Mystery Blogger Award

As I said in my last post I was nominated for a Mystery Blogger Award by the lovely Linda at Nice dress!  I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it justice that day so here is the separate post.


“Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.” Created by: Okoto Enigma

Here are “The Rules” to the “Mystery Blogger Award”:

  • Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers you feel deserve the award
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny one
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog


So, thank you Linda! I did include a link in my last post but just in case you missed it you can find her HERE

Three things about me? Hmmm…. not much that’s not known since I’ve been blogging for what seems like forever.

Ok… I used to get told off by my primary school teacher for sewing with raffia beneath my desk when we I should have been concentrating on what was being taught BUT that wasn’t the first sewing I am told about. Apparently my mother would thread a load of needles an let me sew buttons all over an old shirt to keep me occupied. Dad was tasked with removing them before the exercise was repeated the following day.(Good preparation for being a professional).

I love driving – though it took two attempts to pass my driving test (a very long time ago!). I will drive almost anything and did go from a large pick-up truck (used to facilitate my carriage driving hobby) to a Smart car when I no longer had my horses. Unfortunately I drove my dear little Smart like I stole it and almost killed it off. Apologies to who ever bought it after it was traded in….

Despite loving animals I am allergic to animal hair and suffer from hay fever. Not ideal when you were keeping horses, and two Siamese cats and a dog. I always try to take rescue animals rather than buying from breeders as there are so many out there – and apart from one completely bonkers Siamese cat I have always had great success in achieving friendly, affectionate animals. Sadly I have no animals at present.(Excluding The Management ).

Now to answer Linda’s questions.

  • If you won a lottery what would you buy first?

A flat/apartment for my daughter when lives in London. The cost of property in her area is mind boggling – and even renting in a flat share is horrific. It would be a real joy to be able to set her up somewhere of her own . (No fabric – I have enough and The Management may leave. Although maybe I could set him up in an…no only kidding).

  • Do you like turnips?

Love them – although there’s some dispute as to what is a turnip and what is a swede. I like them both. As an aside for any Americans I used to have a carved turnip for Halloween as I hadn’t actually seen a real pumpkin at that time. I loved the smell you got with a candle burning inside.

  • Who started you with sewing?

Probably my mum. Though I broke loose and exceeded her ability fairly quickly as she stuck to the same patterns for me for years. It wasn’t until after I did my City and Guilds qualifications that she confessed to hating sewing.

  • How many sewing/serger/coverstitch machines do you have, what kind are they and what are their names (if they have names)?

I have three elderly Singers, two hand crank and one treadle. All were in need of tlc on arrival and are now working just fine. There is another electric vintage which was found in a loft completely seized up but working well now.

My main machine is a Pfaff computerised whizz which I was terrified of for months when I bought it – I love it now but I think the Singer buttonhole attachment gives more reliable results.

I have a Janome backup machine which I didn’t use for an age and was very impressed with it when I finally did need it.

My overworked and much loved overlocker is a Juki. I hadn’t heard of the brand when i bought it but wouldn’t hesitate to recommend, or buy another when I need to.

The most recent new machine is my Janome coverstitcher. Only does one job, not an essential machine – but you will have to prise it from my cold dead grasp. Love it.

So that’s …… too many machines according to The Management. I sort of agree as i am currently trying to condense my mum’s belongings into a much smaller space and don’t want my daughter to have all of this to deal with eventually. I did give a couple of the Singers names but don’t as a rule.

  • What was the worst sewing project you ever worked on and why?

Oh, after over twenty years of sewing for other people they are too numerous to count (one day I will do a post on life as a professional dressmaker just in case anyone is considering it…). It would probably have involved really ratty fabric (“but it cost a FORTUNE!”), or unrealistic expectations (I’m a dressmaker not a wizard), or just a ridiculously short deadline.

So for my nominations I choose in no particular order:

The Demented Fairy


Hand made by Carolyn

The Compulsive Seamstress


Textiles and trouble

Core Couture

Pretty Grievances


Fit for a Queen


So, for their questions…..

  1. Do you read, and if yes what is your favourite book?
  2. What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
  3. What is your favourite season, and why.
  4. Do you prefer to sew in silence or with entertainment of some sort.
  5. Would you sing karaoke, and what song?

So that’s me done. Hopefully my nominees will play along, but if you haven’t already visited their sites I recommend that you do! They are all very inspiring people.

Bye for now


Wonderful Team Readership Award

An Award!

Thank you austerity101 for nominating me Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. As someone who works alone I hadn’t thought of how I fitted into a team in a long time, but I am very happy to be considered part of the sewing/knitting blogosphere team.

So the rules are to nominate 14… yes 14 blogs as my team  within 7 days. Wow, it is hard to choose 14 blogs from those that I read so I am very sorry if I miss you out.

Here are my 14 – in no particular order:

Alison.C sewing Gallery  Alison makes quite a lot of clothes that I really would like to have myself – so I use this site to get ideas for my own wardrobe. Thanks Alison!

Melissa at Fehr Trade is a great pattern tester, gadget hound, and fellow Morley College student. If you haven’t been to her site go check it out. And she runs Marathons.

Handmade by Carolyn is another site I gets lots of my wardrobe ideas from. She makes lots from the Pattern Magic books and has a fabulous dog called Sienna who gets into most of her photographs (a bit like a ‘Wheres Wally?’ moment when you open the post).

