Twitchy Fingers

It may seem that Miss M gets the lion’s share of the handmade items, but this is not true, she just enjoys the whole process of modelling more than Miss E. Also, Miss E’s new shorts are still waiting for elastic to hold them up.

While we wait for the elastic we can look at Miss M’s new dress, another geranium dress to add to her collection, this time made from a vintage skirt donated to me by my Mum.

Geranium dress

Geranium dress


Vintage fabric

Vintage fabric



For kids that keep growing


Indigo Dyed Lazy Days Skirt

Indigo Dyed Lazy Days Skirt

I am so glad to have children that love to have clothes made for them, though I realise this will not last forever. So while they enjoy and wear them, I cannot help but make them more. Above is an Oliver + S Lazy Days Skirt, my favourite easy pattern for my skirt loving girls. The fabric is some that I dyed at home using indigo dye.

Indigo Dyed Fabric

Indigo Dyed Fabric

Lazy Days Skirt in action

Lazy Days Skirt in action


Miss M got a new shirt, another Oliver and S pattern, this time the Music Class Blouse. I normally avoid anything with buttonholes, but my new sewing machine has an easy buttonhole program and I will never be afraid of buttonholes ever again.

Music Class Blouse

Music Class Blouse

Music Class Blouse

Music Class Blouse

The fabric is a fine white gauze with Swiss dots and the buttons are vintage. The pink tinge is from the vest Miss M is wearing underneath – because she liked it. Miss M must have been happy with the shirt because she insisted on wearing it before I had a chance to remove all the blue pattern markings.

Sew and sew

This is a bit of catch up of some the sewing I have been doing over the past couple of months.

I had the Merchant and Mills Landgate jacket pattern and enough black British Millerain waxed fabric to make 2 jackets since last summer, but it was the impending Christmas gift season that spurred me on to get started. Dave was the first to get a complete jacket.


The lovely Dave and the lovely Maya in matching beards.

Dave has the version with the side pockets. A couple of weeks ago I finally got around to making my own jacket and decided to go for the patch pocket and to add a lining to the jacket. Instructions for a lining are not included in the pattern, so it was all a bit of an experiment. I cut out all the pieces of the pattern in the waxed cotton and all but the hood facing, drawstring band and pockets in the lining fabric. The lining was stitched together in the same method as the outer and the two were joined together at the topstitching stage. I was very glad to have already had the practice with making Dave’s jacket, otherwise I would have given up!

The Landgate Jacket with patch pockets


Here is a dodgy picture of the lining fabric.

Lining fabric

Lining fabric

The resulting jacket is warm and cosy, though I need to practice getting it off without removing all my top layers. The pattern is pretty straightforward, just follow the instructions and I liked the simple method of marking the notches.

So, what to make with my leftover pieces of waxed cotton?





Wee Blaíthín

By the banks of the Bann

I find I don’t have quite as much time to knit these days, but I usually have something on the go. I finished this Blaíthín cardigan for Martha in February and she has got good wear out of it. Sadly, the ceramic buttons that I used were not up to the job, several of them broke and have been replaced with plastic buttons.


At the start of the year a had a bit of a sewing frenzy. I hope to share some of the items I made soon, but until then I leave you with this picture.


Quick Change Trousers

Quick Change Trousers, originally uploaded by ZMB.

In between looking after Martha and spending hours on end in bed, I have managed to make some items for the new baby.

I had intended to sew some items for Martha before she was born, but she was in a rush and I wasn’t at all organised. This time I have managed to complete a garment (and also hope to make Martha a top).

Other items completed for the new baby have been baby socks, a February Baby Sweater, a Little Baby Sweater and a Bonnet.

And Martha got a new hat.


I think it would be fair to say that that past couple of months have been quite tough. It has been a combination of 1st trimester of pregnancy ickyness and my Granny passing away. I didn’t realise I would miss her so much.

She was a proper Granny, one that knitted, sewed, baked wee buns and put up with her Granddaughter using up all her good yarn to make pom-poms. So, part of my getting over her passing has been to throw myself into being creative. I have finished knitting a sweater that had been far too long on the needles, started knitting a cardigan for my next baby and I am sewing the blouse version of the Oliver + S Ice cream dress for little Miss Martha in this fabric.


The Information

The Norfolk pictures have now been uploaded to flickr.

In reply to a few questions that Katy asked me while I was visiting her –

I got my t-shirt here.

Recipes for homemade home cleaners can be found here. I got my recipes from a book called Clean House, Clean Planet but the recipes are much the same as those at MakeYourCosmetics. I have made a multi-surface cleaner and antibacterial bathroom scrub. They smell delicious and work well, though they don’t really remove staining and they require a little extra rinsing. I have also made a vinegar floor cleaner which, providing you don’t mind the place smelling of vinegar, works wonderfully as a quick clean between proper mops.

I haven’t done any knitting for a few days but I have mended an old dress and glued the butterfly back onto my shoe. The dress had been needing mended for a couple of years so I am very pleased that I fixed it! One less job on the list of tasks that never get completed! All this sewing has me in the mood to sew and I was delighted to find Burda Style which has wonderful open source sewing patterns. I think I would like to make myself a shirt.

Back to knitting – the new summer Knitty is up. Something like Wisp could take care of the two balls of Kid Silk Haze that I have lying around.

We like information sharing, so hopefully someone can help me and tell me where I could get a magnetic notice board. I have a magnet board that I fashioned out of a few bits of wood, a coffee can and a piece of fabric but stuff keeps falling off it and I have decided that I need a new board. Can you help?

My New Skirt

My New Skirt

Originally uploaded by ZMB.

There is not enough time in the day to do all the things I want to do. The last few weeks have been like a whirlwind and I’ve barely had a chance to sit and think and contemplate (or write about) what has been happening. Two weekends ago D, Gracie and I went to spend a weekend in the Mournes. We stayed in a cottage outside Kilkeel and spent a couple of days climbing mountains (Slieve Binnian and Slieve Meelmore). We ate like pigs. I had double portions of breakfast in preparation for the big climbs and then we would come back to the cottage and feast on food and wine.

The eating of vast quantities of restaurant and takeaway food has been a bit of a theme recently. Today we had an all you can eat buffet from one of the Chinese Restaurants in town, on Wednesday I was out for lunch, the week before that I was out for lunch, I am going out for lunch tomorrow and last weekend in Norfolk we ate out for all our meals! I feel like I am carrying a large stone in my stomach.

On Wednesday I made myself a new skirt from a pattern I had had lying around for months and months. I got the fabric from Reprodepot. I have just had a look at Reprodepot and want this doggy fabric!

On Thursday we went to my Mum’s for dinner and the wee Owlie feckers would not show their big ears!

Yesterday was busy, shopping, dropping Hannah off at the airport, cleaning the house, walking the dog, enjoying the sunshine, eating barbequed fish and sausages, drinking Margaritas and watching Babel. Except I was tired and fell asleep before the end of the film.

Today was filling our face with Chinese food, going to the beach to walk the dog, back home to do a spot of gardening, then Gracie got another walk and now I’m sitting by the computer. I am tired. But happy.