Happy Happy Joy Joy – Northern Hemisphere Style

OK, I’m on catch up mode with stuff I made last year and beginning of this year.  There isn’t going to be any choronological order to these posts, it’s more going to depend on when I get a chance to photograph things and sit at the computer to write.  But on to the pretty skirt!

Do you remember the skirt Sew Busy Lizzy made for the Minerva Blogger Network using Vogue 8882?  Well, Lizzy told me I’d love it and boy did I love it.  That kit was bought with birthday money pretty much instantaneously.  It was also made PDQ as well and I wore it for our Christmas meal in early December, Christmas Day and a few other Christmas shindigs.  Did I get any photographs?  Did I heck!  So, I grabbed these photos at the same time I was photographing Anna Tron on a bleak, rain swept January morning.

Happy Happy Joy Joy

This entire outfit actually started out life in one of my Fashionary Mini sketch books (I have a set of three as well as a Silver Zebra print A5 book) and whilst I am not as tall and willowy as the outline in the book I’m pleased as punch with the finished outfit!

Vicki at Minerva Crafts was so helpful when I bought the bits I needed to make this skirt, swapping out the pattern size to one in my size range, double checking with me that I was happy and sending it all so quickly!  The fabric is lovely, it has a two tone effect that gives the colour real depth and it drapes beautifully whilst still having some body.  I really should have taken photos with a petticoat underneath because it looks fabulous (oops!).  You also get that beautiful swish sound as you walk in it.

Happy Happy Joy Joy 2

I did the same as lizzy and blew out the facings for the hem and just turned and stitched a narrow one instead.  This meant I have about 1.5m of the fabric left that is now a superhero cape. I wore the cape for Boy’s birthday at the beginning of January!  In short, that kit was an absolute bargain and I love this skirt!

Christmas Felt

In between making Bombshell swimsuits, going away for a weekend break, making Happy Happy Joy Joy swishy circle skirts and the usual mayhem that accompanies the run up to Christmas around here, I’ve been playing with some felt to make some holiday decorations!  Just as well it’s felt too as Boy learnt yesterday when we were decorating the tree that glass doesn’t bounce very well, so some additional decorations were definitely needed and these ones are pretty indestructible.


Simplicity kindly offered to send me a festive pattern to play with and blog about; I chose 2545.  I adored the gingerbread houses and the little felt ornaments, particularly the gingerbread men and women.  The pattern also includes the blueprints to make a tree topper gingerbread angel, star and heart decorations, stockings and a tree skirt.  There’s a lot of value in this pattern and I can see myself returning to it each year and increasing the decoration quota!

I’ve made some gingerbread people and some Christmas trees to decorate our tree.  Some are ‘heirloom’ and some are ‘quick and dirty’!  With the ones I took more time over, the embellishments are hand stitched on and use vintage buttons and lace from my stash.  The quick and dirty options use Gutermann HT2 glue to stick the felt together and the embellishments to the felt – much easier when a small person wants to help you!


I machine stitched all three layers of felt together on my machine before trimming down the gingerbread layers and pinking the icing layer of felt as per Simplicty’s instructions.  My favourite is Miss Gingerbread with her vintage sparkling buttons, lace and ric-rac skirt and hand sewn face.  Mr Gingerbread with the green buttons was sewn and stuck (his eyes are tiny tiny buttons which Boy glued on), whilst Mr Gingerbread with pearl buttons was all hand sewn.  His and Miss G’s eyes are french knots and their smile a split stitch.

Christmas Trees

I loved making the trees!  Mine is the one on the right with a blanket stitched edge, ric-rac tinsel and vintage button baubles!  It was a lovely way to use those odd singular buttons that are lurking in my button tin.  They finally get to shine!  Boy’s glued version is on the right.  No sewing at all, just glue, tiny buttons and more ric-rac.

These were a perfect little hand sewing project to take away with me last weekend.  Small enough that they took up no space at all and also I could make a lot of progress very fast with them.  As you may have guessed, Boy loved helping make them and is very proud of them being on the tree (along with all the other bits and bobs he’s made over the last few years!).  If you’re looking for some stress free Christmas crafting, this is a great pattern to start with – so many options!

It Was a Good Day…

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day?  I’ve been a little quiet as we’ve had (what must be) a final 2012 incident but I wont bore you with it here!  Suffice to say whilst I know 2012 has been really really good to some of you, I’m done with this year.

