All posts by mutleybates

New bedside cabinets

We have been planning to decorate the main bedroom in our house for ages. It was a horrible two tone brown with a dado rail between the two colours and a disgusting old green carpet. So needless to say, I was dreaming about this months before we started.

I decided to go dark on the bedroom walls after seeing this on pinterest. I loved the blue/grey colour and it went beautifully with the wood. We bought a gorgeous sleigh bed last October, which lay disassembled in our spare bedroom until the room was ready. We also now have a new fitted wardrobe (which took forever and delayed the process an enormous amount). I had also found a lovely ‘tall boy’ (a tall chest of drawers), so all I needed now was the bedside tables and we would have all the furniture for the bedroom.

I began the hunt with the only real proviso being that they had to have drawers to hide all our clutter. Nothing sprang out at me at all until a hunt on pinterest (what would be do without it?) revealed this:

and this:

hodge:podge: Monday, Monday and another Rast Hack

The first picture was a firm favourite but I loved the idea of replacing one drawer with a shelf like in the second picture.

They turned out to be Ikea hacks using a Rast chest of drawers as the skeleton. The Rast looks like this:

RAST Chest of 3 drawers IKEA Made of solid wood, which is a hardwearing and warm natural material.

So using the explanation given by by the charming nest, we made our own!

Bedside Tables-5In the very blurry picture above you can see that originally I painted them a different colour – but it turned out too yellow and I abandoned it for a white.Bedside Tables-4Here you can see my (ahem) intentional mistake! I cut and stuck on the moulding all the way around the edge – but I forgot there would be skirting around the bottom…the bottom bits on both sides of both units had to be pulled off the and sides trimmed down…argh!

After a lot of work (far more than I was expecting) we got there! I love the way they turned out.

Bedside Tables-3

Bedside Tables-2

Bedside Tables-1

We mixed varnishes to try and get the top and the shelf to match the bed as far as possible – I think we did pretty well, though the wood on the bed is obviously of a much higher quality whereas the top of the bedside table is just pine.

You can also see the colour of the walls in these pics, which I was pretty worried would be too dark. It turned out great as well.

We just need to hang a few pictures and the room is complete!

Sewing strategies Part1

I’m back!! I can’t believe that I last posted in August…more than 7 months?! Its just been so manic around here…new jobs for both of us, house jobs needing to be done, the standard Christmas mayhem (12 people crammed into my parents house) and a 2 week trip to India with my mum…phew!

So I’ve just not had the time to get any sewing done, despite a growing list of projects that I cannot wait to start. I even have a few projects already cut out and ready to go…I just need some more time!

Though I haven’t been sewing, I don’t seem to have let that hold me back on the fabric purchases, so my fabric stash is going a bit wild!! So, in this post I am going to decide upon which fabric to use for which pattern so I have a plan for my sewing.

I have had to split this post into two…thanks to the amount of fabric in my stash!!

Sewing Strategies (8 of 23)By Hand London Anna Dress in a Linen and viscose mix.

Sewing Strategies (7 of 23)By Hand London Flora Dress in Navy Crepe.

Sewing Strategies (20 of 23)By Hand London Kim Dress in a Floral cotton.
(sorry about the blurriness)

Sewing Strategies (16 of 23)By Hand London Georgia Dress (for my sister) in Stretch cotton.

Sewing Strategies (23 of 23) Sewing Strategies (9 of 23) Sewing Strategies (1 of 23)3 x Tilly & the Buttons  Mathilde Patterns – 1 in a floral cotton and 2 in viscose.)(I need some work tops!)

Sewing Strategies (3 of 23) Sewing Strategies (2 of 23)2x Tilly & the Buttons Coco Pattern in ponte
(the stripey ponte is for my sister)

Sewing Strategies (4 of 23) Sewing Strategies (5 of 23) Sewing Strategies (6 of 23)3x Colette Mabels in various knits.
(I also need skirts!)

Sewing Strategies (11 of 23) Sewing Strategies (18 of 23)2x Ultimate Wrap Dress by Sew Over It – in a floral jersey and a black Roma jersey.

The flowery fabric is for a dress version and then I want to hack the black ponte into a wrap top just like this one by the Seamstress from Venus which looks amazing!

Sewing Strategies (22 of 23)Colette Dahlia dress in a checked cotton and linen mix.

Sewing Strategies (10 of 23)Sencha by Colette patterns with this fab Tui fabric for my Mum.

Sewing Strategies (12 of 23)Sewaholic Crescent Skirt – in denim bought in a kit from Sewaholic.

Sewing Strategies (1 of 1)Tilly & the Buttons Mathilde in Japanese double gauze

And now for the pdf patterns – not printed so not the best photos I am afraid!

Sewing Strategies (19 of 23)Charlotte Pattern – By Hand London in a stretch cotton.

Sewing Strategies (17 of 23)Lou Box Top in a super soft cotton lawn (covered in owls!!)

Sewing Strategies (14 of 23)Bronte top in a polka dot Roma jersey

Sewing Strategies (13 of 23)Sinbad & Sailor Dove T in a Japanese double gauze

Ok, that’s enough for one night. I know what you are all thinking…’Stop shopping and start sewing!!’.

