Sewchet

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Sunday Sevens #121

1. I always love a good rummage through the box marked ‘fabric scraps’ in charity shops. This week I was lucky enough to find some good quality, unused lengths of upholstery weight cotton drill…..

2. ….and some black denim, which I’m thinking of turning into a classic denim jacket for No.2 Son – for just £1.00!


3. Looking ahead to Ascot Ladies Day, I’ve pretty much decided on View B, but in navy and cream instead of black and white.


4. Midweek, we had lunch out at one of our favourite haunts, Holbrook House.


5. Usually it’s me taking the photos, but I managed to sneak on the other side of the lens as well, this time.


6. Carpaccio of venison – yum!


7. The Boy’s school presented their biennial production. This is the enitire school on stage for the finalé!


8. The teachers are good sports, too – here’s the headmaster and the reception teacher doing their bit.


9. No.3 Son’s football team won 5-4 in an exciting match. We took them out for Fish and Chips on the harbour at Weymouth.


10. Spring arrived on Saturday and the whole day was spent tidying the garden. Hubby did the first mow of the lawn and we flung open the French windows to let in the sunshine and warmth. Lovely!


11. After supper, we popped down to the pub for pudding! Even though it’s warmer now, there’s nothing quite like a cosy fire after the sun’s gone down.


Linking up with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins for Sunday Sevens – a weekly blog post showing your week in seven-ish photos.


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Cowl Neck Top – Simplicity 1716

Spring is here and brought with it the urge to make something lighter to wear in the milder weather!

Read the full blog post over at Minerva Crafts; here’s the link: –

Cowl Neck Top Simplicity 1716


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Sunday Sevens #120

Time for another Sunday Sevens – a weekly blog series showing your week in photos. Linking up with Nat at Threads & Bobbins.


We had my four children, two step-daughters, all of their partners, and our gorgeous granddaughter to stay at the weekend, and took the obligatory annual photo as proof!

1. While most went to watch The Boys play football, I took two of them and The Baby to Sherborne for the morning – here they are outside The Abbey.


2. Of course, we had a coffee-and-cake stop in a café. Do you think she’s enjoying her first taste of a jam tart?


3. No.1 Son bought these chocolates for me. I don’t like anything sweet as a rule, but these were amazing!


4. As many of you already know, I share a birthday with my daughter. We spent the day together at our favourite place, Summer Lodge.


5. A full body and head massage was the BEST way to while away an hour and a half, followed by leisurely morning using the spa facilities.


6. Hubby also treated us to the most incredible three-course lunch. Smoked duck breast with various different forms of apple, all steeped in alcohol anyone?


7. Mr H-L and I also managed to sneak a little lunch out on our own later in the week.


8. But……most of the week was dedicated to building work and, at last – decorating. The Koi Carp wallpaper went up in the downstairs loo!


9. I also finished gilding the mirror that will add the perfect touch of bling to the already-quite-bling wallpaper.


10. Did I mention that we are having our en suite done at the same time? Oh, the dust…….


11. It’s also well under way.


12. Do you remember that I mentioned I was searching for some mirrors, specifically the frameless type from the Forties? Well, this is what I had in mind – a wall of mirrors above the sink unit. Although the en suite isn’t quite finished, I was desperate for hubby to put the mirrors up and he kindly obliged. It was no mean feat, taking over two hours to get just right, but I already love the overall effect. En suites are modern by the very concept, and the old mirrors tone the modern-ness down a bit, especially as most of them are chipped or rusty in part.


13. I’ve still managed to squeeze in a bit of sewing which is a miracle. It’s actually for a Minerva blog post and is overdue, so I must try to finish it today.


14. I’ve completed the ribbing on the socks, too, but still need to sit down and google “see-through wellies”!!


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Sunday Sevens #119

1. Progress in the downstairs loo is rapid and, in an effort to get the loo fitted in time for the weekend, we had to lay and varnish a wooden floor overnight so the plumber could get on with it the following morning. I did all the sawing to length and Mr. H-L did the actual laying of the floor.


2. Oh, and fit and paint the panelling, which meant getting up at 6am to put a second coat on before they returned at 8.30am.

It wasn’t decorated, but we did have a functional loo in time for the weekend when we had a houseful of guests.


3. Having been forewarned by the electric company that there would be a temporary disruption to services, it was an excuse to go out so I popped to Wells one morning. I often have lunch in The City Arms, an historic old former jail dating from the 1500s but, as it was only 9.30am, I went elsewhere for breakfast.


4. Un-dyed smoked haddock with poached eggs in André’s Café – delicious!


5. When in Wells I make a beeline for Sew Vintage in the Craft Quarter. It’s in a lovely old building – can you see the hand-cranked sewing machine on the wall?


6. It’s stuffed full of quirky décor and haberdashery items and I spend ages just browsing.


7. They sell mainly Tilda-type fabrics for crafts rather than for dressmaking, and yarn.


8. I came away with some lovely Regia sock yarn and a pattern for knee high socks – the first of my handmade presents for next Christmas!


9. I also made a stop at Wells Trading Post on the hunt for vintage 1940’s frameless mirrors and managed to find two that were just the job for my vision.


10. Back home, the electricity was off until about 7pm but that didn’t stop The Boys from playing by candlelight.


11. Cake fail – I made a fabulous carrot cake…..then dropped it on the coffee table. 

It might look awful, but it tasted amazing and didn’t put my lot off and they made short work of it!


