2020 Makes – so far

Embroidered needle case

I went to a course at Loop in London in July 2019 and finally finished this in January. It really inspired me to try more embroidery. Of course, I haven’t actually done any yet!

Linden Sweatshirt – number 3

I love the other two versions I sewed, so I decided to make another. It doesn’t show in the photo but this is navy flecked with different colours. My next plan is to make a patterned version. Maybe a floral pattern. I’m still having a few problems with the neckband on these as I always seem to get little puckers. Must research online how to avoid that.

Lockdown Patchwork Blanket

I started this near the beginning of lockdown and tried to knit a square each evening. It was coming along nicely but I have been distracted by other projects lately. I really enjoy it though. I’m using the yarn from my Dandelion & Dogwood 2019 advent calendar – its lovely. Again you can’t see in the photo, but this yarn is all sparkly.

Kimono Top – number 2

I made a trial version of this last year in a cheap navy fabric and it went well so I made this one. I didn’t think about the fact that the wrong side of the fabric would show, so it was a bit disappointed. The navy fabric looked the same on both sides so it wasn’t an issue. It’s a shame because this patterned fabric is really pretty. I think it’s destined to become a dressing gown for my 10 year old daughter. At least I learnt from it!

Whitmoor Sweater

This sweater is a pattern by the lovely Ami from Tailoress Studio. I’ve never attempted knitting a garment for myself before, but she gave me the confidence to give it ago. It’s a brilliant pattern and I’ve loved knitting it. The yarn is from the yarn busines she and her sister, Jen, run – Dandelion & Dogwood. The colour is just my favourite – it’s called Married in Jeans. I put this project aside while it was hot, but I’m now on the second sleeve. Determined to have it finished to wear for a Zoom chat with my knitting group next week. Photos to follow when finished.

Snuggle Down Cowl

This is a pattern by Jooles from Sew Sweet Violet, and it’s fantastic. Such a relaxing knit. I can’t wait to wear this, as I finished it just as the weather got warm. I will be making many of these! I knitted this one using a magic knotball (so cool!) for Jooles magicknitballalong. These were all left over yarns. How thrifty am I? Not very usually, unfortunately.

Jaimie Pyjama Shorts

This Tilly and The Buttons pattern came includes tween sizes, so I was able to make a pair for my daughter even though I actually bought it to make some for myself. She loved this shell fabric which I bought at our local fabric shop, Backstitch, and I was persuaded to make hers first. And of course I haven’t got round to mine yet. I’ve got some gorgeous fabric waiting. These turned out a bit baggy but she doesn’t seem to mind.

Small zip pouch x 2

When the kids and I really despaired of the homeschooling, we took a few days off to do different types of learning. We followed an online tutorial (I forget which now) to make a small zipped pouch. I made a version with really funky fish fabric with my daughter, but I can’t find the photo (it’s on my Instagram but I can’t work out this new version of WordPress and my laptop seems to have become old and incompatible with everything). This photo is my son with his version. He’s 8 and he chose the penguin fabric himsel. He was a reluctant sewer but he liked the result. I just wish I had eyelashes like his. Imaging the mascara savings (I need the crying face emoji here – if only I knew how).

Retirement Quilt

My Mum was due to retire in June, after over twenty years in the same job. Unfortunately due to the coronavirus situation, her retirement party was cancelled and she didn’t get to see her colleagues on her last day.

I wanted to give her a special present, so I made her this patchwork lap quilt. I followed a video tutorial from Melanie Ham on You Tube for a first quilt, which was really helpful. It was really detailed and clear. I think Mum was really pleased with it.

I enjoyed making it so much that I started a bigger one immediately afterwards, it’s all pieces, layered, quilted and it’s just waiting to be cut and have the binding sewn on. I must get on with that.

Snuggle Down Cowl – number 2

I knitted a second one with left over yarn from my Dirty Lace Shawl. This yarn is amazing to knit with, and I held it with floof from the lovely Kelly at Lay Family Yarns. I love this so much and can’t wait to wear it. The dog is keen too.


These socks had been on the go for a while because I made a mistake which I couldn’t work out how to fix. I put them aside for ages, but then decided to pick them up, fudge it a bit and carry on. And it actually worked ok. As has happened to me before, one ended up longer than the other. But no one will ever know.

