Tuesday, 30 July 2013


You may remember awhile back, I was getting excited about being invited to my friend's historical wedding. 

Since my rota came out and I realised I can go, I've had a lot of trouble finding the right patter to make the long-suffering boyfriend's Littlefinger-esque outfit. 

Here's what we're going for: 
(The one on the right, of course)

I was pretty much near defeat this evening on my third trawl through the interwebs. I'd even turned to the hideously overpriced realm of Etsy in my torment. All the men's costumes were too piratey or soldiery and not nearly possessed of that almost ecclesiastical, priestl... Wait. Priestly? Like... A priest?! 

Nailed it. 

This is perfect for the basis of the coat; I can easily make it more waisted and a couple of gores if I need to. I'll only have to shorten it a little bit and I've got some brilliant Norwegian metal frogs (very much like on Tyrion's costumes) for the front closure. I do have to say, I feel like a complete genius.

Now all I have to do is decide what I'm wearing! 

Monday, 29 July 2013

A Makie Owner's Guide Part 1

How to tell if your Makies are plotting something:

1) Look for signs of collusion.
Generally there is much giggling, then a thoughtful 'hmmm' before some scampering is heard. 

2) Keep a regular watch on your google search history.
Yes. Well. I don't think I've been searching for shark-mounted lasers, impenetrable fortresses or giant squid toys. 
3) Lock up your credit cards.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Still Alive!

I'm here! It's on call week so I'm working 12 hour shifts most days, ow. 

Anyway. Funky news from MakieLab: they'll be a part of a 3D printing pop-up shop in Selfridges from  the end of October until Christmas. 

You'll be able to buy pre-made "Fashion Maven" Makies (called Tesla, Ava, Curie and Hopper) who will be prepped with outfits, eyelashes and face-ups...

...as well as dinky little make your own Makie gift boxes (which apparently include a 'flummoxing device' to fool humans inclined toward shaking). 

Congrats on a wicked new venture, MakieLab! 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


A heated argument seemed to be in progress from the bookcase this afternoon... 

"Something traditional," proclaimed Plink. "Like Aethelred!"
"Or Spock!" 
"...Melchie, how is 'Spock' even remotely traditional?" 
"Well, it's from the original series." 

Plink sighed. "No. We're talking proper names from history. William and James and Charles and He-"
"Waldo! Or... oooh! How about Lupo?"
"Dude. Their dog is called Lupo."
"Good name for a dog..." Melchie thinks for a bit. "How about... BATMAN. King Batman the First!"

I'm glad Makies aren't naming the latest addition to the Royal Family.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

How to sew a ball dress.

First, all select your pattern and fabric. I've gone with Simplicity 1800 View C and a regrettably slippery but completely gorgeous multi-coloured satin. Make sure you've got all the zippers, elastic, hooks and eyes and thread you'll need. Saves swearing later. 

Select your pattern size. I tend to re-measure before every project (in the underwear I'll be wearing with it). I'll compare my measurements to the pattern measurements for the finished garment, not the sizing bands and select the size I need to cut out: I do this as I generally like a bit less ease in the bust and waist and more in the hips... and I'm a bit of a funny shape!

I tend not to make any alterations to the initial pattern to allow me to see what's what. For an important or difficult to fit garment, I'll make a muslin (or trial garment) to see what alterations I need to make to the straight size. 

Anyway. Once you've got your pattern size selected, cut out your pieces.

...oh. Where did you come from? 

No, really. That's not terribly helpful. Get off. 


As I was saying, once you've got your pattern cut out, you might like to make a test version. I like to make mine out of a similar weight fabric and will try to make them as nicely as possible so I can wear them. 

I like to cut my fabric doubled, because I'm fundamentally lazy and it saves a bit of time. At the moment the dining table is buried under a load of junk, so I spread my fabric carefully out on the carpet. Be sure to ease out any creases or wrinkles before you lay out your pattern and... 

...oh, for goodness' sake. 

Guys. You are really not helping here. 

No, I don't need supervising, I am actually allowed to use the scissors. 

Yes yes, you are adorable. 

Fine. I give up. 

Friday, 19 July 2013


Just heard today that Mogwog, the awesome little cat belonging to the awesome Fil has passed on.

Fun at Fil's

We only met her once, but she stepped off of the desk, onto my lap and into our hearts.
Big hugs to all the Fil house from all of our crew xxx

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Thoroughly laaaazy

Really not doing very much with my week off at all... Which is exactly how I like it! 

