Sunday, 19 January 2014

Black Dog Week

Hello Lovely Folks how are you all doing?  I hope everyone is fine and well and having some fun.  Unfortunately the old black dog has been having a bit of a DorothyFest this last couple of weeks and he has been relentless in following me every day.  January is always a bleak month as far as I am concerned as I have some sad anniversaries around my lovely Dad and Brother so each year I know what I am heading into.  This New Year's Eve I made a promise to myself that I would not let the old dog in again but, old as he is, he has the strength of a lion when he wants something.  I have kept going by reading all your wonderful posts and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that meeting all you fabulous Bloggers over the past months has really helped me through this.  A huge thank you to each and every one of you.  I am not through it yet but at least I know he will get tired of me eventually and sadly will move on to someone else - I wish he could just retire and leave us all alone.
I have tried to keep myself occupied and busy all week - work as always is full on and we are undergoing a huge organisational change which is not the most comfortable as a lot of my friends are now leaving or considering it.  This I suppose has added to the grey feelings of January but my sewing classes have been a life line.  Rachel had a really cute remnant which I loved and she suggested making something from one of her Christmas gifts - a sewing book.  I know that a lot of you are huge fans of Zakka and I do love some of the things myself but have found some patterns hard to follow, but with Rachel's guidance everything came together quite nicely.
I wanted to make the Bento lunch bag but without the insulation.  What attracted me was the lining at the top of the bag with the drawstring cord, something I had not attempted before.  It is such a cute little bag, I fell in love with it straight away.
Oh, I had forgotten to tell you about another treasure I had found which arrived on Friday. In many countries, years ago, people would sew in their initials into their clothes so when the clothes were laundered they would not get lost, what a lovely idea.  We still do ourselves with children's school clothes don't we.  I found out about these vintage labels a few years ago and am always on the hunt for them.  I found a wonderful Etsy shop in France which fortunately had the initials I needed for my little Peeps.  The shop is called Sissidavril  and she has the most amazing things on offer.  The service is wonderful so do pop over and visit her if you love anything vintage.  Here are my two little boxes of labels each containing 144 which will last a fair time I would think at the speed I go with my sewing and knitting.
They are only tiny but look so cute and I always make sure that I have my own labels on with the date - cannot believe that I am putting the 2014 ones on already.
Here you can see them on Elizabeth's bag.
I haven't finished hers yet as I ran out of time unfortunately.  Time is my biggest enemy.
Her favourite colours are red and pink so I am hoping she will like the lining of her bag.
The fabric came with the plain buttons already sewn on and this is what attracted me to it.  However you had to be careful that you didn't stitch over the buttons and I had to cut a few off as I didn't want to break the needle on my machine.  The fabric is supposed to be for curtains but I loved it as it is quite heavy and silky and I have begged Rachel to look for some more for me.  Rachel joked with me in class asking if I was going to add more things to it as she knows I love my embellishments!  The letter buttons are from Hobbycraft and I love them - however you do get a big jar but you will be left with all kinds of letters you might not use if you are only using them to spell names.  However I have some projects in mind to make sure that I use them all up.
This one is Catherine's bag and I have finished this one - used a pink candy stripe as this is her favourite colour.  The beads and the cord were both from Hobbycraft and did the job perfectly.
I used a piece of remnant I have had for ages for the lining as I did with Elizabeth's bag.
There is it all finished but as I am looking at it I am thinking if I need to add more - or leave it - what do you think lovely Folks?
To cheer myself up this week I did buy this amazing tea towel from Marks and Spencer as I loved the colours and the owls.  I have an idea what I am going to make with it..........what would you make?
Do you visit Ebay?  I do from time to time but am very wary of getting involved in a price war when bidding.  I always have a set price in mind and then stop if it looks like going over, it takes determination but I am terrified of getting carried away - wouldn't be much good in Las Vegas would I!  I spied this plate on Ebay and had never seen one like it before, really loved the colours and the design around the outside of it. 
The photograph of the Royal Family is not that good - the Queen's teeth look a bit odd I must say but overall it was in good condition and I managed to get it for £4 so was pleased as it is in fabulous condition.
I do love to see the old stamps on the back of these plates - Tunstall is not a million miles from us and it is sad to think that these industries have mainly gone now. 
On Friday on my way home from work I popped into Hobbycraft and spied this Clothkits shift dress for £10.00 - on the website they are £24.99p so if any of you fancy one of these hotfoot it down to the shop and see if you can pick up one.  They only had red and they were mainly the smaller size but I managed to rummage through and find a bigger size which will do the youngest of my little Peeps.
Unlike the other kits I have made up before this one does have a lining in but for some reason they are only half lined which I don't like personally so I intend to do a full lining as I have with the others.  Now lovely Folks not sure if you remember the job I had with the button holes with the last one, finally giving up and putting in press studs - I am worrying about this already but I know Rachel from sewing will help me out.  I can't wait to get started on it.
The fabric is really lovely quality and I am hoping to get it finished in a week or two so that I can take it down to my Little Peep - I showed her it this weekend and she was excited!
I don't know about anyone else but I do get tired of seeing the same things around the house sometimes, especially cushions.  After packing all the Christmas ones away I got out the 'ordinary' covers and must admit that they looked a bit tired and shabby so thought that I should be thinking about new ones.  Honestly this time last year I wouldn't have dreamt of making my own cushions so I am pleased that I have at least got the confidence to make a simple cushion for myself.  The lovely Rachel from my sewing class sometimes has fabrics to sell and she had a small piece of a Sanderson print called Jubilee Square which I fell in love with.  I do adore anything with houses on for some reason.  Rachel goes to an outlet store somewhere in Lancashire and buys pieces and I asked her if she saw anymore could she get some for me.  Luckily she was able to get hold of 2 metres which I am thrilled about as I should get four good sized cushions from this size fabric.  What do you think lovely Readers, do you like it?
The cost of it should have been around £35/36 per metre but Rachel managed to get me two metres for £24 which I was delighted with making it only £6 per cushion.
I am going to use my trusty pattern from Lillyblossom and have got some really nice blue taffeta which is nicer than it looks in this photograph.  I can't wait to start making the up and am going to try and recycle my old covers rather than just give them away.
Well lovely Friends it has been a tiring week and I shall be glad to see January out but I do hope you have all faired better and have been enjoying a good week.  Thank you for all your lovely comments, I do just love to hear from each and every one of you.  I shall be shortly coming up to my 100 post (I cannot believe this) and intend to have a giveaway to celebrate this - as always there will be two winners and it is going to be a mystery giveaway, something I have made myself which I hope the winners will like - I shall be giving more information on this a little later so do watch out.  Have a fabulous week ahead Everyone, sending you all huge hugs and lots of love - see you all very soon, Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


