Tulip Yoke Baby Cardigan by Jennifer Little

I’ve got a lot of shine sport yarn from Knit Picks which I absolutely LOVE but as ever when you buy the yarn before you know exactly what you’re going to do with it the perfect pattern can remain elusive.

I’ve made a couple of cardigans for babies in shine sport before and had really good feedback from the Mums regarding the softness and how washable it is. I wanted to make something new though for Enid and especially since I had so many fab shades I fancied some colourwork too.

So I turned to the vast array of patterns available for free on Ravelry and found this gorgeous Tulip Yoke Baby Cardigan by Jennifer Little of Looking Glass Knits.

It’s quite a while since I actually knitted it but a couple of things stick in my mind.  First of all, the pattern sizing is 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12 months.  Now I have a history of my knits turning out on the large side but my finished cardigan was made in the smallest size and it still won’t fit Enid now and she’s one next week.

The top down style of the pattern is really clever and you don’t have to sew in sleeves which is one of my least favourite things…

I found that the button bands were more stable in a garter stitch and am not 100% happy with the width of the neck but I’ll know more about that once she grows into it.

It’s a nice simple pattern though and I’d recommend it!


New Look 6038 – Baby Dresses

Now that I’ve revealed the existence of Enid I can finally get down to the business of making her wee clothes and posting them on here!

So far I’ve made two dresses, both from the same pattern for her and she’ll be quite a while growing into them but I think in general dresses are a bit wasted on babies until they can walk.  They hamper the old knees while scuttling about the floor!

New Look 6038

New Look 6038

This is the second New Look children’s pattern I’ve used and I really like them.  For one they’re so simple to follow and they’re super cheap especially since they always offer so much in the much in the way of variations.

6038lineI decided to make version C without the sleeves and use bias binding on the edges.

My first version was using a turquoise cotton I got for £3/m from IKEA.

I went for a cute little deer applique, the template for which I’ve had a long time and think I found on Pinterest but can’t remember so apologies for that.


The second time is in a red viscose with a tres chic Audrey Hepburn applique.  I like the red one the best although the fabric is softer and doesn’t hold the shape as well.

I overlocked the turquoise in the contrasting yellow thread which I think actually looks quite funky on the reverse…

fancy pants contrasting overlock

fancy pants contrasting overlock

…and then with the red I got all serious and pro and did French Seams so that it would be more hard wearing…

ooh la la

ooh la la

Now I just have to wait until she’s about two so that they fit!!!


I was scared of makeup and other riveting true stories…

I’ll maybe write about whether women should wear makeup (yes, if they want to) and whether it’s just to make men like them (nope, not in my humble opinion) another time but in light of my recent inability to knit or sew much I thought I’d pick a new subject…

Makeup as I grew up was a vague and distant concept, something that girls I didn’t understand and was intimidated by put on their faces with confidence.  It felt as if memberships to the makeup club were handed out early on, possibly even at birth, and I hadn’t been in the queue.


I tried a couple of things out in High School but my wee home town only boasted a small Boots with limited choices.  I had read in magazines (Just Seventeen, It’s Bliss etc…) to try foundation on the back of my hand to see if it was the right colour but I was too shy and self-conscious to even consider opening a tester so I just picked one that looked right and I could afford.  I don’t know what brand it was but it was definitely all wrong and the one and only time I applied it with a squeaky sponge and ventured out in public I was so mortified when my “friend” pointed out and laughed at my tide mark that I washed it off in the toilets and never dared again.

Like many teenage girls I think, I spent a lot of time during my early High School career in the toilets wishing I was someone else.  I arrived at a large school with a huge catchment area from a tiny island Primary School with a total of 46 pupils, 7 in my class.  My school was wonderful however the one thing it didn’t prepare me for was fashion!  Having grown up on a farm with mostly just each other to play with, my sisters and I were used to wearing whatever we liked.   Sure we coveted Blossom’s hats and my sister had an amazing Kylie inspired Ra-Ra skirt but “style” was irrelevant, we liked colour and comfort!

