Monday, 3 September 2012

Crochet Bolero pattern

For people who can't get to this pattern via the Google Docs Link, here it is! The nice people at Blogger have made it possible to cut & paste from Word into Blogger so I've finally been able to make it easy to get to. Phew. It doesn't look very pretty and I have no idea how it will print out, but at least it's get-at-able.

I used Paton’s 100% mercerised DK cotton for this project. The cotton comes in lots of beautiful colours and has a delicious sheen to it, perfect for showing off the lacy pattern. I used a full 100g ball for the age 2-3 version, plus a small amount of 4ply for the scalloped edging. You could do the edging in DK yarn but it would have a less delicate look.

Gauge: One pattern repeat = 1 ¼”

Requirements: 1 ball DK yarn, size 4mm crochet hook, 1 ball 4ply yarn, size 3.25 crochet hook. A small button

Using 4mm hook, make a chain of 64 stitches. This will make 10 ½ repeats of the pattern, which the turning chain will turn into 11 repeats.

Foundation row: Chain another 5 stitches for the turning chain. 1tr in 6th chain from hook, [2ch, skip 2 ch, 1tr into next ch] repeat to end This makes 22 ‘holes’.

1st pattern row: Chain 3 for turning chain, [1ch, 3tr into next tr (this is the shell stitch), 1ch, 1tr in next tr] repeat to last treble, into which you should be working a shell stitch, then 1ch and 1 treble into the top of the turning chain.

2nd pattern row: Chain 3 for turning chain, [2tr in first treble of shell, 1treble in second, 2 treble in third, then 1treble in the lone treble – ‘extended shell stitch’ ] repeat to end, finishing with 1 treble into the top of the turning chain

3rd pattern row: Chain 5 for turning chain, 1tr into 3rd (i.e. middle) treble of the shell [2ch, skip 2 tr, 1tr into next tr] repeat to end

Repeat these three pattern rows twice for a short bolero, making three pattern repeats in total, ending with 2nd pattern row

Decrease for armholes: 2 turning chain, 1 slip stitch into each treble (not the one at the base of the turning chain though!) up to the lone treble in the middle of the extended shell. 5 chain, [2ch, skip 2 tr, 1tr into next tr] repeat to last extended treble. End row with the treble in the middle of the extended shell. You have now decreased in total by 1 pattern repeat.

1st pattern row: Chain 2 for turning chain, 1 treble into base of turning chain, 1ch, 1 treble in next treble, [1ch, 3tr into next tr, 1ch, 1tr in next tr] repeat to last treble, then 1ch and 2 treble into the top of the turning chain.

2nd pattern row: Chain 2 for turning chain, 2 tr in next treble, 1 treble in next lone treble [2tr in first treble of shell, 1treble in second, 2 treble in third, 1treble in the lone treble] repeat to last half-shell, working 2 trebles in first treble of last half-shell and 1 treble into the top of the turning chain

3rd pattern row: Chain 3 for turning chain [2ch, skip 2 tr, 1tr into next tr] repeat to end

Work 6 pattern repeats straight, ending with 3rd pattern row. Fasten off. You may want to add another pattern repeat if you think that the resulting armhole is not going to be deep enough for your child to wave her arms around comfortably, particularly since the sleeves are crocheted directly onto the armholes so there isn’t much ease at the top of the sleeve. If you do work an additional repeat, don’t forget to add the same repeat to the right and left fronts, so they match the back.


In order to create the curved bolero front shape, you need to increase on every row by half a pattern repeat. This is something that takes forever to explain in words, so I have created a chart for the right and left fronts that make it clearer. You can get away with just doing two fronts the same, and that is what I actually did on mine – the back and front do look a tiny bit different but only an expert could spot it.

You may notice the lack of instructions for a buttonhole on the right front. This is deliberate – the beauty of crochet is that you can use one of the gaps in the fabric/edging as the buttonhole.


You are going to crochet the sleeves directly onto the armholes. This means that there is not a great deal of wearing ease to the armholes so you need to make sure that the armhole is fairly roomy around the child. If you have any doubts, add another pattern repeat to the back and fronts.

Join the shoulder seams.

Foundation row: Join thread to the front corner of the armhole with a slip-stitch. Double crochet evenly along the edge of the armhole to provide a base for the sleeve. Do a multiple of 6 to ensure easy patterning. When you reach the back corner, squeeze in the last double crochet and slip stitch up the turning chain or treble crochet at the edge to go up to the next row.

