Lots more inspiration

I have not done a single stitch in anything since Monday. I have been so tired by the time I have got in from work and had tea that I have just looked at a few blogs and gone to bed with a good book, on Weds that was at half past 8 as I couldn’t stay up any longer! I have done lots of nice reading though.

So there will be nothing to show you this weekend. I am going to make another doll sometime soon as my cousin saw the pictures I posted on Facebook and said her daughter would like one so I will be working on that for her birthday.

I have been getting lots more lovely ideas though and the very talented Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet never fails to disappoint. Her new pattern and sew along has just started and it is even more cute than the last one! All pictures are from Lori’s site.

Bake Sale 2 Quilt small-01

This one is called Let’s Bake and it is just gorgeous! I love baking, last Sunday I made some really yummy cranberry, apricot and white chocolate cookies and I am going to make some more this weekend as they lasted about 3 days, well we had to eat them before they went hard 😉  So I really love all the block designs here.

You can download the pattern guide from here and it is really detailed. It does use a set of shapes which are a bit difficult to get in the UK but I think you could work it out from the diagrams if you don’t have them. There is some great embroidery on the blocks as well.

This is one of my favourites so far, it would make a great design for a mixer cover wouldn’t it?

Mixer block

I love these little gingham cross stitch squares that edge the quilt.

Let's Bake cross stitch

The new fabric collection is called Bake sale 2 and is really nice, I especially like the cake stand design and the text fabric but am being good and not buying random fabric just because I like it.

Bake Sale fabric

She also has lots of other side projects, such as this pie tin pincushion and these lovely pot holders with crochet on, both would make great gifts if you are building up a gift stash.

Lori Holt Pincushion

Bake Sale pot holders

Jenny of Elefantz has been having a discussion about aprons on her Gentle Domesticity Facebook page and has recently been making some new ones and I think some of these designs would look beautiful on an apron so I really should make myself a nice one. Most of mine are very plain and boring and very stained now so I would love a new pretty one.

Ellie and Kerry are due for a quick visit tomorrow which will make a nice break from marking. I am hoping to get a couple of free hours later on Sunday to at least choose the fabrics for the new doll and maybe get a bit of cutting out done.

Hope that you all have a nice relaxing weekend and thanks for visiting.


Thinking ahead

I always like to have a little think at this time of year what I am going to try and get done next year craft wise. I did the same thing in early Jan last year when I had a little review of what I had made and the plans for the year ahead.

Some of it I have achieved like more pouches and bags of different sorts including how to make Dresdens. I have made some really lovely ones this year that I am very pleased with. Must do some more of these with crochet and vintage embroidery.


I have also done a lot of cross stitching in the last few months, still hoping to do more including some more lovely snowflake inspired things for next Christmas.At least if I start them in Jan I will not have the frantic finishing rush that I have had this year.

Progress with some of the larger items will be ongoing such as the hexagon quilt. I have made all 60 of the hexagons, am now on the slightly less glamorous job of removing all of the papers then I have to applique them to background squares and then hand quilt and put together.

Hexi stack 2

I need to finish the Steampunk jacket made from the vintage tablecloths which has been on hold, it is not needed until August but you know how time flies! There is the hat to decorate to go with that and I need some festival clothes for August as well.

There will have to be new stuff of course! I am still so tempted by all of Lori Holt’s lovely work and really want to make some applique things based on her designs. Probably not the full quilt but look at all the lovely things in her latest Bee Happy Quilt. I love that car and caravan!

Bee Happy Quilt

Then there are always Jenny’s designs. I did finish the sampler block this year, that just needs making into a hanging. I also have a couple of other ones of hers completed but not made into anything that I will share when finished.

I would love to do some more of her Christmas designs from this year’s Stitchery Club for next year. Picture from Jenny’s blog.

ELEFANTZ Christmas stitching

I also need to make some things from my birthday book, Happy Flower Quilts. I intended to include some of these designs for pouches but did not have time so would like to do some of these as gifts.

