Mix and Match PJ’s

I love to see the amazing fabrics and clothes others seem to find in charity shops but the people of Morley must have true Yorkshire thrift as I search but never seem to find anything suitable. We do have a lovely Wilko and when passing the soft furnishing area I can often be found stroking the duvet covers on display. This one especially. Foliage has been a massive influence on fabrics this year and I love them all (especially this one!)

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Whilst ironing tee shirts I decided a plain RTW green tee was no longer suitable for outside wear but would be OK still for nightwear. Ooh that meant I needed some fabric and a whoops a double duvet fell into my shopping basket. This is a reversible duvet, greens on one side that look broken as if over washed and similar pattern on the other side but in a light and darker cream colour. A double duvet is 2m square so plenty of fabric.

Quite a while ago I bought an online class by The Thrifty Stitcher Claire-Louise Hardie I often think I have bad habits and taking a class like this is full of hints and tips. If you don’t know you are doing something wrong, you will just keep on doing it wrong. The class I bought has a pyjama bottom pattern perfect for my duvet. Simple, quick, elastic waist, perfect.

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Tatty tee and new long jimjams

Then we had the heatwave week, or summer as it was called in Yorkshire!!

I am never ready with shorts pj’s for summer or holiday so it seemed a good time to try a pattern with my duvet fabric. My pattern stash included the Reef Camisole & Shorts by Megan Nielsen, perfect for a contrast fabric. What a great pattern. Everything went together so smoothly. The crossover back straps are comfy and don’t fall off your shoulders in the night and the fit has plenty of drape to keep you cool. The hem is curved so I pressed up a narrow hem and used the right inside notch of my standard foot to sew close to the edge, then I trimmed with my duckbilled scissors and pressed up again a narrow hem. Then I used the left inside notch of the standard foot to sew again. It worked really well as you can see in the photos. One seam line on the outside but two lines on the inside. A really neat narrow hem.

The pattern bottoms have 2 choices and I chose the higher rise. They have an elasticated waist and shaped facings along the bottom edge. You sew the shorts then add the facings to enclose the bottom edge by top-stitching. To make sure this didn’t all slip I actually basted. So relaxing and for the short time it took me it meant a smooth, flat result with no puckering.

The gold/yellow thread is the basting thread. I am trying to make things better and finish things off well. Especially as pj’s have a lot of washing/wearing in their lives.

So here they all are and I love them all, even if I have to put the shorts away. Its getting chilly here now on a morning. Must be due another holiday hehe.

In case you are interested, yes I have fabric left, mostly the lighter colour. I have already lined a bag and still have enough left for another pair of either cropped or long leg pj’s. I think I will try wearing them for a while and see how they wash. The scraps will not be put away but totally used.

Thanks for reading,

Happy Sewing K xXx

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Summer Linen

Once again its been a bit mixed weather wise in Yorkshire but we did have a weeks heatwave in July. Lawns and linens are great for the warmer weather and there are some fabulous linens on IG but I am really struggling with the casual/scruffy/unkempt look. Some people can really carry it off though and as I knew I had some fabric in the stash it was time to release it. I had some that was bought on line and although it was gorgeous it wasn’t suitable for what I wanted to make at the time. That’s one advantage of buying local, you can see what you are buying, feel it and know its suitable and only buy the quantity you need.

I had two patterns in mind that both would benefit from a mix of two fabrics so bizarrely with fabric in hand I went to my local fabric shop, Fabrics for All in Leeds. This is my second blog for them, the first being my Free Range Slacks. Armed with my fabric and patterns I went to chat with Sarah about my thoughts on mixing fabrics.

My first choice is the Saltbox Top by Blueprints for Sewing.

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The second is the Style Arc Ethel, this top is very simple with grown on sleeves and all the seams are top stitched. My idea was a centre panel with plain sides.

