Lovely Luna times ahead

Well dear readers as I write this there is less than a week until I retire! I will have a few things to finish off after Friday 25th June, as it the nature of a teacher’s life I can’t just cut and run, but after that date I am officially on holiday for the rest of my life. Very exciting times ahead.

I have had a very lovely day today sewing with Kerry, much progress has been made on the new hat for the cream outfit, Kerry actually sewed up the body of the hat this afternoon while I sorted some of the decoration. I am also making very good progress with the jacket and we have come up with an adaptation that will mean less work, and avoids making buttonholes as well. I will learn to do buttonholes properly one day, but today is not that day.

Last weekend Ellen came up and we had a very fabulous trip to Fabworks in Dewsbury and Bombay Stores in Bradford, thank heaven that restrictions have been lifted so that we can buy fabric again 😉 We got some lovely velvet and tweed for future Luna outfits and some more supplies for Steampunk.

I have not had chance to share the outfits that I have made for Luna, I have another couple of works in progress and this, and the Steampunk clothes, are going to be my main focus for the months ahead.

I have completed three outfits, all very cute. The first is a Liberty print and the other two are Rose and Hubble and I have loved adding all of the lace and bows and other pretty things to these. The buttons on the first outfit have poppers underneath, so no buttonholes needed!

Ellen has been making some beautiful things, there was a competition a while ago on the Luna Lapin Facebook page and one of the weekly themes was historical costume, so she made this amazing dress for Anne Bunelyn.

It is so beautifully stitched with such attention to detail, all her own design. I love the head dress and matching necklace. She is now going to match a matching Henry, as a fox which will be fabulous. She also made a beautiful party dress with a tulle skirt.

I am almost finished with the bear and bunny, I have made a bit more progress since this picture was taken, I do love the way the bear’s head has turned out and the cute little trainers. Another few hours and they should all be ready to go off to their new homes.

We are going to be away next weekend, celebrating both the end of work for me and my birthday, catching up re-enactment friends at an event, and then going to Oxford for a short break inspired by watching Discovery of Witches recently. There are some wonderful Tudor costumes in that show which we loved, including this amazing wedding dress.

We are going to be visiting museums, and having a look round all of the beautiful buildings, I used to visit regularly when I was younger as it was only 40 miles from where I grew up but have not been for years.

I hope that you are all having a nice time and enjoying good weather, it has been lovely here for days now and I have been loving sitting outside reading in the evening, making the most of my last few weeks staring at the moors.

Take care, have fun, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Reduce, reuse, recycle…well 2 out of 3 isn’t bad

I have enjoyed watching the Great British Sewing Bee and am looking forward to next week’s episode which is all about using recycled fabrics. As you know that is something that I really enjoy doing, from my tablecloth jacket to my pouches made from old jeans.

On our recent visit to Northumberland we had a really good time in all the charity shops in Alnwick, buying clothes that we can use for Luna outfits. Buying large men’s shirts works out really well for getting fabric, Ellen and I have split these between us and there is enough materials for at least 4 outfits out of each shirt, not bad for an average of £4 a shirt.

I also bought these two very cute blue tops that I am planning to make Luna dresses from and a cute sun top with gorgeous pin tucks that will make some beautiful aprons.

We did also buy some new stuff as well, I am not very good at reducing the amount that I buy but I have two very good excuses for that, honestly!

One is that I really want to support small businesses, such as the haberdashers in the market that we found in central Durham. I love these types of stalls anyway and it is even more important now that they have had to close for so much of the last year. So we did have a little bit of a spend there but I am not going to feel guilty about it as they had some beautiful lace, bargain fabrics, and lots of buttons and bows.

I now have a dedicated Luna/Barbie button box with all of the tiny buttons and embellishments. We had a lovely time choosing these at the stall. I also had previously bought some very tiny coloured ones from Etsy suppliers here.

The other excuse that it is quite difficult to buy nice fabric and wool in Spain, my nearest fabric shops will be 40 minutes drive away and so I am planning to have lots of stash taken over there with my other possessions this summer. I have found a company that will take 40 boxes for a good price so at least 25 of them are going to be fabric, wool and books (of which we may also have bought a few from the charity shops in Alnwick and the amazing Barter Books.)

