Thursday, 2 April 2009

Getting Ready...

...on several fronts here at the HenHouse.

We're all counting down because it's that marvellous time of year for us: annual holiday time! According to the Munchkin, we have 8 days to go until we jet off.  Polka dot swimsuit: check. Cute little pumps: check.  Sunnies: check. Big floppy straw sun hat: check.  Just let me pack all my crochet gear and I'm ready!

Despite considering myself to be a bit of an organisational diva, and although those things are indeed ready, I decided to start making myself some clothes, too.  With just a week to go. Yeeees, top idea, Hen.  Yesterday, I had my monthly-ish retail therapy trip to the West End and all of the Simplicity patterns in John Lewis were on offer at £3.95.  Well, how could one resist?

Last week, I had a go at making a blouse from my new "Weekend Sewing" book and the bias binding round the neckline had me going a bit nutty and I just didn't enjoy it at all, not least because I don't really like the blouse I've ended up with.  Sewing frustration is ok so long as you have something (good) to show for it at the end, don't you find?  Rather like childbirth (so I am told), all the negative "I'm never ever doing that again" thoughts are soon dissipated once you have the prize at the end.  However this blouse was no prize, oh no no no.  So I must have been feeling quite brave to have tackled this dress.  I'm glad to report it was rather an enjoyable project, though; very good, clear instructions.  So with the Kaffe Fassett fabric I bought in Liberty yesterday (and the pink polka dot fabric from my stash), I whipped up this little sundress...

You'll have to use your imagination as I am not the size I was when someone purchased this dress form for me many years ago!

I'm also mightily pleased with another little project I've had on the go this week.  I've been on the look out for an old frame at the car boot for a while.  "Bingo" this week.  Duh, no "before" shots, I'm afraid, I was too eager to get down to the revamp, so just "after" shots instead.  So, a combination of a rather manky "goldish" frame costing £2 from the car boot and an equally manky old corkboard from the charity shop costing £1, has (with the assistance of some Dulux eggshell and some Heather Bailey fabric from the stash) become this...

And for what shall you be using that, I hear you cry?

I'm hoping this will brighten up my stall at craft fairs where, as you can see, I shall be using it to display my brooches.  I'd quite equally just like it hanging on my wall at home!

So, I've been reasonably productive, a few hangers, hearts and pin cushions having been thrown into the mix, too.

It's fair to say, it's not been an action packed time for all members of the HenHouse of late.


Golly, this is a nice candlewick, Mummy,  Fresh off the washing line, a lucky find in the charity shop, you say?  Ummm, smells lovely and fresh but not really "catty" enough.  Hmm, cosy...


Now what's this rather nice 100% wool, primrose coloured blanket with a pretty satin edging that you were oh so happy to find for £2 at the car boot sale, mummy?  Why have you just chucked it on this box?  Well, it's looking very unloved so I'd better make it feel at home right away...

Did you see I'm doing that funny thing with my front paw, all tucked up underneath me?

Sewing table?  No no no.  Ah, this is the life, what a lovely sun deck.  Golly, it's tiring all this blanket warming and welcoming...


  1. Lovely Hen...such a pretty dress, you are so clever!
    I love the shoes, so going to treat myself to them.....think I'll wait for my birthday now....cos I spent the money i got for the mirror....norty Mel!

    Thank you for your lovely comment!xxx

  2. gorgeous dress - i can just imagine floating about on the beach wearing that and sipping a cool drink..... hoping you have a fantastic time !!!
    the frame looks fab im going to be looking out for one of those to makeover!

  3. You are so talented: I love it all! Maybe you should start making clothes to order?! x

  4. I like all the things you have made. Cats and blankets were made for each other!

  5. Gosh last item of clothing I made was a full circle skirt in bottle green with a poodle applique on it (Remember 'Grease'-well it was around at the time and a big influence!) I wonder what happened to it? I can't remember ever wearing it. I love your dress though, you are clever! Love

  6. lovely board!
    lovely dress!

    and what cute kitties =)

  7. Love the dress Hen, I'm sure your holiday will be fab with a dress like that. I can't get my head around dress making, I think I'd better go on a course. The cats look very comfy. xxx

  8. Very pretty dress.....Liberty has some really yummy stuff. Brilliant idea with the frame, I could do with something similar myself to display my ribbon corsages. have a fab holiday.

  9. What a very pretty dress
    Where are you off to?

    Lovely frame - what a good idea!

