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City Gym Shorts

6 August 2014

More ‘shorts on the line’!


For my younger daughter I made ‘City Gym Shorts’, you can find the tutorial here. DSC03347

I made them in a purple cotton fabric I had knocking around and trimmed them with a lovely liberty print. My daughter chose. The pattern is really well written and so simple to follow, it would be a great project for a beginner, but also fun and satisfying for more experienced sewers looking for some great looking practical shorts for their kids.


I made two tiny changes, I made them slightly longer (only about half an inch) and added a back pocket.


My daughters need pockets!


They are comfortable and easy to move about in. She likes them – phew!


Ottobre Minnie Mouse shorts

3 August 2014

Some new shorts – and just in time for shorts on the line!


I made these shorts from the latest Ottobre magazine (Summer 2014) for my 8 year old daughter.

They are made in cotton with some stretch and the fit needs to be tight so they stay up! My daughter likes them but is not sure if they are too short. They are quite short.


It was my first fly zipper! The instructions were quite good but I wasn’t sure what I was doing till it was finished (sort of like a magic trick!). There are lots of nice details.


I like the double lines of top stitching, and all the pockets are great.


I’m not sure whether to try and add a bit to the bottom to make them longer for her but maybe we just need to wait for some really hot weather?

I can recommend the pattern to anyone who’s kids like short shorts and make sure you make them in a fabric with stretch.

52 weeks in Nature Lammas

1 August 2014

I’ve lost track, is it week 31?

This week is the old festival of Lammas which is the fruit harvest. Fittingly I have been harvesting fruit!


I’ve picked my first blackberries of the season.


And our plum tree has a magnificent harvest this year – the best ever (usually it has 2 or 3 plums!)

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There is something magical about growing your own fruit. I have made a plum chutney already, using a recipe from the wonderful book ‘Festivals, Families and Food‘ which I cannot recommend enough.


Away from fruit, I noted lots of beautiful fluffy downy feathers dotted around our lawn.


And I spotted some young blue tits hopping up and down a tree, mostly hidden by the vines growing up it, eating the insects on the trunk. Couldn’t photograph this but it was a wonderful thing to see.



Uninteresting sewing

30 July 2014

This blog was originally created as a sewing blog but there hasn’t been much sewing on here recently!

Life gets so busy and, to be honest, not all sewing projects deserve blog space. They may be stuff you have made before, they may have not turned out quite right or you just haven’t got much to say about them.


This is true of my two most recent projects, but to prove there is some sewing going on, here they are.


My new skirt, made with from an old adapted pattern (Vogue 9148) with some olive green Linen from here and a bit of lace on the pocket. Practical.

Then there’s my new African top.


Made from a bit of fabric someone brought on holiday that only just stretched to make this top from pattern Simplicity 8523.


Here’s to all those slightly boring but practical sewing projects that don’t set the world on fire but need to get made!

I am working on some more interesting Ottobre shorts for my daughter and will blog soon. My first ever Fly fastening..


Rush Mat

27 July 2014


I’m feeling really good about this little mat that I made out of rushes growing by my local stream. It feels quite empowering to me to be able to make something useful from start to finish and with no money involved at any stage. It is beautifully textured and even smells wonderful (subtle seaweed aroma).


If anyone is interested in making one, here are the simple steps I followed.


Cut the rushes growing at the side of the stream – this would be better done from a boat but I don’t have one of those.


Leave them to dry for a couple of weeks. I left them in my garage which is quite draughty, so air would have been circulating, alternatively I have read you can leave in a bundle propped against a hedge.

Spray with water to dampen them and leave overnight to ‘mature’.

Plat them together, then spiral the plat around, sewing with strong thread as you go along.


Simple and satisfying.