This week I’ve gone and gotten a little bit wartime on myself (that sounds like a dodgy euphemism).

As I have previously mentioned I am not buying any new clothes this year, I am allowed to buy second hand and vintage and I’m allowed to make my clothes, the problem with this being that I’m too poor to buy vintage clothes and whilst I’m a pretty good sewer I’m certainly not good enough to furnish an entire wardrobe. So I decided to set myself a challenge – I would make a shirt! A shirt without sleeves (there is such a thing as too much of a challenge)! However, this being the first shirt I’d ever made and my patience levels being naturally quite low, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on nice fabric when it could all potentially end up in an oddly attached mess and/or covered in my tears.

This is where the wartime bit comes in, I bought an old bed sheet from a charity shop for £2 in lew of expensive fabric and lo, I did make a shirt!

Recycle a bedsheet into a shirt

How to make a shirt from a bedsheet #FashionFriday

That’s me with Vera by the way, she’s my new bestie.

Recycled bedsheet into a shirt #FashionFridays

Also I have enough bed sheet left to make a dress! And I found a really lovely pattern that was only 75p in a bargain box because it didn’t have an envelope – not altogether sure what the finished product will look like but I’m sure as going to have fun finding out!

It also means that with all included, interfacing and buttons and things, I think I’ve probably managed to get myself a new shirt and matching dress for about £10. I’m really enjoying this whole No New thing!

Make your own shirt

Moral of the story: less money on clothes, more money on fizz. Ooooh yeeeeeh.


…got shamelessly self-promotional.

So in a previous blog I mentioned that I’d started making clothes with my trusty teenage sewing machine. The clothing thing is still going pretty well and with Christmas on the Horizon and with my newly acquired unemployment status I turned once again to my trusty sewing machine to furnish my loved ones with lovingly homemade, handmade gifts. Which gave me an idea. What if I tried to sell them to people who I don’t love? (I will of course love these people if they buy my wares, in fact when the first one goes I’m hoping its to a person in lands foreign because otherwise I’m going to have to strongly resist the urge to go to their house and kiss them on the lips.) So in the name of shameless self-promotion I thought I’d write a blog post about it – with of course helpful links to the selling items…

I came across some really beautifully Christmasy fabrics in an Aladdin’s Cave of a fabric shop in Cardiff but being the tight-fisted, or more pleasingly termed thrifty (lovely word) gal that I am, I’m not too keen on things that can only be used at Christmas; spending money on something you’re only going to use for one month of the 12 that are on offer seems a little silly. So when I found the below fabric I thought it simply perfect for Christmas as well as the rest of the year or indeed any pending nuptials that are on the horizon of 2015.

shabby chic hearts and lace table runner, perfect for weddings

shabby chic hearts and lace table runner, perfect for weddings

So I made a few table runners and they turned out really well but I couldn’t for the life of me find the right beaded, tasselly nonsense to stick on the pointy bits until my mum said, “why don’t you use lace?” – genius.

shabby chic hearts and lace table runner, perfect for weddings

And thus this rather festive yet romantic shabby chic (when I proof read this I realised that auto-correct had changed that to chubby chic – just had to share that with you) number was born…

shabby chic hearts and lace table runner, perfect for weddings and Christmas

shabby chic hearts and lace table runner, perfect for weddings

Handmade shabby chic hearts and lace table runner, perfect for weddings and Christmas

You should probably buy one – in fact you can do so here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/214917034/a-beautiful-handmade-hearts-and-lace? Convenient.

But if hearts and Christmas aren’t your thing I have another option going on as well…

Handmade shabby chic polka dots and lace table runner, perfect for weddings

Handmade shabby chic polka dots and lace table runner, perfect for weddings

IMG_1657Handmade shabby chic polka dots and lace table runner, perfect for weddings

I think you should probably buy this one too, buy it here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/214922338/a-beautiful-handmade-shabby-chic-blue? Equally as convenient.

Of course anything can be made to order; if you need something to match a pair of curtains, or your plates, or the colour of your eyes, or whatever, just get in touch and I’ll see what I can do.

Other designs on the horizon are: too sparkly to resist…

Handmade sparkly table runner, perfect for weddings and Christmas

…and über nautical:

Handmade nautical table runner

Lengthy advertisement over… well not quite – if none of this is quite wooly enough for you then I’m right there with you, stay tuned for the next Arts and Crafts blog which will involve knitted hats, tea cosies and egg cosies (such a thing does exist – and they’re really quite cute)! If you think tea cosies are boring and only for old ladies, then quite clearly you’ve never seen a sparkly tea cosy…

Dress up…

…on a whole new level.

So I did a little bit of sewing at a teenager and enjoyed it so my mama kindly bought me a sewing machine, but then being a teenager got in the way (it’s a full-time commitment) and the sewing machine was left desolate. However, in reading some of my #FridayFashions blog post you may have noticed that I’ve had a life long habit of dressing up and I recently realised that instead of trawling through shops to find clothes I could adapt into costumes it would be so much easier if I was actually making the clothes!

So I dusted off my trusty sewing machine, bought myself a simple pattern and set to work. It’s been going pretty well and I’m having the best time working on my home-made clothes and costumes. So here’s a taster of what I’ve been making so far…and what’s still to come!

Starting the sewing process

The sewing process

The finished product!
Day time flapper
Deck chair top!
The deck chair top

Sew your own top

Make your own top
Bit of red zip back detail

Still to come

As you can see whilst my first few projects have been moderately successful I have plenty more to be getting stuck into, including my Elizabeth Montgomery Bewitched 1950s nightie, my 1940s Land Girl outfit, my Kick-Arse Lady Pirate Captain costume and some tweedy fabric winter dresses!

Crack on!


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Stepping Stones Engagement Photo


See the post that this poem relates to here.

Let there be romance!

I don’t claim to be a particularly crafty person, but I do like partaking in numerous crafty past-times, this usually results in freakishly long scarves, very mishapen knitted vests, hundreds of multi-coloured tea cosies and a few unfinished cross stitches. However, this time I was quite pleased with the outcome of my artistic boredom so thought I’d blog about it.

I love candles! I light candles every night, they can make any room look better and I find the light they project very soothing. Although I loath to tear pages out of books, I took a book I recently read, that I had found really quite boring and tore out some pages at the back that had nothing to do with the story so though it wouldn’t be too bad to recycle them to a better use.

I started with an old glass candle-holder (a gift to Christopher that we had never really used), the pages from the book, some normal clear clue (I was going for a matte effect, but if you’d like something shiny I’d suggest craft glue) and yes, Arlene Phillips’ face (a Hello magazine to stop my fire place getting gluey).

Christmas CandlesArts and Crafts!

I then covered the glass with glue and wrapped the page around it, folding it in over the top and folding it flat across the bottom. I then proceeded to paste glue over the page to ensure it’s sticking and to protect it against knocks and bangs. I applied much glue to the bottom of the glass to ensure the folds stick down flat and the glass stands properly. It took a good day for the glue to dry but once it had I applied another coat to achieve a hardened affect on the paper. I then waited for all to dry, tied a lace ribbon I found in my sewing box around it (for extra pretty) and popped a tea light inside.

Light of Words

I wanted to achieve a more rustic look with the next one so I used a honey jar and some velvet ribbon.

Romantic lighting

These candle holders are easy to do and would make lovely gifts, table decorations or wedding decorations. They’re also a pleasing way to spend unemployment! Let me know what you think…

Romantic candle holders