Sewing live! Vogue 8648 completed doll hat and coat

Posted in Sewing


Finally finished. Many ends needed sort out. The bow has worked well and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Sewing takes ages. She’s wearing the coat over another outfit from the same pattern, B, a dress, pinafore and bloomers set.


The boots are from the outfit pattern that came with the doll (vogue 8336).


I cut the boot uppers from felt, cut out flowers from the main fabric and layed them on the felt. They were secured with rows of stitching and then made up following the pattern.

Sewing live! Vogue 8648 trims and fastenings

Posted in Sewing


Heading for the finish line now. The coat is hemmed, the velcro has been added and the hat is finished and just needs a little decoration.

Instead of using ribbons to decorate, I’m using more of the cotton fabric. Have cut a big strip to make the neck bow, a much smaller one to create the knot of the bow and a medium sized one to gather for the hat decoration.

The buttons are decorative and the coat actually fastens with a narrow strip of velcro.


Top tip time – to stop your buttons going everywhere while you sew, use a pin with a head bigger than the button’s hole to secure them to your pincushion.

Sewing live! Vogue 8648 hem

Posted in Sewing


Morning! This is the front of the coat. The side seams have been sewn and I’ve also spent some time with a needle, hand sewing in the ends, and stitching down the binding on the neck and sleeves.

The hem is interesting. First step is to turn the front edge back on itself. Then add a short line of stitching above the edge.


The front is cut off so it is not too bulky when turned. This is what it looks like on the front and back:


As the felt won’t fray, I’m now going to hem the bottom without turning again. Fortunate as it would be too bulky.

Sewing live! Vogue 8648 collar and hat

Posted in Sewing


The collar now has a slightly wonky trim, a lining and is now ready to be attached to the coat. As this is a vogue pattern it is rather complicated but I know from previous Linda Carrr vogue patterns that they result in a much more beautifully finished item than an easier pattern. When I brave sewing lots of clothes for myself, the skills learned from these patterns will be useful.


This is the attached collar. As you can see the hat is now pinned ready for the trim which covers the join between the brim and crown.

What you can’t see is that I have a nice little burn on my finger from the iron because I always do that when sewing. Knitting is calming as you just sit and knit. Sewing is exhausting – every time you do a little bit you have to go and iron it.

Time to sleep now before I make any silly mistakes. Live sewing will resume in the morning.

Live sewing! Vogue 8648 pockets and trim

Posted in Sewing


Just sewn on the front trim and pockets. Then joined the fronts to the raglan sleeves and the back.


The trim might look a bit wonky but it’s better than I could have hoped!

The pleat in the sleeve was easy to do but the instructions didn’t suggest to do them both facing backwards or forwards. Tried to do both forwards but one isn’t quite perfect. Unpicked and had another go which was imperfect in a slightly different way so just leaving it as it is now.

The cuffs are supposed to be turned over inside then edge stitched on the top but it’s too bulky to go in the machine so I’m going to stich them by hand.

Live sewing! Vogue 8648 coat cuffs

Posted in Sewing


These are the coat cuffs.  Just realised that the felt piece will be folded double and it would be too thick.

Have fixed this by cutting off just less than half (half + seam allowance), then making a matching piece in the cotton. Stitched them together and the bottom piece is one the finnished new cuff pieces. It has the same shape and size as the original piece but will not be so bulky. The stitching line between the two is on the line where the cuff folds.

Live sewing! Vogue 8648 18″ Doll coat

Posted in Sewing

There really isn’t enough live sewing so this weekend I’m going to make this cute little doll coat and matching hat and blog as I go. No time limits and I reserve the right to take naps.


This is the pattern. Am making the hat and coat. The pattern suggested flannel but I’m using navy felt which I found in the curtain section of John Lewis. As it’s thicker than flannel, where the pattern calls for two layers, I’m using a polkadot cotton. 

So far I’ve made the two little pockets. They have a spotty trim but no braiding on top as I’m going to decide if I want it when it is done.

Live sewing! Vogue 8648 18″ Doll coat

Posted in Sewing

There really isn’t enough live sewing so this weekend I’m going to make this cute little doll coat and matching hat and blog as I go. No time limits and I reserve the right to take naps.


