About Me

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Currently, I'm a stay-at-home mum to an inquisitive and often rambunctious three year old girl and her sunny little brother. In a former life, I was a lawyer. I know which I prefer. On the odd occasion that I get some downtime, I knit, crochet, read, sew, sing badly, dance even more so, enjoy a glass of wine and watch bad TV, sometimes in varying combinations of the foregoing and not necessarily in that order of preference.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Cappuccino dress

The week after we came back from holiday, I finished the cuffs and hem on my very lovely Cappuccino dress.  I'm delighted with the finished result (and the fact that it appears to wash well, since it has now survived two trips through it and is about to undergo a third).

I've worn it three times already and am planning additional versions, since it is comfortable yet, I think, looks rather stylish.

I think the only thing I'd change next time is that I might cut the hips marginally more generously.  It feels fine when I'm walking but pulls a little when I have both hands in my pockets.  Some may say that is a sign I should show better manners.  They may have a point, but an extra inch round the hips would probably stop me thinking about that.

Certainly, I feel good when I'm wearing it.  Just check that smile!

The details:
Pattern:  Cappuccino Dress & Tunic by Liesl & Co
Fabric: Cotton Poplin: Blue Green Autumnal Print and Moda Bella Solid: 17 Country Red, bought online at Backstitch - massive thanks to Lily for the excellent job colour-matching the solid for the neckline and cuffs.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015


I'm not going to write a long post about how inspiring Blogtacular was, all the great people I met, how even though I felt like a fraud for being there, no-one made me feel like one, or even my thoughts and plans about this blog.  All you really need to know about my Blogtacular is that I met up with a very lovely lady who I haven't seen for a very long time and we still liked each other, which made me very, very happy.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Me-Made-May '15 - the final round-up

Hmm... only two weeks late finishing this off...  Ahem.

So, I left of last time on Day 11 and I was pretty chuffed.  I'd managed to wear something that I had made every day up to that point and completed one sewing project and made decent inroads on a second.

Day 12 saw me finally accept that I needed to do some ironing and as a result I wore my Suri dress.  I threw my Cassis cardi over the top for the school run and felt pretty amazing.  I love this dress.

Day 13 involved a cardigan, although I don't recall which one.

Day 14 was an outing for this little outfit that I originally made for my daughter's christening, almost 4 years ago.  Cardigan and skirt were both handmade; top is LK Bennett.

Day 15 involved a little bit of phoning it in as I was trying to get packed for our holiday, so for most of the day, the only homemade thing on display was a headband.  I added my green jumper when the weather turned cooler.

So, I maintained momentum right up until Day 16, when we flew to Florida.  I took my Spire Smock cardigan with me on the flight, since I always seem to really feel the cold on planes.  I was glad I did - it made a convenient pillow for the children.

Things rather fell apart on the self-made clothing front at this point.  I had realised the problem when I was packing.  The problem is I haven't made many clothes and most of the ones I have made are knitted.  As a result, most of them are wool, and not really suitable for 90o heat.  The dress that I made, although it is a very light cotton, has sleeves (and I discovered on the school run is a little prone to the "why yes I have been running and agree the cardigan was overkill" armpit) so I didn't even bother to pack it as I was fairly sure it would go unworn.  I didn't bother rushing to finish my Cappuccino dress for the same reasons.  Both are absolutely perfect for what passes for summer in the UK, but don't quite cut it in the Florida sunshine.

For a brief while, I harboured delusions of running up a t-shirt or two to take away, or maybe even a sleeveless version of one of my existing dresses.  For once, I sensibly dismissed this as nonsense BEFORE I spent hours cutting out fabric, made my peace with the fact that really only my lovely Boden-inspired skirt was going to get worn and so only packed that.  I wore it 3 times while I was away, including on my birthday and on a very happy trip to the Magic Kingdom.

And so, just like that, Me-Made-May '15 was over.

I didn't quite achieve my goal - by my reckoning I managed 19 days of wearing things I had made and my goal was 5 days per week, so I was short by a day or two (depending on whether you feel the need to pro-rata the part week at the end of the month - spot the anal lawyer...), but I'm really happy with my efforts.  The main thing I took from it was a really clear idea of the kinds of clothes I wear, how happy making things I made myself makes me feel, and what I need to make more of.  So, t-shirts, sleeveless dresses and skirts have all jumped up the sewing list and I'm definitely hoping to have more homemade clothes to take on my next holiday.

I've also enjoyed reading about others' exploits and seeing the lengths some people go to in order to wear handmade clothes.  Don't get me wrong, I'm impressed by people who make their own underwear.  It just doesn't really interest me.  I don't think I'll be running up my own pants any time soon.  Pyjamas on the other hand.... watch this space.

Monday, 11 May 2015

{this moment}

Joining in with {this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

To see more, check out the comments to Soulemama

Me-Made-May '15 - progress so far

The main lesson I've learnt this week is that I need to take photos as soon as I get dressed.  You'd think, since I have two small children, I wouldn't have needed to figure this out, but apparently, I'm either naively optimistic or really not that bright.

As predicted, I've mostly been wearing knitwear, but this has the advantage of making the dressing pretty easy - the uniform of jeans and top stays much the same.  It has been a useful reminder that I generally really like the stuff I knit and just don't wear it as often as I should.  So, without too much effort, I've managed to wear something I made every day of the month so far, and I've enjoyed pulling out stuff that hasn't been worn for a while.  I like that it makes me think a bit more.

