Can’t stop thinking about pyjamas

Since the end of my self-imposed embargo of new projects during February, March has been a bit of a whirlwind. Ideas that were backing up for the whole of February have been fighting amongst themselves for my attention. I just can’t stop thinking about making a set of matching pyjama trousers for Moon Munkie and myself. I would make some for Mr Munkie too, but I don’t think he’d approve. Yellow and white stripes would be perfect. Ideally I’d like to make the out of upcycled sheets or a duvet cover. Having trawled every charity shop between here and the Arctic Circle, I’m coming up empty handed. So keep your eyes peeled for funky yellow and white striped fabric and let me know.

So far I’ve completed a pretty little dress for Moon Munkie and a dark green Melton wool poncho for myelf. There we are in the picture together trying to pretend it was warm. Ignore my hair, it’s the post-swimming look. The daffodils are just beginning to peep through, although given today’s temperature I think they’ll be regretting it! We found that little flower head on the floor and Moon Munkie crowed with joy because we’d had a long talk regarding Not Picking Flowers before we went. The dress was an impulse make last Tuesday. It’s made from quilting fabric I already had, using a free pattern by Made by Rae. I made it in the toddler size, but she also has the pattern for babies-  even for preemies. In fact, it’s called the Itty Bitty Baby Dress and she designed it because she wanted something to fit a newborn in a way that shop bought clothes never quite do. The dress took just 3 hours from cutting right through to hand stitching the lining. Perfect impulse make if you have a spare evening and some pretty fabric to hand.

Moon Munkie loves it because it’s got that princess-ballerina feel as you spin. “Dancing dress, dancing dress!” she sings happily to herself as she twirls.


I’ve also cut all the pieces to make 10 tiny mice and this evening I finally got brave enough to cut into my favourite jersey fabric in order to make a top for myself. I should perhaps note that until this month, March 2012, I have never sewn (sewed?) myself a single item of clothing. The thought terrifies me. But the poncho (photo right, don’t laugh at my weird fingers, I was nervous) was a success, if you don’t mind that I look like a Hobbit. It needs something to break up all of that green. I can’t decided between something elegant and grown up – a ruffle in the same moss green for example. Or something shabby chic – faux patches in a floral fabric and a blanket stitch edging maybe. Do let me know what you think in the comments. That collar needs interfacing too, as it has a life of its own at the moment.


Upcycled Bureau

My granny had a bureau. It was a great solid piece of furniture with the requiste pull-down desk at the front. And inside, a world of cubby-holes, drawers and hiding places for childhood secrets. Through the years that bureau was a post-office; a babychange table; a shop; the place I did homework and revised for examinations; and for one glorious summer it was the headquarters of the imaginary cleaning business that my brother, cousin and I ran.  For that summer, we were Reckitt and Coleman. We had the headed paper to prove it. (A small insight into the Munkie pysche here: my imaginary childhood company sold cleaning products. Not magic wands, princess dresses or fairy cakes. Go figure.)

Needless to say, the allures of a bureau have long been calling me. And the wonderful people at Freecycle always come up with the goods. I collected a fabulous old bureau from a family who had had it for a while but no longer had the space. The gentleman of the house told a lovely story of falling asleep as a child whilst his father worked at the desk, and hearing the characteristic jangle of the hinges as the desk folded up. It had since been used as a toy box for his own kids and was not the bureau it once had been.Once my Moon Munkie was done using it as a climbing-frame-cum-hiding-place it was time to begin the work.

Never having done a project like this, I took it really slowly. It took the whole summer, first dismantling, then sanding, undercoating and 3 coats of Overtly Olive later, it looked like new. Inside I went for a girly combination of raspberry pink wood with green polka dot paper backing. (Thanks to the kind people of B&Q Bury St Edmunds who understood my plight and inisted I cut a sample of wallpaper long enough to finish the project rather than buy a whole roll.)

I’m still not entirely happy with it. I don’t like the uneven way the paint has worn. It’s beginning to look more shabby than chic. Additionally, I wish I’d chosen a softer, more relaxing shade of pink. But it’s a corner of my own to read bible, study, plan lessons, write letters and drink coffee. A rose scented soap from my (incredibley talented) friend Ruth sits in one of the cubby holes and wafts me to a summer place each time I open the desk. It’s a calming place to be and it’s reassuring to know that if the urge ever grabs me , I can return to my roots in the glamourous world of cleaning product sales.