Goodwood Revival 2016

20160910_090717Just returned from a fabulous weekend at Goodwood Revival, which had a bit of a soggy middle section but turned out beautiful in the end (thank goodness for Sunday Sunshine).

As it is totally vital to dress up at The Revival, and I was taking my whole brood, I did end up having to do quite a bit of dressmaking for it. I didn’t end up finishing any of the bits I wanted to make for myself, my mother’s extensive 1950s stash having to stand in, but I thought I would show you what I made for the children.

Using a Simplicity pattern from the 1950’s I made up four girls skirts (one for Saturday and one for Sunday). The pattern was for age 6 but not that problematic to grade it up to a size more suitable for my older girl as well.


Saturday’s skirts were made from fabrics that I had in my stash, using the patch pockets option. The girls loved these pockets as they were big and great for stashing all sorts in. Finished off with a bought petticoat they looked a picture.


Sunday’s outfits were on a matching sailor theme as my husband was going in his sailor costume (and I thought it was an ideal opportunity for maximum cuteness). I also made a pair of shorts for my son which were also from a vintage Simplicity pattern. All shorts and skirts were supposed to have suspenders of navy material but time was short and I had to jettison that plan in favour of wearable garments ready in time. Lovely silver anchor buttons and a cute white shirt finished the look!


All in all we had a fabulous time and if you love old vehicles and retro living I would highly recommend Goodwood Revival as a must-attend event!




Intergenerational Sewing: AKA Please can you make this for Daddy?

It is no secret to my children that I like to sew, and although they also like to have a go, there will be a few years yet before they have the stamina to complete a project. Especially if that project is only decided upon three days before the date it is to be gifted. They leave the last minute jobs to mummy.

So to this year’s Fathers Day, I was petitioned by my middle child to create something for their Father, designed by herself and sewn by me. I should not let her browse my Pinterest boards, as she is clearly getting ambitions above her station. I like to look at ‘Pinterest Mom’ projects but rarely feel moved to join in. Here, anyway, is what we made.


Despite being requested to ‘only do a line drawing of Daddy’, she came up with this highly coloured rendition of the imaginary space walk they will make together “when we grow up to be astronauts” (I blame Tim Peake and CBeebies).

Children make the worst clients. They have no idea how complicated their drawings are! The design included text in her best ‘cursive writing’ – I cursed – and of course, rainbow colours were vital. The only addition I made to the design was that her helmets needed two little circles of pink so that the faces would be more easily seen.

I think the hardest thing about transcribing childrens’ art onto fabric is that they use such interesting shapes  that you struggle as an adult to keep that free quality in them once embroidered. I had traced the design onto dressmakers paper and in the end, as the fabric background she wanted was so dark, I just stitched directly onto the paper and tore it off after completion. Not an entirely satisfactory method, it ripped and tattered as I went along, but I could not really find a neater way of having the exact lines to copy at all times.

I have never used soluble medium but I bet that would have been a good thing to use instead, if I had not been doing this at the last minute (as usual).

Once done I pressed and framed it in a basic IKEA Ribba box frame but of course forgot to take a picture of it once framed. This would be a good little project if you have any particularly cute drawings you want to keep.



Hope you all had a Happy Fathers Day yesterday and otherwise, keep stitching 🙂


Making a simple felt book for embroidery practice

As I have been posting pictures of my 100 days challenge, I have had some readers ask how I constructed the little felt book that I am using. So, here is a basic guide to making a little felt book.

04 Chainstitch


Materials needed: You will need 3 square sheets of basic felt. I used the standard smaller sheets (15x15cm?) but obviously if you use a larger square you’ll just end up with a bigger book. I used 5 halves and this seemed like the optimum amount of pages to allow my book to fold. However, felt varies in thickness and you may be able to use all 6 halves. I only had some acrylic felt to use for this project but I think that wool felt would probably also work well as it has a good feel and probably is easier to sew on.

Construction: Cut the squares in half to produce a pile of rectangles.

Determine which will be your cover, lay all the pieces in a horizontal stack with the cover on the top.

Using an air vanishing pen, rule and draw a vertical line exactly in the middle. This is where the spine will be.

Machine or hand sew the stck along your ruled line. I inserted the needle on the machine manually into the full stack, a few millimetres from the edge, before I started to sew. This was to ensure I didn’t push the bottom pieces wonky. You don’t need to sew to either edge.

Fold your book shut. Some of the ‘pages’ will be sticking out beyond the cover line. I scissor trimmed the edges up to the cover edge. This looks neater when the book is closed.


Using your Felt Book:

Whilst I have been making my stitch sampler book, I have realised that you could use a similar book for all sorts of things.

Stitchy Scrapbook: You could use the book like a scrapbook or sketchpad, sewing in lovely scraps, adding stitch doodles, embellishing, eventually creating a lovely tactile object to pore over. My book is a rather mundane stitch sampler, but you can do some fantastic things with textile layering, some of my favourite examples  I will leave here to inspire:


First Aid Kit by Stitch Therapy AKA Emma Parker
A Needlebook by Viv at Hens Teeth


Portfolio: if you had a lot of loose embroidery samples that you wanted to keep for reference you could bind them into a similar book. This might be useful at craft shows or as part of an art/textiles course to illustrate your previous work.

Childrens Busy Book: If you have little children they would love a completed soft book, with embroidered pictures, (firmly) sewn in textures from different materials, and any little flaps that you can divise. Felt shapes would probably also work well. Remember Fuzzy Felt? You could make your own (or get some from the charity shop?) to arrange in the book

Fuzzy Felt!

Soft photo album: Babies love looking at photos of their family and especially relatives they don’t see every day. It is pretty simple to print off photos onto fabric and if they were sewn onto felt pages you have a perfectly baby proof, gnaw friendly photo album! I have used the freezer paper method which is mentioned here along with a few other ways to try.

Craft Shopping UK! More fave places to buy sewing goods

After my post about fabric shops, I thought that I would share with you some places to buy excellent non- cotton fabric sewing goods. Warning: I buy a lot of felt so most of these shops carry mainly felt! I am also a sucker for a lovely button or ribbon, but more than that I like to buy from nice small companies that give me the good vibes.

Felted Fancies Supplies

FFS bill themselves as having ‘good old fashioned friendly service’ and I can say from my experience of many purchase from them that this is really the case! A lovely company that sell lovely things. Plus they often do horribly tempting Goody Boxes of themed amazingness.



Creative Craft Supplies

Always a lovely stock and particularly good if you are looking to buy  dollmaking supplies – this lovely company have an excellent line in EN71 compliant felts (including glittery ones) and they will supply certs. If you even know what I am talking about (I’m looking at you CE jockeys) then you will know that this is an excellent thing.

Photo: Creative Crafting

Cloud Craft Shop

This felt and haberdashery shop on Etsy has some of the nicest felts, good hoops and a range of tempting other bits. Nicola who runs it will always do her best for you, and generally is a star to deal with. Worth a look.



This Etsy shop offers a cool range of items, lots of great vintage look buttons and they are always a good place to visit for all your ric rac, bias binding and twine needs. Everytime I visit I get stuck on there for hours. Just, you know, browsing!

Photo: Overspill

Big Fish

Another Etsy go-to place, this time if you have a little button obsession. Nice wholesale section too if you need ALL THE BUTTONS

Photo: Big Fish



Where is your favourite place to shop for sewing supplies?