ScrapHappy – if the hat fits . . . (and unbirthday in July)

I’m linking up with Kate and Gun, the two ladies who organise ScrapHappy, which is a once a month post (always on 15th) to encourage us crafters to make use of our scraps.

Earlier this month, I showed you a couple of sewing projects, where I was having some trial and error with tunic sewing.  I did end up with 2 completely wearable tunics, it’s just that one of them is too big for me.

Anyway . . . whoever does clothes making knows that you always end up with a fair amount of fabric scraps (or is it just me?).  I’ll probably use some of my leftover tunic fabric for patchworking, but I was still on a roll with sewing patterns, so wanted to see if I could actually make something else out of my grey floral fabric.  And found the perfect project!


I made a baby’s sun hat!  NewLook # 6274.

hat 02

Another learning curve for me . . . who’d have thought I’d be trying my hand at making a hat one day?   With the hot summer here, and 9 month old little girl just opposite, soon to be going to Corsica for the summer holidays, I decided to make and gift the hat as an un-birthday present for July.

I had asked the Mum beforehand for baby’s head measurement which corresponded perfectly to the pattern size M.  And it fits!

Mona hat 01

Hmmmm . . . little neighbour isn’t quite sure if it matches her pink PJs.

Mona hat 02

She’s not even sure you’re supposed to wear a hat when you’re almost ready for bed.

I’ll definitely be making a few more baby hats in future!

Linking up also to other crafters who regularly join in with ScrapHappy.

Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne,Jon,Hayley and Dawn


SAL update : “Getting Ready” #14

I’ve been lazing around, with my feet up, and stitching in the evening, making quite good progress on “Getting Ready”, a kit by Design Works from artwork by Ronald West.

Last time I was here

GR 17 06 18

And this time, I’m here.

GR 08 07

I’ve been concentrating on this area

GR zoom 08 07

also adding some backstitch a little bit here and there.  There’s still a fair bit of fabric to cover in order to fill in that bottom left hand corner, but that’s where I’ll be concentrating on for next time.

Now I’m off to see what progress other SAL members have made since 17th June.  We welcome Catherine back to the group after a short absence.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina,

Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Mary Margaret,

Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Tony, Megan, Timothy, Catherine

Our next update will be on 29th July. 

what’s afoot?

Whether you’re interested or not, I come with photos of feet, shoes and a quick update on my foot.  You’ll remember (for those who read my non-crafting posts) I discovered, in March this year that I have “abnormal” feet, with the metatarse being too long.  Something I had never suspected, since I’ve only ever walked with this pair of feet, and didn’t realise other peoples’ feet were different.  Anyway, with age, feet were beginning to cause pain and the only option was to operate. So on 13th April, surgeon literally shortened the metatarse of my 3 middle toes. 

Today I had my 12 week post-op visit. Surgeon was very pleased with his handiwork. 

foot 05 07

Okay, so it’s a foot, and not a very lady-like foot at that BUT scar is pretty, toes are all very mathematically aligned (seriously, I measured on the x-ray and I now have mathematical toes with the new toes measuring 12cm, 11cm and 10cm respectively from a certain joint!).  Surgeon is therefore very pleased, and said he could not have hoped for a better result. 

Problem is, though . . .


it’s still very swollen and looks extremely podgy compared to the other foot.  So . . . the clumpy post-op shoes I was wearing, which looked like this


have now been replaced by a pair of medical shoes which look like this

medical shoe

A big improvement, but still, not the best footwear for the summer when I’d love to be wearing sandals. 

Anyway, before the op, surgeon had filled me in on what to expect with convalescence, so I knew beforehand that it was going to be a long healing process.  However he didn’t explain exactly how long it would be.  I learned this morning that, while op results are excellent, I am going to need to be fitted for orthopedic insoles and foot could take as long as 12 months before it gets back to normal size. 

Which then brought us to the subject of my left foot . . . and had I made a decision as to when I want to schedule op for that?  Surgeon was all for “not leaving it too long” whereas I had been hoping to postpone it until next year.  However, realising I’ll have to continue wearing medical shoes for a full 12 months, just for the right foot, it would mean wearing medical shoes well into 2020, for the left foot, if I procrastinate.  I’m not someone who has shelves and shelves of glamourous shoes . . . I usually just alternate between a couple of pairs . . . but it would be nice to be able to wear my normal shoes again one day.  Preferably before 2020.

