Thursday, 29 May 2014

Life & Loves

I'm really getting into this week off malarkey and now we're at the half-way post. 
Good things often rush by too fast.  I race about most of the time, trying to fit more than I should into my days. Every now and then I make myself stop, have a think and watch.

Just seeing these outside our front door, with the yellow scabia about to burst makes me really smile every day.

 Early on Monday evening, my man and I were day dreaming, looking out of the kitchen window while we cooked and chatted. In front of us we saw a daddy Blackbird bring his chubster baby to the layers pellets I put out for our hens and all the other bigger wild birds. For an age he carefully picked up each one and popped it into the babies beak. I was spellbound just watching him care for his littlun'.

I made sure Little Bun got the holiday nails she asked for.
Clean nails are school rules come Monday morning so she needed to grab the moment.

Mid-morning I got on with stitching a custom order and had a good old think about how much I love sewing these days.

I can't remember not being able to sew, or perhaps I mean being taught to. It's just something that I see to have been doing for ever. 

My mum used to knit tiny jumpers and cardigans for my dollies school uniforms, while I stitched tunics and blazers for them with her help. They all went to boarding school in the bedroom shelves my dad built for me, something a bit like Mallory Towers or St Clare's.

Then at art college, aged 16, I had to make the fabric I'd designed and printed up into something wearable. Suddenly I had to learn how to make it all a lot bigger. Out came the beautiful light brown Singer for me to learn on and this same machine saw me through until my 30's. 
I'm still wondering why I was so daft to get rid of it when it died.

Over the past few years I've really been getting into dressmaking again. I'm trying to improve my skills all the time and learn more and more. I love challenging myself as I get bored really quickly.
Everything I know is self-taught through trial and error, asking for ideas and help from the dressmakers I've got to know over the years and reading books.

I was really looking forward to dipping into the eagerly awaited first book by Tilly from the first Sewing Bee I have to say. I flicked through it in Waterstones after work one day and decided it wasn't for me as there was too much about learning how to sew.

Then a few days later I kept on thinking about the book. It had exactly the dress pattern I'd  been after in it and there were patterns that Little Bun would love too. I wanted this book after all.

Once pay day came I was lucky enough to grab the only copy the local bookshop had ordered in. And do you know I'm so glad I changed my mind because I love it.

The styling is fresh and stunning. I love it's fun quirky tone and apart from not liking one blouse in it (because V-necks look beyond dreadful on me), I want to make everything in it.

As you know from my last post, I've already jumped in and made the Megan Dress. Thankyou for all your really kind words about that dress too I must say. I'm already planning Megan No.2, but first I think Lilou should have a turn. Definately a bit longer in the leg and possibly less full so my bum doesn't look huge (in Norfolk they say WHOOGE, just like that and it sounds extra big doesn't it).

I really like all the ideas for playing about with the same styles too. There's ton's of guidance if your're a beginner or just want a reminder of stuff.

 For me I bought it because I loved the patterns and as it turns out the chapter on making patterns to fit had some tips that really helped me learn new stuff.

Each project tackles techniques and gives you a lesson as you go along. As I knew how to do the stuff needed, I wrote a numbered list beside the dress of each stage of making instead and ticked that off as I went.

All I have to say is that this is a wonderful book to my mind for beginners and more advanced. There's so much to help you through when you're learning and it's written in a really chatty way.

For some reason the Megan Dress seemed less complex to make than dresses I've made before. It followed all the same steps, so I can only think it was because the book is far more straightforward and less fussy.

I've not been asked to review the book by the way. I just thought I would as quite a few people were asking me what I thought about it and were eagerly awaiting their own copies.

Oh and how do to new followers aswell. Good to see you over there.


  1. A lovely post. I have been wanting to get back into sewing garments myself, so your review of this book has me thinking it may be a good starting point, so I'm going to grab a copy. I love the photos of the flowers and birds too - it's so good to remind ourselves of the wonder on our doorstep. Thank you.

  2. That really looks like a book with fantastic patterns - I want to start sewing, but I think that will not be a good book to start with, since the only thing I can manage, is a cushion cover ;-)

    Ps I think I spotted a lobster in your garden ;-))))

  3. Hi Lisa, I love your Megan dress , it looks wonderful on you and the fabric is gorgeous. Thanks for your review of Tilly's book.....I'm enjoying dressmaking at the moment and I'm very tempted to buy it now.
    Glad you are having a good half term despite the weather.
    Jacquie x

  4. I have recently started dress making for my little'uns and have learnt so much already. I may have to take a look at that book for things for me. Love your dress by the way it looked perfect on you x

  5. I have read several really good reviews of this book, and it is good to know that you think well of it too. If only I was a dressmaker I would definitely buy this! Hope that you enjoy your sewing and the rest of the half term! xx

  6. I have just ordered this book so it is good to know that a beginner will be able to use it, but also that there are tips for the more advanced. I am a beginner and am hoping it will give me some confidence.
    Happy sewing!
    Best wishes

  7. Hello!
    I'm actually not that good at sewing, but have just started to make my very first skirt with the help of my Mum...needless to say, I'm hooked, and am rather intrigued and excited by the book you've shared...might have to trot over to Amazon! J xxx

  8. That looks like such a wonderful book. I'd buy it but I'm not sure anything in it would fit me. The models are so tiny. I'm the same, I can't remember not sewing. I was making clothes for my Barbies by the time was six or seven.

  9. I really must get this book now! X

  10. I need to learn how to alter patterns so I might take the plunge.Thank you for the impartial review.

  11. Lots of fabric fun going on there - brill! Enjoy the last moments of half term, before the nails have to be stripped back. Hugs x

  12. Bobo still waiting for my book to those birds...xxxx

  13. Very nice too! I might have to go to the shop and have a gander at this book as I am searching for the 'perfect' simple dress pattern. I too cannot remember not making 'stuff' - I think I got a book from the library and learnt embroidery (after a fashion) many years ago. Half term goes by so quickly doesn't it - we are embarking on the GCSE season......
    Thank you for calling in on Magic Roundabout purse

    Enjoy the rest of the week
    Best wishes

  14. Ahh, that's better. I've just got my Bobo Bun fix. Lots of Saturday morning inspiration, thanks to you!

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I always try to get back and reply, but sometimes this may take a bit longer as pets and children always seem to need attention around here.

Bobo X

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