Bettine dress by Tilly and the Buttons

Hello there

I bought the Bettine dress by Tilly and the Buttons some time ago but thought I would finally make it.

I usually make a practice garment (toile) before I cut into my chosen fabric. This gives me the chance to make size adjustments without spoiling good fabric.

My toile was okay, but a little tight in the bottom of the skirt.

Poppybead Creative blog - Bettine dress

So I read the details about the different types of fabric that could be used and decided to use a jersey fabric. It was purchased from an outside stall at the Birmingham Rag market.

Working with a jersey fabric compared to the viscose toile was an easier experience. Jersey fabric does move but not as much as viscose.

I did use French seams rather than a zig zag stitch or overlocker to finish the edges. One mistake I did make was using a straight stitch instead of a stretch stitch. So the underarms popped and I had to re-stitch them.

I also used the neckband from the Linden sweatshirt pattern.

I am so pleased with this dress and will definitely be making more of them.

If you want details of the Bettine pattern go to the Tilly and the Buttons website here.

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January photos over the years

I have delved into my photographic vaults and picked some photos taken in January over the years.

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I had some of my stitch markers featured in a magazine.
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I went to Dublin and was shown this amazing sculpture.
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Tea and cake at my local yarn shop, the plate is awesome.
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I made these earrings and they didn’t sell, so I have given them to a charity.
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I went walking along the canal with a group of lovely people.
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I made myself an epic breakfast for my birthday.
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The blossom had bloomed early and took this shot with a 105mm macro lens.
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I gave stop motion a try in 2018 and really enjoyed it.
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I still make cards every now and again.
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I still make stitch markers.
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I printed this shot of an orchid onto a card & they sold out.

I am hoping to go through the vaults again next month so watch this space.

Linden sweatshirt by Grainline Studios

Some time ago whilst scrolling through social media I came across the Linden sweatshirt by Grainline Studios.

I thought it was going to be difficult sewing with jersey and stretch fabrics so avoided it. Then last year after speaking with other sewers that had made it, I bit the bullet and purchased the pattern. I got it as part of a kit from Guthrie and Ghani at the knitting and Stitching show in London. They tend to only do the kits at shows so I thought why not?

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The fabric in the kit was too nice to cut straight into, so I used some jersey fabric I purchased from the Birmingham Rag market.

This was a baptism of fire in my sewing journey and being dyslexic. I didn’t read the pattern properly and only cut out one piece for the hemband. I couldn’t workout why the whole sweatshirt wouldn’t fit until I re-read the pattern. So I unpicked this toile quite a few times. Unpicking was horrible as I had been using a zigzag stitch, which is recommended when sewing with stretch fabric.

I finally made the sweatshirt look like a wearable garment, but I still wasn’t ready to cut the fabric from the kit.

Instead, I used more fabric purchased from the Birmingham Rag market.

I used my overlocker on my second Linden attempt. This gave the opportunity to tidy the inside of the garment. I struggled with the neckband on both attempts, so started researching what others had done. The majority had made the neckband longer, either sizing up by one or adding 1.5cm.

Another visit to Guthrie and Ghani brought some purchases of their cosy colours bolt ends. I thought there would be enough to make a two tone version but not quite. I got creative and asked some dear friends for help. This was all I needed to start sewing my ‘sunshine’ sweatshirt.

I am so pleased with this sweatshirt and have received lots of positive feedback online and in person.

Full of confidence I was ready to cut the fabric from the kit. Then disaster strikes! I broke my thumb shielding my face from a ball whilst officiating a basketball game. Gutted was an understatement, as I couldn’t sew for just over six weeks.

I have been lucky and my thumb healed really well. So I thought I’d just go for it and cut into the kit fabric.

I didn’t feel this fabric needed the insides overlocking or a zigzag stitch, so I didn’t bother. All of a sudden I now have 4 Linden sweatshirts.

I find this pattern doesn’t use up much fabric so I cut the body from the scraps of another project to start Linden sweatshirt number five.

