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Liebster award – thank you!

26 Oct

The lovely Beth from After Dark Sewing nominated me for the Liebster award! It is essentially a chain email in blogs, and I really enjoyed reading her entry which is here. As I was halfway through this post with it sat in my drafts, I was told that I had actually received another nomination, from the brilliant Some Assembly Required’s Shawn here! I really enjoy reading both of these blogs and HUGELY recommend that you check them out :) I am also SO flattered that they have nominated me since I still think I am a complete beginner!)

(For the five blogs that I now nominate, please see the end of this post :) )

liebster award

Since I received two nominations I am going to answer all the questions in a row. Numbers with a B are Beth’s questions, and with an S are Shawns :)

B1. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Would “being able to have half as much sleep and still function” count? Because I definitely would make loads of use of that.  If we’re talking real superpowers, I’d love to be able to read people’s minds on demand because it’d be helpful in real life and in work with clients, but being on demand means that you don’t have to listen to everyone’s inane thoughts all day.

S1. What is your favourite film quote?

Hmmmm this is really tough, even just choosing between different ‘genres’. I’ve chosen the one that has stuck with me weirdly strongly over the years:

Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you. (Cady, Mean Girls)

B2. Which movie would you watch over and over?

I have watched 27 dresses a million times, and would probably happily watch it many more! But as for non-guilty films, I’d go for The Life of Brian. It is one of the first films (after cartoons) that I remember loving it so much the first time and coming back to it. The spaceship at the start still surprises me every time!

S2. What was the first thing you made?

Apart from hemming a couple of skirts (and turning culottes into a skirt), which were botch jobs at uni, the first thing I made with my sewing machine was a floral coin purse. I just wanted to try out my new machine but  my mum asked if she could have it to keep her tissues in her bag in! I still remember how amazing that felt, that someone actually wanted something I had made with my own hands on my first attempt, and I got addicted!

B3. If you could be granted three wishes, what would you wish for?

Hmmm this is a tricky one! I think my wishes are a bit boring but here goes:
(1)  for more sewing space! I currently use a tiny writing desk and it isn’t really working out…
(2) to be able to magically get home instantaneously every night. commuting isn’t too boring with a book but sometimes I’d rather be at home sewing or in the bath or cooking!
(3) that when I move into my flat everything works and we don’t have any major bill nightmares.

S3. Which three words best describe you?

This is always an interesting question because really there’s two answers – the three we want, and the three our friends would say. If the two are pretty close you’re normally doing alright! However I haven’t asked my friends so I will have to go with

  • Organised – because I feel anxious if things aren’t planned and will always have a list or a spreadsheet and my filofax is the key to my life.
  • Chatty – I will talk to most people if they demonstrate a willingness, and will even strike up a conversation with someone I am alone at a busstop with because I would rather talk to the stranger than feel unsafe or awkward in their company. From the start of school to the current day in my office I have always talked too much (though I don’t get told off for it at work, thankfully!)
  • Stubborn – my boyfriend calls it principled but it is the same things really. Once I have made up my mind, which normally takes a very long time, I don’t change it! Probably because I am so indecisive I know how painful it’d be to try and come up with a new plan!

B4. Coffee or tea?

I’m very British and love my tea! Although with my response to (1) I admit that I do give in when there is a fresh pot of coffee in the work kitchen!

S4. How do you find inspiration for projects?

I read pretty much EVERY post which appears in the ‘sewing’ stream in my WordPress Reader, which often throws up some cool ideas which I then REALLY want to make and try to think who I could make it for. This has led to most of the things that I have made on this blog.

Alternatively whenever people are talking about buying things / I am thinking about buying things, I often think “I could make something” and it won’t always be cheaper but it will be fun and personal – this was the reasoning behind my recent laptop cover and the baby blanket.

Much to my surprise, people have begun ASKING me to do things. Hemming a dress here and there, mending a bag. I even made a draught excluder for my uncle’s house, in about 15 minutes upon request and the beanbag cover was a request too!

I am trying hard to get into Pinterest!

B5. What are your pet hates?

I cannot stand the sound/sight of chewing. That is definitely my main one! All my other ones are sound-related: sound of people cutting/picking at their nails, sound of tinny music from someone’s headphones on the train or a neighbour’s music/tv, snoring. Most unnecessary noises count really – I am probably happiest when sat in a corner with my headphones in and working away on my sewing machine blissfully unaware of everything else :)

S5. Do you have a favourite post from your archives?

I don’t actually have that many posts at all…. I think my favourite must be the His and hers passport covers one (not really his and hers, just mum and dad..) as I really enjoyed making them, thinking about how the different fabrics required different patterns, and the covers turning out quite nice! I plan to make them some matching luggage tags with the leftover fabric one day

B6. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?

Purple! I get most things in purple if I can… I would choose a nice deep purple

S6. If you could take up any new hobby what would it be?

If I could take up an OLD one I would choose jogging since I had to stop due to knee problems. As for new ones, I would probably go for cycling or knitting, which are both things I hope to take up in the near future!

B7. What’s the story behind your blog name?

It’s a bit of a miserable answer but it has a happy ending I promise (!): When I graduated from university I spent about a year unemployed and recovering from an illness. I became depressed, seeing everyone else getting on with their jobs or further degrees while I didn’t produce anything except unsuccessful job applications. I started to do cross stitch and embroidery when I was taking time off from job applications (weekends), and found it immensely satisfying and it made me feel like I was doing something worthwhile even if it was just going to be stuffed in a drawer for eternity once finished. I decided it’d be a good idea to set aside some time every weekend to create something to keep the good feeling going, and Creative Saturdays happened! Since then I’ve found my dream job and bought a sewing machine, and sewing has remained as my hobby :)

S7. What is your favourite book

There’s a lot of contenders as I imagine there is with a lot of people, and I recently read The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared which I thought was brilliant.

