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Sunday, 29 November 2015

Red Riding Hood Cape

I haven't been writing many blog posts lately. There's no big reason for it - it just feels like life has moved on, and the urge to write just isn't there so much any more. Ironically, just as I am ignoring my blog, my eldest is starting one of her own, albeit for a temporary amount of time, to write about a project she's doing with her sisters in the run up to Christmas.

I've still been sewing for myself, and teaching my classes - most recently, I've made my first Granville shirt, and I have just finished a couple of courses, both of which have been a lot of fun. I had another Complete Beginners' Course, which I always enjoy, as you get to see the pure gleefulness and pride people have when they sew something for the first time. And, a dressmaking course, I was helping four ladies make Megan dresses. I'd been slightly nervous in the run up to this one  - knowing one reason the ladies had signed up was to get help on fitting, doubts started to pop into my head about whether I'd be helpful enough in getting four people with different shaped and sized bodies to my own to the point of having something they loved to wear. This week, they all reached a point where their dresses fit and they look really lovely in them. With just the zips left to do, I've invited them all back for an extra session, so there is no danger of anyone's dress being left in an unfinished heap and forgotten about as Christmas approaches. 

I feel tremendously lucky to spend a couple of evenings a week teaching sewing. It never feels like work - nice people, fun stuff to do, and cake. This week, I'm having a sewing night at the cake shop round the corner from where I live - a sort of celebration and thank you to all the people who have been on my courses this year, and an excuse to catch up and chat over some hand sewing. Also, there's going to be another one of my knicker making nights on Friday - something that always provides a lot of fun as we sew ourselves some undies out of pretty Liberty lawn. If you have never tried making your own knickers, I can recommend it - I happen to think there is nothing like opening your drawer to the sight of pretty pants that you have made yourself to bring a smile to your face as you get dressed in the morning.

None of this has anything to do with a Red Riding Hood Cape. Sorry about that.

This is the first of my Christmas sewing.

Each year, as Christmas approaches, I get tempted into a super woman like list of amazing things I will make for everyone I know. And then, I remind myself that I am not super woman. My attempts in Christmas past to make all the things imaginable have, unsurprisingly, ended in me feeling pretty stressed out and not at all festive by the time the big day comes. So, I have a rule. One hand made gift per child I own, and that is it. They can ask for what they like, although I can obviously impose a veto on the completely ridiculous or impossible.

Charlotte is too young to have a sense of asking me for things, and so I have chosen for her. She's just getting into dressing up (today she greeted me by charging towards me, arms in the air, wearing a cape and shouting "Super Charlotte!") and so this little number seemed ideal. I'll confess that my choice was massively influenced by the fact I'd been given the fabrics you see in the picture. By very happy coincidence, two separate people had generously given me the red corduroy and the awesomely appropriate Red Riding Hood printed cotton. It's as though the sewing gods wanted this make to happen.

The pattern, if you're interested, is from the ever useful Oliver and S Little Things to Sew book. I've had this for a few years now, and, having made quite a few things out of it, I'd say it is worth buying if you have children you want to sew for. Other favourite patterns in the book are the bucket hats and the toy town. Although, the latter is more often used for throwing at siblings, to be brutally honest.

That's all I have time for now. Charlotte has woken up. She must have guessed we were talking about her.


  1. Gosh, you have been a busy sewer. Did I just write sewer? Yuk. Meant sew-er... A busy sewing person - you know what I mean! A sweet ride riding hood cape, such an adorable pattern. And I am admiring your festive sewing plans...

  2. Busy busy! Enjoy making for your girls, that seems much more manageable than sewing for everyone.

  3. Lovely Super Charlotte Cape!