Verb: pootle
poo-t(u)l To move in a leisurely unhurried way,
with no real purpose

Monday, 7 July 2014

All sewn up ...

It doesn't happen very often these days but every now and again my sewing machine
gets to have a little day out from its cupboard under the stairs.
Its usually for nothing more exciting than whipping up a pair of curtains
but on this occasion it was for a bit of a 'winging it' project.
A friend had recently given me a really pretty dress in a beautiful ivory kind of 
broderie anglais fabric and as much as I wanted it to look really amazing on me it
just didn't as the style is quite fitted with darts and zips and the like.
I'm more of a smocky, loose dress kind of person so after a bit of a think I set to.
I love a project like this but its always a bit nerve wracking making
 that first cut with the scissors.
But cut it I did ... eek !
Right across the middle.
This sounds like I was terribly hasty - but infact rather than scissors I used a
quick unpick, and whilst it wasn't particularly quick it did what it was supposed
 to do and unpicked very nicely.
I took out the two bust darts and the back zip and
cut about 3" from the bottom of the bodice part.
This is my little pile of surplus to requirement bits.

And this is what I was left with.

I then made a small opening at the back so that the dress could be slipped
on,edged this with ribbon to finish it off

and reattached the skirt to the much shorter bodice.

Usually I'm a bit impulsive and don't bother to pin and tack but this time I made myself
take that extra bit of care as I so wanted this makeover to work well.
There were several quick try ons to make sure it was all working as it should and
then the final stitching took place.

And here it is .... ta-dah !

Now its so much more me - and I love it.
( I am happy about it truly - just apparently not that smiley
 at the moment this picture was taken ! )

Anyway, as they say, one thing leads to another and before you could say cotton reel this
 low waisted denim pinafore dress had become a little summery smock.

And the cut off bits of fabric ...

... made the perfect frill to edge my new denim shorts with.

Ta-dah number 2 !

All in all a good day out for my sewing machine and three
 newly up-cycled bits of clothing for me.
Of course my week would not have been complete without a little crochet action and I have been happily hooking away at my second  Little Woollie cushion cover.

Once I have finished this I'm going to sew both covers up and do a whole cushion inspired post
- so until then I'm afraid its just the one photo for now.
There's also been a spot of blocking taking place...
and once fully dry this little blanket will be pretty much cooked.
But far more exciting than any little crafty projects that have taken place this week ....
my Giveaway prize from Mitzi at Lazy Days and Sundays at The Willows arrived this Saturday !
Mitzi began her Blog about the same time as I started mine and we have followed each other throughout each of our first years of blogging.
One of my favourite things that Mitzi has made is the beautiful Homecoming from Afghanistan Afghan blanket. Mitzi made 182 squares to make this blanket, the exact number of days that her son was serving in Afghan. The finished blanket is so stunning and so very special in so many ways.

The Giveaway package that Mitzi sent me arrived in this lovely hessian bag decorated
with a photo of a poppy that Mitzi took in her garden.

Inside there was an assortment of poppy bits and bobs , from a notebook to some poppy
 ribbon to one of the beautiful handmade poppy brooches that Mitzi makes,
to a little packet of poppy seeds for my garden. 
There were also two balls of DK wool in exactly my colour
 ( I'm already thinking over what I can make with these .. )
and all of this was topped off with a bag of scrummy strawberry sweets.
It was like Christmas all over again !
Thank you so much Mitzi.
Anyway ..... probably time I got on really... but before I go I'm going to send you
 all a virtual bunch of roses that is currently in a jug on my kitchen table ...
I just wish you could smell them,
 I cant even describe it ...
 its just totally and utterly the smell of all things Summer.



  1. Wow Kate! You are amazing!!! (I'm sure I've written that in another comment here along the way...) your smock top is super-cool, it looks so pretty on you (even with the pout :-} ) and you keep going and going with the denim as well? Outstanding! Your pick n' mix cushion is lovely, those perfect colours of yours get me every time...Chrissie xxx

    1. Aah thank you lovely Chrissie - you just say the sweetest things. Big summer hugs, K x

  2. Wow! You clever thing. Three perfectly 'you' garments. I love it. The bravest thing I ever did along similar lines was chop the bottom off a White Company dress. Easy peasy compared to what you've managed to do! J x

    1. Do you know after I'd done this little makeover I looked the dress up in the Boden catalogue - and I'm not sure I'd have been so bold if I'd seen the price before I started !
      But now I'm wearing it lots and lots which I probably wouldn't have done before, so alls well that ends well ! K x

  3. I am so impressed with your upcycling, Kate. Both pieces look really nice with the way you made them over. Congrats on your lovely prize too.

    1. Thank you Jennifer, it was a fun project to do, K x

  4. Your sewing post will give me push I need to finish a top I have started. L Anne x

  5. Two lovely sewing adventures! I love what you did :) The crochet projects look wonderful as always, and the giveaway looks amazing - enjoy :D x

  6. Ah thanks for all your lovely comments Kate. It's so nice to see my giveaway set out on your table I got all excited about it all over again. I love the top you altered. You're truly a very tallented lady I don't think I'd ever be brave enough to attempt something like that, and it would of course help if I could use a sewing machine.