Here's the promised AC hedgehog... 
Works very nicely as a town flag :) 

And a bonus skellington, who I think looks rather like the dude from the funnybones books! 

Aaaaaaand finally, a dress design I came up with. This is a "pro design" so it's in 4 parts... 

If you put it altogether, it looks like this: 

Have a nice day everyone, hope you get to enjoy the sunshine! I made a schoolgirl error and booked a hairdresser appointment, so I'm off to roast in Cardiff... 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013


I've posted some things about out prickly garden visitors before, but I thought you might like to see our current regular.

I think this is a she, and I think she may be the late overwinter hedgehog we were given to release by a local charity.

Schnurfle schnurfle
Scoffing the bird seed.

Beautiful, isn't she?
Schnurfle schnurfle
Love how she's got seed stuck to her nose. 
If you're currently in the UK and enjoying the heatwave, remember your garden birds and mammals. A shallow bowl of water in the garden (even an upturned frisbee with a puddle in it!) could really make a difference at this time of year.

Hedgehogs shouldn't be out at all in the day. These photos were snapped after 9PM with the aid of a fast lens and low-light settings. If you see a hog in your garden in daylight, and if it looks wobbly and unwell, put it in a cool, dark place with a bowl of water and call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society for some advice. They'll put you in touch with a local representative who can help you out.

If you're looking to attract hedgehogs to your garden, providing food, water and shelter is the best way. Have a look at the BHPS website for some tips.

 I'm off to make my Animal Crossing town flag into a hedgehog!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Aaaaah. A lovely week off! Feels like I need it to recharge the (old, leaky, worn out) batteries and have a bit of time for doing all those things I want to do but haven't been able to. We'll have to see if that includes some dolly stuff, I'm afraid the summer is just a bit warm to be sat in my (complete mess of a) study doing reroots, hah. 

Hooray and huzzah and aaaargh melting. I'm going to be working in some garden time with my new favourite game, Animal Crossing: New Leaf. If you're a 3DS owner and you've not got this title, why the heckers not?! 

For you non-Nintendoers, Animal Crossing is a lovely little game that you can switch your brain firmly off for. You are the mayor of a little town by the sea populated by yourself and some animal residents (I have a koala, a squirrel, a rabbit, a monkey, a bull, a bird of some description, a lion, a duck and... erm... oh! A rhino). You have your own house, which you can work to expand, a whole town's worth of gardens to tend, bugs to catch, a museum to fill and sharks to swear at. You can also buy items which you can decorate your house with or swap with other residents.

You also get to design your own patterns, either for your clothes and hats and furniture, or to use around the town. Here's me (Mayor Batduck) with a rock path pattern I designed. 

Shiny, huh? Paths are great, they stop your grass wearing away. I'm very pleased with my yellow bench too. Yes, that is a Link hat! There are a series of special Nintendo items you can acquire during the game.
As a veteran Animal Crossing player, I'm most excited by the new feature that allows you to generate QR codes for your unique designs, which you can share with other Animal Crossingers. There are already loads of fantastic codes for all sorts of things available online, and I thought I'd join in with a couple of my own...

Here are my paving rocks! 

And here's my gyroid! I'm very smug about how well he turned out. He's the poster boy for Batcave Museum's special gyroid exhibit. 

Feel free to use them in your towns :) If you'd like to visit the Batcave, drop me a message and we'll see about exchanging friend codes. 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Sewing for Humans: Recurve Bow Case

Hey hey all! 

Isn't it hot? The Makies have shut themselves in the bathroom with the giant squid and a bottle of prosecco. Sounds like they're having one heck of a pool party. 

I've been working on a soft case for my recurve bow. It's got nice squishy quilt wadding for snuggliness, is lined with pink polka dot fleecy fabric and has the most amazing Hello Kitty waterproof outer. 

Best thing is, once the bow is out and assembled, I can use it as a cushion! 

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Hey hey Deerie!

Sometimes I have to question my sanity.

I remember saying quite distinctly that I was never going to do another re-root.

But then again, you do get these projects that creep in quietly, and somehow you can't bear to make it any less than perfect.

But it's alright, even those hours spent making little plugs, because you know it's going to be worth all of the effort.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Makie Me a T-Tunic


Today we're going to make a very snazzy t-tunic (with of course, the option to lengthen into a dress) that'll be a useful little number for your Makie's wardrobe.