I use the sock pattern from Christine of Winwick Mum. I learnt to knit socks from her beginners sockalong a few years ago, and bought her book as it’s so clear. The yarn was something I bought from Loop a while ago but I forget what now. Looking forward to wearing them soon. This was only my fourth pair of socks. I definitely want to do more – handknit socks are so comfy – and pretty.

Patchwork quilt

I watched a tutorial that Jooles from Sew Sweet Violet made about English Paper Piecing which I’ve always wanted to try. I then bought some fabric hexie sets from Jooles too. I found using a fabric glue pen to baste the hexies makes it all so much easier. I then got on with hand sewing the hexies together and found it to be very theraputic and totally addictive. I very quickly got through all the initial fabrics and Jooles kindly put another pack together for me. I then moved on to cutting up my fabric scraps, and then trawling local fabric shops for fat quarters. It’s surprising how much fabric you need so that you don’t end up with too many the same near each other.

I’ve slightly ambitiously decided to try and make this into a king size quilt for my bed. I estimate that this will be about 700 hexies, and so far I’ve sewn about 275. I am really loving it. I’m trying to stick to colour grouped lines but it is a bit random. I quite like that effect though. I’m sewing it in sections as it was starting to get a bit heavy. I think this project will be ongoing for a while, and I have no idea how I’m going to quilt it with it being so big. More research needed.

Bedroom makeover

This wasn’t exactly done by me. My daughter was desperate to have her bedroom redone, and I foolishly undertook the task myself with no real decorating experience. Luckily my Mum and Dad took pity on me and helped me with the painting. Unfortunately we chose the hottest days of the summer to do it and absolutely sweltered while painting.

She really wanted a dressing table, and as my dressing table which was second hand from my mother in law was looking a bit worse for wear, I said she could have it and I’d get a new one (which hasn’t happened, so I now sit on the floor and my stuff is in a pile!). She liked the idea of a ‘Hollywood mirror’, so I searched online for options. I found these lights at Ikea, and my Dad spent ages attaching batons to the back of the mirror to attach them. I think they look really effective, and kind of wish it was mine. Lucky daughter. She chose this rose gold wallpaper from Homebase to go on the wall behind it, which I thought was a bit over the top initially, but it actually looks lovely. The other walls are a lovely blue (Dulux Blue Babe). Dad also fixed the broken leg – thanks Dad! And Mum went out shopping with her for door knobs, a clock and a lampshade.

The table part of the dressing table has got a lot of marks on it, so I suggested that we print some photos and stick them on, and then put some kind of varnish or sealant on the top. I’ve got no idea if this will work, but that’s an upcoming project. Any suggestions appreciated. I also want to try and cover the stool which is grubby. Yet more research needed, but that must be doable. Anyway, I ramble…

Mountain Climbing – Helvellyn

It’s not making, but I did do it. We went on holiday to the Lake District a few weeks again. We had a lovely time and my husband, two kids, dog and I climbed Helvellyn. This was only our second mountain – we climbed Pen-Y-Fan in Wales last year.

The views were amazing and the weather was perfect. It was hard work but I loved it. My Nana and Grandad spent a lot of time in the Lake District and I’ve always wanted to go. My Grandad died a long time ago and his ashes were scatted on Skiddaw, so that’s the next climb on my list. I recorded a little video for my Nana at the top as she was at home in Cambridge wishing she was up there.

We also climbed Catbells, and did some other lovely walks while we were there. The kids were really good, but that’s as much as we could persuade them to do. They did some tree walking and scrambling which they really enjoyed.


Writing this post has made me feel much better, as again, when I look back I’ve actually done more than I thought. It helps me organise my mind as to what I want to do next.

Here are my goals for the next few weeks:

  1. Finish my Whitmoor Sweater
  2. Finish my quilt (the machine one not the hand sewn one!)
  3. Make some Jaimie pyjama shorts for me (although it will probably be too cold now!)
  4. Order some fabric for another Linden sweatshirt (hello Guthrie & Ghani)
  5. Get photos printed for dressing table

I could go on and on, but I’ll stick to these 5 for now and pledge to write again in two weeks.

Thanks for reading (if anyone made it through this epic post!)


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2020 Update

I think it can safely be said that 2020 has been a difficult year so far.

Somehow during all the struggles of homeschooling and other worries, I lost my way with doing the things that make me really happy. Now that the kids are back at school (fingers crossed it continues) and before I return to work after 6 months of furlough, I have a little tiny window of time for myself (alongside all the boring chores and general life admin, of course!).