We also found a lovely wool shop in Alnwick and again had to buy lots of things to support this small business as well. I was just about to say to Ellen after we came out of our second charity shop that all I need now to make this a wonderful trip was a wool shop, and we spotted one, so that made me very happy.

I bought some very cute variegated yarn for rabbit dresses and these little balls of cotton thread. They are only £1 each and are designed for crochet but will be very good for striped jumpers and little bags.

I have recently taken delivery of this lovely lot of cotton yarn as well from Rito Yarns. What can I say except they were having a sale! And it is so soft and gorgeous, it will be so nice to knit with.

We also bought some things for us to wear, I got some jeans and two tops for Spain. In one of the last shops we came across this very stylish (!) furry handbag that we thought would make great squirrel tails for the Rowan pattern in the Luna and friends book. It was a bit of a labour of love to deconstruct it but we got a tail each from it.

Ellen has already made a lovely shirtdress from the red and blue checked shirt fabric, I am still at cutting out stage with most of my things as I am still knitting Little Cotton Rabbits, just about to make a carrot or two to put in a bunny’s rucksack and then it is lots and lots of sewing up!

There has been a lot of excitement in the Little Cotton Rabbits community as Julie is working on her newest pattern and it is dogs. Just check the link above to see all the cuteness, she has already knitted 57 different heads! This pattern is going to be amazing. I am so happy to be retiring, only 42 more days to go and my life can be one long stitch and knit fest 🙂

Ellen is coming to stay this weekend as she is going out for a drink with friends and so I will have company Saturday night, and I am going for a walk with a friend on Sunday. Fingers crossed from next week we can eat and drink inside cafes and pubs so hopefully we can do a little more live socialising over the next few months.

I will also be working on a new hat for Steampunk as we actually have an event next weekend. It is an outdoor picnic at Kelham, where we went last August. I am so looking forward to it, especially as I will get to see Kerry again 🙂

I hope that you all have a lovely weekend ahead and enjoy whatever you have planned. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

It is all happening here!

Well dear readers, there has been much excitement since I last posted. I have been very busy with work, done the final, final, final bits of decorating, the estate agent has been and taken all the pictures, I have had two driving lessons…and I found out last week that I have passed my doctorate!

To say I am pleased is very much an understatement, I only resubmitted on the 9th April so was not expecting to hear back so soon but it was all sorted very quickly. It is such a relief to have that all completed (after a mere 8 and a half years!) and to be able to get on with all my other plans.

I did treat myself to some lovely fabric for Luna dresses and the other two Luna books as a reward for submitting and have been busy making two very cute little dresses. I have some work in progress pictures but will show you the finished garments when Ellen brings the Luna I made back this weekend so that I can model them.

I have a lot of Liberty for Luna ears but needed larger quantities for the clothes so I bought some beautiful Rose and Hubble fabrics from two new suppliers on Ebay, Pastel Rose and Pretti Fabrics .They have so many gorgeous designs I am sure that I will use them again.

The books contain some beautiful outfits. I am have made this two piece set in this Liberty print and some of the braid we bought recently from The Range.

I am just finishing off a version of the T – Shirt dress. I decided to go with a lace bow, rather than a fabric one. The instructions are very clear and even if if it is a little fiddly at times fitting tiny sleeves you know how much I love sewing in miniature.

I really want to make some of the other designs as well, I think that this dress would look adorable in either the dark blue or turquoise print and I did plan to make either a nightdress or pyjamas from the lilac fabric.

I also ordered some of the lace from Bertie’s Bows that Ellen had for her pyjamas and also got some other edged lace and flowered bias binding. They have an amazing selection of all sorts of bias in different fabrics so that is a really good find. I love the packaging as well, so cute.

I need to think about which fabric I can use for this beautiful coat. I really do not enjoy working with velvet but have some lovely silk in my doll stash so will see if I can use some of that.

My last purchase is some more lace from Feathers Creations on Ebay as I used up all of the previous lace from The Range on the other two dresses. They are a perfect match for my new fabric.

After all this excitement in my life I am looking forward to a lovely calm rest of the week and weekend. I am planning more Luna making at the weekend, as well as putting together the knitted animals.

