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Materials packs for my Baroque Tape Measure

Just to let you all know that I’ve just sold the last of the current set of Baroque Tape Measure materials packs – the plan from now on is to run a restricted set of colourways in bigger quantities, rather than the one offs and very limited runs. That should help me keep a nice ranges of choices available at all times. The beads are all due with me any day, so hopefully by next weekend (25th/26th) I will have the following colourways listed:

Red and old gold
Turquoise, scarlet and silver
Tequila sunrise (yellow, salmon, orange)
Vitrail and silver
And if I can get the right tapes, the original Bronze & Fuchsia.

They’re all based on colourways I’ve offered previously, so have a look at the Materials Packs page here to see if you might like to wait, or even ask me to hold one for you. And if you have any requests for future colours, just yell!

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Un-Started Objects

Early last year I wrote a post about my beady UFOs. None of the pieces in that post have really progressed (I have put a couple more humps on the Ootheca cuff, but that’s it).  Then I wrote a piece about the tutorials I was planning to publish – one (my Space Needle Case) is now out in the world, but the others haven’t really moved.  I’ve managed to recreate the CRAW ring, but I’m still not quite happy with how to write up the corner joins….  All in all my beady planning is looking like the opposite of Mastermind – no ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’ here.  On the other hand, I did get some work finished last year, published a new tutorial, and won a competition, so I won’t berate myself too much.

This year, rather than a series of pictures of lonely, unloved UFOs, a glance through my PDFs on my iPad has prompted a different kind of list – rather than UFOs I thought I’d share some USOs (Un-started objects).  As well as a huge stash of beads I’m afraid I have a large collection of tutorials lurking – I buy them because there is a discount offer, because I simply cannot fathom how something’s been done and I need to know now, because I want to support the artist, or just because I really want to make them.  Because I’m trying hard to focus on original work at the moment the unused ones are starting to accumulate, so I thought it might be interesting to give you a flavour of what has caught my eye (since it may be a while before they appear here as finished or even started beadwork).

So first (and I’ve had these for a while) a set of three from Barbara Briggs bought while I was very into Contemporary Geometric Beadwork.  How I ever thought I would have the time for such substantial pieces made almost entirely of delicas I can’t say, but they are quite amazing:

Fantasy Floral Cuff by Barbara Briggs (image by Barbara Briggs)

Fantasy Flora Cuff

Mermaid Cuff by Barbara Briggs (image by Barbara Briggs)

Mermaid Cuff

Barbara Briggs Dragon WrapFire Dragon Wrap

I’ve been a huge fan of Sabine Lippert for many years, and have completed lots of her pieces, which gives me an excuse for accumulating so many patterns (plus two books) – although I have to say until I wrote this list I didn’t realise quite how many.  Sabine has a sale on at the moment for some of these patterns, and even with the ridiculously low pound they are super value:

Sabine Lippert Tchacka Boom BangleTchacka Boom Bangles – a free pattern using her spiky button beads.

Sabine Lippert Wanna be a ButterflyWanna be a Butterfly – another freebie, this time using her Rizos.

Sabine Lippert TweedTweed – I’ve already beaded the related Baroque Dimensional which has a similar basis – I just need to get organised and pick fire-polished colours for this as I’ll need to do a bulk order as it needs 460 4mms!

Sabine Lippert TurbulenceTurbulence – looks like a lovely, smallish project.

Sabine Lippert - BoomerangBoomerang Bling – another one which needs some planning/shopping, and a fair amount of work, but looks like it will be amazing when finished.

Sabine Lippert Squaricals and PenticalsSquaricals & Penticals – I tried to start this on holiday last year but was a few beads short.  I should do this soon – it looks lovely to bead.

Sabine Lippert Go-Dimensional


Go Dimensional
– a classic Sabine blingy beaded bead – my Rivoli stash is much more substantial now so I should be able to do this without shopping!

From Cindy Holsclaw at Bead Origami (my sister is a big fan, and I love the way Cindy works) courtesy of a small special offer:

Bead Origami Teardrop BubblesTeardrop Bubble Beaded Bead – I love beaded beads and I love Czech teardrops, easy choice.

Bead Origami Supercoiled RopeSupercoiled Beaded Rope – how completely cool is this – I need to know how it is done, and hopefully a bit of a stash buster.

