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Hold the front page!

I’m a Plus Size Pattern Pyramid winner!


Courtesy of the lovely Susan at

Earlier this week, a parcel arrived all the way from the USA, containing eleven plus sized sewing patterns for me to choose from.  Woohoo!

Image 10490712983_854e814b3a_z

Choosing which to keep was fun, and I changed my mind a time or two!  But these are the two I chose to keep.  The blouse, because I love it and I know I would wear it, and the nightwear pattern because I have been meaning to buy this pattern for ages and never got around to it.  I will be able to use this one for sewing for my mum, as well as for myself – double luck and joy!


Now, as to what happens next.  I’m adding quite a few patterns to this pyramid from my huge stash.  I took the opportunity to prune my pattern collection quite severely.  Some of them are duplicates – patterns I loved so much, I inadvertently purchased them more than once – how embarrassing.  Some I’ve been given, some are too similar to other patterns I already have, and some I just decided are perhaps not my thing after all; maybe too plunging in the neckline or too full in the skirt, for example.  One or two of them I have some difficulty in parting with, but it’s for the best.  Really, it is.

We’re gonna need a bigger box


So now I have quite a lot of patterns to give away.  I’m thinking I could potentially send out two batches, providing I get enough entries.

Now; I’m a new blogger, and I don’t get many visitors.  I’m no expert in technology, and I don’t ‘do’ social media, so really, I’m not sure how I’ll manage to publicise this giveaway.

I’m going to ask Susan to give me a shout out, and can I ask you kind ladies who do follow me to please do the same?

I’d like you to leave a comment on this post if you would like to enter the Plus Sized Pattern Pyramid giveaway.  I’ll choose the winner(s) on November 9th.

Here are the rules:


    • Anyone, anywhere can enter the giveaway by posting a comment below by midnight GMT on Saturday November 9th,  BUT you must have an active blog.
    • I will randomly select 1 or 2 winners, (depending on more than one person entering!)
    • I will post a selection of patterns (at least 10) to each winner. The winners will pick a pattern(s) to keep for themselves, then host their own giveaway. They will randomly select a winner, post the remaining patterns to that person, who will pick a pattern for themselves, host their own giveaway and …
    • All patterns are in the plus size category – ie – if the pattern comes in 2 sizing groups, then it will be the larger category. Patterns go up to at least size 20 (most go higher). Patterns listed as “all sizes” will include plus sizes.
    • If you wish to take more than one pattern you can replenish the stock with a pattern you no longer want, but please make sure it is in this size range.


    • We are taking it on trust that all pattern pieces are there.
    • Your selection of patterns will be picked at random – please don’t contact me asking for specific patterns.
    • If you’re a winner, BeaJay has asked if you could make a small contribution to The Brooke. This is a charity close to the heart of Catherine, who so generously provided the original patterns. These plus-sized patterns have been contributed in the spirit of the generosity of the sewing community.
    • Please engage in a timely fashion, launching your own giveaways soon after receiving a parcel.
    • You must be happy to post the patterns  worldwide.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   I look forward to hearing from you!

Bye Bye Baby, Baby Goodbye …

Fear not.  I have not gone away, been abducted by aliens, or anything remotely so exciting.

Work, commitments, and other (mostly boring) stuff has got in the way of my sewing.

Recent purchases have begun to accumulate


making my sewing room look untidy 😦

But I have a lovely new blind in there, a birthday present from my lovely husband 🙂


And there is Tartan on the cutting table


Hence the title of my post.  For those ladies of a certain age, no explanation will be necessary 😉

Back soon with a finished garment, hopefully.  Shang A Lang.

Harris Tweed

The highlight of my trip was a week spent in a very remote cottage on the beautiful Isle of Harris.  Just for a little relief from fabric, here’s a picture of one of the glorious beaches of Harris, taken on the 1st October.  As I said, we were blessed with exceptional weather, as this island is famously exposed to storms off the Atlantic.  We actually went in the sea here, just aftere this photo was taken.  Brrrr!


Now then, what else is Harris famous for?  Let me think a moment.

10154994324_1f19c0bdd6_c  click image to enlarge

Oh yeah.  Sheep.  And what do sheep make?  Tweed.  Lovely, lovely Tweed.

Harris Tweed is a protected trademark, and in order to have the distinctive accreditation label featuring the orb trademark, the tweed must be hand woven in the Outer Hebrides.

Traditionally, the colours of the tweed are made using natural dyes and reflect the colours of the Hebridean landscape, and these are the cloths I like the best.  More recently, Harris Tweed has become fashionable again, particularly in Japan.  There has been a recent boom in tweed production, which has undergone a makeover with new modern designs and a wider, lighter weight cloth, woven in jewel bright colours on a larger and slightly more modern loom.

We visited a traditional hand weaver in his home.  He was a delightful gent, and gave us a demonstration of his Hattersley loom, pictured above, in action.  The Hattersley loom is the original hand loom and there are only a couple of dozen working looms left in existence.  It produces traditional tweed in a 30 inch width, which is suitable for traditional tailoring and home sewing.  The hours of work and close attention needed to create this magnificent fabric is mind boggling.  The loom is powered by two foot pedals, which send the shuttles back and forth, one from right to left and the other to return it.  The weaver perches on a tall stool, with one foot on either pedal, and operates the loom a little like a bicycle.  The weaving is hard physical work, and it takes an hour of constant pedalling to weave 4 metres of tweed, but that does not take into account the hours of hand knotting and threading the loom before any weaving can commence!


I purchased these two 2 metre lengths direct from the weaver, so when I wear my completed skirts, I will always have that connection with the lovely chap who made it.  I adored that cloth he was actually weaving on the loom at the time of our visit, which was a gorgeous blue & green herringbone, but unfortunately it won’t be finished for another week, so I arranged to purchase some of that by mail order at a later date.

Further forays into fabric

I have some spiffing red Tartan poly viscose suiting, to make a skirt.


Some delicious Scottish pure wool tweed, also for a skirt.


And finally …..

(to be continued shortly …)

I’m back, and I have fabrics!

I returned from my holiday in Scotland a couple of days ago.  We had a wonderful break and were blessed with exceptionally good weather.

On the way up we stopped at the Standfast & Barrack factory shop.  This is a factory in Lancaster which prints high end soft furnishing and upholstery fabrics, plus it is where some Liberty of London fabrics are printed, and this was my main motivation for stopping to browse.  The factory shop is where seconds and over runs are sold off.

I was not disappointed.  Liberty Tana lawn retails at £22 per metre in their own store.  If you’re lucky, you can pick it up on ebay sometimes at around £9 – £10 per metre, depending on how many other people want the piece you’re after.  At this wonderful factory shop they sell it at £5 per metre!  The selection was limited, but I would estimate there were approx 30 rolls of Liberty fabric on offer at this amazing price.  Some was Tana lawn, some was their very fine needlecord, and some was Lantana, which is a cotton and wool flannel type blend.

I purchased 3 metres each of 3 different Tana lawns.


The one on the left is Strawberry Thief, in the brown colourway – it was also available in the blue colourway, which I already have in my stash courtesy of ebay.

I can’t remember the name of the floral in the centre, but it is very pretty.

The Paisley design on the right, I think is called Bourton, and it is my favourite of the three.  The colours are so beautiful and the pattern is intricate in detail.  This piece is the only one of the three that has a discernible flaw, and the super lovely sales lady gave me extra fabric to compensate.

These three are destined to become blouses or shirts at some point.

Back shortly with Tweed!