Clothing · Clothing the children · Sewing Projects

One Day Hoodie

I’ve called this the One Day Hoodie because it only took me one day to make. And also because hopefully one day my daughter will like it…imageIt is another item from the Ottobre magazine I bought, with fabric chosen by the girl herself. It was meant to be completely in the star material but for some completely unknown reason I only bought half a metre of it so I had to improvise and use the cat jersey I’d bought (again half a metre of it. Why so little? Search me. Can’t remember why. Sleep deprivation or general all round madness resulting in reluctance to buy enough fabric.) for a skirt for her. I did check with her, made sure she was happy with this turn of events. She confirmed she was. And promised to wear the jumper.

Aaaaaaanyway, we all know how that works out.

back to the pattern. What I’ve learnt is that Ottobre magazine has some really lovely patterns. But boy, their instructions are on the light side.

imageThat bottom 1/3 of the page? That is the full set of instructions for the top. I figured out the cuffs no problem

imageAnd I I actually really love how neat they are.

but the hood? That took a bit of puzzling. I have to admit to doing a bit of deep thinking about attaching the hood while settling the boy when he grumbled a bit in the evening. Finally, I just decided to go with what seemed right and it worked out ok

imageThere’s a bit of…rusticness about the edging of the hood. But it looks fine to me. The jumper is in a lovely soft sweatshirt and it just kept curling at the edges. Not to worry, if I wanted perfect then I’d have bought something in the shop.

all in all, it’s a lovely pattern and was surprisingly quick and simple to put together. The difficult bit now will be getting her to wear it…

Clothing · Sewing Projects

This weekend has been all about the sewing


I made a little draw string bag for a birthday present. I even made the end of ribbon tabs. And an L for the birthday boy.

imageYou may recognise the spotty fabric from a cushion I made a thousand years ago. I bought about five kilometres of the stuff and have SO much left. I may have to start making clothes for all of us out of it…

but before I do, I made a wee top for the 5yr old. The pattern came from my head and needed a bit of adjustment. Truthfully, I based it on a t shirt my daughter wears which has a bit of room in it. I folded it in half and laid it on the folded fabric and cut out one piece, then copied it for the back but made that two pieces. If that makes ANY sense. It’s the usual three piece top. I decided that as it’s coming up to summer then sleeveless was the best idea (and also…easier. Less pieces, easier. Huzzah).

I stitched it up – shoulders first then the two side seams and the back seam – ably helped by the 5yr old who wanted to help and really, really enjoyed pressing the foot pedal. She nearly took my fingers off, but she enjoyed it. So… You know… Who needs ten fingers?  Anyway, after I stitched it up I thought it was best to try it on the child. And realised my mistake – the top I had traced it off was jersey, this fabric was not. So I had to unpick all the seams. I mean, yes, there are only three, but still. Unpick. But I did it, and then renewed them with minimal seam allowance. And then turned in the sleeve holes a tiiiiiny bit. And did the same for the front neck hole and the hem.


The back was originally going to have a button but seeing as I’d just unpicked the seams, I went for simple and folded the raw edges diagonally and top stitched to make a sort of diagonal detail.

job done.

Will she wear it? I don’t even want to guess.


(As always, apologies for the rotten photo quality. iPad plus kitchen floor plus tiredness plus taking picture late at night = what we’ve got.)


it seemed like a good idea at the time…

I promised my mum I would make the cake for my dad’s birthday. Easy peasy – I’d do a madeira cake. But I wanted to decorate it. And asked the 4 year old what she thought it should look like.

“BLUE! fFor a boy. And a plane.”

Fair enough. Sounds simple. I had no fondant icing but surely buttercream will be fine. So we made the cake and baked it and once it was cool I set about cutting it. With no real plan as to whst i was doing…


I thought that the simplest way to make a plane would be to cut so there was one middle piece, then slice the two “sides” to form two wings and a tail. And it would probably work out very well indeed. Ahem.


To be fair, it was looking alright here. Looks vaguely like a plane and a lot like a cake. I did end up with a wedge of cake that I didn’t really know what to do with. A problem I never thought I would have – extra cake. No matter! I stuck the wings and tails to the main part of the plane with some jam. I wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to do but, hey, cake + jam = tasty.

the point I struggled with was the icing. I really struggle with icing, especially with buttercream because I get crumbs everywhere and it drives me mad. I googled a bit and read about doing a crumb coating, so prepared some buttercream and thinned it down a bit with milk and slapped it on the cake. Crumbs everywhere. Oh dear. I let it all settle down a bit and mixed up some more buttercream but this time with the blue icing. And when I say blue, I mean BLUE.

Like I said, it seemed like a good idea at the time…

and then to overcome the crumb issue, I found my piping bag and decided to just pipe everything everywhere with the blue icing. And then, to make it a bit more… Aeroplaneish… I stuck on baubles and things. Because… Well… It was late and the blue was really BLUE. So the baubles went on to break up that colour a bit.


I still had no idea what to do with that extra wedge so I just iced it too. Blue. Obviously.

yeah… Blue cake. It tasted great though.

Review · Sewing Projects

Magazine review – Stitch Your Style

Last month I bought a sewing magazine. Hooray, I thought, a magazine with free patterns and lots of handy hints and tips to get my sewing mojo back (and somehow generate an extra 5 hours a day to make use of all these things).

I’m sure I’m not the only person who stands in the newsagent staring at the seemingly abundant options for hobby magazines. There are all sorts of quilting, crocheting, knitting, paper crafting, modelling, stitching and sewing magazines out there. After rifling through a good dozen or so, and discounting those that give you patterns for two dozen item but prints them all on the same page which makes me cross eyed and grumpy before even attempting to cut or trace them, I went for Stitch Your Style (June 2015 issue).


The magazine came with 3 free proper patterns:


This one I might well make for my daughter.

plus two other adult onesimage


The first set, trousers and tunic tops, look pretty… Retro. In not so nice a way. The dress pattern looks simple enough. BUT the patterns are all petite.  PETITE.

isnt that a bit of a gamble? Not all readers are going to be petite. Nor petite refuges from a 1970’s cocktail party.  I felt slightly annoyed, I should have checked the size before I bought, I know, but hadn’t expected the patterns to be so small.

In addition, the magazine itself has only been flicked through. Initial readings showed it to be quite dated, whether that’s a reflection of the free patterns or me being (un?)reasonably annoyed with it from the start I don’t know. I

I’m not going to buy it again though, there are LOADS of other magazines I can buy that looked interesting.

if I manage to use the patterns, I will blog. But at the moment this magazine gets a thumbs down from me. I’m a harsh reader and easily disappointed.