None of you will be surprised to discover some of the fabulous Jean Power’s work lurking in my collection.  As well as lots of tutorials and book projects from her which I’ve already beaded and some inevitable UFOs, I have two still to do:

Jean Power Star FlowerStar Flowers – this is quite new so I don’t feel too guilty about this one.  I have some of the giant acrylic stones already, so this should happen soon!

Jean Power Interlocking CrystalsInterlocking Crystals – this is a Jean classic which I’ve had for years.  I tried it with some cheap rivolis a while back, and it didn’t work because they were a different shape to Swarovski ones, which is fair enough.  I’ll need to take a deep breath before starting this one as the necklace takes over 40 rivolis.

Actually, apart from the huge glut of Sabine’s patterns, and the fact that I also have a pile of beading books and magazines, this list doesn’t look quite as bad as I had expected.  Hopefully I’ll get onto some of them soon – I have all my new cabochons to work with first though, so don’t hold your breath!

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Finished beadwork.

As any beader will know, no matter how much jewellery they make, there will always be outfits with nothing to match, and even more pieces which never get worn. Perhaps they are too precious, or too extravagant (there is a definite limit to how much crystal I can wear on the school run or in the office), or perhaps the colours are just wrong. I try and focus my work both for myself and my shop on colours and combos which are wearable, but I often find that because I work in colours rather than neutrals the finished pieces are limited to one (or no) outfits in my wardrobe. Often the beads take over, and I end up beading a lime and orange ring because it looked amazing, even though the two colours I never wear are green and orange. And before you ask, I know they will look good with brown but I never wear that, and if I wear with black I will need other lime and orange things to go with them…..
So recently I’ve been turning my thoughts to how to display the bits and bobs of beadwork that I don’t wear very often. Items I wear a lot (sea anenome, beaded beads, CGB bangles, anything pendanty tend to live in my bedroom, and go in and out of wear with the seasons, but the remainder are a bit lost. Previously they’ve been tucked away in cupboards, or in a box on my desk (it has a clear top so I can see the pretties, but inevitably things are piked on top). Beaded beads live in a lovely polished steel bowl, but again have a tendency to disappear under a pile of beads in little bags when I’m behind on tidying up or putting away deliveries. It’s such a shame, as I have lovely pieces that I almost forget I ever made just hiding away – they can’t influence me if I can’t see them, and I’m definitely less likely to wear them or develop ideas from them.
So last week on the way to bead group I passed a Muji, and popped in and treated myself to a lovely display box.

I’ve been mulling them over for a while, but let’s face it I could buy lots of beads with that money (OK a few beads, not that many really, they’d fit in the palm of my hand), but I was feeling extravangent. Yesterday I filled it up, and I’m quite pleased.

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Yes, it isn’t perfect, and there still remains the question of where it should live (I really wanted something to hang on the wall above the desk, but couldn’t find anything), so for now it is sitting on a pile next to the messy desk and behind the inevitable toys (prow of pirate ship on right!).

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It only really works for pendants, beaded beads and smaller pieces, but as I have a short attention span I have loads of those, and it’s basically pretty much full already. It won’t take my bigger bangles and cuffs, and won’t take any necklaces unless they are on a flexible rope or braid (so my last two Jean Power Secret Beadalongs fit in very nicely). It will though house my endless collection of beaded beads in a place that is constantly visible, so when I have to sit through anther episode of ******Thomas the Tank Engine, I can actually be staring at them working out how to make them into a wearable piece.

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It also gives me an interesting sample of my output over the last few years – my colour palette is less varied than I had expected in many ways, although it has definitely changed dramatically over time from subtle browns and golds to something much much brighter.

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I still have to solve the problem of what to do with the larger pieces, but there aren’t too many of them and many do get worn, so maybe they can stay in their boxes until I come up with something……

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A Handmade Christmas

Handmade items make wonderful presents – beautiful and/or unusual things, often unique.  Most Christmases I have a rush of blood to the head and decide to make presents, and most Christmases I’m still working on Christmas Eve to finish them.  So this year I decided to let other makers do the work for me – partly to support them, and mainly because they were making lush stuff.

