Category Archives: News

Book Review – “Stitched in Time” by Alicia Paulson

I was recently given a copy of “Stitched in Time” by Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy …. a collection of ‘memory-keeping projects to sew and share’.

As I’m in the middle of several things that aren’t share-able just at the moment, I thought I’d write up a little review for you 🙂

It’s such a beautiful book, well written with clear instructions and gorgeous photographs, and with such a clear voice it’s like sitting and chatting with a good friend as you read through it. I like the little stories interspersed through the book – and that the introduction (something I almost always skip!) is both short and sweet – talking about the emotional significance of hand-sewn gifts in her own life – and some tips on getting started.

The book is split into clear sections – projects for little ones, for every day and for special occasions …. and all are genuinely suitable for the novice sewer – whilst inspirational enough to be a jumping-off point for a more experienced sewer. I was pleased that I liked pretty much all the projects in this book and could see myself making most of them in one form or another over the course of time, and a couple (not counting the baby clothes quilt! 😉 ) that I’m just itching to try.

I was particularly taken with this measuring chart …. I’ve been meaning to make “something” for AGES to replace the marker-pen notches and scribbles on my kitchen wall …. and whilst I might not use that exact colour/fabric, I liked how simple this was without being too twee.

Over time, I’ve seen a lot of sewing projects that incorporate children’s drawings and I’ve always loved them, so I did adore the plushie made from a child’s drawing …. (though the fact that my children seem to focus on monsters, pokemon and skylanders in their art is a bit daunting!)


and I also loved the little potholder with the applique detail …. which I thought was simple enough that it could be made by (or with) a child (as a gift for nanna, perhaps?? 😉 )


It did make me chuckle to read the little aside – about half-way through there’s a cautionary tale, warning that not all recipients of your labours will be as immediately appreciative of your hard work as you might hope or want …. but that each one is a beautiful memory in itself that might take time to mature.

There’s a useful little section on photography, and a comprehensive set of appendices at the end …. general sewing techniques, a glossary and a set of templates for the projects in the book.

011 010

Although I wouldn’t have bought this book for myself, I was very pleased to be given it …. there are a lot of lovely ideas, ones that I would use straight out of the book and some that I would adapt, and almost all of it I could do with the children as special gifts for friends and family, or for themselves.

And if it whets your appetite, Alicia’s blog Posie Gets Cozy is just GORGEOUS and stacked full of beautiful images, and a whole host of little project kits and patterns as well.

Tudor Costume

Some of you may remember a couple of years back, I made this Tudor costume for my daughter for a school trip ….

2010-01-08 Tudor Rose (2)

Well, time evidently flies, because here we are, and it was my son’s turn to make the same school trip. So I got to make another costume – yay!! I love making dressing-ups for the children …. when I was at school I wanted to make costumes for the movies, but was told in no uncertain terms that that was *not* a career. I I’d known then what I know now, I might have stuck to my guns on it a little bit more, but then, I wouldn’t be here – so.

Anyway, tudor costumes.

Initially, I’d hoped to recycle the ‘Marco Polo’ I’d made for ‘Explorers’ – a World Book Day event a while back ….

explorers (9)

It was only when I got it out that I realised that it was actually 4 years ago, and the boy has grown a bit since then (how does that happen so fast?!) …. firstly, he wasn’t going to fit, and secondly, he refused point-blank to wear anything that might possibly be construed as a frock.

So that put paid to the ‘Cardinal Wolsey’ …..


since I wasn’t going to get him into a red frock …. sigh. It would have been so simple ….

So, we started cobbling things together. We had some red satiny pantaloons that a friend gave us – from a Disney Pirates outfit, I think – and also a hat that a friend’s son had worn to the same event a year or so ago. They were both acceptable, if not strictly ‘Tudor’, but gave us somewhere to start ….

2013-01-13 Jake Tudor (1)

Here’s where we ended up! Our best Henry VIII pose ….

Not too shabby, I think ….

The cloak was an old suede skirt, thrifted, that I cut up the middle, and then slit the side seams for arm holes …. and the ‘fur’ collar was an old fake-fur scarf – again, thrifted, that I slip-stitched onto the waistband. The shirt came from the charity shop AGES ago, and has been used for all sorts of dressings up – it’s got a ruffle down the front so works for just about every era – it’s been Victorian as well as Tudor now. The tabard …. that was a stroke of genius, if I do say so myself 😉 – it’s the quilted lining of a man’s jacket – I just ripped it out, removed the arms, cut it down to size, and stitched up the front so he could just slip it over his head. The belt is another dressing-up box staple …. I think it featured as part of a Narnia ‘Susan’ costume a while back, too ….

The only disappointment was that I wouldn’t let him wear a sword ….

2013-01-13 Jake Tudor (3)

Still ….. he doesn’t look too unhappy with the overall effect! And he had a fantastic time while he was there ….

I had fun, too …..