I arrived at High School in 1995 aged 11 and about a foot taller than every other girl or boy in my year.  There was no uniform or dress code so my enthusiastic selection of a pink aztec print flannel shirt over baggy crinkly stretch jeans stuck out like a sore thumb in a sea of fruit of the loom tracksuits in black or marl grey, skinny jeans and natty little denim or bomber jackets. Mortified, my subsequent attempts to “get it right” were always off the mark and there was always someone with better trainers or the right branded jeans ready to point it out.  It shouldn’t have mattered but it did, it’s hard being a teenager.

Summer of 95 - Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens!

Summer of 95 – Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens!

Of course none of that matters now and I eventually learned to express myself in other ways but I never shook the desire to own and use all those wonderfully clicky shiny little packages!  I ogled pictures of MAC pigments and Dior Lipsticks in magazines but the older I got the more embarrassed I was that I had no clue and I remained very reluctant to experiment with makeup well into my twenties.*

*Apart from at University when I developed a “signature” green eyeshadow and wonky eyeliner look.

2002 - Green eyeshadow to detract from spots and shininess.  That might actually be an attempt at lipgloss?   (yes, that's a plastic boob in the background!)

2002 – Green eyeshadow to detract from spots and shininess. That might actually be an attempt at lip gloss?
(yes, that’s a plastic boob in the background!)

Fast forward to 2009 and I was about to get married.  I had the dress and I wanted the movie star face to match but was struck dumb by the idea of makeup.  I had this idea in my head that people who had their faces “done” for a Wedding often looked too made up and I really didn’t want it caked on or someone else’s interpretation of what I should look like.  That’s when it occurred to me that for the cost of a makeup artist I could have a whole makeup bag full of products that would last me a lot longer than just one day…

So I summoned up all of my courage and did something I had bottled out of so many times in my life – I walked up to the MAC counter at House of Fraser…

Turned out it was my lucky day – the makeup artist / sales assistant who approached put me instantly at ease barely blinking when I told her that I was a complete novice rather than the disdain I had always imagined.  She sat me down and because it was a quiet time of day spent well over an hour helping me find products and showing me how to use them.  I was blown away by her kindness and what the products did to my face!  I was officially hooked…

 I bought:

Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NW20

I love this foundation and have repurchased at least three times.  It gives really good coverage and the powdery texture is great for my oily t-zone.

Select Cover-Up Concealer in NW20

I have also repurchased this several times as I don’t really feel I’ve found another concealer as good for spots.

Single Eye Shadows in Kid and Blanc

I still have these!  The stickers on the bottom have rubbed off though so I’m not 100% sure that the lighter whitish shade is in fact Blanc.  I am still not brilliant at eyeshadows so these are great colours for me as I can’t do too much damage.

Eyebrow Pencil in Spiked

Self propelling, self sharpening eyebrow pencil.  I did repurchase this once but realised two things:  1.  It doesn’t last very long at all and 2. There are cheaper eyebrow pencils I like just as much.

Brow Finisher

This is a clear waxy retractable brow pen designed to hold your brows in place.  I have kind of wavy unruly brows so this was a reasonable idea but I shouldn’t have bought this with hindsight.  It just got all manky straight away and if I used the pencil first it had the effect of smudging the colour in a blurry eyebrow outline.  I was probably doing it wrong but I used it two or three times at most.

Lip Pencil in Cherry

I have repurchased this at least twice wearing it under lipstick over my whole lip, I wouldn’t wear it on its own though as I find it very drying and need a lipstick on top to be able to move my mouth!

Lipstick in Ruby Woo

A very matte vivid blue-red lipstick.  The only lipstick I have ever finished and repurchased, TWICE!  I’ve worn this (with Cherry pencil) SO many times, to begin with just “for fancy” but eventually just whenever I wanted red which is most days!  I find it so easy to wear although occasionally quite drying.  I will buy this until either it’s discontinued or I die.

