Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Days of Flowers & Fun

It's been a floral, sunny and perfect first week of the summer holidays. We're so lucky to live in a holiday county where the coastline and countryside is fabulous.
We kicked off the holidays with a glorious day at the beach where the girls and their friends had seals swimming alongside them. 

When we chose to send the girls to their school we explained that meant we couldn't afford holidays too. They're happy with this as they really enjoy every day of school so much, but just sometimes I wish we had the pennies to go a bit further afield. That's only sometimes as I see such happy girls who love being at school.
I just thought I'd mention it in case you wondered are these people afraid of leaving Norfolk!

Right outside our door are quiet lanes running through cornfields waiting for us to cycle along. We pedal away until we find the perfect spot to hide and munch our picnic lunch. 

Sometimes we find it's not just us hiding out. 

Last week we managed to come home laden with flowers, eggs and homemade strawberry jam from all the honesty stalls we'd passed.

We've also been fruit picking. Miss Millie turned our haul into a raspberry, honey, lime and ginger cheesecake for Friday night's meal.

I rustled up lots of different salads and then the girls prettied up outside for an evenings dining experience.

Now we're feeling properly relaxed and ready for the rest to unfold. We've so many plans and dreams that I doubt we'll even get halfway through the list, but we'll certainly try.

I do know I'm not getting quite enough sewing time. That does need sorting out very soon. 
In fact, after our fruit picking the girls and I headed off to town where I found the beautiful fabrics up top. 

The delicious cotton lawn was in my head all day Saturday. As I was stuck in a hot city waiting for Miss Rosey while she went to the cinema with her friends any plans for that had to wait. After three hours five red-eyed girls appeared, having watched The Fault in our Stars. I couldn't even cope with Watership Down and even the sound of Brighteyes still sets me off. Although I'd love the story, I've avoided Warhorse because I know that would bring on throat hurting full on sobbing. Miss Rosey was just that bit braver, although she knew she'd get really upset.

On Sunday morning I was up and about fairly early with the house to myself. No one rose until 11am. After two nights of thunder storms with girls and cats jumping in bed with us they were all shattered. 

Finally I could get on with my plans for the lawn that had had me in its thrall ever since Friday. You know that thing when the vintage fabric you've lusted after and known must exist suddenly appears in your hands and you just feel giddy with pleasure. Or perhaps that's just me and I need to get a bit of perspective here. 

Anyways. Sunday morning. It's quiet and I know exactly what I want to do with my treasured find.

This time I was going to make up the Jiffy dress (Simplicity K1609 in case you were wondering) with a bow at the neck.

As the delicious fabric is so floaty and light I decided to fully line the dress so it wouldn't rip and pull out of shape. The pattern doesn't offer tips for this, but all I did was make an exact copy of the dress pattern, but just a little shorter in the length. 

As I didn't have any lining fabric to hand I used a soft lemon striped sheet instead.

By the end of Sunday, straddled either side of meals and other whatnot, I had a finished Jiffy Shift dress.

This is my most favourite, most pleased with and most loved dress that I've ever ever made. 
Can you guess how much I like it?

At a guess I'd say the fabric is 1950's as it's 36" wide and the colours are far more 1950's than 1940's. To jiggle it all about I made it up in a 1960's pattern and lined it with a 1970's bedsheet.

Excuse the mad staring eyes. That's me after two stormy bad sleep nights and one late sewing obsessed night.


The cardi I knitted a while back looked an absolute treat with the dress too. As my mum was staying over and I'm still hiding my tattoo from her (five years on and I'm in my 40's for god's sake) I always cover up. 

Mind you my man has added another tattoo to his arms of the most beautiful mermaid. I must show you as it's his design based on a C19th original sailors one. It's got me thinking about maybe adding another one somewhere else.

All dressed in my new finery I dropped Miss Millie at her friends while I went off to have the Bob put back in my Bob.

Then on the way back I grabbed them and my other two mischief makers to head for a paddle and an icecream.

Isn't summer grand.


  1. I have started making clothes after a loooong gap, I fell in love all over again and bought myself an overlocker yesterday. Today will be filled with paper patterns, scissors and play.Your dress is lovely, I have a shift pattern that came free with Sew magazine, but my step daughter has a request for skirts.