Long time coming

Oops! After only a mere three posts I appear to have taken a blogging break! I do have good reason! I am changing jobs so the last month has been pretty damn busy with CV writing, daily phone calls with recruitment agencies (is it just me or do they feel the need to phone everyone everyday and ask the same questions as the day before…’Why is it you are looking for a new job?’!?!), phone interviews, real interviews, then frantic finishing off projects at my previous job before finally finishing there last week! Phew! I feel ready to collapse!

On top of that I have been dog-sitting for my mum…yes we have had this handsome mutt keeping us company for the last three weeks…


He was very good but did insist on two walks a day…it wasn’t really worth arguing with him unless you like being jumped on all evening by a 35kg lump!

Happily I now have two weeks off before I start the new job, during which time I intend to do not much but sewing/knitting projects and DIY. We have been re-decorating the bathroom for what feels like forever, but its slowly taking shape – so close!

I have managed to make a few things since my last blog post here is a quick summary:

SummerBagsWool&theGangSummer Bags as presents for my Aunts – the left one is the Milo bag the right is the zigzag shopper, both from Wool and the Gang. This is my second zigzag shopper – its a great bag but heavy! I do find it a little hard on the hands as it only just fits on my needles! Must get some big circular needles! The Milo bag was a incredibly easy and nice to knit – not a great photo of it but its lovely – the perfect beach bag! This was the only photo I got to take before I handed them over! I need one of each for me!
The Staple Dress from April Rhodes, only the second item of clothing I have ever made! So I was really pleased with this. Nice and easy to make – so few pattern pieces! I got this as part of the perfect pattern parcel – so I have several more patterns to get on with! Since then I have fallen completely in love with Amy’s jersey version – I am dying to completely copy this!

Well that’s all for now! I hope to be posting lots over my two weeks holiday as I should be busy sewing!

Flower Power

Yesterday my mum and I went to see three gorgeous gardens. Kenilworth, famous for Robert Dudley’s Kenilworth Castle, is my home-town and where my parents still live. Yesterday was an annual event where several Kenilworth residents open their amazing gardens to the public to raise money for charity.

We just visited three of the gardens, but all of these clearly illustrated their owners’ incredible dedication and hard work…far more than I could ever put into a garden! So today’s post is all about flowers! I was playing with my mum’s camera which has such a lovely lens, the flowers came out brilliantly.

Don’t ask me what any of them are, I can only identify roses and foxgloves. If anyone can enlighten me on what the purple globe ones are, I would love to know as they are fantastic!



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and that’s it for today!

Not stash busting

I have a long list of things that I need to make but yesterday some fabric arrived…and well, I couldn’t resist!

It’s my friend’s daughter’s first birthday next weekend and I can’t make the party, so I wanted to make a little birthday present to drop around this weekend. I saw the perfect thing on the purl bee blog a few weeks ago….gathered summer tops. I got some liberty fabrics from Ray Stitch and the were soooo lovely; pretty print and super soft.

So last night I stayed up late and made three!

Birthday gathered tops
Birthday gathered tops

I made two for the birthday girl and one for my little God-daughter, just because, well because she’s my God-daughter.

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They were very simple to sew up and I can’t wait to see them on the little ladies!

Now back to the stash…

New kid on the block?

So…the first good post? Tricky one. Like many others I have started this blog to track my progress in teaching myself to sew, knit and make stuff! If nothing else I hope to look back at these first few posts in a few years and say ‘Wow I am so much better now than I was then!’. Hopefully some other people will also read and enjoy this blog just as I enjoy reading others blogs. I read so many now that it’s actually hard to get in much book reading!

When I first started thinking about writing a blog (and named it), I was knitting, knitting, knitting. Since then I have upgraded to knitting, sewing, knitting….here’s a sum up of past projects:a5f24a7e-9348-4734-91a1-a9de9462ea22wallpaperFrom top left, clockwise: Wool and the Gang’s Diana top, Baby Ella Blanket &  Baby booties, Wool and the Gang’s Woolitz & Mary Sweater.baa3e305-4915-4acd-bc4c-2c5caefc5072wallpaperWool and the Gang’s Zion Lion for Kids x 4!
The hats were put to good use by these little monkeys over a cold Christmas season..ca6ccb57-3d29-4dfc-a8f0-089133c05137wallpaperFrom top left, clockwise: Isabella wearing Wool and the Gang’s Zion Lion for Kids, Julietta wearing Wool and the Gang’s Zion Lion for Kids, Julietta and Rory having a stand off.807678b5-a076-49a4-9795-855f3069e5cdwallpaperFrom top left, clockwise: Wool and the Gang’s Sugar Ray Mittens, Wool and the Gang’s Snood dog for kids, Wool and the Gang’s Tala tank top & the beginnings of my stash.
Well that’s a selection…I have been pretty busy…but I think that’s enough for one post. Next one will be sewing projects!

If anyone is reading this please let me know if you know of any decent collage-making websites. I have tried a few today but I only want simple, clean-looking plain collages and I want to upload pictures from my computer and from Instagram.

Any help would be welcome!!