Wednesday, 20 September 2017


Yesterday was the Textile coffee morning at Thornham, and surrounded by all those lovely textile-y ladies, I always feel duty bound to wear something I've made.  It was a bit chilly when I went out, so I wore my newly 'pimped' charity shop jacket.  
I bought the tweed jacket a couple of years ago from a charity shop in Pokesdown near Bournemouth when I was staying with my cousin Annie.  I was attracted to the colours - purples and maroons - it was 100 per cent  wool, fitted perfectly and I seem to remember it was six quid.  Even better - when I tried it on, the pockets were still sewn up and I don't think it had ever been worn.
Its been hanging up in my wardrobe, awaiting transformation ever since, so this weekend I finally decided to customize it.
I changed the two plastic buttons on the jacket for two beautiful vintage glass ones  (they cost more than the jacket!) - and then I added an assortment of others, some vintage, some new. In fact, the purple heart button was one I'd made in my pottery class. 

I added a bit of vintage lace to one of the pockets, and some velvet ribbon to the cuffs, and a few tweed patches.  
Now I think about it, this must have been planned for quite a while as I'd bought a pack of tweed offcuts from FabricAffair at one of the Knitting/Stitching shows ages ago.
I also added a beautiful tweed corsage made by my friend Sarah Burt from the Thornham textile group 
Anyway, I'm really pleased with how the jacket turned out it and it got a few nice comments, and when we went to the Deli next door for more cofee, I remembered to get some photos for the blog.
Underneath the jacket I wore my first Esme dress from the Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style book
Ignore the pose - I was getting advice from the group on the most flattering way to stand for photos - but it just looks as if I've lost a leg.  I don't remember that happening to Mrs Beckham.  Anyway, here's the alternative pose, 
and a close up - excuse the creases, I'd been sitting down for a few hours.  The fabric is a lightweight chambray with little stars on.  
I love the pattern - really easy to follow, simple to make, and I'll be making more from this book.

Jacket - The Courteeners

Sunday, 27 August 2017


I have just made a Named Clothing Paola Turtleneck Tee.  It takes almost as long to say that as it does to make it.

This all came about because I'd seen such a lovely version on a mystery blog, that not only did I put the pattern on my to-buy list, ( I got mine HERE) but I also immediately ordered the same fabric too. Now, given that this sewist blogger was such an inspiration, I'd love to credit her and say thank you. However, despite (literally) hours and hours trawling the internet, I have failed miserably.  So, if you recognise this as the exact same Paola that you made,  or you know who did,  please get in touch!

 Anyway, here it is -
The fabric is a grey quilted Ponte Roma, £12.50 a metre from Dragonfly fabrics - still currently available.
Checking my measurements against the pattern, it was a toss up between 42 and 44.  Taking into account the thickness of the fabric, I decided to go for the larger size.  I'm glad I did, it fits just as I wanted, but if I make it again in a finer jersey, I'll think about going down a size.  Also, if was an 'under-layer' that I intended to tuck in, I'd probably make it a bit longer too, but that's not the version I wanted this time.
It took no time to cut out - only four pattern pieces - Back, Front, Sleeve and Collar, and not much longer than that to sew up.  I made the whole thing on my overlocker, except the sleeve and bottom hems, which I stitched with a wide zigzag.
I have tried it on and I'm delighted with it, and it'll look great under my Cleo dresses, but it is FAR too hot today to bugger about trying to take photos of me wearing it, so here it is on Lola, in my (currently) tidy & organised sewing room.
As the weather seems to have perked up, it may be a while before I get to wear it, but now I have this padded snuggly top with its cosy neck, I should be able to delay putting the central heating on for even longer than usual this year.

