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A Walking Advertisement

I was away all day Saturday hiking near Guildford with our monthly walking group, but a friend staying at ours said it snowed back in London. Ugh. It’s still too cold to wear either the silk blouse or the ikea skirt apart from their hurried photoshoots, so of course I’m sewing practical winter clothes to suit the weather…

Ha! Gotcha! No, I’m sewing a sleeveless, cotton halter-top dress, out of this vintage Porsche duvet I bought on eBay:

You're it!

No, we’re not back on the school playground, but you’ll now see tags all over FehrTrade. I’ve been wanting to add more flexible linking for a while now, so I installed this plugin for Textpattern so I can now add any number of tags to the end of each post, and you can see a cloud of all the tags on the left, under the Google Ads. And another new addition over there is the search box, which should be working now across all pages (but if you find a circumstance where if looks weird, please send me the URL as I probably just missed a template!). I spent quite a while going through all my old posts and tagging them appropriately, so I apologise if you suddenly get a bunch of old posts in your RSS feed reader (mine still seems to be fine though, so fingers crossed!).

Anyway, enough of this housekeeping nonsense, what of the sewing, eh? Well, I’m going full steam ahead on my Porsche dress, and I carefully cut our the pattern pieces last night, taking note of the best possible placement for all the pieces.

Refashioned Ikea Patrones skirt and bag

I’m no stranger to repurposing Ikea – so far I’ve turned two pillowcases into four placemats, a shower curtain into a dress, and a pillowcase into a skirt. I picked up some blue, pre-hemmed table runner fabric back at the same time I bought the shower curtain, but it’s just so narrow that I couldn’t really think what to do with it and it’s languished in my stash ever since.

But I’ve been in the sewing doldrums lately, waiting for the weather to warm up, so I had another look at the table runner and saw the potential for a cute, flirty skirt using this Patrones skirt pattern from the October 2007 issue (#261, pattern no. 22). Big, big thanks to my generous Patrones benefactor, Zoe, for letting me borrow her past few issues so I don’t go broke on German eBay!

Because the Ikea table runner fabric was so narrow, I had to get out my seam ripper and unpick one entire hem in order to make the skirt as long as possible. I kept the other side hem intact to use as the bottom of the skirt to save myself a construction step!

Birthday bolero and Thames jeans

I’ve just spent nearly all of my four day weekend (double bank holiday, woo!) behind my sewing machine and ironing board, and I couldn’t be happier! For the last few years I’ve made myself something nice and new to wear on my birthday, so today I’m wearing my new clothes! It dulls the pain of turning 29, you see… 😉

Bad kitty pillows

Ever since I cut up the Ikea pillowcases and turned them into placemats a few weeks ago, our couch has had the indignity of being adorned with raw pillows (oh the shame!). I’ve been sewing like a mad woman over this long bank holiday weekend (I finished up my jeans and my Patrones Jean Paul Gaultier skirt but it’s been hailing and snowing and FAR too cold to make photoshoots appealing…) so I finally got the energy up to cover the pillows once and for all, with the genius naughty kitties fabric we bought for this purpose in the States.

I made a bunch of piping using some offcuts of poly gabardine (I eyeballed it and only had a couple inches leftover, yesssssss!), made some careful measurements, and now our couch is a much happier place to sit!

Ikea pillowcase placemats

Way back in August, James and I picked out this green naughty kitties fabric to use as pillowcases for our eventual lounge. We’ve since been on the lookout for the cheapest pillows we can find so I can make up new kitten covers for them, but you’d be surprised how overpriced even the ugliest pillows are today!

But then on a post-Christmas Ikea trip, we found these “ISIG” pillows on sale for £2 each. I think they must’ve been considered holiday items because of the snowflakes, but frankly, these were too good to just throw away. They’re cotton/linen blend, with the red snowflake (or star) design on one side, and stripes and a zipper closure on the other.

Everyday superheroes

We’re off to Dublin for a week’s holiday from Wednesday and since we’re staying with some of James’s relatives, we wanted to give them a nice little hostess gift for putting us up (and putting up with us!). We thought about the usual stuff, but then instead decided to make something fun for their little boy (aged 5) instead.

So he’s going to be the recipient of this cape:

It’s nice and recycled – it’s made from a blue cotton tablecloth that came with our hotel boat when we bought it, the silver silk dupioni is offcuts from this shirt, and the velcro was from the shoulder pads I purchased for my tuxedo jacket (since I was sewing them in I wisely removed the velcro for later use). I just freehanded this so I can’t recommend a pattern, but if you’re making your own please make sure the neck fastening uses velcro or snaps instead of ties or buttons so you don’t end up gifting a choke hazard!

Metro bottom dollar

Greetings Metro readers! No, this morning’s vision of a woman clad only in an Ikea shower curtain was not some hallucination brought on my last night’s curry and an early morning commute – it really was me!

Yellow satin cocktail dress

I fell in love with the yellow cocktail dress in the 11/07 Burda WOF magazine, with its wide, square neckline and fabulous 90 degree front darts, and it just so happened that I had just the right amount of butter-yellow duchess satin leftover from James’s pirate coat lining to sew this up. Since the satin was so thick I opted to omit the lining and just go for facings instead, which made this an even quicker project.

Together with my matching fascinator and steel grey satin gloves from the V&A gift shop, I rather overfulfilled the “glam attire” required for my neighbour’s lighting up party on Friday night.