The Best Parcel EVER!

Over the weekend possibly the highlight of my blogging career happened – I won a competition run by another blogger!

Joanne over at Stitch & Witter reached her 100th blog post, and to celebrate hosted a giveaway which I won – WOOOOHOOOO!!!

And in the post today arrived this pretty little package…

Full of pretty little things…

I can’t wait to make the pattern when I am a bit less lumpy, and will be on the lookout for white gloves and a parasol to complete the outfit as per the model in the middle (although she appears to have mislaid her legs – I will try not to do that).

Thanks Joanne!!

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Lustgården footstool

Whenever I go to a different country I always like to try and buy some fabric to remind me of the trip. This is what I did when I went to Stockholm a while ago, and found this fabric.

Art Collection fabric red - red - Design House Stockholm

It was about a squillion pounds to buy a metre, so I spent half a squillion on half a metre as I liked it so much! This did however means I had a silly small amount of fabric and couldn’t think what to do with it.

The fabric was designed by Stig Lindberg’s in the 1950s, and is called Lustgården (Garden of Eden). Lindberg was a leading Swedish postwar designer, also producing ceramics, tableware, industrial design and working as a painter and illustrator. I saw an original version of this fabric in the National Museum, and then was able to buy some as Design House Stockholm now reproduces it to the same original standards.

The fabric itself is really thick and heavy, more suitable for upholstery than clothing which is why I had my predicament of not knowing what to make with it. However, as we start to get the nursery ready a need became clear!

We already have two nursing chairs, handed down from my parents, which we had been using as normal seats but they can soon be put to their proper use! However, I imagine it would be nice to be able to put your feet up once in a while so I found instructions for a footstool in the Liberty Book of Home Sewing.

And this is what I made!

Not a very tricky make, apart from getting the blimming polystyrene balls into the lining, and then getting that into the cover. It looked like it had snowed indoors and I have a feeling we will be finding little white balls for years to come!

The only other niggly thing that happened was that I marked the fabric with tailors chalk to cut it out, then changed the cutting line and now can’t get the tailors chalk out. You can just see a white line all round the top in some of the photos. Does anyone have any tips on how I could get rid of this – rubbing it vigorously with a stiff brush hasn’t worked!

Because of the fabric design, and the shape of the footstool it is like a little story is being played out as you turn the stool around.

‘Oh what a lovely spot for a picnic!’

‘Just chillin’, listening to my own private flute player…’

Some shenanigans going on around that tree on the right if you ask me…

‘Look at me! I’m juggling white doves!’
(I had to chop most of the doves off, but that is actually what it looks like he is doing!)

And after all that excitement, me and the baby took the footstool for a little test run. It works perfectly!

Image source
http://www.scandinaviandesigncenter.com/Products/gbp1/Scandinavian_Fabrics/Fabrics/13522/Art+Collection+fabric+red

RIP Sewing Room

I think I’m about to write a post that makes me sound very unreasonable, but here goes…

Yesterday was a sad day at Peggy’s Pickles HQ, as The Sewing Room is no more 😦

Until yesterday I had everything I needed in one room.

My sewing machine, with a nice view out of the window…

Plenty of room for all my patterns and books and things I don’t really need…

And the ironing board, mirror and mannequin within easy reach.

And probably most importantly a wooden floor – perfect for cutting out fabric.

Then yesterday I go to the gym, and come back to find this.

And this.

IN A DIFFERENT ROOM!!!!!! WITH CARPET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Much to my sadness, The Sewing Room has been relegated to a corner of another room to make way for The Nursery. It is fair to say I didn’t think this whole thing far enough through – I knew I’d have to give a lot of things up with the arrival of this child, but The Sewing Room? Really?!

However, as Dave pointed out I may have reacted a little hormonally (pretty sure that’s not a real word) when I got a bit upset by the whole thing :-).

After sleeping on the whole situation, I can now see it’s not that bad at all – I have the lovely task of getting The Nursery ready, I got to sort through all my sewing stuff and uncover things I forgot I had, and I get to hunt for new shelves and things to make The Sewing Corner as lovely as The Sewing Room once was.

RIP Sewing Room, you will be missed 🙂

The 50p Quilt

Although all the clothes I have been making recently have been maternity things, so far on Peggy’s Pickles I have resisted talking too much about baby stuff. This is partly because I don’t want to bore you all, and partly because I don’t actually know anything about babies. I am hoping that somehow between now and July my ‘mothering instinct’ is going to kick in, and I will just know what to do. Or at least make it look like I know what to do 🙂

Anyway, in an attempt to get ready for the wriggly person inside of me (yes, this does feel as weird as it sounds if you haven’t yet experienced it) I decided to make a little cot quilt.

I have made two quilts already in my life, and after each one I have sworn never to make another one. The first was a wedding present for my sister, a massive king size affair that I kept getting lost under, calling for Dave to rescue me from the depths of the cotton and wadding that engulfed me as I sewed. Never again I said – I am a one-quilt-pony.

That was until my mum hinted that she had a big birthday coming up, and oh, wouldn’t a quilt be a lovely present? Knowing that I had a lot of wadding left from the first quilt, how could I refuse? Although I did get it done in time, this quilt took me about 6 months to finish. And still I couldn’t get the corners right.

That’s it – no more quilts for me I thought. They make me a bit stressed, I can’t work out how to mitre the corners, and to be honest, I don’t really know what I’m doing.

Then I got pregnant, which does funny things to you. Like making you cry when Sian Williams has her last day presenting BBC Breakfast News (she’d been there 11 years can you believe?! Emotional stuff).

So, under this pregnancy induced illusion that I really wanted to make something for our baby, out came the wadding again (I may have over bought on the wadding in the first place, and this has definitely been the error of my ways).

