Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Yes yes yes. I know. I said some Makie love was needed...

...but then these wellies arrived in the post and... eeerm...

Splashy wellies and bright red brolly, yaay!
Doesn't she look fab though?

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Sewing for Humans: Borogravian Army Costume

Aha! I knew the photographs would surface sooner or later.

Here's a little peek at my Borogravian costume for Miss Discworld.

Yes, I'm the one on the right... 
Stitches are, of course, optional.

So this number is put together from a combination of reproduction and modern patterns. The underpinnings are my Laughing Moon Victorian corset, chemise and bloomers, with a thrown-together petticoat of no particular pattern, with some 6mm plastic boning tucked into horsehair braid to hoop out the hem a little. 

See? Given the general theme, I'm relatively over-dressed... 
The skirt is (believe it or not) a Colette Ginger, lengthened to the floor. It could've done with being a little wider to go over all the underwear, but I think it worked well. This was actually skirt version 2; the first was a black velvet elastic waist number, but it really didn't work with the top when I put it on in the pub 15 minutes before going on stage. Thank goodness for contingency costumes! 

Particularly pleased with the bodice; this is my second time making this costume top and it's come out very well in both versions. The pattern is Truly Victorian's 1875 Ballgown Basque and is so ridiculously simple to make it's untrue. Because this is only for one-off stage wear, I left of the sleeves and omitted the lining, overlocking the edges. The front and lower edges are covered with black bias tape, and the top edge and sleeves with gold ribbon and sequins. I used more gold ribbon to make the front false frogs. It's held together (just) with hooks and eyes. 

Yes, the skirt has gone missing. It came back later.
Yes, I was beaten by a barbarian. 
The costume must've had some merits, because I was awarded 4th place and got a crown of flowers (which are sat on top of my hat in the above photo) and a certificate! Don't think it'll be going in my CV, mind you...

(Oooh, and here's what the hat looked like in 2010...

Costume recycling! A boon for the Igorina with a busy REALJOB.)

Monday, 26 November 2012

Updates updates updates...

Oh my! I'm so sorry, I left you all hanging on the bleep over the weekend.

And what a weekend it was! We had all sorts of hijinx, from celebrating the 10th anniversary of the twinning of Ankh-Morpork and Wincanton to meeting the superb "poetrix" Muriel Lavender, who Terry Pratchett was certainly very fond of...

Muriel and Terry
Terry complimented her bloomers. She complimented his everything. Love at first sight?
If you live anywhere near Frome, you must go and check her out. Get her to read you the shipping forecast, or share some thoughts on teenagers.

My costumes went down very well. I didn't managed to get any photos of myself, but I'm sure some will slowly surface over the next few days. I'm not a terribly photogenic person (less photogenic than the average wall, in fact), but perhaps a few will be worthy of showing off.

In other news, a certain Toadstool is possessed of  a seasonally appropriate anorak (just in time given the horrible weather of the last few days. She looks fab in it, and I'm glad she and her human seem to be enjoying it!

So that the Hogswatch detritus is cleared from the desk and the hangover fades, I find myself wondering what the next little project is going to be. Number 3 Blythe is waiting for a few supplies, but a very interesting package arrived from MakieLab last week, and for some reason it's all gone a bit "long time ago" and "far far away" around here. Watch this space!

Friday, 23 November 2012

48 hours...

4 shifts of 12 hours each attached to this noisy bleepy thing. Eurgh. All over for another month at 9am, huzzah.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Update on Number 3

Number 3 Blythe, who you may remember from kitchen escapades a week or so ago, has been in the process of getting a makeover.

Pleased to announce that we're nearly there!
Number 3
The purple and copper chips are my favourites.
She still needs a date with a wet flannel and a hot iron to sort out her fringe.
Number 3
What you can't see is the butterfly clip holding the fringe in place :) 
But I'm reasonably pleased with the results.

Eyeshadow did not work out, so we're not having any at the moment, just starry lids.
Number 3
Stars! Yaaay!
The eye mech sticks *sigh* I think the grey chips stand too proud of the eye surface... and I did have to do a bit of a botch job on the arc. Unfortunately this was made of very cheap brittle plastic and went 'ping' when I disassembled her. They turn by hand just fine.
Number 3
Pull one to open the eyes... pull the other to... erm... well. Not do anything much in the way of changing... right now. Hrum. 
Still not sure on the gold chips. Hrum.
Number 3
They're not bad. Just a bit STARING. Dunno. Might grow on me? 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sewing for Humans: Underpinnings

So, Hogswatch.