Today was the first day that felt like autumn, and I felt real joy at the prospect of cosy knitting, some other craft projects and Christmas on the horizon. However, this was tempered by the very depressing news and reintroduction of some restrictions here in the UK. Anxiety immediately begins to rise and I start to feel like we’re getting back on the emotional roller coaster. Which is funny because I’ve never set foot on a roller coaster and never will. I like things steady.

I feel anxious but all I can do is follow the rules, be a sensible as possible and hope for the best. In the meantime, I can do things to improve my own mental health.

Being creative makes me happy. Full stop. But time and time again, when I feel anxious, depressed or generally stressed, I seem to put it aside. Just when I need it the most. So this time I’m going to try not to.

I look back through parts of this blog from time to time, and I find of a lot of it quite embarrassing. I don’t have any real skills or talent, not like the amazing people whose blogs and podcasts I enjoy so much. I don’t have anything sell, no business to promote. I often hover over the ‘delete blog’ button and I sometimes take it offline, but something stops me getting rid of it. It is a nice record of the past, and it gave me a focus when I was going though various tough times when the kids were smaller. Writing about making really inspires me to do and make more, which in terms makes me much happier. So write I will.

I am shy by nature, and although I love posting things on Instagram, I keep my account private. I don’t know why. Maybe because I think people with laugh at me. Or judge me. But the reality is, it doesn’t really matter if they do. I moved the switch over to public today. The worst that can happen is that people I know stumble across this blog and think I’m an idiot. However, the possible best is that I could meet some nice people with similar interests to me, which would be really nice.


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2019 Makes

Happy New Year!

I didn’t do very well with my plan to resume blogging in 2019 as my last post is from December 2018!  However, I’m trying not to worry about what went before and concentrate on now.  I’ve been hard on myself this year as I felt that I hadn’t done much sewing or knitting, or making at all during 2019 – but when collecting photos to write this post, I discovered that I’d done a lot more that I thought.  My iphone even made me a little video which I’ve shared on my Instagram page.  The video really made me smile as it was a nice reminder of the things I have made.  I’m going to try and be kinder to myself this year.

Here’s a summary of the things I made during 2019:

Calder Beanie

Around this time last year, a friend from my knitting group recommended the Fruity Knitting Podcast which I started watching and really loved.  I’ve never knitted a hat before and in one of the early epoisodes Andrew was knitting a Calder Beanie and Andrea had made a tutorial, so I decided to give it a go.  I loved knitting it and was really pleased with how it turned out.  It was a free pattern too.  The cable was simple but looked so effective.  It fitted brilliantly.  I wore it lots, and then I lost it.  I was so disappointed, and when I stumbled across the remaining yarn last week – I decided to knit it again.  I’ve got 6 rows to go and I think the yarn is just about going to be enough but its really close.  This hat is knitted flat and then seamed up the back, which was great.  I have subsequently knitted a hat (see below) using magic loop and I actually like both ways.  I was a bit shy in the photo!


Aria Socks

As I mentioned in a previous post, I discovered Ami from the Little Tailoress (now Tailoress Studio) and was so inspired by her podcast and general loveliness.  She and her sister, Jen, have an amazing yarn company called Dandelion & Dogwood.  This year I haven’t been able to resist their yarn and I started off with the first month of their Yarn and Literary Club.  The theme was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, so I received this absolutely gorgeous yarn.  I loved re-reading the book, and I shamelessly stole Jen’s idea of knitting the Aria Socks from Salt City Knits with the yarn.  I think the pattern and the yarn match up beautifully.  As it was only my third pair of socks and my first time using contract cuff, heels and toes, I inevitable made a mistake and forgot to change my yarn back – so I ended up with a ring of peach where there should not be a ring of peach!  Luckily it wasn’t too noticeable so I decided to keep going.  But alas, when I got on to the second sock, I realised I was going to run out of the peach mini skein!  I contacted Ami, and she really kindly dyed some more and sent it to me in the post.  I was so grateful.  It took me a while to get round to finishing the second sock, but I’m glad I did as they are so pretty.  I loved this pattern.  I did make it more difficult for myself by using a small circular needle instead of magic loop as the pattern says.  At the time of starting I didn’t know how to do magic loop and it seemed way beyond me.  I’ve subsequently been shown and realised that it isn’t too scary, and I think I will try my next pair of socks that way.

