My Birthday Week

This time last week I spent the last day of my 20′s in a car stuffed to bursting with kids, dogs, food, drink and plenty of warm clothes. To celebrate my 30th birthday Sean booked for us to spend a week in a cute little barn conversion on a farm in Flamborough with the monsters, my mum and sister. Incase you’re not up on British coastal towns Flamborough is a beautiful place just north of Bridlington, Yorkshire. We were really lucky with our cottage, it was literally a few minutes walk from the edge of the cliff, with amazing views every way you turned.

Now I’m no twitcher but the wildlife was impressive. A few miles away from where we stayed is an RSPB centre which is renowned for its seabirds. We saw hundreds of nesting Gannets, Guillemots and Kittiwakes, as well as several varieties of Gull. The monsters had great fun using binoculars to spot the different birds.

The weather was on our side, bright but pretty windy so we managed to a few local spots.

The lighthouse at Flamborough Head.
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South Landing
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Rock pooling at North Landing
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While we were investigating the caves at north Landing we were lucky enough to spot a pair of Puffins who had set up home in the side of the Cliff, unfortunately I couldn’t get a good photo but I was so excited to have actually seen them!

On my Birthday I was a very spoilt girl. I was woken (super early) by the monsters shouting “Happy Birthday!!” And given a big pile of presents to open. Sean and the monsters gave me some new Hunter wellies I’ve had my eye on.

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Seriously how cool is that bright pink stripe?! I also got a Nike fuelband to help me get my butt in shape and a remote for my DSLR camera. I have to admit the boys did well, I’ve been dropping hints for a while and they got every one. Thank you boys!

My little sister Frankie did a great job of spoiling me too. She secretly got the monsters to write their names and had it made into a silver bracelet.

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She also spotted a few vintage items which she new I would love.

Crochet hooks.
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Some sewing pins and this book.
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Obviously this book was made just for me! My sister found this book by chance for sale on Etsy and just had to get it for me, what’s freaky is I had seen the very same book on Etsy a few weeks ago and considered buying it for myself!

The last present I had to open was from my mum and dad.

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My very own bloody OVERLOCKER!!!! How spoilt am I?! I have the best family ever.

After the excitement of opening all my cards and presents we got ready and took a trip to Scarborough.

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Chips, donuts and candy floss while walking along the sea wall all made turning 30 seem not so bad.

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We finished the day with champagne and a Hello Kitty cake made by my mum.

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All in all turning 30 wasn’t anywhere near as scary as I thought it would be. Oh and you’ll be really pleased to know that since turning 30 I really haven’t grown up. Phew!

Sewing Club Shopping Trip

I’ve been planning making my own summer wardrobe for a while now. There has definitely been lots of planning. Research and planning, but not a lot else. I’m totally scared of actually taking the plunge into dressmaking. Well April is the month I take action! With advice from my lovely friends at sewing club I’ve worked up a list of patterns I’d like to start with. I’ve taken all my measurements (thanks for the help mum!) and written a fabric shopping list, yeah I love lists. So Next step is a good one, fabric shopping.

Last Saturday was sewing clubs first shopping outing. We were all pretty excited, it was like going on your first school trip. I was up early and on the train with my shopping list in hand. First stop Walthamstow Market. I bought some great leopard print jersey from the man outside Sainsburys.

With this one I’m going to make a maxi dress using the Misson Maxi pattern
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And using the same pattern I thought this would make a great vest.

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They were both a bargain £2 a metre.

Here we all are happy with our purchases.

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Photo courtesy of Rachel Pinheiro.

I picked up 6 yards of this 100% cotton from one of the shops along the high street for £10!!

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I had planned to make a full circle skirt out of it but as there’s so much I can’t decide whether to make a dress or matching skirt and top? Any thoughts?

After a good look round the market we all split off to do different things. Mum, Shelley and I popped to Shaukat on Old Brompton Road. If you love Liberty fabrics, actually just fabric in general you should definitely check it out. The website doesn’t do it justice, it’s an Aladdin’s cave of fabric yumminess!

Next mum and I headed off to Goldhawk road. This is where I got a little overwhelmed. Seriously there were so many fabric shops it all just blurred into one. After visiting pretty much every shop I settled on this light weight denim which I plan to use for a pair of scalloped hem shorts. I think it was around £6 a metre.

