Tag Archive: shoes

The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send soup back in a deli.

Hello there! It’s been a while, I know, but the blogger part of me hasn’t died completely!

Anyway, I haven’t been up to much since I last blogged. I’ve been working and sewing as usual. Nic and I had a trip to Liverpool a few weeks ago, which thankfully coincided with a few sunny days in a sea of grey and rainy ones. We had a great time: Liverpool is an amazing city. We weren’t there for any particular reason, but it was perfect for a little change of scenery.

We stayed at the Pullman, and really enjoyed being based by the docks as there is so much to see and do down there. We even spent a happy hour on our last morning watching jellyfish in the marina – it was the first time Nic had ever seen jellyfish, and you could so easily miss them.

When we’re on holiday, I like to go on a ferry if one is available. Luckily, Liverpool has a ferry. It’s not very widely-known, so maybe someone should consider writing a song about it.

Waiting to board the ferry, dressed like a sailor

We visited some friends in Chester, went to Port Sunlight, went to a few museums, drank champagne in a Titanic-themed bar, visited the Metropolitan cathedral, ate pizza slices on Bold Street (repeatedly) and played some late-night indoor mini-golf:

I won, but Nic was a few pints ahead of me at each stage, so I had a slight advantage there.

It was a lovely week off, and we ended it with a flying visit from my dad. He was over for a few days for work and on the Friday we went to the Cotswolds for a few hours. We visited Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water. The villages are charming, but Nic and I have been watching Children of the Stones, so it all felt a bit creepy to me. My dad thoroughly enjoyed himself, though.

Me and Daddy in Bourton. It’s very plain to see we’re related as we are BASICALLY IDENTICAL.

These have been some bright spots in what has otherwise been a very difficult few months. I’ve written before about my mental health, so I won’t labour the point, but this summer I’ve experienced intense anxiety, which has often been debilitating. It has taken all of my energy to keep doing the things I need to do – things like getting out of bed and eating and working – and it’s been very difficult. I have felt very tired of living. There have been some external stressors and some of it arises from the fact that I’m generally quite an anxious person anyway so this is something I’ll always need to deal with in one way or another.

Helping someone close to me through a problem that they were having made me realise that I needed to allow people to help me, and that it was okay to do that. So that’s what I’ve been doing and I’ve been looking into finding some professional help too. Something has started to shift and I feel more hopeful and positive than I have for a while. I have a lovely life and I want to be here, and I wanted to share this with you all because I know lots of you care about me. Thank you for caring.

That’s the update there. I’ve been sewing off and on, and over the unexpectedly sunny bank holiday weekend, Nic took some photos of a recently completed dress. The craic with this is that Sarah sent up the bat-signal to let me know that Textile Express were selling a fabric I’d been after for about three years:

I had seen a Ralph Lauren skirt made from this beautiful linen three years ago in TK Maxx and the fabric had been a bit of a unicorn since then, but here was Textile Express selling it for £6.50 a metre! I immediately bought three metres, which was just as well because they sold out within a few hours. Although summer is by now officially over, I had some hopes for a September Indian summer, so I decided to go ahead and sew it anyway. I was immediately rewarded with a beautiful, hot bank holiday weekend: winner!

The print is quite large, so I wanted a simple shape to show it off. For me, this means sewing an Emery dress and that is what I did.

Honoria dress – Christine Haynes Emery dress with a pleated skirt, worn with Swedish Hasbeens Suzanne sandals

I wasn’t sure whether to centre the big beach umbrella on the bodice. It seemed like the obvious thing initially, but when it came to cutting I didn’t want to sacrifice the surfers, so I made sure to get them both on the bodice. The fabric doesn’t have a great deal of drape to it, so I used a box-pleated skirt rather than a gathered one. I love wearing pleated skirts and I am really thrilled with how this dress turned out.

I decided against wearing this with my Lou Taylor swimmers necklace this time, but I think they would be the perfect match!

This fabric really was an incredible find, especially for £6.50 per metre. The colour is beautiful and it’s of such lovely quality. I got so many compliments on the dress all day, and I felt great in it too. I’ve heard that it can still be found in some branches of Abakhan (although I didn’t see any when I was in the Liverpool branch a few weeks ago) so you might get lucky if you’re still looking for it. I’ll hopefully be able to wear the dress a few more times before packing it away for next spring, but often it’s nice to make a summer dress at the end of summer – something to look forward to for next year.