Ellen are I are going away to Northumberland for a few days next week in a beautiful cabin overlooking the sea. We booked it back in September, not thinking that there would be any restrictions at this point but luckily we can still go. It will be a lovely celebration of all of the good things that are happening in my life. I feel very blessed and very lucky.

I hope you are all well and happy and are enjoying spring if you are in the UK, we have had some lovely sunny days and my flowers look wonderful and that makes me happy as well.

Take care, have fun, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Luna Lapin love

Ellen and I had a brilliant Easter weekend and I am now officially addicted to Luna (and friends). I will, of course always love my Little Cotton Rabbits and will continue making those in the evenings but I am so enjoying this new crafting adventure. Not only are there all the cute animals, there are so many clothes to make as well. There is also a Facebook group for even more inspiration that can be found here.

I may just have had to order some new fabric for the clothes 😉 although I have lots of Liberty for the rabbits’ ears and feet, the clothes need a lot more fabric than the fat 8ths I have. I have treated myself to some lovely Rose and Hubble fabric for more dresses. I will show you that in a later post along with my first completed outfit.

Ellen had already cut out the pieces for two rabbits, I only had one prepared out of linen so she was working on one from some recycled denim and one from a gorgeous brushed cotton that she has had in her stash for about 9 years. It was at one time going to be a baby quilt but it has made the most gorgeous soft rabbit and a pair of pyjamas for another rabbit. She has given me the supplier details for the beautiful lace trimmed bias here so I have ordered some of that as well.

She finished her rabbit in time for us to have a little photo shoot in the sun. The weather was so much better than forecast last weekend so we went for a walk on Sunday, but it has been snowing on and off this week, including this morning. Thankfully it has not settled.

The rabbits are not complex to make, and there are very good instructions in the book, but it did take me about 7 hours to complete. That was with cutting out and zig zagging all of the pieces previously and making the ears. I did have to re-do several things as I put the legs on back to front the first time and then had the re-do the base several times. Next time I will be much faster.

The three of them look very cute together and I am very pleased with what we accomplished. It was such a lovely weekend, with no decorating or household tasks to do and so nice to just relax and celebrate.

We were not only celebrating Easter but also the brilliant news that she has got a new job. She was made redundant last year from the National Trust and has been doing some part-time work and volunteering since Oct. She was working part-time with the Bassetlaw Foodbank from Jan and I am very, very pleased to tell you that she has now been appointed as their full-time Assistant Manager. I am so very proud of her, it has been a very challenging year for her, as for many people, and she has coped really well with all of it. She is so enthusiastic about her new career and will be able to use many of her mentoring and volunteer management skills from her work with the Trust.

I am also very pleased to say that Jake is staying at the same primary school in Tokyo with the same children, who are now in Year 2, but will also be teaching older children in Year 3 as well. He has also coped with all the disruption of the last year really well, and I am so very proud of him for that. He has not had the same restrictions as us in the UK but his life has still been disrupted and he has done brilliantly and stayed positive throughout. Fingers crossed the rest of 2021 will be full of equally good news for everyone as we move back to normality.

I have had a good week as well, I have submitted the second revision of my doctorate. Hopefully this will be the last one, I leave in a couple of months so doubt I would have time to do anything further anyway. I am feeling very relieved and looking forward to next week when Jacky and I are going to the Dales again for a few days in her campervan. It will be so nice to see her again, the last time was in October, and we are looking forward to some great waterfall exploring.

I am having a quiet weekend after all the excitement of the last couple of weeks. I have just bought the other two Luna books as a treat for me for submitting my doctorate, so I am going to be cutting out more clothes and finishing knitting a Little Cotton Rabbits bear.

I hope that you have had a good week and have a lovely weekend and week ahead. Take care, have fun, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Looking forward to a little linen and Liberty time!

Before I begin a new project I usually like to look at other people’s creations for inspiration, usually courtesy of Pinterest. Ellen is coming up for Sunday and Monday and as we have no decorating to do 🙂 the time is all ours!

In the fine weather this week I have painted the garden fence, the shed, and the windowsills, cleaned and replanted all of the pots, front and back, and emptied, cleaned and sorted the shed, phew! After all that hard work it will be lovely to be able to just chill. We are hoping for a little trip out on Sunday for a walk but Monday is forecast to be 5 degrees and snowing so we will be having a Luna Lapin creating session.

