Ooh, an award

Hello all,

My sewing time at the moment has been taken up with Christmas gift sewing for my son and daughter, who would never waste their time looking at  my blog but …. sod’s law and all that so I am not going to post my pics just yet.

Anyway, I have something far more exciting to share. I was actually nominated for a Liebster award by one of my fellow bloggers and I am rather chuffed about that.  Although the notification came through a couple of months ago, I have been waiting for a suitable slot in which to respond and that’s today! I was nominated by lovely Becca of Red W Sews and if you don’t already follow her blog I suggest you take a peep; I love her conversational style. So, back to the award, the objective is to promote new/small blogs. According to my WordPress stats I have 107 followers – so thank you dear follower/reader!


Liebster Award Rules

In order to be eligible, a nominee must:

  • Acknowledge the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the nominator has set for you
  • Nominate up to 11 blogs with less than 200 followers that you enjoy.
  • Set 11 questions for your nominated bloggers to answer.
  • Let the nominees know they have been nominated by going back to their blog and notifying them.

So here are the questions Becca set me and my answers, of course!

What do you enjoy most about writing a blog?

Connecting with other people who also devote their time to sewing; I enjoy being part of a wider community. I also like to have a record of all my makes in one place. Even if no-one read my blog I would still write it as I use it like a diary.

How do you go about deciding when to blog: do you have a regular schedule or is it just when you’re inspired?

I used to try and do one post a week, usually at the weekend. A hiatus in my work life caused a break in that routine through September and October and I have been trying to get back to blogging weekly but it has been tricky as I haven’t really made anything apart from a sequin top.  I have been attending a number of different workshops to improve my skills instead.

Which post/project are you most proud of?

I wrote a series of posts about a 1960s coat I made during a four week course at Sew Over It. The coat looks really professional but I don’t delude myself – I had a lot of help!

1960's coat made at Sew Over It

1960’s coat made at Sew Over It


What’s your best tip for making time for yourself?

Be selfish!

What did you learn from your biggest “failure”, either crafting or otherwise?

Walk away, calm down, reflect, then ….. Get back on it – NEVER GIVE UP!

What skill would you most like to learn (craft or life!)

I would love to be able to do fair isle knitting. My sister in law is incredibly skilful and made me a hat for my birthday. I would also need to improve my patience to do this!

Knitted with wool bought in Shetland

Knitted with wool bought in Shetland

A close up so you can see the detail in all its glory

A close up so you can see the detail in all its glory

Should cash and time not be an issue, where would you head on holiday?

I recently psyched myself up to do a trekking holiday through Cuba  – by the time I went to book it, all the flights had gone so that is certainly on my to do list. As a child I was always desperate to go to Egypt to see the pyramids for real so that is also something I hope to do at some point.

What life achievement, away from blogging, are you most proud of and why?

Well assuming that being a mother is a given, I would go for having run a sub-four hour marathon. Everyone in my running club was astonished at my time (no-one more so than me) but it was the result of careful preparation and determined effort. I can remember crossing the finishing line (in Edinburgh) and just laying down on the floor laughing with pure joy and a sense of achievement. This was my second marathon – my first one was over five hours and ended in tears!

Tea or wine? (critical question, this one!)

Impossible to choose. Throughout the day, PG Tips de-caff almost on a drip-feed. At night – Pinot Grigio Blush  – again, on drip feed.

Town or country?

Both! During the week, term time I live in a small flat close to Wimbledon Tennis for an easy commute to work but my home is in Arundel, West Sussex and I am there Fridays to Mondays, all holidays and whenever I am not working.

Cats or dogs?

As a child we had dogs but since leaving home I have always had cats – sometimes as many as three sometimes just the one, as now.  They are usually black and my current moggie is Tambo.



Huge thanks to Becca, not only for the nomination but for setting such thought-provoking questions.