1st row: 2 ch [skip 2 ch, 1tr into next dc, 2ch] repeat to end and join to the corner at the edge with a slipstitch.

1st pattern row: Chain 5, [3tr into next tr,1ch, 1tr in next tr, 1ch] repeat to end, omitting the final 1ch.

2nd pattern row: Chain 3, [2tr in first treble of shell, 1treble in second, 2 treble in third, 1treble in the lone treble] repeat to end.

3rd pattern row: Chain 5, skip 2 treble, 1 tr into next treble [2ch, skip 2 tr, 1tr into next tr] repeat to end.

Repeat 1st and 2nd pattern rows once more. Fasten off.


Seam the side & armhole seams. You may wish to block the garment now (though I didn’t).

Using 4ply yarn and 3.25mm hook, double crochet around the edge of the sleeves to provide a base for the edging. You can do any edging you like bearing in mind that
1) too narrow an edging will mean that you cannot do up the bolero at the front, and
2) you will need to do the correct multiple of stitches since you are now working in the round. The one I used is Fan Flair from the Harmony Guide to Crochet Edgings & Trims. I would reproduce it here but my lawyer’s instincts won’t let me breach copyright. So, if you don’t have a copy of the book, this is an edging that should do the trick...

Multiple of 6 stitches.

Round 1: Chain 5, [skip 2 dc, work (1tr, 2ch) into next dc] Repeat to end, join with a slipstitch to the 3rd ch in the turning chain

Round 2: Chain 3, 2tr in each 2ch space, 1 treble in each treble. Repeat to end.

Round 3: Chain 5, [miss 2tr, 3tr into next tr (this is the shell stitch), 1ch, miss 2 tr, 1tr in next tr, 1ch] repeat to end and slipstitch into the middle stitch of the turning chain to join.

Round 4: Chain 3, [2tr in first treble of shell, 1treble in second, 2 treble in third, 1treble in the lone treble] repeat to end and slipstitch into the top of the turning chain to join.

Round 5: 1ch. (2ch [treble 2 together, 1tr into next tr, treble 2 together this draws the shell back in], 2ch, ss into next tr,) Repeat to the end, joining the round with a slip stitch.

Round 6 for picot* edging: 1ch, [2dc into 2 ch space, 1dc into next treble. Into the next treble: dc, make a picot*, dc . 1dc into next treble, 2dc into 2 ch space, slip stitch into slip stitch] Repeat to end and slip stitch to join Fasten off.

* Make a picot = make 3 chain and slip stitch into the 3rd chain from the hook.

Join yarn to the edge of the bolero body at the corner of the front neckline, as marked on the chart. Double crochet down the right front, along the bottom and up the left front to the neckline corner. Work 7 dcs into the loop that marks the start of the neckline and continue working dcs up the left front neckline, along the back and down the right front neckline. Complete the round by working 7 dcs into the loop/treble at the end of the neckline and join with a slipstitch to the start of the round. The middle dc of each of these 7dc corners marks the neckline’s start and end.

Continue to work the shell edging in rounds along the fronts and back, replacing the pattern with double crochets. This will make the bolero more comfortable to wear and also looks neater. For the final picot row, work [2dc, make a picot] between the neckline corners.

Weave in any loose ends. Block to size. Sew a small button onto the left front. Find a pretty dress to wear under it and it’s good to go.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Cotton petticoat tutorial. You may need a ruffler foot for this!

I had a petticoat in my head that I needed to get out of my head and onto Laura. In my head, it foamed under her cotton dresses, the layers rippling beautifully. In my head, it was made of cotton and deliciously old-fashioned looking. In my head, it made her full skirts stick out charmingly. I really needed to get this petticoat out of my head before it expanded to fill it. I realised that this was a job for THE RUFFLER FOOT!!! (and its less glamorous but even more useful sister, the narrow hemming foot).

