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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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.

The value of reflection

As a teacher, and a teacher trainer for 15 years, I use and teach about reflection and its value, and have always enjoyed learning from my experiences. Like many other people, I have been thinking a lot about the last year as we come up to the first anniversary of the UK lockdown.

One of the reasons why I love having a blog is that it allows me to look back on my past makes, trips and life in general. One of the practical advantages is that I can always find where I sourced things from, but also it serves as a reminder of all of happy times. Unlike a diary, this blog is not about everything that happens, but the public facing positive things in my life

I have been reminded of the value of reflecting this week twice, once by my very good friend Sarah, whose blog I read this morning. She has written about her year here, and many of the things that she says I can very much relate to. She writes about her appreciation of living here in Marsden, with the beautiful countryside on our doorstep, and the advantages of not having to commute to work.

I am eagerly awaiting lambing time so I can go and see the little cuties like this one last year. Hopefully the weather will be beautiful again so we can go for lots more walks as well.

Like me Sarah’s life has changed a lot. She works at a university, in addition to being a GP, so she too has been working from home a lot. We have shared the frustrations of not being able to talk to colleagues easily, and missing the things we took for granted a year ago, like going to conferences and just spending time with people.

She has also completed far less projects than she thought she would this past year, and I can share that feeling as well, where did all that extra time go? I think for me, a lot of it went into thinking, and into connecting with others. I have certainly spent for more time talking to relatives and friends this year, on the phone and video calls, just reassuring each other that it would be ok in the end.

Early on in the lockdown I started taking part in a research project, I can’t actually remember how I found about this, maybe through an Instagram or blog post? It was run by Naomi Clarke, someone who I previously had come across as a crafter as she is an avid paper piecer. The project was called Crafting During Coronavirus and the involvement was to keep a diary for a number of weeks, recording what I was doing and how I was feeling. This is part of her PhD work on why people sew.

I really enjoyed being involved in this, I have kept diaries many times before, and being a diary, and only for Naomi to read it was good to be able to write about some of my frustrations of that time. I re-read them recently and we were all trying to get to grips with online teaching over the summer and feeling totally out of our depths. I have become quite adept at it all now, not that I want it to continue but feel very proud that I managed to get my head round all that complex stuff that was introduced last summer.

Naomi contacted me again this week, with another part of the project, which is to create a postcard to my past self. It is to be a crafted postcard so I think I should definitely make it using Liberty. One of my little lockdown treats has been spending what would have been travel to work money on more beautiful fabric like these from Duck Egg Threads.

I think it will have to be hexagons as well as you know how I love them. Not that I have done much paper piecing this year at all, that is one of the things that has not been achieved, overtaken by Barbie couture and Little Cotton Rabbits knitting! These are some of my favourite hexagon creations, made some years ago for Yarndale, so I think the postcard will have to be linen and Liberty.

She has asked us to think about what we would say to our past selves, from our current selves, knowing what we know now. Being a huge fan of any time travel time type stories I have been thinking a lot about what to write. Almost a year ago on the 21st March I wrote a blog post about the start of lockdown. I titled it ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’

I think that what I wrote then still is very true today, but even more so. I consider myself so lucky to have all of my wonderful friends and family, who have been so supportive over the past year. There have been some lovely times, like going to Whitby and Northumberland with Ellen, and Aysgarth with her and Jacky. I will put that in the postcard, along with the power of positive thought and prayer.

My focus in that post, then as now, was on crafting. The immense comfort that I have had from knitting, sewing and embroidering over the past year cannot be underestimated. I know others feel the same, judging by the amount of knitted animals that have been created in the last year on the Little Cotton Rabbits Facebook page. This Egbert, who I finished last July, wearing the first set of striped jumper and dungarees. I am now on my third jumper so have really got to grips with top down knitting.

My stressful meetings, complex concerns about the job and the students, and worrying about my family, don’t completely go away when I craft but it makes it all so much easier to bear. The blog also serves as a useful reminder that I have failed so far to use any of the fabric that I bought on that trip that I posted about last March for Barbie dresses. I have made lots, as you know, including these two made at the very start of lockdown, but just not with that fabric. Oh well, at least it doesn’t go off, does it!

