Vogue 7055 Sandra Betzina Dress Pattern

V 7055 Dress V 7055 Neck V 7055 sideV 7055 Pattern CoverI am going to meet up with my sisters soon, in London, and I am getting so excited as we don’t often get the chance to get together with our other halves too!  Felt a new frock was called for and just because it will be October and probably freezing cold, I wanted something bright!  Well frocks in the shops (oh that rhymes!) are so dull in colour, or for the young things so I went scurrying through my wadges of dress patterns and found this vintage little number.  I made my first version in the naughties for work and now I am free I have this version!  

Sandra says to use a moderate stretch knit for this “easy” category dress.  But as ever, I can never find the exact requirements.  So I ordered this lovely VERY stretchy jersey knit from Croft Fabrics UK who have some lovely dress materials to order on line. I recommend them!

Anyhow I decided to self line the front top and use stay tape around the neck edge and along the shoulder seam.  This will prevent the whole affair sagging down to my ankles, and give more substance to the dress.  It also gets around the very stretchiness of the jersey.  At least that is the thought.  The instructions also advise to just turn over the neck edge to finish, I don’t think this looks as nice or “finished” as using self fabric to bias bind the neck edge and then top stitch through. Just me perhaps, but if you have time its worth the extra effort.

I also used a stretchy interfacing on the placket to prevent it sticking out from the line of the dress.  I am so pleased with the result and it is so easy to wear!  No zip to worry about and minimal crease, so I can just throw it in my case and not worry!

I must add, though, that without the overlocker and  coverstitch sewing machines, the whole thing would have been much more complicated.  As it was, the sleeves are inserted flat and there are only 3 pattern pieces, even the front and back are cut out in a single layer so no trying to get the fold of the fabric exactly on line.

Now whats the next thing in my dressmaking list of makes, I have loads of fabric burning holes in me!

The weekend flew “past” !

I was all set for a busy weekend at the sewing machine, but no, the sun came out instead.  The garden, or rather undergrowth, was calling me and my t’other half to come out and cut it back before winter.  Not a small task, hacking through two years growth and thinking I wish I was doing something more creative than destructive!  Anyhow on the last of 3 three runs to the recycle centre with the 7th huge builders sack of debris there was a rumble in the jungle.  Over our heads flew 5 Spitfires and a Hurricane giving us a huge “Well done” for our efforts.  They were obviously going home after a very busy weekend celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.  What a sight they were and they brought a lump of emotion to my throat.

All about Spitfires

Back to the sewing machine then.  I went to one of my sewing groups on Friday to see how to ” Whack and Stack”.  Well it was not what I thought, probably a relief all round,  but a random way of cutting and piecing patchwork.  I am not sure I am now a fan of the method but perhaps it was just the choice of cottons I used?  I put the sashing and border on this morning and think it may suit a summer beach house or the garden shed, neither of which I have!

I also made a piggy handbag for a little girl, and I have put it in my shop on Etsy.  I made one for my great niece for her birthday in August and it seems it was a hit, so I hope others like it too.  Was fun to make and the pattern shows other animals to sew up so perhaps I will make those too.

Pictures say more than words so here you go!

Stack and Whack lap quilt top

Stack and Whack Lap quilt top


Little Miss Piggy Bag

Cuthbert the WI Rabbit – Part 2

Hi again

I have finished Cuthbert Rabbit on time for September 16th the WI Centenary Celebration, as I explained in my earlier post.      Cuthbert

Original Cuthbert

The Original Cuthbert


I hope you like my version of Cuthbert, he has plastic coated wire in his legs and body, so that he can bend, with help!  He is a craft item and not suitable for children though.  I think things were a lot more relaxed in 1917 with regards to toys and safety issues!

I am going to add him to the raffle prizes and hope he attracts lots of attention!

See you soon and thanks for reading!

DSC01240 DSC01239 DSC01242

WI Rabbit



A couple of years after The Women’s Institute was formed in Britain in 1915, the Sussex federation started making a toy rabbit and they named him Cuthbert.  He was exhibited at The National Welfare and Economy Exhibition in London, and the tradition of craft work had begun for the WI.  Another reason Cuthbert was born was because there were no imports from Germany during WW1, one of the greatest toy making countries at that time, and our children had no Steiff toys!

September 16th marks the Women’s Institutes Centenary and I am going to try my utmost to reproduce this bunny! I think he has a bit of a glint in his eye and a rather odd expression but I will post my result here, do wish me luck!

( Information taken from WI Life Sept 2015)

See you soon!

Rome – The Eternal City


A mosaic, not a painting, in St Peters.


Piazza San Pietro


Colosseum showing the newly built floor. Underneath was where the gladiators and animals were held before battle commenced.


First glimpse of the Colosseum from the metro.




Santa Maria Maggiore

My first visit to this most wonderful city of Rome, and I have left it so late! Makes you remember to travel while you can and are able.  Would not have been able to get round this beautiful place with wheels and muscle power alone.

We made a sudden decision to take a long week end, only a two hour flight from London and only 1 hour time difference, what luxury.  Travel around the great city is so easy, the Metro is very efficient and the trains are very open in design, you do not get claustrophobic!  Buses are easy to navigate too, and everyone is very helpful.  We had offers of help from passers by, but perhaps because they took pity on two poor old dears?!

I cannot possibly add anything to what has already been written about this city!  Every where you look there is another amazing basilica, piazza or ponte.  I had done my homework briefly before we left, and you need to, but the guide books cannot prepare you for the whole experience.  It is very busy with tourists, yes, and there are vendors and waiters wanting your business too, but I never felt threatened.  Everyone is very aware of the pick pocket nuisance too, but all you need to employ is common sense and a body purse.  My husband looks quite chubby in a couple of photos!

It goes without saying the food is delicious, I love all things Italian in the kitchen, maybe holding back on the pizzas a bit as they are so calorific.  So eating out is no problem and the wine just complements the food no matter your choice.  We had picnic lunches for a couple of days and the delis are very pleased to serve you their finest with a smile and good humour at our attempts at Italian.


Galleria delle Carte Geografiche ceiling

Trevi Fountain undergoing cleaning.