For this petticoat I used 3.5m of cotton lawn. Yes, 3.5m for an underskirt for a 4 year old. Beat me about the head if you like - I know I deserve it! I started by measuring her waist and deciding how long I wanted the petticoat to be. She has an irritating habit of pulling anything with a waistband down below her belly button, so I had to allow for that too. I took 9cm off the length measurement (to allow for the addition of a waistband) and cut strips of lawn to the correct depth right across the width of the lawn. I cut four strips - these would be the body of the skirt. I then cut another 9 strips that were half the depth of the first lot. These would be the ruffle. Finally, I cut two strips 20cm deep. I joined the body strips to each other and the ruffle strips to each other and started hemming. It is a lot easier, believe me, to hem both strips now, before you start ruffling. I used a narrow zig zag stitch with the narrow hemming foot that came with my machine - the lightweight cotton lawn just skimmed through it beautifully. If I'd had to press, pin and stitch, I'd still be at it now! Just do the bottom edge of the skirt body, but both top and bottom of the ruffle.

Then came the fun bit - ruffling the short-strip ruffle. I used the pleating (number 6) setting turned up to its highest, and set a short stitch length - I wanted the pleats to be almost doubled up, so as to maximum the ruffle. I then sewed the ruffle, can-can style, to the skirt body, lining up the two bottom hems. Don't worry too much if the top edge has to undulate a bit to get the bottom even - nobody will notice, not even you!

I wanted the skirt body to fold out into ripples, rather than bunch out from tight gathers. I therefore used a technique I had learned when making a dressing-up classical tutu for Laura (I know, I know - sometimes even I have to despair at myself). Anyway, this technique on stiff tulle will create a skirt that will just about lie horizontal a la the magician's floating lady. On drapey cotton lawn, it creates satisfyingly foamy ripples. And I will demonstrate it to you now..

Grip the fabric in your left hand and fold it from back to front across your thumb.

Fold it back on itself and grip the three layers firmly between finger and thumb. The folds should be about an inch long - just eyeball it, you have dozens of these to do and only a masochist would measure each one with a ruler. Continue the front fold, sending it round the back...
Catch that fold too,

and then send it back round to meet the front again. And there you have it - a beautiful double pleat. From the top it should look like this:

Gorgeous isn't it? Stick a pin in it to keep it nice and continue pleating in this way until you run out of skirt body. Machine baste along the top of the pleats. Then join the two waistband strips (remember them?), and attach the top of the skirt body to the waistband, right sides together. Press the seam so the seam allowance is pointing up to the waistband.

From the front, the waistband seam looks like this:

Now you can join the skirt so it's a circle. I just put the skirt right sides together, making sure the edges of the ruffle would be caught in the side seam, and serged from the top of the waistband down to the hem. Press the seam. Cut some waistband elastic to the right length and iron a narrow hem into the top of the waistband. Fold the waistband in half lengthwise so that the hem meets the waistband seam. Press the fold and pin a casing into place, about an inch from the top of the waistband. Do a line of stitching along the pin line, leaving a gap so you can feed the waistband elastic through using a safety pin. Join the two elastic ends, being sure not to twist them. Stitch the gap in the casing. Then stitch along the waistband seam to catch the hemmed edge, like so:

This bit is trickier than it sounds, on account of all the ruffling and pleating and acres of fabric that are desperate to get in on the act. I found I had sewed random bits of fabric to the seam in at least 3 places. But take it slow and stick with it - this is the last step.

Remove the petticoat from the machine, clip off any loose ends, stand back and admire and wish you too were 4 years old and able to wear a foamy cotton petticoat to Sainsbury's.

Actually, I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I don't see why society has set its face again 44 year old mummies wearing a Kate Middleton wedding dress to Ikea, or a kitten costume to do the school bus run. Wouldn't life be more fun if we could all wear whatever made us happy, no matter how unconventional it might be? I think so!

Monday, 13 February 2012

How angelic are we?

These are my four little models in some of my First Holy Communion dresses. This photo was taken yesterday outside St John the Baptist Church in Knowle. It was cold and the girls were very cold. We all agreed that the next session would take place in summer. I suspect this may require a level of organisaion and forward planning that I do not yet possess, but I'm working on it!

Thanks to Kelly Rock for her awesome photographs.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

How to lose 40lbs in a year

My New Year's Resolutions last year were to stop biting my nails, to be less shouty with the children and to lose 3 stone (aka 42lbs). Well, my nails are still bitten to the quick but I did manage to shout less (not congratulating myself too much there - having both children in full-time education helped enormously) and, as you may have guessed from the spoiler in the title, I lost 40lbs. Not quite the 42lbs I'd aimed for but it still translates as 4 dress sizes, which is really quite significant. ("Really quite significant" is of course hugely underplaying the pride I feel in this achievement. A more realistic description would be "yyyaaaayyyyyyyyy!!!!! I'm slim! slim, I tell you!)

