Sunday 31 October 2010


Second verse, same as the first, but a little bit camper and a little bit worse.

super jamie 001

I'm afraid I will not be surprising you with the second of my Halloween costumes. Unless you're surprised by extreme camp-ness, in which case you'll be shocked.

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There is not a child on this Earth that was more pleased with his costume. He lent it more gravitas than it deserved.

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Being a Superhero is some serious business.

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The kids both wore their costumes to soft play this morning and I have it on good authority that their costumes inspired awe and friendship.

super jamie 009

I know you've seen enough pictures of Maia rocking her costume to last you a lifetime, but I defy you not to LOL at this. The brief was 'look tough'.

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It kills me. But not as much as this one.

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Just. Look. At. That. Sassy. Pose.

/bookmark for teenage years.

Friday 29 October 2010


Super Maia, Scourge of the Universe

super maia full

Although technically I should have had an additional two sleeps to complete Halloween costumes, Maia's nursery party was this morning so I had to rush, rush, rush to get this done. Did I mention that the silver foil lycra only arrived yesterday afternoon? Before you scroll down, take a moment to appreciate the majesty of the Buddha belly.

super maia fly 5

If Satan ran a haberdashery shop, all of these fabrics would be on special offer because not even the Devil himself would like to sew with them. The silver foil was at least sturdy, but it came wrapped with paper between every fold because it sticks to itself, and pins leave permanent puncture marks.

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The pink silk touch lycra feels beautiful and has such a lovely drape but is so slinky and stretchy it's less stable than my mental health. And that's saying something.

super maia close

The mask is backed with felt, stitched close to the edge and trimmed. There was nothing else I could do with that pesky lycra.

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The 'M' to the chest it's tightly zig-zagged with lime green stitching because I didn't have any pink thread for extra pop.

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She was ten times ecstatic to be wearing it on the school run and told countless random people variations of 'I am Super Maia. I am here to save the day. I have so much work to do. There's somebody in trouble.' And our childminder almost died laughing at her 'toddler fetish wear'. My work here is done.

Wednesday 27 October 2010


You all want me to sew a chicken carcass. I won't.

Last week when I was fabric shopping for Halloween costume purposes, I noticed something completely new in my local Mandor's: a table full of leather pelts. I was drawn to the lovely colours and butter soft texture, but the thought of buying actual leather had me a bit flummoxed. Naturally, I brought my ethical quandry over to my Facebook Fan Page and Twitter and we had a really interesting debate. Most people said, 'If you eat meat, then using the by-products in the form of wearing / sewing leather makes sense.' I'm liking the sentiments, guys, but I don't actually eat beef. Can you get poultry skin for crafting purposes? Do not even send me links. Do Not Want.

I went back today, and unfortunately the petrol blue skin I had my heart set on had sold in the intervening week. There was still so much to choose from and in the end I chose cherry red. Speaking to the shop assistant, I found out a bit more about how they came into stock. The esteemed Liberty of London have recently ceased manufacturing handbags and accessories and sold off their remaining leather pieces. Mandor's got their hands of a fair amount, but they were selling very well and once gone, they're gone. And what does Amanda do when confronted by the terror of other people buying the last of something she wants? That's right. She panic-bulk-buys:

This piece verges right on the edge of very dark chocolate brown and grey black. I almost bought a turquoise suede. I almost bought an antiqued fuschia. But that would have been truly insane.

So, what would you do with two large leather skins?

Tuesday 26 October 2010


The Houndstooth Military Duffel of Doom

houndstooth coat buttons

The winter cold has arrived here early this year. Maia's Fairytale Coat from last winter is a bit short in the sleeve so I stole some time over the weekend to sew her a new winter coat.


I've had this black and white houndstooth wool in my stash since I found it on sale last year, but I was never sure what to use it for. When in doubt, make a coat. That's my mantra.


