Wednesday 31 August 2011


Happy Wednesday to each and every one of you.  This last week has been a really manic one with lots of customers and even more sewing.  Each one seemed to bring me several jobs and all of them were needed to be done yesterday!  If only there were a few more hours in each day.  I am going to take you through this week in pictures so you don't have to get bogged down with reading.

This morning my 'done' rails are all heaving [the 'to do' rail as yet is empty but please tell no one]....lots has been done and it's all waiting for collection.

The rail at the left is full of little dresses for the African girls.
The one in the middle is full of the shorter length customers items...tops, trousers, skirts etc.
The rail on the right is the longer length rail where I hang all the long dresses and, when I have them, the wedding dresses.

This is my latest little knittie for one of the twinnies.  I knitted a little waistcoat for the little boy so I've knitted this short sleeved cardie for the little girl.  I love this wool and am now knitting a little waistcoat for A's expected little boy in blue and cream fleck.

Penny from The Hen House saw my post about making the little dolly dresses and asked if I could make her some to clothe the dollies for the charity shop she works in.  As you will all know I run a very busy ship here and I had to say sorry but I just couldn't commit myself to any more projects so I quickly ran her up one little dolly's dress and made her patterns and simple instructions so the lady that sews for the shop could run more up.  I've posted this little dress to her so hope she doesn't mind me declining the request.....Mitzi really has started something hasn't she?  :-)  I'm always willing to do my best to help but there just aren't enough hours in the day to do more.

 For those that like to see a little of my garden here is a quick snap of some of the wonderful tomatoes that are now ripening in our greenhouse.  There really is nothing quite like picking a warm, fresh tomato and just eating it is there?  We have several different sorts out and large, small orange ones that are just soooooo sweet and even green ones....yes they are green when ripe but do change colour slightly so you can tell when they are ripe.
Here is a little bit of the early signs of autumn.  The crab apples are such a gorgeous colour now and the horse chestnut tree is already changing to it's autumn wardrobe.

For those that know what a difficult time I have been going through I just wanted to share this picture of this gorgeous rainbow that showed itself to us on Friday.  At difficult times in my life I often see a rainbow and really believe it to be a sign that all will be well.  Please keep everything crossed for us for the next few weeks and thanks to all who have supported us.

For those that are waiting for news on the I am typing this they are still keeping us waiting.....34 weeks now....Poor M is pretty unfomfortable all the time now and is finding sleeping pretty near impossible....she  'WANTS THEM OUT'  :-)  That's one large bump she has now and if you look closely you can actually see that the little girl this side is pushing her bump this way on the photo! I remember this stage well.  As her Granddad would say to her...'the apple wont fall til it's ripe'.  She is getting pretty strong braxton hicks contractions now all the time and I really don't think we will have too long to wait but when it's you who is doing the waiting every day seems like a week I'm sure.....Hang in there M xxxx

Now, here's hoping you all have a wonderful snoop around the other work spaces that Julia links up every Wednesday.....thanks Julia for all your efforts even when you're really not feeling at your best.  Really hope you get well very soon.  Have a great week and thanks for calling in on me.

Sunday 28 August 2011

Nothing gets wasted here....

Mitzi did such a good job modelling her new dress that I am now taking orders!.  This what you do when you don't even had a big enough piece to make a pocket for a little girls dress with!

You patch pieces together and make dolly's dresses  :-)  We popped over to see our little granddaughters yesterday morning and I took orders for two new dolly dresses.  'Pleaseeeeeeeeeee Nanny'  How could I say no?  I have just set to and made these two tiny little dresses to fit their baby dollies.  Let's hope they fit  :-)

Saturday 27 August 2011

My latest dresses....

Here are dress numbers 62, 63, 64 and 65 that I managed to make in the last couple of days.  It's been a really busy week for me so spare time has been rare but I've loved making these little dresses.

Dress number 62 is a pretty pink print fabric that the lady who follows my blog but as yet doesn't have her own blog sent me.  Thanks's made a really pretty dress.