This weight-loss has not gone unnoticed by friends, family, or anybody who knows me. And do you know what is the thing I am asked most often? It is "Have you been trying to lose weight or...erm...?" The alternative to 'trying' is never vocalised and at first I thought people might be wondering if I had lost loads of weight through some kind of illness, but since they invariably then say "you look so well!" this was clearly not the case. And I finally realised that they are hoping I am going to tell them that weight loss is actually terribly easy once you know the magic secret. So I do tell them the magic secret: hunger + sweat = weight loss. And their faces always drop.

Because the truth is that losing weight is, in fact, really quite hard. The theory is simple enough - you eat less, you move more, you lose weight. Back in March 2011, I tried moving more when I started running (using the Couch Potato to 5k programme - highly recommended by the way). I could see my body changing but I wasn't losing weight. So I moved a lot more - I did hooping, cardio tennis, ballroom dancing. All great fun but the scales still didn't budge.

The penny was starting to drop so I added in some eating less - you know the kind of thing: cutting out sugary snacks; eating less fat; yada, yada. My portions remained the same and .... you've guessed it!... the scales didn't budge. So I eventually joined Weightwatchers and the scales finally started to oblige.

Don't believe the Weightwatchers advertising puff. Believe me, if you do Weightwatchers, you will know that you are on a diet. For the first 4 months I was hungry for 19 hours every day. Truly. But eventually, I got used to eating so much less, and now only feel hungry at the normal times. And I have only 7lbs left to go to reach my ultimate dreams-come-true target.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that losing a lot of weight is a serious commitment to make. It's especially hard to do when you have small children because it involves making time for yourself. This is not trivial. You have to be selfish - even a 30 minute run never takes only half an hour. If you don't want injuries, you have to warm up and cool down. The time all adds up and we all know that mothers of young children do not have time to spare. And this is where I do have a magic solution to offer.... and that is Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred! (NAYY)

This is a flipping brilliant DVD for the reluctant or time-starved exerciser. It takes just under 30 minutes to do, including stretching, and as long as you take the DVD out of the sleeve, put it in the DVD player, and follow Jillian's instuctions, it really will work. Or at least, it did for me. Not on its own - I like to vary my exercise regime so as to reduce boredom and injuries - but when you need a short burst of indoor exercise, Jillian's 30 minute workouts are the business.

Not least because they helped me to realise that exercise can be fun.

I know lots of mums who run. I suppose I can see why - it's free and it's effective, but by golly, it's dull. I never really took to it. The good news is that there are lots of other forms of exercise that are nearly free and much more exciting. For example, I do taekwon-do with James, so we get some family time while working out. It also helps his coordination and confidence so we all win. Zumba is great fun and very social and not hugely expensive either. Ballroom dancing won't get me thin, but it's fun to do so, why not? My husband has lost 3 1/2 stone using a stationary bike. Now THAT is dull, but it's working for him and I think that's the key. Find something(s) that work for you and suddenly, exercise becomes to fun part of losing weight and keeping it off.

So there you go... how to lose 40lbs in a year! But what would any gloating weight-loss post be without the before and after photos? Truth to tell, I don't have many before photos. When I was fat, I hated having my photo taken. By December 2010, I tipped the scale at 'obese' and I wasn't queuing up to have pictures taken of that. But Nigel snuck one in....This is from our summer holiday 2010. As you can see, I'm not slim. But I still managed to add another 8 or 9lbs before Christmas 2010.

Christmas Eve 2010. That's actually a fairly flattering picture by the way - thanks Nigel!

And now for the after. Again, I'm not so photogenic that I like having my picture taken, but in the interests of inspiring other mummies, here goes....
As you can see, still a bit of a way to go - 7lbs to be precise - but I now feel as though I can eat cake in public without people tutting at me (yes my slim friends, people - even some fairly rotund people - do audibly tut when they see fat people eating cake in public. It is not helpful.)
And I finish with a different kind of 'before' and 'after'. The above photograph is of a coat I made in winter 2009/10. It was a fab coat - swingy and flattering, from the Ottobre Salma pattern, and it fit me beautifully and got loads of compliments. It was also size 18 to 22. I hated it. I could now fit two of me in it. So out of the 3 or so metres of fabric, I made this beautiful formal coat for Laura. It's also an Ottobre pattern. Now this coat, I unreservedly love!