Ethel Top + Pant Outfit Sewing Pattern Bundle By Style Arc - Elastic waist crop Gaucho pant & new square shaped top

Sarah checked the pattern descriptions for suitable fabrics and then showed me all the different types that would be suitable for this top. She had a gorgeous blue linen in stock but being grey and quite pale complexion it was not for me. Shame as it is a really lovely blue. Once she pulled out this coral/red colour that was it. No point looking further. This was perfect.

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So many colour match choices!

I made the Ethel first, easiest I thought, simple lines, no sleeves, top stitching which I love. No!!!! Really big facings that I had interfaced. This seemed to change the size a little and nothing wanted to fit. I remembered having a conversation with @lovelucie she once told a group of us instead of clipping and notching, just use pinking shears. Perfect, as this also stops fabrics fraying and on interfaced fabric it just relaxes the edge and then things line up better.

I really enjoyed using different feet for this project. Standard, edge and walking foot.

The sides are sewn on and top stitched, then the neck, sleeves and bottom edges have facings. The walking foot definitely helped keep things flat but I really struggled keeping the deep hem facing flat. In the end I ironed the bottom flat, pressed the turn up and attached wonder tape to the inside edge. This is great for holding zips in place as it can be sewn over and washes away. My hem is smooth now and flat as it should be.

1040362[1] When you buy these patterns by pdf you choose a size range.

I bought the one with UK 14 and I am pleased with the relaxed fit. It should be great with shorts when the weather improves!

Pattern cost me £6.23 via Etsy and there was 25% off offer when I bought it.

I have seen one made in white linen that looks amazing. I will definitely make this again.

 

 

 

 

Next I made the Saltbox top in the sleeveless option. Its just a gentle jigsaw puzzle. The lesson here is to sew a seam and press it open or flat. One seam at a time. Something is off as I don’t have a point at the front and one side seam didn’t quite match. When you make the sleeveless version the neck and arms are bias bound. I had some double fold in a suitable pink but the pattern calls for single fold. I tried to be clever and just use what I had and totally spoiled the neck. After sleeping on it I realised I could unpick, clip off half the binding and re sew down. That’s totally my lack of experience. But it worked ok and now its lighter it’s much better.

Yes that is basted down, yes that’s the real basting thread and yes it really helped. Look.

 

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How neat is that. I love it!!

Pattern was £11 and it comes with sleeves too.

So very useful as you can use up small amounts of precious fabrics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tank tester pieces laid out on a 24x30 scrap of fabric.

 

This is a picture from the Blueprints site showing the odd shaped pieces needed.

 

 

 

 

 

The benefit of going to a local shop meant I could take all my pattern pieces and Sarah could place them on the fabric. This means no waste. I have two great tops by using fabric I already had perfectly matched. I couldn’t have made this choice online. Sarah helped me choose the right complementary fabric and only cut the amount needed. This fabric was supplied to me free of charge, the patterns are my own and I chose what I wanted to make.

Thank you Fabrics for All and Congratulations on being Fabric Shop of the Month in Love Sewing.

Happy Sewing K xXx

3 Ladies Waiting (but not for long!)

Hello, nothing for 2 years then twice a month.

I couldn’t resist through sharing these dreamy Lady McElroy fabrics.

When I got back from holiday at the end of May I went to Leeds and found Fabrics for All there I met Neil, Sarah’s husband, and although I had only gone to buy fabric for a Washi dress I was tempted by three.

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Usually I go home, wash them and move onto the next temptation. Is that just me? Now I am determined to make what I buy and enjoy it. No more saving fabrics. I think that comes from when we were little and we had ‘best’ clothes we had to save for special occasions and that meant some were never or hardly worn. Also I work in an office in accounts and when I started I was included in official meetings so always wore formal and dark clothes. Now I am no longer included I am wearing what I want and what gives me most pleasure. Also going grey means I need to wear brighter and warmer colours to avoid disappearing.

So, ramble over, on to the 3 fabrics.

