Thursday, 1 December 2011

Christmas Stockings, Ornaments, and Mince Pies, oh my!

Okay, I've been quite the naughty girl with nary a post for six weeks, but my 3 1/2 year old and 20 month old have been running coordinated circles around me! 

Sadly, I have not been able to complete my Ceylon dress for this weekend's anniversary getaway.  I so envisioned myself enveloped by the wonderful Colette Patterns' creation, but the time simply wasn't there.  It is still a project I shall carry on with, but, this time, perhaps without a set deadline, given the children and my grad work.  Not to fret, though, I shall still post updates and pics as I progress.

So, what have I been doing other than not working on Ceylon?  As I try to corral the children in our front sitting room on most days--baby gates STILL not up despite hubby's promise--I've taken to needlework when not occupied with papers.  Yesterday, following a template from Sew Magazine (, I made a Christmas tree ornament with a beaded holly sprig, which I'm very proud of, on the front and 'Noel' embroidered on the back.  My daughter was just tickled with watching me make it, and was so excited when it was stuffed and sewn up.  Also, finding a gorgeous antique-looking fabric from, I made her a Christmas stocking with green lining, and her name embroidered and beaded at the top.  It's nearly finished now, and she just cannot wait to see it hanging up.  Stockings are planned for my son, and my husband and myself--just waiting for the fabric to arrive.

Lastly, after many unfulfilled promises, I made mincemeat pie filling for my husband, a recipe that can be done ahead of time.  My very English spouse adores mince pies, and, if unchecked, could OD on them every holiday season.  I'm not a personal fan of this dessert, and, not realising the vegetable suet contained wheat flour, my daughter won't be partaking of it either.  So, I can only hope hubby enjoys the pie--he'll be having it all himself unless our wee boy takes a fancy to it as well.  Here's a link for anyone interested in the recipe; it was very easy to put together, though I've no idea how it tastes!  : )

Take care all!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Battle Goes On...

My progress has been slowed a bit by a virus and overt exhaustion.  All pattern pieces have been cut out of a second hand sheet and all bits of gathering have been completed.  I stitched the first couple of pieces together with no problems (though the thread kept bunching underneath for some reason). Now, though, I come to grading the seams, a problem I had the previous time.  Somehow, when grading this portion (which would accomodate part of the bust), I've given myself a silhouette akin to bullet bras.  It's all part of the learnign process, so I shall, in my acclimated-Britishness, keep calm (mostly!) and carry on.

On a lighter note, I've recently found the site for Denver Fabrics, an online store mentioned and recommended on a number of blogs and webpages.  The prices are great and the fabrics look amazing.  So many ideas!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Ceylon, Revisited...

Two posts in one day, astonishing!  I shall attempt to keep a log of my second attempt at the gorgeous Ceylon dress pattern from Colette's.  Not only to I simply wish to conquer it because of its vintage appeal (swoon!), but because I'd love to don it during my anniversary getaway with my husband.  We're planning a weekend trip to York, England to celebrate four years of wedded bliss.

My first step back into my Ceylon War started nearly three hours ago when I dragged out the pattern pieces.  As I mentioned in my previous post, being very new to sewing clothes, I cut my pattern pieces out and, as I learned when tracing them onto tracing paper this evening, found I initially cut out the WRONG SIZE.  In some cases, I cut two different sizes on the same piece [mentally clunks self on forehead].

But that is behind me now.  All of the pattern pieces have now been properly traced onto fresh pattern paper and cut out, with all of the appropriate notches and markings.  Tomorrow (if the kids go down for a nap [crossing fingers & toes]) I shall begin my second step: cutting pattern pieces from a used (but clean!) sheet from my local thrift shop for my muslin.  This time it's personal... : )

Ceylon, a Journey Yet to Be Completed...

