Twenty years on

About 20 years ago my family went on holiday to Switzerland. The four of us (my mum, my dad, my sister and myself) had an amazing time walking in the hills, pretending to be Maria Von Trapp running from the Nazis and generally having a right old laugh. I always remember it as my favourite ever family holiday.

Switzerland

I’m on the left. I blooming loved those shorts.

Anyway, one of my profile pictures on Facebook is from this holiday, with myself and my sister sitting on a log in front of a cracking view of Jungfrau (an impressive mountain near the Lauterbrunnen valley). To my surprise, and delight, a friend that lives in Bern surprised me yesterday with a modern day photo of that very spot:

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I can’t believe how little the view has changed in 20 years when so much has changed in my life. Excellent work Nature, really excellent work. And amazing work Dorian, a truly brilliant surprise.

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Unauthorised absences

I’ve been away for a while with no excuse other than the sun’s been out and I’ve been having a lovely time. It’s much easier to just have fun, than to have fun and then go inside and write about it. But anyway, I’m back! To sum up the last month or so, there has been…

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A graduation and a home made bow tie

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Lovely walks in real Welsh sunshine

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Lots of Pimms and paddling pool action

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And even a day at the Royal Welsh. Horses and sheep and (absolutely massive) cows, oh my!

There has also been quite a lot of sewing going on that I am itching to share. Here’s a sneak preview, more to come!

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Victoria

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Hazel

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Purses

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Hazel II

Life drama dress drama

If things only go wrong in threes then I should be fine. Events so far this week include:

1. Monday evening: Fall over in busy petrol station (possibly due to giddy happiness of finding Haribo half price).

2. Still Monday evening: Exhaust falls off car on rickity-rackity one track road.

3. Tuesday morning: Take car to mechanics… Forget purse. Stomp around all day in self-induced grump.

So, to counteract the life drama here’s some drama to add to dresses. (And sigh with relief).

This is my new favourite thing. It was made with a little help from this tutorial from Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride. I LOVE their version with rainbow ribbon edging but decided to go for a single colour for this version.

It has 3 metres of tulle per layer and despite only having two layers still does the trick. Voluminous skirts galore!

This was the moment my neighbour turned up. Undressing a mannequin in the middle of your garden is normal in these circles. Right?

The first step is admitting you have a problem…

It’s no secret how much I love the Elisalex dress. In fact it’s getting a bit embarrassing now… I’ve gone and made another one.

I still maintain that each of my Elisalexes (plural?) has their own special place in my wardrobe. Number one is the ‘Everyday Elisalex’ for work to pub, shopping to dancing and almost everything in between (I’m wearing it right now!).

Number two is strictly weekend material, and mostly after dark. Made for dancing and for when I’m brave enough to get those legs out.

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Number three was a present for my sister, so technically that doesn’t even count. Work with me here…

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So. Number four. The formal Elisalex for the rare classy do that I’m invited to. The Lady in Red.

This one is mainly a light (and bargainacious) linen-y type mix from IKEA with side panels made from some Anna Maria Horner quilting cotton I had in my stash, underlined to hold the shape.

I lowered the neckline slightly and opened up the tulip skirt just enough to squeeze a matching tulle underskirt underneath.

The Red Elisalex will have its debut on Friday at a Graduation Ball (read ‘fancy dinner for the students that we are crashing whilst trying to pretend we are students again’). Objectives are to dance the night away and immerse myself in gin and tonic. Shouldn’t be too hard…

Tova Tova Tova

It’s birthday season in Stirling-town. For my mum there was no question when it came to which pattern to turn to:

The lovely Wiksten Tova. Each pattern of the Tova is handmade and beautiful to behold I’m sure but for those on a budget a PDF version has also been released. Boo for all the printing and sticking but yay for the instant download gratification.

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I used a very soft light brown Swiss Dot for most of the top, with a deep pink for the inside of the collar and as an additional lining to the inset.

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The pattern was very easy to follow but I had trouble with the corners of the inset. The seam ripper made an appearance multiple times and I still don’t think I did it right but I’m happy with the result for now. Practice makes perfect I guess!

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Oh hello French seams! Possibly my favourite part of the entire top. I’ve never made French seams before but now I don’t think I’ll do anything else. So very satisfying and neat.

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All in all it was a success! So much so that the next participant in birthday season is getting one too. This time I’m going for the sleeveless dress version in this floral polycotton:

Come on Spring – I need you for this one.

Don’t worry ladies, help is at hand!

Are you always knitting things for your male significant other/friends/family members only to have them thrown back in your face?

Want to knit up a storm but wish there were some guidelines to help your little lady sized brain?

Then you need…

Knits Men Want

The 10 rules every woman should know before knitting for a man.

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Plus the only 10 patterns she’ll ever need

Yup, I think you know where you can stick those knitting needles Bruce Weinstein.