So here’s what I bought (stupidly I didn’t take pictures, but in most cases you can follow the links to have a nose):

  • A while back I’d spotted Layla Amber’s lovely shop on Etsy.  She makes gorgeous laser cut wooden jewellery, and as December approached I bought myself a lovely Christmassy  Winter Robin necklace and robin earrings, which I wore lots.
  • They were so nice I bought some more earrings as my office Secret Santa gift, and a Winter Robin Brooch for my Aunt.
  • I’ve also been Folksy stalking Sue Trevor – she makes gorgeous machine embroidered badges, bowls, mirrors, decorations and generally lovely objects.  I used to do some machine embroidery, and would like to come back to it one day (obviously with added beads!), so I’d be watching Sue’s work with interest, and when she listed some lovely decorations I couldn’t resist.  So my sister-in-law has a lovely autumn coloured apple for her Dorset cottage, and my Mummy now has a fabulous bird watching from a small window in Tudor Cottage.  I suspect Mummy will also be inspired by Sue’s work – as a quilter she’s done some similar work in the past, and Sue’s use of hand-dyed and other interesting fabrics is right up Mummy’s street.  Again I got quite carried away, so my mother-in-law has a great badge, and as I bought a couple of ‘spares’ I have both a bigger badge , a pocket mirror and best of all a supercool peas in a pod brooch:

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  • Slightly less ‘handmade’ but no less appropriate as presents were some mugs from We Are Paper Plane on Etsy – a fun graphic design team.  It’s the bigger boy’s teacher’s first year teaching so we thought she wouldn’t have too many ‘best teacher’ type presents yet, so she got a named mug.  Daddy is famous for his jokes, and definitely needs some new ones – this should help.  And our wonderful childminder is quite keen on prosecco, so this mug should give her an adequately sized vessel to put it in!
  • And finally for my beady little sister, something for her to handmake – a very un-Christmassy Boneyard Bauble from Spellbound Beads.  Jean Power was making one at bead group a while back, so I grabbed one for Susie at the Big Bead Fair.   The skeleton in particular is brilliant, and picked up a little kit for some tiny spider earrings to make for myself as well, for which they have a free pattern.

And now the really good bit – I suggested to my husband that if he or anyone else is ever stuck for presents, he could just look at what I favourite on Etsy or Folksy and he embraced the idea with gusto!  So I now have a wonderful collection of beautiful items:

  • From Kate Ramsey Felt, a completely wonderful scarf in my colours, along with a cuff and a keyring.  These are just so gorgeous, and as a bonus they smell gorgeous, presumably because of the soaps used in the felting process.  I’ve been watching Kate’s work for many years, having had a dalliance with wet and needle felting a while back (which I now feel the need to revive).
  • From another Kate at Kate’s Little Store a lovely rocket – space is a big favourite in our house and it’s nice for me to be able to join in.

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So all in all, a lovely handmade Christmas – everything arrived promptly and beautifully packaged, and was a real pleasure to give or receive.  Thank you to everyone who helped!

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Crimson Frog Fish

Having been reminded of her gorgeous work in the recent Stitch and Craft  brochure, I googled Kinga Nichols to see if she offers kits or tutorials for those of us unable to get to classes.  She does, but her Etsy shop is a bit empty as she’s just been away – this is probably just as well given that I have far too many beads already, the pound is low, and postage from the States is horribly expensive.  However, further googling turned up her new video tutorial for Interweave.  I’ve used free video tutorials in the past to help with things like knitting and sewing, but never for beading, and to be honest, never paid for.  But it’s something I’d maybe like to try doing myself one day, and I’d just bought a fantastic eye cabochon from WingSmith and some red bead foundation from Jencel at the Big Bead Show, so it felt like the beady universe was saying ‘go on go on’,  so I splashed out the rather steep $19.99 and had a go.

We made a fish.  She is rather lovely, and ugly at the same time, and I really enjoyed making her.  I have learnt about glues, fabrics etc, drawn and cut out my base (the tutorial claims to be focussed on working with pre-cut foundation, but to be fair other than the fact that we are using one, it’s not about that, it’s really about making a lovely beaded fish).  I’ve at last sorted out my back stitch (which I’d never got to like previously), and I’ve added a bezel to the glued on eye, seeded on some Swarovski lochrosen (glass sequins), drops and best of all added some lentils to cover a huge space in no time at all!

The video is well structured, with good, clear explanations of the key stitches and techniques.  There is possibly a little too much of watching Kinga do back stitch, but one can always fast forward.  It’s certainly possible to watch and bead, and then just pause when you need to catch up, which works well so long as you have a device/PC next to your beading area (in my case this consists of an iPad on the arm of the sofa).  It’s certainly been the best bead embroidery technically that I’ve done, and I think Kinga deserves full credit for that.  The next test will be to see whether I can appy this to some designs of my own.