Turtleneck - The National

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Afternoon Tea

I've been going throgh a bit of a sewing frenzy recently - partly due to the inclement weather probably.
Here's one of my recent makes

Photographed on my ancient dress stand as I find it impossible to take photographs of myself in the mirror.
The pattern is from the July 2014 issue of Prima magazine, and my first version is blogged about here.  I've had the fabric quite a while, and it was originally intended to be a pair of SewOverIt Ultimate Trousers, then it was going to be my third Tilly and The Buttons Cleo dress, but in the end I knew I wanted to use the Prima pattern again, and this fabric was perfect - a woven fabric with a little bit of stretch It was lovely to work with, and very comfortable to wear.
And wear it I did - when I met Gina at the The Orchard Tea Garden in Granchester for afternoon tea. Admittedly it was actually at lunch time, but it was definitely afternoon tea.
Lets take a closer look at that plate ....

And that was just for ONE!  I had my own ...
The Orchard Tea Garden has quite a history, which you can check out here if you're interested, but suffice it to say they have had lots of famous visitors including Virginia Woolf, Bertrand Russell, Rupert Brook, Charles Darwin, Alan Turing, and HRH Prince Charles.  Never let it be said that we slum it! As for the tea, we did both make a valiant effort, but in the end we had to ask for doggie bags.  And I didn't eat again for the rest of the day.  It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours, and great to catch up with Gina who I don't see nearly so often since I've moved to Norfolk.  

After we'd struggled to our feet and hauled ourselves out of the tearoom, I thought we should visit the church, even though neither of us was entirely sure if the TV series Granchester was actually filmed there.  
Well, it turns out it was -

Both the interior and exterior of the Church of St Andrew and St Mary are used for filming, as is the exterior of the village hall but there are also other locations in Cambridge, London and Hertfordshire. Apparently lots of the villagers are used as supporting artists too - that must be fun!

I'm still not sure that vicars are meant to behave (or look) like Sidney tho.

Afternoon Tea - The Kinks

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Wild Horses

A little bird told me that the Household Cavalry were in Norfolk and for the next couple of days they may be exercising the horses at Holkham Beach.
It meant getting up early (before 6am) and I was parked up by 7.30 and walked down to the beach. Fortunately the heavy storms of the night before had gone, and it was just breezy with a hint that it might turn into a sunny day.
After about 30 minute's patient anticipation, they appeared through the dunes
and made their way onto the beach

They lined up for a bit of a photoshoot
Although it was clearly a bit too early for some of them
He definite LOOKS to be asleep
Then after a quick canter along the water's edge ...
they were in!
Some even went swimming out of their depth!
A fabulous sight, and well worth getting up early (and wet feet!) for.  

And for all those of you who aren't lucky enough to live in Norfolk - watch this video, its truly spectacular.
(There may be a random ad at the start, but the video IS worth it)

Wild Horses - Rolling Stones

Monday, 17 July 2017


I know its been ages - I had every intention of posting regularly for Me-MadeMay but that didn't happen and now its July.  (I did manage to wear Me Mades all through May, I just didn't get around to photographing or blogging)
In fact, I was thinking about packing up the blog altogether - I had lost my enthusiasm for blogging, I'm not sure if anyone ever reads it, and I've got more than enough things to occupy my time.
But then, this morning, I opened a parcel and it instantly inspired a post, so here I am.

Several months ago, a friend from my (then) local Embroiderers Guild said she had been clearing her loft and was I interested in some old dressmaking patterns.  Never one to refuse anything sewing related, I said "Yes please!" and she said she would get them to me via another friend.  I think that was about October/November time, but for various reasons, I wasn't able to meet up with the 'courier' friend until this weekend, when she handed over a large package. I didn't get a chance to open it yesterday as I found myself unexpectedly hosting two year old Grace's birthday party,  so spent the day shopping, cutting the grass, blowing up balloons, making sandwiches, pouring drinks, and cutting cake.  If that wasn't enough Grace, who had been given a beautiful pink pedal car from her Uncle Rob and Auntie Jess, picked me to be 'designated driver' so I ended up pushing her around what felt like half of North Norfolk, ('No, want to go THIS way Gilly!) until I finally convinced her we should turn around and go home, which meant that when everyone had gone all I did was slump in front of Poldark with more cake.

