Tuesday 31 March 2015

Sew Anna Bag....

Can you believe we are at the end of March already....
I can't 
....the first quarter of 2015 is over and I feel I have 
only just arrived in this year.  
I’m a little sad to say goodbye to March, 
it has been a good month for me in creative terms.  
I found my sewing mojo again, 
something that had been missing for a little while. 
I have finished up a few projects this month 
which have been lying around abandoned 
and I have been able to make a few of my MUST MAKE ideas 
from my ever long list 
of MUST MAKES as well this month. 

My final completed MUST MAKE for March 2015 is this crossover bag.  
And just like my Gordon’s tartan cape I’m ridiculously pleased with it.  
I have named this bag Sew Anna.
If I’m honest I have never been a big fan of crossover bags in the past.  
Pushing myself through the public transport network 
during rush hour in Berlin over the past few months, 
however I have come to appreciate the benefits of a crossover bag. 
The only crossover bag I own until now has no zip fastening at the top, 
making it not ideal for the pushing & shoving of rush hour. 

So I set out to create a pattern 
which would incorporate all my normal bag needs in a crossover.

Dark blue herringbone tweed, classic casual yet smart.
With beautiful rich brown leather buttons and a perfectly matching leather belt.

Most importantly I designed this bag with a top zip fastening 
to give it that city security it needs.  

Just like my Mereoni Bag (Tartan Bag) I designed last March,
(opps March again what is it with this month and me designing bags) 
I added plenty of inside pockets & a key clip for a hopefully organised bag. 

I added an external zip pocket for my public transport ticket 
for easy accessibility as I hop on and off buses & trains. 

Two large pockets with flaps fastened
by these beautiful real leather buttons,
the look reminds me of a traditional tweed jacket.

Using a mans leather belt as the strap was a nice idea 
but boy was it a struggle to sew it onto the body of the bag.  
Even a excellent domestic sewing machine like mine 
is pushed to its absolute limits 
putting together a heavy leather with two layers of interline tweed.
All the struggle was well worth it in the end though, 
I can’t imagine any better strap for this bag then this belt. 
I LoVe the beautiful aged patina of this buckle 
and I have chosen my external metal zips to resemble that colouring. 

Even with this very heavy buckle the bag is surprisingly light to wear, 
the width of the strap distributes the weight very evenly 
so at times I forget I’m carrying a bag.

I have loved using this bag in the past few days.  
It just looks so great 
especially with my newly up cycled denim jacket 
the two go together perfectly and have become inseparable.

Yes my March has been overall a nice one,

 and the perfect finish for me 
to a nice month like this one, was coming home 
from work on Friday where teen Paperdoll surprised me 
with super scrumptious cupcakes she had baked for me.

Why♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  just to say thank you 
and to show me she appreciated every little thing I do for her.   
It’s so nice to know they may not say it all the time 
but they do notice & appreciate!


Tuesday 24 March 2015

A tartan Ta-Dah....

May I present in all it’s glory my Gordon’s tartan cape.  
Oh boy is my heart jumping with joy looking at it.  
I’m ridiculously pleased with it, hence the photo heaviness on this post.  

It looks so simple and yet very elegant.
This tartan cape has been on my ever long list of must makes for a while.
A few years back I made a similar cape in a 
beautiful sandy gold vintage brocade fabric, 
that I love wearing to this day, on evenings out.  
It is the perfect cape for a smart night with it’s 
sparkly vintage Swarovski buttons. 
Unfortunately though it’s not warm enough 
to be worn on cold nights and too sparkly for daytime.

With this cape I wanted to take care of these two shortcomings.  
A cape that is warmer and wouldn't look out of place when worn in the day.
My fabric choice wasn't hard I knew I wanted something that was timeless,
a real classic, something I wouldn't get bored of
looking at after a few months.
And here I have to confess….  
I have a real soft spot for woollen tartan & tweed fabrics.
They are classics that never go out of fashion in my eyes 
and I LoVe working with them.
After all if they are good enough for designers like 
Ralph Lauren & Alexander McQueen why shouldn't they be for me.  
One of my all-time favourites has to be the Gordon’s tartan. 
I can't quite put my finger on why, 
possibly it’s to do with the fact the Mr Mc was a Gordon Highlander 
when we first met and he always looks rather dashing (sexy)
in his Gordon's kilt or maybe it’s just the richness of the blue & green
interfused with the yellow that draws me to it, 
I let you decide, all I will say is that I just LoVe this tartan. 

So Gordon’s tartan it had to be for the outer
 lined with a midnight blue paisley satin fabric.

Gordon’s tartan has a large pattern repeat, 
on a small garment like this cape that causes quite a few problems 
especially if you are joining curved & straight pieces together.
I can tell you it took quite a bit of playing around 
with the paper pattern pieces on the rolled out fabric to get it right. 
You have to be able to imagine how the finished sewn piece will look 
in order to choose the right areas of pattern repeat in the fabric for each piece

Naturally a perfectly centred tartan is key to a beautifully looking finish.