I enjoyed making the pink and red one so much that I’ve made a second fish in pink, green and purple – this time the correct size (I scaled the first up as the eye I had was huge), and I see more of these plus some other Kinga style bead embroidery in my future…….

Hints & Tips

  • Interweave sell this as either a single video ‘download’ (there is a second project available as well) or as a pair of projects on DVD.  The downloads are $19.99 each (so $39.98 the pair), the DVD pair $34.99.  I don’t know who does their accounting, but that feels like a rip off.  The downloads should cost significantly less to sell, and yet are more because you can’t buy the pair.  With the pound low this works out as at least twice what I would normally pay for a tutorial, and more than the price of a book for a single project.  If you are based in the US and can buy the DVD set then that will be a reasonable deal – otherwise for UK based beaders I’m not sure I can recommend based on price.  As I write it is reduced to $15.99, so if you live somewhere with a favourable dollar exchange rate, it may be worth a buy!
  • If you are using an iPad or iPhone, they are not even downloads – you are effectively buying access to stream the video, not to save it on your device.  Yes, I will when I have time download it onto my PC, but I’ll want to watch it on my iPad or iPhone so will have to get dear husband to transfer it on.  This is governed by the way that Apple run downloads onto iPads and iPhones, and is not something Interweave alone can change, but a more substantial warning before purchase would have been appreciated.
  • There’s a PDF included with a template of the fish to trace, which is great, but no materials list.  You have to work out as you go along what beads you will need, and for me, that was quite annoying – I like to pull together the right beads (or roughly the right beads) before I start, so that I know I can bead all of the way through without having to go hunt out or even buy additional beads.  A written tutorial or magazine project would always contain a list, so why not a digital download.  Even just talking through the materials required at the beginning of the film would have helped………hopefully though my list in the Recipe below will be of some use!
  • Coloured bead foundation is a must here – going back to the lack of materials list you’re going to be pretty disappointed as you can’t start without it.  Coincidentally I’d bought some red and pink Nicole’s Bead Backing from Jencel at the Big Bead Show, so was kitted up ready to go.  It’s the first time I’ve worked with it, rather than using white Lacey’s Stiff Stuff or Beadsmith Bead Backing and it was really, really liberating.  Using a backing that compliments or even contrasts with your beads, which you’re happy to show through makes everything easier, and means you can use larger beads with ease without having to fuss filling in the tiny gaps with seeds, spoiling the effect and multiplying the work! I’ve invested in some more colours now, and I feel that having a good backing colour will make me more confident and bold with my beads.
  • I didn’t really want to make a big, heavy cuff, and didn’t have the right materials to do that anyway – instead I had a look at the other fish pieces Kinga has done and spotted that sometimes she puts a hole in the upper fin and uses that to thread a cord through, making a pendant.  This was relatively easy to do, although I’m slightly worried about the strength of the loop – will it distort in use?  Another time I’m going to cut a piece of plastic (from some washed veg packaging or similar) to sit between the foundation and backing to provide additional strength.  I may even consider doing this for the whole piece as with so many heavy beads on it does feel like it could do with some extra stiffening.
  • I didn’t have the petals Kinga used for the scales – instead I used some lentils I’ve been sitting on for a while, and I think they also work really well.  As they are smaller than the petals I decided not to add seed bead stalks, as the holes are reasonably inconspicuous.  That meant I had to work from the tail inwards to get the layering of the scales right (Kinga is able to work the other way as her petals sit further off the foundation with their beaded stalks, so can be pushed aside).
  • Big eyes are better – the second fish I made has an eye closer to the outline provided (15mm), and I don’t think she is as fun as the first one, which has a much larger eye (25mm) in proportion to the rest of the piece.  If you’re working using the template, I would use a 20mm eye.
  • Dragon eyes (with a vertical slit for a pupil) don’t look as nice as ‘normal’ eyes.  Don’t know why, they just don’t look as friendly.
  • They’re pretty big and daring, even for me to wear.  They may take a turn on the Christmas tree this year………..

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Recipe

Creative Bead Embroidery 1 with Kinga Nichols: Working with Precut Foundations Video Download

Coloured beading foundation to tone with your main colours.  I used Nicole’s Bead Backing in red (red & pink fish) and fuchsia (pink & purple fish).

Backing – tone, contrast, compliment, whatever – I used Ultrasuede in fuchsia as it’s easy to work with and I had some, although Kinga suggests leather instead as it is more durable.

