Wednesday, 25 February 2015

skirt, blouse and a spotty skater

I did some unselfish sewing this week - I made a skirt and blouse for Joanna.

First, the skirt. The pattern is McCall's 5523.

It looks fairly plain from the front.

But, on the back, there's a fish tail.

I decided not to use the waist facings but used some spotty bias binding instead. It's like a wee secret that only Joanna will know! :o)

The blouse is a pussy bow blouse using this pattern.

The bow doesn't show up too well in the photo but it's there - honest!

Today I was back to sewing for me. I always knew I wanted to make another Lady Skater Dress like the one I made here.

I cut the dress out this morning and sewed it up this afternoon. It really is a speedy sew!

And a closer look at the spots - cream on navy blue. I love it!

Friday, 20 February 2015

back in the groove

I've finally kicked that flu bug into touch so I got some "real" sewing done this week.

First is Simplicty 1590 - a Retro 1940s pattern.

I had made a start to this before I got the flu so it was just a case of finishing it off.

This isn't a great photo but it shows the peplum at the back.

Now, whilst this looks amazing on Diana the dummy, it doesn't look so good on me. The peplum at the back sticks out more than I'd like (I'm blaming the fabric as my bum is one of the few places on my body that does not stick out! LOL) so I'm going to see if I can take that off and replace it with a not-so-sticky-ooty piece instead. Fingers crossed!

Next is the Grainline Archer shirt which I have admired all over blogland in recent months. I bought the pattern near the end of last year and finally got mine made this week. This is me trying it on before I cut the buttonholes and finished off all the threads.

And me wearing it today.

I did wonder if the stripey buttons were a bit over the top with all that striping thing going on but I decided they're perfect for it.

All in all a very comfy shirt and I see myself making many more of these.

I've been working on a ripple blankie for a few weeks now. I started with the intentions of only using shades of blues, greens and purples but I got the urge to use a yarn that changed colour which is adding those oranges and yellows into the mix. I'm loving the way it's looking.

Next a happy purchase. Joanna and I went out to Matalan this morning as I had a 20% discount card which I wanted to make good use of. I'm very pleased with my purchases!

I'm a great believer in, if you find something that you like, buy it/them in all the colours you like too. So I did. That 20% discount took £4.80 off the price - not to be sneezed at! Now I need the weather to warm up so I can get some wear out of them but I suspect I'll have a good few months to wait for that to happen!

Finally, I got the most lovely parcel this week from Amy at love made my home . She e-mailed me last week (when I had the flu) saying that she wanted to send me something for helping her get her blog button working. I joked with her that she didn't need to send me anything - the way I was feeling, I'd be happy with a piece of string. So that's what she sent me!

But she also sent me a fabulous book, a gorgeous teatowel and a beautiful pack of notelets.

I've already thanked Amy but I don't think you can say it enough. Thank you, Amy. I love everything so much - especially the wee bit string! :oD

Monday, 16 February 2015


I was nominated for the Liebster blogging award by my blogging friend Jo, at through the keyhole. Thanks, Jo. I really appreciate it!

The "rules" of the Liebster award are that I have to tell you 11 random facts about myself. Then answer the 11 questions that my nominator asked. And then nominate 11 blogs that I read for the award.

I'm going to do the first two parts but not the third. As you'll see from my list of random facts about me, I don't obey rules very well! ;o)

11 random facts about me:
1. I have psoriatic arthritis - in remission at the moment.
2. I can't drink alcohol because of the medicines I take for the above but it doesn't bother me in the slightest!
3. Nora Roberts is my favourite author. If I was marooned on a desert island and I had all her series with me, I'd be a happy bunny.
4. I would like the play the piano better than I can - must get it tuned first, though!
5. I don't obey rules very well. If you tell me I must do something, I'll be trying to find a way not to do it. And vice versa!
6. Douglas and I have been married for 35 years - 36 in September. He looked after me so well last week when I had the flu, it just made me love and appreciate him all the more!
7. I love chips - as in French Fries.
8. Apparently, we have 61 drawers in this house - Douglas counted them at one point. Every New Year I think this will be the year I'll go through all of those drawers and get rid of stuff. I've been thinking of doing that for 5 or more years now! :oD
9. I'm happiest in my own house. Last week, when I was ill, I didn't go out of the house from Friday 6th until Friday 13th. That didn't bother me in the slightest!
10. I sing in a choir and I love it. There are only 21 of us in the choir but we make a good sound.
11. I can sit for a very long time trying to think of an 11th random fact. I think it's going to have to be "I give up when I can't think of something else"! :oD

Now on to the 11 questions Jo asked.