I used the same pattern as I did for the Sorbet Military Duffel. The wool was a bit tricksy to sew because it's a very loose weave and unravelled as soon as it was cut, so all the edges had to be serged before I started construction. To add to the masochism, the coat is lined with Polar Fleece with snuggly fleece pockets. And I got ten thousand bonus Masochism Points for an inner lining of Thinsulate. It's proper winter warm.


Under that hair cape is a big fat fleecey hood.


The six faux plackets are rather less noticeable than I'd like with all the hardcore houndstoothing. I considered coloured buttons but black ones probably make for a more sophisticated and understated toddler.


Thankfully, it's passed her stringent apparel control standards despite lacking even a smidgen of pink. I'm happy that I've finally tackled wool. And I also attempted another thing for the first time... sleeves inserted in the round rather than sewn in flat! Non sewers call your sewing friends right now to confirm how exciting that is.

Sunday 24 October 2010


Animal bum leggings

I'm not normally in the habit of sharing kids clothes that I didn't sew with mine own fair hands, but I'm making an exception on the grounds of adorable-ness. To jump on the theme of the blogging world this week, if you complain about this publicly or even insinuate that I'm less than awesome, I WILL SUE YOU. Speaking of awesome, how about these ones?

I first saw the tip off about these tights/ leggings on Bambino Goodies and I rushed right over to their Ebay shop to peruse the full selection:

It was hard to pick just three but without Maia involved in the decision making I could at least avoid the inevitable pink, pink and pink. Panda ones are my favourite.

Friday 22 October 2010


In the spirit of Blue Peter, here's one I made earlier

Once upon a time, Maxine from Tiny White Daisies sent me a mystery parcel from Holland...

When Maxine read about my travails of finding pants that fit Maia's 'gracious plenty' she sent me a five-pack of Dutch briefs. Who knew... Holland is the land of bigger bummed babes! Alas, Maxine is keeping her cards close to her chest when it comes to objects of her affection, so I couldn't make her an inappropriately sexual journal. More fool her, I say. But I could make her a tasteful makeup bag:

Again. Sigh. WHY am I always making makeup mags for the preternaturally beautiful? You'll have to pull some serious internet shenanigans to confirm this, but there's a 96% chance that Maxine has donated her makeup bag to Dutch Oxfaam. Does. Not. Need. Makeup. Needs. Virgin. Milk. And. Witchcraft.

Unfortunately, said defunct-make-up-bag took ten million days to arrive in the Netherlands, so I could only share it now. But doesn't it make it look like I've sewn in the last week? Three more days til half-term is over!

NB. I'm loving this 'I'll send you a mystery, you send me one back' malarkey. I promise, if anyone sends me something I'll craft you back!

Thursday 21 October 2010


Best friends always hold your hair back

This is all I'm capable of today.

Expectations of the hours 12AM to 7AM this morning:

Reality of the hours 12AM to 7AM this morning:

'Sorry about that.'

Tuesday 19 October 2010


The Thrill-fest continues: Games for half term

This is a follow-up to my post of games to play over the summer holidays. Our ingenuity knows no bounds.

Paper, paper everywhere
Requirements: paper, markers, scissors, blue tac, persistence
Object of the game: colour like your life depends on it, cut all your drawings into confetti, stick confetti to All The Things:
Who is the winner: The manufacturers of Blue Tac, Dyson

Where in God's name is it?
Requirements: A supernaturally large spider, a house with lots of places to hide
Object of the game: Find the spider before it kills the family
Who is the winner: The blissfully unaware. Pharmaceutical companies. The spider.

Clipe (a Scottish word meaning tattle-tale or snitch)
Requirements: other people behaving anti-socially, a sense of injustice
Object of the game: Go somewhere where a lot of people are likely to be behaving like psychopaths (ie soft play). Every time someone pushes you, bumps you, looks at you sideways, or doesn't take turns go and tell your mum.
Who is the winner: The person with the biggest Injustice Complex.