But this morning I was up with the sun, so I opened my parcel and I think I was more excited than Grace when she opened her presents yesterday

What a fabulous selection of patterns.  I think I must have fallen asleep because I had a dream ........
It was a balmy day (no, I do NOT mean barmy) and I was walking along a sun baked Hunstanton beach in my tiny bikini 
when suddenly from the opposite direction strolled a tall dark handsome gentleman - imagine a blend of George Clooney,  Ross Poldark and Noel Fielding with a hint of Jack Sparrow in his younger days.
We got chatting, and after a while he invited me out to dinner, meaning I could take the opportunity to wear my chic new lurex pants suit -
Then it was off to a nightclub to dance the night away ...
The next day we met up for lunch, followed by a spot of sightseeing
Anyway, to cut a very long story short, we lived happily ever after.

Anyway, back to the real world - there some really lovely patterns which I will definitely use (maybe NOT the bikini or the wedding gown though)

This is my very favourite - I love the neckline and the raglan sleeves and I think it would look good in a heavy jersey or maybe neoprene
I think I may have to adjust the length of this next one - or just wear it as a tunic -
 I've been looking for a pattern like this, but hadn't found one that was just right until now ...
 I'd definitely like to give these next ones a try

Val has added a note to this - that the neckline needs to be taking in before cutting it out, so I'll bear that in mind and I may decide to give the feather boa trim a miss too.

and I love this, just because it reminds me of one of the first garments I ever made in needlework classes at school - a bright orange polo neck blouse with set in sleeves and a zip at the back.  They say you should never go back ....
 Several shirtwaist dresses which are, as they say, very much 'on trend'

 And finally, because I realised that I don't possess a dressng gown ...

now you can see why I was so delighted - not just vintage paterns, but beautiful, wearable vintage patterns.  Not all in my size but some I like so much I may even have to learn how to pattern grade.

It just goes to show, when you are next having a declutter, don't throw anything out until you check whether anyone else wants your treasure.
So, on the off chance that anyone is looking to get rid of a Clooney/Poldark/Fielding lookalike, you know where I am.

Patterns - Band of Skulls

Monday, 1 May 2017


Oh dear, so much for posting at least once a month.  May 1st and I've not even signed up to up to MeMadeMay 2017 yet.

(I have now..... I, Gill of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '17. I will wear at least one MeMade item each day for the duration of May 2017 and I will attempt to post photos on my blog as and when I can find a willing photographer!

In an attempt to be more organised (some hope) I've sorted my wardrobe this morning so that the Me Mades are arranged together.  I would say that at least half of my tops and knitteds are made by me, more than half of my dresses and almost half of my skirts - so I should manage to wear at least one least one MeMade every day.
The real benefit of MMM for me is that I get to properly look at my wardrobe and think about what I'm wearing, as opposed to wearing the same familiar things.  I'd forgotten all about this cardigan - although I don't know how, its not exactly a colour that hides itself away.
My neon pink Ramona Cardigan, over a pink and white stripe TATB Agnes top, together with a scarf I made from Nano Iro fabric with purple mini pompom trim.  I'm also wearing MeMade pink/red/orange socks, but you'll just have to take my word for that.  
Had a lovely morning a Sandringham with only a couple of tantrums (Grace, not me) and some practice for Grace's 'nastics' class.  
Walking on the beam ....
followed by some climbing and rope work .....
Grace has all the determination, attitude and personality of Olga Korbut, its just her balance and technical ability that needs work. 
(Incidentally, I realise that's a very out-of-date reference - Olga Korbut is now 61 - who'd have thought it.
We then went back to mine for a small snack and cuddles
I'd planned a day in the garden, but this was much more fun.

Mayday - The Libertines