Summer is coming (so she said)

This blog isn’t about sewing and it’s not about my business.  It is about awesome creativity though, just not mine ūüôā

A few weeks ago I decided I needed to try something new. It’s not that I’m not busy, or even creatively stretched, it’s just nice to do something because you can.  And just as I was toying with a beginners crochet book I saw this…..

Yeah, I know probably not the best choice for a first project, but isn’t it lovely.  A normal person would probably have put it in the file marked ‘for when I have some experience’. Nope never claimed to be normal!  This is the kit unboxed (please note sugar fix which was immediately hidden from the kids)

This is from a local craft business called Rhapsodye Yarns.  And what you get is an exclusive, hand made (dyed) product from someone who cares.  Customer service is friendly and thoughtful.  What’s not to love.

But the crunch really was could I make the scarf 🙊  First good news I could understand the pattern, thank you Emily.  So after a couple of goes at my starter chain I was off.  And in my usual fashion I took pictures to show (bore) my friends and family with.  Tadaaaaa


Just love the bright clear colours 💛  And although it has taken me a few weeks I have now finished and I am so very very happy.  I’m in Sunday mode and no-one deserves to suffer that so I got the kids to model it ūüėČ


Once you’ve finished marvelling at the brilliance of the lady who not only dyed the yarn but also designed the pattern.  Why not have a look at her Facebook page and Etsy shop.

PS I was a little worried I’d run out…

Bag full of Pockets.

I recently ran a workshop to make a beach bag and as usual I did a trial make.  You may have seen the result in another blog post, here it is in case you didn’t. 

I was a little surprised at the size, but then who wants a small beach bag!  Still I had pictured a smaller more tote sized bag and now I wanted one 😮
There was only one thing for it, scale the pattern and make another bag.  There were a couple of other design features I wanted to change on it too.  So here it is a smaller tote sized bag with grown in handles matching the fabric.

Can’t see the pockets?  Ah that’s because I made it reversible in case you want to keep your pockets to yourself ūüėČ

Two bags for the price if one, definitely a keeper.  Dot has temporary custody but not for long (and only because she still misses the Prom dress)

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 ūüôā

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 ūüėČ

Welcome Serge and Dorothy

Well it’s been quite an exciting week on the retail therapy front.¬† Of course I can argue I needed some new toys tools but I’ve managed so far.

But some things just go quicker and look better if you have the right equipment.  Enter a brand new Overlocker and a new Dressmaking Dummy.  So this is Serge:


He’s very clever and just a bit scary.¬† I am a terrible collector of geeky facts (inherited trait I think, thanks pops) so I was strangely happy to find that an alternative name for overlocking is Serging. Enter my other inherited trait, dreadful puns (again thanks pops) and a sewing machine named Serge.¬† I have spent a happy couple of hours¬†learning to use him.¬† And here’s what he can do…..

The other new member of the family is Dorothy, Dot for short (see if you can guess why).


She’s just gorgeous and has 13 adjustments making her extremely flexible something I am sure will come in very handy.¬† Unfortunately this means Jenny is entering retirement.¬† Bless her she’s got a dislocated shoulder and just doesn’t move properly anymore. But she’s been with me for over 25 years (yup I know she’s aged better than me) and I am a little sad.¬† It’s not too bad though Emma has offered to rehome her and who wouldn’t want to wear a wedding dress every day.¬† I know Emma would!¬† Yeah OK me too just prove I still fit in it ūüôā

I look forward to showing you what I can create with these fantastic investments, stay tuned.

Summer’s on it’s way

Or more importantly our holiday!  Today I started making summer dresses for the girls for our trip in May.  Saturdays with small children are a bit hectic so quite pleased to have finished this today after swimming (Crazy Ginger) and while juggling laundry and meal times.

The dress itself is a pretty cotton floral print, it’s a pull on design with a two tier gathered skirt.¬† Lots of room for active children and nice and cool for hot days.