

I was also a bit naughty and ordered some more patterns - lovely lovely Collette patterns!  Well the nutmeg lingerie and cinnamon slip were in the SALE, the sale I tell you!  I know I don't have to explain that this meant that I had to buy them - in case you want to cash in on this bargain opportunity too it was on sewbox
I also got the Beignet skirt pattern just because I like it!  (and I don't think it will be too hard even though it is catagorised as intermediate.)  That is the end of my spending money for the month now so no more sneaky purchases.... :o)  (pay day next week though!!)

Nearly time for getting ready for bed now - I'm no good at weekday late nights, I've been half asleep all day!  I'll be back soon though - possibly having made a start on one of my new patterns!

Big smiles!


Monday, 7 February 2011

I'm a lame-ass

Hello!  So last weekend I planned to make a little something on put it on here for you all to enjoy, then I went out for a cycling lesson and when I came back I had a KILLER headache.  Drugs didn't touch it and all I wanted to do was put it down on something soft, it kinda came and went through the rest of the week and overall stopped me from having anything nice to say - and as Thumper so rightly tells us "if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all."

But this weekend I was super organised to make up for it and as well as a bit of cycling (yes I am really still very excitied about the bike thing) I managed to make something quite special (well there are loads of them knocking around the blog world now, and they are all very lovely but this is the first piece of clothing I have ever sewn!!!) The Pendrell Blouse:

I couldn't wait to wear it so this is after a hard day in the office, pretty minimal crumpling considering (thanks to Pip for the pic)
this is my sorry attempt at a self portrait - another thing to work on, although I did think my use of the washing airer as a tripod was ingenious!

I wore it with this cardi to keep warm, it is pleasingly complimentary.

The bit I am most pleased with, the top stitching, so neat!

The fabric is a fine cotton that I got from flea-bay, I tried to get the pattern even and I don't think I have done too badly overall for a first try.

I have definately got the sewing bug and am itching to get going on something else, thank-you so (or should I say sew) much to Debi for the pendrell blouse givaway that I won!! and to clever Tasia for making such a simple and pretty pattern!

Because of last weeks rubbishness I am planning to squeeze in a little midweek bonus project.  I need a cover for my fancy touch screen mobile, I am permanently paranoid that it is going to get scratched.  I saw these pretty ones in the sale in Cath Kidston but when I went to treat myself I discovered that my phone didn't fit - so I had to buy tea towels instead.... :o)

However it occurred to me a couple of days ago that I didn't need to buy this as I have 2 types of oilcloth I can use to make my own!   I am hoping that I will be able to whip one up and then worry less about what is happening in my bag.

Hopefully I will be chatting to you again very shortly, but for now I am going to try and capture a bit of Pip's snoring to finally prove to him that he does snore :o) heeheeehee

Cheeoooh (this is "Cheerio" where I'm from.)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Teenage Mutant Ninja Jumper Bunny....

So I have wanted to have a go at a jumper monkey for a while and I have had a jumper waiting to become one hanging out in my box for a few months.  In the end I decided to make a rabbit/monster/YES it is totally intentionally weird looking :o)

so here he is...

He didn't take very long and I think I could get at least one more out of the leftover jumper so I might have another go and at least see if I can get it to look a bit more intentionally monsterous.  Plus Pip's nephews can have one each then :o) - guess who is their favourite "auntie".

In the meantime my cheeky purchases from eBay have arrived:

ooooh they are so pretty!  The seller didn't list the sizes but they don't seem to be too far off so hopefully my first forays into pattern alterations won't be too scary.  The pieces are cut already so I will have to retrace them anyway - back to eBay for a roll of pattern paper then...  I just need to make sure that my fingers stop "accidently" typing vintage singer sewing machine again.... heeheehee.

I finished the back of the jumper and cast the two sides off together and am now working on the sleeve- if only I could make my fingers go a little bit faster (and I didn't loose valuable knitting time during my commute getting off a bus and waiting for a train.)

I'm off to the posh part of town this weekend (friend's workload pending) for a trawl through the high quality charity shop donations round that way - they have some good junk shops there too, and I found a vintage shop that has fabric - right opposite a little knitting shop!!!  pure bliss!

see you later alligators!

Natalia x

Sunday, 16 January 2011

a fantastic first week!

