Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

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Long time no post, health not in a great place. Today sharing some soothing, gentle, You Tube channels, for you to explore. There is so much stress and distress inthe world right now. I thought I would share places that are kind and gentle and soothing. A diverse mix of channels, see what you fancy.

For those missing creative content check out


The Unexpected Gypsy https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzk20sJQ2gq_XB9oCgOWrQA/featured Art studio vlogs. Art by Wendy Robinson


Sea Lemon for bookbinding https://www.youtube.com/c/SeaLemonDIY

Bitter Melon Bindery ASMR bookbinding https://www.youtube.com/c/bittermelonbindery/featured

DAS Bookbinding https://www.youtube.com/c/DASBookbinding/featured


Din Life sewing fabrics and also books https://www.youtube.com/c/DinLife

Furoshiki, seriously research this, on You Tube! Its amazing. Practice with a bandana if thats all u have. I’m bundling book and kind things together for when things are tough. Self care september soon, so its good to gather stuff u love togther. Its the Japanese art of wrapping with cloth. So sustainable, you can also make a bag in many variations, ditch the plastic and try this

How to turn Linens and shawls into bags https://youtu.be/pnLZOj5V-f8

Kakefuda Kyoto – Famous Furoshiki Store https://youtu.be/NC7MH3EzBWM

If its tempting u to shop there is a store in the UK called Kindly Yarn. Here is their website and they have videos on the basics https://www.kindlyyarn.co.uk

How about getting some fabric and stop with the excessive paper and selotape? There are so many nice fabrics around. You can practice with a table cloth or bandana etc to play along as u watch.

Simplistic living

The Cottage Fairy https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCottageFairy/featured


The Lune INNATE https://www.youtube.com/c/LuneINNATEASMRenergy ❤🙏 Gillian and her Reiki ASMR, sooo soothing. Reiki Master and energy worker. Thanks for helping me groumd and sleep Gillian.

Holistic Mystic Ysania https://www.youtube.com/c/HolisticMysticYsaniaASMR Galactic Reiki. Helping u soothe and settle.

Guided Vibrations https://www.youtube.com/c/GuidedVibrations Sound baths etc if u prefer without the narration their other channel Healing vibrations has no talking https://www.youtube.com/c/HealingVibrationsMedia


These are the books that are holding safe space for me at the moment. Yey for the kindle reading them out to me. Im crashing now, so can’t link them all, copy n paste them into searches in ur fave store.

Depression Recovery Letters James Withey is brilliant from this project I found his other books;

How to Anxiety to sod off

How to tell depression to f off

Thanks for sticking with me, when I post so rarely. I think about the blog, just don’t have the health to allow me to write or create as much as I’d like too.

Best wishes and thanks for reading



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Welcome Back

Whatever else is happening in the world, you can be sure that things seem to go a bit crazy around December. Well, lets be real here, retail gets it seasonal vibe on, right after Halloween, but whatever you call it, or don’t call it, follow it or don’t follow, you are sure to be bombarded by a snowstorm of ‘buy this’, ‘get that’. All the, ‘You should, you must’ and a sack load of expectations. Some may be your own and a lot can be dumped on us, from other people. Exhausting isn’t it. So lets step off that merry go round, step off the sleigh, grab a warm drink, some paper and lets write some words to help us navigate our way through all that and keep whats left of our sanity.

The Alternative Advent Project

I invite you to take a few moments every day, to pause with your beverage of choice, a pen/pencil and some paper and write a word, a phrase, a quote or a few lines, that will help you through your day.

Whenever things get hectic, take out that piece of paper and read it.

Keep them all safe and you can read them all again next year, or maybe write new ones, what ever works for you.

I already had this quilted calendar so I put the pages in there. This can also be a great idea if you want a food free calendar.

Alternative Advent Project, how I’m using kind words instead of food in my advent calendar

Why? Because we all need a little time out of a busy day

Because the world is a fast pased place and there are times when we all struggle and if we don’t take some moments to take a second or two to stop, then we can fall off, become overwhelmed and end up snapping at loved ones or letting the inner critic, give ourselves a really hard time.