My copy of the book arrived this week so I am going to get a headstart on cutting out the fabric today and tomorrow so that it is all ready. I will be using linen for my rabbit body as I have lots in stash, rather than wool felt, and some lovely Liberty for the ears and clothing.

I have found so many lovely creations so I thought I would share these with you, I have also found some more knitting patterns for shawls as well. I am hoping that the Little Cotton Rabbits clothes might fit the animals as well. I am nearly at the end of my three animals for friends’ grandchildren so will be able to move on to other knitting projects as well.

This, and two other shawl patterns, can be found at Cool Crafting, who have a whole section of the website devoted to Luna (photo from website). It is a while since I have done any lace knitting but have always really enjoyed doing it. They also have the most gorgeous little jumpers for the rams.

I found a large selection of beautiful outfits on Bit of Tea and Honey, including some very cute felt shoes and this beautiful embroidered cape. I think these were done with machine embroidery, which I do have on my sewing machine, but could also be hand embroidered. Photos from her blog.

I also come across this adorable rabbit in a Liberty dress on one of my favourite blogs, Thimbleanna’s . I am in awe of the very neat topstitching here. Photos from her blog.

This beautiful coat and dress combination is also from Pinterest, made by Knitonestitchone.

We were doing some household shopping last week in a shop called The Range, which has a very nice crating section. We treated ourselves to some cute lace edging so I am going to definitely add that to one of the dresses as Tracy Daniels has done in this outfit here. I love the combination of colours and the cute crochet rucksack. Finally learning to crochet is also a retirement project.

I am so looking forward to a new project and the time to do it. All of my spare time for the last few months has been taken up decorating, which I do actually enjoy, even if it is just repainting things the same colour and nothing more creative. I do find it quite therapeutic, although I won’t be doing any more any time soon 🙂 Time now for some adventures (hopefully) and lots and lots of lovely crafting time.

I hope that you have a good Easter weekend if you are celebrating. I will hopefully be back next week with a completed rabbit to show you. Take care, stay safe, have fun and thanks for visiting.

Easter Bunnies.. the fabric kind

Ellen has just left after another very busy weekend of decorating and decluttering. Thankfully that is everything inside the house done so the next time she visits we can just have fun! We did spend part of this morning buying supplies for her latest crafting project. It is her birthday on Tuesday and as she has been making these adorable Luna Lapin rabbits and clothes I bought her some more Liberty fabric and some new books.

She already has the original book Luna Lapin by Sarah Peel and has made this adorable rabbit and clothes for her. Look at the wonderful detail on the dress with its little lace cardigan and the so cute winter dress and red coat!

For her birthday I bought her Sewing Luna’s Friends. I have just ordered one of these for me as well as an end of term, add to stash gift 🙂 I have always loved making fabric dolls so am looking forward to making these and the little clothes as some point. I love all the detail in the outfits with the lace and pintucks.

This outfit is one of my favourites, partly because of the little Liberty quilt.

I also ordered her the other Luna Making New Friends book as well, look at the cuteness of the squirrel and reindeer here!

She needed some felt to make the squirrel, fox and badger so we found some excellent supplies here at Billow Fabrics on Ebay, who I have used before for lovely Liberty supplies.

I am very much looking forward to the next three weeks, the last teaching (ever!) has been done and I am going to have a busy but enjoyable time. Hopefully the weather will be nice as I have outdoor painting and planting to do, and am praying that the sheep don’t come and eat my just about to bloom tulips before the house goes on the market 🙂 There may well be some crafting time as well, and the final, final re-write of the doctorate!

Here’s hoping and praying that the transition to more normal life goes smoothly as well. It has been a very good week for the family, with my finishing teaching, and Jacob having his contract renewed for another year in Japan, so fingers crossed our good luck will continue.

Hope that things are going well wherever you are and that you have a good week ahead. Take care, stay safe, have fun and thanks for visiting.