My plans for this weekend are to finish another striped jumper for a little animal and to create the fabric postcard. I also have lots of little DIY tasks to do, Ellen will be up again next week the last weekend of decorating, then it will only be a couple of weeks of finishing touches before the house goes on the market. Exciting times πŸ™‚ What is even more exciting is the Easter holidays, I am not promising much in the way of crafting, due to the house prep, but you never know.

I hope that you are having a nice weekend and that things continue to be positive in the weeks ahead as well. It is strange to think that we may be on the way to a more normal life. I was sat in a friend’s garden this week, in the sun, having a cup of tea. Over a year ago that would be commonplace but I was so grateful just to be able to be there and have a chat with her. It is, as always, the little things that make a difference.

Take care, stay safe 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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ™‚

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

A very welcome break

I have just finished work for the week, my very last bit of Saturday teaching, being involved in an online open day. From here on (hopefully) my weekends are free to do what I want, starting with this weekend where I must get some serious knitting done.

I also have next week off. I know that term only started four weeks ago but there have been very many long days and I am really looking forward to not having to be on the computer so much. I am having some problems with my eyes, and have new glasses to pick up in while, so it will be lovely to do other things that will give my eyes a bit of a rest.

I have been doing puzzles in the evenings again, rather than anything else, as I have not wanted to strain my eyes further and have just completed this gorgeous one.

I would love to just climb into the picture and be there now. Jackie (my sister) and I would love to go away in her camper van as soon as we can. Meanwhile I am keeping myself amused watching travel vlogs filmed pre-pandemic. I have found a new favourite You Tube channel, Flora and the Novice Explorers.

Not only have they had some fabulous trips through Europe they also have a very useful website with lots of good info and recipes. I first came across them as they were driving down the coast near where my house in Spain is. Just look at the view here, this is one of their wild camping spots just up the coast from me, how beautiful is this! Picture from their blog.

I have just started this one of a quilt shop. I plan to make lots of full-size quilts after retirement and love all the colourful ones in this picture. Again I would just love to climb in and be in that shop, maybe taking a class. If we are allowed I will try and attend some over the summer, the quilt shop Sharon and I visited in September often holds them so that would be a nice birthday treat.

Meanwhile there are some more quilt alongs happening. I did one at the start of the first lockdown and made lots of lovely Liberty blocks. That was from Riley Blake and they have a new one happening now. You can find the schedule here and all of the patterns on the Riley Blake website here. I won’t have time to start the blocks now, they look a little more complex than the ones I did last year, but am saving them all for future use. Photo of instructions from link above.

The first one is the Pinwheel Star Block, made by Jedi Craft Girl. I have used her pouch tutorials in the past. Picture from her website. This one doesn’t look too difficult, although with my inaccurate piecing I doubt the corner squares would be as neat!

The second is the Shining Star Block, from Bev at Flamingo Toes. Again I have used her tutorials for the lovely camper van embroidery hangings I have done. I love the outline stitching around the centre star here. Picture from her website and photo of instructions from Riley Blake site as before.

The rest of this weekend’s task is to try and finish the removable trainers for some knitted animals, I am nearly finished with the second one, after having to undo a lot of knitting. They look so cute when finished though, so hopefully mine will look as good. Picture is from the pattern, my first pair are in turquoise shades.

These are from the amazingly talented Julie from Little Cotton Rabbits, who keeps coming up with ever more gorgeous things for us to knit. I can’t wait to have a go at the little shoes with eyelets as well. I have been inspired once again by the people on the Little Cotton Rabbits Facebook group who are all far more productive than I am at the moment!

The sun is shining today, so hopefully it will melt the snow and ice, I did venture out on Wednesday for a walk but had a bad fall on the ice so am a bit bruised. I am therefore not risking it again until all the paths are clear. I was rescued by a very lovely older gentleman who was concerned that I might have broken my hip and came out in his crampons to get me! I do live in a very lovely place.

Take care, have a nice week ahead, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

The kindness of strangers

It never ceases to amaze me how kind bloggers are in giving away free patterns for things. I know sometimes that is to promote things like a new fabric line, but you don’t have to buy anything to be able to take advantage of their generosity and I love collecting ideas. They will all be for future makes as I have enough to keep me going in live projects until about September.