A massive positive though was that all the hard work me and Husband had put in on Boy’s new bedroom paid off.  He absolutely loves it and disappears upstairs to play in it and have adventures!


I suspect his favourite bit is the lights under the bed – it’s an LED ribbon and there’s a remote control that you use to change the colours, or make the flash!  He’s mastering climbing up and down to the top bunk too, although I’m quite pleased that he’s sleeping in the bottom one at the moment…  I don’t want to hear a crash in the early hours when half asleep he gets it wrong!  Lots of practice first I think!

There’s a lot of ‘Me Hearties’ going on too as he has a pirate outfit which he loves – a last minute ‘impulse’ buy by me in the Early Learning Centre the weekend before Christmas.  My sister bought his some foam cutlasses and if I can I’ll get you a picture of Pirate Boy on his hobby horse brandishing a sword.  He tries so hard to look fearsome, but is just too darn cute to pull it off!

I got the blind and curtains done, finally hanging the curtains Christmas Eve (so late partially due to some idiot moments on my part during construction of the blind and having to re-do the header tape on the first curtain as it was too close to the radiator when hung).  I am so pleased with how they came out though.  It was definitely worth the effort and I hope they’ll have a long life as they’re not babyish…


I was a very lucky girl and got some lovely sewing goodies as well as my swap items!  I now have the Alma Blouse pattern by Sewaholic which will be made up with some leopard print lawn with a black peter pan collar.  Perfect for Pretty Grievances Jungle January!


I also now own some pinking shears – Gingher ones no less too and oh my, they do cut beautifully!  Also some gorgeous lengths of fabric which will be pre-washed today as I fancy some very selfish sewing.

I hope you all had a wonderful day and were spoilt rotten.

Sew Very Merry Christmas Swap Button / Widget!

I have finally got round to sorting out a widget button thingy for the swap!  It’s not very fancy as I am still trying to sum up the courage to spring for Photoshop, but I hope you’ll like it?!


Here’s the code you need:

<div align=”center”><a
href=”https://vickikatemakes.wordpress.com/category/sew-merry-christmas-swap/&#8221; title=”Vicki Kate Makes”><img src=”https://vickikatemakes.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/svmcs1.jpg&#8221; alt=”vickikatemakes” /></a></div>
<div align=”center”></div>

I’d love it if you could share the button on your blog!  I’m really looking forward to this swap, it’s shaping up to be a good-un!


Sew Very Merry Christmas Swap

Hurrah, I’m so glad that you guys like the idea of a Christmas swap!

I’ve done a bit of research and the earliest last date for Airmail international postage (that I can track down) is Wednesday December 5th 2012, so here’s the plan:

Sign-up for the swap will be open until Friday November 16th 2012.  The weekend of the 17th and 18th I’ll pair people up and email out details of who you’re swapping with.

Then it’s time to do some research, read your swap partners blog, send them an email to help guide your choice on the fabric you think they’d like – and then of course go shopping!  I thought a budget of £20(GB) / $30(US) (by today’s exchange rate provided by Google) was a manageable figure?

Feel free to shop your stash if you have something that you know would be perfect!  The main aim is to provide enough fabric for the person to make their garment of choice, but if you want to include notions, trim, patterns because you scored an awesome deal then that would be fabulous!

It would be lovely if we could all gift wrap whatever we’re swapping to make opening our ‘present’ a little more special on Christmas Day.  And it prevents early peaking (well it might…)

Then it’s time to post your parcel by Wednesday December 5th 2012 and send me a quick email so I know that it’s been entrusted to Royal Mail / USPS / AusPost / whoever your postal service is!

I’d love it if we could all do a show and tell by New Year’s Eve and I can then do a wrap up post on New Years Day sharing what everyone received.  I was vaguely thinking that we could do a ‘finished item’ share at the end of January?

If you’d like to join in please send me an email to
with the following information by Friday 16 November 2012:

  • What item you’d like to make and therefore the yardage you’d like to swap; it could simply be that you want to make a dress, or a skirt or top, or that you’re hoping for the Cambie Dress Pattern for Christmas and enough fabric for that would be amazing! (I estimate that 3 yards for a dress / 2 for a top or skirt would be about right assuming 44″ fabric)
  • If you’re happy to post internationally
  • Your email address
  • Your postal address (If you’re in the US, please provide the full ZIP Code as international stuff can go AWOL without it!)
  • Your blog address (if you have one – if you don’t its not a problem!)

This way I can match people up on the yardage and postage.  I really hope you all want to join in and have an absolute ball, get to know some fellow sewists and have a wonderful present to open on December 25th!