Back to life, back to reality…

I have been lucky enough to have the first of my vaccines, so far no ill effects at all. Here in the UK the vaccine rollout is going well and we are all hoping that it really can be a case of getting back to normal life really soon. Our plans for Easter still look like they will go ahead and we are starting to see more confirmation of other possible events later in the year.

I am also very near the end of my teaching, only two more sessions and that will be it, nearly 35 years of teaching over. In a way that will mean I can go back to having a more realistic life as well, I have really not enjoyed sitting in front of a computer all day, spending a lot of time in virtual sessions with no interaction. Teaching has always been a very social job and I have loved the human side of getting to know my students. I am looking forward to having a life where I am not staring at a screen all of the time and spending more time with actual humans!

We have been doing yet more decorating (nearly finished) and are getting down to the final touches before the house goes on the market! Exciting yet slightly scary times! I have no idea what the rest of the year is going to hold, or where I am going to be so it is all a big adventure. I am finally able to start driving lessons in April so that is the first step to freedom and adventure. Hopefully I will get over to Spain at some point as well so I shan’t be completely homeless 😉 Although I am quite looking forward to a bit of a van life adventure of my own, after so many years watching vlogs of other people’s.

There has been a bit of progress on both the Barbie wardrobe and the knitting, this dress below is another for my great-niece and is made to fit my gorgeous curvy Alexa. The skirt is from an charity shop shirt that has been in my stash for some time. Such pretty fabric and as you can see I had fun with embellishment!

I made this one a wrap around back so that I could use velcro to fasten it. This makes it a little off centre but I thought it might be easier for little hands.

I deliberately set aside the whole of the weekend as a sofa and TV watching one, various friends who have had their vaccine have felt very ill so I planned to do nothing at all. I have therefore had a lovely time so far, reading, watching old TV series (Space 1999) and working on another top down jumper from Little Cotton Rabbits.

The first one of these I knitted a while ago totally confused me, I could not see how such a long straight row of knitting could ever become a jumper but it is, as one of the Facebook group described, ‘marvellous engineering’, and once you start on the sleeves it all becomes clear. They are seamed underneath which forms the sides of the body, making it a lot easier to put together. This will go with a lime green pair of dungarees and green and orange trainers for a bunny for a friend’s grandchild.

I want to make a cute cardigan next, I have been inspired by all the gorgeous Easter bunnies that are being knitted on the Facebook group at the moment, look at these by Heather Harrison, adorable!

I really need to get out and do some gardening, Ellen and I bought some lovely plants for the hanging baskets last weekend but it has been dreadful weather all week, hail and sleet, and today is not much better. Oh well. nothing else for it but to stay under the fleece on the sofa and carry on knitting. I discovered a new series on Netflix last night, ‘The One’, which is very gripping so will continue with that and hopefully finish the jumper today.

I hope that you are all having a good weekend wherever you are and have a very good week ahead. Mine will no doubt go very fast, time seems to be whizzing by at the moment. Take care, stay safe, have fun and thanks for visiting.

My daughter, the creative genius

Ellen has been here a lot recently, helping me decorate. Not only is that wonderful of her, but it is also brilliant to have actual human company so often! We bought some plants and various things for the bathroom refurbishment last week, and as it was very sunny this week I have emptied all the old pots and done some re-planting so everything is starting to look lovely and Spring like. Along with the latest announcements about easing of restrictions things are starting to look a lot more positive.

Ellen usually brings some sewing with her and recently brought up the project she has been working on for the last few months. I posted about quiet books a long time ago, and have still not made one yet but she has made this amazing book for her friend’s little boy. He is just two and so she has made him some pages that he can play with now, and is intending to add to the book as he grows.

She is so talented, she did not use a pattern for any of this and has made the cutest bears and crayons as well as this adorable lion with a ribbon mane. The farmyard animals are all finger puppets so he can play with them.

I love it and so did the recipient. She has made so many wonderful things over the years, the Worth dress out of curtains, the flower fairy costume as well as many wonderful Steampunk outfits and everyday clothes. I am so proud of her and so glad that she enjoys crafting, not just because we can share fabric and help each other with fittings!

Due to all the decorating I have not done much creative work myself. I have finished all of the knitted trainers so when they are made up will take some pictures for you. The pattern was very easy to follow as always and I am excited to finish the animals. I did have a little bit of leave last week so had a small amount of craft room time, making this dress for Barbie. This is a combination of patterns, one from the tutorial here and the skirt pattern I drafted myself.