So, what have I worn so far?

1st - my wonderful yellow Antrim pullover, with navy jeans and a white 3/4 sleeved top.  There's no pic of this on the day because, after a picnic in our local bluebell wood, it was pretty filthy.

2nd - my wine red Spire Smock cardigan, with more jeans and another white 3/4 sleeved top.  Sorry, not very imaginative - I have a style, it seems, so I guess 3/4 sleeved tops should be pushed up the sewing list for next year!!!  No "on the day" pic of this either because, inexplicably, I didn't learn my lesson from Friday and, even more inexplicably, I decided the back of Mr Man's chair was a good place to hang my cardi while we were eating dinner.  One enthusiastically consumed yoghurt later, and the cardi was heading for the wash...
The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot the change in my hair and the much more "put-together" outfit.  This was taken the day was went to by Birdie's first shoes, way back in 2011, back in the days when I made an effort.  All 3 items of knitwear are me-made.  Does that get me a bonus?

3rd - Finally some sewing!  I wore my Butterfly Coco top with a pair of jeans.  There's even photographic evidence this time!  Yes, that would be me, on a carousel, with my daughter and her godmother.  Kew Green Victorian Fair was a lot of fun.

4th - my navy Cassis cardigan with a stripey 3/4 sleeved top and, yes, more jeans.  I even took a pic!

5th  - a green Rose sweater, with.... yes, you guessed it, a white 3/4 sleeved top and jeans but, in the pic I'm sat in my office/sewing room because I'm working on one of the WIPs I mentioned in my last MMM post.


6th - not only am I wearing something I sewed, you can also see my legs!  And I took a picture.  Yes, this is me wearing the new skirt I finished on 5th.  More to follow re the skirt.  I also made the cardigan - it is Capri by Sarah Hatton, from Rowan 43, in the much-loved and sadly missed Calmer yarn.  Love this cardigan.  Ravelry informs me I made this in 2008 - can't believe it is 7 yrs old, but know it is true.  It has washed beautifully and been worn so much.  Probably my most worn knit.

7th - two Colletts got in on the action on Thursday, because I wore my wool/silk Siivet pullover with a brown vest and jeans, and Birdie wore a very lovely little dress I made her from half a metre of Alexander Henry "La Paloma" fabric that I bought at a Stitchcraft expo at the Excel Centre in March, teamed with some purple cotton and cream bias binding.  I think I posted this one in my last round-up, although I have had to modify (read "remove") the sleeves since then as they were a bit tight.

8th - back to the Cassis cardigan, with jeans and a navy 3/4 sleeved top this time.  No pic, because... who knows, I must have got distracted.

9th - more cardigan action this time as I wore a denim skirt, brown boots, and a white and navy striped t-shirt plus my creamy white Twist & Shout cardigan, which I forgot to photograph.

10th - back to the green Rose sweater but with a similarly green top underneath this time.  Mr Man spilt his breakfast down this before I even had time to think of a photo.

11th - the Coco top is out of the wash so has been worn again.

I will concede I'm not wearing the widest variety of things, since three items have already been worn twice, but I'm still wearing stuff I made and I have realised I do tend to wear the same things regularly, whether I made them or not, so at least I'm making sure some me-made stuff is getting some airtime.

In other news, having already hit my goal of completing one of my sewing WIPs, I've made some decent headway on the other in the last couple of days too.  My Cappucino dress is definitely taking shape.

Friday, 1 May 2015

{this moment}

It's been a while.

Joining in with {this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

To see more, check out the comments to Soulemama

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Me-Made May

My recent class with Zoe Edwards has led to me discovering her blog, her amazing talent for refashioning and upcycling and the rather wonderful Me-Made-May challenge.  I have a feeling my friend Julia did this last year, after she had been bitten by the sewing bug.  The idea is, basically, to wear as much handmade stuff as you can during the month of May.  You can shape the challenge in any way you wish and Zoe offers loads of great advice on how to do this, and on what the challenge is (and more importantly, isn't about) here.

It got me thinking.

I don't have many me-sewn garments - running total currently is 1 skirt, 1 dress, 1 top and a rather hastily made and poorly constructed headband.  BUT, I do have quite a lot of knitwear accumulated over the last ten years of knitting regularly and I don't really wear any of it as much as I should (or would like to).

I need to be realistic about my challenge - I don't have tons of time on my hands and we're going away for the second half of the month, so sewing lots of new garments just isn't going to happen.  We're also going somewhere pretty sunny so most of my knitwear is not going to be making the trip with me.  So, with that in mind, I am making the following (admittedly conservative) pledge:

"I, Lyn of Domestic Witterings, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15.  I endeavour to wear me-made garments at least 3 days per week for the duration of May 2015.  I will also endeavour to complete one of the two WIPs I currently have sat on my sewing table."

The things sat on my sewing table, in case you are interested are my Cappuccino dress (see my last post) and a skirt that I've been playing around with since last summer - it is based on the Delphine pattern from Love at First Stitch (you can see it on there on the cover), but taking inspiration from a very lovely Boden skirt I saw a lady wearing while out and about in Ealing.