Sunday, 6 May 2012


I can't imagine my life without making stuff, it's something I've always done and will probably always do. On the way I learn new things and try our different ideas. I'm also constantly swapping what I love doing the most. At the moment I can't keep away from my sewing machine. There've been times I've got very angry with my machine, but really it was me causing the trouble. Finally I seem to have worked out all sorts of stuff and so I'm trying out new dressmaking things as part of my new addiction to sewing.

Part of this addiction means I have to stock up on fabrics and notions, there's no choice in this matter you understand. For a long while now I've wanted these heart, leaf and flower pins, but never got round to getting any. Yesterday I finally pressed yes please in etsy. If you pop on over to That Crafty Fish you'll find she has a few etsy shops selling all sorts of lovelies to tempt you like I was.

Hiding underneath the pins are a few more bits that fell through my letterbox this morning. I bought the pinky fabric down below from Jane because I just knew I'd need it sometime. Jane being the lovely that she is popped a few more bits and scraps in my parcel aswell. Now I had two choices. I could start another patchy project, even though I've got two others on the go and I need an excuse to use these fabulous plastic paper piece templates. Can't tell you how thrilled I was to find these as the hexagons I've made are beyond awful.

I decided to make a quick and easy garland inspired by Dottie Angel. Breakfast all done I wandered off in my jammies to attach myself to my new love, my sewing machine. In a short while I'd cut up some of the squares so they weren't all the same size, sewn a strip of bias binding to the top and hung it to admire my new garland. Lovely indeed and all made possible by Jane's generosity you see.

Once my garland was up I got on with finishing Little Bun's Lila Blouse before attacking Miss Rosey's Ruffle Skirt. In the middle of the week I finished a jersey tunic for me, but it's been worn and gone in the wash before any photos were taken so I'll tell you about that one another time. Warned you didn't I, I've got it bad at the moment.

Do you remember me mentioning my problems with shirring elastic? Well I've found a cure and it's brilliant. The lady in John Lewis put me on to it and it's left me wanting to sew elastic thread on to everything. Basically it's a strip of the stretchy stuff and all you do is sew it down while giving the elastic a real hard tug. Leave the fabric well alone and when you let it go after sewing two or three rows it all puckers up.

For the waist I used the whole width and for the neck and sleeves I cut it in half. 

It doesn't come with instructions so I had a bit of a fiddle around. All you need to do is pin the start and then just pull taut and guide the needle along the strip.

After a whizz round and lots of stretching and pulling, a top was born. I held my breath waiting to see if it would fit Little Bun. I always worry that I might have gone nuts and cut the wrong size or something else as daft. Turns out it fits perfectly and she loves it as it's really comfy.

Like all the designs in Tanya Whelan's book, I found this one really straightforward and fun to make.  She suggests different ways of playing with each thing to get a different shape or style if you fancy which makes it even more addictive. Just Miss Rosey's skirt to finish and then I've a few more things to have a go at.

On another note, I saw this is my 401st post which seems a lot of words and pictures to me. As I missed having a new years blog birthday I think it might be time to do something a bit different. I've been thinking of having a Craft it Forward event for a while now to say thank you for stopping by and to link up with some other bloggers. I'll set the ball rolling on this in my next post and explain what I mean, in case you're wondering what on earth I'm on about. 

See you then.


  1. Love all your pretty pins and fabrics!! The dress is so adorable, and such a great print!! Have a wonderful weekend! xo Heather

  2. How I love seeing your creations! I'm currently in love with knitting, and trying to get my fingers to remember how to knit and purl after not doing it for over 20 years. I don't dare start another project or I'll be inundated with supplies and no place to store them. But maybe I do need those adorable pins. I have a thing for hearts...

  3. How fabulous! I was terrified witless of my sewing machine when I bought it, but a lovely friend spent many months helping me and now I can make panelled skirts!! Elasticated waists, no zips you understand but Im so chuffed that I can actually make something decent which Im happy to wear. Ive also done some patchwork cushions as well. All great fun!


    PS I wish you hadnt shown us the pins, I really want some NOW!!!!!!!!!!! ;)

  4. I think you must get first dibs at the fabric as there has been nothing worth buying for a while! Only 2 bundles and half of one is not very nice at all and the other is just unsuitable for what I want it for. I check frequently but nothing, which is a shame for those of us who also want to buy nice stuff. Yours is really very pretty.

    1. What an odd comment. I just look like you and buy stuff if I like it, no preferential treatment. Jane works very hard finding lovely fabric and making things to sell. This type of fabric is hard to find so I think we're lucky she shares it and at such a reasonable price too.

  5. Lovely lovely top, lucky Little Bun!
    What a bonkers comment above this one. I think it's great that you share where your lovely things have come from and it's not a big secret!!
    Have a good Bank Holiday break.

  6. Love the little top - sweet. I've been wondering where to get those pins for ages - they are fantastic!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  7. The fabric pieces are so pretty, Lisa, I would be INSTANTLY wanting to start something new with them, myself!
    I confess to being unable to start and finish one item at a time, I like to have things on the go which are very different, so when I'm fed up quilting I can do a spot of applique, or maybe sit down with markers and paper to try something new out.

    Do admire your dress-making abilities, that is a stitching step too far for me, I'm afraid! Thank goodness I had boys!

  8. I am building myself up to learning to use my sewing machine. I have bought some easy skirt patterns and a rag doll pattern and a bit of fabric. Just need to work out what on earth to do with it and like Helen at MoonstruckCreations, NO ZIPS!! Lily. xxx

  9. Oh dont you love random comments!
    I've just posted about my latest addiction too!
    Hope you are enjoying the weekend, ps. love the disco ball.

  10. Hi,.... groan!!! I'm so keen to buy a sewing machine and to start making lots of lovely things and looking at all those pretty fabric pieces you have displayed on your post and all the pretty pins makes me envious!!! That top looks lovely but the elastic strip bit looks difficult.

    Keep well

    at Crafty in the Med

  11. I know what you mean about being addicted,I don't feel complete unless I have made something in the week :-) Love that top and the fabric you used, really lovely and the bunting is gorgeousx

  12. Oh my I was so happy reading through your post, all the pretty things, fabrics & the cutest pins ever. Love your beautiful makes the yummy bunting & your daughters pretty top, an inspiring start to my day :)
    Will tune in for your craft it forward post
    Karen x

  13. Love your bunting and the lovely tunic too.

  14. OOooh Mrs BB - you get ALL the best fabric, it's not fair.
    I for one never see anything I like in that Jane's shop....
    What the?
    Lovely post and beautiful pictures as always...fee x

  15. You are a star - you have solved for me the burning question exactly what the metres and metres of elastic is that I bought from Abakhan. It was a pot luck in the January sale, and stupidly cheap - but I couldn't work out what to use it for when it arrived and was going to get round to disposing of it - not anymore! Thank you. :-)


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