At the end of all this, you will have made yourself the best hand holding, you got this, cheerleading, empowering, self loving, encouraging, advent list. Not just for this year but for future you, slip sliding their way through another end, of another year, wondering how the heck they are going to get it all done.

Paper or digital

Well its up to you. If you really have to go digital and thats what works for you, of course do that, but the whole point of this, is for taking some time for YOU, and a little time away from screens can be really soothing for the mind and body too.

If you do this on a screen, you might be tempted to check social media or answer that email and so on. The time out, to regroup, part of this, would be lost. That said, if you live your life on your phone, that is your choice, just as it is mine, to embrace the tree, with the pencil and paper in my hand. You do you.

Catching up

So as we are already at 3rd of December, there is some catching up to do, so here are a few of mine.

  • Alternative Advent Day 1: Decorate/ don’t decorate. Either way its OK
  • Alternative Advent Day 2: The expectations of others are NOT a to do list
  • Alternative Advent Day 3: I keep the traditions I love

Please share this idea and I’d love to see your comments, especially, if you are going to give this a try.

Make it your own

Many years ago my late hubby and I made a quilted advent calendar which has pockets, so I have put a piece of paper in each pocket with these words on. But you don’t have to go fancy, you can do this on lined paper, on postcards, on ATCs (2.5″ x 3.5″ sized card) and make art on the other side, if thats your thing.

Its your list, you do it your way. The important bit is, to be really kind to yourself, if you made it with words or maybe images that helped you in some way, whatever that looks like for you, in this moment.

What each of us need, moment to moment varies and thats ok.

In a world where you can be anything, be kind

Sometimes this Alternative Advent Project, can be about easing the pace a little. Sometimes it can be about finding new ways to navigate the season, perhaps without your closest person, people, or pet, in surroundings that look different to the picture you would like them to be, in your head.

The ruler of comparison is loud, the media bombard us with images that just don’t always match our realities and that can bring up a lot of feelings.

This project can be a way to check in with YOU and share some kindness, some words that make this moment, softer, safer, kinder and more possible.

Whatever it is, that is making this time of year a challenge. This project is a way to find kind caring ways to navigate that, in ways that are meaningful for you.

May the day be as kind to you as possible and I’ll see you back here tomorrow with a new post.

Stay safe

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

PS. The quilted calender in the photo was from a printed fabric by Makower, if you are tempted to make one yourself there are other picture to choose from, see your local fabric supplier. Here is the post about the making of it, from 2013. The advent calendar sew along post has links to the video how to and the brands site. My posts are NOT sponcered.

If sewing isn’t for you but u still want one, have a look on Etsy, there may be time to get a premade one from there.

Just know that isn’t the focus of the project, you can do this on A4 sheet of paper, on postcards whatever feels right for you.

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Welcome Back

There seem to be a lot of tutorials around at the moment about how to sew masks for Covid 19 protection, for yourself but also to donate to those in need in hsopitals etc. I have done some research, please have a read through n watch a bit, before you sew. We want to help ppl, not give false hope.

How to sew a face mask

First video I watched was by Homemadeonourhomestead

Then their follow up videowith Q&A and lots of helpful links

This article on the materials used on homemade masks and their pros/cons limitations is IMPORTANT to read

Suay Mask pattern,

pdf pattern and instructions https://suayla.com/pages/suay-community-mask-coalition

Please consider adding a donation to his go fund me page, he is working to get testing for the material options for home sew masks but its $40 thousand. https://www.gofundme.com/f/mask-response-at-suay

Allergies and cleanliness

I applaud the thinking behind making masks at home, to help others, but my concern for this is also about the spaces they are being created in, have you sanitised your washing machine before washing these fabrics? Ditto other areas in your house.

Also allergies do you have pets? If your pet has had access to areas where you are creating these masks, that would need to be stated on the final piece. Sewing for yourself is fine, but if others have allergies that could be life threatening for them, then sewing in an area your pet has had access too, even if its not there today, if you have touched your pet then your sewing supplies, again, my heart says everything needs special cleaning down. The same is true of food allergies.

