Autumn's definitely here. Beautiful golden leaves falling from the tree outside our house (volunteers to sweep them up once they go mushy, anyone...?), crisp cool air and bright sunshine.
I swooned over the fabric the instant I saw it - and pretty quickly started to picture it as a dress for moi. I'd say a dress for special occasions, but, my philosophy is to enjoy wearing favourite clothes whenever you fancy looking fabulous, and not just to keep them in the wardrobe only to be worn once in a blue moon. Besides, as a mummy to four little ones, I am not forever going to parties. That said, it is my friend's 40th in a few weeks, and I will wear this outfit for that occasion. There's even talk of us going out dancing, and I think this will be perfect.
The dress is fully lined, making it feel extra warm, and luxurious, too, if I may say so. I hand finished the hems and the bit where the lining meets the sleeves whilst watching Strictly Come Dancing last Saturday night. Are you enjoying the series, by the way? We are. Unsurprisingly, in a house with four little girls, the show is a big hit. And a big incentive for good behaviour, so they are allowed the treat of staying up late to watch the first hour.
My friend Emily took these pictures for me. We'd headed out to our favourite cake shop for a mid week treat and catch up. The day time life of a housewife cannot be all DIY (still making slow but steady progress on my hall and stairs), piles of washing, scrubbing floors and chasing after a baby, can it? Admittedly, Charlotte is an age where she will not be fobbed off with whatever healthy baby snack I pull out of my bag for her. She might not be able to form sentences yet, but her "Loli-loli-loliiii!!!!!", accompanied by a pointed finger in the direction of my cake is pretty easy to translate.
Do you like the purse I made to go with my dress? I love it when there are enough scraps to make a little accessory, don't you? The pattern for this was taken from Lisa Lam's A bag for all reasons. I have just one top tip and warning to share with you on this subject. Never use masking tape (usually handy for protecting your purse fabric from getting glue over it in the tricky framing process) with velvet. You guessed it, I know from bitter experience, that masking tape damages velvet. The result was that I had to completely unpick and replace one side of my almost finished purse. Argh. I am always telling the beginners who come to my classes not to worry about making mistakes - you learn your best (and most memorable) lessons that way. Too true!
Lastly, if you like reading my blog, and tend to find me through Facebook or Twitter, it might be worth signing up for an email update on posts, as I'll be using those things less from now on.
Over the last month, I've had something of a digital detox. That is, a deliberate step back on my part from the time I was spending with frequent checks on social media, and, also evenings spent browsing Twitter and so on counting for evening entertainment once the girls were in bed.
I had been feeling glum at the start of September, and decided to make some changes in my day to day habits to see if that had an impact on my sense of happiness, starting with my ever growing social media habit. I think that my digital detox - along with some other changes - has made me happier. Now that I have broken the habit, I am going to set myself more sensible boundaries - perhaps just ten minutes once a day for a quick check on email and interactions and the like. I'm also going to buy myself a watch, as I think part of the distraction comes from using my phone to check the time.
The past two weeks aside - when I've had a rather annoying lingering throaty cold - I've got back into early morning running again. Setting the alarm for Stupid O' Clock is the only way I can fit it in. And I have to give myself a talking to and remind myself how much I enjoy the happy feeling a run gives me for the rest of the day. I increase my chances of getting out of bed when the alarm goes off, by leaving my running kit right next to the bed. The runs mean guilt free cake consumption, and, I know I am more patient, too, for having been out exercising in the fresh air. And this can only be a good thing, when faced with all the many challenges children throw in my path.
A case in point - Charlotte's habit of flinging her food onto the floor in one quick sweeping gesture, that comes in the moment she deems she has had enough of her meal. Grr.
That's about it for now.
I think my next make is going to be something completely new, using a metre of Liberty lawn, and for my husband, Mark. Can you guess what it will be?
What have you been making?