Credits Thank you to Maria who dragged me to cardio-tennis in January 2011, thereby making me realise that I was quite frighteningly unfit, to the guy who developed the C25K programme, to Jillian Michaels and Weightwatchers and all those people who complimented me over my hungry journey for the last year. Especially thanks to my darling supportive husband. I couldn't have done this without you. Mwah! Mwah!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Birthday overload (dodgy photo overload, too)

If you are thinking to yourself "well blow me! Kathryn Driffield's done a new blog post. I thought she was dead!" then I don't blame you. As you can see, I'm not dead, but I have been manically busy. Up to my eyes in birthdays, sewing orders, face painting, summer fetes, and other fun but somewhat draining activities. No time for blogging (though I have rediscovered Twitter and am now a proper fan).

Anyway, dealing with the procrastination sewing first.... a skirt for me. I have since Christmas been exercising hard and dieting reluctantly. With the result that I urgently need some summer skirts that actully fit and have pockets for my phone. When I'm a size 10 I am going to treat myself to a Desigual skirt but since I am still two sizes away I ran up a Desigual knock-off. It's kind of hard to achieve that edgy Desigual look when you mostly have kids' prints in the stash, but I gave it my best shot....
It's comfy, it fits, and it has pockets. Result!

Then onto Laura's pressing need for summer skirt & leggings combos. These are intended for wear at Hatton Country World and other places where protection from fast slides and grazed knees is required. I ran up 4 sets over the course of a day - it's an Ottobre pattern and has pretty much gone viral in the sewing for girls community. I love it!

And now for the birthday sewing... James turned 6 last week and here's his new jacket. Ottobre strikes again! It's in an outdoor wear fabric that was very cheap at Fabricland in Bristol. It was an absolute swine to sew, so I bitterly regretted choosing a pattern that featured welt pockets. It's not my best work, but it's the best I could do and James really likes it.

Though not as much as he likes his new shorts. Also an Ottobre pattern and huge fun to make.

Then came a crochet aquarium for my father-in-law on father's day. Trouble-free fish! He saw the funny side.

Laura's birthday is the last on the list. Believe me, the four weeks from June 9 to July 8 is tough going in this house - five birthdays, one after the other, with Father's Day thrown in just to make life interesting. I hardly have time to catch my breath! But Laura's is the last birthday where I feel the compulsion to sew. This is her birthday jacket. It's an Ottobre pattern (no? really?), which should have been made up in wool but which I did in fleece. Laura does actually need a fleece jacket and I was getting tired of hearing about her best friend's coat which is pink with flowers, so I embellished the fleece with heart pockets and some flowers. And pom-pom trim just for fun.

It even comes with a zip-up hood. She will simply love it!

I'm not so sure about her dress, and I think she'll be a bit 'meh' too. She really wanted something twirly, and this combination just isn't. Also, I screwed up the collar somewhat which doesn't add to my dress-love, but I think the real problem lies in the fabric choice. Both are pretty enough but lack drape, so they somehow don't flow. I suspect the pinafore will get a lot more wear than the dress, especially once I've added the strawberry buttons.

I felt a wee bit guilty about imposing my own dress choice on the birthday girl (I can't tell you how much she wanted a twirly dress) so I painted some faux Lelli Kellys for her. Don't get me wrong - I don't think they rival the real thing, but they cost me a mere £12.50 (and a fair amount of time). I used sequins, fabric glitter and fabric paint from stash, and hoped to keep them secret from her until Sunday. Unfortunately, she opened the box when they were half-finished, and the cat was out of the bag. She liked them then and now they're blinged up, I just know she'll love them.

Speaking of cats, she decided last week she wanted me to make her a kitten costume for her birthday. With claws on the hands. Now that's a challenge I decided not to try to rise to but watch this space for a Halloween post!

Monday, 9 May 2011

The wedding dress of the year... cut down to size (3T)

You are probably now shaking your head in wonder that any 3 year could be so over-indulged. I have to tell you, I can see where you're coming from but I can justify my insanity by telling you about her most-wanted list, every item on which has been refused by me/her daddy on the various grounds of:

cost (Lelli Kellys)
parental idleness (kitten(s), puppy, rabbits)
lack of space (4 horses)
lack of age (a rainbow car, ballet lessons, a DS)
health and safety (old yogurt, cilit bang (for the benefit of international readers: a hard-core cleaning agent), candles, turning the hot tap on and off)
all of the above (mobile phone)

Some of these things she will get when she has her own money. Others she will get when she has her own house, though I hope she's not holding her breath for the 4 horses. Now I'm not losing any sleep over the rainbow car decision but I do sometimes have pangs over refusing the Lelli Kellys - other little girls in her class have them and, heaven knows, I'd have stepped over my mother to get a pair when I was three. But £50 for a pair of shoes she can't even wear to school? No way!

