Sewchet

Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,


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Beach Wrap/Bikini Cover-Up

Looking ahead to the Summer holidays, I wanted to make a simple cover-up that would be quick to throw on over a swimsuit. You know those times; when you want a drink at the pool bar and don’t want to get dressed, but don’t want to sit there in a pair of bikini bottoms!

You can read all about it in my blog post over at Minerva Crafts :- Beach Wrap/Bikini Cover-Up


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Royal Ascot Ladies’ Day – The Fashions

So, our day started well – six of us met at Templecombe station, cracked open the champagne on the platform and caught the 9.45 to Reading for the first leg of our train journey to Ascot.

Two stops in (Tisbury) someone laughingly asked if we’d all got our tickets. Mr. H-L and I thought each other was joking when we both said “No”.

Oops.

This is us after alighting at Tisbury, ready to catch the next train back to Templecombe. Luckily, a friend had a house key and popped in to collect the tickets. She dropped them off at the ticket office for us to save time as we had got a lift to the station and had no means of getting home.


Having caught the next train, we were only an hour behind. Of course, all the food and champagne had gone on ahead with our friends, so we had to try and recreate the excitement with Pringles and Prosecco bought on the train.

We’d opted to travel First Class so it was no problem. We got chatting to a few other race-goers on the two and a half hour journey and two changes of train.


And at least we’d got our tickets!!


Safely in by 1pm, we had time for proper bubbly before the Royal Procession at 2 o’clock.


Bubbles were flowing like a river and everyone was having a great time, gearing up to the first race at 2.30.


We ambled over to the parade ring in time to watch the Royal Carriages arrive. Queenie looked radiant in cerise, although Prince Phillip was too ill to accompany her this year so Prince Andrew is sat next to her.


And then the action began!

We had our race card and picked this patriotic-looking bookie with which to place our bets.


We won some, we lost some. The viewing is great despite the thousands of people as the huge screen means you don’t miss a thing, which is otherwise possible despite the horses thundering past just a few yards away as the photo below illustrates.


On to the fashions of the day. Our party of six scrubbed up pretty well, I think.

These are two close friends who feature a lot on the blog.


Another friend who joined us for the first time this year.


Lovely Ruth from the USA was in England for just a week and her first day coincided with Royal Ascot, an event that was on her bucket list – AND she even got to see the Queen! She was one happy American!


And, of course, you’ve already seen pictures of The Mister and Me.


Dress codes are slightly less formal in the Queen Anne Enclosure, but there were plenty of gents still choosing top hat and tails.

Yes, that is a man touting Stella Artois by the pint in a barrel on his back.


Three piece suits seemed to be the most popular mens’ attire by far, and there were a surprising number of different looks.


How about this bright red one, scarlet right down to the matching shoes and trilby!


More variations on formal menswear, some good……



….and some not so good!



As for the ladies, hmmm.

A few got it very right and embraced the elegant, classy look that Ascot is famous for.






A lot more were almost there, but missed the fact that hemlines should ideally be knee length or lower.


Some girls thought bodycon Lycra was an appropriate choice!


But, unfortunately, there were far too many girls in their early twenties who just didn’t get it. I couldn’t bring myself to photograph them, but this press photo from Aintree races gives you the gist. More like “Barbie Goes To The Races”.


The hats were incredible as usual.



Although not my thing, fascinators were a very popular choice with many ladies. A massive hat wins every time for me:)

The six races were over all too soon, then it was off to do the traditional singing around the bandstand at 6pm.



Just time to nip into the shop before heading back to the train.


There was even a mobile seller with Cuban cigars.


The fifteen minute walk back to the station saw the majority of ladies in flip flops, hobbling after a day in ill-fitting-but-gorgeous shoes. Not me – I kept mine on all the way home!


First Class was full to bursting on the return journey, but we were fortunate enough to get seats on all three changes of train.

On this leg, the carriage was silent until The Mister pipes up at the top of his voice “SWEET CAR-O-LINE….!” And the rest of the carriage finished it with “…..Bah, bah, bah!” What followed was a spontaneous rendition of all the other songs that had just been sung around the bandstand that continued until the next change of train – great finish to a fabulous day!!