Dress number 63 is made using some of the pretty fabric Tammy sent me.  This was really lovely material to use and has made a really cute dress.  Thanks Tammy.

Dress number 64 was made using some of the pretty pink floral material Sue sent us.  I've teamed it up with a bit of bright pink and doesn't it look lovely?  Thanks Sue.

Number 65 is a little pink dress and was made using another of the lovely pieces Sue sent us.  I've prettied up the pocket with some of the lace trim that came from Cari crafts.  I'm still looking at the wonderful bag of goodies they sent us to trim up these little dresses and really struggle to believe just how generous some people can be.

We have had lots of wonderful support from so many people with wonderful donations of fabrics and would really like to say a huge thank you to you all.  We are still happy to accept pillow cases, bedding or cotton /poly cotton fabrics from anyone willing to donate to the cause and will keep making for as long as we have fabric in what every spare time we can find.  Please feel free to email me at for details of where to post them bear in mind it will take us a little time to get through all this wonderful fabric but I do promise to blog each and every dress I make to show you what we do with it all.

Friday 26 August 2011

Every little girl loves a new dress.....

And Mitzi Monkey is no different.  She has watched me making the last 63 dresses and asked if I would make her one.

Of course the first step was Mitzi's fitting.  Like most women she insisted I used inches cos the number was smaller!

She was so excited when I said she could choose her fabric.  Oh decisions decisions!  Would it be plain or.....

....patterned.  She loves purple and blues and decided a little of both would be nice.  She loved the trimmings off one of my tops and asked if I could make a little blue pocket to match.

She is rather pleased with the results.  What do you think? 

'Oh Mum, does my bum look big in this?'

A little madness makes the world go round....and I'm madder than most as you all know  :-)  I really hope my little bit of madness has made you smile on this cold, damp dreary Friday.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday 25 August 2011

Support from a brilliant craft company......

I have just received a wonderful donation of really pretty trimmings from the on line shop I use for all my sewing / crafting needs  and would love to share this wonderful company with all my blogging friends.  The service they provide is second to none.  If I can't find what I am looking for in their shop they will normally put it there for me to buy and every order is very quickly sent to my door [usually the very next day] which, of course, when you run a sewing business like I do it allows me to run a very efficient service thanks to them. 

My ironing board is literally covered in the most gorgeous ribbons and trimmings as you can see so our little dresses will certainly look pretty when trimmed up with some of this.  A huge thank you to Cari they say 'if you don't ask you don't get' but this is generosity beyond my wildest dreams.

I am hoping you will all pop over and have a good look round their shop and give them your support for all your crafting needs.  They do come highly recommended  :-)

Cari Crafts
A fast and friendly online craft shop with over 30 years in haberdashery and craft. We stock all kinds of craft products, Buttons.Knitting Yarn, & Knitting Patterns, Embroidery, Haberdashery, Cake Accessories, Airfix and a wide range of craft sundries
We are constantly expanding our product range daily.
All orders are shipped by first class post.
The shop is situated minutes away from the local post office which means we endeavour to dispatch any order received by 3.00pm on the same day. The exceptions are Sundays, Bank holidays, and special orders.


The parcels keep coming and this is why we are making them....

It's just like having all your birthdays and Christmas come at once here.  The postman seems to bring a parcel to my door nearly every day.  Yesterday was no exception.

This was sent to me by Elizabeth over at The Silver Scrapper's Craft Space.  As you can see it's full of lovely pillow cases to make our little African girl's dresses with.  Elizabeth was bothered about them being so plain but as you will have seen in other parcels we have had lots of gorgeous smaller pieces of materials that will trim these up to perfection so thank you very much Elizabeth for sending us them.

Yesterday I managed to finish all those b****** curtains I had to make and clear my heaving 'to do' rail of all my customers sewing [and there was a lot] and before the end of the day I managed to make my dress number 61 .  This was made using some of the fabric Tammy sent us and I have to say it was gorgeous fabric to use and it is my favourite one.  I really love the colours so thank you for sending such lovely material for us to work with Tammy.