187 Duo Fibre Stipling Face Brush

Gosh I just looked this up and although they only seem to do a short version on the website now I was quite shocked to discover I’d paid £34 for this! I promise that if it hadn’t been for my wedding there is NO WAY that would have happened!  I’m so glad I have this though and I have used it every time I applied foundation for the last 6 years so I guess it was a very good investment.  I haven’t tried any other foundation brushes although I just ordered the Expert Face Brush from Real Techniques so it will be interesting to compare.

So yes, it was an expensive day in 2009 and a very good one for that sales assistant but I was well within my Wedding Budget, especially since my dress cost £80.

I hope this wasn’t too boring a post because I’ve really developed a big interest in makeup lately and would like to write some more on the subject from the point of view of a clueless amateur!!



Reasons to quit Facebook and a little lady called Enid

In 2014 I managed a grand total of 1 blog post and 2013 wasn’t much better, I went Internet Silent for a while.

It’s not uncommon for people to deactivate Facebook accounts and do internet detoxes when the oversharing, trolling, memes, boring updates, mommyjacking etc all gets a bit much and I’ve done it a few times for those reasons however I did it for a very unexpected reason towards the end of 2013 and into early 2014.  I was pregnant.

For some that would have been a reason to share news, joys and jubilations with all of their friends but it stopped me in my tracks.  You see, I had been under the impression that I couldn’t have children.  I had wanted to be a mother since I was a child myself, had it all planned out and when I got married in 2009 I fully expected to be somebody’s Mum by 2010, 11 at the latest.  I wasn’t though and what followed was five years of disappointment, heartache and devastation.  I won’t go into it in detail but I was so lost.  My vision for the future was broken and at times I didn’t really understand how a happy and full life could ever be an option for me without a family.  I didn’t have a back up plan and I was so obsessed and fixated with my goal that I couldn’t see anything else.

Things came to breaking point at the beginning of 2013 when we realised that a big change was needed and we moved out of the city which had started to become so oppressive and back to my beloved and native West Highland home.  We took on a big new project which meant the heart-rending decision that Seamus and Emmylou our beloved kitties had to go live with Mr Kapow’s Dad in Herefordshire (they are so happy there!). As we drove to our new life it felt like a fresh start and I literally felt the weight lift off my shoulders.  For the first 8 weeks we lived on the job and worked tirelessly from morning till night.  We grew fitter, stronger and happier and it took me far longer than it should have to realise something was different with my body.  I put off doing a test for fear that the result would plunge me back into my former life and when I could stand it no longer and looked at the result time literally stood still…

…shit.  What now?!?!?!  I didn’t want to tell anyone, as if saying it out loud would cancel it.  We told only immediately family and very close friends until well after the 12 week point and even after people knew I still was terrified that too many people knowing was a negative thing.  I felt like I had made the whole thing up; did test after test even after I’d had my first scan just to make sure the result was still the same.  I was just waiting for the next medical professional I saw to tell me to stop wasting their time.  A friend of mine had a dog called Connie and she had a phantom pregnancy, it seemed so obvious.

So I shut down all my internets, no facebook and definitely no blog. Facebook in particular had been a source of great pain for me in the past.  The constant sharing of baby pictures, first days at school, “like this if you’re someone’s Mummy” memes were sometimes agony and I didn’t want to hurt anyone else who couldn’t have children by making a pregnancy announcement.  Mr Kapow bless him was desperate to but I just didn’t want anyone asking questions, all of a sudden I was shy and secretive.  I couldn’t “go public” or plan my nursery or write blog posts about making wee clothes because the baby wasn’t coming, something bad was going to happen…

…well our beautiful daughter Enid (mostly known as Critter or Toodles) is going to be a year old in March.  She was real!10428440_10154817686830596_4934338475870103751_n

I’m not sure why I feel compelled to write this now, part of it’s because I want to return to blogging and feel the need to bridge a gap before all of a sudden starting to talk about babies a little (or as much as I’m comfortable with) but it’s also in case anyone who identifies is looking for reassurance that it’s not just them…


Invisible Zipper Tutorials :: Show me a garment please or why patterns are wrong!

