Advent Calendar

Many, many years ago, my sister, mother and I sat down and embroidered an advent calendar for my grandmother. While talking about Christmas and advent calendars she mentioned that she had never had an advent calendar. My grandmother’s birthday was on November 30th so we thought it would be fun to make her an advent calendar that year and it was a huge success. For years she would give us her advent calendar a week before her birthday and we would fill it for her.

When she died the advent calendar disappeared into a cupboard and none of us really thought about it. That is, until my mother got it out and gave it to me for Little Miss Bossy-Boots. The calendar had definitely seen better days and most of the little bags were falling apart.

Advent Calendar Before

Therefore I decided last year to take all the bags apart and sew new ones.

Advent Calendar During


I also used some woven vilene to stabilise the embroideries. Some of the bags we made were hardly big enough for more than a praline so I’ve tried to make these a little bigger. The easiest way was to sew a ‘frame’ around the embroidery and for this I bought a lovely red and white stripe that reminds me of candy canes. The back of the bags is a green cotton from my LQS.

Advent Calendar After

I’m so happy that this advent calendar is in use again. I haven’t quite finished all the bags so I’m sewing like mad to keep up with finishing and filling them. This calendar will hopefully be in use for another twenty-something years now that it’s all fixed again and all the work is definitely worth it, I think.

Bella’s Book Bag

Right, I missed one day of blogging. Yesterday felt like one quick blur and before I knew it I was in bed and too tired to even think about a blog post. Never mind.

Today Little Miss Bossy-Boots is invited to her little friend Bella’s fifth birthday party. Now I don’t know about you but my go-to gift for kids is always books. I love books, always have, and believe that it’s very difficult to be bored when you have the ability to read.

We got Bella “The Snail and the Whale” by Julia Donaldson (which is one of my favourites!) and I made a quick and easy reversible book bag to put it in. The stripy fabric is a vintage pillow case, the glittery Disney Princess was given to me by a friend.

The stripy side has a big pocket for a library card or some tissues.

Stripy handles and a little stripy flower finish it off. The princess fabric is more see-through than I realised. The stripes shimmer through even though I used some sew in interlining. Never mind.


A Birthday Skirt

Little Miss Bossy-Boots is invited to a birthday party tomorrow. Her friend Rebecca is turning four and when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday the answer did surprise me quite a bit:

a new skirt.

Well, Im happy to oblige. When Little Miss Bossy-Boots was still a baby I bought some fabric with the thought of making her a dress. Fast forward three years and the fabric is still here uncut. Or rather ‘was’. Because I turned it into a skirt and hair tie for Rebecca.

I hope she likes it.


A Rescue and a Finish

What do you do when your daughter’s favourite Barbie loses a leg? You turn her into a mermaid, of course.

I used some red organza leftover from the days when I made theatre costumes at uni. It has a beautiful golden sheen, perfect for making a fish tail.

First I layered the organza with some sew in interfacing and sewed a scallop pattern all over it to mimic scales. I didn’t do a great job but I don’t believe Little Miss Bossy-Boots minds. Then I cut out a mermaid tail shape (is there such a word in the English language?), added a heart shaped fin, sewed it together and turned it right side out. Next I removed the Barbie’s second leg and attached a pipe cleaner to the Barbie to ensure the tail could be moved into different poses. Then I put the pipe cleaner into the tail and added a little wadding to fill out the tail. My last step was to pull the tail over the Barbie’s bottom and hot-glue the tail to the Barbie’s body. Hey presto, a mermaid.


In other news Hester, the gorgeous Woodland Portrait by Jo Avery from Bearpaw, is finished!

I wish I’d had a darker blue floss for the name as it is rather difficult to read but it’s not the end of the world. Also, I don’t think this Hester is going to be alone for long, my friend Julie looooves rabbits so one might just make its way to Switzerland…

We are Family

I just have to show you the lovely portraits Little Miss Bossy-Boots made of us.

From left to right: Little Miss Bossy-Boots, Aron the dog, Me and Master.

While Little Miss Bossy-Boots was busy drawing I took the time to start and finish (!) a small project. My sister showed me a picture of some birds she wanted to make. Guess what, I thought they were so cute I had to try making one myself. They are incredibly quick to make and a great portable project as they are sewn by hand. I love the idea of getting a branch or two in the garden and make lots of birds for Little Miss Bossy-Boots’ room.

Another Apron

My friend Delphine asked me to make another apron as a birthday gift. I made two aprons for two little girls last year and they were greatly admired by one of Delphine’s friends. She therefore decided to order one for young Charlotte in the same fabric as the two I made before.

