Clarinda Kaleidoscope celebrates First Blogiversary – Hoorah!

Hello and thanks for reading!

Today my blog celebrates being one year old proving that it wasn’t just  a seven day wonder and no-one is more surprised than me.  It has been a wonderful year of learning new skills, making friends and (incredibly) creating an on-line presence!


An early make worn last week for a picnic at Parham House (the car is not mine by the way)


My first post was about my Lilou from Love at First Stitch – you can read that post here.

Photo from my first blog post

Photo from my first blog post

I have 90 followers – thank you so much if you are one of the 90! I have written 62 posts and usually post at the weekend.  I still feel a bit underskilled in relation to blogging, for example, I can’t work out how to add an About Me page (although I thought I had written one during the original set up) and when I try to add a button to say I am joining in with something (e.g. OWOP) it is very hit and miss if it works. I am looking at giving my blog a bit of a facelift and to that end am considering having a customised blog heading designed – I just can’t decide what the image should be though. Any ideas?


My instagram was set up five weeks later and has 200 followers – I enjoy using instagram and only follow fellow sewistas. I am currently doing the daily sewphotoblog set up by House of Pinheiro which is a great way to find out what others are up to.


I had been sewing for about four months before I started my blog.  I have learned so far that there is much I have still to learn!   I mostly enjoy the learning part but sometimes I’m quite impatient and get frustrated when things don’t go right first time.  I have had some triumphs:

1960's coat made at Sew Over It

1960’s coat made at Sew Over It

and some disasters:

How could I not have noticed this until I put the finished garment on

How could I not have noticed this until I put the finished garment on

but most of all I have had fun!

Originally made for my niece's wedding, this dress was equally at home at the races

Originally made for my niece’s wedding, this dress was equally at home at the races

It has been great meeting people on line and in the next couple of weeks I am actually going to meet some of my on-line friends at Fabric Godmother.


The most exciting aspect of blogging for me this year was being voted as a finalist and then a winner during The Monthly Stitch Independent Pattern month – it was really wonderful to know that other sewistas had actually voted for my dress – a By Hand London Kim featuring Frida Kahlo.

My winning dress

My winning dress

In the coming year I hope to continue making clothes in fabulous prints, engage more with the on-line sewing community to gain inspiration from others and finally, get over my fear of the overlocker.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

Just so you know - It's not all about me (but mainly it is)!

Just so you know – It’s not all about me (but mainly it is)!


Lilou and Lemons

Rather than start with my sewing back story I thought I’d kick off my blog with my latest make – a Lilou – one of the patterns included in Love at First Stitch by Tilly.  Three weeks ago I was sat in Heathrow departures making use of the free wifi catching up on my bloglovin feed and saw this fabulous dress covered in lemons made by Jane and before I went to the gate I had tracked down the same fabric and ordered it so that it was waiting for me upon my return.


Knowing that I had some lovely bright fabric waiting for me cheered up on my return from holidays. I nipped into Chichester to pick up the notions (before Easter I wouldn’t have even know what notions were) and decided to go with the Lilou as I had bought Love at First Stitch  a month or so ago.  I decided to make a muslin – going from a size 4 at the bodice and graduating to a 5 at the waist.  Having made the muslin I decided to sew a size 4 all over as it seemed a bit loose but found it actually quite difficult to tell with the back hanging open as I was too impatient to insert a zip – yes, I will learn from this mistake.


The final garment is not a great fit on the bodice.  It is too tight under my arms whilst there is an excess of fabric across the boobs.  However, the skirt seems to fit OK although next time I might make it a little longer.  It was quite a windy day when I took these photos and the skirt kept blowing up in Marilynesque fashion.


Having initially put my zipper foot on back to front I managed to insert the zip on the second attempt.  Not sure what I had done wrong first time around but the stitches didn’t attached to the zip.  There are a few ruffles around the bottom but overall I am pleased with my first invisible zipper.


So, that’s it … my first blog – I think it took longer than the dress!  All tips and advice gratefully received.