Invisible Zips aren’t hard to do.

But they’re hard to remember HOW to do!

I’ve been sewing a few years now and during that time have put in more than a few invisible zips but for the life of me I’ve never been able to memorise the process, especially since I’m self / internet taught to a large extent.  Perhaps if I was doing it every day but for the meantime I almost always resort to an online tutorial to jog my memory, especially for the part where I’m doing the second side and trying to work out which way it should be twisted round, y’know?

Tutorials I love and find very clear are:

Installing an Invisible Zipper (with video) by The Coletterie

This one by By Hand London I find particularly good because they’re using the same rubbish little plastic foot I have.  I have the little ikea ironing board too which is so useful for sewing!

So these are great but you will notice that they both (and most other ones you’ll find online and in books) depict garments (or sample fabric) which are left open at the seam where you are installing the zip.  It has taken me until now to realise that this is intentional and not just annoying.

Patterns always tell you to sew the zipper seam up to a certain point THEN install the zipper which I have SELDOM managed to achieve without a wee snag / bumfle where it meets the existing hem line.  It works a LOT better the way shown in these tutorials however I have been frowned at for doing this by my very experienced and puritan Sewing Club Captain!

I for one would really appreciate an Invisible Zipper Tutorial which showed a zip being installed into an actual garment like a dress.

The other thing I would like to see or for someone to explain properly to me is how to “treat” or “deal with” the top of the zip. I’ve seen it folded down etc but can’t seem to find anywhere a definitive “lesson” on this when it comes to facings or bindings.

Do you know what I’m talking about or is the reason I’m not finding any help down to my inability to explain myself to you and / or Google?!

I’m off, Strictly’s on.

Photo: www.glossybox.co.uk

Glossybox Vs Birchbox and are either of them actually worth it?

I don’t normally post reviews on here but after receiving my second Glossybox yesterday I felt compelled to share my thoughts.

For those of you who don’t know Glossybox and Birchbox are beauty “monthlies” where basically you fill in a questionnaire about your skin tone and type and then for about a tenner a month (+p&p) they post you products and samples in lovely boxes and it’s a wonderful girly pampering treat!

I heard about Glossybox first through some friends and loved the concept. I live a long way away from any department stores and the idea of receiving a box of surprise treats in the mail. The website really sold it to me:


Beauty addicts rejoice! The hottest new service to hit the beauty world is GLOSSYBOX, a monthly beauty box full of carefully curated high-end beauty products. For only 10£ (plus p+p), GLOSSYBOX mails you five deluxe-sized beauty samples from your favorite luxury brands – and brands that you may not yet know, but will soon fall in love with. 

For me the buzz words were “high-end”; “deluxe-sized” and “luxury brands”.  I live in the middle of nowhere in a town with a miniscule Boots, a small Superdrug and a Tesco as my only real cosmetic emporiums and only ever buy a “women’s lifestyle” magazine in a (usually public transport related) emergency or if it’s got a particularly good free gift so the opportunity for discovering new brands was a further temptation.

I was hesitant though about subscribing, ten pounds is actually quite a lot of money to be spending a month on stuff I might never use.  I found it hard to justify such flagrant and decadent spending on little old me considering my low-budget income but I was bolstered by the fact that I could cancel at any time and Mr Kapow’s assurances that I deserved treats and should go for it.  Furthermore, if this was truly going to be full of high-end, luxury brands in deluxe sizes than I would be able to have products I would never be able to afford otherwise.

I was excited, the website is all glamorous and the boxes themselves – even sans contents – looked lovely, I love a box me!


I eagerly awaited my first box which would be November 2013 and due to arrive around the time of my 30th birthday.  It was called the Christmas Wishlist Edition so I was expecting glitz and glamour!