Lots of you have asked where the little dresses were going to and I've promised as soon as Louise put photos up on her blog I would let you know.  This morning  Louise has posted the first set of pictures of little girls wearing some of the dresses over in an orphanage in Malawi so please pop over and check them out.  The joy on the faces of those little girls is what make our efforts all worth you keep sending me any spare pillow cases/bedding or material and I promise we will keep sewing. 

Wednesday 24 August 2011


It's been yet another eventful week here for us.  We have......
  • Had M in and out of hospital again with contractions.  These little twins seem very keen to make an appearance. [All is ok at the mo thankfully and the twins have hung on in there for another week....just another two or three would be lovely so please keep everything crossed for her].
  • Been to my hubby's sister's 60th Birthday and had a really special family time catching up on everyone's news.
  • Made another 10 little dresses [so far!] bringing my total now to 60.
  • Have had a huge order for curtains and cushions [hence only 10 dresses being made!]
  • Spent the biggest part of Funday Monday cutting and sewing that huge mountain of curtains!
  • And of course I've cooked, cleaned, knitted,and done all the other jobs that needed to be done

On my desk / ironing board today is.....

.....yes! b****** curtains.  
There is a huge door curtain that has had to be made with 3 pieces of fabric that have all had to be pattern matched carefully!  There are also a pair of curtains for a window but that too has had to be made from a width and a half of fabric so again the pattern has had to be matched! All the curtains now have to be hemmed, lined [don't forget the lining has had to be measured and joined too!] and header tape sewn on! There is also 8 x 20" squares of fabric cut out ready to be made into 4 zipped cushion covers to match the curtains........Can you tell just how much I enjoy making curtains?

On Monday afternoon we also managed to cut out another batch of little dresses from some of the gorgeous fabrics we have been given this week.  They are all bagged up ready into little dress packs so these will be the dresses that will be appearing on my blog over the next week or so.  Please pop over to Louise's blog over at Sew Scrumptious and check out the lines full of little dresses she featured this week. :-)

This is my rail of little dresses so far this week.  I just love to see the different colours....every one is different.  Yet again I would like to say a huge thank you to all who have supported the great cause so far and have sent us such lovely fabrics to work with....You know who you are  :-)

That's about all from me for this week.  As you will guess I will be head down making b***** curtains today but will try to pop in on as many of you wonderful WOYWWers as I can.  Hope you will all leave me a message before you pop over to visit Julia and I hope each and every one of you will have a great week.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Thank you for my blog award Keryn....

I was very kindly given this lovely award by Keryn from Poppy Dog blog.  Keryn has become a really good friend through our blogs and last weekend we even managed a 'chat' via MSN so to receive this award from Keryn has of course made it all the more special.  Thank you so very much.
I think I am supposed to pass this on to 3 other bloggers but of course Keryn would be one that I would put in my top three so I'm only choosing another two  :-)  Top of my list of course for the one who is more than often top of the list of comments just has to be that much older sister of mine, Twiglet.  She is not only an appreciated follower on the blogs but also in real life  :-)  The other blogger I would like to pass this award on to is Di from Pixie's Crafty Workshop.  She is another blogger who follows my blog closely and who I greatly appreciate the friendship of.  She is always there for me with lovely supportive and encouraging comments.  Thank you to you all.  Please pick up this award from me and pass it on to others who you, in turn, appreciate.

Our dresses have featured again and another wonderful parcel...

The last 50 dresses that we posted to Louise have arrived and she has featured them on her blog.  Please pop over and leave her a message because she is working very hard as the UK partner for the 'Dress a girl' charity in America.  

She has added the links to her blog so I have pasted them here so you can check them out.....

