Sunday, 31 January 2010


Upcycled t-shirt dress

Back in the day, I was a prolific soccer player and competitive gymnast and collected tournament t-shirts from all over the United States and a couple from when I played in Scandanavia. Consequently, my parents harbour a ginormous plastic crate overspilling with t-shirts ripe for refashioning.

My niece's favourite outfit is an upcycled and silkscreen Courtney Courtney dress bought from Etsy. Unfortunately despite her wearing it 89% of the time, I don't have a picture of it but my sister in law kindly got one for Maia too and this is her wearing it over the summer. It's raglan sleeved, with lots of panels and with exposed serged seams to the outside. I noticed a couple of months ago that Jessica from Happy Together was making a very similar style for her daughter using The Siena Dress pattern from lilblueboo's Etsy shop so I snapped it up when I was at my folks.

I'm more than a little ashamed that I only managed to make a single solitary refashioned dress from my mound of t-shirts. They were all sorted into bundles and I had a dozen ready to cut. And I particularly have no excuse as sewing it up took less an hour. Ah, the lure of sledding...

Friday, 29 January 2010


Stuck in a moment I can't get out of

As nice as it is to have a big break when I'm off at my folks, I struggle so badly to get back into it when I'm home. Despite having 407 nearly finished patterns (including the woman's asymmetrical coat, zippy hoodie, bubble skirt, woman's tunic, raglan coat, wallet, cowl neck tunic and my very first handbag) it's a bummer to get started again. I have a crisis of confidence, I stare at the fabric closet, I stare at my patterns, I take some fabric out, I draw new patterns, I have a crisis of confidence, I take different fabric out, I stare at my patterns, I give my sewing machine the finger. Because when I made these leggings for Maia yesterday, it ate the waist so I had to chop the whole top off and insert a yoga style foldover band instead.

Incidentally, leggings are some of the very first things I ever sewed, and the first pattern I ever drafted myself. Look at tiny Maia sporting a pair two years ago.

I cannot believe I've been sewing for two years now. I wish I could get out of this rut. Any suggestions?

Thursday, 28 January 2010


You can blame Trinny and Susannah. I do.

Not so long ago, Trinny and Susannah broke into my house, stole my sleep, stomped on my dreams, and if I'd had a cat, they would have killed it. Figuratively, of course. Not literally. They told me that because I have big boobs, I can't wear high and / or complicated necklines. And I've become obsessed with them.

When I was in the States, I found a sweater made of lovely, gave Trinny and Susannah the finger and can now be found wearing it with bad posture. It has a high neck that buttons through all the way from the shoulder and when you unbutton it the neckline flaps down. For weeks now I've been fixated on adapting my cowl neck pattern to have a neck like this, but who wants to make forty five buttonholes in a knit? Not me, that's who. I decided that it would be The Coolest Thing Ever to have a zip through neck instead. Except that I couldn't, despite thinking about it for 312 hours non-stop, figure out how to make it zip all the way from the shoulder. Just the neck. Sigh.

Everyone together now, to the tune of The Grand Old Duke of York...

And when it was up, it was up.
And when it was down, it was down.
And when it was only halfway up, it was neither up nor down.
Obviously, you can tell that this obsession has driven me crazy. I really want to use my starry french terry. Should I?

Wednesday, 27 January 2010


Hats off to knitters

I might not have done too much making when we were on our trip, but my mom sure did. Using the colours picked out from The Fairytale Coat, she made this little Minnowknits Twizzletop hat for Maia. It a little bit reminds me of this, but it a totally good way:

So consumed with jealously with his sister's knitted hat, Jamie pestered Grandma until he had a hat all of his own. I can't link to a pattern, because Jamie was so specific about what he wanted that my mom had to combine several patterns. My mom said it was the hardest thing she even make, and 89% of that was probably because Jamie asked her every three minutes for 72 hours if it was done yet. I'm sure it's illegal to be this handsome.

I really have to hand it to you knitters, your patience is saintly. How do you toil away for so long to get your gratification?!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010


The post where I save the NHS a billion pounds

Dear Director of the NHS,

I'm sure you get heaps of letters from people about medicines and procedures that are available in other countries but not covered under our glorious free public health system. But bear with me, because I think you'll share my excitement about this one! On my recent trip to the US, I found out that you could get adult footy pajamas. I know, it's amazing. You might just think that I'm just giving you a heads up so you can get some, but no. I think they should be covered under the NHS. And here's why. As someone who has suffered with depression throughout my adult life, I've struggled to put my finger on just why I've been so glum. And now I know, it's because as an adult, I've never had footy pajamas. Just look at this picture: I bet you feel at least 600% less depressed already.

But wait, there's more. I'm sure you've seen the studies about how the world is having too many babies. Footy pajamas would help with this too. Because not only is encasing your entire body in fleece a prophylactic but I'm pretty sure it would collectively lower libido as well. Don't be fooled by this picture: They might look like they're going to make out later but they totally won't.

You might be wondering, "Amanda, why didn't you just buy yourself and Steven a pair of these?". Good question. Because although they would technically be a business expense, if I'm audited I would have to justify why they were necessary for my business and an accountant might not get it. And, yes, I probably could make us some but I wouldn't even know where to get non-slip fabric for the soles and if Steven falls over, that will actually cost the NHS money.

I eagerly await your response.


Monday, 25 January 2010


Reason 7042 why she's going to be a stripper

Sunday, 24 January 2010


Dear Bank Manager, I said I wouldn't but I did.

Yes, it does look like I went totally nuts on the fabric front. And I did. But... I bought more variety in smaller quantities than last trip. A couple of those pictured below did not make it in time to travel back with us, but hopefully my Mum will send on soon. If you want to see any specific fabric names, click on the picture to be taken over to Flickr where they are annotated. After looking at them here, and crying gently that I'm so lucky.

Brand new, never had before fabrics:

Let's hear it for the boys:

Semi-outlandish but frankly irresistible:

French terry:

(not pictured: plain coloured organic french terry and organic bamboo)


Home decor weight:

I had them before and now I have them again:

Technorati verification: 2P5NSKCCKGE6

Saturday, 23 January 2010


Top ten excuses why I didn't blog while I was away

  • 9. My mom has dial-up internet access and I might have stabbed her computer and then we would have fallen out.
  • 8. I was dazzled by Steven's first beard:
  • 7. I was attempting to go CSI on some fisher tracks I found near the house: A what?! A fisher: Yes, I sprinkled ash on the tracks and blew. No, it didn't work.
  • 6. I read 14 books. Steven read 27 issues of Sports Illustrated and one book:
  • 5. Monitoring the alarming rate of grey hair growth on my head is a full time job.
  • 4. Calvin needed airplane rides:
  • 3. I slept, on average, 100% more than I do in Edinburgh.
  • 2. Sledding: Playing in the snow: 'Nuff said.
  • 1. The airline lost my mojo.
Here are some more pictures of the lovely time the kids had with their cousins:
And some more pictures of our happy family:
And for the truly hard-core Nosey Parkers, all photos can be seen here.