I would love to be able to paper piece as well like Charise does, she has some beautiful designs and it is just the sort of fiddly work that appeals to me. Isn’t this just gorgeous, picture from her blog.

Charise Apple bag

I am looking forward to the last weekend of stitching before Christmas, have still got one more ornament to make and then two to finish off before I can pack them all up to send off. Teaching has finished now so apart from a huge load of marking I can relax and get into the festive spirit.

Mum arrives this week then we will be going down to Ellie’s and then to meet my great niece Ava for the first time, really looking forward to that and to spending lots of time with Mum, my sister and the kids playing games and relaxing. We are going to be at Clumber a couple of times so will hopefully have some lovely pictures of that for you.

Will pop in next week to wish you all Merry Christmas, don’t forget to like this or any other post to enter my giveaway.

Take care and thanks for visiting.






More things for the stitching wish list

I had a lovely time yesterday helping Kerry with the pattern for the groom’s outfit for her wedding next year. Although I could not help with any cutting out I did help with amalgamating two patterns into one design and advice on buttons and fabric placement.

It is nice just to have someone to share ideas with when you are making really important things and it was great to have a catch up as well.

Still slow progress with the cross stitched ornaments but I have been collecting new patterns so I thought that I would share some in case you have a yearning for pretty snowflakes or some Scandi designs in your life.

I have created a new Cross Stitch Pinterest board, Pinterest wasn’t around when I was last seriously cross stitching so it is wonderful to browse so many lovely things. I love snowflakes so was really pleased to find these beautiful designs at X-Stitch Magic.

Cross stitch snowflakes 1


This next one has no source or pattern but I love the look of the snowflakes on linen, I don’t know if my stitching is neat enough for me to do this as really need counted fabric.

Cross stitch snowflake tree on linen

This is beautiful as well, will see if I have any linen colour aida to replicate something similar. Not certain of the source for this but it may be this blog, she certainly has some beautiful cross stitch.

Cross stitch snowflake cushion on linen

This is a gorgeous free chart as well from Kissy-Cross . Again it looks beautiful on the linen colour fabric with the touches of red and green.

Cross stitch reindeer

This lovely free Scandi style sampler available is from here.This would be great to personalise with a family name or just to say Merry Christmas

Cross Stitch Scandi Sampler

I am planning another Slow Stitching Sunday and am hoping to finish one more ornament in the coming week.

I also have to finish my Steampunk pirate hat as I am away next weekend with Ellie at Steampunks in Space at the National Space Centre so very excited about that. I will return with lots of fab costume pictures again.

Meanwhile take care and have fun with whatever you are doing. Thanks for visiting.



A little Christmas finish

Thankfully my arm was less painful yesterday so I managed to do some machining, finishing off a couple of Christmas versions of the cottages I made at the end of last year.

Christmas Cottages 1

The tutorial for these can be found here at Retro Mama’s site, I originally found this idea on Pinterest and made nine of these in floral fabric which I gave away to friends at knitting as pincushions.They are so cute I had to try some Christmas versions.

The charms I got from Ebay from Rhinoobead and they are so cute. I thought it would be nice to have a tree outside the window and a wreath on the door.I might add some beads to the trim on the roof as well.

I do love making these little houses and obviously so do lots of other people, there are lots of lovely ones on Pinterest including these beautiful examples by one of my favourite bloggers Charise who creates amazing paper pieced designs. I love the way that she has fussy cut the fabric to put people, flowers and animals in the windows and doors, she is so clever!

Cottages - Charise Creates

She has a book coming out soon called Super Cute Paper Piecing which will be on my wish list, I have not really done any of this type of piecing before but since I love my English Paper Piecing would like to have a go at some of these.Her fabric combinations are always gorgeous. She has lots of information about the contents of the book on her blog so do go and have a look.