This is the pattern. Am making the hat and coat. The pattern suggested flannel but I’m using navy felt which I found in the curtain section of John Lewis. As it’s thicker than flannel, where the pattern calls for two layers, I’m using a polkadot cotton. 

So far I’ve made the two little pockets. They have a spotty trim but no braiding on top as I’m going to decide if I want it when it is done.

Vogue Rag Doll 8336

Posted in Dolls, Sewing

2014-03-14 18.00.40
Meet Una, my beloved rag doll that I made as a school project back in the early 90s. She’s from an out-of-print Vogue pattern 8336 which included the iron-on transfer face. Her arms and legs move on teddy bear joints and at the time was one of the most challenging things I’d ever sewn.

Her emo fringe hides her eyes as mine did at the time, and her asthetic is more Winona Ryder than Laura Ingalls Wilder because I’ve never been one for twee.

Sadly I don’t have the second doll I made from the pattern about a decade ago, but am currently working on a third. She will be made from black velvet and have a cat head. Have spent most of the afternoon constructing paper cat heads to try and work out how to do it. Think I’m there now…

2014-03-14 18.01.01

Cathedral Window Pin Cushion & Cushion

Posted in Quilts, Sewing

Finally finished the cathedral window cushion I was working on the other week. The initial inspiration was seeing this beautiful cushion on pinterest, and wanting to know how it was created. Googling lead to this cute cute free pin cushion pattern and tutorial.

2014-03-14 18.03.49

As you can see, that tutorial is great and was easy to follow I love my new pin cushion. I weighted it down with some 2p pieces in the bottom while stuffing to stop it floating off across the desk. Have since used it every time I’ve sewn.

It was so satisfying that I cut out another 16 and worked them together into a full size cushion. This is the finished item:

2014-03-14 17.59.46

Both were entirely hand sewn, so took ages. One of my cats likes the cushion so much he’s slept on the fabric, the pinned project in progress and is now curled up asleep on the finished cushion. Tutors just don’t teach you how to deal with cats in your sewing when you’re taking a class. The cushion pad and grey linen are from IKEA and I used around 1.5m of the fabric, including the plain back. The linen was quite tough to sew, but has given the cushion a really weighty, sculptural appearance.

Suspect both might have been a bit neater if I had cut the fabric more precisely, but still very happy with the results. The jazzy star satin fabric in the background is destined to become a David Bowie/clown disco party dress at some point in the future.

The scraps were from my stash and there are some happy memories in those little pieces of fabric. Every bit of green, yellow, brown and blue in my stash is there, my stash is mostly red, pink, purple and black. Redressed the balance at the Knitting and Stitching show today with lots of greens and yellows.

2014-03-14 18.03.05

Planning to have lots of fun with these – think my next patchwork and quilting project might be to use them for a clamshells patterned cushion.

Making doll bedding for Lottie dolls

Posted in Dolls, Sewing

My splendid six-year-old friend F was given some lovely little Lottie dolls for Christmas. She and her mum are turning a shelf into a home for the dolls using odds and ends. Mum asked me to make some bedding for this shoebox which magically becomes bunk beds when turned on it’s side.


Each piece is made from rectangles of fabric sewn together and very lightly stuffed. There are 6 little matresses which pile up for extra comfort and two duvets with pillows. The size of the matresses was based on the size of the box.

I made a paper template slightly larger to allow for seams, cut two rectangles from different fabric and machine sewed the two together, leaving a small gap for turning the right way round and stuffing. The duvets and pillows were done in exactly the same way, although I didn’t use templates as the scraps of fabric were generally only just big enough to make a rectangle.

Matresses, pillows and duvets for lottie doll beds

The award-winning dolls are themed around robots, pirates, ponies and other things which are much more intelligent and purposeful than princesses so the bedding couldn’t be too girly. They all fit snugly back in the box for storage, which impressed my kitten Stormageddon.

box of Lottie doll bedding

And a late addition to the blog post, a picture of the bed in the Lottie doll house, with one little lass tucked up in bed dreaming of adventures in time and space.

