Getting “sewciable”…

Most of the people that know me well, know I’m not a very sociable person, and I keep a pretty tight knit group of friends around me. I may not see them very often but we know we are there for each other.

The work I do, involves meeting and mixing with lots of different types of people and having the ability to get on with them. Which I think is why I’m mostly quite happy with my own company. On my days off its quite nice to just not have to talk. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s also nothing I like more than a nice piece of cake and a coffee and good old gossip with friends too. Just not every day.

Since starting my little sewing journey I’ve almost become more of a hermit than usual. Probably because for the most part sewing is a very individual activity, and I’m very happy being at home and making my tops.

I started blogging to document my sewing for myself, so I can see how far I’ve come and what I’ve been doing. A personal record of my work, and if anyone reads it thats great, but I write it for myself so I’m not worried if nobody else reads it.

Which is why I was quite surprised at how happy I was when I got a comment from Poppyinstitches,  she found my blog after searching for the Merchant and Mills Strand coat. It was nice to see a comment from someone I didn’t know from anywhere. So I hopped on over to her blog and found another lovely blog about all things sewing. I was ecstatic to find my blog added to her list of blogs she enjoys reading :0)

Well we exchanged comments on each others blogs and found we had a mutual love for Merchant and Mills, and one day she’d commented that she might be popping down to Rye to visit M&M. This comment floated round my little brain for a while and I wondered if she might like to meet me in Rye, I never so no to an excuse to visit. Eventually I plucked up the courage to ask her if she’d been to Rye yet and when she said “no” I took the plunge and offered to meet her if she did plan to visit. And she took me up on the offer.

About a week later I met up with her and her lovely daughter in Rye, and we went to M&M where she bought some lovely things (I’ll leave it up to her to say what she bought on her blog, can’t wait to see the finished result) and I of course also bought some more lovely fabric of which I didn’t need but couldn’t resist. We then went for lunch to one of my favourite places the Apothecary coffee house. Had a lovely chat, such a warm and friendly person. After that we had a another little wander and then parted ways. I’m so annoyed I forgot to take my camera and take any photos to share but trust me it was a lovely day.

And then blow me down during the following week I got a Tweet from the lovely “sewing parlour/La La Rookh workshop” (they changed their name the week after my visit to “La La Rookh” ) inviting me down to visit as they would love to meet me! Meet me! Well I was flattered beyond belief and of course said yes. and then self doubt crept in. why would they want to meet me? What on earth would I possibly say… and so on?

I went back and forth for the rest of week about whether I would go or not, but then on the Friday evening I made up my mind that I would go. Of course there was always time for me to change my mind, I wasn’t going till the following afternoon. Saturday came and I was still in the mind set that I was going. This was feeling good.

I decided I was going to wear the top I made from the fabric I bought from there last time I went. Thought it might be a nice gesture, and I love the top…

Here's what I wore.

Here’s what I wore.

I was a little nervous, but I had a nice little walk along the seafront (not too far as I took the car, didn’t want to arrive all sweaty).

Had to take a pic of the sea and sky.

Had to take a pic of the sea and sky.

And then I arrived outside and thought it would be a good idea to take a photo of the shop front.

Of course it looks a little different now after the name change.

Of course it looks a little different now after the name change.

I walked in and was given the warmest of welcomes by two of the loveliest ladies you could ever wish to meet. Even though they were sort of in the middle of an informal meeting with a local entrepreneur and founder of Hastings Voice. I became included in their conversation. And very interesting it was too.

Afterwards I was invited into the workshop part of the shop and given coffee and cake. And we just sat around chatting about all sorts of lovely things. I would love to chat to Anna (owner of said workshop) more about her skills, I get the impression she’s a very talented lady but doesn’t really shout about it. And Lexie is a very talented lady too, take a look at her blog Those words she wrote, truly a gifted writer, she really has a way with the words. Together they are chatty and funny and I felt like I’d known them forever.  Time passed all too quickly and I had to leave. Of course I didn’t leave empty handed, always good to have a look at the fab array of fabrics she has.


Always so difficult for me to capture the true colour.

Always so difficult for me to capture the true colour. Another gorgeous Indian print cotton. 

And here’s a pic of the two fabulous ladies themselves.

Anna on the right and Lexie on the left.

Anna on the right and Lexie on the left.

I can’t wait to go back again and hopefully get to know them a little better.

I think what I’m trying to say is, that sometimes its good to put in a little effort and meet new people. You just never know who you might come across. I’m still a mostly unsociable bugger but sometimes I come out of hiding!