'Other news - We now have a facebook page! 'Dress a Girl around the world - UK' Please come over and say hi. I'm also now the official UK partner for the 'Dress a Girl' charity in America and can be found on their website. There is no stopping us now. Lets show them what we can do UK bloggers!! '

 If you are able to help in any way please get in touch with her [or us of course].  It would be really lovely if every little girl could have a dress of her own and I know Louise is working very hard to make that happen.


My postman has just brought me another wonderful parcel of gorgeous fabrics to make little dresses with.  This is from Tammy over at Turquoise Ocean blog.  What gorgeous colours.  Thank you so much Tammy....we will be looking forward to cutting out the next batch of little dresses  :-)

Monday 22 August 2011

Just the one.....

It's been another hectic weekend of more 'rather too soon contractions', thunder and a 'big number' family birthday party.

Saturday evening M started having contractions again and had to spend the night in hospital....thankfully they have stopped again and she was allowed home Sunday morning after seeing the Dr but was given strict instructions to go straight back if they start again so they can monitor the little ones.  Bless her, she has never been one to make a fuss for nothing and doesn't like to go in and be a 'waste of time'.  The staff at the hospital have all been really lovely and have reassured her that this is just what they want her to do because they need to get everything ready in plenty of time when these two little ones decide to arrive.....especially as they look to be very keen to make an appearance......It would be really nice if they would just hang in there for another 3 weeks so please keep your fingers crossed for us.

Having been awake til midnight waiting to see what decision was going to be made with M in the hospital we then went to bed only to be woke very soon after by thunder....the storm was right over the top of the hospital too just 10 miles from us [just what M needed!!].  I don't mind a thunder storm while I'm tucked up in bed but we have 3 little dogs that really don't like it.....they scratch the doors to get out of their room and then bark!!!  This went on til nearly 2 o'clock!!!  Not a good night was had by all.

Sunday morning was spent catching up with housework and getting the Sunday lunch whilst waiting to see what decision was going to be made for M........Heart monitors on both babies [when they would stop moving!] showed all was well so she was able to go home.  
In the afternoon we collected our son, when he finished work, and called by and picked up, a now rested and refreshed, M to go to my Hubby's big sister's 60th Birthday party.  It was so lovely to have a gathering of the clan for a happy occasion like this and M insisted on coming.  We carefully wrapped her in cotton wool [I did suggest I could deliver the babies alfresco on the new decking but it wasn't needed thankfully] and everyone was really thrilled to see her still intact but it made us all realise by the time most of the family members see her next she will be 3!!....It's getting so close now.

Of course I couldn't go a whole weekend knowing that one more little dress would bring my numbers to 60 so on Saturday afternoon while my hubby was at the footy match I set to and made this little dress.  I decided number 60 should be a statement so I've used the gorgeous red material Anne sent me.  Isn't it bright and cheery?  I love it.

Saturday 20 August 2011

Saturday's post....

I've had two more wonderful donations of fabric today

This parcel is from Sarah from La-De-Da blog .  Sarah lives about 20 miles from me so it's really lovely to link up with a local blogger like this....though as yet we haven't met.  Thank you for this gorgeous pack of Dutch fabric Sarah....such gorgeous bright colours and they will really brighten up our little African dresses a treat.

This gorgeous ironing board full of scrummy fabrics was sent to me by Sue from ScoopyStuff blog.  Sue has been begging any spare fabric for us from friends and relatives and this is a beautiful parcel full that she has sent us.  We will have such fun making little dresses from this lot so a huge thank you Sue for your efforts.

Friday's effort.....

I had a good day of sorting out and finishing off all my customer's sewing first thing yesterday morning....I even got all my books up to date and, wow!  I now have 1107 customers on my books.  They keep on coming and when they go away they tell their friends to come too  :-)  Business is booming as they say and I'm loving every minute of it.

I even had time to make a few more little dresses for the little African girls.  

Here are numbers 57, 58 and 59.....