Settler Shawl

I bought this amazing Qing Fibre yarn from Loop, and knitted the Settler Shawl by Truly Myrtle Designs.  I think I have knitted this pattern four times now.  Two in fingering weight as suggested by the pattern and two in DK weight.  I wear them all the time, and this is my relaxing pattern.  It is straightforward and can easily be knitted while chatting or watching TV, but the lace part adds interest so I don’t get bored.  I still can’t believe I never met Libby from Truly Myrtle as she lived 5 minutes away from me in Cambridge and we have a mutual friend – but I didn’t find her brilliant podcast until after she moved back to New Zealand.  It was Libby and her lovely patterns (more coming up later) that really gave me the confidence to try knitting new things.  Thanks Libby!

Linden Sweatshirt

I cut this out at the time I made the first one, but didn’t get a chance to sew it up for a while.  I’ve worn this lots.  The fabric was from Guthrie & Ghani, and I’m in the process of making a third one in navy blue.  You probably can’t see from the photo but the fabric has coloured flecks in it which makes it more interesting.  This pattern is really straightforward and really comfy to wear.  My main challenge has been learning to change my overlocker thread to a different colour for the navy one – that was an experience!  I’d like to find a pretty patterned fabric for the next one as they are great to wear with jeans.

Sorbetto top

I’ve made a lot of these, and this was another one for work.  The Sorbetto top is a free pattern from Collette, and I’ve now seen that they have added a tunic version and one with sleeves.  I’ve just bought some really pretty Liberty fabric in the John Lewis sale, so I might have a go at the one with sleeves next.


Hitchhiker Shawl

The Hitchhiker shawl is another simple one, and with this one the yarn does all the talking.  I couldn’t resist this yarn as I loved the name – Penguin Huddle – and it really does remind me of penguins.  It’s smaller than some of my other shawls and easy to wear.  I have used Sparkleduck a lot in the past and was very sad to hear when Heather passed away.  This was the last skein I had and I love what it has become.

Sweat Towel

A bit random.  I go to a circuit training class three mornings a week and from time to time our coach gives us motivational t-shirts.  When they get a bit faded and scruffy, I don’t wear them anymore but I didn’t want to get rid of them – so I made myself a sweat towel.  It is a bit rough and ready, but a nice reminder and I do use it a lot.  I just backed it with an old microfibre towel that I had in the cupboard.  Waste not want not!


Zelda Shawl

This is my Truly Myrtle Zelda Shawl, which was cast on a very long time ago but only finished this year.  I got the light yarn in a Truly Myrtle yarn swap and it is Bohemia Sport from Outlaw Yarn.  This is the cosiest and most luxurious shawl.  I love it, and the pattern is amazing.


Simplicity Kimono Top

I found this Simplicity 1108 Kimono pattern in Hobbycraft.  I wanted a loose top to wear over things in the summer and made view D.  I bought this very cheap navy fabric from John Lewis to make a trial version but couldn’t resist this really pretty bias binding which I bought when I went to a sewing day at Backstitch.  Backstitch is such a lovely shop.  I was really happy with the top but only wore it a few times before it got colder.  I cut out another in a really gorgeous print but haven’t got round to sewing it up yet.  That’s on the to do list!

I also recently bought another copy of the pattern to give to my Mum as part of her 60th birthday present.  I got her a sewing box with various sewing tools and some fabric.  I’m hoping she’ll start sewing again when she retires in June – and maybe we can have sewing afternoons together sometimes.  That would be nice.

Alfie Hat

This was a kit I bought when I went to a Purl Alpaca event at Burwash Manor some years ago.  We got to meet the alpacas and this yarn came from Alfie – and I couldn’t resist the kit.  I never got round to knitting it because I was scared of magic loop.  However, my friend Susan showed me how it worked on the train to London recently – and this was very quickly completed, and stolen by my daughter.  It does look nicest on her.


Dirty Lace Shawl

This is my biggest knitting project ever.  I fell in love with it when Libby from Truly Myrtle first brought it out and ordered one of the kits from Wren & Ollie in Australia.  The yarn is absolutely amazing and so lovely to work with.  I think the colours are great together and it is really lovely to wear.  The pattern is really interesting and because its so big, it has kept my lap warm while I’ve been knitting it.

I’m hoping to pluck up my courage and get someone to take photos of me wearing it outside, somewhere beautiful.  However, my husband is a bit too impatient to take the requisite number of photos needed to get one good one.  I’m not very photogenic!  I don’t like any photos of me but I’m going to do it anyway.  My resolution this year is to try and be braver.