Months ago, I spotted the lovely Casey, from Casey's Elegant Musings, sporting her version of the Ceylon dress by Colette Patterns:
Though I am but a beginner, I knew I simply HAD to make this dress, or drive myself crazy in the process.  Unfortunately, I did drive myself crazy in the process, very much so in fact.  Why?  Oh, so many reasons, but the biggest: not properly putting an effort into the muslin (this was a big NO-NO!!!!).  I don't think I can overstate missing this step enough.  Despite the pattern being explicitly labelled 'Intermediate', and well knowing myself as a beginner, I went ahead with it anyway, cutting my pattern out (which I will now have to try to salvage with tracing paper) and, in the process, wasting the beautiful cherry red linen I purchased for the garment.

      As it stands now, my failed first attempt at Ceylon now sits practically hidden in my sewing room, waiting for resurrection.  Since then I have made concerted efforts to improve my sewing skills, making three skirts (one patternless!), and even taught myself to embroider!  Now, with more experiences at my machine, and physical results of my efforts (one of which I wore on a girls' day out with my daughter and mother-in-law), I feel better prepared to retackle Ceylon.  Conquer it I shall...hopefully.  ; )

Friday, 7 October 2011

New Creations

I've been quite bad at updating my posts, but duty (my 3 year old & 18 month old) calls.  I'm on a sewing kick lately.  It's a hobby I love, but also find necessary as today's style isn't quite my thing.  Below are my newest ( mostly) finished pieces.

Based on the Ginger Colette Pattern 

My first patternless skirt!  This one is a nod to the Circle Skirt Sewalong with Casey of Elegant Musings.

I so love putting these two skirts together, and it's spurred me to do more of my own dressmaking.  Must go...fabric awaits...

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Mummy & Me

Just got back from a fabulous date--with my 3 year old daughter!  She's absolutely nuts over Cars (or, Roary, a similiar British cartoon, as she calls it).  She was so well behaved, and had a blast.  Having never been to a cinema before, it was a sensory-overload for a spell, but seeing the smile on her face as she saw her favorite characters made it so wonderful.  As if that were not enough, lunch then consisted of McDonalds.  My little Daisy's Celiac's Disease, a gluten intolerance, and a low weight allows her a McD's treat every month, so she was elated.  Daisy not quite ever child; she couldn't care less about what toy lurks within her Happy Meal, as long as her chips as in there!

While we certainly cannot expect such good behavior each time we visit the cinema, it definitely made the date even better---and Mummy didn't have to tear any hair out.  Of course, there was the optional extra charge for seats in the back, but that's another story...

Saturday, 16 July 2011

My 1st finished garment!

Ok, am very happy about this: I finished my first garment!  Thursday, with the kids at daycare, and me in need of a change of scene, I headed to Edinburgh (about an hour south of us) for a day out.  I knew that John Lewis (a huge department store) held a large sewing section, so I headed there for a look about.  Whilst there, I found some gorgeous vintage-ish looking pink cotton fabric, and though I just had to have it, have to make something from it.  Grabbing a Simplicity pattern 2609 and a matching zipper, I was all set to make a skirt.

Now, as I've mentioned before, I'm a beginning beginner, so the pattern I chose was labelled, "It's so easy!"  Well, it wasn't, not really.  For someone approaching the project with little or no experience, the pattern wasn't very explanatory.  BUT, with what I've learned so far from the dress disaster, and reading from sewing sites and blogs, I did it!  There are some little mistakes, but nothing that would really show.  I'm still new to making seams straight, but these are things, I'll admit, that won't be very visible.  I'm very proud of my skirt and am excited to wear it outside. Pics to follow!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Dress Agony

A few months ago, brousing through one of my favorite blogs, Casey's Elegant Musings (if you haven't seen, please look it up), I saw Casey modeling an absolutely gorgeous, 40's style dress; in an email, I learned it was from Colette Pattern, the Ceylond dress.  Well, I just had to make it.  Or, at least try, right? 

I ordered my pattern from Colette's (who have an amazing stock of other vintage-inspired patterns), and, rather impatiently, awaited its arrival.  Now, once it did come, I saw, very clearly, it was labelled, "intermediate."  I am, to be frank, a beginning beginner; the only thing I'd made previous were a couple of pillows and Christmas stockings.  But, I figured, why not?  Learning is doing after all.  I went to a local fabric store, bought a gorgeous length of red linen/cotton blend and interfacing.  I even made a partial muslin out of sheets from a second-hand store; it seemed to go well (though, now I can see, it should have been done fully to check sizing).  So I went at that beautiful red cloth with my scissors.