Essentially, twice a year, a load of fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books meet up in an unsuspecting little town in Somerset, book out all the hotels and have a jolly good time. A large proportion of us dress up 'specially for the occasion, and I'm quite fond of taking myself along and pretending to be an Igorina. Drinks are drank, money is raised for charity and occasionally, the man himself swoops in for a short visit.
Tools of the trade... note the boltcutters!
None of this is making any sense, right? Don't worry. After a few beers, none of us make sense.
Busy busy

The look tends to be sort of pseudo-Victorian with a bit of steam and a lot of odd. I decided this year I'd go for a underbust corset, blouse and long swoopy skirt for 'general' wear. The underbust is adjusted from my classic Victorian overbust corset pattern, appropriately sized for one of minimal height.
Busy busy

Of course, you need appropriate underpinnings...
Busy busy

And given we're meeting up at the end of November, layers are the order of the day!
Busy busy

Friday, 16 November 2012

Surgery, Jim. But not as we know it.

No, this has nothing to do with the Makies, who are officially impartial observers in this process.

Number 3, as she's being called around here, was always purchased with the intention of using her as a customisation guinea pig.

Last night, after a frustrating day of failed corsetry (more about *that* over the weekend), I decided it was time to get going on her.

Number 3 has lost her head
Number 3 has lost her head...
Taking apart was surprisingly simple, although I don't think I could've done it without the fantastic tutorials on Puchi Collective and this collection of surperb tutorial videos by an Aussie Blythe enthusiast.
Number 3 has lost her head
Removing the eye mech is the bloody scary bit!
Sand-matting is so therapeutic, I can see much more of this in my future.

There was a moment where I regretted using a factory Blythe for my first; a bit of low-quality eye mech plastic decided to break on me. Looking at the part, I think it's designed to be stationary, so I should be alright to superglue/epoxy/thread wrap it into place, but it was still an AAAARGH moment.
Number 3 has lost her head
Boggled, sand-matted, lips carved... nostrils need more work and we're going to do a little gaze lift, I think.
The eyelashes are staying as they are, they're swoopy and lovely. 
After the carving is done, we're on to the face-up... but first there's a little matter of Hogswatch to attend to... :)

And for the benefit of those of you who know me in person: I DIDN'T CUT MYSELF AT ALL, despite using craft knives and blades and other spiky sharp things. Woooyeah, GO hand-eye co-ordination. 

Thursday, 15 November 2012


Ladies and Jellyspoons...

Using the highly impartial "write everyone's name on a bit of post-it and bung it in the bear hat" method, we have our anorak winner.
Picking a winner...
Hand-picked by the boyfriend with man-floo, poor thing.
Congratulations go to...


And the recipients of a mo-onna-stick are...

Benooooon, Jojojojo and Mamta! Woo!

Congratumalations to all the funktastic winnars. I think I have an address for Benoon, I've certainly got one for Jo and Mamta and KyoMiyavi, if you send your preferred postage addresses to, I'll get them in the post to you ASAP.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Tiny crafting supplies make me happy. 

In fact, they nearly make me as happy as finding fantastic online craft suppliers

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Blythe's Revenge

So on Saturday, this happened.

Happily on Sunday, the tables were turned and Melchie and Plink learned that the Blythes, for all their fashion model good looks, don't like to be trifled with.
Blythe Revenge
Yup. Tied up, tickle torture.
Blythe Revenge
They rather brought it on themselves, you know.
Blythe Revenge
Lesson learned.
Blythe Revenge
"Sorry." "Yeah. Sorry."

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Oh Em Gee Freebies!


We hit 10,000 views and we've hit 100 posts and I promised you a give-away, so here it is!
You Anorak
We'd have gone outside, but it was dark by the time I finished it... 
Yup, you get Melchett!
You Anorak
Artificial lighting provides a lovely artificial 'sunset' effect, no?
No. You don't get Melchett, but you do get the wonderful anorak that she's wearing.
You Anorak
Hood goes up, hood comes down.
This hooded number was made by my own fair hands and the modern marvel of sewing machine technoology. The outer shell is a glorious retro print waterproof fabric and it's got a snuggly quilting cotton lining. It's based on the MakieLab hoodie pattern.
You Anorak
Snuggly lining!
Because it's not made out of stretch fabric, the fit can be a little snug. Would not recommend wearing your thickest jumper under it, but it works fine with shirts and dresses.
You Anorak
Melchett's lovely back end.
It fits Blythe in a 'sort-of' fashion; obviously the hood doesn't fit. Elin rather likes it though.
Cultured Blythes go skiing. 
As I'm super over-excited, there will be 3 additional items up for grabs...
Oh yes, the mo-onna-sticks are looking to travel! Obviously one has to go to the anorak winner, but you could be the proud recipient of one of the other three.

To be in the running to win the anorak or your very own mo-onna-stick, all you've got to do is comment on this post before 23:59 GMT on Wednesday the 14th of November. Please try to leave a valid email address (or if you don't want to do that, leave at least some sort of name/nickname for me to pick out of the hat... no good if we're all Mr Anonymous!). Winners will be drawn out of a hat (possibly a bear hat) on Thursday by either my lovely boyfriend or one of my cats, whichever is closer. I'll happily post anywhere in the world.