Glossybox November 2013

Photo from Glossybox.co.uk

Photo from Glossybox.co.uk

The Box

It came via Hermes which is not a service much used in the sticks as yet but it arrived safe and sound and was very well packaged. The pink Glossybox box inside was a thrilling and decadent looking discovery and then the products inside were lovingly wrapped in a coordinating tissue and ribbon indulgence.  I felt so spoiled!

The Products

Vichy Idealia Life Serum (2x3mls) & Smoothing and Illuminating Cream (3mls)

In a little pink organza bag which made them look prettier than three tiny little boxes I suppose.  I’m assuming their tininess has a lot to do with how expensive the full products actually are but Vichy was a brand I had been wanting to try and might have considered purchasing so I was quite pleased with these.




Yves Rocher Hand Cream Cacao & Pistache (75ml Full Size) 

I got the Cocoa and Pistachio fragranced one in the middle.  This is a lovely hand cream which smells divine and very Christmasy and while I knew I’d use it I know the brand Yves Rocher pretty well having been given a lot of products by them in my childhood by my Mum and various Aunts in the form of free samples.  I was initially surprised to find a full-sized product in the box but quickly realised that it costs less than £2.  Result I guess as I genuinely like it and can afford to buy it but not exactly a high-end product like I expected.

Elegant Touch Rapid Dry Spray (Full Size)

I got the spray for drying nail varnish.

This to me is a bog standard product available from common as anything shops like New Look, Boots & Superdrug.

I can buy this at the same time as I’m picking up my Gran’s prescription and to be honest I’d be more likely to leave it on the shelf!

Not a high-end product. Huff.


Scholl Dry Skin Exfoliator (60ml Full Size)

Yep so another full-sized product but really?

I have nothing against this product as it’s probably quite good but again, high-end?

Practical, hideously packaged and in a way I’m kind of insulted.

Yet another product I could have stuck in my trolley at the supermarket.

Where’s my glitz and glamour?!

Emite Make Up Micronized Eyeshadow (Full Size 1.48g)

I got the light pinky / kidd shade.  This somewhat helped redeem the box as it’s a full-sized product from a company I hadn’t heard of and which I probably couldn’t afford in a nice inoffensive shade I probably will wear.

It was make-up too which was nice as so far I hadn’t found within this box any opportunity to doll myself up without feeling like a teenager too impatient to let her nails dry or an old lady with horrid scabby feet.

This was the only product in the box I felt tied in remotely with the Christmas Wishlist theme but even so the packaging was pretty dull so the overall excitement factor was not really improved.


I use the hand cream and will probably finish it.  The smell is lovely and it’s quite light and absorbs well.  I also tried the eye shadow which was nice enough however not as nice and long-lasting as my favourite MAC one in a similar shade which is also cheaper to buy!  I tried the serum but there’s not really enough of it or the illuminating cream I feel to get a good idea of whether the products are any good, they smell lovely though!  The other two products went straight into a box where I keep mundane stuff like extra cotton wool and last year’s sun cream.

My overall impression is of disappointment and guilt that I paid £10 (+p&p) for something I wanted to make me feel special and pampered and instead has made me feel like someone who wastes money on beauty box subscriptions.  This box was nowhere near my idea of a Christmas Wishlist and especially since I indicated in my questionnaire that I was particularly interested in make-up I wasn’t feeling very listened to.

I went online to cancel my subscription but got distracted by reading blogged reviews where some people seemed pretty happy with their boxes and others like me felt they’d been robbed.  These people mostly seemed to be saying that Birchbox offered a far better service with more high-end brands.  Before I knew it I’d signed up to them (SUCKER!) and decided to cancel Glossybox. As my finger hovered over the button though I was overcome by the temptation of a Christmas themed box….. I resolved (naughtily) to give the another shot and cancel in December if I wasn’t more impressed.

The process for signing up to Birchbox was much the same, similar questionnaire, similar layout but more grown up and less celebrity  endorsed looking website.  There were a few additional questions which asked me whether I had an interest in natural and organic products.  I really am so took this to be a very good sign!

