Thursday, 28 April 2011

Five Live Fascinator

Here's the fascinator I made for Shelagh Fogarty - sadly it was her last show for Five Live Breakfast. She'll wear the fascinator at the Royal Wedding - and hopefully turn a few heads! To see more then please click here.

Monday, 18 April 2011

How Katy did!

Baby Dotty in her Dad's shirt!

A couple of weeks ago I told you about the book I'd found in a Nottingham second-hand shop which showed you how to make new clothes out of old. I challenged my Sister-in-law Katy to take on one of the projects from the book and make my little niece the "tiny tot's play dress" out of "father's old shirt". Well she did it that same week and I'm sure you'll agree that baby Dotty looks really sweet and tres chic too in her Dad's chemise!

Firstly Katy traced the pattern from the book and upsized the pattern-pieces - always a bit of a faff unfortunately - but hey, no pain no gain. She then cut out the pieces and realised she needed a lining, so used an old pillowcase to make that. She also used the button band from the original shirt on the back of the dress so she didn't have to make new buttonholes. This saved a lot of time and effort and worked really well. Katy abandoned the idea of making sleeves (which took up a surprising amount of fabric) and instead made the little dress sleeveless so it could be used as a sundress or pinafore (well, it IS summer after all!).

Katy in action!

Katy sewed the various parts together on her faithful old machine and then turned up the hem. As the fabric's been washed many times before, the dress is lovely and soft. I owe Katy a bottle of champagne for completing her challenge! Well done Katy. What next?

Monday, 11 April 2011

More than I bargained for!

I bought this massive vase from an African charity shop in Nottingham last week for £5. When I got home, I filled it with spring flowers - and then had to raid the bush in the garden for some greenery to fill out the display. The vase is  huge - measuring some 50 cm across! I thought it would fit very nicely into the alcove of the stately home that I will one day buy. In the interim, it takes up half the shelf space of my small London flat. When I purchased the vase I had to nip to the cash point to get the money as I didn't have enough on me. On my return, the guy behind the counter said he'd included an added extra. Tony (I soon discovered his name) had slipped a piece of paper into the bag. On it was his name and number! What a bargain!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

How's Katy going to do?

Whilst in Nottingham at the weekend I picked up a great vintage book called NEW CLOTHES FROM OLD - all about war-time rationing and making-do. It's full of useful tips about how to make clothing work extra hard. Some of the ideas are probably far too time-consuming for us today, but there are lots of ingenious suggestions too. I was chatting with my Sister-in-law Katy about the book and she had a flick through it. She's really good at sewing and all sorts of crafts - she recently made a fantastic zebra hand-puppet for my Nephew and Niece at her KNIT NIGHT in Stroud. One project that particularly caught her eye was the 'tiny tot's play dress' which you can make from 'father's old shirt.' Now my brother sports very natty shirts, many of them floral - the perfect fabric for a little girl's dress. Katy rather like the idea of giving this project a go and as my Niece is just a few months old - she's the perfect model. So - Katy has volunteered to try out the challenge and keep us all up to date via my blog on the success (or otherwise!) of her endeavours. I've promised her a bottle of champagne to keep her engaged when the going gets tough. Let's see what Katy's going to do next!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Crystal Palace gem

If you're looking for something a bit different this weekend and live in London - then why not head out to Crystal palace for Sunday lunch at The White Hart. This is a very pleasing pub with cosy sofas and a good range of draught beers. I felt I could curl up there and read the papers for the afternoon quite happily. They do homemade roasts on a Sunday too. Hurrah! Apart from the good atmosphere, weekend papers, board-games and knitting nights, this pub wins brownie points with me by boasting a vintage shop! can browse through a hand-picked selection of cool clothes pint in hand and chat to the delightful owners. They do a great window display - check it out above. That in istself was enough to bring a smile to my face! You can get to Crystal Palace on the new "ginger line".