  • Please know I applaud all those wanting to create to help fill a gap, to ‘do their bit’ to help. But medical grade masks are made in sterile surroundings, with people wearing ppe while they create.
  • Please be aware of the limitations of the materials you are using, so you and those you are sharing these masks with can make their own informed decisions.
  • Please be aware that some people have allergies that can also be life threatening if triggered. This can be food related as well as pet related. Even in the smallest amounts allergens can be life threatening. So any food you or your area has been in contact with can be an issue.
  • Please wash your hands, wear gloves and a mask throughout your creation process.
  • This isn’t me being down on anyone trying to help, just that I knew someone who had life threatening allergy reaction, when they were in contact with someone who had been in contact with their trigger substance days ago! THIS STUFF MATTERS.

Sending love light and hope to all those struggling right now.

Thanks for reading, please share this post

Billie x

Update 22 April 2020

I stand by what I have written, and the allergy thing is still very important. As long as everyone keeps that in mind and is also aware of the limitations of such masks its fine. I have since done further research and discovered its possible to get liners for the masks which will improve their safety value to the general public, just for out and about.

Given the news is starting to lean towards possibly asking people to wear masks out and about, in the coming weeks n months, it would be WAY better to make your own, with one of the many many tutorials on You Tube than to deplete the already, dangerously low stocks, that are around and needed for front line staff.

Thanks for reading x

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The other day when I woke up and decided I’d like to make a rag doll. After a search on the internet I found SourDoughDumpling on Ebay. She has some wonderful patterns similar to Tilda designs and I chose her pattern Matilda to create my rag doll, isn’t she beautiful.

Sourdoughdumpling pattern: Matilda

Sour Dough Dumpling pattern for Matilda rag doll pattern available on her Ebay shop, see link below.

I remember some tips from Create and Craft demos of Tilda dolls so for my project I traced round the pattern pieces and sewed them BEFORE I cut them out. I used pinking shears so that the fabric wouldn’t fray. Stuffed with polyester toy filling and discovered a plastic thick ended chop stick is your best friend when stuffing narrow limbs.

I made my doll out of curtain lining fabric, here’s a top tip if you use the draw around technique. I used a water erasable sewing marker. I used a damp cloth and the colour came off nicely BUT when I ironed one of the pieces the blue lines came back! for the limbs I ran the fabric under a cold tap and this has got rid of the marker and even after ironing it hasn’t come back. So don’t skimp on the warning that comes with these pens and TEST your fabric first to see if it will indeed erase again! I hope I’ll get away with the lines as they are on the edges of the body so those on the head should be covered by hair as will those at the shoulders, the rest will be covered by clothes.

Having fiddled with sewing some of the clothes dress I highly recommend using the draw around and sew limbs together before you cut them out, much easier for little 0.5cm seams. I’ll add pics in the next post about this.

Matilda has a dress cut out, the bodice is made up (well shoulders and neck sewn up) but I have only hemmed the skirt and sleeve sections as RSI has kicked off and fine motor skills are not happening without too much pain. Having to rest up.

Summer Trousers

I also made a start on my second pair of summer trousers before I lost the use of my hands. I am using the New Look pattern 6292 and after a bit of a tweek coz I was in between sizes they are a dream! I can never get trousers to fit and these are wonderful, best fit ever! I made the first pair out of poly cotton and this second pair which are still in construction, are in chambray.


Here are the links to the suppliers on the projects or patterns I am talking about in this post.

If you would like to make a rag doll too but don’t have spare fabric to hand Kath Kidson has a book which includes a printed doll, you just sew round and fill with stuffing. The book also contains a pattern you can trace if you wish to make the doll again in alternative fabric. This is a good one as it also includes several outfits for the doll. I love the PJs.

Hopefully I’ll share some pictures soon, when hands allow.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share pictures of my finished top, the pattern is from New Look that I shared last Monday.

Finished sleeveless top

Finished sleeveless top

Here is the back

Back of my finished top from New Look 6483 sewing pattern

Back of my finished top from New Look 6483 sewing pattern

Of course I can see all the errors and it took me a week not the 1 hour that the cover suggested but that’s a mixture of dyslexia, new to sewing so had to look up every term and also poor dexterity so I had to do it all in small amounts. Got there in the end though and quite pleased with the results. I think I need to get a ham to help me press darts as they look a bit weird. DH says it will look better once washed a few times.


Here is the New Look 6483 pattern on the Simplicity website .

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie 🙂


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