Jersey left, lawn middle and viscose on the right.

Having just bought the Regan Top by Sew me Something I was quick to cut out the short sleeve version. I have broad shoulders and struggle with sleeves but raglan sleeves fit much easier. This is such a well designed pattern. The pdf goes together perfectly. Going by the finished size I was happy to cut a size 14 needing only 1m for the short sleeve version. Past Karen had bought some pink ribbing and I cut this for the collar, cuffs and waistband. I am really pleased with how this turned out. Too many necks on me are really wide and I hate that drafty gap. This neck on me is perfect. The pattern also has long sleeves and can be made in sweatshirt, terry, fleece and scuba as well as the lighter jerseys. I can see this becoming my go to pattern in cooler weather and have seen some lovely long sleeve versions on IG.

 

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This is a size 14. Pattern as pdf cost £10.00. Fabric cost £14.95. Great value for money and this pattern will be used many times. Really pleased with the results.

Next I moved onto the lawn. It’s name is Siesta Beach, OMG this fabric is so smooth and cool to the touch. It has a really close weave and the first thing I did was put a new needle in my machine and it deserved it. These are some amazing versions of the Kingfisher Top by The Sewing Revival on IG and I had to join in. This is a woven top with a jersey trim and a great way of using up odd smaller pieces of jersey as contrast. Again a very easy raglan pattern, the pdf went together well. This pattern is very different in that you buy a group of sizes. My bust size 41 put me as a XL size 16 so I bought the group M-L-XL I cut the large as its a loose fit and I am really pleased with size.

This is great with jeans, trousers and skirts and I like the length both loose and tucked in. As this only has trim on the collar and sleeve cuffs it really doesn’t need a lot of jersey. Again a great scrap buster.

This is a size large. Pattern cost £7.77. 1m Fabric cost £14.95. Great value again and yes there will be many more of these. They will be so useful at home and at work.

Last but by no means least this viscose named Pimpernel. A gorgeous red/orange that I had marked to become a Washi Dress I hadn’t realised until Me Made May that this had an elasticated back, making this the Menopausal Dress of Dreams. Seriously my waist line changes size by the hour never mind the day. This fabric has a little stretch to it almost like a crepe and this made it a little harder to cut out. Plenty of pins were used to line it all up before cutting. Sewing it was a dream. Shirring was a new experience. I read all the advice and watched a few YouTube videos recommended on the Made by Rae website. Seriously just give it a go, it’s like fabric magic.

The little cap sleeves are lovely and after adding them you bias bind the armhole and sleeve which leaves them lovely and neat. Because of the fabric I had to leave the dress hanging for a bit before trimming the hem then I just turned the hem up and sewed a double turn. This gives it a bit more weight and I think it hangs nicely.

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Can you tell I love it!!

I made a large and the only thing I think I will change is to lengthen the bodice a little just to move the shirring down a bit. The pattern was about £11 converted and the fabric was £14.95 pm and I needed 2m. I will make loads more of these as I love it. On IG there are winter examples too and there is also a Washi expansion pack with different collar and sleeves.

Right, off to cut out something else while I am in the sewing flow.

Happy Sewing folks,

K xXx

Hi Remember Me?

