Is this Horsehair Braid?

I need some help please.

Last year, on one of my many trips into a charity shop near my workplace, I bought this for £1.

I bought it because it was only £1, and it looks like there is more than 50metres there.  It was stored with other sewing related stuff, so I knew it had to be useful somehow.

Since buying it, I have  seen something similar to this being used on various blogs, but I am still not 100% sure if this is the actual horsehair braid, as I have never seen it in a sewing notions store.

So please folks, if anyone knows for sure what this is, can you let me know? Thanks.

Meet my new friend

Hi guys, this is a non-sewing related post so you might want to stop reading now if you don’t fancy a bit of a downer on this bright and cheerful Friday morning( the weather is actually horrible, but never mind).

I had a long day on Wednesday, 3 appointments with various people at the hospital. A midwife, a physiotherapist, and a consultant.

The midwife was optimistic (yay!!). Everything was okay with the growth, heartbeat and movements of the future co-heir of the Dibs Family millions

The physiotherapist was really nice, and she gave me a gift. My new friend.

The consultant was all smiles when she came to call for me, and had to come looking again when I did not energetically sprint after her. The look on her face was PRICELESS!! A cross between shock and sympathy, but more of shock I think. I was using my new gift you see.

A couple of questions and an examination later, she set up an appointment for me with an anaesthetist. See where this is leading to? Well apparently, young Master Dibs will have to be brought into this world earlier than expected because of my condition.

So in a couple of days, I shall be back at the hospital, to have an adult discussion, and some tests I think, with Monsieur ou Madame Anaesthetist about drugs…oohhh, how exciting…NOT!!

A rather pleasant surprise!!

That is what I got yesterday when I woke up in the morning, reached for my phone,and checked my email.

On Monday, as I lay on the bed, legs stretched out (my customary position these days as I am kinda restricted in the mobility side of things), I came across this give away post by Ginger Makes. Ginger was expressing her gratitude to the sewing community and how lucky she was feeling because she had just won two give aways, one of which was this dress from Pattern Runway.

I have been coveting this pattern for some time, and had spent all of Sunday in an epic fight with myself…to buy or not to buy……that, folks, was the question. I decided to hold on and revisit the question at a later date.  So I left this comment on Ginger’s blog:
oh I’m so jealous. Yesterday I was trying to convince myself not to buy that Pattern runway pattern. I know I will succumb at some point. I can’t wait to see how yours turns out. Please count me in for the rayon fabric.”

Next thing I know ( I thought this only happened in films), I’m reading this email come Tuesday morning:

Dear Friend,
This is a gift from your lovely friend Sonja,
Please find attached a sewing pattern and instructions, and printing and tiling instructions, in this email.
Patterns and instructions are prepared for both Letter and A4 paper sizes.
We recommend opening and printing files using PDF viewer: Adobe Reader (free downloadable Pdf reader, free download at ) or Adobe Acrobat on either MAC or PC for best results.
Please contact me if you need any help…
I hope you enjoy this project and wearing your lovely new garment hand crafted by you.

Kind regards,

Now what can possibly top that?

I was so shocked, I started shaking….if I could, I would have jumped for joy, but as any unwise and unplanned quick movements on my part currently ends with me screaming like a banshee and reaching for my painkillers, I resorted to repeating ” oh my God” over and over again. A natural reaction with me when I am positively shocked.

I managed to calm myself enough to download my precious pattern. I am still in some kinda shock. A pleasant one mind you. Thank you so much Ginger.

What about you, what pleasant surprises have you received from the sewing community or in the absence of that, in another part of your life?

Sew Grateful Week: Give away – Pattern of your Choice at Sew Direct

My Sew Grateful Week is well and truly on the roll.