I would like to nominate two bloggers: Fiona of  Coolarama and Susan (Su) from Butterflies and Lemon Drops. Fiona only started blogging in July (I think) and straight away I was drawn to her wit and self-deprecating style – she is also a bit of a hat lady, like myself, and frankly, someone who I would love to meet and share a bottle of wine with. Su I have been lucky enough to meet on a couple of occasions now and I would say we have transitioned from on-line sewing buddies to real life chums. Su has what I would describe as an understated style and if is clear to see from her blog just how much she is growing in confidence as a seamstress. So, ladies, please don’t feel obliged to accept – it took me two months after all to get round to answering the questions but, if you choose to accept, I would like to know:

  1. writing blog posts – pleasure or pain?
  2. has anyone you know “in real life” discovered your blog because they were a fellow sewist and you didn’t know it?
  3. favourite fabric?
  4. Cheapest and most expensive item you have made?
  5. mixed or single sex schooling?
  6. have you even made a direct copy of something you have seen on a blog?
  7. what’s your reaction when someone asks if you will make/alter something for them?
  8. if you were to have a career change, what would you do?
  9. what do you sew on? are you thinking of upgrading or do you like to stick with a trusted workhorse?
  10. favourite independent pattern company?
  11. please share your moment of fame/shame – your choice

Well, that’s it from me my lovelies. Sorry , quite a text heavy post. I’m off this afternoon to my second nativity of the season but will leave you a picture of our little munchkin from last week’s nativity – sorry no whole cast photos allowed.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

Angel Charlotte

Angel Charlotte




Sewing is my happy place

Hello dear sewing chums,

It has been seven long weeks since my last post.  A number of blogs I have read give an apology after a break saying that “life got in the way” or something similar; I fully appreciate that and YAY for “life” anyway.  I recently read Roisin’s blog post  (aka fabulous Dolly Clackett) and in the first paragraph she says that she is not apologising for her break  but that it feels weird not to comment on the fact there has been an absence.  I sort of feel exactly the same so this is my bridge post before normal service resumes!


Well, sewing is my happy place and to be perfectly frank, I have not been happy; I have been utterly miserable. Sometimes I know it’s good to lose your worries in a hobby but I made the decision not to pollute my happy place and have kept away from the sewing machine; I have barely commented on my favourite blogs or posted on my instagram.  Can you imagine what any garments might have looked like if they had reflected my mood!

I don’t plan to bore you with the details – nobody died. But for those of you who appreciate a metaphor, I have been unwillingly engaged in a game of chess with three ferocious opponents whose skill, cunning and utter lack of integrity led to a very swift checkmate; defeat has been a crushing blow.

On the plus side, I am about to start a sewacation and that is really good. I abandoned not one but two workshops at Sew Over it over the last six weeks.  My mint flamingo blouse is looking rather forlorn at the moment but at least it got started which is more than can be said for the cigarette pants! So, those are my first two WIPs to tackle. I have booked a workshop for November to make the Francine jacket which I am really looking forward to.  I have it in mind to make a maxi skirt suit in tweed which I think could be really something (and possibly slightly eccentric). Over at Bimble and Pimble I am looking forward to SEWVEMBER which is a sewing photo everyday challenge .  I took part last year and it was a great way to get lots of inspiration from other sewistas. Finally on the positives, I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Red W Sews – a bloggers award for those with less than 200 followers.  This is very humbling as well as exciting.  I need to do a separate blog post for my acceptance speech so watch this space!

Oh, and I had another birthday and the beautiful framed embroidery at the top of this post was a present from my dear friend Ali (in fact it was one of a number of lovely sewing gifts and I am going to do a separate post about that too). Ali is madly into vintage and charity shops and this was one of her finds – can you imagine anyone just giving away such a personal piece of work.  I will treasure it and plan to hang it in my sewing corner. I will take a photo once it is in situ  – I need to do some dusting and blow the cobwebs away first!

Well, that’s it for now – I am looking forward to getting back into the groove.  If you have read this far then thank you for indulging me with this rather cathartic post – it’s been like therapy. As it’s been such a personal post I have posted a couple of piccies at the end of me and James Bond taken on my birthday last week – I am even older than the Bond Girl!

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me!


Dress from ENVY Arundel

Dress from ENVY Arundel

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x