  10. Have a lovely holiday!!! The dress is great, What else will you make next!!!
    Love the display frame & your cuddly cats : )

    Sharon XX

  11. I love your new dress - the Kaffe Fassett fabric is stunning! Planning for hols is so exciting. Love the re-vamped frame too - had a similar idea recently to make something like this into a noticeboard!

  12. Such a pretty sundress!
    Hope you get to wear it lots and lots.
    Great idea using the pictureframe/corkboard, it really sets of your handiwork so well.

  13. Everything is gorgeous as one allowed to ask where you are jetting off too? Somewhere warm if all you are taking is a costume, hat and pair of pumps...only joking..! dev x

  14. I adore the dress, would love to make my little girl a very, very simple skirt, Mmmmm may have a little go

    Beautiful frame I would love to know the colour of paint, I have a white frame that I would love a similar colour, and yes methinks I may have to buy the pretty shoes too


  15. Very cute dress you've made. I also really like those rosy shoes. Clever idea on displaying your brooches.

  16. What a great dress Hen - perfect for a holiday. The frame is great too! Have a wonderful time away.

  17. Your dress is lovely. How lovely to be going on a holiday. I hope it is wonderful.
    The frame is just fantastic. What a clever girl you are. The brooches look fantastic displayed on it!

  18. So many things to comment on but my fav has to be the photos of the cats.... how funny!! I love the one of the sewing table. The dress is lovely..... I'm trying to make a skirt for work based on a old CK one that I loved but it didn't fit because I'm not a size 10!!!
    The brooches look great on the frame... good idea.
    Where are you going for you hols???? I would love to go away & get some sun.
    Don't think I'll be able to meet for lunch when I come up because we normally have a 'working lunch'..horrible sandwiches!!! I'm up for 2 days at the end of April but I think you'll be on hols. :) x

  19. a few people seem to be having issues with that collar, check the flickr site for comments and helpful suggestions. Certainly nothing worse that a pattern not working (apart from my sewing machine not working!) Also send your thoughts to Heather Ross.

    Have a great holiday!

  20. Such a pretty dress Hen. Well done! So agree about needing the good bit at the end of a project xx

  21. Pretty things, as always.


  22. I so enjoyed your blog. I had to stop and smile at you brooch display because I made something very similar for an inspiration board. If you care to, you can see it as the most recent post on my blog!


  23. Beautiful dress - any chance you could tell us what the simplicity pattern number is please.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one with cats that do that. I have permanently lost a beautiful crochet blanket to my three cats who cycle their naps on it during the day so it is never vacant and cannot be removed by me for washing and hiding.

  24. I'd quite like that pink frame hanging on my wall at home too.
    Your kitties are Adorable!
    Love your fab and funny post

  25. You have been very productive indeed - I just love that sundress, I would love to be able to make my own clothes, but like you say, only if what I end up with is worth the efforts! - My mum is a great dressmaker, I shall have to ask her to teach me - love the pinboard too, loves great with the brooches pinned on - Have a great holiday - Natalie x

  26. Hi Hen
    Thank you so much for your kind & thoughtful comments on my blog. It was much appreciated. What a fantastic job with that dress!!! I love the pattern & colours.. I really like what you have done with the things from boot fair & charity shop. Your cats are so gorgeous! Love the facial expressions.
    In case you don't put a post before going away, have a wonderful time! You will look fabulous in that dress...
    Isabelle x

  27. I think the old mirror transformation is gorgeous. It will definately brighten up your craft stall.

    I love your blog!!!!

  28. Your pushkins looks so adorable, they sound like right little characters!! Loving your sundress, yes I can imagine you wandering along the beach, sun beating down...sigh.....!!
    The storage containers are cute arent they, I thought the same as you about having more tea, coffee and sugar ones but as they are square shaped the lids will fit either side so you can hide the names apart from the coffee one which only has the flowers on the writing side!!
    I love the colour pink you have used for the pin board and what a great idea for it!!
    Have a great weekend.......Claire x

  29. I LOVE the pink frame and the dress! You clever thing! :-) We never really go on holiday - I hardly take time off from work, which is naughty really. After watching 'Yellowstone' we're looking into going there though. I'm not a huge beach and sunbathing fan. :-) Hope you have a wonderful time away.

  30. I love catching up on your posts and can't believe how much you cram into your life . . . makes me a little envious that's for sure!

    I love the dress . . . here's to a wonderful holiday!

    Just for you Designs


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