    1. No, definitely wouldn't have attempted it without a sewing machine Mitzi !!
      Thank you again for my lovely parcel - such a treat, K x

  7. I wish I could whip up something fancy with the sewing machine. Alas I never leant to sew but its on my list. Its a long list, but its up there near the top. I have just learnt to crochet and maybe I will get around to doing one of those cushions before long. Love the package from Mitzi too.T x

    1. Isn't crochet fab - I think you'll find yourself addicted in no time ! K x

  8. Both of your tops are gorgeous Kate!! I am in awe of your talents, as I would never have the courage to cut something up like that. Great job though on everything! Your blanket looks lovely too! xx

  9. It's so long since I've made something to wear Kate but I've been thinking recently I'd love to start making some of my clothes again and you're definitely encouraging me with your post've done a great job with your up-cycling...the dress is so pretty!
    Love your cushion cover too (something else on my ever growing 'to do' list!)
    Congratulations on winning Mitzi's lovely Giveaway (and I can also smell those beautiful roses) x
    Happy Tuesday,
    Susan x
    P.S Thank you for the lovely comments about the new pattern Kate and for sharing on FB x

    1. Lovely to have you back visiting again Susan ! It was definitely fun blowing the cobwebs away from my sewing machine - I would highly recommend it.
      Have a great week,
      K x

  10. Wow, that smock is so beautifully done, clever you. And the other one too, and the shorts. Honestly, you're a genius with that sewing machine. The crochet is stunning too. I'm quite overwhelmed with it all! What a lovely giveaway you won, I'll look forward to seeing what you make with the yarn. CJ xx

    1. Thank you CJ, busy thinking about what I can use Mitzi's gorgeous wool for, K x

  11. You are very clever, it looks great, as do the shorts. My sewing machine lives in the cupboard under the stairs, but, is a bit broken and I am a rubbish sewer....blocking out looks good too, those mats are so handy x

  12. They are aren't they ? I absolutely love mine, its so perfect for blocking. Thanks for dropping by Niki, K x

  13. Oh gosh so much in this post I can't even comment on it all! You clever thing with the alterations, and I just adore those cours in your blanket (and seem to remember adoring them in another post - or am I just going mad!

    1. Hi Jill, yes, I think I must have a bit of a thing for these colours at the moment as I seem to keep coming back to the same combination !
      Have a good week, K x

  14. WOW! Such an incredible job Kate ..... you looks absolutely beautiful in your new smock, I can only imagine your nerves as you cut into such a pretty dress, but it was so worth it and I love the denim makes too ..... you clever thing you!
    Love the crochet and what a fab and generous giveaway x
    love Jooles x x x

    P.S thank you for popping over to mine :o)

    1. I know, Mitzi put so much thought in to her Giveaway didn't she ? I feel very lucky.
      Have a good week Jooles, K x

  15. Wow Kate, clever you and how brave to cut into it! You've done a fabulous job and it looks lovely on you. Love your 'little woollie' cushion covers, the greens, greys and maroon look so good together and your blanket too - a mixture of knit and crochet? How lovely your white rose is with it's pinky-yellowy buds, what variety is it? Congratulations on your giveaway from Mitzi. Enjoy the rest of your week (sorry for all the questions!)
    Jane x

  16. Hello Jane, Thank you for all your lovely words - yes, the blanket is a combination of knitted squares and crocheted ones ( I have a pattern for it on the left hand sidebar of my blog ). Its a really fun and quick blanket to make. I'm ashamed to say that I don't know the name of my rose, I just bought it at the Garden Centre because it was white and had that lovely floribunda, old-fashioned look about it - not very helpful to you though ! Sorry ! I don't think it still has the label on it either. Can you guess that I'm not much of a gardener !!
    Have a great weekend,
    Kate x

  17. Gosh you have been a busy bee Kate! Clever you with the dress to top alterations, they both look lovely, the white one especially even though you arent smiling at how clever you've been!
    Loving the little woolie cushion, the stripes are so so pretty!
    Lovely giveaway too, congratulations!
    The roses look gorgeous, have a lovely weekend Kate.
    Gill xx

  18. Your new make-over garments are wonderful Kate! So clever of you and they look so lovely! Pretty cushion too :) And congratulations on winning such a lovely gift.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
    Helen xox

  19. Hi Kate just catching up with your posts - lovely post as always your new tunic is beautiful you are so clever and I adore your special angels. Hope you are well. Sue x

  20. Wow look at you, very impressive indeed missus. Love what you did and it looks fab on gorgeous lady! Lucky gal to win such lovely gifts! Sending you much love xoxo

  21. Oh you have been busy! Gorgeous makes and the smock top looks great on you.
    Marianne x


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