Archive: Mar 2015

Sneakpeek // Le Cirque collection!

Oh you guys i am SO SO excited to share this sneakpeek of my newest collection Le Cirque with you today! It has been so hard keep quiet about this over the last few months, and i’m thrilled that i can finally tell you about it! This special collection is a group of 4 easy […]

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Lea + Lars Sunbonnet

You guys, I have a thing for babies in hats!  I can’t handle the cuteness!The seasons are changing here and the warm weather is moving in.  So it was serendipitous and meant to be when Jen sent me her Lea + Lars sunbonnet pattern.&n…

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Fish Print Shirt — The Dramatic Conclusion!

Friends, he liked it!And it fit extremely well.  And it flattered his coloring.  I was delighted.My client is Shya Kane, whose personal transormation workshops, which he co-leads with his wife, Ariel, I’ve been attending with Michael since l…

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Thinking Ahead — Summer Beach Shirt

We’re all craving some warmer weather here in northern New England. 40 degrees would be heavenly! How twisted is that??? So to keep myself from going completely crazy I’ve been working on some summer clothes.  My latest is this cotton shirt. …

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The Bachelor NZ Ep 5: Because I’m all about the kiss

Nice view
Only three weeks, five episodes or 225 minutes of my life patiently spent in the reception area of the Bank of Wanting Some Action waiting for the first proper kiss and Clark Kent opens his account on Dani’s face. And he went in for seconds. I have no words. Apart from these words. I feel a little bit disappointed and slightly sullied. I really don’t understand Art’s attraction to Dani and now their date and subsequent lovesick pieces to camera have really thrown my list of top contenders into complete disarray. Damn you TV3 and your manipulative editing.
I’ve mentioned before about Art’s limited opportunities to invade the women’s personal spaces and he’s still getting pretty creative on it. This episode sees him and Dani going on a date zip-lining and enjoying a few Lindauers in a vineyard on Waiheke Island. There is a scene where they attempt to playfully push each other off some low posts and I wonder if we are back in primary school. He lets his fingers do the walking on her bare leg as they lounge on a blanket and it’s all just building up to The Moment.
Dude looks like he can kiss though and ovaries across the nation quivered at the sight. Kissing without teeth clashing is a very important quality so he’s gained some merit points. Oh wait, he knows about botany. Points deducted there.
The group date involves guns and archery but the guns don’t have real bullets and I am sad to report that Katniss Everdeen did not launch herself out of the grapevines and deal to someone just to liven things up a little. Hayley has a backup plan for her burgeoning rapping career as she wins the laser target-shooting competition and earns herself some Ar(t)chery “alone time” within sight and earshot of the other girls. Très romantique. Art gets in nice and close to Hayley for some expert arrow-launching tuition. There’s even a close up shot of his fingertips lightly brushing her top. Can you HANDLE the SCANDAL? Hayley comes away from this “date” without a rose and the writing is on the wall for her.
Warning: may contain explicit content

At the cocktail party that evening, poor roseless Matilda is looking very nervous and I don’t blame her. Even Natalie is given a rose prior to the rose ceremony. Chrystal is yet to have a single date with Art, but she does seem to spend the most time chatting with him during the cocktail evenings at the house. Art undiplomatically asks her about her VAST number of exes but she deftly deflects the question and then attempts to portray herself as the marrying kind by saying she’d love to have a family so they could get together with other families and have dinners and a fireworks night and stuff. This is all very well in Chrystal World but what about the other 22 hours in the day where she’ll actually have to, I don’t know, be a parent? Her friend is off playing Mother Teresa in India and Chrystal would like to go there because, well, because she has never been to India before and she wants to experience the culture/not help at the orphanages.
Chrystal, Patron Saint of crushed testicles

The evening’s rose ceremony begins with Natalie, Dani and Alysha already smugly holding their blooms because they are the CHOSEN ONES. Hayley leaves without so much as a rap. In one final act of humiliation, the girl who leaves must then stand in front of the Bachelor who has just rejected her and then say something benevolent to him in front of the other girls. To their credit thus far, all of them have mustered up something half-decent to say but let’s see how this develops in future episodes. Sure, us Kiwis aren’t generally into causing scenes, but throw in a little sleep deprivation, a bit of hurt feelings and a few too many glasses of wine at them and see what happens.

Stay tuned for tonight’s episode where there will be lights, camera and definitely action on Chrystal’s first proper date with Art.

