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Sunday Sevens #139

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog post whereby you show seven-ish photos of your week outside the blog. Anyone can join in at any time.

1. Last Sunday, No.2 Son had a football match in Weymouth – it was a beautiful day so we all went.

Afterwards, we decided to park up by the harbour and go and have fish and chips for lunch.

2. It turns out a ‘fish burger’ consisted of no  less than a whole battered cod fillet in a bun! How he managed to eat it all AND the chips  is beyond me. Must have been all the energy he burned off scoring a hat trick in the match:)

3.  No.2 Son plays rugby for his school so Mr H-L went to watch him midweek.

4. No.3 Son had an inset day on Friday so finished early for the half term. Mr H-L and I took him out to a lovely tea shop nearby where we had coffee and cake.

5. I’ve been trying to find ways of using the left over fabric from the coat I made last week and have been pretty pleased with what I’ve managed to do with it. All are to be Christmas presents, some of which are destined for my Stitching Santa parcel.

Any guesses as to what this might be?

6. Or this?

7. I’m making good progress with the Eastern Jewels blanket. It’s quite addictive as no two octagons are the same so there’s no getting bored whatsoever. I’ve seen some finished ones on Instagram already, and they look amazing.

The kit seems to be sold out at most stockists, but I bought mine here.

8. Oops, the photos aren’t in order as this was on Thursday – hubby took me out for lunch at The Old Inn in Holton.

9. No.2 Son came back from boarding school for half term and his little brother is THRILLED to have his playmate back!

10. Last night we had friends around for supper with a nice bottle of Laurent Perrier to celebrate his new job.

11. I made individual Tiramisinis for pudding and they were amazing – definitely one to do again!

12. Sunday morning saw hubby shampooing the carpet in the back bedroom before zipping off to football with No.3 Son again, so that’s the rest of the day sorted – putting everything back in when the carpet is dry.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!



Faux Sheepskin Coat

Last week, I drove over to my ‘local’ fabric warehouse half an hour away to collect my dressmaking shears which had been sent away to be sharpened (a student had tried to cut over a pin). In theory, I could have been in and out in two minutes and saved myself a bit of money, but I couldn’t resist having a quick look at the fabrics to see what was new.

As soon as I spotted this faux sheepskin in lilac I immediately thought ‘Coat’, and McCall’s 7480 was the perfect pattern as the envelope even shows it made in a similar fabric.

I cut it out that night using weights instead of pins as the fabric is very thick.

The coat has a simple shape which comes together as soon as the shoulder seams are sewn.

I adapted the pattern to suit the fabric in several areas, the first being to use the same fabric for the pockets rather than the suggested lining fabric.

The pockets are top stitched to the front of the coat to stop them flapping around inside.

This type of fabric doesn’t fray so none of the raw edges needed finishing. All the seams were top stitched to ensure that they lay flat. I actually quite like the way the seams look on the inside.

So this is the coat finished according to the instructions and they suggest that a purchased belt will act as a closure.

However, in my mind I pictured a single button of the traditional leather kind and found exactly what I was looking for after a quick rummage in my button tin.

Obviously, an ordinary buttonhole wouldn’t be any good, so I decided on a bound buttonhole using a scrap of the same faux sheepskin. I trimmed the pile right back to make it possible.

Pretty good from the outside….

….but I could have chosen a slightly larger scrap to make the inside a bit better. It’s surprising how much fabric a tiny bound buttonhole takes up!

That’s what I picture when I think of sheepskin coats, so I’m happy with that – much better than a belt.

A couple of extra details added were a tab to hang the coat up with – how annoying is it when coats don’t have one?

I also decided to turn the cuffs up. so that the furry side would show a little bit.

The unlined collar would have to look neat on both sides as the inside would be exposed at the back neck.

I was careful to match up the seams everywhere as there is quite a lot of top stitching which would stick out like a sore thumb if it was out of line.

The pockets are nice and cosy thanks to the decision to make them from the same fabric..

Number 3 Son was chief photographer on this occasion, and did OK despite the windy gusts.

I wore it to the carnival at the weekend and was almost too warm, so I’m confident that it will be a good Winter coat.

Mind you, it might have been all the prosecco that was making me feel warm:)


Simplicity 1238

Simplicity 1238
Meet Ellie, the star of this month’s blog post for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network.

She has this rather splendid suitcase home complete with a whole wardrobe full of clothes.

Simplicity 1238
To see lots more photos of how it all came together, click on the link: – Ellie The Elephant And Her Suitcase Home


Sunday Sevens 138

Originally thought up by Nat at Threads & Bobbins, Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing seven photos of life outside the blog.

