Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Waiting for the last bit of Golden Syrup takes forever! 

 It smells like Christmas in our house and tastes like it in our biscuit barrel.

Christmas stitching is going on in secret, but this is some wool and silk tweed I picked up in London - need to be wearing it on Friday.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Stir up Saturday?

Nigella's Easy-Action Christmas Cake and a few wishes...

job done.

Thursday, 24 November 2011


Just in the process of setting up my etsy shop for the gals!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Whatsit

Oh how we laughed...

at this piece of ancient apparatus...

we have several in our house...

 and we use them...

I often feel I belong in a museum.

The school reading of a five year old.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Sesame Prawn Toast TO DIE FOR

I dream of this Sesame Prawn Toast from Hakasan.

My young assistants think it is like a film set, but they didn't get to go this time.

The lights of Holly and Mistletoe on Carnaby Street were fab.

We spotted a few celebs but none greater than Ben 10.

Friday, 18 November 2011


Wovember, take a look.

Look for the Union Label

International Ladies Garment Workers Union - ILGWU,  I have a few garments with the union label and it amuses me to think they were made by "ladies".

Used to be an evening dress on the vertical, shortly to be an A Plus A-line on the horizontal.

Thursday, 17 November 2011


I managed to crack the Burdastyle code with a bit of Liberty Capel.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Twinkle Sews

I ordered Twinkle Sews from the library and now on the third renewal I have finally made something, the A Plus A-line.  The pattern pieces are on an accompanying disc, you just print off about 50 pieces of paper and stick them together.  The soldier is for the next skirt.

I found a brilliant zip tutorial online at Sew Mama Sew with a good glue stick trick, not scary at all.

I have a gazillion stitches on my machine but only ever use the straight stitch or free so I used a little curly one for the hem binding.

It all came from my stash, woolen fabric from a textile fair a few years ago, lining from one of the many fabric bags given to me by friends, zip from an old skirt lace trim from Copenhagen about four years ago and the binding I made from some shot silk left over from C&G Patchwork and Quilting about nine years ago.

Enthused, I have found my next project in my stack of Burdastyle  magazines, just need to crack the pattern code.  You can also download the A-line pattern for free from the Burda site.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Getting around to...

When hours and hours have gone in to a project why do the finishing touches always prove to be such a stumbling block?  I was umming and erring about gauge when I knit the first Tam last winter but dived in knowing that I could shrink it later, which I did.  The nearly finished Tam was knit on a size smaller needle with different colours and it doesn't need shrinking just a lot of ends sewing in.

I have wanted to do some crystalised rose petals for ages and so with the last of the Mme de Pompadour  an egg white - seem to have a freezer full - and caster sugar we got to work.  A couple of hours later they were stiff and in a jar waiting for the cakes that will show them off.  Wierd, perfumed and completely decadent the perfect nibble for a fairy tale princess or an aspirational 5 year old gal!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

God is in the Detail

A couple more pictures from behind the scenes at BMAG.  This is a detail from and Altarpiece, the head is about the size of a ten pence piece.

Detail from a completely hand stitched gentleman's waistcoat, the button hole was done and then re-jigged.  I love to see the marking out.

Detail from a skirt, again the pen markings for the embroidery can just about be seen.  It's good to go off the lines now and then!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Elves and The Shoemaker

A sampler from BMAG by Elizabeth Wright aged 9, 186 years ago but still the sentiment of stitchers is the same - as we say in our house - finished is better than perfect.  I can imagine the agony when Elizabeth realised, "your father's face" just wouldn't fit and I imagine her thinking, "Sod it, I'll put the bloody 'e' on top".

My five year old stitcher can't use the machine with her mouth closed.

Reminiscent of one of my favourite Ladybird illustrations ever from 'The Elves and the Shoemaker'.   I could just do with a few Elves popping round before the  Shire Hall Contemporary Craft Fair tomorrow!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Darn It!

Last week I was lucky enough to spend a day in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery behind the scenes looking at some of their textiles.

Whitework Christening robe c.1825  The woman making this wouldn't have had electric light or any of todays stitching gadgets, just a needle, thread, creativity and probably some strong willpower to get the job done.

Of course my favourite parts were the darns...

and the tiny hand-stitched button.

The figures were brilliant...

just going on about their daily business all across a christening robe.

So much fabulous detail on what looks from a distance just an ordinary christening robe.