Please bear in mind that I do this for fun and I'm not a professional seamstress. The item is probably one of the best things I've ever made, but it does have its flaws! Don't look too closely at the stitching and don't be surprised if the snaps fall off...

Time Out

I am not given to sentimentalism or mawkishness, but I'll tip my hat to those that went before.


I've always worn a poppy. It's astonishing how few I've seen around this year.


Even if you missed the 'official' silence, just take a few moments to reflect, have a think and toss a couple of pennies to the Royal British Legion to support the superb work they do in supporting servicemen and women and their families.

Red fabric, craft glue, black sequin (could use felt) and a pin.
Would work just as well with red paper. 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

I'm going to have the RSPCB* after me.

This morning's lie-in was once again rudely interrupted. Not as you might think by a cat throwing up under the bed (that woke me 15 minutes prior to my alarum going off yesterday), but first by a rather hopeful boiling of the kettle, then by a considerable amount of clanking and some screaming. 

Cats wail. They do not scream. 

Sighing mightily, I decided that further sleep was not going to happen, so proceeded into the kitchen for coffee. Little did I know what was in progress on Twitter... 

Yes. They'd suspended the poor thing from the kitchen cupboard by her pull ring. By the time I got down there the Makies had scampered and she'd managed to get herself vertical, but was dangling precipitously over a bowl of rather hot water. Apparently, they'd promised her a hairwash. 

The poor girl was rescued and given some hot sweet tea. 

Plink and Melchett are now banned from leaving the study without my express permission. The Blythes are re-grouping on the windowsill and plotting their revenge. 

Oh, for a quiet life? 

*That would be the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Blythes

Friday, 9 November 2012


Yes, this rubbish has been clicked upon 9999 times. Thank you all!

I feel a give-away coming on... watch this space!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

...another one?!

Yeah. So. There were going to be two. Then there was an unexpected one. Now, there are three.

This one arrived today and was greeted with cries of "eurgh, your HAIR" and promptly dunked in a hot water, washing-up liquid combo.

She's not got a name yet, and she's destined to be disassembled. I've not told her that. Hehehe.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Blythe Wednesday: Cosy Knits

Maybe I should do a thing with the Blythes on a Wednesday and call it Blythe Wednesday. Hrum. 
That's a bit like committing to this whole 'blog' thing (says she who is rapidly approaching 100 posts).

Aspen and Elin were fed up with wearing oversized Makie knits, so demanded some of their own.
Cosy Knits

Elin's cheerful yellow cardie is from Cannonbelle, who currently has a cute creamy version available, as well as a beautiful blue sweater that we're coveting. The dress is by me. Her shoes and the goldfish fabric are available from

Cosy Knits

The pink jumper and sweater combo is by Jane at On Blythe Street. As well as being skillfully knitted and sewn, both the skirt and jumper are reversible, the former being flippable to a pink polka dot design and the latter turning 180 to be a cardigan. There's a pale blue and cream set available in her shop that I'm persuading myself we don't need right now...

I'm not entirely sure that the black and grey stripy socks and skull and crossbones converse are entirely co-ordinating with the look, but I believe that is how Aspen has decided to roll.

Best thing as far as I'm concerned is that both of these shops are based in the UK. So I'm legitimately supporting the country's economy by buying fantastically finished Blythe goodies. Huzzah!

Yes yes, the photography is shocking. 
But you try shooting at 22:00 on a November night in the UK with a desk lamp and no flash and you let me know how you're getting on, yeah? Harrumph. 

Monday, 5 November 2012


Apparently, refusing to let your Makie attend fireworks on a cold, mildly drizzly November night makes you the WORST HUMAN EVER (stomp, stomp, slam etc), even if you have carefully explained that you need to stay at home and guard the cat...

After trying to explain to Pirate that no, the sky was not falling at that he could come out of his fort now, I heard lots of 'ooooooh' and 'aaaaah' noises and some rather loud choruses of 'BANG' from upstairs. It would appear that if the Makies cannot go to the fireworks, the fireworks shall come to the Makie.

Bonfire Night
"One... two... three... BANG!!! Ooooh! Aaaaaaah!"
And that, my dears, is how Melchett melted marshmallow to the desk lamp.
When do I get my time off for good behaviour?

Sunday, 4 November 2012


If you're walking down the street in the next month and happen to see a gentleman with dodgy-looking facial fungus, panic not, for it is the month of Movember!

Rakish angle?
This charity endeavour encourages gents to be sponsored to grow and groom a moustache for a month, whilst conducting themselves as absolute gentleman. It's very popular amongst doctors, so I'll be alternately giggling at my colleague's efforts and reaching into my pockets for donations until the first of December when (hopefully) they'll be getting rid of them.


The Makies had to get in on the act, of course, and badgered me for Mo-onna-stick. 

A Mo for every occasion!

Not sure the Blythes are impressed.