So . . . I have to go back for another check-up early October and we’ve all but agreed that the second op will be scheduled for late October/early November.  Husband said he’s happy to wait on me hand & foot again for the initial 3 days bed-rest, followed by the 3 weeks when I’ll be lounging around with my feet up.  Something not to look foward to, but since it needs to be done, I might as well get it over and done with.

the more successful tunic

The other day I showed you a photo of the tunic I’d made which turned out way too big.  Although I said you’d never see me wearing it, I am going to show you since a photo is necessary for comparison.  It doesn’t look obvious, because my arms have pushed the fabric in and given it a slight shape, but it really is straight up/straight down. I think you’ll agree, it’s wide over the shoulders (half hiding cat tattoo). Hubby reckons it’s too long as well lol.  Anyway, here it is.  It makes me feel very frumpy, and my snazzy medical shoes (foot is still not back to normal size), while an improvement on the black post-op ones, do nothing to cheer me up either.

tunic 1st

NewLook #6602.

Now, let’s compare to this one.

tunic 2nd version

Same fabric, different pattern (NewLook 6871) yet also cut in a size L

tunic 2nd

This style seems to be a much better fit on me.  The yolk part fits nicely; the gathering on the bodice part work better for me than side darts and it has a more flared shape to it.

second pattern

I could have used two constrasting fabrics (I’ve made the same as the lady in red & white) but deliberately kept to all the same fabric.  The idea being to “test” whether it was the fabric which made the first tunic not quite right for me, the size or pattern style.

tunic comparison

Now I’ve decided the fabric isn’t the culprit (because I think this soft grey floral rather suits me –matches my hair colour) . . . I am seriously toying with the idea of re-making the first pattern but in a size M and a few inches shorter.  If I do, it will be in a totally different fabric.  I am not going to try and alter the first one despite several suggestions from fellow sewists.  I enjoy making things.  I don’t enjoy taking them to pieces to try and problem-solve.

Anyhoot . . . I was rather pleased to see that I managed to get two tunics out of my grey floral print.  I had bought a large 3m piece for only 10€ which makes for a very reasonably priced tunic.  Still have some scraps left over, as is often the way, when clothes making, but they won’t go to waste.  In fact, I’m already busily working on a new project which I will be able to show you on 15th, when it’s time to link to ScrapHappy!

what to do?

I was all fired up to do some clothes making the other day, after my SIL came round for the afternoon, needing my help to pin & cut a pattern for her, since she wants to try a simple project.  I helped her with her pattern, and off she went home to sew.  She’ll give me a shout if she needs a hand along the way.  This gave me the incentive I needed, the following day, to pull out one of my own patterns


NewLook 6602.

The Plan being to make myself a summer tunic like in view C in a grey/beige floral fabric, and then to make a pair of beige cotton trousers. Seeing the lady in white, I thought my colour combo would look just as sleek and sophisticated, but more practical than white.  And thought it looked a bit “dressier” than what I usually wear.  Now, the BIG mistake I made is, I didn’t bother asking husband to measure me up properly, across shoulders etc, and all I did was measure my bust.  That told me I needed to make a size L (which wasn’t much of a surprise as I’ve put on a bit of weight in recent months).  Problem is: even if I’ve put on extra padding in all the soft parts, my shoulders are no broader than before which should have alerted me, and made me use a size M, making adjustments where necessary for boobs. But I didn’t.

I was rather proud of myself, because I think this is my best sewing effort ever.  It’s just a simple tunic, but there was quite a lot of construction work (for me) with facing.

failed tunic 04

Which I over-locked along the lower edge, so it’s all wonderfully neat.  And then there was the excitement (and some worrying) when I had to work out how to turn things right sides out “through the right shoulder” after sewing on the facing.  I also made a very neat job, even if I do say so myself, of the right shoulder and finished neck & armholes neatly by top stitching all the way around.

failed tunic 03

I even found two lovely buttons in my tin which were in keeping with my grey floral print.  I should have stopped way before I got to the finishing stage though because I already knew this tunic was going to be way too big.  I don’t even need to undo the buttons to put it on!

failed tunic 02

I probably should have tried it on Ivy at an earlier stage too.  I sometimes wonder why I bothered buying myself a new dummy. She just stands around doing nothing all day, as I never think to ask her to help me.

While I am very proud of my sewing . . . the tunic itself looks as awful on me as it does on Ivy. It just hangs, like a bin liner.  Totally shapeless.

failed tunic 01

Well not totally shapeless, since it looks fine on the coat hanger but on me, it looks like one of the pinafores my gran used to wear over her normal clothes, to do the housework.  I can’t decide whether it’s because it’s too big, the style doesn’t suit me, or the fabric is a bad choice.  I usually wear quite low round or V necks.  Nothing too revealing, but I don’t like clothes too high around my neck . . . so why on earth did I even try this pattern in the first place?  I thought it would make a nice change, I suppose lol.

The question now is: what to do?  I really don’t think I have the strength to take it all to pieces and attempt to alter the offending too wide shoulders.  This wouldn’t solve the problem of the higher round neckline anyway.   Do I stick it in the Red Cross clothes bin, in the hopes it’ll be passed on to someone somewhere?  Do I take it to pieces and try to adapt it to a more “me” style?  Or do I just stuff it in a drawer and forget about it?