Rhonda Buss at Rhonda’s Creative Life qualifies as one of the most generous people around. She does a lot of pattern cutting which she shares on this blog, Free Pattern Fridays and Sleeves on Saturday being just a little of her offerings. She is also a pilot and moves dogs around the US to their new homes.

Winnie at Scruffy Badger Time makes some fabulous garments – none of which would fit my figure type – but shows off lots of the independent pattern companies work, in a lovely humorous fashion. And she is another runner (explains the fabulous bod…)

Claire at Sew Incidentally.. is another Morley student. She is another gadget hound…. and may have just given me a very inexpensive solution to my sewing posture problem.

Go to Tulle and Tweed to see some lovely garments, often with a vintage feel, and beautifully made by an ex-costumier. Great tips to be had here!

Chica Andaluza is my go to site for great recipes, and some sewing. Don’t visit if you are hungry!

Mrs Mole at Fit for a Queen absolutely deserves to be one of the team as she deals with brides all the time! Anyone with that amount of patience deserves a medal not an award. And she shares her knowledge of how to do the most alarming alterations on here.

When I am not sewing I also knit – and love to see what is being made her at Nothing but Knit. Lots of lovely things is usually the answer.

Over at Pendle Stitches you will see lovely sewing and knitting. More eye candy.

No team would be complete without Pretty Grievances! What can I say? Fabric collector, Disney fan, dachshund owner (or slave), and sewer extraordinaire. Check out the special posts on Wednesdays. My lips are sealed. Oh yes, she quite likes Tilda Swinton.

Sew Busy Lizzy is another unreasonably pretty Aussie – who knits and sews so you have to like her. And her clothes.

Last, and very certainly not least, is Margy from A Fool for Fabric. She makes travel wardrobes to die for – and when I grow up I want to be her. A fabulously stylish lady who is an absolute inspiration. Go see.



That has to be about the hardest choices I have made in some time (and I did have to choose my own cake from a selection yesterday!). If there are any there you haven’t seen do go and check them out – and I am sorry if you aren’t included. Fourteen sounds like a lot but there are so many people I would have like to choose! Thank you all for such great, and inspirational blogs. Time for you all to choose your fourteen  🙂



An Award! (AND I made something!)

Well people I am now in possession of an award. Yes, really. For blogging (or commenting). Some of you will know Carolyn who provides such wonderful sewing inspiration, instruction, and also alcohol recipes. And if you haven’t been to her blog I know you will be there soon – if you haven’t already gone and I am now talking to myself. It has taken me a while to get this onto my blog as I was dim about how to do it. (Cut and paste woman!)

The award is to thank people who comment on your blog and is to be passed on to the last nine people to comment on your blog. So, thank you to:

Tanya at Chica Andaluza who not only sews – she cooks and shares recipes.(I had one for tea tonight – delicious!)

Rhonda at Rhonda’s Creative Life.  Too much inspiration in one place.

Melissa at Fehr Trade . Boat dweller, sewer extraordinaire, and runner. I hope the marathon in Amsterdam went well on Sunday!

Alison C seems to choose all the clothes I want to sew – but she actually gets them made.

Ann at Everything Sewing makes the most delectable Rodeo Queen outfits. I love them. I want one. Check them out.

Bev at  sdbev is another Stitchers Guild devotee. She shares lots of her fitting advice – worth paying a visit there.

Pretty Grievances is a blog that always makes me laugh. She sews great stuff for herself – but is great at showing a ‘designer showcase’ as you might sometimes be thinking yourself (and didn’t dare admit).

Anne at Mercury – Handmade Fashion  also sews. And uses Winnie to draw her patterns too. Well done that woman!

Pauline at P’thrifty make an amazing amount of fabulous things for such a busy person (puts me to shame) and also negotiated an enviable deal with her beloved involving shirts and a Chanel handbag. Respect.

There are others who really deserve to be given an award too – but by the rules I am restricted to nine. All of these blogs are well worth a look – and all have links. How about you check them out?

And I made…..

Now then, anyone who remembers my last post knows I intended to have a wardrobe edit. And what an edit! There is now an echo in my wardrobe – but I know that everything in there is loved. There are a few things I separated as I think that they can be adapted into something I will wear, rather than just wardrobe insulation. I will fess up to those at a later date.

I also saved a few t-shirts of the ‘washed until they are too soft to get rid of – but too shabby to wear in public’ variety. And also some ‘souvenir’ types that really will never be worn outside. These I intend to wear with PJ trousers which I have already started to make. I decided to use the same poly/cotton that I had in stock, and had used for PJ’s before. One pair are all finished and another are cut out. This was identified as a gap (I threw away my long ‘winter’ PJ’s at the end of the cold weather and hadn’t replaced them).

PJ Project

One done, one cut out

PJ Project

I really thought I would wear this…

I made the striped pair today – and included pockets for myself. I have been putting them into the DD’s PJ’s so I thought I deserved them too. I did mean that I couldn’t use my pattern without the side seam but hey ho. The checked pair are ready for another day and already have elastic cut and buttons chosen from the ‘vintage’ tin.  The t-shirt has been in the drawers for years (no surprise there) as I bought it on a theater visit and honestly thought I would wear it. I think there may have been wine involved. They go very well together and should be very comfortable (and warmer than the shorts suits I have been wearing – it is cold here at night now!)

PJ Project

Oddly well matched

After consulting friends (out at lunch with other sewers – nice!) I have decided to go with the Patrones ‘trench’ style cape from the last post. I will get going on that as soon as the PJ’s are all done.