Hello long time no see.
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I can’t remember why I stopped blogging but starting up again sometimes needs a good excuse.
This year has been good for my family so far. A holiday with the kids in January to set us up for the year. Then back and get ready for our sons wedding in May. Then hubby booked a holiday straight after and #memademay2019 turned into #memadeholiday.
As MIL I had offered to buy flowers as my Mum in Law had done for us and my mum bought the cake as my grandma had done. I was quite keen to buy and support local and wondered on holiday afterwards why I wasn’t doing this for fabric shopping.
A couple of shops I follow on IG had discussed ‘June of doom’ and it got me thinking of local shops I would be sad for if I had not supported them.
@trixielixiepics had some fabulous #washidress examples and I hadn’t realised the back was elastic so when we came back I asked hubby to take me into Leeds to find Fabrics for All joy of joy it’s just out of Leeds, is easy to find and has parking.
Fabrics for All
I only went in for some Washi dress fabric and although Sarah wasn’t in her hubby Neil was and he is a fabric buying enabler!!
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Yes 3 not 1 but all gorgeous and I couldn’t leave them. Jersey, lawn and viscose.
Sarah had put out a note for anyone looking to Blog for her to get in touch and I thought this would get me back blogging and also get me buying local too win/win. There are lots of advantages of buying local.
No postage costs means more fabric.
There is nothing like handling fabric to make a better choice, how often have you ordered on line and the result isn’t what you needed for that project.
Help and advice in person. Sarah is knowledgeable and happy to help and advise.
My first month choice of fabric was another Lady McElroy 97% cotton 3% spandex in the glorious Savannah, lots more here . I had just bought the Sew House Seven pattern for the Free Range Slacks
This is another great pattern from Sew House 7 these pants having an elastic waist really appeals as I have a waist that changes size by the hour!
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Cutting out was fun, making sure I didn’t have a tropical bird in an inappropriate place. My size needed 2.2m but a plain or non directional fabric would need less.
Sewing this fabric was a dream, new needle, and off I went. The pockets are HUGE there is even a top stitching guide as the pocket gets pinned behind and then sewn from the front.
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You can’t see it on mine as the pattern is busy but there is a stripe down each outer leg. When the front and back leg are attached to it the seams are pressed inwards and then top sewn. This could really be a feature in a plain fabric with fancy top stitching, alternative fabric or a plain stripe with a patterned leg.
When the left and right legs are sewn together the seam is pressed to the right and again top sewn from the right side.
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The waistband is added and turned inside to keep the clean lines and the elastic is added. These are really comfy pants and the lower legs have instructions for french seams and also flat felling so when they are rolled up everything is neat. I wasn’t sure what length I wanted these to be so I have just pinked mine for now and will adjust when I have worn them a few times.
So here they are the pants of happiness!!!
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Although I needed all the length of this fabric for pattern placement there were some large and odd shapes of fabric left and bring a Yorkshire lass and this fabric being gifted waste is not an option – that would be rude!
So I made a hat – this is the Serpentine hat by Elbetextiles  I had some Pellon in stash so stiffened the brim with that. Instructions were easy to follow and I made a large with a green inner with some fabric bought for £1 from Morley Market.

I still had some left so made a Petal Pouch by Noodlehead, lovely to make and only cost the price of a zip.

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And last but not least there was enough left still for an Ida Clutch by Kylie and the Machine, a free pattern, I must be the last person to make one and cost again the price of a zip!

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This fabric was gifted but would have cost £32.89.

I made size large and I am happy with the relaxed fit.

Pattern was my own and cost £11.20 good value as I want to make again in a linen.

Happy Sewing folks,

K xXx

 

 

Happy New Year?

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Hello all and a very Happy New Year!!

Mine was to start with a good blog review and a few resolutions and ………

my laptop showed me the blue screen of death (don’t you just love Windows 10!!)

I didn’t think I had too much to offer until I went through my IG feed from 2016.

This is where I list all my makes as a record and I was surprised and encouraged.

I invested in The Village Haberdashery and am now a shareholder

(read here an excuse to buy from them to keep them going!!)

I sponsored the Kickstarter for Ernest Wright which was massively successful.

I was a pattern tester which was a globally amazing experience (still to be released)

Participated in Me Made May 16 whilst on holiday. This is a real eye opener as to what you have and what you need. You really see where the shortages are. We ‘up North’ also get to see lovely summery tops and dresses in the South on IG whilst still wearing our Lindens!

Whilst on holiday I also realised I needed a portable craft hobby and on my return taught myself (with help from the Internet) how to knit socks. I now have eight pairs and made a Stowe bag to keep my project in.