Other option . . . if anyone reading this actually likes it, I’m happy to post (seriously).  Tunic, measured flat, measures 17” (43cm) across shoulder line;  23” (58cm) across under arms; and length of 30” (77cm). I’m making the same offer on my French blog, so seriously, if anyone likes this tunic and reckons it’ll fit/suit, I’ll post to anywhere.  If more than one person is interested, I’ll pull a name out of a hat.  You have until Friday 6th.

Husband measured me properly, after the event, and I’m only 15″ (38cm) across the shoulders which explains why the tunic is way too big on me, and a 40″ (102cm) bust.  The L size is supposed to be for 40″ – 42″ bust.

best layer of the month # June . . . and then there were three.

A bit of sadness in the coop this month.  From four hens

hens feb

we are now back down to three.

june hens

Who’s missing?  Yup, our lovely red hen, Miranda.  She was suffering from “fly strike”, also known as myiasis, earlier in the month (very gruesome, I’ll let you google if you have a strong stomach).  We did our best to treat her, but to no avail, and we had to make the decision to put her out of her misery.  I say “we”, it was actually the husband who did the deed quickly and efficiently – for which I can never thank him enough.  It would have been inhumane to let her linger.

I really miss not seeing her lovely golden plumage, when hens are all strutting about – she was a lovely hen with a great personality, and in the 3 years she lived here, she laid a total of 726 eggs, so she was en excellent layer too.

Anyway, I’m pleased to say the other gals are all healthy.  Miss Moneypenny has finally got over her broodiness (which seems to affect her every May & June) and is now back out, strutting her stuff.  She’s mainly there just to look pretty these days though, aged 4, we’re not relying on her for our egg supply.

For June, the total egg count was 58 eggs.  1 laid by Miranda before she got “ fly struck”, 3 by Miss Moneypenny, 24 by Mauricette and a staggering 30 by Miss Plumpton, who never seems to take a day off.

june plumpton

Saying that, Mauricette laid a 110g whopper only the other day – no doubt a double-yolker, but I haven’t cracked it open yet.


Anyway, our three gals are enjoying the shade of the apple trees in the orchard.

june hens 02

Temperatures are hot.  35°C today, and forecast says we can expect 37°C tomorrow.

The orchard really is the best place for the hens in the summer months as there’s always a bit of shade.  Apple trees look as if they’ll yield well this year.  I have no idea what varieties we have, but there are two which seem to be cooking apples

june garden 02

And one which gives nice eating apples.

june garden 01

They’re not ripe yet, but if they can all stay nice & healthy-looking like that, we should be in for quite a harvest.

Pear trees aren’t doing so well.  We’ve got 2 in the orchard, and 2 in the veggie patch.  The latter are totally without pear, but in the orchard there are a few (probably about a dozen in total).

june garden 03

The question is: will they ripen, or simply fall off beforehand?

Stained Glass D9P

Our second son, also known here as Daddy Viking, turned 28 on 21st June.  And what better excuse to start slicing and sewing, to make a quilt?  I realised that since I began patchworking, I have made quilts for eldest son, daughter (Lindashee), Mummy Viking, my sister, my eldest French niece and TWO for my youngest French niece . . . not to mention various quilts as gifts for babies, and a few to fling over the sofas here.  But for some reason, I had never got round to making one for my second son!

I did ask him a while back what colours he would choose, should I find the time.  And he came back with “orange, green, purple and black”.  A son after my own heart!

So . . . a quick delve into my fabric stash revealed a good choice of the above colours, since the first three are my all-time favourites.  And I set to work.

D9P 02

Cutting 5” squares and assembling to make D9P (disappearing nine patches).

D9P 03

Two afternoons of sewing later, and adding a 1” black band, to give me 1/2” width of sashing and I almost had a quilt top.

Followed by a further 2 afternoons during which I added an outer border before quilting.  And another 2 afternoons to sew on the binding (hand-sewing the final seams).

stained glass 9P 01

And voilà!  A lovely vibrant, cheerful quilt, to wish Daddy Viking many happy returns of the day.

stained glass 9P 03

I embroidered “June 2018” in black at one end, so we’ll remember, in years to come, when this quilt was made.

stained glass 9P 04

And “Stained Glass Nine Patch” on the other end – because the narrow black sashing makes blocks pop, and sets them off, rather like stained glass.

stained glass 9P 06

The backing fabric is a solid orange, which also appears in the blocks.  Quilting, in orange thread,  is simple.  I love the patchwork process, but I still find quilting rather daunting and prefer to keep things as simple as possible.

stained glass 9P 05

Finished quilt measures 46” x 59” so it’s a lap quilt, to be slung over the sofa.