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Stashbusting Scarf

My instagram has been all about this scarf lately.  Though the pattern was written with Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails in mind, I found that I could use several of the tails I have in combination with leftovers in my stash from Laylow, Sothern, Holla …

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This time it’s for real

I am 46 years old, and I think I can tell you that I’m just about over having crushes. The thing with Prince remains eternal, but I’ve accepted in my heart that we could never be together. I’ve believed since … Continue reading

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Citrus Fest

Oranges are by far my favorite fruit ever. So one of the things I love most about living in California is not just the accessibility to fresh oranges, but also the celebration of the fruit itself. After all, we even live in a town and county named after it! So needless to say, I was […]

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March in Review

Another month flies past…  with extra daylight hours at last!

My latest socks


Knitting was the highlight of my month:  I finished my Kex blanket and my Arne and Carlos socks, and am well on my way with another pair of plain vanillas (above), this time using up leftovers.
I have decided to work the feet in a semi-solid hand-dye, finishing them off with Regia toes, as this was the only way the yarn would stretch to a mostly-matching pair.

I have also been working solidly on another test-knit for Josh Ryks.  This one is a 3-colour shawl that is going to be released as a Mystery Knitalong – ooh!  Shiny!
I don’t get paid for test-knitting, in case you were wondering. 
I do it for fun and the excitement of supporting an up-and-coming young designer.
For obvious reasons, I can’t show you any pictures of this one.

Have a 1980’s dance instead:

Sewing Clothes

Buying Clothes


Buying yarn / fabric / patterns

I saved my not-spent-on-coffee money for my trip to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and bought the wool for a cardigan and a shawl.  Since then I have bought needles to start the cardigan but was distracted by my test-knit.
Unlikely treasure 🙂

In pattern acquisition news, my regular ebay search for a long-lost pattern book came up trumps.
I sent my original copy to landfill at least 12 years ago.
It was falling apart and I didn’t think I would miss it.
Ever since taking up knitting again in 2005, I have hankered after a sweater I knitted during my Finals in 1985.

Sweater of dreams – the angle is not doing it justice!

I even tried to recreate the pattern from memory, but failed. 
This is 3 Suisses 111, Junior Designs, aimed at teenagers in the 1980s.
The nostalgia!
I can really see myself knitting and wearing these simple boxy garments for everyday wear around the farm.  I might reduce the sleeve width… but then again I might not.
I remember how comfortable these jumpers were.  I had several of them:  a colour block cardigan (below), my favourite jumper with the Irish Rib panel (above), a mohair sweater-dress in green and black (the red and black one above), and two sleeveless popover vests in the lightest fluffiest, warmest acrylic mix yarn you will ever find 😉


I am still reading Women in Clothes.  I have written my response to it, which I will post soon.
Every time I pick this book up it gives me something new to think about.

Myeloma Update

Another prescription of Pomalidomide! 
FL has now been taking the wonder-drug for a year.
His latest Freelite score was 112.4.  The month before it was 112.  There is that niggling fear that he might be coming off the plateau, but the doctor was keen to say that 0.4 is not a significant increase.

How is he?  A little more stooped.  (No, not “stoopid”!)

Tired.  He gets a lot of leg cramps and coughing fits when he tries to lie down, so our nights are disturbed.
But really?  He’s doing far better than I ever imagined, so far into what felt like the unimaginable future.
We are pretty happy!
I made this exact cardigan in 1987

Life Decisions
I have “an opportunity” to give up my current job.  I am considering it carefully.  It would allow me to pay off the mortgage and spend more time with FL.  I have been practicing frugality to see if we could live on a drastically reduced income… and concluded that of course we could, despite the electricity bill.

But I don’t want to leave myself without a focus for my life beyond “looking after FL”.
So for the time being I am just thinking.
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A Long Time Coming: Burda 6907

When this pattern came out I had to have it. I even considered buying it at full price because I WANTED IT!!! On April 23, 2014 I blogged that the paper pattern was cut. And for some reason, I never sewed them!!!I realized all of my casual (non-work) p…

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March #vintagepledge Roundup & Giveaway Winner

Hello! Just popping in to wrap up the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge for March, before handing over to my awesome co-host Kerry for April’s fun!
March’s #vintagepledge Posts