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Sorry the photo isn’t great, the fabric almost has a shine to it (in a good way) and is so unbelievably soft. I’m a bit nervous about making shorts but I’m really looking forward to wearing them.

I bought this jersey for another vest too, £2 a metre.

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My last purchase of the day was from the lovely Rashid. He was so helpful, here he is cutting my mums purchase.

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I chose this super bright jersey, think it was about £4 a metre and will be another maxi dress.

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After a long day shopping there was only one thing left to do, DRINK!

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To Do List Review

You might remember that in January I shared a bit of a to do list on my blog. Well we’re a quarter of the way through the year (wow that went fast!) so I thought it would be good to review the list.

- Close my Etsy shop
All done. I definitely have more time to sew and work through my to do lists.

- Teach Monster no1 to sew.
We haven’t had time to sit at the sewing machine together yet but I’m hoping over the Easter holidays we can finish his pin wheel cushion.

- Work through my crafty to do list.
Oh come on, as if this will ever get crossed off. Every time I finish one WIP 3 or more new projects have been added to the list, oops.

- Make my own clothes.
Now this one I’m pretty excited about! It’s not crossed off yet but I have been busy buying patterns and this weekend I’m off to London with some of my sewing club friends to buy fabric for my planned projects. It’s definitely going to be a comfy shoes and big bag kinda day out. Don’t worry I’ll be sharing my plans and purchases with you next week.

- Exercise more.
I haven’t got round to joining a gym yet but I am walking more now I know where to go for good walks in the area. The dogs love trekking through the woods, especially now the weather is starting to improve.

- Blog at least once a week
I can definitely cross this off the list. Since January I’ve made a conscious effort to post more and have enjoyed sharing my week and WIP’s, good or bad, with you. I hope you don’t feel so neglected and I promise I’ll keep it up.

Midweek WIP’s

I haven’t got a lot to share with you this week. I have been busy sewing but something that’s still not quite ready to share yet. Hopefully it won’t be long now and I can tell you all about it, I’m so excited! I’ve been plodding along with my quilt and I made a cushion but that’s a gift so can’t show you that for a few weeks yet either.

Wow this is summing up to be a pretty boring post sorry! There is one other project I’ve started which I can show you (well a little sneak peek anyway). My mum, nan and sister came to visit at the weekend so we headed to Milestones Museum for a bit of family fun. We all had such a good time and I would definitely recommend it for all ages, at the moment they have a fun Lego exhibition on so the monsters had great fun finding all the Lego exhibits. While we were walking round looking at the vintage furniture my sister was telling me how she would love a blanket that she could have on her sofa once she moves into her own place. She wanted something with a retro feel, quite clashy colours that wouldn’t match any decor. I knew exactly what she wanted so told her I would accept her challenge. As soon as our visitors left I got to work making granny squares from what I had in my stash.

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I’m a little ashamed to say that my yarn stash is pretty small. I haven’t been crocheting for that long so haven’t had a excuse chance to buy lots yet. Tuesday I headed to my local yarn shop and with the help of Monster 2 picked up some fun colours for Frankie’s blanket.

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A nice start don’t you think? Now obviously this is a work in progress so I’ll be adding more colours as and when I see them. This is the perfect project to pick up when I have a spare few minutes or when I’m watching a film in the evening with the hubby. Do you have a nice long term project you work on when you only have a little time for something crafty? Something portable is always handy, good for when you’re waiting at school pick up or on the train to work.

Midweek WIP’s

I’ve enjoyed my sewing this week. My cousin gave birth to a little girl, she came early and I wasn’t exactly prepared gift wise so I whipped up this cute nautical themed skirt for her.

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I didn’t have any elastic in my stash so I popped to Hobbycraft to pick some up and got slightly distracted by some tiny pompom trim. Well I just couldn’t resist it could I?

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See, isn’t it just the perfect finishing touch. It might not look that tiny in the photos but the skirt length is only 6 1/2″ and the waist is 15″.

Sunday was sewing club day. I tried to be organised this month so only packed one project to work on. I opted for a quilt top that’s been neatly folded away for about a year now. If I’m honest I think I’ve just been avoiding it because I love making quilts but I find the actual quilting stage hard. Well Sunday was the day to get working on it. It was a lovely sunny day and the atmosphere at sewing group was great. I set to work basting while the sun shone through the window.

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While we worked we all spent a lot of time discussing dress making, quilting, knitting and crochet. It was a lovely crafty chat!