Here’s one for the folks at GOMI who think it’s obnoxious when I smile in photos. I must remember to try harder not to look too happy with my life.

I haven’t yet made plans for autumnal sewing, but I think I’m going to make a conscious effort to move away from my the blue colour palette I’ve unintentionally adopted this year. I bought some very Mildred Hubble-esque Paradigma boots in a local shoe shop that was closing down, so I’m thinking about what to sew to wear with them:

I don’t have a coherent autumn-winter plan, though, as I am also semi-seriously considering buying a ridiculous hot pink Ted Baker coat. I don’t need any more coats, but it is amazing. It won’t work with these boots, but I’m sure I could still make it work with something in my wardrobe…
The sun is shining now though, so right now I’m going to enjoy the rest of the summer as much as I can, which means going to a pub garden with some friends. Have a good weekend, everyone!
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Free Project – How to create a Moccasin Look

PATTERN DETAILS This is a free pattern that will help you create a moccasin look on any pair of my felted slipper patterns, by creating a knitted flap with faux fringe for a moccasin look. Download Now

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Cosy Toes Shoes {Handmade Baby}

Have you ever thought about making shoes?  On our Handmade Baby journey we decided to sew up some shoes for Baby. Of course we turned to Twig and Tale for their Wild Things shoes pattern. After looking at the 7 different animals that can be made with this pattern, we decided to make gray baby […]

The post Cosy Toes Shoes {Handmade Baby} appeared first on Skirt Fixation.

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Cosy Toes Shoes {Handmade Baby}

Have you ever thought about making shoes?  On our Handmade Baby journey we decided to sew up some shoes for Baby. Of course we turned to Twig and Tale for their Wild Things shoes pattern. After looking at the 7 different animals that can be made with this pattern, we decided to make gray baby […]

The post Cosy Toes Shoes {Handmade Baby} appeared first on Skirt Fixation.

read more

Free Sewing Pattern – Ballerina Slippers Tutorial

Free Sewing Pattern – Ballerina Slippers Tutorial

PATTERN DETAILS Design a slipper pattern custom to your feet, then sew them to keep your toes cozy. You’ll be surprised how easy it is! RECOMMENDED WITH THIS PATTERN 1 sheet of 2mm-thick foam core 1 pair of foam shoe inserts A third yard of lining fabric Download Now

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After too many years to count of speedy sewing, trying to get things done quickly, I have become enamored of slow sewing. Why? For one thing, I don’t really need many clothes…I have so much and lead a fairly quiet life (Clothes-wise). For a…

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I like my coffee like I like my women. In a plastic cup.

Hello! Urgh… so my plan to blog more frequently has been a big fat FAIL, hasn’t it? Oh well. Here I am now anyway. I’m having a short break from work for Easter, which is really good as everything has been so full-on so far this year. We don’t have m…

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I’m pretty and tough, like a diamond. Or beef jerky in a ball gown.

Hello hello helloooooo! It’s been a while: this getting back into blogging craic fell by the wayside a bit as January swallowed me whole. But it’s February now and although it’s still pretty brutally cold, I can see some signs of spring and I’m getting a little bit of breathing space again, so that’s good. I found January to be a real struggle – I was exhausted all the time and my anxiety was playing me really badly, so it’s a relief to finally be through it.

Anyway, sorry to moan. In amongst all of the harder things, life has still been good. I’ve been making time for sewing when I can – although, it’s difficult to find the motivation to sew when it’s cold as my sewing table is in front of a window and it’s freezing there! Motivation came a few weeks ago when Alice from Fabric Yard got in touch with me and offered to send me my choice of fabric to make a dress with. I’ve shopped with Fabric Yard a fair bit – I enjoy dealing with a Northern Irish business, they do flat rate postage of £1 and, best of all, have a really great selection of fun fabrics. I took the opportunity to get some fabric I’d had my eye on for ages – an Michael Miller print called Atomic.

Michael Miller Atomic in turquoise*

I’ve actually sewed from this fabric before, although not for myself – ages ago, I made my lovely friend Lucy a B5748 from the olive colourway. She loved it and still wears it, which is a wonderful compliment. It is worth sewing for other people sometimes. Well, only sometimes.

