Archive for February, 2011

February 28, 2011


Some time back in the 90s I used to buy Boden for the boys and the things I bought lasted for literally generations: I have friends whose younger children are wearing clothes that El Famosisimo wore more than a decade ago. I haven’t bought anything from Johnnie for yonks but he still sends me his little catalogues accompanied by small inducements to buy stuff which is no longer the kind of thing I want to spend a tenner on (for the girls) or the best part of a a hundred pounds on for me.

Previous catalogues had been consigned to the recycling bin but this season’s has been pored over by my little consumers and someone said that they absolutely must have a paddling skirt. Miss Froo is of the mind that most skirts need to be long-ish so any skirt that is short-ish will be useful for paddling in at the beach with Grandma as it won’t get too wet.

The paddling skirt she had in mind was £20 and stripy. I have stripy fabric in the form of a very 80s blue velour dress which has already been plundered for its easily usable fabric but which still has a bodice bit with sleeves. And more sripes in a polo shirt gifted by a formerly larger friend who has now lost weight and is passing on his ‘fat clothes’ to poor Mr G. The suits are welcome but the shirts aren’t so I am trying to rid them of the whiff of very manly 1980s aftershave and refashion them.

This was easy sewing and I have saved myself £40 in skirts and more in p+p.

This is kind of before and after together, what can I do with the sleeves?

Before (squished up to get it in the frame)

After, using the original hem with a pocket as requested by Miss Amoo to keep money in for when she has to go and buy an ice cream or something without me.

Sometimes they aren’t too pleased with the things I sew for them and it takes a while for the love to hit. These were love at first sight!

Did you notice some coins on the table around the money eaters in the previous post? When I tried to clear and clean the table last night I found that they were stuck down. Miss Froo was most dis-chuffed this morning!

ETA I sewed the waistbands of the skirts using this method sewing the elastic to the waistband rather than making a casing. I usually see this done with an overlocker but it works fine with either a simple or three step zig zag on my machine.

February 25, 2011

Quite busy

Sorry about yesterday’s miserable nimby-ism. I needed to make a note of it somewhere but today I’ve given myself a poke in the eye and have some better things to share.

We bought Miss Amoo some Hama beads for her birthday and there has been Hama-ing on a daily basis here since last week on their own and with friends so it seems that new beads are required. Who knew that 3000 beads might not be enough? Another crafty gift from a friend which has had a lot of table time this week was a paint your own Money Monster so we have been in between paint and tiny weeny beads which is a bit messy.

So we have been out in search of more beads and after visiting our two favourite shops and a toy shop we came home with some good finds.

More beads

Stripy cotton jersey fabric from the remnant rail for a nightie for Miss Froo whose current hand me down is giving her a heat rash at night (what is it with my kids and nightwear at the moment?) and a useful little ruler cutter with its own little mat from the charity shop for only 75p!

The friendly man was behind the till at the charity shop again today and wished Miss Amoo happy birthday plus a week (he has a good memory) but the ladies in the fabric shop were a bit fraught after having to tidy up after a day’s worth of kids faffing with everything they could lay their (reportedly) grubby hands on. In WHSmith we overheard a couple of mummies complaining that they couldn’t wait til Monday to get the little terrors back to school and how stressful the week had been. Then we heard the same kind thing in the precinct combined with people arguing with their children.

Before the holiday I heard people talking about children being absolutely exhausted and really needing the half term break to come sooner. Now half the population seems to be unhappy that they have half term at all. Has no-one put two and two together and thought that perhaps shutting the little people away from society five days a week, forty odd weeks a year doesn’t actually get them used to society or allow society to get used to them? Or that having to sit still for several hours a day and do things you aren’t interested in for six weeks or so might not be the best lead in to a happy relaxing break?

The world has gone mad.

February 24, 2011

My Gap

My gap is going.

The one that let me see this yesterday while I was standing at my sink for half an hour washing up and listening to El Famosisimo chatting to a friend in the kitchen over a cup of coffee

Then today when we got home from town the light looked like this

I love this view but it will soon be gone as our neighbours have got planning permission to build a 2 storey extension to the left of their house which will block out the view of the trees and leave my view on a day like today looking like this:

I’ve tried to explain why this gap is important to me before and I feel that I must be the only person who can see this ever changing view and values it. No person in any other house in our close is able to see the sun set like I do through these trees and perhaps no-one else really cares whether they sky looks this way or that but I DO. Appreciating what is around us is so simple yet so easy to forget.

On this occasion no amount of ranting in my head (they have one tiny child and three bedrooms – do they realllly need four bedrooms and three toilets??!???) or letter writing to Planning People has made any difference and I am now resigned to collecting pictures of this view until it is blocked and my gap is lost.

February 22, 2011


On Sunday the girls and Mr Green went off to his sister’s house to hang out with his family which left the boys and I at home in a shockingly quiet and peaceful house.

I had planned to get some sewing done and perhaps clear the bedroom floor and hoover it but I ended up watching sewing and not doing any myself. J was getting ready for a school trip on Monday and whilst packing a very small bag, we realised that he doesn’t own any pyjamas that fit him. As he is now the same size as El Famosisimo I got out his pyjama trouser template and we got cutting.

This was a pair of cotton trousers that he wore until they split at the seams and I replicated them for him from an old cotton dressing gown of my dad’s. This is the original trouser leg (front and back) complete with ink stains but without a waistband.

J cut his trousers from some light-ish printed cotton a friend gave me about two years ago that I can’t see myself wearing as it is either a bit formal or a bit goth for me. There is enough left over for his brother to sew his own pair too but I’ll need to wash it a few more times to soften it up for him!

All I did was sew the hems and the waistband. He did all the cutting, pinning, sewing seams and threading the elastic for the waist.

Ta da!

So that job was done, he went back to the ‘puter and I went out for a walk. I’ve got a Sunday 4 miler which goes along the River Thames, through the oldest bits of town, along the River Ock then back through two parks and a bit of road walking.

I came home for a cup of tea and set about the bedroom floor and got the hoover over it. It was so nice to go to bed without slipping on a Doctor Who magazine or stepping over the aftermath of a jumble sale scrum.

I did do a bit of sewing later in the evening as I started on a muslin for the vintage top pattern I posted about the other day. I got the mitre at the bottom hem looking lovely and the back darts too but this is a vintage size 12 and I think I need to add a bit of ease at the hips…. or eat less cake! I’ll post a pic when I’ve messed about with the fit a bit more.

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