Birchbox December 2013

The Box

Another lovely wee box.  Not as girly and swanky looking as the Glossybox but certainly inviting.  Instead of tissue and a ribbon the products are encased in a drawstring bag.  This is a nice idea but surprisingly I’d prefer the tissue because this bag is so shallow and pointlessly shaped that I can’t imagine what I might re-use it for.  I don’t feel that bad about binning a bit of tissue and could even reuse it with its ribbon to wrap a gift but I would feel bad about binning this…

The Products

Nail Rock Nail Glitter – Red (Full Size)

This was the first thing which caught my eye and initially I was excited by its glitteryness and the fact that it’s red (how did you know Birchers?).

I have opted not to wear nail polish brands that are at least “3 free” which as far as I can tell this one is.  Hooray!

Having read the blurb though and discovered it’s going to take me 2 coats followed by 15-20 mins drying time (where’s that drying spray?!) and the faff of dipping my nails in glitter and probably getting it everywhere I’m pretty sure it’ll stay in its box.

I *might* try it and am suitably charmed by its originality and Christmasy sparkle so this is actually something I’m happy with.

ModelCo. Party Proof Lipstick – Get Naked (Full Size)

Photo: Konnie Kapow

Photo: Konnie Kapow

Exciting to get a lipstick but I’m terrified of the colour!  Will it not just erase my lips?!

This product was also covered in an orangey coloured sticky substance as if it had been lurking down the back of someone’s sofa for a while.

There is no way I would wear it.  Nope nope nope.  Although it would be tempting to draw round it with a dark lip-liner and then pluck out my brows and draw them back in to finish the look.


It took me a while to work out that this was actually a product and not just a bit of card with a ribbon tied round it.

I liked the card showing me things I could do with it but probably won’t as I’m rubbish at “hairdos”.

To begin with I didn’t trust it but it seems to work quite well and apparently there will be no snags or dents in my hair when I take it back out.  Who knew?

Delarom Acquaconfort Mask (15ml)

Now this is a reasonable size for a sample, I can use this product a couple of times to try and actually see if it’s any good!

It smells great and is an eco-friendly brand I hadn’t heard of or used before.

Pleased with this!

Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle

Photo Konnie Kapow

Photo Konnie Kapow

I haven’t tried this yet but it claims to detangle, glossify and heat protect my hair.

It’s a good size and also an exclusive product.

That’s more like it!





Laura Mercier Body Souffle ambre vanille

Laura Mercier Body Souffle

Photo: Konnie Kapow

I had to laugh when I saw this because I was recently given another sample of this in the Almond / Coconut “flavour.”

I had heard of this brand and was interested in sampling it but when I used the first one was truly appalled by the smell.  Coconut and marzipan are fragrances and flavours I really dislike anyway but the overriding aroma of this was just like I’d smothered myself in rice pudding!

I didn’t like the texture either which was so light and strangely greasy that I didn’t feel the least bit moisturised and the smell lingered to the extent that Mr K tried to throw me out of bed!

Still I haven’t removed the foil to smell this one and I’m satisfied that the sample is a good size and a high-end product.


Much, much, much better than Glossybox!  Had the lipstick been a colour I could see a human being wearing other than in a sci-fi movie or a particularly horrendous driving instructor I once had I’d be really pleased.

The only other criticism was that whoever filled my box seemed to have pretty grubby fingers.  I’m not sure how long I’ll actually subscribe for as the guilt regarding my indulgence will probably get to me but I am definitely interested to see what’s in the next one!

Glossybox December 2013

The Box

Lovely Christmas themed box which definitely aroused hopes that last month’s box was a one-off flop and this one was going to be awesome!  Candy cane tissue with pretty white ribbon!

The Products

Wilkinson Sword Intuition Naturals Razor

What the hell?  A bog standard Wilkinson Sword razor?  You’re having a laugh right?

The overwhelming opinion that I’ve gathered from reading other blogs and a comment thread into the 70s on Facebook is that everyone was pretty surprised to see this.  It is very much the dominant item in the box taking up at least half of the space and it makes everything else in there look cheap.