  1. Tess and I went for a lovely walk in the warm Autumn sunshine.


2. We passed this caravan that had just been dumped at the side of the road. I was sorely tempted to tow it home and do it up, but it looked to be beyond repair.IMG_3155

3. Spare egg whites were used up to make a pavlova for tea.FullSizeRender(107)

4. All that sugar was tempered with a good old healthy stir fry.IMG_3164

5. Creative-wise this week, I made this lovely lilac coat from some faux sheepskin that I fell in love with. I’ll do a blog post as soon as hubby has taken some pictures of me wearing it.FullSizeRender(109)

6. A bit late as I could have done with this handy little tool while making three pairs of socks recently, but I bought this Kitchener stitch aid from Rosie’s Moments on Etsy.FullSizeRender(110)

7. Mr H-L and I went out for lunch as he was starving after fasting for a hospital check up.IMG_3156

8. You may recall that I met fellow blogger MaRRose on a trip to Amsterdam last year. She was writing a book at the time which has since been published and now I have my own copy!IMG_3157

9. Fifi sleeps on our bed every night but didn’t want to get up one morning so I had to make the bed around her!


10. Tess isn’t so spoiled and sleeps downstairs in a proper dog box. She still likes to be close by whenever possible though, and here she is sat on a cushion straddling two armchairs in an effort to be as close to me as she can get whilst I crochet.FullSizeRender(106)

11. No.2 Son came home from boarding school this weekend and was happy to give both dogs plenty of attention. Rolling straight on to their backs for a tummy tickle, you can almost feel the contentment they’re emanating.


12. Friday night was carnival night in our local town, albeit with fewer floats than ever before.IMG_3263

13. The Boys wrapped up warm just in case, but it was a very mild night.IMG_3264

14. More crocheting in the car whilst No.2 son played football.IMG_3275

15. This is how the Eastern Jewels blanket is shaping up so far.

I’m religiously crocheting/weaving the ends in as I go so I’m not left with a monumental task at the end. In fact, I’m even crocheting each block together as I go so I can see quick progress!IMG_3172

Finally, for anyone that hasn’t yet spotted it, sign up for this year’s Stitching Santa is open until 31st October.

To join in or to find out more, click on the link.



Sunday Sevens #137

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing seven or so photos of what you’ve been up to.

1. Got this far with the poncho only to be stumped. A quick bit of research discovered that there are errors in the pattern but Bergere de France won’t respond to any of my emails!

2. Frustrating, but at least it meant I got to finish the third pair of Christmas-present socks at last. Finding the right place to join each ball of yarn is always a challenge, but I’m pretty pleased with the pattern matching.

3. This Westie was also finished off and sent to its new owner in Australia……

4. …..and an old needlepoint was upcycled into this cushion cover.

5. We had the dentist on Tuesday which meant taking No.2 Son out of school for a couple of hours. He doesn’t come home now until half term which is four weeks away, so it was really lovely to snatch a bit of time with him, even if it was only in the car and on the dentist’s chair!

Doesn’t he look tall? Can’t believe his little brother will be big enough to join him next year….

6. Apart from sock-knitting, dog-knitting, poncho-knitting and upcycling an old needlepoint, I squeezed in some jam-making this week, using what must be the last of the season’s rhubarb.

7. The dresser shelves are looking pleasingly replenished now, with an extra eleven jars of Rhubarb & Ginger.

8. I did find time to sit down and enjoy my favourite magazine when it landed on the doormat, though. Does anyone else buy The English Home? 

9. I stumbled across this giveaway on IG but couldn’t resist ordering the kit immediately.

10. Lots of places had sold out, but I managed to buy one from Black Sheep Wools and it arrived the very next day.

11. I’ve done two hexagons already and, whilst I love it, I have to say that the picture is a bit misleading as it is overexposed – the actual colours are quite a bit darker in real life. These are the two on the top left.

12. We had lunch at out favourite local hotel.

13. Mr H-L brought me up breakfast in bed at 10am this morning……

14. Which is where I am right now writing my Sunday Sevens.

Looking at the French windows out onto the balcony, I’ve just noticed an absolute plague of ladybirds.

Isn’t that supposed to mean we’re in for an Indian Summer??!


#stitchingsanta 2017!


The last three year’s #stitchingsantas were such a roaring success, that I promised to do it all again this year and the time has come to sign up!

It’s a Secret Santa with a difference aimed at all the like-minded crafty folk here on the internet – YOU!

Whether you’re one of the lucky few whose family know and understand you so well that you receive endless perfect gifts based on your love of sewing/crochet/knitting or, like me, your wish list is met with a “What do you want one of those for….what is it anyway?” – #stitchingsanta is for you.

Can you imagine unwrapping a gorgeous skein of wool, a perfect metre of fabric, some vintage buttons or some embroidery silks? Perhaps a little handmade gift has been popped in the parcel too? All lovingly thought out with your interests in mind and guaranteed to be under your tree on Christmas morning. What a treat!

There are TWO categories to choose from – you can enter both or just one but PLEASE state your preference in your email. Choose from “Sewing” or “Crochet/Knitting”.

The idea is simple: if you would like to take part, comment below by the deadline of 31st October and I’ll send you the details of your lucky recipient.