Makes included 1 blouse, 2 leggings, 2 shorts, 3 skirts, 4 dresses, 5 knickers, 3 sweatshirts, 12 tops a cowl and a shrug. Some are more useable than others but I learnt so much from making them all. Unselfish makes were for Dogs Trust Christmas fair which I try to do each year.

Sharing information, hints and tips has been a massive part of this year. IG, blogs and meeting people in real life has restored my faith. The start of the year was my first meeting of the Yorkshire Spoolettes and later in the year I visited Yarndale.

So to 2017 and I just want the same and more. The only thing I have resolved to do is cut out the buying for a little while, well 6 months actually. Before Christmas I had to ‘find’ a dining room and spare bedroom for visitors and I had a little panic packing away fabric and patterns out waiting to be created. If I made an item each day for the rest of the year I don’t think I would repeat or even run out and that is shocking. My last make of 2016 was a TATB Cleo, thank you akathimberlina, with some beautiful Liberty Rossmore Corduroy that I bought from Sewbox more than 2 years ago. I have so many lovely fabrics that will need re washing before sewing and stash dipping can be exciting, so much to re discover. My namesake Karen from thesewingmiserablist has written a post ‘How long can 6 months be?’ and I have committed to join her and I am now looking forward to it.

So each month I will record how much I have ‘saved’ by Sewing my Stash (think that will become my hash tag this next year. Wish me luck!

So on that note and with a pity poor photo short blog, (thank you again Windows 10) I leave you with my last make of 2016 and a stash dip. Yes its mutton dressed as lamb but I love it!!

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Happy Sewing

K xXx

 

 

 

Fabulous Fabworks Fabrics

Earlier this summer I came into some money (I sold my old phone, thanks son!) so what’s a girl to do but spend it on fabric!!

I am sure if I sewed a different item every day I have enough fabric to sew for a year. Shameful or an investment? I just don’t like to miss a bargain! I bought a big bundle of fabrics from Fabworks and as they were all washed together I thought I should move them from the ironing pile to the sewing room, killing two birds with one stone. Smaller ironing pile and three new tops!

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First on the list is this swirly loud print, lovely and soft. I only bought 1m with the idea of using plain black jersey for the neckband and arms. This is the Hemlock Tee by Grainline Studios. There are loads on the Internet and IG and I can see why. A simple shape, one size only as its a freebie but not as loose on my fuller figure as on some. I am pleased how this has turned out and with jeans on a weekend it will get lots of wear.

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Scowling in the wintery sun, sorry. This is the Gable Top by Jennifer Lauren made in a really stable wool jersey. I can’t find it on the website but go and have a look. They have a sale on at the moment and there are bargains galore. I should have bought the bolt! It doesn’t fray and sews like a dream. Jennifer suggests joining the shoulders, sewing in the sleeves and sewing the sides so you can try it on before deciding on the neckline. You try it on and pin and baste to suit. I have a dodgy neck so I wanted the back neck to be higher than the front. It took 2 goes to get it right but I am really happy with the results. Looking at this photo I perhaps need a few inches off the bottom. Not sure, I will wear it a bit and see.

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The third make is the Blanc Tee by Blank Slate Patterns. Another free pattern if you join the Facebook Group. It’s good as others share their makes and alterations and it can be quite inspiring. This is the only time this tee will see the light of day unless its hung on the washing line. Nothing wrong with this Floral Polka Dot or the Blanc T because this is my new PJ top. Soft and comfy and tidy enough to answer the door. In fact because I have made it a bit big I think it will be good in some wicking fabric I have for a running tee.

This is a little bit of unselfish sewing. My friend who now lives in Shoreham-by-Sea works at Dogs Trust. Each year I try to make some bits and bobs for them to sell at the Christmas Fair. The basket has little stockings with gold hangers. On the front I Bondaweb little bone shapes in Xmas fabric and inside there are some doggie chews. The basket on the left has tissue holders, glasses cases and poo bag holders with lobster clasps to clip to the dogs lead. They came to visit last weekend so I sent her home with them in good time.