Glass eye cabochon – I used a 25mm from Wingsmith for the red/pink, and a 15mm from Kookeli for the purple/pink.  Next time I’ll use a 20mm (see Hints & Tips).

Seed Beads:
  • Size 11 in at least three colours (an outline colour, a main colour for the backstitched circles and one of the fin stripes, and a third colour to give some contrast round the eyes – you could work with more than two colours in this area).  I used Duracoat Zest 4205 as the outline and Silver Lined Fuchsia 1436 as the main for both, with Silver Lined Vermillion 1010 for the red/pink fish and Silver Lined Purple 1446 for the purple/pink.  All Miyuki of course.
  • Size 15s – just a few to close the eye bezel and for attaching the lochrosen – Duracoat Zest 4205 for both fish.
  • Size 11 delicas in a contrast to form the stripes on the fins.  I used Silver Lined Frosted Orange 682 for the red/pink fish, and Galvanised Dark Magenta 463 for the purple/pink.
Feature Beads:
  • For the belly, Swarovski Lochrosen in 4mm (Fuchsia & Light Siam) for the pink/red fish, and O-beads and Tri-beads in Magic Orchid for the pink/purple.  Kinga uses the Swarovski in two sizes, which would be lovely, but I don’t have them and they seem to be very difficult to get hold of at the moment.  Probably a Strictly Come Dancing induced shortage.  The O and Tri beads worked very well though, and are more economical.  If you’re using a ‘magic’ coating, make sure the coated side sits at the back, so that the transparent side sticks up giving you the sparkle.
  • Next along the belly, some 3.4mm Miyuki drops – ideally transparent, with optional colour lining rather than a frosted or opaque – they’ll look like glossy bubbles.  I used red lined topaz for the pink/red and a pink/green mix for the purple/pink.
  • And finally, some larger, flattish beads for the scales – Kinga uses Petals, but I didn’t have any so I tried Lentils and they worked well – Etched Crystal Full Marea for the red/pink, and Magic Orchid for the purple/pink.  Again make sure you use the beads the right way up to get the best from the coating.

All in all not the best value, but well explained and demonstrated, and a fantastic, enjoyable project which I plan to repeat. A lot.

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Space Needle Case Tutorial

So I’ve finally finished a new tutorial.  It’s been a long time in coming – it’s the needle case from the Chatelaine I made for a Stitch n Craft challenge several years ago, and whilst my Baroque Tape Measure Surround has been available for a while now, it’s taken ages to get this one done.  That’s not because it’s tricky, or complicated, more because I’ve not until recently managed a really concentrated period of work to get it done, so I’ve ended up reworking more than I really needed to.  Anyway, I’m really happy that it’s done (and all of that rework has simplified some of the stitch paths and dealt with some tension pitfalls), so here it is:

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It uses those standard wooden needle cases you can get for making peyote tubular wraps, but has a twist – it uses RAW to cover the case, so it shows through the finished piece, so must be coloured to match (or contrast), and then the ends and opening are built out to form a very solid surround for a 14mm rivoli.  The finished embellished sections with their pointed rivolis reminded me both of flying saucers, and of the Space Needle in Seattle – hence the name.  As part of my Chatelaine it formed one of the more substantial elements alongside my Baroque Tape Measure.

It’s really an intermediate level piece – there are full instructions for completing every step, including the basic RAW sections, and none are particularly tricky, so in theory a relative beginner could follow it, but I would say that you’d need to be confident of an even, controlled tension, and be able to handle beadwork that is fighting back a bit, so if you’re a beginner maybe work on some more basic RAW projects before you buy this one?  It’s not going anywhere anytime soon……

It’s available for instant download from Etsy (EU buyers note VAT will be added on top of the selling price)  or from Payhip (where I can absorb the VAT in the selling price).  Or if you don’t mind waiting until I’m awake/have a spare moment, then you can purchase through Folksy and I’ll email the PDF to you.

And Ive been super organised, so materials packs containing all of  the beads and crystals you need, plus a pre-coloured needle case are now available for UK buyers from my Etsy and Folksy shops.  You can choose between a long or a short needle case to suit the types of needles you use, and there are four colourways, available in either length.  If you’re not based in the UK, all of the details of the beads used in those colourways are in the tutorials, so you should be able to recreate without too much trouble (and save yourself the exhorbitant international postage from the UK).