  2. Who needs holiday when you live in such a beautiful place! :) I love the dress x

  3. Your dress is gorgeous and looks so good with the cardigan. Have a lovely summer.
    Jacqui x

  4. Your spanning the decades dress is gorgeous!!! It looks really great on you and the cardigan goes with it so well too. How funny that you are hiding your tattoo from your Mum, I don't have one - a tattoo that is! - but if I did I would hide it from my Mum too!!! xx

  5. Beautiful, the scenery, the season, the food, the fabric, the dress. Lol re the tattoo, you might be all growed up but sometimes.....not so much where mums are concerned. I know I am 50 and still act like a child at home. ;-) I saw Warhorse and it's a box of tissues but uplifting also, I remember Black Beauty making me sob too. Sometimes a good cry cleans our emotional pipes.

  6. Your dress is lovely! I miss having the holidays when the children were off school - we live by the sea too (Whitley Bay) and never needed to venture far to have perfect outings so close to home. I hope you manage to full fill all of your plans. xx

  7. Oh Lisa, such beautiful pictures. You have me drooling! Your dress is gorgeous. I'm so much in awe of your sewing skills. xx

  8. It sure is! And what a place to have you 'staycation', Norfolk is beautiful. We'll be trying to make the most of our non-holiday county of Essex this summer. So far we've been to Leigh-on-Sea, Colchester zoo is next week, then various locations when the MIL comes down from Norfolk (Wymondham) to visit for her birthday. I am totally in awe of your stitchy skills, that dress is perfect! And that cardi, too. Also I am jealous of your thirfting skills, there is nowhere locally to find perfect vintage fabric.

  9. 'Afraid to leave Norfolk'? Why would you want to I say, it's glorious here, not quite up to my native Yorkshire moors and dales, but pretty close. We've been here 25 years this time around, and still find new places when we go for a pootle with an OS map and a casual approach to which direction we head in. Loving the dress, you look so pretty in it and lining it as you have is so clever. Loving the shoes too, great colour.
    I wish I'd had a tattoo......

  10. Love the dress, what gorgeous colors. The striped lining looks great.

  11. What a dress! Perfect combo of decades, the lining is so pretty, and the cardi goes perfectly with the lovely floral fabric. You had me giggling about the tattoo and your mum, I'm in my forties, favour very feminine dresses, but I have a tiny tattoo that I got in my twenties. When my mum found out she exclaimed, "But you're my *good* child!" Tee hee! Enjoy your summer, you certainly have kicked it off with a glorious bang! Chrissie x

  12. Ha ha your tattoo comment made me laugh because until a few years ago my brother kept his covered up from my mum for fear of what she would say. Turns out she wasn't fussed after all!!!! X

  13. Beautiful photos-the one with the bicycle is just gorgeous. I love your dress! Lovely summer feelings and flavours of a simple country life-wonderful! xx

  14. You look amazing!
    If I lived where you did I wouldn't travel anywhere anyway!
    Thanks for the beautiful photos.
    That dress...x

  15. Oh it's a beautiful dress - a perfect colour and pattern combination - and it looks great with the tattoo hiding cardigan too!

  16. Looks a beautiful part of the world you live in. I'm envious of your knitting skills. My tension is all over the place when I try and make anything on two needles, and that includes a scarf.
    I thought about you when I was in Edinburgh last Saturday. I was in a lovely vintage shop and they had the most gorgeous kitschy animal ornaments. They were sweet.
    Enjoy the summer, looks as though you're all set for it.

  17. I always enjoy reading your posts - lots of gorgeous fabric and tales of family - nothing better!!! :)

  18. Hi, I love your craft, is beauty, I love a colors, I follow your blog, hugs from Brazil.
    Visit my blog - Tita Carré - free patterns crochet

  19. Isn't summer grand indeed! It looks and sounds like you're going to have the best kind of holiday!!

  20. Your dress is beautiful and looks perfect with your cardigan, what a clever lady!
    Caz xx


  21. Hi, I love your craft, is beauty, I love a colors, I follow your blog, hugs from Brazil.
    Visit my blog - Tita Carré - free patterns crochet


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