With Lucy’s dress in mind, and also partly inspired by an amazing dress that Camille made during Sew Dolly Clackett, I hatched a plan…

A Fine Romance dress – Christine Haynes Emery dress bodice with a half circle skirt, worn with Poetic Licence ‘The Right Stuff’ shoes

Alice sent me three metres of the fabric, which was enough to do pretty much anything I wanted with it. I had enough for a full circle skirt but recently I’ve been really digging how half circle skirts look, so that’s what I did. The bodice is my trusty Emery bodice. I’ve experimented with shortening it by about half an inch. This has meant it fits a bit better at the bust, but I do need to do something about the shoulders, which now gape a bit at the neckline:

HELLO BRA STRAPS. Now to be fair, this is exacerbated a little bit by my unnatural stance – it’s not nearly so evident when I’m standing a bit more normally. I should probably do a slight FBA, which  might put everything where it should be. I’ll do that. Definitely.

I am pretty happy with this dress, even with the slight fitting issues. The fabric is fabulous, and I love the colour. I don’t love these photos – I think the proportions of the dress are such that it will look better with higher heels. I’m really looking forward to wearing it with some orange high heeled clogs once the weather allows.

I think the colour of the dress will also look better on me when winter is over and my skin isn’t literally blue any more. That will help. Can you tell that I’m pretty much over winter by now?

Okay, I’ll try to stop crabbing about it being cold because it’s not even all that cold really. We’ve had a few hours of pitifully sleety snow this past weekend and that’s been it in terms of extreme weather. I shouldn’t really complain. It’s a nice excuse to cuddle up in my slanket** and binge-watch RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Anyway, that’s your lot for this evening. Goodbye!

*I was sent the fabric for free but wasn’t otherwise compensated for this blog post, and the links are not affiliate links

** I don’t have a slanket, sadly. I might have to get one now though.

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I carved out some studio time over the last two weeks and worked on this;I returned to V1510, Sandra Betzina’s vest pattern from last fall. I have been holding on to this verrrrry interesting fabric from EOS which I got a long time ago. It’s a med…

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Happy New Year!Here we are, 9:00 pm on New Year’s Eve, in a motel room in Pella, Iowa,drinking champagne out of plastic glasses to toast the coming year. We were probably asleep by 10…such an exciting life!We were in Pella for our eldest grandson’s w…

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Some of the happiest moments of my life have been at Waitrose. I was recently asked where I would like my ashes to be scattered. I couldn’t think of anywhere other than Waitrose.

(Return of the Mack) Come on(Return of the Mack) Oh my God! (You know that I’ll be back) Here I am (Return of the Mack) Once again (Return of the Mack) Top of the world! (Return of the Mack) Watch my flow (You know that I’ll be back) Here I go Hi guys!…

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More time has passed that I had anticipated…but the memories of the Paris
trip are still warming my heart!

photo by Shams

 This was at the large flea market at Clignancourt, which Shams and I visited to test our Metro skills before the Tilton Tour began. A lotta red!

One of the thrills for me was the evening boat trip on the Seine, in the rain. In all my trips to Paris, I had never done this, and it was magical!

We had a few days of rain on the trip, but not pouring, and for this California
girl, the rain was welcome! Here are the beautiful clouds after a storm.

 The cool weather made dishes like this bouillabaisse all the more welcome…

 Here I am at Cafe Strada for a quick lunch with Shams…

 photo by Shams

I amused myself by taking a “Shamsian” shadow portrait…

and this is a photo of me at the Musée Galliera…

There’s that sillhouette again!


I was pretty happy with my choices for the travel wardrobe; I took more clothes than usual, mainly because we were staying in the same room in the same hotel for a little over two weeks. Not having to continually re-pack and schlep a suitcase from place to place was a 
true luxury.

I wore everything I took except for the last-minute red pants. I preferred wearing jeans and I had red jeans in the suitcase, added after this storyboard was made, which were better suited for the weather. 

I also wore the Minoru Coat, the inspiration for the wardrobe, only once. Again, the other jackets and raincoat were better suited to the weather.

I LOVED my raincoat and wore it often.

I wore all the tops a lot; the silver shirt jacket not so much. Again, turtlenecks plus vest plus jacket or coat was more suited to the weather.

I wore all the vests (except for the “Keith Haring” one, which I pulled out at the last moment), and didn’t wear the poncho. I find ponchos a little fussy at the best of times, and it just didn’t suit the occasion and the weather.

