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Make Nine 2020

Make Nine 2020

At the start of every year, sewists post their sewing plans for the year ahead on Instagram under the tag #makenine. I did this last year and have done so again this year. So what do I have planned? Well, some of my plans are […]

Friday Five!: Trench Coat Sewing Patterns

Friday Five!: Trench Coat Sewing Patterns

It’s been a while since I last posted here, due to one long-ass house move (more on that in a later post!). Now that I’m more or less settled into my new abode, I thought it was time to start writing again. I work full-time […]

Painted feature walls: 2 ways

Painted feature walls: 2 ways

In this blog, I show you how to paint two features walls using just paint and masking tape.

Version A: Criss Cross feature wall

Criss-cross wall

For this version I made small pencil markings on the wall as per the diagram below.

I then joined the dots with masking tape trying to keep the lines straight.

Once all the lines were masked I started painting. I left it to dry for a couple of hours, then removed the masking tape.

Here’s the result!

Criss-cross wall
Criss-cross wall

Version B:

I actually got the inspiration for this one from browsing Pinterest.

Random Block wall

With this one I just went completely freehand with the masking tape.

I then painted each box with different colours, while trying not to have two of the same colour adjacent.

Random Block wall

I used colours from the Valspar Bookcase Collection. The were Tolstoy, Oddysey, and Winter’s Tale.

One thing that I have learnt from painting these two walls, and a top tip for you, is that the quality of the masking tape can make a HUGE difference. For the first wall, I used a cheap own brand tape and had to do some patching up. The lines were not perfectly clear and some paint managed to get under the masking tape. On the second wall, I used Gorilla tape and got a much better, clearer result.

Random Block wall
Random Block wall
Pattern Hack: Adding a zip and hem cuff to TATB Stella Hoodie

Pattern Hack: Adding a zip and hem cuff to TATB Stella Hoodie

The Stella is the last pattern that I had left to make from Tilly and the buttons “Stretch!” book. I don’t usually wear hoodies unless they had a zip so I decided to add one. The hoody also needed to be a little longer than […]

Boeuf Bourguignon Pie

Boeuf Bourguignon Pie

Originally published on my previous blog – Tashymakesstuff back in 2012 I like to believe that I was the first to come up with the idea of the beef bourguignon pie. I’m sure I wasn’t, but I like to think that I was. I’m also fairly sure that […]

Tilly And The Buttons: Joni dress

Tilly And The Buttons: Joni dress

The neckline of Joni dress is what drew me to buy the latest Tilly And The Buttons (TATB) book, even if I originally assumed it was a top on the cover photo. Despite being the main draw, it wasn’t the first garment I decided to sew from that book.

The book. Buy it here!

I hate directly copying the fabric suggestions that come with patterns, so that meant I wasn’t going to sew any striped fabric, sequins or velvet (the three ideas that were offered in the book), so I put it off until I found the right fabric.

The fabric

Browsing the internet a few weeks before xmas, I came across some gorgeous leopard print knit – navy and gold. Great, I thought, I can sew the Joni and wear it on New Years eve! Perfect party dress that I’ll probably wear again! Unfortunately, the fabric was described as a bit see through and scratchy. Granted, I could have lined it, but that would have meant more fabric and more effort. I am persistent though, and once I get an idea in my head, I will do it. I WILL MAKE A JONI DRESS TO WEAR ON NEW YEARS!

After some more browsing, I came across a beautiful geometrically textured stretch material from The Textile Centre. This was perfect, soft, opaque and something that wouldn’t be restricted to holiday parties.

The Pattern

Next, I needed to trace the pattern from the book and adapt it to my size. Now, the great thing about stretch fabric is very accommodating in terms of fitting. Width-wise nothing needed adjusting. However, I have quite a high waist and longish legs. Then add the fact I hate my knees so wanted the length to fall below them, I needed to lengthen the skirt. There are plenty of instructions on how to this in the book, these even worked with the extra 2 inches of skirt length I added.

Sewing

So I cut out the patterns and started sewing it together. The book has great instructions that are easy to follow. I think the trickiest was sewing the neckline. This piece is 20% shorter and you need to stretch it out evenly against the bodice. But despite thinking I had messed it up, it actually came out perfectly fine.

The Result

I feel very proud of this make, it’s the sort of thing I would have gone out and purchased it if I hadn’t made it myself.

You can see other sewing makes by me here.

IKEA shoe cabinet makeover

IKEA shoe cabinet makeover

A few years ago I was given an IKEA Sandnes shoe cabinet. I found the style of it very practical. It hides the shoes but also takes very little space.  I liked it until we had done some work to the entrance hall of house. […]

Ikea Hack: DIY Farmhouse table from Ingo + Ivar set

Ikea Hack: DIY Farmhouse table from Ingo + Ivar set

[originally published on an old blog in 2013] After moving into our new home, there were so many items of furniture to buy. One of these items we needed was a dining table. After seeing some tutorials to make one from scratch on Pinterest using […]

Bathtub Gin

Bathtub Gin

Bathtub Gin

I’d been reading in a few places that you can make your own gin from Vodka. Cost-wise it’s not that different, by the time you’ve bought Vodka and all the ingredients you might as well just go out and buy some. I, however, wanted to have a little bit of fun.

I tried to make gins that were similar to the gins I like – very aromatic. I’m usually a big fan of brands such as Gin Mare (Mediterranean), Ophir (Oriental), Bloom (Floral) and Silent Pool. 

To do this I needed to dry out some of the ingredients, you can see how I did this here: (will post this lter) . Bear in mind that I only used 35cl bottles of vodka as I wanted to try out different flavours. To make a 70 cl bottle, just double the quantities.

Ingredients (all should be in a dried form, other than the vodka, obviously!):

Mediterranean Gin

35ml vodka
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs lemon thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp juniper
5 dried olives
a thumb-sized length of lemon peel

Oriental Gin

oriental ingredients

35ml vodka
1 tbsp juniper
1 thumb-sized length dried lime
1 thumb-sized length dried lemon
2 cardamom pods 
1tsp coriander seeds 
2 peppercorns

Method

It’s as simple as adding the dried ingredients to the vodka bottle. Note that you might want to pour away some of the vodka first or it might not fit. Or just pour it into a glass and add your favourite mixer 😉

Next, leave ingredients to infuse for 24-48 hrs depending on how flavorful you want it. Then sieve it into another recipient, or use a coffee filter. Pour it back into the bottle.

A pink wrap top

A pink wrap top

I sewed the wrap-top pattern included in Simply Sewing magazine. Last summer I signed up to a free subscription of Simply Sewing magazine. I think it was £0.99 for 3 issues or something like that. Of course, I forgot to unsubscribe and ended up paying […]


Paprika Chicken

Paprika Chicken

Paprika Chicken

 

This is a non-authentic version of Chicken Paprikash, a traditional Hungarian dish.

This version is one that my family makes regularly, although my dad makes it with yoghurt rather than creme fraiche.

Recently found out whilst reading a cooking book written by the lovely owners of Percy’s that creme fraiche doesn’t curdle so I decided to give that a go.

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