PS – Some sort of blog button is coming soon…  If anyone is any good with photoshop or that sort of thing then I’d be eternally grateful as I’m clueless!

For image sources, please click on image


We Had a Wonderful Day!

Hello all, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Boxing day.  We had a wonderful time and for me and my husband it stated on Christmas Eve, wrapping this:

It’s called a Toylander and Husband built it for Boy from plans that he bought.  Now, to put this into context, my darling Husband has a thing for “the beasts of Solihull” (a quote from my Father’s Father of the Bride Speech from our wedding).  This beasts are also known as Land Rovers or Landys.  The current model is a dark metallic green 110 (the length of the chassis in inches) Defender.  We have also had, in no particular order: a soft top series 3 (rebuilt from the chassis up), a red Defender 90 (which we used to compete in), a Discovery, and a navy Defender 90.

So, Husband has a thing for a particular type of large off-road vehicle and Boy is a miniature Husband, so also has a thing for the same large, off-road vehicles.  So Husband decided to build him his own Land Rover which is powered by two 12v batteries.

He’s been building it since August in the evenings and the odd weekend.  As it neared completion and Christmas got ever closer he started to worry as to whether Boy would like it or not.  Everyone reassured him that Boy would love it.  He was still worried that Boy wouldn’t get it, or wouldn’t like it.

What do you think Boy’s opinion was?!  He opened all his presents from friends and family in it, and ate his breakfast in it too.  He didn’t want to get out of it at all!  I am so proud of Husband for doing this.  I think he got a lot of satisfaction from it too, particularly the response it received!

Suffice to say that this year, Christmas has really been about our Boy and making it a magical and special time of year for him.  He doesn’t understand Father Christmas yet, although we have been talking about him.  He loves the lights and decorations and skips around the house singing Happy Happy Christmas to the tune of the first line of Happy Birthday.  Probably pretty annoying, but as he’s my son I find it incredibly cute!

However, Father Christmas didn’t forget me and I was lucky enough to receive some much wished for bits and bobs!

Gingher Shears
I can not tell you how happy I am to have received these, they cut through fabric like it isn’t there.  Just wonderful to use and the patterned handle means that Husband has no excuse to nip into my sewing space and ‘not realise’ they were my fabric shears!

Fabric for Fashion Swatch Book
Seriously, this book is amazing!  It makes understanding why patterns suggest certain fabrics crystal clear.  And also how to envy Gertie even more when you realise just how gorgeous some of the fabrics she uses are!  My lovely parents bought me both this book and the shears.

My Dad’s interest has been piqued enough that he watched a documentary on Couture and Design and he found it fascinating – the time, skill and technical aspects of sewing and pattern drafting and design.  He’s really interested in my sewing now, rather than indulgently supportive, as he’s quite technical and now understands how it feeds my design interests.  Having him take a real interest is amazing – he was discussing style lines in terms of architecture and sculpture!

Colette Sewing Handbook
I have wanted this book since it was announced (OK, who hasn’t?!) and my baby sister got it for me!  Bit of a hiccup though as I’d also bought myself a copy as I didn’t get a copy on my birthday…  Bad, impatient me!  I feel terrible as it transpires she was mucked around by Amazon when she pre-ordered it.  But she is truly one of the kindest,  most generous and selfless darling people I know; she wants to swap it for another book for me.

Mad Med Series 4 on DVD
From my littler than me sister and her lovely Fiancé.  She also got me a small box of Hotel Chocolat Cappucino truffles.

Husband and I bought ourselves an Apple TV so that we can look at the photos on the telly in our lounge rather than being limited to the computer, phone or tablet.  It makes it a much more sociable experience.  We were also given lots of other gifts from family and friends, but none relate to sewing or creating (mostly vouchers or cash which we’ll use on the house I suspect).

Once again I am very grateful to be living in an affluent country where none of my family, or my Husband’s, are struggling with finances.  I will freely admit that we have spent less this year than previous years, as has everyone else.  But I don’t resent it in the slightest.  In fact it makes the gifts that I have received even more precious because I can see that time and thought has gone into every single one, rather than mindless volume.  I hope that makes sense?

What ever you did over Christmas I hope you had a lovely time and spent it with as many of those that you hold close to your heart as you could.  Enjoy the last few days of 2011 – I hope to catch up with friends and maybe even get a little sewing done.  2012 will be here sooner than we know it!