The last project I’ve been working on this week has to stay secret for a little bit longer but I’ve been busy taking photos that I’ll be sharing with you soon.

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A Month To Go To The Big 3 0

I’m not sure if you realised but yesterday was the 12th of March. “Yes Polly we know, what’s the big deal?” you may be thinking, well the 12th of March is the start of a big countdown for me, it’s exactly 1 month till I’m 30. 30. Actual 30. The big three zero. I’m not sure whether you can tell but I’m not exactly ecstatic about turning 30. To me 30 means I’m going to be a grown up. I know I have 2 kids, a husband, a car and a mortgage but none of that really means I’m grown up, but 30, that’s just instant grown up. I suppose really I would like to stay in my 20′s for just a few more years, I don’t want to be greedy, I’m just not quite ready to grow up.

Because of yesterday’s date I was not in the best of moods so decided to start a project that would keep my mind distracted for the day. So this little gem was born.

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I don’t often work from a purchased pattern, I like the challenge of coming up with my own design and figuring out how to get to my finished item. This cross body bag was no different.

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I wanted to push myself so included a recessed zipper for the main closure which I haven’t tried before, I found this tutorial a great starting point.

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I also added an internal zipper pocket as I find them really handy for keeping little bits safe.

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I lined the bag with this wicked moustache fabric from Riley Blake’s Geekly Chic collection and I even managed to get the moustaches up the right way in the pocket (more luck than judgement).

For the bag outer I used this awesome Echino cotton linen mix I picked up from Eternal Maker a few weeks ago and I added a pleat to each side to give a bit of shape. To make a little more room inside I boxed the corners.

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For the strap I used some cotton webbing I had in my stash and the rings and slider I salvaged from a boring bag I found in a charity shop.

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The bag cost me £3.05 which was less than buying the hardware online and paying for postage (plus I did my bit for charity).

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The strap placement took me a few attempts, originally I had planned to attach the straps at the top of the bag on either side but it just looked too bulky and awkward so after a little swearing and a bit of help from my trusty unpicker I settled on attaching one end to the front and the other to the back. This looks so much better and (once I half twisted the strap before attaching it) lays nicely across my body.

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For a first draught I’m pretty happy with my bag and would only make a couple of adjustments.

1. Unlike the tutorial I would attach both the outer and lining to the recessed zipper in one step rather than two.

2. Top stitch around the recessed zipper to prevent the lining catching.

3. Top stitch around the top of the bag to stop the recessed zipper moving around too much and for extra strength on the strap.

4. A heavier duty webbing or quilted strapping would be better.

The Procrastipost

Yes I know it’s Wednesday and you were expecting to see the words “Midweek WIP’s” but I’m just not feeling it today. Wednesdays should be my productive days, monster no1 at school and monster no2 at nursery, the house to my self, free to get on with my long list of projects. The thing is this morning it’s just not happening. I had set aside today to work on a bag pattern I would like to share with you guys, my first proper PDF pattern, but my brain has other ideas. So far I’ve been food shopping, popped to hobbycraft (just cos), had leftover pancakes (yum) and sat staring at my laptop for over an hour. I’ve even considered doing housework. Seriously what is wrong my my wandering mind? I just can’t seem to focus.

So now instead I’ve popped in to say hi to you, clear my thoughts and hopefully get focused again. Or I could just be using you as a crutch for all my procrastination needs. Well as I’m here I might as well show you my crochet hook roll I made this weekend.

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This has to be the girliest thing I have made in a while, it’s not normally my style, but I love it because the monsters gave me the fabric I used as part of my Mother’s Day present last year and I’ve been saving it for a little project I can keep.

The outer fabric is a fairy tale princesses print which I attempted to free motion quilt (very badly) for the first time. I definitely need a lot more practice, you can’t see in the photo but consistency is not a word I can use yet when talking about stitch length!

The monsters also gave me the heart fabric that I used for the pocket and lining. It coordinated perfectly with the colours in the outer fabric.

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And to tip it over the edge on the cuteness scale I finished the roll off with a scrap of lace I had left over from a previous project.

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Oh can you believe it it’s lunch time. I best get on but thanks for keeping me occupied. I hope your day is more productive than mine!

Midweek WIP’s

Sorry for not posting last week but it was half term here so I had no spare time to sew or update you lovely lot on what I had (or hadn’t) been up to.