What colour is this animal's pubic hair?
Requirements: pictures of animals, markers, attention to detail
Object of the game: Self explanatory.
Who is the winner: I'm not sure. Probably no one.

Poop Bingo
Requirements: A high fibre diet
Object of the game: Draw up a bingo card of all the places you will go over half-term. Every time you need to poop while you are at one of these places, place a mark in the square.

Who is the winner: First person to make a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line wins.
Bonus round: Fill your entire bingo card.

Sunday 17 October 2010


Starting as I mean to go on, i.e. THRILLING

And so began half term. Ten days with no school, no nursery, no childminder, no grandparents. All me, all kids, all the time. Sewing will be sporadic, if at all; I have grown accustomed to working during daylight hours. Projects on a needs-must basis. Like so:

We've been going swimming almost every weekend recently. Terrifyingly, North Edinburgh is now au fait with my pin-up bathing suit, which is holding it own through regular use and not doing anything too embarrassing. The pool is freezing. The kids need warm robes to tide them over so I can get dressed first. The robe is clearly much loved.

Saturday 16 October 2010


Retro Rocket Quilt: The Nitty Gritty

Because Crystal asked so nicely, here is my sketch of the design of the Retro Rocket Quilt. Click on the picture for a better view.

If you use 2.5" as the length / width of each square (as I did), you will get a final quilt measuring 33" by 43.5". Remember that you will need to add your preferred seam allowance to each piece on the edges that are sewn to others!

Friday 15 October 2010


Princess Phase Two: The adult affliction

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I don't know what's come over me. In the last couple of weeks I've wanted to wear nothing but dresses and skirts, tights, and boots. But with the exception of boots, I have none of the necessary equipment. Must. Make. Dresses.

velour dress front

Is Maia's girliness contagious? Is it a pathetic capitulation to the level of grooming displayed on the school run? I'm not exactly sure. But I think this blog has something to do with it.

velour dress side

You might recognise this dress from my knit cowls from last winter. I appreciate that my body type shouldn't be in such a high neck, and that velour is not very forgiving to lumps and bumps, but I can see myself making another half a dozen in different colours and prints. Does the cooler air make anyone else a bit crazy and / or single minded about their wardrobe?

Thursday 14 October 2010


Retro Rocket Quilt

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Friend Sarah's sister is due her first baby this week and commissioned me to make a couple of things for him.

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This is only the second quilt I've made and I spent a very long time drafting different patterns on graph paper before I got started.

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I used a rocket, polkadot and red/white/blue colur scheme, with a Thinsulate interior and red flannel backing. I was going to quilt it with wavy lines but I lost my nerve. I'm not sure quilting is for me.

Thankfully, I was also allowed a project within my comfort zone: an appliqued t-shirt. The baby is called 'Sherpa' in utero (don't ask me why!) so I fused some white jersey letters to an organic khaki t-shirt and stitched them on with red thread. The t-shirt is tiny and the letters even tinier so getting the stitching around all the curves and angles involved a lot of pivoting!

We never had nickname for the kids while gestating but it seems pretty common... did you have nicknames for yours?

Tuesday 12 October 2010


Fact: Helicopters activate ovaries

In Friday's last-minute-birthday-present-panic, I made the first cut into this summer's Kokka fabric haul. I know. It's been almost three months, and I've only used a four inch by three inch patch. At this rate they'll last me the rest of my life. *crosses fingers*

I did a simple rectangular applique with my trusty twin needles and contrasting orange thread.

If you're interested, this is what Jamie will look like in five years. Speaking of time marching swiftly on, I think I'm going to have to start breeding again. I need new models.

All right, the winking / biting lip combo is pretty cute.

Menaces to the right, please.

But to get even a handful of semi-decent pictures, I have to go through this malarkey.

Menaces to the front, please.

And lots of this.

Menaces to the left, please.

And lots of blurry frames because they're manic moving too fast.

And some frames with no one in them at all.

But at least they're happy, bonding over tormenting me. Until I fire them.