I have to apologise for the pictures, they were taken two seconds before Delphine left with the apron. Yep, once again I forgot to take pictures before collection….

I love the little crochet flower which I made up on the spot.

The pocket with the embroidered name “Charlotte” almost drove me round the bend. I usually use an air erasable pen to write the name I want to embroider. It makes it easy to follow the lines and is mostly gone by the time I’m finished. Well, this time I got out my pen and it didn’t work! I’d used it only a couple of days earlier and it worked fine. Panic set in as I realised that I wouldn’t have the time to go and get a new one before I had to deliver the finished apron. In the end I just winged it. It might not be perfect but does handmade have to be perfect to be special or loved?

On a completely different note, I’ve been struggling for the last couple of weeks as I’ve been in a bit of discomfort after a minor car accident. The doctor has confirmed today that I suffer from whiplash. It’s not bad but does mean that I can’t sit at the sewing machine or computer for too long. I’m therefore really looking forward to starting my new EPP project. Hopefully my fabric will arrive soon. Meanwhile I’ll just go and cut out some more octagons.

We’re off to the local school’s Easter Fete today. Hope you have a lovely weekend!


More Aprons

You might remember that I made an apron for one of Little Miss Bossy-Boots’ friends. Well, it resulted in an order. Two aprons for two sisters who were being christened last Sunday. I bought two co-ordinating fabrics, a gingham and a polka dot, so that I could mix them and make two aprons in the same colour way. I remember when I was a little girl my sister and I often got the same clothes or toys in different colours. My things were usually red or pink and my sister’s blue. I didn’t like it at all and wanted the same colour as my sister. With this in mind I used the same fabrics but in different combinations and with different embellishments. I’m really happy with them and I hope the two little girls will be too.

Charlotte’s apron is the same style as Freddie’s with a big pocket on the front which I embellished with some crochet flowers. I have to apologise for the quality of the photos. We only have a ‘point and shoot’ camera at the moment (saving up for the big one, though), add to this the fact that I took the pictures two seconds before I handed them over with no chance of re-shooting and you have some pretty lousy pictures.

I’ve had the lace at the top of the apron for years, waiting for the right opportunity to use it and I believe this was it. I embroidered Charlotte’s name in the same pink I used on one of the crochet flowers.

Mischa’s apron is in a lovely old-fashioned style. These aprons remind me of my grandmother but I’m not sure why as she never used one of these. I have a white one which I received from my mum and which I used in my cookery classes  in school. I still use it at Christmas when I bake biscuits with Little Miss Bossy-Boots.

I embroidered Mischa’s name on the cupcake and added a button instead of a cherry.

Now all I can do is hope that the girls love them.




A Flag and some Bunting

I haven’t forgotten about my blog but somehow life has gotten in the way of sitting down and writing about it. Again.

Last Monday was Little Miss Bossy-Boots birthday and we have been busy building a big climbing frame in the garden. Well…when I say we I have to admit that it was mostly Master with  a lot of help from Uncle Bear (his brother Brendan) and a little from our neighbour Phil. Meanwhile I have been sewing a flag and some bunting to decorate the fort bit with. Oh yes, the climbing frame consists of a fort with pink (!) slide, bench and table and sand pit, monkey bars and two swings and a trapeze. Luckily we have a nice big garden with enough space for such a big contraption. I can tell you it has already been used a lot. The newest trick is to hang face down off the trapeze. I cannot wait for Master to see this. He will freak!

Yesterday we had 11 children over for a little party. That was when the bunting was supposed to be going up. It didn’t… as I haven’t quite finished it. I loved making it, though, and can see quite a bit of bunting making in my future. It’s a great way of using up bigger scraps as well. Having the climbing frame in the garden meant that all the mums could sit down and have a cup of tea while the children were using up a lot of energy. Bliss!

By the way, the other side of the flag has Little Miss Bossy-Boots’ name appliquéd on it and she loves it. The name “Fort Belle” was chosen by Master and my mother embroidered most of the flowers on the flag (mine are the really wonky ones – it wasn’t a good day for embroidery for me).


Little Miss Bossy-Boots is taking after her mummy when it comes to being creative. She loves nothing more than to paint/draw and  play with her Play-Doh. This morning I came downstairs after my shower and found her at the table with the big bottles of paint, which I thought were securely locked away under the stairs on the top shelf. Big mistake! Continue reading Creativity