I’m already thinking about next year’s dress – we’re going to upgrade to fine dining so an even posher dress could be on the cards. 

Any suggestions gratefully received!


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Dress For Royal Ascot 

As usual, I made myself a new dress for Ascot this year – to read all about the slightly rushed experience (I made it the day before!) just click on the link below which will take you to the full blog post over at Minerva Crafts.

Burda 6869 Dress For Royal Ascot


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Sunday Sevens #126

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series started by Nat at Threads & Bobbins whereby you show seven photos of your life outside of the blog. 

In theory.

This week is a combination of three weeks worth of photos, ‘cos I seriously haven’t had time to organise many blog posts lately, and there are considerably more than seven photos so you might want to get a cup of tea before you start!

1. We have been having a lot done on the house over the last couple of months, most of which I haven’t yet blogged about…..does a wall of mirrors in our en-suite and Koi Carp in the cloakroom ring any bells?

We’ve also finally got around to having the massive extension at the side of the house rendered, which meant bacon sandwiches and endless cups of tea for the plasterers.

2. We also had the builders in to put a new roof on the old downstairs bathroom, which is now a sun room. I know, I know, I haven’t blogged about that yet either! The old concrete tiles were replaced with slate ones to match the rest of the house.

3. I’ve done quite a lot of sewing, starting with my trusty old leggings pattern. I made these in brown leatherette.

4. This top was made in one sitting too.

5.  I made this dress  in a bright floral linen.

I just need to get Mr H-L to take some photos of me wearing them, then I’ll blog them all.

6. The Boy’s school asked for contributions for a stall at their Summer fair, so I’ve also been making things for that. These are handbag tissue holders.

7. There was enough of the same fabric to make four wash bags as well.

8. I bought a large piece of blue canvas for £1.00 from a charity shop a while back and used this, together with the remnants from the dress mentioned earlier, to make six little storage pots.

9. I had a little leftover oilcloth from a previous project, which was just enough to sew a quick shopping bag.

10. We had friends round for supper so I spent a whole afternoon making a decent meal for them.

11. Home serves as both office and restaurant for Mr H-L!!


12. It’s not been all work and no play though, and we’ve been out a few times.

13. We found a new coffee shop in Sherborne that does “Bloody Good Coffee”.


It was – and the chocolate brownie wasn’t bad, either. They serve half-slices, which is perfect for someone without a sweet tooth but, despite ordering “Half a brownie and two forks”, we still struggled to eat it!


14. Spot of lunch whilst shopping for a new kettle with a friend in Sturminster Newton.


15. Said kettle – the old one developed a leak. Mr H-L likes this one because it has lights and makes a beeping noise. Men!


16. This was just after a quiet, relaxing facial – not easy to take a selfie in these conditions!


17. After collecting a friend from hospital, we had lunch at Summer Lodge in Evershot.


17. Sewing classes are still going strong.


18. We found this little cutie in the hen house one morning.


19. Couldn’t resist a cuddle!


Sadly, the chick didn’t survive the night:(

20. Our friend is a new Artisan cheese producer – if you come across “Renegade Monk” in the future you must try it.


21. Just as we were looking forward to Summer, Winter made a late appearance in the form of a prolonged hailstorm.


22. A lovely Thai lunch at The Old Bakehouse in Castle Cary with Mr H-L.


23. The latest addition to our mug collection by Wrendale Designs. I just love the illustrations!

24. And finally, to end on a high, this is No.3 Son working the dance floor like his hero Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. Enjoy!


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Re-fashioned Cashmere Jumper

To see what I did with this shapeless, holey old jumper, click on the link to head over to the full blog post on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network: – Cashmere Jumper Transformation


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The Jordan Jacket by Serendipity Studio – aka Bling Denim Jacket!

This month’s project for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network is now live – follow the link to read all about this challenging make!

Sequinned Denim-Style Jacket


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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