Monday, 28 October 2013


So tradition dictates that you should get a baby silver as a christening gift - however, I decided that I would make something rather more practical for a friend's little girl's Naming Ceremony.  I'd been looking at a fab pattern for baby apron's on Craftiness is not Optional's blog for ages with no reason to make them . . . so this seemed like the perfect excuse.

Although these are a practical gift - there is not reason I couldn't use rather cute fabric - this was called 'Hetty the Yetti' and once I'd found it on eBay I just had to use it.

The pattern is an easy one piece that can be cut out of a fat quarter of fabric - there may even be a possibility to get two cut, but I haven't tried yet.  Then there are lengths of bias binding that are sewn on to create the shape of the apron.

Hopefully they will be hardwearing and practical - I can certainly see them becoming a staple of my 'baby hand made presents'. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Smitten Kitchen Strawberry Popsicles

Over the Summer the Smitten Kitchen website had a bit of a popsicle week - of which all looked delicious.  However, I had a problem in that I didn't own a popsicle mould and the one I'd seen on Amazon was just a bit too expensive for an impulse buy (drifting over the £25 mark!) So when I saw some in Ikea for a couple of pounds they where added to our basket.

With a punnet of strawberries in the fridge that were slightly squishy, I thought that I'd have a go at the Strawberry Lime and Black Pepper popsicles.  As I only had half the strawberries required, I halved the recipe and this seemed to work very well and filled all 6 of my popsicle moulds. 

The smell was divine whilst simmering down the mixture and the colour amazing! After they had frozen I wriggled one out of the mould - they were delicious and the black pepper really went well with the strawberries.  Whilst the sun is still shining go and make popsicles :)

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Wedding Dress Part 2

So my Wedding Dress is really coming together and the past few weekends have been spent methodically working through the different stages.  Firstly I had to cut out the lace, material and lining - I'm not sure I've ever taken so much care in lining things up and pinning the paper pattern to the material.  Next job was to tack the lace to the main material piece - with eight pieces to the dress it was a time consuming job, but worth every minute once I started sewing pieces together.  With the tacking I followed the edge of the material and then straight down the middle to keep everything secure.

Cut out and ready to stitch!

The next job was to sew the skirt pieces together, as these wouldn't change when the bodice was fitted.  My mum helped me with the fitting - there is no way I could do this on my own, even with my home made dressmakers mannequin! We spent ages tacking each piece and trying it on and making further adjustments - both the right way round and inside out. 

Afternoon Sewing Supplies
After the tacking stitches had been replaced with machine stitches the next stage was to fix in the boning.  The last time I bought boning for an evening dress I made it was soft plastic rod encased in fabric - this time it was a flat plastic reinforced tape.  I had decided to put some around the top of the dress and down each seam (apart from the front and back middle seam).  After pining it in, I secured it with tiny stitches to the raw edges of the seam - although I found out later the sewing machine stitches easily through. 

Adding in the Boning
The following step was another time consuming trial and error - adding the shoulder straps, working out where the back middle seam would meet and fixing in the buttons and button loops.  Thankfully I had both my Mum and Grandma on this occasion to help pin and tack things in place.  I made the button loops from a silky cord (rat tail I think its called) by sewing the loops onto a canvas strip, taking the cord back and forth in an S shape to avoid cutting lots of little bits.  This was then fastened into the main dress.  Once sewn in place, I matched up where the buttons should be sewn on the other side - who knew stitching 27 buttons would take nearly two hours!! 

Matching up the back seam
After the buttons had been stitched in I made the shoulder straps (twice and the first two the inside seam didn't iron flat) and attached them.  The final stage of this part of the dress was to fix the lining in place.  Just the hem and decoration to go now . . .