Now I have a red monstrosity that gives off a "boxy" feel, instead of being sleek.  The bust comes nowhere near my own, and the waist, well...the whole thing just doesn't look right. 

Final verdict?  It's hard to say.  I still very much want to do this dress, but the necessary skills just aren't in my possession right now.  Not certain if what I put together can be resurrected, but, one day, I shall try again--this time with a proper muslin.  : )

Friday, 8 July 2011

A Room of Many Colors--someone had so much fun.

As mentioned before, we've recently moved to our first house, and I get to use one of the unused bedrooms for my sewing.  The one choose is desperately in need of redecoration.  The previous tenant was either seven or colorblind.  Two walls are red, one is hot pink, and another is blue.  But it doesn't end there...the ceiling and skirting boards are canary yellow and the door is baby pink.  It's a room that truly brings tears to one's eyes. 

That will all change.  Once I've the ok from the landlords, I have plans to make my sewing room a true haven (especially after a day when my children have driven me to pull my hair out!)  Some of my thoughts have been for a wall border about halfway down, with light purples and greens, with the top half of the wall cream and the bottom a violet.  I also absolutely love a gentle yellow, but I'm not sure.  Any thoughts?  I so cannot wait to turn this into a proper sewing room.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Homesickness Bout

It's the 4th of July, one of my favourite holidays, but one that brings a fresh bout of homesickness.  Though with me in one form or another, right it's like an open sore that cannot be ignoredIf I were back home now, I'd be eagerly awaiting the annual Pops Goes the Fourth by the BYO (or, for those unfamiliar with Boston's patriotic extravaganza, Boston's Symphony Orchestra) alongside the Charles River, making my way to at least one cookout.  I'd deck my children in red, white and blue and hand them little flags to wave about.  As it stands, I am a resident in another country--ironically, the very same one from which my home country celebrates it's independence.  I can only hope for recaps of the concert, praying desperately that someone posts the '1812 Overture'.  And those children I wish to dress up in the spirit of the holiday?  They are British citizens, subject to Her Majesty the Queen--though, when we do relocate back to the States, we can apply for their citizenship due my American birth. 

On the other side of the coin, I genuinely do feel at home in the British Isles.  I like the small portions at UK restaurants, and the extra efforts at manners--I must hasten to add this isn't always the case in Dundee, Scotland's answer to Lynn, MA.  Despite all the things I love about Britain, it simply does not erase or ease the ever present longing for the States, but especially for Boston.  Though certainly not a cure-all by any means, for today we'll be endeaouring to assuage our homesickness with Buffalo chicken wraps and a wee look at an mlb online.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Such a joy [insert eye roll here]

So, we're (mostly) moved in and settled in our new house (our first), and, today, we get a visit from carpet fitters.  Okay, no problem there--until they leave the front door open--unbeknownst to me--for a while.  Now I cannot find one of our cats, though diva kitty is safe and sound upstairs.  The fitters keep giving me these sheepish looks, asking frequently if I've found the lost one.  Just when the stress of the move was starting to wear off...

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


I am completely new to blogging, so, if anything reads oddly, keep my newness in mind.  Who am I?  As my title suggests, I am a transplanted Boston girl.  I originally hail from the northshore of Boston, but have also lived for a time in Texas, a time I truly treasure.  Whilst there, though only for a handful of years, I met some amazing people (a number of whom, thankfully, I'm still in contact with), and have some wonderful memories of my Texan years.  Now, though, my home is more than 3,000 miles from my original stomping grounds of America's birthplace: Scotland.  How did I get here?  Well, though a fabulous story (and one I love to share), it's very long--truly book length. 

What brings me here, to blogging, has been my new found hobbies of sewing and gardening, and the continuation of cooking and my children.  I hope to interest those readers that find their way to this Transplanted Boston Girl's page, and that ideas, tips, and stories may be shared.  There is also the hope to share with others, like myself, who feel themselves a part of more than one 'hometown', never quite identifying themselves as this or that.