You may already know this person as a follower of their blog but, if not, have a good look around their blog and try to put together some gifts that they would really appreciate. See my experience of previous #stichingsantas for what to expect: –

Gifted to my Secret Santa recipient 2014

Gifted to my #stitchingsanta recipient 2015

Gifted to my sewing #stitchingsanta 2016

Gifted to my yarn #stitchingsanta 2016

Received from my Secret Santa 2014

Blogging about Secret Santa 2014

Blogging about #stitchingsanta 2015

Received from my #stitchingsanta 2015

Received from my yarn #stitchingsanta 2016

Recieved from my sewing #stitchingsanta 2016

I will update this page with details of the blogs that are taking part so why not follow along and make some new blogging buddies!

How To Enter: –

  1. You can enter from anywhere in the world but I will try to match countries in order to keep postage costs down.
  2. State which swap(s) you would like to enter and send your email address, blog site and postal address to me at by midnight on 31st October 2017.
  3. I’ll email you the details of your recipient by 7th November.
  4. Spend a maximum of £10 (€13, $15US, $20AUS) excluding postage.
  5. Blog about your #stitchingsanta (linking back to this post) and share using the hash tag on social media.
  6. Post your parcel in time for Christmas – check last posting dates well in advance!! International dates are much earlier in December.

UK Inland: –

last post

I hope lots of you join in – don’t forget to share, share, SHARE with your own followers, the more the merrier, HOW exciting!

Here’s who has signed up so far: –

sewchet (that’s me!)

The Crafty Creek

Squirrels Knitting Conquests

Mad About Bags

The Tialys

Mollie And Claire

Power Tools With Thread

The Contented Crafter

Appleby Makes

Wendy Wendal – IG: @wendywendal

The Small Sewing Room


Sewing Nikki

Jo – Through The Keyhole

Let The Sewing Begin

Jana Kaiser – IG: @ja_ma_ka

Pins, Needles and Thread

Little Black Dog SA

The Material Lady

The Snail Of Happiness

Julia’s Creative Year

Nana Cathy Dot Com

Lilly My Cat

Creative Chaos


Quiet Water Craft

Emma Craft Projects

Quirky Hannah

Beads And Barnacles

Rita’s Designs

The Dartmoor Yarn Company

Sweet Fallen Angels

Enchanted By Books

I Am Simply Hooked

Entropy Creations

Sarah Naylor-Hagger – IG: @sierralima14

Hazelnut Thread

Christerson Adoption

Sharon Ansley – IG: @sharonfa50

Zeens And Roger

Flirty Thirty Guide To Life

Sew and Snip

Annegret Pohl – IG: @annegretpohl


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Upcycled Needlepoint

On one of our regular visits to our local charity shop, I spotted this framed needlepoint. It was wedged in a basket at the back of a stack of picture frames and would probably have been consigned to the bin had I not rescued it.

I was struck by the hours of work that had obviously gone into it and was disappointed, if not surprised, that the value that had been attributed to it was just ONE pound.

Unfortunately, as a picture, it just does not work.

It’s old-fashioned and the cheap gilded frame couldn’t be further removed from current interior trends, yet it totally misses the ‘vintage’ vibe, too.

Without really thinking it through, I knew I had to buy it and try to reinvent it as something I would be proud to have in my home – no small task!

A number of Instagrammars had the great suggestion to turn the needlepoint into a tray by adding handles to the frame, or a suitable alternative frame.

I love this idea and very nearly went for it until I was honest with myself and admitted that I have lots of trays and this one simply wouldn’t get used, which seemed such a shame.

Going with my initial idea, I decided to turn it into a cushion cover, after all, the colours would tie in seamlessly with the ones currently in our lounge.

I started by running a blade around the edge of the backing to remove the needlepoint from the frame.

The canvas had been criss crossed with thread to hold it in place, so I was careful not to cut through the canvas when removing the thread.

Having liberated the needlepoint from its frame, it was obvious that it had been a kit originally. I used the colour guides on the side of the panel to choose a fabric from my stash that would serve as the cushion back. 

Luckily, this herringbone tweed matched the colours in the needlepoint exactly. There was just enough cord left on a roll to make some piping, too.

The piping cord was made first, by cutting strips of fabric on the bias and basting it around some cord.

I basted the piping as close as possible to the edge of the needlepoint, clipping up to the stitching to turn the corners.

I had to piece the remnants together to make a 15″ square backing to match the size of the needlepoint front. 

The zip was inserted into the back section rather than any one of the side seams to minimise bulk at the seams. I top stitched it down close to the zip to stop the fabric getting caught in the zip when removing the cover for cleaning.

With right sides facing, I pinned the backing to the front, remembering to open the zip for turning through later. 

As the zip was too long, I would just sew all the way around, in effect creating a new zip stop in the seam, so I didn’t cut it to length at this stage.

The excess canvas was trimmed and the corners were cut across.

Turned through to the right side, this is the finished cushion, shown on a grey chair for contrast: –

I think it will actually live on this sofa.

When I said it coordinates with our existing colour scheme, here’s what I meant – it sits perfectly with the other cushions. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it looks at all dated now, quite the reverse, in fact and I love it!

The total cost of the cushion was…….£1.00

Not bad when you consider that this kit is currently available for around £40.00, not including the backing fabric or insert!

Not so old fashioned now, is it?!