Super Cute Paper Piecing Book

I am getting on well with the cross stitched snowflake that I started this week, thankfully finger movement has been lots easier as well so I am much happier.I hate sitting watching TV without doing something productive, seems such a waste of time.

The sky is a beautiful blue here and it is sunny but very cold so I am planning a lovely day of stitching, very much a slow stitching Sunday, this has been my first weekend in three weeks where I have not been working Saturday so have been really enjoying it.

Hope you are having a good weekend whatever you are doing, take care and thanks for visiting and for all the good wishes about my poorly arm, your thoughts and prayers have obviously worked!





Slow Stitching Sunday

One of the blogs I regularly read, Tanya’s, often has a reference to Slow Stitching Sunday, hosted at Kathy’s Quilts blog , which is all about taking your time to hand stitch rather than machine stitch.I usually end up spending part of Sundays slow stitching anyway as I love relaxing on the sofa watching movies, just the thing after a busy week at work!

I have been mainly doing slow stitching this week anyway, and am getting much better at left-handed stitching, and left-handed typing, cooking and everything else. I am very pleased to tell you that I have managed to complete an ornament this week 🙂

I  have been experimenting with different ornaments for this year as I usually make 10 as gifts for special people plus new ones for my tree. I made this lovely Dresden one a while ago, I have backed it with a felt  circle and stuffed it under the backing.

Nov - Xmas stitching 5

I do like it but it was very fiddly, each blade is only 2 inches long and about an inch wide before being folded and the middle is not that neat so I have added the charm to disguise that.I could not see myself making another 9 of these so will keep this for me.

So I have gone back to good old cross stitch, this was the first thing that I ever really got into after enjoying needlepoint but finding it took a long time and when the children were little I used to make birthday cards for them and friends as well as lots and lots of Christmas stitching.

I have completed three designs so far,this one I found part completed in a box, I have no idea of where the pattern came from, just completed it from what I had already done and added little seeds beads.

Nov - Xmas stitching 3

This little tree is from one of my favourite designers,  JBW Designs , I have made quite a few of these over the years and love the way the little motifs are included in the design.

Nov - Xmas stitching 4

This is the one that I have been working on very slowly this week, it is taken from a larger Quaker Christmas motif design from ByGone Stitches and does still need some beads adding. It wasn’t until I had finished the centre and two of the star bits that I realised that it is not symmetrical but decided to leave it as it was.

Nov - Xmas stitching 1

I love the full design and one day might have the time to stitch it all.


All are stitched on sparkly Aida and everything comes from stash! I am making a serious attempt to use what I have in the craft room these days, partly on the grounds that I hopefully only have just over four and half years until I retire and sell up and move to Spain so need to use the stash rather than have to move it all.

So I am looking forward to an afternoon of loveliness with lots of cups of tea and indulgence in some of my favourite things. Hope that you are all having a lovely weekend and thanks for visiting.



Pain stops play :-(

I was hoping that I would have lots of lovely things to show you from my weekend and from the last few days as I have had the luxury of time not at work but sadly I have trapped a nerve in my shoulder and so have been doing very slow and steady stitching with not much of note to share.

It is very painful and I am miffed, not least as these were my two free weekends to get all of my Christmas ornaments sorted. I am working Saturdays again for the next couple of weeks so have limited free time until mid November.

Ho hum best laid plans as they say. At least I have lots of great TV to watch, I have been enjoying some Sci Fi, courtesy of friend’s recommendations. I have been watching the new Star Trek:Discovery and an X-files like Stranger Things, both of which I have really enjoyed.

I do have a finish to share with you from previous work, this is one of the lovely Jenny of Elefantz’s designs which I made as a, ‘thank ewe’ , present for my friend Sharon for all her help over the past few years with taking Jake to and from Uni. She likes sheep and we have plenty in Marsden so it seemed appropriate!

Thankewe 1

This is from Jenny’s Primitive Stitching series which was part of the Stitchery Club a while ago. I can’t find this pattern on her Craftsy page but there are many more other gorgeous ones there. I particularly love the little cotton reel.