My oldest great-niece, Ava, had Barbies for her fourth birthday so I am making some outfits for them. She had two of the new, more diverse range with larger bodies and one has a prosthetic leg so I have been checking sizing carefully as I discovered over summer that even the standard Barbies vary in waist size quite a bit. I have still kept one of my diversity Barbies, Alexa in the picture below, for fitting purposes (and because she is gorgeous and I love her hair) so still have four from my original collection of ten.

I have some more clothes cut out from the silk and satin scraps from the Steampunk jacket I made last year and some pink cotton from an old shirt so hopefully will spend some time tomorrow sewing those up. We are decorating again next weekend so I am makig most of this one.

I am going out for a walk this afternoon with an old friend from my Polytechnic days, 37 years ago. We made contact again a few years ago and have been meaning to meet up for so long but with current restrictions we have not been able to arrange anything yet so thought at least a walk would be lovely. It is a sunny day so I am really lookin forward to that.

My sister has been spending time refurbishing her camper van, she has been off work after a major operation and has spent the time adding to the storage and moving furniture. It looks fantastic now (these photos are from her Facebook) and I can’t wait to see it. Hopefully we are going to be able to go away for a few nights after Easter to the Dales.

So lots of lovely things to look foward to and I am feeling very positive at the moment. Fingers crossed we can do some nice things later in the summer and I only have another four weeks of teaching to go! I will be at work until the end of June as I have tutorials and marking to do until then but only another 124 days until freedom 🙂

I hope that you are having a nice weekend, have fun, take care and stay safe. Thanks for visiting.

A very productive week!

I have had not only a very accomplished week work wise, getting through a huge pile of marking and admin and the start of a new term, with a brand new masters module to teach, but also a very productive week with other things.

Ellen came up this week, she took me shopping, which was very useful as I am now stocked up with toiletries and things for about the next four months so will not have to go to town for a long time. I found that during the first lockdown last year it was sometimes difficult, or more expensive, to source specific things that I needed so at least I am prepared for the long haul now as I doubt I will be going into work before Easter.

Then we had a lovely day yesterday of baking, and cooking and cutting out the new Steampunk dress, aided by lots of tea of course!

Thank you very much to Leigh, who commented on my last post telling me that the dress is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was able to find the details of it here. It was made in 1885 by an American company and is an evening dress. That quite surprised me as I thought it looked more like a winter walking ensemble with the jacket bodice and the fur.

The fabric is a delight to work with, very easy to cut and doesn’t slip about or fray. I think I am really going to enjoy making this outfit, unlike others where I have been wrestling with slippery satin or velvet that sheds everywhere 😦 It did take a while to do the pattern matching though, it is big repeat and it is not an exact repeat all over the cream fabric. I have not yet manged to cut the sides of the jacket or the skirt as it took a while to get the other pieces accurate.

I did not have as much of the blue so I am going with a blue front panel and collar, cuffs, apron and possibly the bow. I am modifying the pattern to use a more pointed back to the jacket, as in the original, and a smaller bow than in the pattern. I am also hoping to use some of my vintage lace collection to embellish the sleeves and bow. I really love the motif on the fabric, it has that gorgeous mix of Victorian and Indian influences.

It was slightly easier to use the pattern as I have already made it once, with modifications. It is listed as ‘plus difficile’ but since the last time I used it was to make the tablecloth jacket, which involved pattern placement on three different embroidered tablecloths looking for the right combination of motifs, it felt a lot easier this time. The last one turned out very well and is still one of my favourite makes.

This version will have a different front as well, it is a faux button front with a placket behind it with hooks and eyes so that will save me actually having to make buttonholes, some of my least favourite things!

Hopefully I will finish the cutting out this week and then tack it together for a first fitting next week. Ellen is coming up again for a bit (hurrah for support bubbles) so hopefully I will be able to start putting it together after that.

I was looking though previous posts about the pattern and I had found this gorgeous image where someone had used the pattern to produce this stunning outfit.