12. Cheeky relaxing lunch out with the Mister at The Sparkford Inn before a busy-but-wonderful weekend entertaining family.


Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins, Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog post showing bits of your life outside the blog.


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Portable Doll’s House

When Issue 62 of Mollie Makes dropped through the letterbox, it was a good one. See the text on the front saying “Kid’s Doll House”? 

Easily missed, I know, but when I opened it onto the relevant page I did a little virtual skip – this would be the perfect present for a little three year old girl in the family.

A fold-out doll’s house, ideal for taking out and about to keep any little girl entertained (and better than handing over your smart phone, any day).

The details were a joy to put together and customise with whatever scraps of fabric I had to hand.

See, I told you that bag full of two-inch scraps would come in handy one day. I can’t throw any fabric out, no matter how minuscule the leftovers.

The teeny tiny tea set could have Velcro on the back for an older child, to make it removeable. As this was for a toddler, I sewed them to the table permanently.

Some of the bits were embroidered by hand….

….and others were stitched on by machine.

Dolly herself also has a dress and some hair bows, but those will have to follow in the post as I didn’t have time to make them before we visited.

Here’s the bed which is open for the doll to get in. She even has a little removeable pillow.

Of course, she needs a bedside rug to step out onto.

A bedside table has open-topped drawers to store those hair bows, and a little lamp.

I added a last minute dog in its basket, for added fun. Kids love things that ‘do’ something, don’t they?

The bathroom had some lovely details, like the bubbles and towel rail. I embroidered the tap using metallic gold thread to make it more realistic.

Once everything had been sewn on, it was just a case of attaching the front to the back and then turning it right side out.

Roof on, handles added.


Isn’t that just the cutest front door?

So, the house opens up and lays flat for play, like this: –

To close it, you simply fold the side in…..

….fold the bottom up to meet the top and then fasten the popper.

It transforms quickly and easily into a ‘bag’ with carry handles – simple enough for any toddler to use without help.

The iron test is, of course, if the girl in question actually likes it.

What do you think?!


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Sunday Sevens #118

1. The wallpaper for the downstairs loo arrived and is even better than it looked online. Can’t wait for it to be finished!


2. The obligatory pancakes were served up to the family on Shrove Tuesday. 


3. This half-finished lampshade has been picked up and is well on the way to being completed at last – only a year after I first started it and it’s been sat on top of the piano ever since, reminding me!


4. Hubby took me out for lunch after the disappointment of having to watch him eat last week when I was recovering from a bug.


5. We also managed to pop out for breakfast one morning in between some marathon sewing sessions.


6. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen lots of posts recording my progress on our fancy dress outfits last week. My sister had a Glastonbury festival themed 50th birthday party, and I made all of our costumes.

The Boys were Shirley Bassey and Freddie Mercury.


7. We went as Dolly Parton and Tom Jones.


8. I tried to recreate Shirley’s and Dolly’s outfits as closely as possible to the ones that they wore when performing at Glastonbury. It was also 80’s fancy dress, so I decided to make Freddie’s most iconic look. Mr H-L grew his goatee like Tom’s and we even sprayed his hair to make it more evenly grey.


9. My dear sister snapped this pic of me the morning after, looking the worse for wear after a BRILLIANT night.


10. Cooked breakfast, roast dinner AND a Chinese takeaway in the evening was what it took to make me feel better!!


Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins, Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing what your life is like outside the blog.


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Dog Coat Fail….

Remember the doggy bandana I knitted for Miekie (seen here modelled by Tess) as part of last year’s Stitching Santa?

It was from the book Woolly Woofers by Debbie Bliss.


I bought it as much for the quirky illustrations as for the actual content – just look at this backdrop for the so-called Teacup Yorkie!


Well, our other Yorkie, Fifi, has been to the Vet’s a lot recently as she’s an old dog that needs a bit more regular attention. She is much happier wearing a dog coat than those awful cones, but she doesn’t really have enough. I thought this little coat would be a quick and simple knit to go with the fleecy coat I made the other week.


Most of the coats in the book are in there sizes; small,medium and large, but this particular design was specifically for Toy breeds and only available as ‘one size fits all’.

I should have been wary at that statement as both Tess and Fifi are a Toy Yorkshire Terrier, yet Tess is literally twice the size of Fifi.

Undeterred, I cast on using a super chunky yarn in two colours which were dictated by the two half-balls of Lion Brand that had been languishing at the bottom of my ‘leftovers’ bin for months now. There should just about be enough to make a tiny coat.


The gauge was only slightly bigger than the tension gauge suggested in the pattern so I carried on to the end, playing yarn chicken (again!) and winning with just 6″ to spare.

I tried the finished coat on Fifi and….

…..it was HUGE!


It could probably have gone around her twice and the end flopped well past her tail. She even looked the other way in an effort to communicate her humiliation.


So I tried it on Tess…..and it fit perfectly.


It looks just like it does in the book – nice and snug around the chest and not too long in the body.


She was even happy to pose for the camera.


There’s only one tiny issue, and that’s the fact that she has thick hair (and lots of it) and never really gets cold enough to warrant wearing a coat, so if anyone has a little dog that would wear it, let me know and I’ll send it to you.