She also has a free Block of the Month , this year based around the theme of home which you can find at the link. She is so generous with her free patterns and tutorials and all of her things are so pretty, I love visiting her blog!

I really need to stitch some more of her designs soon and I love these which are on vintage linen, pics from Jenny’s Craftsy page.These are both from this year’s Block of the Month.

ELEFANTZ BOM 2017 block 4 cover


I have a few quiet days this week as I am working from home, hopefully things will improve and I will be back to full capacity soon. Thank god for the internet, at least I can browse and look at all of the lovely things other people have been making as well.

Hope that you are all well and happy, take care and thanks for visiting.


My new obsession

Since joining the Seamstress Squadron page and starting to look at other costuming blogs I have been spending many happy hours looking at other people’s creations and the information available.

I am amazed, both with the dedication of the sewers and their beautiful creations but also at the level of detail and help available and just didn’t realise there was all this out there. I have also found some people who have used the same pattern as me and made wonderful things.

Look at this beautiful outfit below, I have forgotten which forum it came from but it is using this Butterick pattern that I have and they have altered the shape of the jacket and used the edge of the fabric in such a beautiful way. Isn’t it just stunning!

Butterick pattern 1Butterick pattern 2

Burda jacket pattern adapted - small

This level of information doesn’t really exist in the same way for the medieval re-enactment costumes, there are some people who we use as sources who are very good such as this history of fashion blog but there are some significant differences between what you can find out.

One of course is that there are still lots of Victorian clothes around in museums and even available for people to buy, books, patterns written at the time and lots of wonderful fashion plates from magazines and adverts, especially about the miracles of corsetry. There are even photos as well and Wearing History blog has a fantastic selection of these under her ‘What real people wore’, posts.

Victorian corset ad


The Delineator magazine, founded by Butterick in 1869 is mentioned a lot and this site has some scans of these magazines. Aren’t these gorgeous covers?

Delineator magazine 1

Delineator magazine 2


Another great blog is Historical Sewing, what this women doesn’t know about making 19th century garments probably isn’t worth knowing anyway.

The most we get for medieval is paintings and manuscripts, beautiful though they are it does leave you wondering how they made the garments and what they are made from. I use the Web Gallery of Art as a primary source.

The other  is of course the authenticity, since we work for English Heritage a lot we have to have a very high level of authenticity whereas many people who make costume do it for fun and for events such as balls and Steampunk so they are sharing their interpretations of things.

The other thing that I realised is that since I have such a wide circle of friends who make costume for re-enactment I have tended to go them for advice rather than the miracles of the internet. When I first started re-enacting I made a lot of kit and did do some research but that was a long time ago, 14 years, pre-blogging and pre- Facebook 😉 and there was not so much info out there so I have really stopped looking and use the same sources that I have come to trust.

This links in well to my doctoral research as I am looking at how people gain the skills and knowledge they need to make things for re-enactment so it is useful to reflect on myself as a beginning costume maker for a different era.

Ellie and I are thinking of taking some classes to help us adjust patterns. For our medieval garments we either have tried and trusted patterns or use existing garments as patterns so we have not much experience of fitting the more complex Victorian shapes.

I have been rapidly adding things to my new Steampunk Pinterest pages such as these amazing outfits below. I love the lilac dress in the background here.

Victorian outfit 1
Victorian outfit 2

And since I already have a black velvet jacket wouldn’t this skirt be lovely with it? Of course none of this may ever see the light of day as actual garments but it is fun researching!

I am off to Ellie’s tomorrow on the first leg of the journey to Caldicot Castle, please pray for fine weather for us as we really want the event to be a success!

I will be back next time with hopefully some more progress on the jacket, even if it is only a post about how hard the fitting is and am planning to devote the weekend to putting it together. Wish me luck!

Take care and thanks for visiting.