I wore all my boots/shoes (bought 4 more in Paris, of course!), both hats (bought some hats,

too!)and both bags. I carried the Professional Tote as my plane carry-on, coming and returning, and used it several times in Paris. I need to add a strap to it so that I can wear it

So, I’m pleased with the wardrobe; again, I wouldn’t take quite as much if I was traveling from place-to-place.I took just the right amount of jewelry and scarves, and the only reason I had
to buy a new suitcase was because of the shopping I did!

I cannot emphasize strongly enough the joy that I experienced on this trip…Marcy and Katherine are the perfect leaders, sensitive to the needs and desires of the group, extremely knowledgeable about where to go in Paris, and a heck of a lot of fun to be with! DO IT!

I made a very good potato recipe last night...Crispy Parmesan Potato Stacks… I halved the

recipe and we’re having the other half tonight! Highly recommended!

Books? I just finished reading My Name is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I haven’t been spending much time in the studio, so the Audible book I’m listening to, Moonglow, by Michael Chabon, is still being listened to. It’s good, so far!

Teddy is growing and thriving…he turns 7 months on the 20th. Here he is in my office…

and this is our usual view of him in the kitchen while we are cooking dinner…

I probably won’t post again till after the holidays…we are having a quiet Christmas, and leave for Iowa on the 29th to attend our oldest grandson’s wedding on New Year’s Eve. I am watching the weather reports to make sure I take enough warm clothing.

A very happy holiday to those of you who celebrate, and to those who don’t…

from Margy, Dave, Teddy and Micmac

I will be hanging out over at Patti’s Visible Mondays; come on over and say hi!


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Free Sewing Pattern – TinyBoots

PATTERN DETAILS Cute little bootie. A perfect as a babyshower gift. The elastic band sits snugg around the ankle for a comfortable fit. Download Now

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Last blog post before I leave for Paris! I am getting SOOOO excited! I managed to make one last pair of pants to go in my travel wardrobe… I used my “Trifecta”pants pattern and a gorgeous cotton/silk blend cross-dyed fabricfrom Marcy Tilto…

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My first hand made denim shoes!

As mentioned I my previous post, I have started and finished making a pair of shoes! It felt like I just really needed to power through from start to finish even though at times I wasn’t confident they were working or if I was going to like them, but t…

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Making shoes and making a shoe last!

I am definitely feeling open to new challenges lately and am slowly working my way through all the things I said I would never do! I am not saying ‘never’ to anything at the moment since I started thinking about making shoes. Shoes, actual shoes!!! It …

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I fell in love with this wine/black crinkled brocade from Mood Fabrics

and decided to make a jacket with moto influences. I didn’t want to use my TNT Kwik Sew 3764 again, so I went hunting for a suitable pattern. I made a muslin out of the Quart Coat
pattern by Pauline Alice, thinking I could modify it to my liking. I couldn’t…

My dress form isn’t shaped like that, and neither am I (wide shoulders, nipped
in waist).

I liked aspects of B5822 (OOP) which I used when I was making “manteaux”
for our Iran trip…

so I put on my thinking cap and came up with a frankinpattern using parts of the Butterick pattern and parts of the Kwik Sew. And this is what I made:

I added a separating zipper to the front, shortened the jacket, and added sleeve and pocket zippers…

I used the sleeve from the KS and also the pocket placement, the rest was from
the Butterick pattern.

I lined the jacket with a dark red satin lining, also from Mood Fabrics, and piped 
it in black satin.

I accessorized it with some wonderful Gujarati bracelets I got in India some
25 years ago.

That’s kept me pretty busy; I took some time out to have a wonderful lunch with long-time
friend Diane and her SO

The puppy? He had his first grooming appointment, we went to obedience class (THAT was
traumatic for both of us!), he now weighs in at 20 pounds, and every ¼ inch he grows
means another level of mischief he can reach. I took him for a swim again yesterday and he jumped right in. I think he’s tall enough now to get out on his own, but for now, we keep a hand on his collar. But he loves to swim!

Like the kitty, he LOVES boxes…

begging to go in the door (damage on door done by his
                  predecessor, Paddywack)

and benches.

My kitchen activities are still centered on somewhat frantic enjoyment of the tomato season…

Caprese salad for lunch today. We’re also cleaning out the freezer, eating last year’s beans and soups, getting ready for cooler weather (hah! it’s currently 95 degrees, but “feels like” 105).

I’m joining BOTH Patti’s Visible Women and Judith’s Hat Attack this week…come take a look!

