Thursday, 27 September 2012


Last of the Famous International Jerseys

The final order of fabrics I've be awaiting arrived yesterday and is now listed in the shop. There probably won't be any more new arrivals for a bit, I've run out of shelving space! First up is En Route:
en route 1

It's a busy city scene with all types of people enjoying *all* modes of transportation- bike riding, walking, driving cars, ice cream vans, ambulances, and more. Buildings, trees, roads, lakes, lots of flora and fauna, even a grumpy road-crosser, which is of course my favourite bit:

en route 3

It's a riot of bright rainbow colours on a bright white background. The fabric is a GOTS-certified organic blend of 95% organic cotton with 5% elastane in a width of 160cm. Like the rest of Lillestoff's offerings, it feels gorgeously smooth and soft and it's really easy to sew.

owls full

Next up is Owls. This lovely fabric features rows of small multi-coloured owls on a bright petrol blue background. The owls' primary and accent colours are fuchsia, white, deep brown, yellow, and light olive green.  Those of you who loved Appletree, which was sadly sold out and has not (yet?) been reprinted, will be pleased to know that the colours on this one are identical.

little red

There is good news, however, in Sold-Out-Fabric-Tales-of-Woe: I do now have more Little Red Riding Hood.

One final word on fabric, the Vikings are selling fast.  In an unexpected  turn of events, Denmark has found out that I have it and spent the weekend stocking up. 

Viking Collage

Non-sewers, no fretting.  If it's the Viking clothes you're after, they're now available too.

Monday, 24 September 2012


The Critical Decision Shirt

grey superhero shirt 1

Last summer the lease came up for a very small shop near our house.  Shops hardly ever come up locally, this is very much a residential area.  I had a look around and found out a bit more about rates and costs from the current tenant, but then I went on holiday and it was snapped up by the time I came back.  Maddeningly, the new tenants never did anything with the premises (as in they never even unboarded the door) and every time I walked by I was a bit peeved.

grey superhero shirt 2

Friend Sarah and I had a business meeting on Friday (that means we went to the pub and I talked about work a lot), and I was going on about 'the shop that got away' as I am wont to do.  And then I walked by today and it's available again.

grey superhero shirt 4

Now- some things have changed since it first caught my attention.  Back then, I hadn't yet converted the spare bedroom into my sewing room so the appeal of a dedicated space was greater.  And the rent is 15% higher than advertised last year. 

grey superhero shirt 3

The space is small , probably not that much bigger than my sewing room.  But it's dedicated space and appealingly not-in-my-house; I hope I would be more productive and focused away from housey distractions. And Jamie and Maia won't want to share a room forever.

grey superhero shirt 8

It's funny how you can fixate on something being The Answer when it's not available and then have the bejesus scared out of you when it is! It would definitely be more of a studio than a shop as such, although I'm sure there could be some shopping-type events.

Pros of shop-dom:
  • Dedicated space
  • Makes it feel more like a 'real' business than working at home, and I would pull my boots up accordingly
  • Could run small workshops / classes
  • Reclaiming an extra room in our house
Cons of shop-dom:
  • Cost of lease immediately and dramatically affects profit margin
  • Not a lot of extra space than my no-extra-cost sewing room in the house
Tldr: risky but appealing.  What say you, hive mind?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


Open-eyed Owls Party Frock

on a whim party frock

Just before a bajillion fabrics arrived and all hell broke loose, I was commissioned to make a birthday dress for a little girl turning three.

on a whim party frock lining

Green and orange were requested due to the recipients' Celtic colouring and we decided on this perfect pistachio On a Whim from my stash.  You can just about see in the above picture that the bodice is lined with a coordinating lime green dot.

on a whim party frock back

And an orange button and sash to complete the ensemble.  I appreciate that the apparel offerings in my shop have been almost completely knits-based for a while now but I promise that there will be more variety soon!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


An Apple a day won't keep the tigers away. Or giraffes, superheroes or clouds for that matter.