You will need:

  • Fabric scrap, about a 24 x 15cm rectangle for dress length.
  • Paper to make your pattern from. 
  • Ruler.
  • Pencil. 
  • Needle and thread or a sewing machine. 
  • An iron.
  • A bit of ribbon. 
  • A Makie to model your creation!
First off, make your pattern: 

The orange lines give you the measurements, the yellow lines are where you will cut. Cut out your pattern paper, being sure to make the midpoint of the top edge and 1.5cm either side of it. This will make your neck hole. 

Next, with your fabric folded so the right sides are together, cut out two of the t-shapes. You might like to finish the sleeve and hem edges at this point; it's easier. I have to confess, I left mine rough. Too nice weather for faffery!

Keeping the right sides together, sew along the yellow lines. Remember to stop and start at the neck hole! You are aiming for a seam allowance of about 0.5cm. 

Turn your tunic inside out and press flat with a hot iron. Mind your fingers! 

Now, take your Makie model and pop off her head and arms. Slide the tunic onto the torso and replace the severed limbs. 

If you're feeling brave, you could let your Makie have a rummage in your ribbon and trims box to find a belt that they like. Tie it on to give the tunic some more shape. 

Now you have to go and make one for your other Makie! 

If there's anything you're not clear on, drop me a comment! Feel free to send photos of your finished tunics, I'd love to see them. 

Monday, 8 July 2013


Yup yup. We're having a heatwave here in the UK, and you've got to make sure your clothes are up to scratch. What could be cooler than a nice floral summer dress or a jazzy little tunic?

Tomorrow I'll be posting a tutorial so's you can create your own fashions exclusively for your Makie.
See you then!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Ah, Summer

Today is one of those all-too-rare days when the world smells like a barbecue, the cats lie as flat as they possibly can in the shade and I seriously contemplate if I could get a hammock in the garden somewhere.

Yup, it's flirting around 28 degrees centigrade in the UK today, people are dressing inappropriately and watching the Wimbledon Men's final with the sound turned way up and the doors wide open...

...luckily for you, I'm adverse to anything approaching heat and I hate tennis, so I'm going to retreat to my sewing room with a nice cool drink and write you all a tutorial!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Talent Contest WINNER!

The votes are in and counted... 

....and our winner by a very big margin (a lead of over 20 points!) is... 


Many congratulations, Mini! I can finally announce that instead of the usual random stuff and things, your EPIC PRIZE is a pair of Makie specs in the colour and design of your choice! So go pick what you fancy from the website and drop me an email with your choice and address! 

Commiserations to all the other fab entrants, keep brushing up those talents and we'll see if we can do another contest next year! 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Everyone's Got Talent! Recap and VOTING


A little later than advertised (sorry), it's time for our talent contest recap and voting instructions, yaay! 

Let's take another look at our contestants... 

The zen-like folding ninja that is Qwaychou's BJD.

Willa, showing why 5 needles is better when you're dealing with zmobie cats.

And last but by no means least, Magical Millie (and Ted the flopsy bunny)!

Phew! What a lot of talent! Bet you can't wait to find out how to vote... 

...and it's like this! Send an email to me, duckiemonsterSPLATgmail.com (where SPLAT = @) with the subject 'talent contest'. Award 3 points to your favourite entry, 2 points to your runner up and 1 point to your third place. Entrants, you are totally allowed to vote for yourselves. 

Voting is open until 18:00 on Friday the 5th of July, and I'll attempt to get my act together enough to announce the winner later that night... and tell you all about the FABULOUS PRIZES, oh yes indeedly. 

Good luck to all the entrants! Get those votes in now!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Late Entries!

Hey guys!

Feeling much better today, even went for a run (although I'm certain that my iPhone has some sort of gremlin... more about that another day) and don't feel like complete death at the end of it, phew!

For your delight and delectation, here are a couple of late talent contest entries that just slipped under the deadline.

Firstly, the lovely Ro and rugged Vik demonstrate a beautiful pas-de-deux...

Makie Lake, anyone?

And now please put your hands together for the antics of Fil's Magical Millie!

Haha, awesome.

Alrighty, that's your lot. Check back here at 12pm Wednesday for information on the voting and a recap of all the entries! Apologies once more for my lack of sticking to a schedule... but hey, it's my blog and I can do what I like. Rawr! See you tomorrow!