Today, I am Sew Grateful to my mom, who pushed me to learn how to sew. 
When I was younger, I lived with my dad and my step-mom, and only started spending regular holidays with my mom when I was about 11. I went to an all girls boarding school so I had to share my holidays between my mom, my Dad, and my aunts and uncles (I was a popular kid in the family you see). So that meant in a year, I’d only see my mom for about 2 weeks, maximum a month. All that changed when I went to University because she lived in the same town.
My Momma!!
Staying at my mother’s house came with the unenviable task of tracing all her burda patterns for her. I swear my knees still hurt when I think of that. She also used to make curtains and bedsheets as a hobby and soon started selling them to her colleagues. Since I could not use the sewing machine, my role was to unpick the stitches when she made mistakes…not amusing I tell you. I deliberately did not want to learn how to use the machine because I did not want to end up like my aunt. My aunt knew how to sew, and her reward? Ha, she spent all the time sewing. Her social life became non-existent when my mom started having regular orders from her friends.
I finally learned how to use the machine when I had to go to Uni, and my mom refused to make my curtains and bedsheets. So I had to make them myself. She instructed me on how to cut the fabric, and how to sew. The end result? I made a reversible quilted bed cover, and matching curtains, table cloth, oven gloves, and glued a 10cm wide strip of the remaining fabric round my room as wall paper. Overkill? You betcha!!
After that day, I started making handmade gifts for my friends. Things like bedsheets and matching pillow cases and oven gloves. If my mom had not put her foot down,  I would not be writing this post now. So thank you Mom!!
I learned to sew on one of these.
So, today’s task from Debi was either to offer a tutorial or a pattern. I can’t offer a tutorial…no inspiration…so, I am offering someone the chance to win a pattern of their choice from Sew Direct. They only do patterns from Vogue, Butterick and McCalls. So I’m afraid you are limited to any one pattern from those three. 
What you have to do, is 
  1. Go to the Sew Direct website.
  2. Browse the patterns and decide which one you want ( do not be modest pls. Choose what you really want. Yes, even that Vogue designer pattern you’ve been coveting for the past century)
  3. Leave a comment here stating which pattern you will like should you win.
Some of  you were asking if the Lobster fabric giveaway was open to international bloggers as well. Yes it is, and so is this one. Be careful though, I said International, not Inter-Galatic, so like the Couture Sewing Techniques book give away, this is open only to humans.
The giveaway will end on Sunday 12th February at midnight, London time, and I will announce a winner on Monday 13th .
Good luck!!

Sew Grateful Week: Lobster fabric giveaway

Hi folks, today is the start of the Sew Grateful week hosted by Debi.

I have so many things to be grateful for this week..loads actually. What I intend to do, is to name 1 or two things that I am grateful for everyday of this week, and then follow it with Debi’s plan. Debi wants us to :

  • Host a giveaway: post by Monday, February 6th
  • Create a tutorials or offer up a pattern: post by Tuesday, February 7th
  • Write a reflection post (on what your ‘sew grateful’ for): post by Wednesday, February 8th
  • Finish a sewing project: post by Saturday, February 11th

So, today, I am so grateful for the online sewing community. I have met so many nice people since I started blogging about my sewing projects, and I have come to know many others in distant places, whom I would never have e-met if not for our common hobby. 

When I started falling sick because of The Bump, I got a lot of support from my sewing friends. Marie, from A Sewing Odyssey went one step further, and sent me this gorgeous fabric through the post to cheer me up. What touched me about this gesture, was the fact that she had, through my sewing projects, realised that I loved bold and bright prints. I absolutely love this fabric. How thoughtful and sweet is that?

This is not the first time I have received something from someone I met through sewing. Rachel (House of Pinheiro) also gifted me with this lovely fabric when we met last year after my surgery. Rachel and I have become really good friends through our mutual love for sewing and blogging, and have found out we have alot more in common than just sewing.

So, I’m giving away 2 metres of this cotton lobster print.
Photo stolen from Stevie
Below is a picture of a dress Adrienne made using this fabric. Pretty right?

The giveaway will end on Sunday 12th February at midnight, London time, and I will announce a winner on Monday 13th. If you are interested in winning this fabric (2metres), leave an email stating what you are grateful for. It does not have to be sewing related. Just anything that fills you with gratitude.