My all-time favourite book, however, is How To Be Good by Nick Hornby (author of About A Boy) . It hasn’t received great reviews but I think, as with a lot of peoples’ favourite books, I read it at a time of life when it just really spoke to me – It is about a doctor struggling with what it is that makes us ‘good’, and how often can you do something before you have to admit that maybe you are “the sort” that does it as opposed to it being “not really like me at all, honest!” – There is a great quote in the first chapter that I can’t remember exactly but it was along those lines. I would obviously just look it up but I’ve lent it to a friend at the moment…

B8. Do you have any pets?

I have a lovely lurcher, who is the most energetic, loving, and scatty (and huge) dog. I also have a cat but she doesn’t spend much time in the house on account of aforementioned lurcher who doesn’t realise he is a bit too big to play! I am sad that when I move out of my parents’ house soon I probably won’t have my own dog for many years :(

S8. Describe your house

It is a terraced house in the suburbs of London, with three bedrooms and just me and my parents. I am moving out soon and so it will be just them! It is quiet apart from dogs barking (not mine!) and lots of buses, and children playing. My room is the ‘box room’ but I love it, it has ll old mismatched furniture which is definitely my kind of thing. We have a huge trampoline, which even at the age of 23 I use a lot, and my dog LOVES to chase his tail while jumping on it (I must video that someday)

B9. Are you a lark or an night owl?

I am a bit of both – I wake up early and can stay up late, but I lag in the afternoon! So I have to force myself to sleep earlier to avoid the lag…

S9. What has been your favourite blogging moment?

When I posted my embroidered Mary Jane and got the nicest comments and recommendations – it was really early on, before I had my sewing machine, and people were just so lovely that I think it got me addicted to blogging.

B10. What was your favourite television programme as a child?

oooh this is a tough one! I think of them all I might have to choose Saved By The Bell, I remember being banned from watching the ‘Trouble’ TV channel because I watched it too much! This was back when the remote control had a ‘back’ button which showed which channel you’d watched last – so whenever I saw my dad’s car pulling up outside I would change the channel to ‘allowed’ ones twice so he couldn’t tell :D

S.10 Which celebrity would be top of your guest list for a dinner party?

The Queen – would hardly be raucous but would be a good evening without being able to discuss politics and an excuse to have amazing food and loads of courses. Heaven.

liebster award

And now to nominate some more blogs for the Award! I really enjoy these blogs so please do check them out :)

My five nominations are to:

Sewnhenge: Sewing such cute clothes for her kid, and lovely dresses for herself, I love seeing what she’s done :) Especially the purple ostrich dress (seriously, go find it)

I Fucking Made This: Such gorgeous makes (not just sewing, her baking is as envious as her sewing!) and I think my favourite thing about her blog might be her attitude towards it being pretty bloomin cool to be able to make things.

A Dress of My Own: Brilliant cheery colourful dresses! Her photo locations always make me jealous too

Vint Hill Vintage: Awesome swing for kids and mums again, and you HAVE to see the fish costume on her tutorials page!

Atelier Oursonne: mainly knitting but I love the scrap Sundays!

and the questions which I’ll pass on – you can do all 20 of the above if you like, but it took quite long and I don’t want to eat into your sewing time so here’s a condensed list I recommend :)

1. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

2. What was the first thing you made?

3. If you could be granted three wishes, what would you wish for?

4. How do you find inspiration for projects?

5. What are your pet hates?

6. If you could take up any new hobby what would it be?

7. What’s the story behind your blog name?

8. Do you have any pets?

9. What has been your favourite blogging moment?

10 Which celebrity would be top of your guest list for a dinner party?


My first me-made: A botched sorbetto

9 Jun

I did a search for free patterns and found the Sorbetto from Colette patterns which looked just about simple enough while having the bias binding technique which I have never used before.
I didn’t think I’d ever seen this blouse before but since I downloaded it I’ve been seeing it in loads of blogs!
So I bought and cut out the fabric a couple of weeks ago,  but it all went wrong as the fabric was apparently still a bit damp from the pre-washing when I pressed and cut it. Oops. I panicked about it here.
I finally encouraged myself to just put it together anyway and here it is



Sorry about the awful photo quality on that selfie! Must get someone else to photo me. It’s far too baggy I feel but it’s hard to see here.

Knowing full well that I had no intention of wearing it in public I decided it would be for learning how to do bias binding and then be a comfy pyjama top (that fabric is soooo soft) and it seems that I need a lot more practice but I did it! This was my first ever attempt at making a garment from scratch and of that I am so happy :D


And here’s a close up of the dodgy binding.  Tempted to either make my own or buy higher quality next time as while my technique the first time obviously isn’t great, it was made worse by the uneven binding :-(  and i asked for 3m but it seems it wasn’t enough for me to also bind the bottom hem so I just did a sort of double rolled hem quick attempt.
I misread the pattern so started my binding at the centre front instead of back, now I see why it should have been at the back as that seam is messy :-( (edit -I initially wrote that it did say to start at the front then I checked it again. Oops again)

How to use / upcycle old/odd socks???

22 May

I have tonnes of these. Tonnes.

I’ve never lost a sock when I’ve been the only one involved in the laundry process, but if ever my stuff has been thrown in with the family wash, or when people removed my laundry from the dryer at uni, I’ve found myself with odd socks. 


Has anyone found a good creative use for them? I cannot stand wearing odd socks (though will occasionally hide them under a second, matched, layer of socks when the temperature is low!) but also hate to throw away good fabric!