happy unbirthday Debbie Rose!

What with crafting for birth of Baby Viking last year, followed by xmas, which was then followed by invitations to 2 weddings for 2019, I wasn’t able to find the time to keep up my “unbirthday” scheme.  In fact, it’s been way too long since any unbirthday gifts were made & posted . . . so time to try and get back into the routine!

For July, I sent a little something to DebbieRose.


A little cross stitched card (design by Helz Cuppleditch and published in Cross Stitch Crazy) and a cross stitch kit.  “Quilting Angel” by Jim Shore.

DebbieRose does many needlecrafts, including patchwork and cross stitch . . . so hopefully, this lovely design will be right up her street!


39°C in the shade

It’s 39°C in the shade in this corner of France today (that’s 102°F) and I’m melting.  I realise some of my readers, especially those in Australia & the US are used to extreme heat, but most homes in France aren’t equipped to deal with such hot weather.  We don’t have aircon, and all we can do is keep shutters & windows closed to try and keep the heat out . . . but even then it’s 28°C indoors (84°F).  Anyway, not much we can do.   Weather forecaster is promising some cooler weather as we get closer to the weekend.  I do hope he’s right!  In the meantime, I’ve been mooching around indoors and honestly not feeling up to doing much. 

Luckily, I have some sewing to share with you, of something I made before this second bout of heatwave.  


Lookee here!  I splashed out on some stretch jersey fabrics (cotton & elasthane) and, drafted my own pattern from a pair of 3/4 length leggings that fit me.  I deliberately went for stripes . . . horizontal stripes, because they remind me of the seaside and old fashioned swimming costumes . . . and I’ve decided that stripes can look fun with anything!


So, here I am, and yes, I do go out looking like this . . . in my red & white stripey leggings, complete with yellow shoes AND red ankle socks lol.

legging green

And then in my green & white pair, standing in the shade of our local church wearing my green shoes, no ankle socks. 

I wish I could say they’re lovely & cool, but they’re not.  However they are lovely & stretchy and I am really quite excited to have overcome my fear of stretch fabrics.  

SAL “Bag Ladies” #14

This is the photo I posted last time

Bag Ladies 30 06

of the project “Bag Ladies” that I’ve been working on since September last year.  I’m pleased to say, I made a fair bit of progress this time.

bag ladies 21 07 01

As you can see, I completed the back end of that very curious tabby cat who seems to have found something interesting in the blue carrier bag.  I also added backstitch details to that area, including to the Siamese type cat, peeking over the top of the brown bag . . . and even began work on a new pair of ears.

bag ladies 21 07

Let’s do some blog-hopping and see what other SAL members have been up to.

AvisGun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

And we’ll be back again on 11th August with our next update!

ScrapHappy # July (beware contains photos of dolls).

It’s 15th of the month, time to link up with Kate and Gun and share a ScrapHappy post!

Followers may remember some past clothes-making projects . . . which always provide many scraps for future projects.

Way back in June 2016 I made myself a wrap-around skirt


which left me with lots of scraps.  And in April of this year, I made a shirt

shirt 05

which also left me with scraps.

Both lots of fabric scraps called out to me when I saw a free pattern by Antique Lilac, to make doll dresses.  And since I had only recently unboxed some of my BJD dolls . . . it seemed like the ideal occasion to use a few scraps.  I had said I’d try and keep my doll hobby separate from this blog, and recently started a new blog especially for my dolls: Claire’s Collections.  But since today we’re talking about scraps . . . I’m afraid you have to put up with spooky dolls photos in order to appreciate the sewing.


Hence . . . one pretty summer dress in pink floral for Erin and one in more autumn shades for Kyra.

Erin, on the left, is approx 43cm tall but has quite a large bust. Kyra, on the right, is approx 45cm tall but has a very narrow torso and wide hips.  I therefore made alterations to the bodice part, as well as making a longer skirt for the pink floral.  Dolls look the same height in photos because Erin has proper BJD shoes with quite a thick sole & heel.


Whereas Kyra is wearing a pair of lace-up ankle boots I made, in the same fabric as her dress!  Found a tutorial for that here:  Sneakers.

summer sewing with a smile (McCall’s M7458)


I bought a few more clothes making patterns recently, with our grand daughter, aka Baby Viking, in mind.  She’s 10 months old now and getting about on the floor as well as pulling herself up on furniture and trying to take a few steps.  So, with this pattern, McCall’s M7458, I decided to make view A (the short bodied tunic top) and view E, the 3/4 length leggings.  That way, her little knees will be protected, and the skirt part of tunic shouldn’t be too long that she’ll get her knees caught up in it while crawling about.

The leggings were ever so quick & easy to make and I made a fine job of them, even if I do say so myself.  Made in a lovely orange stretch cotton.

smiley 03

I invested in a special “twin stretch fabric” needle which was absolutely brilliant for giving a really professional finish to the top stitching on hems and waist band.

And for the tunic top . . . a minor pattern alteration.

smiley 02

I made a sleeveless tunic, and used a minty green bias binding to finish neck & armholes.  The reason I went for sleeveless wasn’t laziness, nor fear of sleeves (since I have now mastered that technique) . . . it was simply that I wanted to use this smiley print fabric, and I only had a FQ which was just enough to cut pattern pieces for the bodice front, backs & skirt, but not enough for sleeves.

And here is Baby Viking, modelling the tunic.  I’ve cropped the photo to respect family privacy, but that happy grin says it all really.


best layer of the month # June

It’s time to do a tot up of eggs laid in June!  I missed my monthly egg post in May since we were away from home for a week (attending sister’s wedding) and a neighbour kindly looked after the hens for us, so I wasn’t able to keep a check on eggs laid.  Anyway . . .


the hens have been moved out to the orchard now, in the shade of the apple trees.  Despite the shade these afford, hens don’t like the hot weather and I was expecting egg count to fall drastically.  Surprisingly, it didn’t.  Total egg count this month was 68.  Mauricette laying 21 of her very large eggs.  Miss Moneypenny (despite getting on for 5 years old now) valliantly laying 22 this month.  But it was our white Sussex hen, Miss Plumpton who wins best layer of June, with 25 eggs.

SAL update # Bag Ladies #13

I’m afraid to say it’s simply been far too hot in this part of France for much crafting.  So any hopes I had of having decent progress to show were completely frazzled, rather like myself, with the current heatwave.

Last time I was here

Bag Ladies 09 06 01

and the only progress made is this

Bag Ladies 30 06

Let’s see if other SAL members made better progress.

AvisGun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

And here’s hoping I have more to show on our next update which will be on 21st July.