#vintagepledge in March & Giveaway – A Stitching Odyssey

1930s Inspiration for #vintagepledge – A Stitching Odyssey

Remnant Kings Giveaway Winner

Not only did Remnant Kings offer a 10% discount throughout March, they also offered up a £15 voucher to use either in store or online. And the lucky winner of the voucher is…
…Sophie, The Cake Hunter!!!
Congratulations Sophie, I’m already looking forward to your John Kaldor trousers :o) I’ll email you shortly with further details.
Share Your #vintagepledge Makes

Kerry and I would love to add your makes to our dedicated Pinterest Board, which is already shaping up to be an incredible source of inspiration this year! You can get in touch by leaving us a comment, emailing us or by using the #vintagepledge hashtag on Twitter. 
We can’t wait to see what you make!
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Making a Quilted Skirt, Part 1

I absolutely love the look of a quilted skirt! Using machine quilting on full skirts was very popular in the ’50s. The best thing is that the quilting adds lots of body, for a very full look.Did you know the skirt on the cover of my book Gertie Sews Vi…

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Some Recipes for Easter and Passover

Saturday was the last day of the Amherst Winter Farmers Market. I was happy to provide many of my loyal customers with lamb for their holiday meals in the coming week. 

It was also the last chance to purchase the local veggies and apples. Although I am pretty tired of all the storage crops we have been eating this winter, it is still a few weeks from fresh asparagus. This winter I have cooked a lot of turnips. I am pretty much over them but I think I will bring them for Easter dinner at my sisters. I discovered this really great “Turnip Risotto” recipe in an old Mario Batali cookbook. It is a bit of work – lots of fine chopping the results are spectacular. I will include it at the bottom of this post in case you want to give it a try. 

Here is the link to our Leyden Glen Lamb Recipe blog where I give you several ways to prepare a leg of lamb. (I’m sending you to the blogger site for recipes as there seems to be something funky going on with my uploading of type on our regular website.) New to the site are:

French Style Roasted Leg of Lamb
Anchovy, Garlic, Rosemary Roasted Leg of Lamb

The NY Times Wednesday Food Section featured a full page front cover article on leg of lamb for Easter with a recipe similar to my Anchovy based leg recipe. (FYI – this is a classic long-time method of cooking lamb and it is very delicious). See the interesting article here. Hope it helps our domestic sheep industry as American lamb was touted as far superior to imported lamb. 

I know most of you don’t live close enough to purchase a leg from our farm. Maybe you can find a local sheep farm to source your leg. I know your local sheep farmers will appreciate it! 

Turnip “Risotto”
from Mario Batali’s Simple Italian Food

There is no risotto in this recipe. The small pieces of turnip substitute for the traditional arborio rice. In the headnotes of the recipe, Mario says he discovered potato “risotto” at Jeremiah Towers’ Stars restaurant in the late 80’s. I think you could substitute potatoes or butternut squash for the turnips if you aren’t a fan. 

The hardest part about this recipe is the chopping. Mario suggests 1/8” dice but I’m not that skilled, nor do I have the patience.  A 1/4” dice works just as well although you may need a little longer to cook the turnip. Don’t let the turnip turn to mush. 

Serves 8 as a side dish

6 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped into 1/4” dice
1 1/2 pounds turnip, chopped into 1/4” dice
2 cups hot chicken stock – preferably homemade
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onionand cook until softened and light brown – about 10 minutes. Add the turnips and cook 4 minutes, stirring, until opaque. Add 1 ladle of chicken stock and stir until the stock is absorbed. Continue addint stock a ladle at a time until the turnips are tender — about 15 minutes. (This is the part that will vary depending on how small you chop your turnips.) Taste the neeps for doneness.

Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the butter and grated cheese. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. 

Even turnip haters won’t know what they are eating – it will be that good! 
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The Barrie Boy Cut Briefs!

So, in the interest of not getting weird Google search hits, we’ll be referring to the above items as “pants” in the UK sense. Just to make that clear. But I’m excited to finally have some that FIT!! Just released yesterday, the Barrie Boy Cut Briefs b…

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Sappy Days

So, you may have noticed that Knut likes to cross country ski.  The owners of the local ski gaard have become good friends, and as the snow is gone, they’ve been collecting sap in their woods for the year.  We brought the kids out there once …

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This Thing Of Beauty

Some projects are far more fun to create than others. They tend to show up unannounced; occasionally you have an inkling. These are the projects with an element of mystery and unknowing like the one I started Sunday using a 22″ x 75″ remnant of linen. …

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Sewing the Davie Dress Neckline

The construction of the Davie Dress is pretty simple. The only part that may seem unusual is the neckline binding! Today I’ll show you how the Davie Dress neckline is sewn. I chose a fabric for the Davie tutorial that has a distinct right and wrong side, to make it easy to follow. (And also because it’ll make […]

The post Sewing the Davie Dress Neckline appeared first on Sewaholic.

