The middle child came with me to the Handmade Fair a couple of weeks ago. She's a creative soul and I had a feeling she would love pretty much everything she saw. What I didn't realise, however, was quite how persuasive she could be. We popped over to see Tilly (Bees Forever <3), who was as lovely as ever, and Lucy fell in love with the gorgeous Rosa Dress that was displayed on her stand. A quick trip over to Fabrics Galore for some lightweight denim and that was that. See - total sucker. Although I've sewn a few things from her book this was my first time using one of Tilly's stand-alone patterns, and it was a really lovely experience. It came in a nice big envelope with plenty [Read more...]


It's happened again, that thing where time just keeps moving in spite of my best efforts to slow it down. A whole year. And now you are twelve - a hilarious, brilliant, and (dare I say it) increasingly self-confident almost teenager. Speaking of which, you are getting quite the dab hand at some teenagery characteristics. Sleeping late has suddenly become the most important feature of your weekends. Being embarrassed by your parents is a permanent state of affairs (and I look forward to dancing like a loon at your upcoming Bat Mitzvah). We are not yet at the (no doubt inevitable) door slamming, you-ruined-my-life, stroppy phase, for which I am grateful. You are sweet and kind and funny, [Read more...]


Rachel, it seems like five minutes since you turned thirteen. Please stop growing up so fast. Not only is it making me feel old, but your little-girlness is slipping away at an alarming rate. I dread the day when you no longer want me to wait "just a sec, just a sec" (spoiler alert - it never is just a sec) while you get ready for bed so that I can tuck you in. I feel it now, that cutting of the umbilical cord. Your perfectly natural and appropriate independence. But you are my baby, my first, my little girl. I remember the teenage years being hard to cope with as a teenager, but I never realised how hard it is as a parent. Next you'll develop an interest in dating, god help us all. But [Read more...]


Another year, and a cake designed specifically with your icing-hating nature in mind. It is your day, after all.You started a new school this year and have taken to it like a duck to water. You love the sport, the friends, the teachers, the challenge. Your spelling and maths abilities never cease to amaze.You are funny beyond your years and mature in so many ways. You help make dinner every night and love it when it's your turn to load the dishwasher. You're chasing your sisters in more than just the physical round-the-house sense - you really seem to believe that you are the same age. I'll admit it, it drives me crazy at times, but then you look at me with those blue eyes and I'm [Read more...]

Miss Maggie and her acoutrements

Tonight is Chanukah. It is really early this year, falling in November for the first time since 2002 (god bless you and your useless-information finding skills, Google), so I had a slight panic at the end of last week trying to get everything done in time. And by everything, I mostly mean buying a couple of presents (Chanukah tends not to be the giant gift- and food-fest that is Christmas). There was one present that took a little longer, however. I was totally seduced by the adorableness of Miss Maggie Rabbit as soon as I saw her, and absolutely *needed* to make one for Lucy. And then I *needed* to make her several outfits. Please bear with me for the Maggie fashion show:Maggie comes [Read more...]


Dear LucyYou came in a hurry, and you've not stopped since. Running to do it all, make all of the things, dance all the steps, sing all the songs. You fill the house with joy and life and creativity. You are hilarious and kind and sharp as a tack.I watch you finding your way in the family, in the world, and I wish I could make you see how amazing you are. Ironically, the one thing you don't excel at is self-confidence. You have always been that way - the curse of the second child, I guess. My one hope for you this year, and every year, is that you will learn to believe in yourself. To compare yourself a little less harshly with those around you. To see what we all see so clearly.Sweet girl, [Read more...]

Love love love

I love teaching children to sew - they are always so pleased with what they have made and rightly proud of themselves. In the last couple of months I have taught hand sewing, machine made pillowcases and a birthday party tote bag class at The Village Haberdashery, as well as various bits of making with my daughter and her best friend. Look at all those smiling faces. I wish I could ditch the science and do this full time!

So, where’s my apple?

I am very excited to be teaching a couple of kids' classes at The Village Haberdashery in the next couple of weeks, one of which is an introduction to machine sewing for ages 10 and up. We will be making a pillowcase (using this brilliant tutorial) - a nice gender-neutral project that includes the excitement of choosing fabric, as well as the more practical aspects like using a (very basic) pattern.Luckily I have my very own 10-year-old to practice on who was more than delighted to be given actual time on my machine and real fabric to play with. Of course, now she wants to make a million other things. I can't imagine where she gets that from.The finished article had to be tested immediately, [Read more...]

ahhh, (semi) instant gratification

I have a feeling that doll's clothes are going to be my new scratch-that-making-itch sewing project. Lucy is going to a birthday party tomorrow for a fellow American Girl doll addict, so I thought it would be nice to make a dress using the pattern that I bought at Market last October. I even broke into the DS stash for some Shelburne Falls.(Speaking of the DS stash, I refolded it all the other day and discovered that I have even more than I thought. Don't know how that happened.)I am *almost* ashamedIt's so much fun making clothes without having to worry about the fit, the possibility of itchy seams or having to sew a zip. As far as I am concerned, all dresses should do up at the back with [Read more...]