We had a great week with friends and my sister coming to stay. We visited The Living Rainforest which the kids loved and for just over £30 for a family annual pass it was well worth it. We managed to get out for a nice walk during a brief gap in the rain too so that made the dogs happy. We also took the kids bowling which we all enjoyed. It was monster no2′s first time and he loved it, as we were leaving he asked me when we could go again!

Here he is talking tactics with Daddy.

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Although I’ve been busy having half term fun I have also managed to get on with a few projects.

I’ve had this UGLY pair of DKNY 90′s mum jeans hanging around for a while now. For years they haven’t fitted me but I just hung on to them to spur me on to lose weight and get back in to them. I’ve got to be honest I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought them, they are just so unflattering. I’ve finally lost enough weight to be able to wear them but they are hideous!

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See they are seriously nasty! The thing is I just can’t bring myself to throw them away. Do you get that feeling about clothes? I can’t remember where or when I bought them, they don’t remind me of a special memory, but for some weird reason I just can’t chuck them out. So instead of them hanging limply, unworn, shunned by my other clothes in the wardrobe I decided to do some major upcycling. Those poor little outcasts got a make over. I grabbed for my scissors and chopped most of the leg off, seam ripped the hell out of the crutch and turned those bad boys into a skirt.

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Much better don’t you agree? I even added a little Architextures scrap to finish off the front.

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I’ve left the edge raw around the botttom of the skirt but topstitched about 1/4″ away from it in a blue thread to stop it fraying too much. I did want to use a heavier orange thread but my sewing machine had other plans.

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I had a few words with my machine I swapped for a lighter weight thread and all went well.

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I’m quite pleased with how the back looks but I can’t decide whether to add some embroidery to one of the pockets, maybe some blue circles to match the fabric on the front?

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A few nights ago while watching tv I had the urge to make a little something so I grabbed my embroidery threads and got googling. I eventually came across this great tutorial for making Friendship bracelets. How cute is this?!

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I’d forgotten how much I love making them, so expect to see a few more soon.

Before I go I forgot to share with you my finished EPP cushion I shared with you a few weeks ago. I ended up backing it with a green Summersville print and adding a dark pink binding to finish off. It now has pride of place on the sofa :)

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Not Much Making But A Bit Of Buying

On the making front this week has been quiet, the only finish I have to share with you is my Chunky Infinity Scarf I started a few weeks ago. Originally I had intended for it to have a hood but because I went with a ribbed effect the scarf was crazy thick and swallowed up the yarn pretty fast (I ended up using just short of 400g of chunky yarn). The ribbing makes it so snug and warm plus the yarn is super soft, I just don’t want to take it off! I made it long so I have the option of wearing it loosely (like in the photos) or wrapping it round once more when it’s really cold.

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It’s been really difficult to get a decent photo of my scarf thanks to the torrential rain we’re having right now but Monster no1 gave me a hand this morning on the school run. I think he did a pretty good job! Monster no2 also wanted to have a go, here is his shot.

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Do you think he’s trying to tell me he doesn’t like my hat?

I might not have done much sewing this week but I have been busy. My mum came to stay for a few days so we took a trip to Eternal Maker, I picked up these Kokka beauties. The Rhino print is for a tablet case the hubby has asked me to make and I plan on making a small cross body bag with the cameras.

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I’m also in the planning stages of a project I’ll share with you soon. I popped to Dunelm Mill and found some PVC coated cotton which is going to be perfect for it.

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Seriously you can’t go wrong with owls.

Midweek WIP’s (Almost)

I know I’m a day late but yesterday just kinda got away from me. I had to do grown up stuff like housework and cooking Yuk! Anyway I’m here now although I haven’t got too much to share this week. We spent the weekend out walking with friends as the weather was finally dry enough so I didn’t get much sewing time.

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It was so nice to be outside without getting soaked, letting the monsters explore the local woods, although we were all pretty muddy by the time we got to the pub for a cheeky pint!

The boys both wanted new scarves for the weekend adventures so they each chose some yarn and I got to work with my crochet hook. I opted for a simple stripey cowl. I can honestly say I had no influence on the colour choices.

Monster no1 chose quite mellow colours but brightened it up with the red which I really liked. Then there’s monster no2s scarf, I’ve called this the German Custard Cowl. It really reminds me of Birds custard and the German flag! I think their colour choices really show how different their personalities are.

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I managed to finish one other small project this week, the little embroidery for my sewing room. I think it sums me up perfectly :)

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