Number 57 is made from the pretty sheet Di sent us.  Hasn't it made up into a pretty little dress?  I've added a little pocket trimmed up with an appliqued flower.

Number 58 is made using some of the pretty material one of my customers gave me.  Ive added a little pocket trimmed up with a pretty little flower and button.

Number 59 is made using some of the pretty sheet Penny sent me from France.  I've added a little pocket with appliqued flowers on the front.

As you can see we have such pretty fabrics to work with and I really think both Twiglet and I could now make these little dresses in our sleep  :-)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Friday 19 August 2011

The latest batch....

Yes folks they keep coming  :-)  Here are my latest makes....

These 4 are all made using fabric one of my customers gave me and I've trimmed them up with bias and pockets made from smaller pieces of fabric donated for the dresses.
I love the fact that each and every one is different and can just imagine all those little girls smiling to have their own special dress.  This brings my total now up to 56  :-)

And for those that can smell what else I've been up to this morning.....

It's nearly lunchtime so please help yourselves.  We will be having ours with bacon in....can't you just smell it?  Yum yum  :-)

Thursday 18 August 2011

Blown away with the generosity of others....

Yesterday I received yet another parcel full of gorgeous fabrics.  I had had an email last week asking for my address but I didn't recognise the name as a blogger I knew.

This was one of the biggest parcels I've had and I'm certain you will all agree with me that the fabrics enclosed are all really gorgeous.  There was a card enclosed [also gorgeous] and the lady had written me a message to explain that wasn't in fact a blogger [yet] but just followed our blogs and felt she would like to donate some fabric to the great cause.  I'm sure a lot of you will understand why I was moved to tears to receive such generosity from a 'stranger'.....Isn't the world a wonderful place.  The news seems full of nothing but trouble and riots....why don't they fill their pages with wonderful uplifting stories like the generosity of others?

All I can say is a huge Thank You to CM and to say hope you start blogging soon....I'd like to 'get to know you'  :-) :-) :-) [So far all I know is you are a really generous lady and your favourite colour is pink  :-) ]

The other thing I want to share is the latest pic I have taken of my youngest daughter A.  Both my girls like to sit crossed legged so their baby bumps sit in their laps and last night I snapped a quick pic of A doing just that....I tell them they look like little pixies  :-)  Doesn't she hide her bump well?..... and she is nearly 33 weeks pregnant! Thankfully she keeps really well and manages her two busy little girls to perfection....I'm so proud of her cos she is a really good little Mum.  
Twiglet joined us last night for an evening of fun with A and her two gorgeous little girls.  A fab evening of proud moments and special memories.

Wednesday 17 August 2011


Hello to all my blogging friends. [do check out the pic below for the wow factor]
This week I've ...
  • Had a trip to London to see Les Miserable...yes I actually took a day off to go  :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)
  • Made numerous more little dresses
  • Posted our latest 50 dresses to  Louise [do check out the pic below for the wow factor]
  • Cut out yet more little dresses from the latest donations of fabric
  • Picked fresh veg from the garden and tomatoes from the greenhouse
  • Knitted two fronts and started on the sleeves of a little cardie for one of the twins
  • Paced the floor on Monday night cos M was having contractions!!!  At 32 weeks I don't think so!!!!  Thankfully after a full assessment it was decided she had a wee infection and it was irritating her uterus so a course of antibiotics was started and she was sent home....thankfully she is now much better.
  • Oh and I've worked [sewn for real money  :-) ] each and every day apart from Friday of course.....customer numbers keep rising and I've got well over 1100 now!
  • Nearly forgot ....I've done a bit of cooking, baking bread, washing, ironing and cleaning etc in my spare time.
So what is on my workdesk today?

Customers sewing.....I've had some really lovely skirts and dresses to alter this week.

The latest donation of bedding to make little dresses given to me by another of my customers....I think we will be making dresses for years  :-)  It really is a very positive thing to do in your spare time.

