Hello Everyone!

Things have been very quiet here at Peggy’s Pickles for the last few weeks as we had a very early arrival!

Technically he still should still be in my tummy, but three weeks ago our little son decided he’d had enough and wanted to see the world.

A tough few weeks have followed with 8 days in intensive care, but he’s home now and we’re all muddling through.

It means I might not be doing much sewing for a while, but will be back as soon as I can ūüôā


Another new addition…

No, I’m not expecting twins (although maybe it¬†would¬†be better to pop two out in one go and be done with it?!), my lovely family all got together to get me a dress form for Christmas and my birthday.

I ordered it on Wednesday from here (by far the cheapest I¬†could¬†find, although it seems to have gone up by ¬£10 since Wednesday!), and it arrived on Thursday – blimmin’ quick if you ask me.

All in the name of Peggy’s Pickles, Dave kindly recorded the construction of my new rather poshly named¬†Lady Valet (manufacturer’s name, not mine I¬†would¬†like to point out).

What's this I wonder?

Those who have been around me and big boxes before, will know that I often think I can fit in them. I can't, but it doesn't seem to stop me trying.

It comes with it's very own screwdriver! Hands off David!

Pretty sure my tongue was sticking out with concentration at this point.

On it goes.

Maybe not the most accurate way of making the waist the same level as mine, especially as I'm not entirely sure where mine is these days...

It's going to need some serious bulking up over the next few months!

Now, as the last photo shows, we were getting on swimmingly post-construction. How quick these things can change…

Dave took it upstairs to the sewing room, but left it peeking round the door. I forgot all about it being there and then had the fright of my life when I got to the top of the stairs to find it looming there in the dark. I had to close the door, and then check it hadn’t been opened in the morning.¬†Scary¬†stuff people,¬†scary¬†stuff.

Therefore, I am definitely of the Tilly school of thought – these things should never be named. And it is definitely an IT, not a She.

Despite the slight sense of unease I have around it in the dark, I can’t wait to size it properly and use it when making my next creation!


What a lot of news!

I’m back! Happy New Year everyone – I hope you all had a lovely Christmas break.

On New Years Eve I celebrated my 30th birthday. Check out the sewing related presents (Peggy not included) I was given Рit seems word has got around!

Can you believe it – there’s an original Singer sewing machine in there!

The celebrations started the day before with cocktails overlooking London from Paramount Bar, and a yummy meal at The Swan.

Yes, me and my sister look very alike ūüôā

Then on my actual birthday we had a dinner party at home. Now, I know that many of you have been asking about, and waiting to see the dress I was making for the party. I have a confession to make. It never got made. However, I am hoping my reason will excuse me because…

I’m having a baby! Dave and I are both so excited / scared (what do I know about babies?!!!!), but it did mean that the dress never made it past toile stage. My waist has been rapidly disappearing, and I have just generally been feeling a bit fat (no nice baby bump yet!), which meant that I didn’t feel great about wearing a cinched in 1950s dress.

Instead I had changed the plan to this pattern that my Nan originally made for my Mum.

But the dress was obviously not meant to be. You may remember me being ill before Christmas, which was mostly due to a nasty cold but was made worse due to being pregnant. Unfortunately I had set aside that time to make the dress, so when I was better I had to admit defeat and make a trip to Beyond Retro (no great hardship really). Instead I wore this 1980s (am guessing) crazy jumpsuit thing! The top is velvet with gold fireworks on and the bottom part is plain black something-or-other.

I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to tackle the whole pregnancy / making my own clothes yet, but needless to say I will be attempting this look…

Rather than this look…

Watch this space!

Image sources

Happy Christmas!

With Dave now on holiday, the Muppet’s Christmas Carol on TV, a fridge full of sprouts, and¬†Michaelangelo hanging on our tree (don’t EVER get one from Homebase people, ours died within a week of buying it and now we are left with a brown twiggy bald thing!!),¬†I think I can now officially wish you all a very happy Christmas!

As I’ve only been blogging a few months, my list of sewing achievements is quite small but I have definitely learnt a lot!

I do however want to say a huge thank you for all the help and support you have given me with my pillowcase dress challenge Рespecially my Mum and Dave, you have both been brilliant. I will do a proper round-up of the challenge in the new year.

Next year promises to be full of suprises, and lots of sewing challenges I’m sure – I can’t wait!

For now though, I’m off to the panto…..!

Alison x


The Christmas Elephant

You may remember my evening with charity Awamu, where I made a hanging bird decoration. Well recently I finished the elephant as well, and the Christmas Elephant was born!

Admittedly, the elephant isn’t the first animal that springs to mind when you think of Christmas. Maybe reindeer, donkeys, or even a little festive robin.

However, it seems the Christmas Elephant has long been overlooked. According to Wikipedia, the source of all¬†accurate¬†knowledge known to man, animals in “…nativity scenes include elephants and camels.” Told you! The Christmas Elephant exists!

And for those vintage lovers among us, it gets even better. I have uncovered a 1960s classic piece which I feel must surely prove how important the Christmas Elephant was to people of that era (probs best to listen with headphones if you’re at work!):

And if I still haven’t made my point clear, here are some recent Christmas Elephants having a great time unwrapping their presents at Whipsnade Zoo.

Long live the Christmas Elephant!


Trick or Treat?

A little while back I made a mask for a friend for Halloween. Ian wanted something along these lines.

He gave me a hessian sack and a very large and heavy zip, and off I went to be creative!

I’ve got some ‘step-by-step’ photos, which are more for comedy value than to be of any use…

Firstly, I needed to work out where the eyes and mouth needed to go. As I was home alone, I decided that the only way to do this was to use my own head. So on the sack went.

I'm smiling, can you tell?

It was only at this point that I realised photographing myself with a sack on my head was a slightly silly idea, but I kept going anyway and after about 10 tries I managed to get me in the frame AND in focus!

The next step was to pin on the zip in the right place for a mouth. Trickier than I had anticipated (wait till it gets to the eyeballs…).

Looking good!

Finally, I needed to mark where to cut the eye holes. No easy task when I couldn’t really see anything from where I was sitting. Putting one finger where my eye was, I gingerly moved in with a pin in the other hand to mark the location.

Photographing this proved even more problematic, so I randonly aimed the camera at my general face area, and eventually caught a rare sighting of a pin in this shot (you can just see the tip on the right-hand side).

With everything now marked, I took the mask off and set about sewing. I cut a slit for the zip and used my machine to attach that from the inside (only broke one needle, bonus). I then cut the eye holes and sewed round them with black embroidery thread.

Here is the finished mask.

And Ian in his full costume – scary eyeball!!


Every Girl Deserves a Pretty Dress – UPDATE

Hello again!

Hopefully you will have read my first blog today about my pillowcase dress challenge. In that post I ask if you can supply not only the pillowcases, but also the bits and pieces needed to make the dresses (elastic etc).

Well I have great news Рthe lovely Susan at Sewbox has agreed to supply the things that I need! Sewbox is your one-stop online sewing supplies shop and in their words:

“The home of stylish sewing patterns, beautiful fabrics, and convenient all-in-one pattern packs”

What more could you want! I ordered the Colette Patterns Clover trouser pattern yesterday.

So, if you guys can still send in pillowcases, or indeed the dresses that you have made yourself, then I will get going asap!

Email me at spally55@hotmail.com if you need my address / would like to know more.