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Sock knitting is going well.

The socks at the bottom were knit in wool from  Sylvan Tiger Yarns my friend has taken them home with her. Her choice. Appropriate as both she and the wool come from Leeds. I am knitting the ones in the Gin & Tonic named wool I bought at Yarndale but after a delivery from Mothy and the Squid I can’t wait to knit this Xmas sparkly candy cane yarn

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Next up is a dip from the ‘Stash Pile’ and more socks,

Keep Sewing (and knitting)

K xXx

 

Was That Summer?

Was that summer? Where have the last 4 months disappeared. Summer in West Yorkshire hasn’t been as sunny as down South. Mild but just not bright. After making holiday clothes for our early holiday in April/May I just found I was waiting for the hot spell to be inspired to made little tops and cotton skirts. What I did miss on holiday was crafting so on my return I bought dpns and sock wool and taught myself sock knitting from the internet and book. Girls its addictive and totally portable. My socks now travel everywhere with me. This is a little package I bought from The Knitters Attic

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The Opal is amazing!! Look at how it knits up, its no effort magic.

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I have done some sewing as well,

This was like fabric origami. Its the Hey June Santa Fe Top I made it in some Coral Art Gallery jersey I bought from The Village Haberdashery (hey I have shares I have to keep buying) and Etno Looming from The Drapers Daughter. These fabrics are a joy to cut and sew. They also wash and wear well. You get a lot of variations on this top and I will be making more. Actually I have a few Hey June patterns and they seem to suit me well.

A few of you (well most of you) refer sometimes to your growing fabric stash. I have decided each month I need to ‘stash dip’ and just use what comes out. Sometimes a fabric slides out and I think ‘Oh wow I forgot about that’ and other times I think ‘what was I thinking!’ This months fabric dip was a scuba I bought from Minerva Fabrics 2 years ago when I went to their open day. It said shorts to me. As the Belize pattern had just been released by Itch to Stitch that was it. This is another versatile pattern as it also has a skort version too. As I only had 1m shorts it was. These are a great length for me and being as loud as they are will go with any colour tee. Scuba will be great for holidays as it washes and dries easily and doesn’t need ironing, perfect in my book.

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Simplicity 2226 is a skirt everyone has made but me. The sewalong suggests making the waistband first as its a big fit. I took the advise, made it up, putting in my first zip.

Yes we all have to start somewhere, do you remember your first zip?

Result was massive. But the fabric is so lovely I have had to take it apart (don’t you hate that). I have left the zip attached and am just taking in the sides of the waistband and re gathering the panels. It will have to be lined but I should be able to wear this as an autumnal item.

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Last month I went to Yarndale. A woolly gathering at Skipton Action Mart. This was a riot of colour, yarns, people and crafts old and new. Spinning, felting, knitting and crochet everywhere. I did succumb to a few hanks of sock wool (did I mention its addictive). The entrance was covered in bunting and little knitted or crochet sheep. The sheep had been donated by people all over the country and some even from abroad. I follow the blog of Postcard from Gibraltar and I knew she had posted over Llanita and I found her. Not Mrs Postcard (we missed each other) but Llanita and I brought her home!!

The green and cream wool to the left has little flecks of colour in it and its not really my colour but its called Gin & Tonic so it had to come home with me. The middle one is named Explosion in a Dye Factory by Sylvan Tiger. Its already been knitted and today my friend from Shoreham by Sea went home wearing the socks. Quite appropriate as she and the wool are from Leeds.

So that’s summer finished for this year and we are onto Autumn. I have some lovely cord to make a skirt with and I must make a Coco as I think I must be the only sewist not to have made one.    Yet!

Happy Sewing

K xXx