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Felt Flowers Details + Clip Tutorial

Today, I’m sharing all the details from my felt flower crown from yesterday! I mostly used tutorials from Something Turquoise who was my original inspiration for this project. I just love how pretty and artistic her flowers came out and wanted to make some too! Felt flower making can be admittedly a pretty time consuming craft, but I also think it’s worth it. The more

The post Felt Flowers Details + Clip Tutorial appeared first on delia creates.

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I rarely sew with quilting cottons because I don’t quilt. I have been a little obsessed with some of Cotton & Steels fabric line so I was looking for an opportunity to sew with them. When the Carolyn pajamas pattern was … Continue reading

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Felt + Yarn Anemone Flower Tutorial

Inspired by the Something Turquoise’s Felt Anemone flower tutorial, I decided to make my own version. I added rippled tips to the petals and a fuzzy yarn pom center…which is my favorite part! Materials:  Felt* Hot glue and hot glue gun Scissors Yarn** *Felt details: I used Shrimp  wool felt for the petals (I was notified by the seller who updated her inventory to let me know that it

The post Felt + Yarn Anemone Flower Tutorial appeared first on delia creates.

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· Patterns for Sale, Also, My 100th Post! ·

We have a burgeoning collection of patterns, and the time has come to clean out!  I put up over 40 listings on eBay this week, and I wanted to give you all a heads-up.Historically accurate, costumes, vintage, and more- there’s something for e…

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Square 3! Crochet Along Afghan Sampler, March

Crochet 2 squares a month and have a finished afghan by the end of the year! | The Inspired Wren

It’s time! Square 3 (March) of the Crochet Along Afghan Sampler is Baby Bubbles. Not to be confused with bobbles or popcorn, these tiny bubbles hook up in a lovely rhythm.

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57 dresses.

Moving is such a pain in the ass. I’ll be moving the week after Easter, and I’ve been diligently decluttering. Amazing how much stuff you hoard over time. I have trawled through eight years worth of crap.  Why do I own a Super Mario costume?!…

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Deer&Doe presents the jersey collection!

Hello, everyone! After a long absence, I’m especially enthusiastic and cannot wait to reveal the project on which I’ve worked in the last few months. I’ve been itching to work with jersey for a while, which is the reason why the Plantain t-shirt free pattern was released. The enormous success this pattern had, with more than 36000 […]

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March Indie Pattern Update

Well I don’t know how it’s been for you but for me March has been one of those months that has flown past yet the start of it feels forever ago! I was looking back over my notes for the round up this month and started to wonder if some of the bits at t…

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That’ll do, pig

I have a quicker-than-anticipated finish today! I need to make some class samples that I hadn’t accounted time for, plus even though I have the Easter weekend coming up in which I plan to sleep, sew and go to a comedy festival (and maybe do a bit of cleaning), I have designated it to finishing […]

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Tessuti Silva Shirt Jacket

With DD1, at Hakone Gardens, Saratoga Happy spring, those-of-you-in-this-hemisphere! (Please tell me that the weather is finally improving in the Boston area!) Hakone Gardens, Saratoga I finished this shirt jacket a week ago Sunday (as in 8 days ago), …

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A Vogue Five Pak

I know the posts were light last week but that’s because working on the jacket took longer than I expected. However, the jacket spawned a few additional pieces, most of which have already been discussed on the blog. So my apologies but this post is a l…

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Chelsea’s Graduation

Just over three weeks ago Chelsea graduated from St Mary’s with her Master’s Degree.  Despite the fact that it is typically a much smaller scale than in the US, she had ten guests as her party because everyone wanted to cheer her on to victory.We …

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La Mia Boutique 04/2015 Review – Recensione

Ready for a new La Mia Boutique Review? After my silent review of last month, I am back typing! Thanks so much for your comments! Before digging into the actual patterns let me welcome a great surprise that came with this issue…La Mia Boutique started including tiny tech drawings next to their photos! Not only […]

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