by the sea .. and a winner

{ I know it's unhygienic, you know it's unhygienic, and she knows it too ... }

A week by the sea was had by us all. Good food, a bit of sports, a bit more walking, even more r&r

.. and it was good.

And this morning a winner of the 'not quite spring' giveaway was selected by way of random generator. Number 18 it is, which by my reckoning is Green Rabbit Designs. Congratulations to you Vivienne, there are some more rabbits to add to your collection here so please email your details to me at harmonyandrosie@hotmail.com and they'll be hopping across to you later in the week. Thanks to everyone for taking part, it was fun.

Happy Monday x


not quite spring giveaway - NOW CLOSED

I loved doing my first giveaway so I think it's time for another.

A while ago I bought this book but didn't check the order properly and ended up with two copies. Then I forgot to send one back. Now, I don't know about you, but I am itching for Spring to arrive, I want to be able to shed the quilted duvet-coat, remove the hat and gloves once and for all and generally feel a bit more light hearted. So I'm hoping this is a good moment to offer a sweet book to a crafty person somewhere out there in Blogland, or even further.

But given I've noticed Amazon are offering it for less than a fiver at the moment, I imagine the appeal of this giveaway has just dropped somewhat, so I am also including one of my handmade purses to fit snugly into the same package. The purse is made from vintage cotton, with a pattern of cream clover, Edwardian lace on one side and lined with cream linen.

So if you fancy a little bit of Springtime already, all you need to do is leave me a comment on this post. As with the last giveaway, it is open to all but followers get two shots so please leave two comments because I may use that random generator thingy this time. I've always fancied trying that out.

Unbelievably it's Half Term coming up already so I'll leave the giveaway open until midnight GMT on Sunday 27th and announce a winner on the Monday. Oh and I'll do free super saver delivery to anywhere in the world, too! Amazon, eat your heart out ..

If you're on your holidays too, what will you be doing? Whatever it may be, I hope you have a great week. x


candy stripes

There's a distinct shortage of pyjamas in somebody's wardrobe in this house at the moment and I reckon it's that growing business again!

Now it just so happens I've already earmarked a few patterns I want to try this year that require buttonholes and seeing as this is one of those things I've not tackled in my dressmaking so far, I decided this to be the perfect opportunity. After all, if it turned into a botched job it wouldn't be the end of the world, I could always run up a different top and all would be well.

I bought this vintage Horrockses sheet recently for not much money at all, you see the minute I saw its pastel coloured candy stripes I knew it would be perfect for giving it a new life as some Spring nightwear. MLF has certainly made lots of use of her brushed cotton pyjamas these past couple of months but obviously something a little lighter will be in order for the seasons ahead. A strange one this; for a girl who will pretty much wear only dresses or skirts, she prefers pjs to a nightie.

The pattern I used is from this Japanese book, the same one I turned to for this dress as it happens. Placing and cutting out the pattern pieces was a cinch, not to mention adding the pockets, having the narrow stripes as guidance, and better still when I incorporated the wide hem of the sheet into the bottom of the trousers. I even had some spotty buttons waiting in the tin which I think look fun with the stripes. All was well, it was a lovely pattern to sew, very straightforward and, phew, everything went to plan; buttonholes are fun! The model was accommodating too, even wanting to walk off wearing the goods .. praise indeed!

Have a lovely day - I'll be back on Friday with a giveaway.



Did you receive anything? I'll keep you posted with all the goodies I get but it's not looking too good so far ... !!

Happy Valentine's Day.



MLF has had her beady eyes on this fabric for a while and now I finally relent. It came from a German Ebay seller several years ago who's since stopped trading which is a real shame as she had some gorgeous pieces. I think this is a linen/cotton blend but in any case it drapes so beautifully and will be perfect for a dress to take madam through Spring, Summer and Autumn too, come to think of it, with the right accessories.

The pattern is New Look 6504 and a particular favourite of mine, in fact it's one I've already used here and here, so it must be good. I love it for its simplicity, of course, and because of the fabric's large, striking print I didn't feel the need to embellish too much. Well, just a length of antique lace because ... well why not quite frankly?!

Along with the trials and tribulations of having a mainly uninspired model ("modelling is sooo boring Mummy"), this girl is developing some first class negotiating skills. This photo shoot cost me one of these, plus a TV dinner. Oh, and one other thing was reinforced. Never work with children and animals. Ever!

So there you are, little cherubs for my little cherub. Pass the cheese ..

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend x


seeing red

Wow, what an overwhelming response to my red dress - thank you!

I'm in serious red phase at the moment. Actually I'm forever thinking about red as (and you may well have gathered by now) this is my all time favourite colour. Depending on the shade, it evokes a myriad of memories and emotions but I like it best in those wonderful hues found on antique French textiles, some verging on brick but mostly the faded poppy shades. They are so uplifting yet never harsh. Another reason for the red moment is, of course, the fact that Valentine's Day is just around the corner, so I've been adding a touch of rouge to the shop.

I personally don't hold out much hope for my own treat on the 14th though. I once told my husband that if he didn't surprise me with flowers or gifts at any other time of the year, then he shouldn't bother on Valentine's Day. Miserable of me? Yes, yes I do realise that now of course, and believe me I have paid for that rash comment .. not a card, flowers, dinner, nor anything else for that matter, has come my way on the 14th February since!

So go on then, rub my nose in it why don't you .. how might you celebrate?

PS - you mustn't feel sorry for me, the penny did drop about the remaining 364 days!!


a red dress

Thank you so much for your lovely comments on my good homes post, it really is very special to be able to share my excitement with you all and quite something that you left such sweet and encouraging thoughts.

I went to Oxford Street last week for a lesson on using my new toy. All part of the service apparently, John Lewis really are the tops. This baby was funded partly by the vouchers given to me by the PTA at the end of my stint last summer, some more by my parents for my birthday and the remainder by my OH because he is lovely. My lack of overlocker knowledge has been the main reason for the delay in getting back into dressmaking since the children went back to school. Not any more though! Now that it's out of the box, threaded up and running happily, I decided it was high time for a spot of sewing for me for a change.

Now this fabric was practically a steal; it was sent from an Etsy seller in error and given it came all the way from Japan, she told me not to bother sending it back. So this beauty was a 2 metre freebie and my favourite colour no less! Somehow it wasn't so painful when I reached for the scissors.

I love this fabric. Soft, comfortable fine baby cord feels so good against the skin and I really like the cheery paisley pattern, along with its grey dots and cream background. I adore the pattern too and have to say it felt pretty darned good to sew from some English instructions for a change. For anyone toying with the idea of making an easy dress, this is without doubt a good place to start. Built by Wendy, Simplicity 3835 cannot be more straightforward, it is quick to sew and because of its simple shape there is loads of scope to 'make it your own' as the X-Factor judges would say! For this dress I merged two of the style options, using the blouse for the top half and the dress part for the length. I gave myself a couple of pockets for a change too. If you search through the built by us flickr group, there are a heap of different versions that will inspire. I'll definitely be doing another of these, not only on account of the ease and speedy result, nor for the fact that it only takes a couple of metres but because I know it will be a delight to wear. I just need some warmer weather to do that!!


splash of colour : february

Today's highlight. Mrs Crimbles. Six large coconut rings. £1.50. You really should, you know ..

What's your favourite?

[ splash of colour, organised by Emma at silverpebble ]