In a time long, long ago, another wedding

I have mentioned that it’s thanks to Emma I have rediscovered my joy of sewing and dressmaking in particular.  But now it’s time to share the first set of bridesmaids dresses I made.  Before we go any further it was the eighties, OK, the eighties!

My sister was getting married and she loved me so much she thought she’d share the stress joy of preparing for the day.  I got to make the bridesmaids dresses, just the three thankfully.  And as compensation I would get to wear one of them….

20150521_085810 Imagine it yellow satin, yellow lace, BIG underskirts, puffed sleeves, yup all that plus big bows.  And still the cute (young) cousins managed to pull it off.  Although I think looking at Becca’s face she knew she’d regret the decision 🙂


Cousin It made an appearance in net underskirt with hoop (again it was the EIGHTIES).


I can confirm it was itchy, heavy and just a little over the top but we managed to smile through it.  OK maybe we didn’t.  In fact I am sure Victoria is actually asleep and the dress is holding her up!

I will confess at the time I though the dresses were wonderful and the gloves well they were just so, so, Madonna!  I loved the creative process and the technical challenge of a dipped waist gathered dress (we’re all hiding them with our flowers).  Here we are with the Bride and Groom.  I hope I haven’t traumatised you too much 🙂20150521_084026

Applique Workshop 17th May 2015

Well what a busy day it’s been!  I confess I’m a bit of an organiser so I’ve been “staging” the things for the workshop since about Wednesday.  20150517_083858Still there’s always that last minute “What have I forgotten” moment when I set off.  Whatever it was today, we didn’t need it 🙂

And because I’m uncomfortable being on the last minute by 8:30 my boot looked like this, even though the room was booked from 12:30….


I’d not seen the room before but it worked out pretty well; room to wander round, nearby kettle, lots of tables and chairs.

Because everyone was starting a piece from nothing we spent most of the time making and cutting patterns, choosing fabric and cutting it out.  In fact I don’t think anyone finished a piece except the lovely Kaycee who was chuffed as anything with her cushion cover (no applique).

No one seemed to mind that we’d have to get back together to finish up so I’m pretty happy that they enjoyed themselves and like all good things I’ve left them wanting more!  Here are some pictures of their work so far…..


Trisha’s Triceratops


Hannah’s Diplodocus


Katie’s Moon Fairy


Carole’s Dancing Couple


Pat’s Doggy Duo

Workshop Countdown

The last couple of days have been “organising” days.  The dreaded tax return has featured but then so has the Applique workshop I’m running on Sunday.  I’ve spent some more time making pattern templates which is fun in a geeky kinda way.  So now I have these guys in my collection

IMG-20150506-WA0000Mand Made Dinosaur 2

The dining room is now a staging area for all my fabrics, tools and of course my machine.  But I still felt unprepared and that’s because I haven’t actually proved any of my new patterns work.  Well you guessed it there really is only one way to test that.  So this afternoon has been spent cutting, ironing and sewing.  To produce this little dude….


And while he is very cute he’s also not very functional.  So I spent the rest of my afternoon making him a “friend” and turning the whole lot into a little shopper.


If you’d like to know more about my workshops then please use my feedback form or the comments on this post.

Workshop Preparation

The last two days have been very productive and so much fun.  I’ve been preparing for an Applique Workshop I’m running and I need some basic templates for people who don’t have a particular design in mind.  So meet Moggie, Doggie and Monkey!

Mand Made Cat Mand Made Dog Mand Made Monkey

I’ve sat here at my laptop creating not just the pictures but the patterns as well.  I guess it’s not everyone’s idea of fun but I’m looking forward to creating more.  I’m planning Owls, Dinosaurs and Swaddled Babies but if you have any suggestions you can use the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

And I admit I see monkeys and think of this so I created a more complex picture for those who really want to challenge themselves….

Mand Made Three Monkeys

If you’d be interested in a future workshop please use the feedback/contact form and I’ll let you know when the next one is.

Summer’s on it’s way Pt 2

It’s been a busy week but I really wanted to make Pixie a new summer dress because she’s grown, yay! And now although she’s not quite a three year olds width she’s at least that tall.  Which makes getting patterns to fit much easier.

I used the same basic pattern as Alice’s dress last week but styled differently as the last thing Pixie needs is yards of billowing skirts.  It’s the same top so in addition to gathers I used bias tape to keep the arm’s neat and comfortable.  Must remember to order some more as well as some more elastic.


I chose not to use Serge this time as I’d already cut the fabric using pinking shears (no that’s a real name check it out) and overlocking seemed overkill.  The “pinking” stops the fabric fraying and meant I didn’t need to French seam either.  The dress is poly cotton in purple and pink with a small flower pattern.

Because the Pixie is extremely slim I actually put the waist ties in on this dress.  It’s quite a simple addition but allows her to get in and out of it and then it still looks like it was made for her.  So here she is posing in the early morning sun.  Have a good weekend 😉