  1. you keep me really busy with the reading!!!!! ;oD
    I love the fabric with the houses and the tea towel with the owls!!!!
    happy week, xxxxx Ale

  2. Lots to say... I got that kit for £10 ages ago and Big Sis still wears it now. They are a joy to make up - just watch the button placket, I put mine on the wrong way!!! Some nice buys too. That drawstring certainly does give the bag a nice finish doesn't it? Thanks for checking out my shawl. Meg is much better now. Hope you come out of your January blues soon. Jo x

  3. Dorothy I do so hope you will be back to your cheery old self soon, i do not like to think of you being downhearted. I am glad that blog reading helps.
    Your makes are fabulous and the tea towel is fantastic very retro.
    The sun will be out soon for you don't worry you just have to blow those clouds away first!!
    with much love Daisy j xxx

  4. Sorry to hear that you have been down, this really is a horrid time of year isn't it. Your bags look gorgeous though, and I love the little initial tags. The Sanderson fabric is beautiful and will make great cushions I am sure!! Hope that you are feeling perkier again soon. xx

  5. So wonderful to see you back my dear.
    As usual a varied and packed blog.
    I purchased 3 Clothkits in last years Hobbycraft Sale. That Included one for me, but it is still on the "jobs to do" list.
    What fab bags you have made for your Granddaughters. I must take a closer look at these.
    Keep well.
    Hugs x

  6. Hope the 'Black Dog', moves on soon. Love the bags x

  7. I'm so sorry to hear you've been struggling Dorothy, I hope you feel brighter very soon x
    The labels are a wonderful find and goodness the clothkits is fab.
    love Jooles x x x

  8. Hi lovely Dorothy, I hope that you feel better and happier soon and that the black dog goes very far away. It looks like you have been very busy! Your sewing projects are always gorgeous, so full of brightness and colour, I love those bags. The wee cloth kits dress is really cute and a great bargain! Take care.
    Marianne x

  9. Hello Dorothy! It has been a pretty miserable January, hasn't it? Anniversaries are tough. Take care of yourself; Spring won't be long! I love the owl tea-towel, is it going to be another of your lovely bags? Lesley x

  10. Your bags are so fun and pretty. You have such a wonderful blog. January will soon be over and hopefully February won't be as grey.
    Your friend, Alyssa

  11. I'm sorry to hear the black dog has been accompanying you through January. I hope it will soon leave you alone again. Your blog is filled with interesting things today, despite how you have been feeling. I love the gorgeous bags you've made, they are really beautiful and the letters spelling out the girls' names are such a nice idea. Sending you warm wishes for the rest of January, dear Dorothy.
    Helen xox

  12. Good morning dear Dorothy...I'm so sorry to read that January is a difficult month for you and hope that the longer brighter days ahead make things a little easier for you...they will soon be here...
    You have been so busy with your gorgeous makes which are beautiful as always and your labels are a fabulous idea.
    Love your latest finds too Dorothy..lovely fabrics which will make some lovely bright and cheery cushions and your china mug is a real bargain...x
    Take care,
    Susan x

  13. Wishing you brighter days, Dorothy. Looks like you are keeping yourself busy with a lot of fun projects; that will bring brighter day that much quicker. Thinking of you. ~Astri

  14. Hi Dorothy,
    Just checking in.... It's been a few days since you posted. Are you well?
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  15. Hello Dorothy. I am so sorry to hear that this has been such a difficult could of weeks for you and I am also sorry that I havent posted a comment sooner. It must be really hard for you and my heart goes out to you. I do hope that it slowly gets better for you my dear. I have that book too and I bought it for the very same reason I wanted to make that lunch box for the kids, but you are much better than me as I haven't even started and to be honest I don't feel very confident when it comes to bags, it's something very new to me. Yours turned out beautifully and I am sure it will be loved and used. There are so many gorgeous things in this post and I really hope that you have a lovely Sunday. Hopefully see you very soon xoxo