Lottie doll bedroom

Twas the season to be fluffy in Dorking

Posted in Knitting, Shopping

I made a little detour on a recent Christmas trip to visit family and popped into the Fluff-a-torium, Dorking’s finest purveyors of fluff. Even the outside in the rain it looks appealing, doesn’t it?


Inside the shop more than lived up to expectation. They sell very nice yarn, cute haberdashery but are primarily focused on needle felting. The fluffymongers were very friendly and did not appear to mind that as a result of the rain, I dripped all over their floor.

The yarn selection mainly contained good-quality popular basics like Rowan and Debbie Bliss, but there were some nice arty yarns including this skein of splendid British yarn from A Stash Addict which was just too tempting. Someday this yarn will be fancy socks!


Also picked up the latest Arne & Carlos book, Knit-and-Crochet Garden. It has a pattern for a little mouse in dungarees!

There are a couple of other interesting wool/fabric shops in Dorking, including The Quilt Room which has very pretty fabric. The other shops that sold yarn mostly offered budget options with lots of acrylic.

Hubbie’s favourite thing about the Fluff-a-torium is that The Kings Arms is right opposite so he didn’t have to pretend to be interested in fluff.

Knitted Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

Posted in Knitting, London

The very splendid Zoe is a huge fan of Shakespeare and we have a shared love of the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. As we recently enjoyed the behind the scenes tour, I knew a little knitted globe would be the perfect present for her.


Couldn’t find a pattern so had to improvise from pictures. Started with the roof because that’s the most distinctive bit and needed to be just right. Then I picked up stitches around the roof and worked the outside, followed by a circular base and the inner tube back up to the inside of the roof. The inner tube has three orange stripes to represent the tiers of seating.

Finally the stairwells and stage roof were knitted separately and sewn on.


Hot pink pencil skirt

Posted in Fashion, Sewing


Avoiding the mid-day sun by staying in and sewing up a simple pencil skirt using a £2 remnant of mystery textured stretchy something from Fabrics Galore in Brixton. 

Traced round a simple jersey skirt I already owned and improvised a waistband at the top which is just a simple tube with elastic running through.

The hem is just the selvage which has a nice wiggly edge and doesn’t look like it will fray so I used it as a design feature.

Very 80s but this is what happens when you learn to make clothes from knits and jersey fabric after seeing the brilliant V&A club to catwalk exhibition.

Oh dear, just realised that there’s enough fabric left to make a matching scrunchie…

Kaffe Fasset’s Floral Jacket

Posted in Knitting

Baa, the intarsia sweater is on hold because the purple yarn ran out with just a few rows to go and it’s been discontinued and every ball vanquished from the entire internet in the two weeks since I bought it which is silly.

So this is the temporary replacement project. It probably wouldn’t have been possible to get any further down the colourwork obsession road without tackling one of Kaffe Fassett’s awesome patterns. Have been madly in love with this floral jacket pattern for a while and finally cast on yesterday.

Some rows in the jacket have three colours in them which is stressful, but looks fine so far. Also produced 13 pages of notes about project management from the pile of books from the library yesterday, but that project is far less photogenic!

The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace

Posted in Exhibitions, Knitting, London

Missed the show last year so made a big effort to get there this year. The highlights included this tent decorated with unfinished projects (and the stories inside), Rowan‘s cute dinosaur panorama, as well as a stunning embroidered car door from the imaginative Mr X Stitch.

Have to confess to not buying much. A lovely skein of hand-dyed yarn and some cheap DK acrylic James C Brett Twinkle sparkly stuff in midnight blue and a second-hand book of collected articles about colourwork was pretty much my entire haul. Was a bit hampered by making some strict rules with myself about no new hobbies and no fabric. Still none the wiser about why people buy giant cardboard giraffes and cover them with wrapping paper.


Doctor Who Lampshade

Posted in Interiors

Oh giddy squee, this fabric is so cute. A while back, Jennie linked to this Spoonflower TARDIS fabric and that resolved the ongoing hunt for some fabric for hubbie’s lampshade.

Wasn’t able to centre the print as well as I would have liked because I was making do with the size of the fabric I had.

Obviously now I’ve broken my no international shipping rule, willpower is feeling a little low. Trying not to think about this making a nice skirt.