Summer Holiday #Sundaysevens, (week 1)


Here’s my first holiday #Sundaysevens of the Summer 🙂 It feels like it’s taken forever to get here this term! While I’m still marking (for one of the major exam boards), it’s been lovely slowing down just a little. Head over to Nat’s blog to find out more about the idea behind #Sundaysevens.

When I’m tired and life’s busy, the first thing to go to pot is my diet. My Summer’s resolution was to start eating more healthily, so to kick start this I purchased two, new, cook books on Monday, both with a real focus on ‘natural‘, healthy eating. The ‘Deliciously Ella‘ book, based on her blog, is vegan, whilst the ‘Hemsley and Hemsley’ one does include both dairy and meat. I’m not vegetarian, but do eat mostly vegetarian food at home, so both of these appealed. There’s a whole lot of coconut oil and nut butters featured, but it looks delicious! My husband may take more convincing… On Tuesday I started the day the ‘Deliciously Ella’ way with her creamy coconut porridge. It tasted as good as it looked 🙂 By Thursday I had to prepare it for both of my children too; we’re all hooked! My son declared it ‘the breakfast of kings’ praise indeed 🙂


It would have been hard to resist this one, despite all the negative reviews it’s had, so I didn’t even try! So Wednesday saw me purchase Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set A Watchman’ and hasten to the nearest Costa for a coffee and a quick read. I’ve only managed the opening chapters (still marking) so far, but it’s really interesting on an academic level, if nothing else. On Thursday my daughter volunteered me to go into her school to help with a puppet-making project. I don’t normally get the chance to do this, so it was lovely to help out, especially on a sewing project. This is my daughter’s rabbit puppet (now completed and very cute).


On Friday, I caught up on a bit on hand sewing in the sunshine (and yes, this is one of those scarves I should have finished off (it took all of about ten minutes for each…) ages ago). We headed down to the lovely town of Marlow, just outside London, to stay with family on Saturday. Not sure this photograph does the place justice, but it’s a very pretty, high street.


We ended the week by visiting Cliveden (the National Trust property where the Profumo scandal took place), where we spent a lovely morning wandering around in the sunshine. All in all, a lovely first week of the holidays. I’m hoping to finish off my marking in the next couple of days so I can enjoy a couple of days to myself before my children break up too. Hope everyone else has been enjoying the start of the Summer holidays 🙂


The Seamworks Astoria


Despite having subscribed to Colette’s ‘Seamworks‘ online magazine since its launch, I’ve only attempted one of its patterns to date (the Oslo, see here). So I’m determined to fix this and therefore justify my subscription over the Summer break by working my way through them. Not quite all of them, the shorts in the last issue are seriously never going to make it into my wardrobe! But generally, I’ve really liked the majority of them so far; I’ve just been lacking the time to make them up.

The pattern I’ve most admired so far is the Astoria. It’s a cropped ‘jumper’ that both really suits my style and looks incredibly practical. I’ve seen a few lovely ones on various blogs, so I was really keen to try this one first. With time to fabric shop being in short supply lately, I searched through my fabric drawers and found this leftover, red knit from my Moneta dress. I was hoping it would make a wearable muslin, but alas, it was not to be…

With hindsight this material probably didn’t have quite enough stretch to it. But even so, the size S that I cut has come up a little too small all round, and I’ll definitely have to consider this next time I make it up. It’s also very short, which I appreciate is part of the design, and while I do like it with a high-waisted skirt such as my T & TB Delphine skirt worn in these photos, I think being this short would seriously limit how much I got to wear it, so definitely just a little longer next time.

I had some issues with my overlocker making this up. You might just be able to make out from the photos that my stitches are really ‘showing through’, probably because I’ve used too visible a colour in terms of the thread, but maybe also it needed tightening up? I did do a practice square and it seemed fine… Any overlocker experts out there? If so, am I right in thinking with this particular material I needed to ‘tighten’ up? Is it just the wrong colour? Or even just too small generally? By the time I got to hemming the sleeves I already knew this just wasn’t going to be, hence I just overlocked them quickly, rather that switching to my regular machine.

So, while this is never going to see the light of day again, it was still a useful process. The fabric was ‘free’ anyway and I’ve worked out a few tweaks ahead of purchasing some nicer fabric. It was also a good test of the time guidance Seamworks give you. I cut out the pieces ahead, but the sewing from start to finish took less than an hour, so their promise held good!


A Stash-Busting Burda 7175


I came across this left over fabric from my BHL Charlotte, whilst I was tidying up my sewing stuff a couple of weeks ago. While there was a fair bit left, try as I might I couldn’t quite get a whole top out of it. Despite this, I figured it was the perfect fabric for another Burda 7175. My navy version (also in a tweed fabric) is probably one of my most worn, handmade tops. I also get a lot of wear out of my knitted version, see here. So off I went to Leon’s in Chorlton to try and match it up… But my options were disappointingly limited. I needed something of a similar weight, but in a contrasting colour. The lilac tweed actually features an array of lovely colours, but I just couldn’t find any of them annoyingly. Eventually I plumbed for this kind of deep- rose coloured, ‘fake’ tweed, but I was pretty unconvinced by the quality of it to be honest. In its defence it was pretty cheap, but it’s got a kind of nasty shine to it. With no other options, I thought it was at least worth a go.

Since I’ve made this top up twice before, the process was pretty quick and easy. I’m regretting not buying any lining fabric for it though, as I’ve got those nasty facings again. However in a thicker fabric, they do tend to sit a little better. On this version I decided to omit the slit details on the front. While I love the detail, it does require you to wear it with something pretty high-waisted post-children, and I only really have one pair of jeans that cover me up enough for comfort. It’s a little boxier without the slits, but I think that kind of suits the style. I used a fancy zip on the back to try and ‘pretty up’ the fake tweed, which I do like, but you can probably just about make out that I still need to finish the bottom of the zip by hand. I couldn’t quite get my machine needle in close enough.

I love this top from the front and it goes really well with my white jeans, but I’m less convinced by the back! I guess that’s the right way round at least! Excuse the bad, selfie-stick images, but it’s pretty tricky getting a photo of the back whilst holding it (monkeys both at school). What do you think? Does this top work? Maybe if I avoid showing anyone my back? Walk around backwards at all times? 😉