1) If your house was on fire, what one thing, other than family members and pets, would you save?
My sewing machine and as much of my fabric stash as I could grab!

2) What, other than your children, is your greatest achievement?
Going to university and getting some letters after my name. B.A. Dip. Ed. to be precise!

3) What would be your dream job and is it a job you do or have done?
I would love to work in a fabric shop again. Or a book shop. Or a combination of both. I've worked in a fabric shop before.

4) What is your dream holiday destination?
I would like to go back to see the Grand Canyon again. We were there in 2006 and it really is one of those jaw-dropping places and well worth another visit. I wouldn't go out on the glass platforms they now have over the gorge, though. No way, no how!

5) If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you bought?
Knowing me, probably fabric! LOL

6) Name your top three films of all time.
It really depends on my mood but I love "You've Got Mail", "The Fifth Element" and "The Count of Monte Cristo". (The Jim Caviezel version ... yum!)

7) If you could have a conversation with a famous person, dead or alive, who would it be?
I'd like to meet and chat with May Martin from the Great British Sewing Bee. Just talking to someone who loves sewing as much as I do would be inspiring, I think. And, if she brought Patrick Grant along too, I wouldn't complain! ;o)

8) What is your earliest childhood memory?
Going out to tea with my Auntie Anna and her family before they emigrated to Australia. They went in 1959 so I must have been 4 years old.

9) What is your favourite season and why?
I like them all for different reasons. I love the fresh newness of spring, the warm days of summer (if we're lucky), the colours and smells of autumn and the cold crispness of winter. These photos were taken in 2011.

10) What made you decide to start a blog?
My daughter, Debbie, was heading out to Canada to live for a while and she told me I should write a blog so she could keep up with what we were all doing. I started it in July, 2008 so nearly 7 years ago. Apparently, I have a lot to blether about! :oD

11) What would you like the future to hold for you?
Health and happiness for us and our girls ... and, maybe a few grandchildren ... eventually! ;o)

Thanks for nominating me, Jo. If you don't know Jo, go and read her blog. She's an inspiration - and her dog, Archie, always reminds me of our wee Rosie. :o)

Thursday, 12 February 2015

on the mend

First of all, thank you all for your kind comments on my last post.

I'm not fully recovered from my bout of flu but I am much, much better. I still have a bad cough and not much energy but I am definitely on the mend. Hoooray!!!!

Unfortunately, it would seem that I've passed it on to Douglas. As I type, he's sitting on the couch sneezing and coughing and generally feeling yucky. I hope he doesn't get exactly what I had. All joking about man-flu aside, I don't think he'd be as good a patient as I was in that I lay on the couch for 3 days and barely moved. I don't think Douglas could do that even if I sat on him! Fingers crossed it's "just a cold" like he says it is. We'll see.

Today I went into my sewing room and made something. I deliberately didn't want to tackle anything too complicated so I dug out the bindings I had cut out last week ..

I joined them into long strips and pressed them in half making quite a few metres of bindings. The smallest bit was 7.5 metres - about 295"!! This photo shows the colours much better - the pink spotty one is bright pink, not salmon pink like it appears in the photo above.

Not a lot done but it's a start and, after the week I've had, a start is better than nothing! :o)

Monday, 9 February 2015


"Flu causes a sudden high temperature (check), headache (check) and general aches and pains (check), tiredness (check) and a sore throat (check). You can also lose your appetite (check), feel nauseous (check) and have a cough.(check)

Flu symptoms can make you feel so exhausted (check) and unwell (check) that you have to stay in bed (check) and rest until you feel better (check)".

Copied from the NHS website.

~ ~ ~

I'm on my 3rd day of this and, although I am getting better, I'm still not well.

And the worst of it ... I had my flu jab! Mind you, I keep telling myself, if I feel this bad having had the jab, how bad would I have been without it?

Hopefully, I'll get back to some semblance of normality soon!

Friday, 6 February 2015

a big birthday

Someone has been celebrating a big birthday here today ... and it wasn't me!

Happy Birthday, Douglas. Love you!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

My Lady Skater Dress

I swithered for a long time about getting the Lady Skater Dress pattern. I had it on my "I wonder if I'd like that" list for a while, then I took it off, then I'd see someone else on the internet talking about how wonderful the dress was to make and wear and I'd put it back on the list again.

I finally decided to ask Santa Claus for the pattern and then, if it didn't look good on me, it wouldn't be my fault because *I* hadn't bought the pattern. Convoluted thinking or what? LOL

Anyway, I asked Douglas if he would take photos of me wearing the dress as the ones I took of myself yesterday were so awful. So here's how the dress looks on me.