The best things come in 3…

So I now have 3 garments in the grey daisy fabric from Merchant & Mills. All based on the same pattern, Tilly and the Buttons “Mathilde”, but all quite different. The latest is the short sleeve top.

Here come the pics

This pic is just cos I like seeing the pins.

This pic is just because I like seeing the pins.

I know I've said it before but I can't believe how different it looks once I put the sleeves in. I'm never sure I'll like it at this point.

I know I’ve said it before but I can’t believe how different it looks once I put the sleeves in. I’m never sure I’ll like it at this point.




Looks so much better now.







And now here come the other two garments in the same fabric.



Long sleeve top.

Long sleeve top.

Loving them all.

Sun, sea, sailing, not much sewing…

I didn’t do much sewing in July, for a couple of reasons. I had some time away with my husband and I started exercising again. Its taken me a little while to get back in the swing of exercising and being able to sew on the same day, but I’m getting there.

However this post is about my little holiday with my Husband. I’ve lived by the sea all my life but its really only the last 10 or 15 years that I’ve truly learned to love it. I can’t be away from it for long, I get a bit antsy if I am. Last year we had 10 days in Florence, and whilst I loved it I couldn’t help but feel something was missing. I can just about see the sea from my house if I kneel on the back of my sofa and look out the side window. And I can see it whenever I leave my house, so long as there’s no mist/fog. I find it reassuring just knowing its there. So when I have a holiday I generally like it to be near the sea. Now don’t mistake this for beach loving, I’m not particularly fussed about lying on a beach and trying to tan ( I don’t). I do love walking along the beach and will love a paddle if its warm enough, but I also love a good stomp along the beach when its blowing and the seas rough. All in all I just love looking at it. Love it love it love it!

If you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning you’ll know we have a boat. Nothing fancy, but still its a boat.

Kooshty, our little boat.

Kooshty, our little boat.

Her name is Kooshty, which does not in any way resemble my sailing experiences! I tried it for a good 4 years before I chucked in the towel. I’d had one too many bad weather experiences and plenty of wind in the wrong direction (its just no damned good when its coming from the direction in which you wish to go, which is what it usually does). And I finally had to admit to myself that I didn’t enjoy it. The Husband was disappointed but understood.

I still love the boat and have no problem whatsoever sitting on her in a nice comfy marina. Marina life can still get lumpy (thats a sailing term for rough) and we had at least one night of strong winds howling through the rigging and the boat rolling around in its berth, so much so that we might as well have been at sea! However when my husband takes her away I still like to go and join him if I can.

In July he made his way down to the Solent and moored Kooshty in Gosport Premier marina. Its quite a nice train ride for me to Portsmouth harbour station and then a short ferry ride across the harbour entrance to Gosport. Takes about 3 hours (train journey not ferry) and I am reunited with my sailor hubby and our boat. I love the marina at Gosport, it has fabulous views and lovely little cafe/bistro which also has gorgeous views from its terrace.

Doesn't get much better than this!

Doesn’t get much better than this!

Or this. Great view of the Spinnaker tower.

Or this. Great view of the Spinnaker tower.

My husband and I spend most of the time over the other side though in Portsmouth and particularly Old Portsmouth. Just love standing on the beach there and watching the coming and going of the big ferries and little yachts.

Big ferries like this Brittany ferry.

Big ferries like this Brittany ferry.

And taking pictures of dramatic sunset skies.

Like this.

Like this.

And green rocks.



I won’t lie, there also happens to be a pub, the Still & West, with the best view in the world (Ok slight exaggeration ), and we do like to sit by a window and drink beer and watch the coming and going of the water vessels from there too.


Picture taken from Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth looking over to Spice Island in Old Portsmouth. You can just about see the Still & West on the right next to the ferry. when the big boats are coming out of the harbour they can sometimes look like they are heading straight for the pub. Fun!

sometimes the sky looks very dramatic, and I took an awful lot of pictures of it this time. Here’s just a few…


Look at those gorgeous clouds, and a Brittany ferry coming out of port.



Love it. I took loads more pictures of the clouds but they are all very similar, so I won’t bore you with them all!

Now for some of the sea views.

The colour is so vibrant.

The colour is so vibrant.

Had to take a pic of this crazy lady standing in the middle of pier type platform. The sea was quite rough this day, lucky she wasn't washed away!

Had to take a pic of this crazy lady standing in the middle of pier type platform. The sea was quite rough this day, lucky she wasn’t washed away!

I love this pic. Something about the bicycle and the lamp post.

I love this pic. Something about the bicycle and the lamp post.

Well I think thats about it for now. I spent 5 days with the boat and husband and loved it.