So when she watched, with open mouth, the Royal Wedding last week and announced that Kate Middleton's dress is much nicer than any of the dresses that mummy had made for her, I decided to really indulge her. It's a dressing up dress, complete with stretch lace overlay, 3/4 sleees, small train and long veil. It isn't quite full-length - something that has not gone unnoticed by Laura! - so she can even scoot in it.

I say it's a dressing up dress because that's what it's meant to be. It's actually a 'going everywhere except nursery and mass' dress. We got a fair amount of attention in Ikea until I shoved her into the Smaland playzone so her brother could get the funny looks instead of me. I understand the nice childcare assistants had a lovely time playing with the veil...

And even I had to laugh when she accessorized it with raincoat and umbrella for going to the library. But we have to pick our battles in this life and you know what?, I bet the Duchess of Cambridge would love to do her shopping in her wedding dress, so I'm going to continue to let my 3-year old mini-Duchess do just that!

Notes for other over-indulgent mummies - I hacked the Farbenmix Olivia pattern for the dress body and sleeves. The train is just a pleated length of satin. The collar is a length of lace sewn onto the neckline. Or you could just buy one from my Etsy shop!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Spring sewing

Has it really been over a month since the last post? Oh dear, I'm slipping! My excuse is, as it is for all bloggers, that there's not enough time in the day. The nice weather has brought shoppers to the Bentley Heath Country Market and I'm having a job keeping up with demand. This is, of course, A Good Thing.

In between orders and sales, I've been working on a posh frock line. More specifically, a line of communion dresses. It's been great fun sourcing and using beautiful silks and cottons and trying to come up with dresses that will set them off. And then of course I had to find a right-sized model to set off the dresses. My friend volunteered her daughter and we had a lovely modelling session. My two are at the "fixed smile & funny face" for camera stage, so it was so nice photographing a child who looked completely natural. And it doesn't hurt that she is also an extremely pretty girl, so even I can take good photos!

First up was the crochet dress because this was the one I was most anxious about. I kid you not, I made this dress twice - I don't think there's a stitch in it that hasn't been done and re-done at least once. But I finally got it done and made a little viscose slip for under it. To finish it, I made 5 little crochet flowers and put them on hairslides. They looked like little daisies growing in her hair and gave such a pretty organic look to the outfit. I had many a crisis of confidence about this dress while I was making it, but like all good fairytales, it had a happy ending.

Next up: the traditional dress. Well, traditional with a modern vibe, I hope!

This one has a pleated sash over a paperbag waist. I love paperbag waists but no matter how much weight I lose, I'm never going to be able to wear one (there is no diet that can turn a middle-aged apple into a young beanpole) so I'm living vicariously here. The skirt is a self-embroidered lawn, which I hand-beaded to embellish the flowers. You can't see it in the photograph and I did wonder if it was worth doing, but in real life, the little beads make all the difference. There is also a semi-detachable bow at the back. Very traditional, very charming. And since it's getting harder and harder to find all-cotton communion dresses, I'm hopeful it will find a market.

And finally, everyone's favourite: the silk and tulle dress. I found the pattern for this in a Japanese pattern book. I made up a smaller two-colour version for my daughter to test the pattern (photos to follow in another post) but found that the sizing wasn't quite right and so the dress has gone into the shop. She's gutted! I also found that I didn't like the bodice so I played around with another couple of patterns and this is the changeling that emerged.

I knocked up a tiara to match and my model loved both dress and tiara so much she didn't really want to take them off. The dress is lined with habotai silk and it feels so cool and smooth - there is nothing like a silk lining for making a dress feel just sumptuous!

All that remained was for me to actually stock the shop. I've now added an Etsy shop to my stable so I had two lots of stocking up to do, but four episodes of ER got me through the tedium of uploading photos. I'm about to start on some Farbenmix baby clothes using some gorgeous fabrics from Dots & Stripes - it will make a change to use colours again!

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