I’ve got to go and pick the kids up from school now, so that’s it for today.  Hopefully, I can manage to write again before another year passes as I have loved doing it so much.  It does really inspire me to keep making too.  I think it’s important to do the things you love.

Finally, I’ve been really enjoying watching the Sew Sweet Violet podcast over the few weeks.  I can relate to Jooles so much, and I love knitting along while I’m watching.  I don’t know if Jooles, or Ami from Tailoress Studio, are likely to read this – but if either of you do – thank you so much for being so inspiring.  Its really help me to be brave and start writing again.

Thanks for reading, and have a good day.

Kelly x

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Recent makes…

By way of a catch up, here’s what I’ve been making over the last few weeks…

Zebra Print Sorbetto

I cut this out at the beginning of the summer before my life was thrown into chaos by building work going on in our house.  I finished it but its too cold to wear it.  I’ve made multiple Colette Sorbetto tops as they are really quick and easy to make and comfortable to wear.  I usually make more sensible ones for work, but this will be fun to wear with jeans when it gets warmer.  It’s particularly great, as its a free pattern.

Zebra Top

Mango & Coconut Flapjack

This is from Deliciously Ella: The Plant Based Cookbook which is brilliant.  The kids love this flapjack, and I’ve been trying to take it along to school pick up as a healthier and more filling snack.

Its really easy to make and cooks in 25 minutes.  The main challenge is not eating it all before I get to the playground.

Mango Flapjack

Grainline Linden Sweatshirt

I bought this pattern as I thought it was time to branch out from Sorbetto.  I’ve been looking for new sweatshirts for ages with no success, so I thought I’d better try and make my own!  I ordered fabric online for the first time.  I bought it from Guthrie & Ghani as I’ve been following Lauren (who owns and runs the shop in Birmingham) since the Great British Sewing Bee and I had read a blog post she had written about choosing sweatshirt patterns.  I got this fabric: https://guthrie-ghani.co.uk/shop/fabric/cosy-colours-sky-blue-multi-fleck-fleece-sweatshirt-fabric and it is really lovely.  I also got the mustard colour.  It pre-washed really well.  My Auntie Jackie came over to help me and we managed to get the sweatshirt made in one day.  The pattern instructions were really clear and easy to follow.  I love how it fits and I’ve already worn it loads.  Number two is cut out and ready to sew.   I’ve had my eye on this Atelier Brunette sweatshirt fabric, so now I know the pattern works for me, I might treat myself to some for number three!  I think this sweatshirt might be my favourite thing I’ve ever made as for once, I am completely satisfied with what I’ve made!  Although my all time favourite sewing project still has to be the Elsa Costume I made for my daughter when she was four.  That project nearly broke me but she loved it so much.  She’s 8 now and still tries to squeeze into it!


(This photo was taken at night time so doesn’t show the true turquoise colour)


Winwick Mum Socks

I knitted my first pair of socks a couple of years ago as part of the Winwick Mum Sockalong which was brilliant.  Christine has since brought out a book, which I bought as I find it easier to turn physical pages than to follow online.  I finished the first of my second pair of socks this week and am now speeding on with the second one.  I’m using a short circular needle rather than DPNs this time and really enjoying it.



I’ve been constantly disrupted by our new family member, but I am loving taking him out for walks.  I love walking, but its even more fun when you’ve got a puppy!


That’s all for now, I’ve got to get these kids to bed so I can get on with my knitting!  My husband’s out for the evening so the TV is all mine 🙂


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Blogging for inspiration and mental health

Hi!  Its been a while.  I stopped blogging because life was hectic and I wasn’t managing to make much time for crafting, and because I doubted anyone was interested anyway.

However, I’ve recently discovered a new sewing and knitting podcast on You Tube called The Little Tailoress and watching it has really inspired me to get on with my own knitting and sewing projects which are often extremely neglected.  My kids are a little bit older now and although life is very busy, it is possible to make time for crafting if I step away from the lure of my phone.

I really want to lead my kids by example, so I’d like them to see me crafting and reading more which will hopefully encourage them to find their own passions outside of screens.

I’ve done some sewing and knitting over the last few weeks, and it has made me so happy.   The world seems a lot brighter when you make time for your passions.

So I’ve decided to start blogging again, even if it is just a record of things I’ve done and made for the future.  I loved looking back through the old posts on this blog.