Peggy sprang in to action, in anticipation of another sewing project she could assist with.

Rather than buy lots more fabric I wanted to try and use bits from the rather large stash of scraps that I have. The only problem is that I am a girl, and the baby could be a boy or a girl. I have a lot of girly fabric scraps, so did my best finding bits that were as neutral as possible. Inevitably it’s still a bit girly biased, but all in all I only had to pop out to buy some cotton for the border which was 50p!

Peggy was always on hand for the quilt-comfiness-test.

And definitely didn’t get in the way when I was stitching the border on.

This time round I was determined to get the corners right so I got some instructions out and carefully read through them. “Ah Ha!” I exclaimed “With all my new sewing skills I finally understand what I’m meant to do!”

With a very smug face I sat and handstitched away. “Check me out, doing mitered corners like a pro.”

I did them wrong. AGAIN.

They are however my best yet, so am happy with that. Am pretty sure it’s me being a bit of a perfectionist as well, and am also pretty sure the baby isn’t going to be too worried about how successfully its quilt corners have been mitered.

The nice thing about the quilt is that each bit of fabric has a little story to go with it.

The green floral and dark purple were used in my mum’s quilt, and the blue stripey in my sisters. The pink stripey I ‘acquired’ from a place I worked, and the blue border fabric was my old duvet cover in my first year at Uni.

A very family affair!

And the winner is….

Unless you have been living under a little rock for the last few days it probably hasn’t escaped your attention that there has been a prestigious award ceremony recently.

Yes Ladies and Gentleman (Dave, that’s you :-)), it’s true. Peggy’s Pickles has been nominated for a Sunshine Award 2012.

I would like to begin by thanking Janene over at Ooobop, who kindly nominated me. Without her none of this blog post would have been possible.

(I met Janene when she came to my Pillowcase Dress Party at Drink, Shop & Do and she is indeed a lovely lady, and wore a very nice handmade top that I was jealous of :-))

Secondly, I know you are all dying to know what I wore to the ceremony. Personally I think I looked great considering I’m over 4 months pregnant.

The dress was just a vintage Dior I found at the last minute in my wardrobe. It did the job.

Now down to the serious stuff…

As a nominee of the Sunshine Award, there are rules you are meant to follow.

Rules:

Thank the person who gave you the award. 
Write a post about it. 
Answer the questions that come with it.
Pass it along to ten people and let them know they’ve received the award.

I can safely say I have now completed the first two, and my answers are below for the third rule. The last one however has already been done so well by Janene and other nominees such as Jane that there’s not much else for me to say – there are a lot of lovely blogs out there!

Questions:

Favorite Color: Turquoisey-bluey-something-or-other maybe
Favorite Animal: Peggy (I realise I’m meant to say cat, but she’s my fave)
Favorite Number: 15 (because dinner will be ready in 15 minutes)
Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: None, all I want is an alcoholic one at the moment because I can’t have one
Facebook or Twitter: Am not too fussed by either. What did they do to Facebook recently?!
My Passion: Dresses. I quite like Dave my husband as well
Getting or Giving Presents: Both!
Favorite Pattern: Liberty, any of them
Favorite Day of the Week: Friday
Favorite Flower: Today I like daffodils

Image source
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/304916/20120227/oscar-2012-red-carpet-best-dressed-stars.htm

New York, New York!

As predicted I can safely say I ate more than my, and the baby’s, fair share of food whilst in New York!

This photo does risk proving what a questionable role model I am going to be when it comes to table manners, but I have decided we are all friends here so it is safe to show you. Dave also kindly posted it on Facebook, so it is already out there anyway!

These had to be by far the best cupcakes I have EVER tasted – Sno Cap Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. Almost worth the cost of a flight just to eat one I would say (although not recommended if you’re trying to impress someone, about to romantically propose outside Tiffany’s etc).

Now, on to New York-y sewing-ish related things. I didn’t buy any fabric this time as I still have some left from a previous trip, instead I got this little beauty…

Look – even Peggy has been admiring it in all its sparkly glory!

Found on sale in a vintage shop in Williamsburgh, I could just about get in to it a week ago with a little help from the lady in the shop. I am guessing I won’t be able to now though as my bump is blossoming (no, it’s not twins thank you very much Walter The Bell-Boy, hummmmph).

Instead I will have to save the dress for after the baby is born in July. So if anyone fancies planning some kind of event that I can wear it to in the autumn I would be very grateful!

Looking at the design and the details I would estimate it is from the 1960s. The zip is metal which is often an indicator, as apparently plastic zips came in in the 1970s.

Much, if not all of the dress is handmade to a really high quality by a company called The Needle Craft, Atlantic City. A quick search hasn’t really uncovered much about the company except that The Needle Craft Shop was owned by Ruth Preis Bloom and her husband Maurice Bloom from 1934 until 1980. According to a press notice for her funeral in 2009, it was “…a widely known destination for designer women’s clothing…”.

I think all in all you’ll agree this is a highly practical dress for me to be wearing as a new mum in the autumn 🙂 Definitely one for special occasions, but one that I just couldn’t resist.

I also found this collar at a flea market which the seller suggested might be from the 1950s / 1960s.

A similar one sold on Etsy was dated as 1940, so who knows! I think I might try and make a really simple black shift dress to go with this.

And finally I bought a Tomberry! I have know idea if this pincushion is meant to be a strawberry or a tomato, or both, so I have officially renamed it the Tomberry.

This was dated by the seller as from the 1930s which I think is a bit questionable, but I’ve been wanting one for a while, and I love junk vintage collectibles so I don’t really mind when this is from – it looks nice on my shelf!