Last month my Glossybox implied that I might need to exfoliate the dead skin from my trotters and this month it’s reminding me that I need to shave my legs?!  I’m seven months pregnant so will be lucky if I can even find my legs but that’s not the point here!

As soon as I saw this I knew we were over G’Box.  It’s not even gold! You dug your own grave.

RITUALS Miracle Balm White Lotus and Ginko Biloba

More hand cream?  Ok.

This is pretty good too actually and I like the packaging which is officially the most glamorous of any product I’ve had in my Glossyboxes.

It’s a bit sticky if you use too much but I’m always in the market for a good hand cream.

Maybelline BROW drama Sculpting Brow Mascara (7.6ml)

Photo: Konnie Kapow

Photo: Konnie Kapow

This is interesting, I am always looking for new ways to tame my brows and will definitely give this a try.

I was also pleased to see more make-up in this box since it is the party month after all.

Maybelline though, yet another brand I can get literally anywhere.

I wanted new and exotic brands I couldn’t pick up in my tiny home town and would make me feel pampered and posh.

Glossybox seem quite determined not to give me that and to remind me that I’m never going to amount to anything more exclusive than brands I bought in high school.

Seche Nail Lacquer Chocolat (Full size 14ml)

Photo: Konnie Kapow

Photo: Konnie Kapow

Perhaps it’s the horrible brown colour which is offputting because having googled this brand I can see that the range is quite good and since it’s only available at Liberty in the UK I’m unlikely to come across it in my day to day life.

It is also as far as I can tell “3 free.”

This is a good product to find in the box, I just hate the colour, that’s not Glossybox’s fault.

Beautiful Movement Beautiful Lips Gloss (4ml)

Photo: Konnie Kapow

Photo: Konnie Kapow

Again I’m a bit frightened of the shade here but the last two products have saved me from marching down to Glossybox HQ to ask for my money back!

I haven’t heard of this brand and was pleased to discover that Beautiful Movements Cosmetics products do not contain parabens, synthetic colours, fragrances, animal products, fillers, petrochemicals or bismuth oxychloride.

The brand belongs to Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and I’m normally not keen on celebrity products but this may well be a brand I’ll keep an eye on.


Glossybox Vs Birchbox? – Birchbox

Are either of them worth it? – Not really

I’m definitely cancelling Glossybox and will see what’s in the January Birchbox but to be honest I’ll probably cancel that too.

My overall feeling is that I’m throwing money away each month on products that I like but won’t use because the colour isn’t right or can pick up in any supermarket.

The surveys on both sites cover skin type and colouring but they don’t ask anything about your style or preferences which would actually be very hard to do.  I have also noticed that many customers on Glossybox’s facebook page are claiming that products they’ve been sent are not even suited to their skin type.

It’s nice to have the genuine high end products to try but I should probably just do some actual research into what I want and need rather than chucking away over £10 a month (+p&p) on a pretty box.


Try to line up seams and darts
Image property of Konnie Kapow

Vogue V8184 – Adventures in Fitting Part I

I’ve been sewing about 18 months now and had some great successes with fit mostly by chance.  I’ve made several items for myself but suspect I’m a pretty standard shape/size because they usually pretty much fit me (when I made the right size in the first place! see Vogue 2903!).

I’ve heard lots of people talking about pattern grading but haven’t as yet had cause to try it because I have avoided making for others on account of fear of the unknown. I was intrigued as to how that fear may be conquered however and the time finally came this week for me to make a dress for my sister who has a few weddings to attend this Summer…

Here were the problems:

My sister: Lovely lovely sister is NOT a standard size.  I worked out that she’s a 10-8-12 according to the pattern sizing charts.

Her fabric: It’s a gorgeous vintage cotton sateen print which she bought on Ebay.  However, it’s 45″ wide, there’s under 2m, it has quite a large pattern repeat and it also has a couple of big flaws I’ll need to work around.

