Monday, 5 August 2013


I have been lucky enough to have had two more wins recently, in the world of online sewing. One of supplies and one of an award. Firstly the award, because the recognition of it is long overdue. I am ashamed to admit that it was a month ago  that I received another Liebster award, this time from the lovely Kathryn of Kathryn's Busytown. That is appalling of me. Kathryn is probably thinking that she will have had her second child before I got round to answering her questions! As with my last award, I won't be nominating anyone else because I find this so difficult - not because there aren't any decent blogs out there, far from it! More because it's so blooming difficult and time consuming to establish how many followers a blog has. But I will answer Kathryn's questions, so here we go!

1. What is your favourite film and why?
Cinema Paradiso. I just love the story, especially the bit at the end with the montage of all the kissing scenes the priest had had removed!

2. When and why did you start sewing?
My mum sewed when I was little, and I sewed along with her. I dabbled a bit as a teenager, and always had a sewing machine, which I used for the odd project. I started a dressmaking nightclass in 2009, and eventually got into sewing obsessively seriously in 2011 after returning to my nightclass after having Small Boy. When I found the online world of sewing, and Indie pattern companies last year, my fate was sealed!
And why? I don't know really. I guess it just always appealed and it was always something I wanted to do more of, but just didn't have the time/funds/inclination in my 20's.

3. What is your favourite make?
I have previously said my Red Denim Kelly to this question, however it might now be my Floral Charlotte because I turned a failed garment around and created something I now absolutely love!

4. Do you have a favourite type of fabric to work with? Or a favourite type of garment to make?
I really prefer sewing with cotton, as it's so nice to sew with, and I really prefer not to wear man made fabrics. It doesn't excessively fray, it presses nicely and it doesn't slip around. My absolute favourite is Liberty tana lawn. I don't really have a favourite garment to make.

5. Do you have a favourite fabric shop, online or actual real life physical shop?
Err, not really actually. I mostly buy fabric in actual shops because I like to handle fabric before buying, but I don't think the fabric shops in Edinburgh have the most amazing selection - they are OK, but generally when I have an idea in mind, I cannot find what I want. I am aware this is partly because I am remarkably fussy in terms of both fibre content and design, and also because I don't want to spend a fortune.  I have only bought fabric online once, which was the floral stretch cotton for my Charlotte. This was from Fabric Godmother, and I loved the fabric and the service was good, but it was expensive (£16 per metre) - more than I'd normally spend, plus there was postage on top.

6. What's the best book you've read recently?
It was How To Eat Out by Giles Coren. Again, I am fussy and if I don't like a book I will not persevere with it - life is too short. Most of the books I've started recently have ended up half finished for this reason. I borrowed the Giles Coren book from my dad because I like food and I quite fancy Giles Coren. He comes across as very ranty and a bit arrogant (and probably a bit of a tosser, TBH), but I actually quite like him, so I was able to overlook that!

7. Do you have a favourite artist, or art work?
A bit of a Scottish cliché, but Charles Rennie Mackintosh. My parents took us to visit places like the Glasgow School of Art and Hill House years before any of my friends and their families had ever heard of him. Granted, my friends and I were about 13 at the time, but I do feel that these days, you'd struggle to find a Scot who didn't recognise the CRM rose design. I always loved his art noveau designs and his architecture, but these days I also love the botanical watercolours he did later in life. There is a bit of a random connection here, as he painted a lot of these while living in a Suffolk village called Walberswick, which is directly across the river from Southwold, the place where my family frequently holidayed when we were young, and where we went again this year.
I also love a current artist called Angie Lewin, who was previously based in Norfolk and now appears to have relocated to Edinburgh. Again, botanical images feature, this time as linocuts (she does paint too).

Agapanthus by Angie Lewin
But generally, if I like a piece of art, I like it and if I don't, I don't. I don't usually pay too much attention to who created them.

8. Cats or dogs?
Neither. I am just not an animal person at all. Sorry!

9. Sweet or savoury?
Both! But I'd reach for a biscuit before a packet of crisps...

10. If you could have 3 dinner guests alive/dead, real/fictitious characters who would they be and why?
God that's really difficult. I'm assuming "family and friends" is not a good enough answer? OK, I'm in danger of never answering this, so I'm not going to over think it and try to be cool/intelligent/worldly-wise and will just go with the first 3 people I think of. I think I'd like Jarvis Cocker, Jess Day (from New Girl, played by Zooey Deschanel) and Elisalex from By Hand London. Jarvis, because he's been a hero of mine for 10 years now and I think he'd be an interesting guest - although the conversation would possibly a bit too alternative and highbrow for me. Jess because I think she's really cool and I would want to talk clothes with her. And Elisalex because I'd love to find out how one goes about starting and running an Indie pattern company - and specifically her, rather than Charlotte or Victoria because I want to know how she does it when she has a 4 year old son!

11. If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow where would you go and why?
Denmark, because I really fancy it and I've never been. It seems like such a cool, beautiful place.

Wow - an interesting and challenging set of questions there!

Now, on to my second win! The other week I was lucky enough to be the name picked from the hat for Jo at The Amazing Adventures of Taracat's giveaway! The parcel arrived at the weekend, and here's what I got!

 About 2.5m of a gorgeous african wax print cotton and Simplicity 1609, accompanied by a lovely card!

Here's a better view of the fabric:
The pink dots are sparkly!
It's incredible! It really is not what I'd normally go for - pink glitter is really not my thing - but I love it! It reminds me of peacock tails! I have absolutely no idea what I'll make with it. I had originally thought an Anna, however the fabric is quite stiff which I wasn't expecting and I'm not sure that will work. Jo made this beautiful maxi dress with it, but I am not a wearer of maxis. Any suggestions?

The Simplicity 1609 was recently showcased extremely well by Gertie, who has certainly given me food for thought on what to do with this.

Thank you so much to both Kathryn and Jo. Once again, I am reminded how kind and generous the online sewing community are!



  1. I love the agapanthus print you included above - wouldn't it make a gorgeous fabric!

    How about a skirt with the print fabric - something like the Kelly skirt or similar shape without the buttons? You could wear it with a plain tee in any of the colours!

  2. WOW - I thought of peacocks too when I saw your fabric - congratulations on the win!
    I really like Jess Day too - she's so sweet and positive. Good answers.

  3. Ohhh, such beautiful fabric! Would it work with the pattern above? If not, I vote for the skirt idea too :)
    Congratulations on your wins - very well deserved!

    1. THanks Danielle! I did wonder if it would work with the Simplicity pattern. It may well, but I'm not convinced I'd actually wear it.

  4. So glad you like it and sorry for not commenting sooner, school holidays has eaten all my blog reading time.

  5. Hello! Thanks for taking the time to answer all those questions - and love your answers! You've made me want to rewatch Cinema Paradiso and reminded me how much I love CRM's botanical watercolours.
    That fabric you've won is just gorgeous and I've seen some lovely makes of that pattern - can't wait to see yours!


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