Are you ready for the latest installment of Fabric Haul?  The final box of outstanding orders arrived last night!  Like lots of my recent acquisitions they are organic-heavy and slightly more 'boy'-centric (if that's even a thing, which it's not).

Apple Collage

How do you like them apples?  On organic cotton interlock, please.

Giraffe, tiger and clouds Collage

Giraffes and tigers and clouds, oh my!  Organic jersey, organic interlock, and organic jersey respectively.

Supahero Collage

These are the superheroes than made me track down and woo the supplier like a woman possessed.  Stretch jersey with a considerable elastane content, super smooth and sturdy.


And finally / boringly, a bunch of plain jerseys in a tremendous width of 185cm.  Perfect for cuffs, neckbands, and waistbands and to make your printed jerseys go that much further.

Click through to peruse!

Monday, 17 September 2012


The Pirates and Vikings have landed

pirates and vikings

Another two new fabrics have arrived and they're doozies. I almost missed getting my mitts on them as the manufacturer sold out almost immediately but luckily I was able to finagle them from another supplier.  Praise the Lord.

pirates full

First up are the Pirates.  This amazing fabric has a seascape scene of ships, whales, fish, treasure, parrots, octopi, sea monsters, bottles, and waves on a light turquoise background. It's a GOTS-certified organic cotton of amazing quality; those of you who have ordered Little Red, Robots, Summer Forest, or Appletree know what I'm talking about.


And maybe my all-time favourite fabric ever- Vikings!  This fantastic fabric has a riotous scene of Vikings going about their Viking business-- fishing beside their longboats, cooking at campfires, brandishing weapons, drinking from flagons. The background also includes mountains, trees, clouds and a smattering of raindrops.  Honestly, I was of half (or three-quarters, at the very least) of a mind not to tell anyone about this one and keep it all for my greedy self.

I know that I always say snatch them while they're hot, but I really mean it this time.  I'm don't think I'll be able to get these again unless they go to reprint!

Thursday, 13 September 2012


Collect the Moments: Redux

As the Capturing Childhood: Collect the Moments photography course finished while we were still on holiday, I didn't get a chance to properly share my thoughts on it. Or picspam you with some of my favourite holiday shots. So let's kill two birds with one stone...

I can't overstate how happy I am to have been on the course; the instructors were knowledgable and accessible, the modules informative and well-rounded, and the community of people taking the course were so engaging and supportive. Like many people, my photography was predominantly focussed on a 'look at me / look at the camera' remit which can produce good shots but also lots where the kids looked forced or unnatural. This course really challenged me to look at the camera as a bystander or a witness: to capture the mood, tell a story, show the personality of the subject.
Science Centre Collage 2

These are my favourite shots from our day at the Connecticut Science Center (which by the way I highly recommend if you're in the area!).  Rather than lots of 'look at the camera / show me what you're doing' pics, I was trying to capture Jamie and Maia caught in the wonder of all that science.  The only picture that is 'staged' I re-focussed so that while he thought I was taking a straight-up shot of his creation, I was actually taking a picture of his fiercely proud face.

Jamie and Calvin Collage

This collage tells the very sad story that the rules of baseball are hard.  From the back it just looks like a very sweet shot of friendship but by orbitting around you can see that two year olds, despite their reputations, are indeed capable of extreme compassion.

Glasses Collage

Or how about the story of 'I (deliberately) got my glasses wet, my eyes are all wet, ergo I don't need to wear glasses on the beach or probably ever'?  Nice try, Maia.

Sharing Collage

Two girls sharing a hula hoop, boys playing in the background. 

Personality Collage

Pictures oozing with the personality of the subjects, but still natural.

cc museum6

And the technical information about lighting, focus, movement and framing were clearly helpful too.  Man, I really needed some technical help.

Collaboration Collage

I think one of the biggest lessons I took from Capturing Childhood was that the journey to a picture is often just as good than the resulting picture. I think I love the shots of everyone reaching out to help Calvin onto the lifeguard's chair more than the posed one as it shows the dynamic in our family of closeness despite our distance.