 

 

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Goldhawk Road

I know this blog is supposed to be about beadwork, but at the moment I also have the dressmaking bug.  This year’s Great British Sewing Bee inspired me to lug out the machine for me, rather than curtains, cushions or children’s fancy dress.  I bought a copy of the lovely Japanese book (Yoshiko Tskiori’s Stylish Dress Book) a while back and have made a couple of tunics already, which I’ll tell you about at some point, but I needed some fabric which I can’t source locally, and as I’ve not yet settled into ordering dress fabric online I popped up to Goldhawk Road for the first time ever this week to seek some out.

Despite having been a Dress Fabrics and Haberdashery Department Manager in my early career I’ve never been to Goldhawk Road before – I used to visit Berwick Street regularly to check out the competition, but never ventured to west London.  So I girded my sewist loins and boarded the tube for Shepherd’s Bush, trotted across the green and arrived in a strange fabric shoppers nivarna.  In between the takeaways, Tesco Metros, betting shops and vape shops, for the 200 yards between the corner of Shepherd’s Bush Green and Goldhawk Road tube there are just fabric shops.  That’s it.  Each one different but the same – the same Aladdin’s caves of fabrics, spilling out onto the floor, rolls stacked every which way, but with a huge variety of fabrics in each individual shop.  And no two ranges the same in any two shops – always different colours, textures, prices, qualities.  Mind boggling.

In the end I spent about 2 hours there, going from shop to shop, trying to remember what was where, and work out what I actually wanted to buy.  Going with a plan of some kind would definitely have been a good idea – my vague ‘stuff for a tunic or dress but not summer fabrics’ was helpful, but as you will see from my purchases, hard to stick to – everyone else seemed to have something specific in mind.  I missed out on a couple of fabrics because I clean forgot which shop they were in (I can still visualise the stack of rolls of Liberty cord, but couldn’t find the right shop when I had decided to buy), and found the whole experience slightly overwhelming, with rolls everywhere, patchy pricing meaning you had to actually talk to people (not my favourite thing in shops), and just the sheer variety on offer was extraordinary, and much better than expected.  I loved it, got some fantastic bargains (and some marvellous not so bargains), and will be going back (but not until I’ve made up everything I bought – I do have some self control you know).

Anyway, to give you some idea of the kind of things that are available, here are my somewhat random purchases.  I’d love to tell you which shops they came from, but I really can’t be sure!

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Lovely rough woven silk, medium weight.  Not on my list, but it spoke to me while I was buying the muslin, screaming ‘ask him how much I am, I am so lush’.  £12 pm – this was intended for a winter weight tunic dress, but may be too nice (and probably dry clean only, I forgot to check), so may be a collarless coat instead when I get a bit better/more confident.

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Suiting weight polyester blend, this one will be a tunic dress for work.  I’m thinking slightly A line (Stylish Dress Book F) but with fancy sleeves (SDB top B but without the wrist elastic so kind of bell shaped). £12 pm.

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Muslin in vivid magenta (what else) – very narrow, but only £2 pm so I bought lots!  Tunic shirty thing – SDB G, J or W depending on how clever/stylish I feel.  But not until the spring since this is definitely summer wearing stuff.  Will be quite exciting to make a garment for under £10!

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Cheapo giant check gingham.  I’ve wanted some of this for ages, it’s a bit stiff but hopefully will wash to soft.  Probably a simple square tunic (would look nice as a SBD E but I don’t have the courage to try and sort out patterns and pleats with a cheap, probably slightly warped fabric).  £2.50 pm!

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Lovely Italian viscose jersey – not the cheapest on offer, but definitely the best quality.  This is going to be a SDB tunic Q, but longer.  It may have to wait until I can get some fusible seam binding though as I am still a bit scared of knits and this will help.  I wouldn’t want any bagging around my bust after all. £12pm.

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And then this was the really naughty one.  The one that broke all the rules (price and season).  But I don’t care because it is completely and utterly gorgeous, even the smallest snotty boy is fascinated by it.  It’s a German digitally printed cotton voile (but quite a heavy one, just one step off a lawn really).  It will need lining, and careful thought about use of pattern (the repeat is about a metre), and will be completely outrageous and totally, totally lush.  A very brightly coloured, parrot like, Hiawathaesque delight.   A dress I think, but only once I’m really, really competent!  £20 pm.  Oops.

So there you have it – a fun, overwhelming afternoon adding to my dressmaking stash.  And not a dinosaur costume in sight.