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16 Brilliant Shoe Hacks

16 Brilliant Shoe HacksThese shoe hacks are going to come in so handy. I have so many pairs that are dirty or stained that I thought were trash – now I have new ways to clean them! Plus, there’s lots of other great shoe hacks here, too. Make sure you save this list for the next time you…

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The post 16 Brilliant Shoe Hacks appeared first on Kids Activities Blog.

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Free Project – crochet pattern Mini booties

Free Project – crochet pattern Mini booties

Pattern Description: This crochet pattern is my original design and it may not be distributed in any form. You can sell items that you make using the pattern, the only thing I ask is that you put a link to my store mentioning the pattern. It is very easy to make. You will need about […]

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Mexican Tourist Shoes!

For their Spring/Summer Collection, one of my favorite shoe brands, Miss L Fire, came out with a pair of shoes inspired by one of my favorite vintage garments, the Mexican tourist jacket (which some of you know I collect these, with a current tally of 18, with no two alike), and for the first time ever, I actually […]

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For a short while, a marvellous serenity enters his life and he is at one with nature.

Hey guys! What is the craic?! I have basically minus craic at the moment. When I last wrote I was getting sick and, since then, I have been properly sick. I had the flu and then I got sinusitis. The flu has gone but the sinusitis and a horrible cough a…

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I blacked out after Goldman’s eyes popped out of his sockets. Believe me, you can’t unsee that.

Hello boys and girls, whasssssup?! What is up here is that I have had a long day and I am tired. It was shaping up to be a busy day anyway, and then it all went a bit mad after lunch. Everything is in hand now, and it’s all good but tonight is all abou…

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Free Project – Pretty Summer Sandals

Free Project – Pretty Summer Sandals

Basic Skills Necessary: accurate cutting and gluing Pattern Description: Summer is coming! Why not give an unusual holiday gift to your favorite teacher or make a pair of these ornamental flip-flops to sit on your shelf and make you dream of the beach? You could make dozens of shoes and string them up as an […]

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Bosque del Cabo, Osa Peninsula, Costa RicaTruly a Paradise on earth, and we have been fortunate to visit for the second time. This time we went to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. It was theperfect choice, we were so very well taken care of.We s…

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Well, it’s the first time I have used that particular chart actually. I got it free with a promotional crate of Carlsberg.

Hello everyone! I hope that this blue Monday hasn’t been too blue for everyone. Mine has mainly been a tired Monday – I had a very intense week at work last week where I had to stay in London for a few nights and work on Saturday, and I am sort of catc…

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Free Project – Ballerina Slippers Tutorial

Free Project – Ballerina Slippers Tutorial

Pattern Description: Design a slipper pattern custom to your feet, then sew them to keep your toes cozy. You’ll be surprised how easy it is! Materials: A third yard of fashion fabric A third yard of lining fabric 1 sheet of 2mm-thick foam core 1 pair of foam shoe inserts 1 yard of quarter-inch-wide elastic […]

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You can try to change New York, but it’s like Jay-Z says: Concrete bunghole where dreams are made up. There’s nothing you can do.

Hey you guys! How’s the form? My first week back to work has been grand, if a little depressing that it’s so cold and dark and, you know, January-ish. My body responded petulantly to being back at work by getting sick, but not sick enough to justify no…

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I mean, one does not pick dahlias and chrysanthemums in an alpine meadow.

Hello! Happy Christmas, everyone! I hope that you’ve all been having a festive and restful holiday period. I was very busy in the lead-up to Christmas at work and with social commitments and, as soon as work was finished, Nic and I headed down to Kent …

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Scully, if I’m carrying Marilyn Monroe’s purse, do you assume that I’ve slept with JFK?

Evening everyone! Hello! What is the craic?! It’s ninety here. I had a brilliant weekend, I have three work days left of 2015 and I hit an important deadline today. All of these things feel pretty good! I was working at home today and I had a very busy…

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Free Project – Cloudborn Fibers Adult Stripe Boots

Free Project – Cloudborn Fibers Adult Stripe Boots

Pattern Description: This is the madmonkeyknits FREE Cloudborn Fiber Adult Stripe Boots knitting pattern. This fabulous FREE knitting pattern has been specially designed to coincide with the launch of Cloudborn Fibers on Craftsy. These wonderful boots can be made in 3 sizes Small, (US shoe size 3-5.5), Medium (US shoe size 6-8) and Large (US […]

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