I have no idea what I was laughing at but this shot shows the spotty design on the fabric - red and orange and white.

Here it is with a scarfy thing I made to go with it. It's a red polyester mix fabric I found in the coat fabric section of my local fabric shop. The label said it had elastene in it but there's no stretch in the fabric whatsoever so I suspect that the label might not have been telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! Anyway, it goes well with the red spots on the dress and binding it with some of the leftover dress fabric was genius, if I do say so myself!

As I was tidying up the sewing room this morning, I found the strip of fleece cut off from the piece I bought for the back of the rainbow quilt. The bright orange goes well with the orange spots on the dress so I just straightened it up and cut a few fringes in the end and called it another scarf to go with my new dress!

I have to agree with others that the dress is really easy to make - no zips, no buttons, no fastenings, just choose your size, cut it out and sew it together. It's also very comfortable. I already have fabric lined up to make another one. Well, of course I have! LOL

Just a few notes (mostly to remind myself!) about what I changed on the pattern:
I lengthened the skirt part by 2".
I lifted the back neck by 2".
I made a short sleeve by cutting the sleeve where the page join on the pdf was.
I didn't add a cuff to the sleeve - just turned it up about ½" and sewed it with my twin needle.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

rainbow quilt - finished

I finished the rainbow quilt at the weekend. Oh. My. Goodness. It's so fabulous!

Please note my quilt holder's slippers! I think they add a certain something to the quilt, don't you? :oD

Here's a close up of the stripey black/colour binding. I love it!

This quilt is going nowhere. It's not going into the tartan bee shop to be sold. It's not going in to Debbie's shop in Perth to be sold. It's staying right here. With me. So I can look at it and admire it and use it and just love it!

I made myself a dress yesterday and today which I am delighted with. Unfortunately, the photos I took of myself in the dress are awful. Dreadful. Really, really bad. I'll see if I can get better ones tomorrow - probably taken by someone other than myself! :o)

Sunday, 1 February 2015

how to add a linking button to your Blogger sidebar

EDITING TO SAY: As Photobucket has now changed its rules about hosting images for third party sites - ie they don't now do it for free - this post, whilst still correct, needs to have another hosting site used.

Let's say you want to add a button to your blog which people can copy and add to their blog. Not only do you want a button, but you want that button to link back to your blog. How do you do that?

Well, let's assume you've got your button design already. You need to load it into a hosting site. I use Photobucket but there are lots of other hosting sites out there.

Load your button image into your hosting site and make a note of the http code for the image. In Photobucket, they call it the "direct link".

This is the image I'm going to be using for this demo:

The direct link code for this image is You'll see in a minute what to do with this code.

I'm going to make the image link to my blog so I need to get the URL for my blog. That's found in the address bar when I'm on my blog -

Okay, I've got my button and its code and I've got the URL for the place I want to link to - my blog. Now I need to get a box where I can put the code. I won't go into HTML details here, just take it from me that this is the code you need to use!

<center><img src="http of button image"><br><textarea rows="5" cols="20"><a href="URL of BLOG" target="_blank"><img src="http of button image"></a></textarea></center>

So, filling in my codes, I get this:

<center><img src=""><br><textarea rows="5" cols="20"><a href="" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></textarea></center>

Okay, so how does that look? Like this:

Okay, fill *your* image code and URL of where you want your image to link to into that first code. Now what? Load it in to your blog.

Note - you need to be logged into your blog. When you're logged in, "design" is at the top right of your blog's navigation bar - beside your e-mail address, "new post" and "sign out".

1. Click on "design".
2. Choose "Layout".
3. Choose "Add a Gadget" at the top of the list on the right hand side - or the left if that's where your sidebar of gadgets is.
4. From the list that appears in the mini window, click on "HTML/Javascript".
5. Paste your code into the Content window - you don't need to add a title if you don't want to (* see below) - and then click on "Save".
6. Your new button and code box will appear at the top of your gadgets list. If you don't want it at the top, drag it to where you want it to sit.
7. Go up to the top of the layout page and click on "Save arrangement".

Your new button and code box will now appear on your blog sidebar.

* If your blog is adamant that it wants a title for your new gadget, just put this code in the title space: <!--space--> and it'll leave it blank. Where it says "space", hit your spacebar.

If you'd like the text area bigger - where the words are that others will copy - just change the 5 and/or the 20 to bigger numbers.

If you want to check that your code is correct before you start loading it into your blog (I *always* check mine!), go here and paste it into the box then click on "see HTML".

I hope that helps. If you have any problems with your code or just want someone else to do the code for you, let me know and I'll be happy to help.