These two little dresses were made yesterday from some of the fabric one of my customers gave me. 
 As promised here is a pic taken of M yesterday [32 weeks now so only 6 more to go til they induce her if she lasts that long!].....still in one piece after the excitement of Monday!
So as you can see there are very few dull moments here at Sewing by Annie's.  Please leave me a comment if only to say hello before you pop over to visit Julia and check out all the other WOYWWers.  Have a great week.

Tuesday 16 August 2011

They began to take over so we posted them....

When Twiglet arrived yesterday morning with her bag full of dresses for the little African girls we just had to do a show and tell to share our latest makes with each other.  

My sewing room was filled with little dresses covering every surface and to be honest we both stood back in awe at them all together.  It never fails to amaze us how quickly we both beetle away when we have a challenge on the ever I had to stand back and snap away so you could all share in the moment....I'm sure all you wonderful bloggers who have sent us fabric will be able to spot the dresses we have made with it.  Thank you to each and every one of you....and you know exactly who you are.  We have since folded up every one of them and have posted them to Louise....all 50 of them!!  [so keep a look out for that heavily weighed down postman struggling up your path Louise.]  That brings our total so far up to 80 between us  :-)

During our Funday Monday, in between my customers, [ and we had lots of those! ] we cut out lots more little dresses and bagged them up ready to make the next batch.  One of my customers came with two carrier bags full of gorgeous fabric she was more than happy to donate to our Dresses for Africa cause......

These were the larger pieces in the one bag and we have cut lots of little dresses from these gorgeous fabrics.

These smaller pieces were in the other bag and these will make really pretty pockets and trimmings for some of the plainer dresses.

We really know such a lot of truly generous folk who have been so willing to donate some really pretty fabrics to the great cause and Twiglet and I have shared out the bags of dress pieces so you will be seeing more pretty dresses popping up on our blogs in the not to distance future  :-)

Monday 15 August 2011

An extended weekend......and another visit from the postman

I took the day off on Friday....yes, my boss allowed fact he planned the whole thing.

We went to see Les Miserable in London.  :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) was truly breathtaking.
Alfie Boe was amazing.  He has the most haunting voice.  What talent

Check it out.  I will be singing along all day.

Matt Lucas played the innkeeper and the part could have been written for him....he was brilliant.
I have to say a huge thank you to my Darling other half for such a special was just what the Dr ordered  :-)

Saturday night we had a little visitor to our garden....a very welcome little visitor but we have 3 little dogs who like to bark and play football with them!  Thankfully it was their bedtime so he could wander to his heart's content and hopefully eat all the slugs and snails he could find.  I just had to snap a pic but as you can see [or not see in this case!] he is beautifully camouflaged on the gravel.
And of course, with having a Friday off, by Sunday I was tearing at the leash to get sewing so I just had to run up dresses number 49 and 50  :-)

Number 49 is made with a piece of the gorgeous fabric Twiggy sent me and I've prettied it up with embroidery anglaise and a pearly bead on the pocket.

Number 50 is made from fabric left over from one of my tops and I've trimmed it up with nursery rhyme ribbon.

My box of bagged up little dresses is nearly empty but please don't think our dress making is coming to an end cos I have been promised lots more fabric from more kind bloggers and this ironing board full was left for me by my eldest daughter when she was here Friday night babysitting the dogs...she is nesting like mad now and had been having a good turn out of unwanted bedding to make space for baby goodies.  Thanks M.  I have no doubt Twiglet will be down very soon and we will set to to cut out lots more little dresses  :-)  We will be parcelling up the next batch and sending it on it's way to Louise very soon so keep an eye out for that postman Louise. :-)

Latest update
The postman has just been and look what he brought with him...

Another gorgeous sheet ...this time from our good friend and blogger Di over at Pixie's Crafty Workshop.  And just look at the gorgeous card she popped in with her well she knows me....I just love poppies.
Thank you sooooooo much Di.  Twiglet and I will be getting busy with it very soon......that is if she turns up today  :-)

Hope you all have a great week.