Thursday, 10 January 2013

Papering over the cracks - the Ikea wardrobe makeover

As a lover of all things shabby (and often not chic), I have a slight aversion to the Ikea birch-look veneer that creeps up in budget flats all over the land. But living in a budget flat as I do, it's impossible to avoid on occasion. As you may remember from my Billy bookcase makeover, I have found that with a bit of cupboard paint and TLC, it's possible to turn these things into something slightly unique.

So having given my bedroom a much need lick of paint over the weekend I decided it was time to do something with the shiny perspex-fronted Ikea wardrobe that I inherited from the previous owners of my flat. Some gorgeous paper from the top floor of Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road (I defy you to spend less than an hour up there trying to choose the perfect one!) provided the perfect material for the job.


The wardrobe wasn't the only inanimate object to be subjected to my makeover whimsy this weekend. The £10 fireplace surround that I'd lugged home from a charity shop on Streatham High Road was on the receiving end of a much needed restyle.



For the final touch, I'm on the quest for some vintage mirrors as beautifully styled at Seeds and Stitches...

Friday, 28 December 2012

Have yourself a crafty little Christmas...

With it being my first Christmas in my little flat, and also being a little bit short on funds, I decided that my Christmas tree would be a thrifty masterpiece with homemade goodies galore. That might have been a slightly over-optimistic goal with the craziness of the run-up to Christmas but my tree did bear the fruits of a few of my stitching labours...

The robin was made at the Make Lounge in North London, accompanied by lots of prosecco and a lot more gossiping. Would definitely recommend it as a great alternative to dancing round your handbags for a girly night out.

And the homemade bits under the tree? Some gluten free gingerbread (not JUST for me, some were presents...)

And some pearl earrings for my sister, made from the stash of pearls from my grandparents old jewellery shop.

May all your Christmases be crafty and bright xx

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Beadin' marvellous

I’m in love with the beaded collars currently adorning the blouses of the British high street - from H&M’s budget beauties to the studded stunners at Urban Outfitters, they’ve all been jostling for my attention, pleading to be bought for the Christmas party season.

But no! With my head held high, and only a slight pain in my hurt, I walked straight past them and caught the 109 bus home to seek solace in my bead box. Armed with an old Topshop chiffon blouse that had been relegated to the back of the drawer since an incident with an industrial tumble drier, I decided to create my own little touch of shimmery glamour.

The final bead was sewn firmly into place in front of Strictly (about 30 mins after we were due to be at my friend Euan’s birthday drinks), and my new beaded collar blouse made its debut that evening. I have a feeling that’s not the last we’ll be seeing of my new beaded beauty before the party season is out.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


So a whole month has passed since I last blogged and month which has been 100% about Doing, with very little Sewing, but a fair amount of Eating.

The prime culprit for my absentee-ism is stepping up the training to do my third marathon this autumn, the Berlin Marathon. Having already trained for a couple of marathons you'd think I'd be use to the amount of time it takes out of my weekday evenings and weekend days. But once again, it has taken me by surprise.

Add to that two 30th birthdays, one 60th birthday, and a visit from one of my oldest friends who now lives in Bangkok, I've been galivanting all over the country: Bristol - Liverpool - Richmond - Milton Keynes - Northamptonshire.

Which brings me back to now and my sofa, and how jolly happy I am to be getting reacquainted with it. I have a whole glorious free Saturday ahead of me this weekend, and I'm hoping to get my teeth into Dress Number 2, which I've already cut out the pattern for from some cheap-o material from Brixton Market:
Despite the galivanting of the last month, I've squeezed in a couple of new additions to my flat which I'm very happy with:

And I hope you like my new look - I thought it was time to embrace the rainy summer with a picture of a gloriously green Green Park one particularly soggy morning. 

Monday, 11 June 2012

May Madness and June Jublifications

As I touched on in my last post, the last few weeks passed by in a complete blur and as a result of a bit too much fun, with a healthy pinch of stress thrown in, I've spent the last week mostly in bed with a viral infection feeling decidedly shitty. But with this truly miserable Monday almost behind us, I'm trying to focus on the good of the last few weeks, rather than dwelling on quite how grotty I feel (and the fact that the back garden now resembles a paddy field!) So here are some of the highlights....

Seeing London Symphony Orchestra perform The Firebird on Trafalgar Square

A beautiful week in Lake Garda

Spending my 30th birthday with my parents

At Chelsea Physic Garden...

Tea at the V&A... 

Quick mosey round the Harrods' food hall...

Being 100% spoilt by my sister and friends at my birthday party

Meeting my neighbours and putting some of my birthday presents to good use at our Jubilee garden party

And just when I thought there was nothing fun to look forward to, these beauties turned up on my doorstep today courtesy of one of my oldest friends:

I hope that tomorrow my mojo will return...but for tonight, looking at all of these makes me feel like one very lucky lady. Sigh. 

Monday, 4 June 2012

The DRESS post

Cor blimey, where have the last few weeks gone?? Well actually I know exactly where they've gone, whizzed by in a blur of birthdays, trips to Italy, and sommat to do with the Queen.

But before all that happened I was delighted to finish my first ever dress. And actually wear it out. In public. All day. As an avid reader of Tilly and the Buttons, I followed her lead and made Easy McCalls pattern M2401 with fabric from Fabric Godmother (a recommendation from my friend Jess).

I didn't find it tooo difficult to follow the pattern, and despite a slightly buckled neckline I'm delighted with the results (and that it stayed together for a whole day!) Hope you like the results...

Fitting the darts

Finished product:

Apologies for the random chest close up, but as my first project I'm supremely proud of the darts!
I'm super excited to start my next project, probably a short-sleeved, more summery version of the same dress. Watch this space!

PS. One of these days, I'll start to ask people to take pictures of me, but I'm not yet that brave so apologies for the slightly dodgy instagrammed pics!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

May beginnings

What a terribly absent blogger I've been in the last couple of weeks! It's not for lack of crafty goings on, more for lack of spare time and energy. The most exciting development was completing my First Ever Dress. But more about that later in a proper post. This one is devoted to my big sis and her birthday - the first of our family's bumper birthday month.

Her requested birthday present was for some pilates gear to replace her usual hockey kit circa 1995. So I was happy to oblige, and pottered off to H&M to invest in a whole raft of lycra lounge wear. But no PE kit is complete without a traditional PE bag so I attempted some  free-stylin' applique... not sure the results were quite legible but it was quite  fun nonetheless and made for some more interesting wrapping than the usual paperchase fare (who'm I kidding - I LOVE paperchase!)

And no trip to Brum is complete without some homeroasted Moroccan spiced cashew nuts.
So with the first of the birthdays done and dusted, I'm off to Italy on Sunday for my Dad's 61st and my Mum's 60th. Hopefully time for the Dress Post before then, but a week's worth of actual work to get done in one day before the holidays commence...