To be continued….



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2016 Makes

Here’s what I’ve been making so far this year…

I’ve made two Sorbetto tops before and they are really useful and quick to make so I made a two more in more work suitable fabrics bought on sale in John Lewis.  Both tops made for a total of £10!  Free pattern

This only took me six months to knit! (Very good for me as I am a left handed person who knits right handed and consequently can’t throw the yarn so am slow – that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!).  I love this snood but sadly I managed to miss a row halfway through (only me!) and flip the pattern.  However once it was sewn up it doesn’t really notice – and it wouldn’t be a knitted item by me without a characterful mistake!  Another free pattern.  Yarn not so much!

I loved doing this as part of my first ever Sewalong.  I was slower than the Sewalong itself of course, but I loved how it was all broken up into small sections.  Perfect for me.  I have worn the dress but have decided that although the top fits brilliantly, the skirt part is just too voluminous.  So my Auntie Jackie came to the rescue again and pinned me and told me what I need to do to alter it.  That’s what I’m going to do in my 2 hour window of free time tomorrow morning (I will keep it free.  I will.)

  • Hand Sewn Pin Cushion made at a WI meeting about Patchworking

I really enjoyed doing some hand sewing.  I finished it off the next evening while watching TV and it was very relaxing.  I’d love to do patch working and quilting – one day there will be a bit more time.

This was a brilliant Sockalong with a free pattern and really excellent step by step instructions.  Its taken me a year to finish them but they’re worth it.  So comfy.  Don’t think I’m quite ready to start another pair yet though!

I knitted this pattern a few years ago for my little boy.  Here’s the post I wrote about it: Post.  It took my a year (recurring theme?) but he has worn it so much and it has been admired by lots of people SO I have decided to knit another in the next size as after 2 years he has sadly outgrown the first one.  I’m determined to knit a little each day so hopefully it won’t take a year this time!

I’ve already made one glaring mistake but as its on the back, I’m just going for ‘character’ and leaving it.

  • Vegetable Patch by Dad

My lovely Dad kindly built this vegetable patch in my garden for me and provided some plants from his own greenhouse which I’ve been steadily planing – and they’re actually growing (well, so far so good).   Just got to try and remember to water them now, not my strong point unfortunately.


That’s why I love blogging – it reminds you of all the things you have achieved, even though it feels like you spend most of the time loading the washing machine and tidying up!

K x



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Time for a change

Wow!  ‘Write blog’ has been on my ‘to do’ list for the longest time, and I’ve realised I haven’t written a post since June.

It makes me sad because I love blogging and I love making but I seem to be finding very little time for either lately.  I really need to re-assess, decided which things I really enjoy and just do them.  And a lot less of ridiculous things like looking at Facebook.

Part of me feels like scrapping this blog and starting afresh.  But looking back at the things I’ve made is so nice – and that’s really all this blog ever was – a place for me to record things I’ve been making.  So I think I’ll carry on.

I’ve got some knitting and sewing on the go, and a planned craft project with the kids – so I resolve to watch a bit less TV, do a bit less social media browsing and get down to a bit of crafting.  Then I can report back.

Merry Christmas!



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Sewing box table

A while back, a friend of my Dad’s who is quite elderly very kindly gave me this old fashioned sewing box table:


I don’t actually know him, but my Dad must have mentioned that I was learning to sew, and so he offered the table to me.  I think it belonged to his wife, who sadly passed away, and he wanted it to have a good home.

At the weekend, as the sun was out, I finally sat down in the garden and looked through it:


Above: the main compartment  – Below: a little pull out drawer


I sorted through the contents, and discovered lots of different things:

IMG_7540 IMG_7538

IMG_7543 IMG_7542



I don’t know what some of the things are, and I don’t have any particular use for them but it feels wrong to just throw away the contents of an obviously well used (and, probably, loved) sewing box.

The inside of the box is very worn and tatty, and I have no idea how to go about cleaning it up.  I would like to do something though, so that I can use it.  The wood is fine and it looks lovely on the outside.  Here’s the inside view:

IMG_7550 IMG_7552

I’m not sure what I need to do.  Could I get it re-upholsered?  Or would that be really expensive?  Could I line it with something else?  It seems a shame to do nothing, which is what I have been doing for quite a while.  I love the idea of making it all fresh and clean and storing some of my own sewing things in it.