One week of blogging in and I have 6 followers already (Hi Guys! :o) ) and I have won a lovely blouse pattern.

I am feeling very enthusiastic today despite the fact that the trains were absolutely horrible this week and helped to scupper my plans to have something exciting to show you.  So I have ended up with a much more "do" than "make" week - culminating this morning in LEARNING TO CYCLE!!!!  Yep you read right, I am a rare breed in that I never learned to ride a bike when I was a child.  I've always wanted to learn and finally got over my embarrassment at starting at such a late age and bought myself a second hand bike in the summer.  I found a place that does subsidised lessons but my boyfriend anounced that I need not waste my money and he would teach me.  Well in 5 months I managed to persuade him to take me out with the bike once.  So he got me a voucher for a lesson with the professionals for christmas which I put to use ASAP.  Apparently I pretty much got on the bike and started cycling more or less on my own straight away - to the point that I have homework of practicing on quiet roads/cycle paths and starting to get ready for road skills (lifting a hand off, glancing over a shoulder etc...)  I am really pleased with myself anyway especially as my boyfriend (I call him Pip) was stood at the window as a cycled up the road :o)  I like a little show off now and again.

So anyway in lieu of crafty goodness I thought I would give you a little introduction to my little craft corner and some of the projects I might finally get on with soon... (Apologies for the poor photography, I will have to get practicing that too.)

My sewing corner! The basket if full of arty paraphanalia and that hessian you can just see on the right is the beginning of a rag rug.

 The crafty books I got for my birthday and Christmas (they are 2 weeks apart)  Best in show was my secret santa present from work - Amazing!!
My lovely wooden stash box (the awful pink gloss was stripped off earlier this year and tinted wax applied with my own fair hand.  I do DIY too you know!)
Goodies inside!

My first ever dress pattern with the turquoise satin I have bought to make it with - I think I got carried away with the bargain quality of that one, maybe I will do a version in a fabric that it is a bit easier to sew with first...

my collection of silk scarves that may be a shower curtain or cushion covers - depending on how much longer I can put up with the glass shower screen really.

THE jumper so far - I am about 2cm away from finishing the back and then I can do arms - hopefully they will be a bit smaller.  Made using this pattern

jumper detail - neat huh?

The sock wool calling out to be my next knitting pattern - I think the jumper will have given me knitting fatigue though so these may be waiting a little longer.

Next weekend I will definately have something to show you - possibly even something that you have not glimpsed here.  The in-laws are visiting for the weekend this week a good little craft project will be the perfect diversion :o)

See you again soon!


Saturday, 8 January 2011

blogging cherry...

So... as is traditional I have spent most of the first week of this year thinking about resolutions.  I have decided that drawing up a list of things I really out to do but don't really enjoy doing is no longer the route for me - no more January guilt for me!  So this year I have decided that my one resolution is to do more for myself - this means looking after myself properly (I still managed to fit in the perennial exercise resolution then) and taking the time to do more of the things I really enjoy.

And this is where the blog comes in.  I have been reading a lot of other blogs for quite a while, mostly on sewing/vintage/craft/interior design, but hesitating to start my own despite finding them all very high quality and inspirational.  But this week I have been thinking about all of the things I would like to do and wondering how I can keep myself motivated and make sure I don't slip back into my lazy bad habits and Shazam; I put two and two together and here I am!!!

My plan is to start off by picking up all of the half finished crafty projects I have lurking around the house and documenting my progress every week. I am hoping that I can get into some new stuff as well fairly shortly - I have my first ever dress making pattern I am looking forward to having a go at and am already eyeing up another one (or 20...) lovely vintage patterns on ebay that might have to come an live with me.  I also got a book of sock patterns for Christmas so I'm hoping to learn a few new knitting "skillz" there too.

This week I have been making a concerted effort to finish the jumper I started making for my fella (ahem) months ago.  It is a lovely green Guernsey and I am hoping it is actually going to fit when I finally finish.  Once I work this thing out I will be getting pictures up - hopefully there will be one of him in said jumper very soon!

So there I have it; the first ever post!  Hopefully there will be many more to come and I will be able to get my blog into somewhere near as good shape as some of my favourites and people might actually enjoy reading it!

Au Revoir!