This latest sweatshirt has been made from scraps in my fabric stash. I am really happy with how it has turned out.

If any novice or nervous sewers are thinking about making this pattern, just do it. It’s a great pattern to introduce you stretch and jersey fabric.

Happy Jar for 2018 – Part 2

On the 1st January I posted a blog entry about my happy jar.

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Here we are on the 31st December and I have emptied the jar. It wasn’t as full as previous years. I think mainly because of it’s location, am I going to beat myself up about it? No!

On the bright side I found some knitting needle tips I was looking for. I always enjoy looking back through the jar as you never remember everything that happens.

I have decided to add a twist to my jar for 2019 by adding some inspiring quotes.

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These have been found on Instagram and Pinterest. I thought it would be nice way to get inspiration without looking at my phone as often.

All the best to anyone reading this in 2019 or what is left of 2018. Do what you need to do for you, I read somewhere “you can’t fill from an empty cup. ”

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December Already – Where has the year gone?

Today is the 1st of December and all over social media people are opening their advent calendars, putting up their decorations and starting to eat mince pies.

Well I don’t have an advent calendar, I started eating mince pies in October and I am feeling ambivalent about Christmas decorations.

It’s about this time of the year I start looking at the goals I set for myself and how things didn’t go to plan.

This year is no different in some respects but there was so many things that exceeded my goals and expectations.

So I won’t be rushing to put up any decorations up or trying to get an advent calendar that doesn’t serve me. I hope people continue to get excited by this festive period.

I created a stop motion animation on my mobile phone for the beginning of December. I hope you enjoy it.

The brooch was from the lovely Jane Kent Studio.

Perspectives – Isn’t this beneath you?

I had fallen off the blogging wagon over the last few months but, something someone said to me has been eating at me.

As some of you might know when I am not working full-time, taking photos or making things I officiate basketball and wheelchair basketball games. I have worked hard to officiate to international level, through testing, my fears and self sabotage.

Fast forward to a cold November Saturday afternoon in the West Midlands where I was waiting for a junior tournament to begin. I see some familiar faces with the teams and say hello. Oh hello, isn’t this beneath you?

My heart sank and I responded something like, no these children deserve the best as do the BBL (The professional league in the UK).

I will get to the point of this blog post, how can you make an assumption on another person’s standards, limits or boundaries unless you know them well enough? This isn’t the first time someone has made an assumption on the levels of basketball I will officiate at and said the same thing. I am not looking to call anyone out for their comments but to get an understanding on what people assume and perceive is acceptable without being seen as over sensitive.

Generally, I am listening and may be seen as quiet. This doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions, get upset by people’s comments or speak up when necessary.

Basketball has generally been a positive catalyst in my life for 30 years. In my teens, it has given me structure, in my twenties it helped me settle in a new city and in my thirties given support. In my forties, I want to give back and help others have some of the opportunities I have had through basketball to develop.

So after a conversation with a colleague today, I think the comment made to me was a judgement and rightly or wrongly people will always make judgements on you and your actions.

I use the Calm meditation app and at the end there’s is always a quote and here is today’s.

Thank you for reading to the end.

Straight out of the phone

A few weeks ago I posted this photo on my Instagram feed and I didn’t edit it all. It was taken with my mobile phone. I currently use a Samsung S7 edge, please note this post is not sponsored or endorsed in any way.

My reason for writing this post was to share more of my mobile phone photography and to say you can capture some great views and moments with your phone.

This shot was taken at a IgersBirmingham instameet at the museum of the jewellery quarter.

This was taken in inner city Birmingham, sprouting up from an apartment block.

I was waiting for the bus and was captivated the drama in the sky. I did have my camera in my bag but just reached for my phone.

A week after taking the first photo I took the same shot again and the sky wasn’t playing ball, but still a good shot.

I love how detail of the wood makes a great background to a fallen flower.

This shot was taken along the canals in Birmingham. Also the next two photos.

I tend to use a 2 second timer on most of my shots and try to stand really still. I do usually post edit but none of the photos in this post have been edited, hence being straight out of the phone.