A little bit of Christmas

A little bit of Christmas craftiness has been happening here, honest!  Isn’t it amazing how time just disappears at this time of year?  I don’t know if it’s because Christmas is at a weekend but it really seems to have crept up on me.  I thought I had loads of time and then earlier this week realised I had a week and a half!

Last weekend we went and cut our tree and decorated it.  I love having a real tree in the house.  We go for one with soft needles – less painful to decorate and they don’t seem to drop either, which is a major bonus!

The other bonus is that the wreath up at the top, on our front door, is also made from the tree.  The only thing I bought was the oasis ring that it’s all mounted on.  I used one of those ones where the Oasis is in a plastic ring.  I think it’s supposed to be used as a table centre piece, but with the addition of some ribbon so that it can be hung, it’s perfect for a door wreath.

The greenery is from the bits we trimmed off the tree, the baubles are spare ones that didn’t get used this year and the glittery flowers were in my christmas decoration stash, as was the sparkly gold ribbon.  It’s quite simple but the abundance foliage also makes it look quite luxuriant, I think!  And for the princely sum of about £4 it’s an absolute bargain as I’ve seen others in the shops (not as nice as this, blowing my own trumpet!) that were five times the price!

I’ve also finished the two snoods that are intended for my sisters (not that I’ve got around to photographing them yet…) and I’ve managed to cut and sew the darts and tucks on my Sencha.  I used tailor’s tacks for the first time to try and ensure accuracy and they worked pretty well.  The biggest thing I learnt though is to leave a lot longer tails as some of the tufts ended up a little stumpy, but they did get the job done!

I would love to say that I’ll get another post up before Christmas, but I suspect the crazy level is only likely to get higher around here over the next few days so…

Wishing you all a happy, joyful and peaceful Christmas.  I hope to see you before the new year!

SewAlong Ruby Slip

I have to thank SuzySewing for alerting me to this sew along – particularly as I’m in need of night wear!

PatternScissorsCloth is running the sew along and the free pattern and instructions are up, as is the first post on materials.  Maybe I’ll get myself sorted and get this done as well as my long anticipated Cinnamon.  Oh, and my Sencha of course!  I have pre washed and pressed the fabric for MkI though, so I haven’t been totally slacking?

I have to admit though that the last few days have been taken up with Christmas preparations.  The house is decorated and covered in lights, we finished the gift buying today all except some B&Q vouchers and a DVD (I must go onto Amazon and order that…) and we’re also in the process of switching our broadband and phone provider, to go live in the new year…

So, once again I have plans and good intentions.  But first I must finish the wrapping I’ve started and make one last final present and then maybe I can sew for myself…  Roll on time off over Christmas!

The C Word

Yep, I’m talking Christmas!  Mainly because Tilly has relaunched this:

Hurrah for the Crafty Christmas Club.  A veritable treasure trove of ideas and a way of sharing your creations without those who are being created for getting a sneek-peak!

What is it?

A group blog for people making their own Christmas prezzies. A hub to discuss your crafty plans with likeminded people, gain inspiration from other craftsters, share tips and tutorials, and show off your finished goodies without spoiling the surprise to family and friends who might be reading your own blog.

Why would you spend time making presents? Isn’t it easier just to buy them?

Well yes, it is easier to buy them. But I know I’m not the only one who feels a little nauseous at the thought of all the frenzied consumerism that goes on during the festive season. Who wants to spend the whole of December battling the crowds in the shopping centre? I’d rather sit at home crafting a little something by hand, investing that extra bit of love and care into it. Stock up on fabric and glitter, invite some friends over to join in the fun, load up your favourite music, pour out the sherry, warm up the mince pies… bliss!

What kinds of crafts does it cover?

Sewing, knitting, paper crafts, crafty food gifts, jewellery, decorations, fancy wrapping, cards… and lots of other craftiness.

Sounds like a genius idea! How can I be part of the fun?

Why thank you, kind sir! Read the blog and follow our progress here. If you want to post to the blog, you can become a member by emailing craftychristmasclub at g mail dot com and I’ll set you up as an author. If you’ve got your own blog, send me the link and I’ll add it to the list of members. Ooh and help spread the good tidings by adding the button to your blog:

I don’t celebrate Christmas – can I still join?

But of course! If you’re making Hanukkah prezzies, Winter Solstice prezzies, or any other winter season prezzies for that matter, do join us!

Join us… join us… join us…

So, do as Tilly says!  There are only 72 days until the big day (sounds like ages and no time at all, all at once) so come plan and create with us!