Another must is perfectly joining lines at the side seam

Getting the collar right was challenging in this project
It took me some time to finding the right area in the tartan that not just matched 
the centre back line from the main back piece

but also joined the side lines of the front pieces on the shoulder.

Making a perfectly rounded Peter Pan collar with 
double thickness wool fabric wasn't easy let me tell you.

By far the biggest challenge for me in this project, 
were the two button holes closest to the outer edge of the front flap. 
It took a few & a few more test button holes, it was a little frustrating 
but practice makes perfect or in this case stern perseverance got the job in the end done.

Regimental Gordon Highlander buttons would have been the obvious choice, 
but I didn't have four same size ones. 
So looking through my stash of odds & end buttons
I stumbled across these ones.  
I think not having the Gordon's buttons was a blessing in disguise really.
This once just add that little sparkle, perfect for day or night.
Depending on the light, the stones sometimes have a hint of
sea green within them.

For me they are the perfect finishing touch.

I know I have said it already in this post 
but I just can't help saying it again 
I LoVe LoVe LoVe this cape!

I'm very happy to tick another beautiful must make off my list.


Sunday 22 March 2015


This past couple of weeks have been bliss for me 
the sun has been shining rather a lot 
and somehow that always puts me floating on a fluffy cloud of happiness.  
Spring has sprung everywhere I look and it is so beautiful.

 My heart always skips with excitement in spring. 

A new oilcloth & pastel coloured placemats on the dinner table 
has brought that happy spring feeling from outside into the house. 

I’m normally not a big fan of cut flowers with the exception of tulips.  
I love having bunches & bunches of them small and large 
all over the living room at this time of year. 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Teen Paperdoll and we were the host to a 
very lovely seventeen year old Bulgarian exchange student over the last week, 
it was her first trip outside of Bulgaria 
and the first time she stepped foot on a plane. 
Can you imagine how exiting it must have been for her 
to come to Berlin on her first trip abroad. 
So much history to see, touch, a fast city 
with endless glittering lights at night.
 I think it was a little too much in this short time to take all in.  
For me it was so wonderful to share in the magic 
that this first trip held for her, a real blessing to have been a part of.  

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I also find my creativeness always flourishes during the spring months. 
So the domestic delights (washing, ironing & cleaning) had to wait,
I have enjoyed simple & fast breakfast that allowed me to spend
as much of my free time during the Paperdolls school hours
with my very nice new sewing machine courtesy of Mr Mc. 

 Last week my old denim jacket got a little makeover. 

 Attaching the fabric on the outer collar was pretty straight forward and easy.

 The elbow patches on the other hand were a bit of a challenge. 
The free arm on a domestic sewing machine 
is just not designed for this sort of project.  
I had to push, twist and pull a lot to get it right, 
mostly though I needed plenty of patience.  
Where there is a will there is a way and all that…. 

After I had attached the collar & elbow fabric 
I felt the jacket was missing something, 
for me it looked a little bland at the front. 
 I thought of covering the cuffs but as I looked at the jacket again 
the pocket jumped out as the more quirky place to add a bit of fabric to. 

I had to take the pocket completely off to get a nice neat finish.  
It turned out not as littler makeover
as I thought it to be at the beginning. 

The extra work was well worth it in the end though. 
I love the finished look and with this wonderful spring weather 
I have enjoyed wearing the jacket already.

Needless to say I’m working on a few other sewing projects 
namely a tweed crossover bag and a tartan cape.     

Watch this space....
There it is the past week I have just floated on a fluffy cloud of happiness 
filled with sunshine, spring air and plenty of creativeness. 
Have a great start to the new week!!

Wednesday 11 March 2015


It was cold, wet & grey, the kinda day I just want to hibernate.

Hibernate I did, 
I spent most of the day sitting at my creative table 
 happily hooking away at a little St. Patrick's Day charm 
for my loved ones,

sipping on hot chocolate looking out of the window 
counting my blessings that I didn't have to go out there.

Today was a simple but ever so lovely day.

 Wherever you are & whatever the weather 
....have a simply lovely day!


Tuesday 10 March 2015

Ice cream ....

The perfect home made vanilla ice cream is made with
a few fresh vanilla pods….
plenty of thick cream…
a little sugar….
some egg yolks….
a teeny-weeny bit of patience….
and lots of LoVe!

My perfect combination 
for unbelievably yummy vanilla ice-cream.
I LoVe making ice cream.
I don't have a ice cream maker so my ice creams are still handmade
from start to finish.
I find it so relaxing & comforting the slow pace of the making.
You simply can't rush it, 
great in this normally so fast world.

My patience is rewarded with super yummy ice cream. 
I have to confess listening at the mmmmm’s
from the Paperdolls & Mr Mc 
is almost as good as eating it myself 
…but only almost.