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.