Disclaimer: I received nothing in compensation for this review, I just couldn't recommend it enough!  Capturing Childhood: Collect the Moments is just about to start a fresh session if you're interested.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Swiss Family Retro

Android hoodie

I was recently commissioned to make some hoodies for brothers, and being a woman of impeccable taste and most likely my bosom buddy, the mum picked all retro / geeky fabrics.

Cassette hoodie

This poor lost generation of children we are raising who do not know the true meaning of cassette tapes. And by 'we', I mean 'you'. Because Steven will never give his ever-loving two billionty cassette tapes up.

Superhero hoodies

Confucius said, 'You can never love superheroes too much' and he sure got that one right: we used it for both hoodies.  Poor Jamie was consumed by jealousy* when I was wrapping them up to post, he thought one was for him.

swiss family retro

Best customer shot ever.**

*As it's Jamie we're talking about, 'consumed by jealousy' actually looks a bit like quiet wistfulness. And I do have enough of the superhero fabric for precisely one hoodie for his birthday, with the caveat that there will be no more growning for awhile.
**Joint best. I treasure all customer shots equally, although I do not get nearly enough of them. HINT HINT.

Monday, 10 September 2012


From Finland with love

Those of you on Facebook might have seen that I have a (literal) tonne of fabric on it's way and here is the first delivery:

Nosh Organics Collage

A whole new supplier and a whole new country!  These are from Nosh Organics in Finland, and as the name suggests they are organic and good enough to eat. They are super soft interlock of a hefty 200gm weight so a great choice for beginners-to-knits.  And not beginners-to-knits.  Let's face it, they are great for everyone.

trio of jackets

In other shop news I've finally converted the hitherto unavailable coat patterns to pdf files so you can get your mitts on them without waiting for the postman.

Friday, 7 September 2012


The Anniversario Top

anniversary top dart

It was our six year wedding anniversary yesterday and Steven and my first 'date' night since July.  Being such a heady, thrilling occasion I decided it was high time than I sewed something for myself.  I've been thinking a lot about Sunni's new blog series on an 'Everyday Wardrobe'.  The challenge is to sew things that you might wear all the time, functional items that fit in with your normal attire.   Seeing as the majority of me-mades are special occasion dresses (worn once) or casual dresses (only worn in cold winter or high summer), it was time to make something that I could throw on with my everyday jeans.

anniversary top front

Sometime within the last year I got struck with skinny jean fever.  I currently have blue, black, turquoise, red, jade, royal blue, and purple.  And polka-dot.  But precisely zero tops that I'm happy to wear with them; I don't want to wear tight tops with tight bottoms, and my tunic length things are generally too a-line.  So I returned to the pattern that I drafted for the Green Eyed Monster top to make a simple shell top.  The fabric is of mysterious content but fairly evil slinky and satiny.  It's not quite as clingy or wavy in real life, it was so windy when I was getting photographed and that blew it in under bust.  It has Dolman sleeves, scooped neckline, side-bust darts (which I moved a bit from the last one) and binding along the hem edges for a tiny bit more length.  But my favourite bit?

anniversary top vent

The vents!  I love how it gives you a bit more ease around the hips and also allows for a longer back so you can sit down without paranoia.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


The Pillow Fight

Do not be fooled by the innocuous (albeit heinous) appearance of the below cushion, it is responsible for at least 75% of all inter-child fights in this household.
terrible cushion

They have literally torn it apart in their fervour to Be The One With the Ugly Pillow. Kids, eh?

new cushions 002

If the adage the things are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside, this pillow proves that the converse is also true. Such craftsmanship. In my defence, this is the very first thing I ever sewed about six years ago. Forgive me, I knew not what I did.

new cushions 003

After escalating tension, I found myself regularly confiscating and hiding this cushion various places around the house so they couldn't fight over it. And this is why we can't have nice things. Or, you know, just things.

cushion Collage 3
RIP, fugly pillow.