And what to do with the contents?   Some of the pins and needles are still in good condition and I love the old school cases.  The threads look great, but perhaps they are dusty?  Should I keep them?  Should I take the buckles and things to the charity shop?  The darning threads are not something I would know how to use, but I just love all the old fashioned packaging with it.  So much nicer than the plastic stuff we get these days.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, they would be very gratefully received.

Thank you very much.


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Fright Club

I don’t normally mix my blogs, but as this is quite a big deal for me, I have decided to share what I posted today on the blog I write about overcoming my bird phobia (www.cambirdbites.wordpress.com).  I’m doing this as I hope it might help other people with phobias.  Here goes….

Fright Club

Ok, here it is.  I have really mixed feelings about sharing this, as I was secretly hoping no-one would see it.

I only took part in this programme as it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to face my phobia in a group with access to great support.  The being on TV bit was the undesirable price I had to pay to get this help – and it was worth it.  I’m still in touch with the other people in my group on a regular basis, and my fear really is massively reduced.  The opportunity only came about because someone at Maverick (the production company) stumbled across this blog, and emailed me.  So I guess it was meant to be.

I haven’t seen the programme myself yet, so I have no idea how kind the editing process will have been.  Not very, I suspect.  Its going to be embarrassing (lots of screaming and crying, and the wearing of a very unflattering red boiler suit!), but if it helps someone else sitting at home with a bird phobia, then I don’t mind.  Focus on the bigger picture, I keep telling myself.

So, if you want to see me and my nine fellow bird phobia sufferers facing our fears, here are the details:

Fear & Phobias Sky © Ollie Upton for BskyB

My friends Vicky and Rick are in this photo, but yes, I really did stand in the middle of all those turkeys – and much more!

Let me know what you think.


PS.  I will post a bit of the diary I kept during the filming of the programme after its airs tomorrow.

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Actually finishing things!

Hi there!

I decided it was time to just get on and finish some projects.  No moaning.  And of course, finishing projects means… being much more organised and less overwhelmed?  Yes.  But also – the huge joy of…getting more projects!  Its a never ending circle really, isn’t it?  Oh well, lets just go with it.

The ‘Nightmare’ Dress

Two years ago (yes, that’s right), I went to a day course at a local fabric shop to make a dress.  Unfortunately, it was a bit of a disaster.  I just couldn’t keep up with the rest of the class (being new to sewing), and I made a terrible cutting mistake which resulted in having to buy a completely new piece of fabric and adapt the pattern.

I did manage to get it resembling a dress by the end of the day, but more 1950s maternity smock than anything I’d actually wear.

I was really disappointed as I’d spent a lot of money on two lots of fabrics, plus the cost of the class.  I sent my Auntie Jackie a photo (can’t find the photo at the moment, but when I do, I’ll add it), and she kindly offered to help me try and alter it.

We worked pretty hard on it, and although Jackie gave me lots of guidance and support, I’m proud to say – I sewed it all myself!  I managed to finish it half an hour before my WI meeting two weeks ago – so I wore it.


I’m really pleased with it.  I got a few compliments and someone actually asked me ‘is it from White Stuff?’.  Great news for me as I love their stuff, but also because I got the chance to say the most satisfying words ever – ‘nope, I made it myself’.


Little girl’s cardigan

A while ago, I knitted my first garment – which was a tank top for my little boy.  Ever since, my little girl has been asking if I’d knit something for her.

I decided on a cardigan using a pattern I’d had hanging about for ages, and let her choose the colour.  A lot of time passed, and now – I’ve finished it.  I let her choose the button too – sparkly, of course.

Here it is:

IMG_7353 IMG_7358

I’ve yet to managed to get a photo of her in it, but I’ll add it when I do.  I’m making a little dress for her to wear under it, so when I finish that it should make for an even better photo!

Little boy’s quilt

I made this potato chip quilt for my little boy ages ago, but finished it off in such a hurry that the edges were really messy.  I’ve had it in my ‘to do’ pile for ages, so last week, I made myself sit and sew the edges by hand.  It only took one evening, and was actually really nice to do while watching TV.


Alas, he won’t sit still for a photo with it (reoccurring theme here!) – but I’ll catch him eventually and add it.


I am really pleased that I’ve got these projects finished.  Some many things hang around because I lose enthusiasm for them and don’t make time to get them done.  But when I do get on and finish them, I realise how much nicer to have them off my mind!

That’s all for now.

K x

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