El Borracho de Oro – Edgbaston

Last weekend my lovely friend Imogen suggested a catch up over lunch. We went to El Borracho de Oro in Edgbaston.

I used to work nearby and kept meaning to go there. I had my usual gluten free panic about what options they would have, but I know Immy has my back on these things.

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We were asked if we wanted bread or olives and was told there GF bread. I have got used to the bread being sliced, bland and containing airholes. This bread was far from that. It was served warm and was fluffy inside.

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They had a separate menu which told you which dishes contained allergens. So we chose 6 dishes without gluten. Above was our prawn dish.

I think Spanish omelette should always be included in tapas choices, as I really like it. This Spanish omelette included leeks & smoked cheese.

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Slow Cooked Rabbit in a Garlic & Tomato sauce, the meat was soft and tender.

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Crispy Fried Potatoes dressed with Alioli & Brava sauces, yet another coat of arms dish for tapas these potatoes were good.

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This fresh chorizo sausage cooked in Spanish red wine was okay, I think I expecting the chorizo to be chopped rather than smaller individual sausages.

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Butterbeans with garlic, onion & red Pepper was the last dish we chose. I wish I had saved my bread to mop up the juices.

I would definitely go again and I choose from the other suitable dishes on the menu or save space for dessert.

Who am I?….

I have been thinking about writing this post for some time.

Who am I?

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Photo credit: Nick George

Well I have an About page on my blog, is that enough? Maybe not!

Here we go, I am a dyslexic London born creative who creates in the West Midlands.

I am in my early forties and before you say it, no I don’t look my age. But should age ever matter?

Currently I take loads of photos with my phone and cameras. I knit, make beaded jewellery and get excited by creating content. I also like to share tips on taking better photos, ways to connect with other like minded people.

I started this blog to help with my writing and let people know about the things I make and sometimes sell, other creatives living their best lives and gluten free food options.

Regarding food I set up a separate Instagram feed and have neglected writing about my food finds. I am hope to get back on track with that soon.

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Photo credit: Nick George

Instagram is my social media platform of choice and can get lost in watching Insta stories for ages. Like all platforms there’s good and bad so try and be aware of that all of the time. My feed isn’t perfectly manicured, it shows what I want to share. I do share things I am selling and events I go to so watch out.

So who am I? Again am I a maker, an artisan, a blogger, a lifestyle blogger, a photographer, a creative or just me who doesn’t fit into one thing?

Yesterday I was having a conversation with a friend and was getting excited about sharing opportunities for others. They said when you talk about these things you sound like you have a fire in your belly.

This has resonated with me. As long as I have a fire in my belly and don’t hurt anyone or break the law, staying true to my creativity that’s who I am.

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Photo credit: Nick George

MonologueSlam UK – Helping People Happen

A few weeks ago my friend mentioned her son was doing a monologue and if I wanted to come along. I have been watching Nathan perform for many years and thought why not?

I had heard of monologues and slams, but not a monologueslam. So out of my comfort zone I went and ended up at the Birmingham Rep theatre.

From the outset, the talent was amazing. The first round was the youth round and these young people could deliver. They delivered emotion, humour and performances that you would expect from older performers.

The one minute round says what it is on the tin. A number of the performers also wrote their own monologues, which I was in awe of.

Then there was the improv round with Jumprov. Improvised comedy, they were funny.

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Jumprov

Just before the interval they pulled a name from a jug. This person got the chance to perform after the interval.

Now the round I came for, the three minute round. Nathan was first to perform and I was really impressed, but I don’t think I can pass an Italian restaurant without a chuckle now.

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Nathan Queeley-Dennis

All of the performers of the performers were execeptional and the overall winner was fantastic. I even cried real tears from laughing so much. This included a great set from Smash Enterainz.

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Tijan Bobb – overall winner

When I got home, I was absolutely buzzing from the energy, talent and positivity I had witnessed on stage. I am looking forward to another event and planning to go to the finals in London.

Triforce Events keep providing these opportunities.