Sunday, 30 September 2012

Green tomato chutney

My Tomato plants had provided loads of fruit this year, but with the weather turning it just wasn't going to ripen. so I decided to make some green tomato chutney.
This is a recipe from James Martin off Saturday Kitchen and is very easy to follow.
It has a bit of Chilli in to give a kick, but is also sweet and fruity. - it will be great with some cheese!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

today we walked

It was our International China Concern walk today. Just 10k, but it was a good walk, over hills and paths and mud and roads, with wind, rain, sun and good company.
We Started out at the Roman fort of Housesteads on Hadrian's wall, walked along the wall to Once Brewed, had lunch and then continued the walk, passing Vindolanda. Another settlement near this Roman wall.
The Walk is to raise money to help ICC continue to care for the disabled and abandoned children and young people in their projects in central China.
So thank you if you were able to join a walk or donate - and it's not to late if you'd still like to give.
Visit walk the wall to find out more.

Saturday, 22 September 2012


Today was the day of Keridwen & Rhydian's wedding. I took on the task of making both of their wedding outfits - and boy it was a task!

It started way back in March when I agreed to make Keri's dress, a little later Rhydian asked if I'd consider making his suit. It was not something I'd ever done before, I'd never even sewn a jacket for myself and had no idea about tailoring.
So, since the end of July I have been pretty much concentrating on getting this done for their wedding day today. I've loved doing it, but boy am I relieved that they're finished and look soooooo amazing.

I drafted the pattern for the coat and the dress myself and the trousers were based on some mens shorts from one of this year's Burda magazines.

Keri's dress was slightly medieval in style, princess seamed bodice with a basque waist and sweetheart neckline, flared sleeves, and an A line skirt, lengthening at the back. The back had an insert of bright purple silk taffeta, which was echoed in the details on Rhydian's coat.

The dress was made from Silk Dupion, interlined and lined with cotton. The neck and sleeve edge were trimmed with lace from her grandmother, and a celtic knotwork band accentuated the waist.
This type of trim is especially difficult to get ready made in the UK and was made to order by Lindsay Fleming It really sets of the dress's simple design.

Rhydian's coat was drafted using my very basic pattern drafting knowledge. Rhydian wanted a design that brought together several elements from different historical designs. It was the first time I had ever tackled a lined coat of any description. The back was longer than the double breasted front and had 3 inverted pleats in contrasting satin. The coat had a standing collar and Russia braid (stouache) trim.
The coat was drafted about 5 times in order to get the style and fit right, then made up in a dark green fulled wool. I'd never worked with this type of wool and found it very well behaved and surprisingly easy to work with - if a little thick at times (my machine had no problems coping with it - which had been one of my concerns).

The coat was lined in the same satin that provided the contrast on the back pleats and the same fabric was used for the facings and pockets in the trousers. The trousers were the easiest piece of the whole ensemble to make, the pattern needed lengthening and tapering on the legs, and I graded the pattern down a size as the smallest size printed would have been too big. I haven't made trousers for about 20 years, and was surprised how easy they were. I now plan to make myself some trousers.

Anyway they both looked amazing, The wedding was unique - Vikings on the door, a range of celtic music during the signing of the register, played by a couple of the bride and groom's friends. The Pearl of Africa Children's choir from Uganda also sang. They are doing a range of concerts in the area at the moment and had agreed to sing at the wedding.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Pushing Daisies

I finally got around to watching some of this series this week. Anna Friel's (Chuck) costumes are stunning.
If you haven't seen this then go take a look.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Walk the Wall - helping China's abandoned and disabled

Several years ago I was fortunate enough to join a team to China with International China Concern.
I was able to see and support the great work this organisation are doing in the middle of China. I have become passionate about this work and have seen how ICC, working with the local government in the areas where they are based have made a huge impact on the lives children and young people that they work with.
On the 29th September My family will be undertaking a 10km Sponsored walk along the stunning (but rather hilly) Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland.
This is just one of many walks that are happening all over the world this month. We would love it if you could join us in supporting this amazing cause. Either walk or sponsor, or make a one off donation.
Our Family Sponsor page is here, or check out the Walk the Wall website if you're interested in finding out more.

Thank you

Friday, 7 September 2012

Me Made Week

I've just started a new job. Hench the lack of posts recently (that and only getting back from holiday on Saturday last week).
I have to wear "business smart" clothing.
It's mean I can't just wear casual wear, which would be soooo much more practical for teaching art!
So this week I managed to wear all me mades, with a black jacket I bought for an interview 6 years ago!

I think I need to have more jackets. I've ordered some bright red fabric to make a jacket and skirt from. I'm looking forward to receiving my £50 worth of fabrics from Abakhan, that I won for being a finalist in the dress factor competiton run by the sewing directory.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

I may be some time

Well the holiday was great. Warm, Sunny and very Relaxing. However I've come straight home to start a new job and it's time to hit the ground running. I'm not sure when i'll get chance to blog over the next few weeks as I know i'll be very busy.
I still have wedding sewing to complete and as the wedding is in less than three weeks I'm working every evening on it!
I was a finalist of the Dress Factory and have £50 to Spend at Abakhan Fabrics. I'll share my choices when i get around to making them and hopefully I'll have some things to show you in a couple of weeks.


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