I did a search to see if anyone else had used it but apart from two of my pictures didn’t find anything else yet but will keep looking on pattern review sites as I love getting new ideas. I did find this beautiful original dress, which is very similar. No idea where from again but love these colours.

I am so pleased that I have got another project underway, I love the creativity of putting together not just the outfit, but the hat and all the embellishments, lots of lovely research to be done over the next few months. I am currently looking for shoes, gloves and a parasol to go with it.

I hope that you are all having a lovely weekend, and are tucked up safe and warm if you are in the UK. It has been quite a week, weather wise, with dreadful floods and snow and sleet. Thankfully it is only the roads here that were flooded but there have been some really bad ones elsewhere.

Have fun, take care and stay safe. Thanks, as always for visiting and commenting and I will see you all again soon.

Steampunk for the 2021 season

Almost a year age, on Jan 18th, in a land before Covid, when we could roam freely and do non-essential shopping 🙂 I wrote about our trip to Bombay Stores in Bradford, and the wonderful fabric we bought on that trip. I was able to make the peacock inspired outfit for the picnic in August, but as there were no other events did not do anything with the beautiful gold fabric.

This was to have been a coat made from the lovely Simplicity pattern below but a little lack of motivation, and overwhelmingly busy time over the summer getting to grips with online learning, meant that it has been left on the ‘someday’ pile in the craft room since then.

However, I am determined to make some new outfits this year. We may not have any events, though I am very hopeful for Whitby and Lincoln. They are in late July and late August, and are outdoors, so we may be lucky enough to be able to go to those. The success of the picnic at Kelham Hall hopefully means that something can happen later this year, even if it is a much smaller scale event. If not I will be very well set up for 2022!

I was thinking about a Russian empress theme for the gold fabric and yesterday this wonderful set of pictures popped up on my Facebook feed. I am sure sometimes the internet is reading my mind. These are from the Romanovs’ last ball in 1903 and there are the most wonderful array of over the top costumes. The photos have been colourised from the original black and white and the costumes are just amazing.

I am particularly attracted to this head dress, there is no name on the photograph so I don’t know who she was but I really love this.

I was thinking maybe that I could make a version from some of my vintage crochet, using the Powertex stiffener that I used for the crochet base to the tea party hat. That I painted silver over the dark brown of the Powertex colour, but as it comes in yellow, white and transparent and can be easily painted I think it might work well.

The other alternative would be a tiara. I love tiaras, as well as flower headbands, and wish my life had far more opportunities for wearing them. When I retire maybe I will wear them far more out and about, befitting my new Bohemian lifestyle 🙂 I had already found a number of beautiful ones on Ebay so may buy one of those as well.

Another outfit I am going to be working on, starting next week when Ellen comes up for a sewing weekend, is inspired by a photo shared in a costume group on Facebook. I have no idea where this piece is but it is clearly in a museum from the way the photo is shot.

I have had some beautiful lightweight patterned fabric in pale blue and cream my stash for about 14 years now, bought as a bargain bundle for possible medieval costume but never used, so this would be just perfect. I am planning to use this pattern, which is the one that I adapted for the tablecloth jacket. I think it is a really good match to the original outfit, as it has a very similar back which I just need to extend for the train.

I will probably make it fitted with buttons, though that is something I usually avoid due to my lack of skill in this area, but I think that it would look better with the front overskirt if it was fitted. For the hat I was thinking of a pale top hat, similar to those below. I do have a wedding hat that a friend gave me that I could cover but think that might be a little too Edwardian in style.

I do need to find a theme for the outfit though, I am thinking maybe just going with flowers and butterflies as so many of the fashion plates from this era feature women in gardens. I will of course need a beautiful lacy parasol to go with my outfit!

I have been working a little bit this weekend, but have most of it to play with fabric so will also be choosing fabric for some more Barbie couture, and making knitted shoes for little animals. All while watching the last few episodes of the amazing Bridgerton. I have been rationing myself as it is so wonderful, I only have 3 episodes left now but then will be doing lots more research on the costumes as I keep seeing things I want to make versions of.

I hope that you are having a good weekend, we had more snow this week, so yesterday Marsden looking gorgeous and sparkly in the sun but we are back to grey skies and rain today, perfect weather for snuggling under a fleece and knitting.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.