The pattern:  Trying to explain to a non sewer why they can’t use certain patterns can be challenging.  She initially wanted a fuller skirt but I had to suggest she needed a straight one or a pencil due to fabric constraints.  I had Vogue 8184 in my stash and pretty much insisted it would be great.

Vogue Options V8184

Vogue Options V8184
Image from http://www.voguepatterns.mccall.com

She liked the idea of version F with a halter and I was delighted to see that it would only require 1.5m of fabric.


Step One – Take measurements of bust, waist and hips.

I almost immediately lost these measurements so decided that the best thing to do would be make a toile in a size 12 then fit it to her.  Yeah I just bandied the term “fit it to her” around in my head, no clue how to go about doing that but I’d find out!

Step Two – Cut fabric pieces out of an old duvet cover.

To my horror/delight I discovered that the bodice of this dress is self lined so in theory I could line with another fabric and thus conserve even more fabric for errors and such.  This is also when I realised that the dress is boned.  Oh crikey.

Emmylou looked on concerned

Emmylou looked on concerned
Image property of Konnie Kapow

Step Three – Construct dress in size 12 being a good girl and paying special attention to using the seam allowances on the actual pattern!

This was remarkably straight forward, the instructions were fab and took unnervingly little time.

Step Four – Be smug with self for several minutes then ponder for several more.

Great!  Size 12 dress!  Clearly going to be too big for her though and no way of fitting her because she’s not available for several says and also I don’t know how to do that.

Vogue Options V8184 Toile

Vogue Options V8184 Toile – halter and front flaps are just pinned on for effect.
Image property of Konnie Kapow

Step Five – Be impulsive.

We’re moving house in a few weeks so I really wanted to crack on as I’ll need to pack my sewing machine at some point.  I’m also super impatient so I decided to guess how much smaller to make the dress.

Step Six – Find reference point.

I had a skirt on hand that I had taken in for that same sister and hadn’t given her back yet but I knew fitted her waist and hips so using that as a template I drew new marks on the bottom half of the toile.

Step Seven – Maths!

Gawd.  Maths has never been my forte but I measured the waist of the skirt which I knew fitted and then the dress which I knew would be too big.  The difference was 7cm.  I adjusted my markings of the bottom half to make sure it was even and then turned to the bodice.

There are 7 pieces in this bodice meaning 6 seams including the two princess seams at the bust.  I divided 7 by 6 and got 1.17cm.  I considered leaving the princess seams as they were as she is quite busty and then reducung the rest evenly but ultmatetely decided to reduce them all.  I didn’t have any fancy tools for doing this, I just used my tape measure and drew dots every couple of centimetres down the existing seams.

Step Eight – Sew again!

I then sewed the new seams parallel to the old ones tweaking it a little bit to make sure the front seams still lined up with the darts and side seams.

Princess seam adjustment Image Propety of Konnie Kapow

Princess seam adjustment
Image Propety of Konnie Kapow

Try to line up seams and darts Image property of Konnie Kapow

Try to line up seams and darts
Image property of Konnie Kapow

Step Nine – Wait.

All I could do now was wait impatiently for an opportunity to get her to try this on…… drums fingers…….watches butterflies….makes another cup of tea…..

My gorgeous and super talented designer friend and colleague Jemima of K’outure fame offered moral support and even said she would help with the fitting if I got stuck.  What a sweetie.

Step Ten – The moment of truth

She came round last night and to my amazement the dress actually fits!  I even stuck a very wonky zip in it with her hovering over my shoulder (have you tried that? It’s so hard with someone watching – well done Sewing Bee-ers!) so I could see the proper lines etc and it just bloody well fits!

V8184 Toile  Image property of Konnie Kapow

V8184 Toile
Image property of Konnie Kapow

V8184 Toile from the back Image property of Konnie Kapow

V8184 Toile from the back
Image property of Konnie Kapow

So now what?  I guess the next challenge will be matching the print in the real fabric and doing boning and stuff….