At my class with the teenagers last week, we decided to snazz up our shoes with a bit of fabric, ribbon and some Modge Podge (flexible PVA glue).

Here are mine. I decided to take the minimalist approach.

I don’t know whether I should wear them laceless or try to find some turquoise laces.

Also, where the heck am I going to find an outfit to go with them?!

Very pleased with these Camper sandals I bought off Ebay. They are in spanking new condition and cost under £30 ($47). They’re normally about £90 ($140). Makes me feel slightly better about the gorgeous but  not-quite-so-cheap-or-eco clogs I bought from my friend’s lovely clothes shop here.

Somewhat less pleased with my lily-white legs. Must get out that Oil of Olay Touch of sun or whatever it’s called.

Need to brush up my nail painting skills as well so don’t look too closely.

I run a sewing and craft class for teenagers during term time and last week we did stencils using freezer paper.

For those not in the know, it’s a waxy paper which you use to make a stencil. You then iron it on your fabric, dab it over with some fabric paint and peel it off.

This is one I did and sewed onto a simple cushion cover.

The bird was  my demo stencil and I sewed that on the back of the cover.

Next week we’re going to be sewing the pictures onto bags, cushions and the like and may be even doing a bit of stencil work on some clothes. I quite fancy a little freezer paper stencilled bow at the neckline of a T-shirt. So I will be digging out a few T-shirts I don’t mind ruining.

I bought the fabric for this dress in Chapel Street Market, London circa 1985. I only rediscovered it at the weekend when I spotted my mum digging it out to mend one of her outdoor chairs. I have always been very partial to a ‘scene’ type print.

Luckily there was quite a bit of it though and I made this from New Look pattern no. 6980 which I can recommend. Very, very simple – took just a couple of hours to put together – and quite a few nice variations.

Also comfortable and there are short and long lengths. I made the short one which is just right for me and I am average height. It’s a touch parky today so I have teamed it with some grey leggings and a White Stuff cardigan that I thrifted for £3.50 last week.

Now I must go and dig out that fake tan so I don’t look quite so pink and freckly.

Dream on

I went shopping with a good friend yesterday in Oxford (where the shops are much more interesting than near me) and saw this beautiful dress in Jigsaw. It’s not a very clear picture but it’s a cardigan and dress combined and the dress bit is the most beautiful crisp striped cotton.

It’s a schoolgirl type of look (and it’s a very long time since I was at school). But I really liked it even though I know I wouldn’t look quite like this in it.

Needless to say the £150 plus price tag made it a bit of a no-go so I am now thinking about how I can make my own version of it. A tailored man’s shirt and a nice thrifted cardie spring to mind. I’ll let you know more soon.

New book out


Amid all the press coverage of the other book, I wanted to tell you all about this one too – all about embroidery. The photo is of one of the French editions (just because I thought it looked really sweet in French), but it is also available in English here.

It’s got lots of ideas for embroideries that you can sew on kids and even adult clothes – and loads more things besides. I’m going to put a few of the inside pics on the blog over the next few weeks so please come back and have another look soon.

I have just discovered this on the Anthropologie website. I think it’s utterly divine (OK perhaps not quite so divine if it were actually on me) but I’m wondering if I could create something similar.

There are some gorgeous florals out there and I’m quite a dab hand with the old bias binding.

Now I just need to create a sewing window and I’ll be off…


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