I say strangers but I do think of these people as friends, well imaginary friends though the wonderful Jenny of Elefantz and I have corresponded by e-mail. She is always giving away beautiful designs and this year she has two things for everyone.

The first is her Posies Block of the Month Quilt. These are gorgeous little stitcheries that would make great gifts appliques onto a bag or lavender sachet if you didn’t want to make them into a quilt.

Each one is very quick to do and I love the combinations of colours that she has chosen. All pictures are from her website.

She is also producing a magazine this year, The Homemakers Heart, and the first edition is full of lovely things. I knew I would love it as soon as I saw the cover, this looks so much like my craft room stash (picture from Jenny’s website).

This month’s edition has the first of a days of the week stitchery set, a quilt block and a journal cover as well as recipes and other delights. It really is gorgeous and is totally free! Thank you so much Jenny πŸ™‚

Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet also has a new quilt design out called Flea Market Flowers. I love Lori’s designs and this one really appeals to me because of the Dresdens it uses.

I had a flurry of Dresden making a few years ago when I got a ruler free with a quilt magazine and made lots of pouches with them on. I loved combining them with vintage crochet.

Not only do you get the free quilt pattern and a step by step weekly tutorial with such lovely pictures but there is also a download for the quilt info pack which includes this notepaper and clip art set. You can download them from the links on this page here.

We are so lucky to have the internet for all these lovely things and such wonderful people sharing their talent through it. It all makes me very happy.

It is another very busy week here, with more snow. We have had so much more this year, I think it is Nature’s way of giving the children a break from all the online home schooling they are having to do during lockdown and there were lots of them enjoying it today.

I managed a long frosty walk up on the hills yesterday lunchtime which was lovely. I am trying to get as much exercise as I can do and it was sunny and gorgeous, a real promise of Spring.

I hope that you are having a good week, I shall be back at the weekend hopefully to share some more loveliness with you. Meanwhile have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

A wintery walk and the makings of a new hat!

Last Sunday I went to the reservoirs, inspired by the snow on the hills. I had a lovely icy walk, lots of beautiful scenery as always, but also some amazing ice formations that had formed, some from the drips on the cliffs and others around the grasses and brambles.

I amused myself taking some arty shots of the frost on the moss and the reflections in the water. It was so lovely and strange to think that in a few shorts weeks we will be back to having lambs on the hills and then all of the rhododendrons in bloom. It doesn’t seem that long since all the walks last year and here we are at the end of January.

In some ways it has been a long year but in others it seems to have flown by. As of tomorrow I only have 150 days left at work. I bought myself some little countdown chalkboards at the start of term last year. In August the first day was with 305 to go, and I am now over half way through! Exciting times indeed. Now I just have to sell the house, pack everything up, learn to drive and try and leave the country, negotiating Brexit on the way πŸ™‚

Ellen came up again this weekend and did the first fitting on the jacket, it is not too bad size wise so the next task is tacking it up fully and another fitting in a few weeks. I am so glad she is able to help with this. Having the mannequin is great but she is not the same shape as me and does not move, so is not good for proper fittings.

We also made a start on the hat to go with the outfit. I have been trawling Pinterest again and had added these two lovely examples to my Steampunk board.

I wanted to make a miniature version and after many trials decided on a 4″ high with a 4″ diameter hat that will be attached to a headband. We made a little mock-up with cardboard and making tape.

I had ordered some embellishments for the hat this week, I was so pleased with the cameo, which I found on Ebay. It goes brilliantly with the blue material.

The gold lace was from my stash, no idea where that came from but may have been a present from Mum from Spain.

The ostrich feathers are so soft and fluffy and look brilliant. I do need to source some more trim for the top and brim edges of the hat. The real thing will be buckram covered in felt. The trim will be useful to hide the joins as buckram can be quite difficult to sew with. I found this very useful tutorial so am using that as a guide to making the top hat, but am just intending to do a flat brim.

I have just found a perfect pair of shoes as well, second hand, which just need a bit of lace adding to them as well. I will also make a handbag, possibly with a clasp and chain but we will see how that goes!

I hope that you have all had a good week and are doing something nice this weekend. Next week I have what will hopefully be my last Saturday teaching session ever so will be very excited to have all my weekends free from then on.

Take care, stay safe, and 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.