Thursday, 16 October 2014

How to make 'Clawdeen's Jacket' for a Halloween costume.

It is made, it is lovely!  Again I bought 20" of fur
Clawdeen's jacket, Monster High.
at 60" wide, it was just enough to make the jacket. The sleeves could have been longer.

As before, I had no pattern. I used a waistcoat that was fairly tight on my little monster as the pattern base.

I cut the back first, based on the size and shape of the waistcoat, plus one inch all round. The front pieces were done the same way.

The first seams were the shoulders. I sewed them on the machine, then serged. The amount of fluff that came off the fabric was incredible.

Then I set in the two sleeves which were just rectangles folded in half. Again I seamed on
both machines. I added some left over fabric from
Measure with a waistcoat.
the skirt to make the sleeves a little longer.

Then I did the side seams, again with both machines to make nice neat edges which hopefully won't cast off fluff.

The last step was to serge all around the outer edges and the sleeve hems.

The full costume will be revealed tomorrow. I have still two ears to sew and make a fur collar.

I would love to see the costumes you have made - send me a link and I will check them out.
Back, fur side up.

Two fronts.

Sleeve beside arm hole.  

Sleeves sewn to body.

Sleeve and side seam, ready to be stitched.

Sides seamed.
Clawdeen's completed jacket.

Monday, 13 October 2014

How to make 'Clawdeen's' top for Halloween.

Marking the armholes

Yesterday saw the successfull make of Clawdeen's skirt. Now it is the turn of Clawdeen's top. Usually it would be a peachy
cat-scratch pattern. Violet cat-scratch was the best we could find.

The only draw back was this fabric is non-stretch. And I had no pattern

I measured the armholes using a t'shirt that fits my little monster.

Cut one side, then use the cut-out piece to measure the other side.

Mark the neck line.

Then measuring the neck line comparing it to the original t'shirt. (A vest would be better!)

Cut out the neck pieces.

Cut out and hem or serger all edges.

Once cut out, I sergered all the top edges and armholes. Seamed down the side seams.

Inside out with pin lines for a better fit.
 With shoulder seams sewn and side seams sewn the little monster tried it on. It was too wide so I tapered the side seams in from the top and re-did the seams.

The finished top will be shown with the completed outfit. Watch this space.

To come next is the fur jacket and a pair of ears!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

How to sew a 'Clawdeen' Monster High costume for Halloween.

We looked at a ready made costume and were
Skirt for Clawdeen, Monsters High.
not very happy with the material, so we bought a total of 2 meters of fabric in 4 different patterns and made our own.

This is for a tall 8 year old and I'm sure you could adapt the principle to fit whichever age of size you need.

The skirt was first. It should have been with box pleats and a matt fabric, but my little monster wanted the panne velvet in purple.

The cloth was width 60 inches and we bought 
Measure your fabric.
half a meter (20 inches). After neatening up the edges I matched up the two side edges and made a seam with the serger.

Then I sergered the top edge and machine stitched it down with an inch hem for the elastic to run through.

Thread elastic through. A good tip I found for measuring elastic to fit is - measure your waist, take 2 inches off the measurement and cut the elastic to this size. Thread through the casing. Overlap 1 inch of elastic and sew. This gives a good fit without too much stretch.

Next I sergered the lower edge and measured 
Waistband ready to be stitched.
the little monster. I turned up a good 2 inches for the hem and stitched it on the machine.

I had a double layer of netting which I added to the same hem line to give the idea of a netting underskirt. My monster didn't want a full size scratchy net underneath so the added part gave the illusion.

The skirt is finished - it fits and Clawdeen Jnr. is more than happy.

Still to come are the top and fur jacket. What are you going to make for your little monster?
Elastic added to waistband.

Lower hem sergered and seamed.

Netting folded in half ready for stitching.

Netting pinned in place on lower hem.     

The completed skirt.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Changes in nature - autumn and fall.

It is starting, the leaves on the virginian creeper   
Virginia creeper.
are turning their gorgeous vibrant red. The robin redbreast is singing his autumn song. We don't hear them in the summer - their summer song is less obvious with all the other songbirds. However in autumn their call resonates round the garden.

Today is misty and damp, grey and dismal. 
The sort of day that makes you feel like eating 
broth and sitting beside an open fire.

We went for a little walk and took these photos, but got caught in a rain shower and now, evening time, we have just had a huge thunder storm.

Pumpkins, gourds and potimarrons. These all grew    
Pumpkins, gourds
in my friends garden.

Next year I will be planting butternut squash - it is definitely one of my favourites. I cut them up and roast in the oven with olive oil and herbs. Yummy!

So what I'd like to know is what signs of autumn or fall do you have just now?

and potimarron

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Expresso coffee maker.

I found this lovely little expresso maker. It makes a
Bialetti mini express.
single shot and takes about 3 minutes on a flat top stove or hotplate. I have seen these in a double shot version too.

It measures a tiny 15 cms tall. and is called L Bialetti mini express 1 tazza.

Definitely a toy for the coffee enthusiast or someone who appreciates style and functionality.

Coffee drinking in France is very different to my experience of coffee shops in the UK.  In France coffee comes in an expresso sized cup and black, automatically unless you ask for something different.

As a de-caf drinker who likes a lot of milk, I still find this difficult to remember and I am still surprised when a tiny
expresso arrives on the table.

French coffee drinking is done in the mornings and never after about 2pm. If you find yourself at a little cafe, you can always pop next door to the bakers, boulangerie, and buy yourself a lovely cake or croissant to have with your drink.

Did you know you can keep opened, ground coffee better in the fridge!

Bottoms up.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Year of the spider?

I heard it on the news that this year there are
Web in the log pile.
many more spiders about, due to the mild weather and increase of numbers of insects.

In the misty mornings, just as the sun is coming up, I have seen many, many cobwebs glistening with dew.

This prompted my mission to try and get some super spider photos.

So, you may notice I named this one the 'hamburger spider web'. It has a scientific name, I am sure, but to me it looks like a big fat hamburger with legs. So that is 
what I am calling it.

Hamburger spider web.
She spend a lot of time today, mending her web
with perfect spiderly precision. 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014


Freshly made french bread sitting, still warm. The aroma makes your mouth water!

Sundays in France are vide-grenier day. It means
empty the attic. Like car boots or yard sales.
Fresh french bread.

What better way to pass the day than searching for that
special treasure amongst all the stalls and vendors.

Every weekend there is a vide-grenier somewhere
not far from our village. Set up in the village square.

As well as vintage items there is always fresh produce
to try and to take home.

There is a super ambience and families turn out to
Sausages in all flavours.
stroll in the warm sunshine.

The dealers from Paris arrive about 6am just as the first
stallholders are setting up. They know what they are looking
for and will stick their heads into the back of your car
to see what goodies you have.

This year I did a stall at our local vide - grenier. I had a
super day out and sold a reasonable few things and made
a little room for me to buy some new stock.

Shiny copper pots.
It is a super way to recycle everything. A single item can
be used for years, then sold at a v-g, then used and sold
again if it is still useful. So much better than throwing
away and buying new.

I got a complete dinner service from a v-g. It is 1970's
amber glass and should it ever get broken, I know where
to get replacement plates. They are on every table in
ones or twos waiting to be gathered together.

Permanent vide-grenier and antique shop.