Sunday, 22 September 2019


As well as stitching up some soft toys for the littler grandson I have been having some fun stitching up some play outfits for his big brother.

We have a castle shaped playhouse for the boys to play in so what else could I make but a knight's tunic and helmet? I was lucky enough to come across a fabric shop with bolts of felt when we stopped in Rouen, so snapped up enough to make this tabard.

I used this book again for the pattern, although I changed it about a little. When I had cut out the tabard, I felt that the gap for the head was a bit neat, and our grandson is not a big fan of squeezing clothes over his head at the best of times! So I opened up the shoulders and added tabs to create a wider gap which, hopefully, he will be able to pull on and off without feeling smothered! There are Velcro tabs at each side which should make a speedy change easy too :)

Then I decided that with all the trees around us the ideal outfit for playtime was a woodcutter's costume. I "persuaded" my DH to surrender a t-shirt and proceeded to hack away at the hem and sleeves :)

I found this scarf brooch in amongst my costume jewellery and commandeered it for the belt buckle, with a belt made from some brown cotton fabric that was lurking in my stash.

Finally, I had a go at a hat, but I think there is more work needed on that!

Didn't stop the gorgeous grandson having fun "chopping" trees down though :)

Friday, 20 September 2019

Toys for a Boy

Our gorgeous grandsons joined us for the last week of our recent holiday in France, so I stitched up some toys for their amusement whilst they were there.

First up a ribbon taggy for the littlest grandson, I thought that the Babar fabric was very appropriate for the location :) The ribbons were bought in the local market so there was a distinctly French flavour to this taggy.

Can you spot the deliberate mistake? Sadly I didn't realise until I had stitched the opening closed (twice!) that the gap between the yellow and green ribbons on the right hand side was because the orange ribbon that was there is still on the inside!! I am sure that the tiny grandson will not notice :)

Next up some soft blocks for the same little man. I didn't have a lot of fabric to hand so used as many bright coloured fabrics as I could and added bits of the leftover ribbon from the taggy blanket.

I wanted to add some different textures to the blocks so this square was made from a scrap of fleece that I had on hand.

This square crackles when squeezed

because both it and the taggy blanket are backed with some of this, the inner bag from a cereal packet! I was trying to find a way to make the block and taggy "noisy" when I came across this post that mentioned using a washed cereal bag and realised that it was the ideal solution.

I am pleased to report that both were well used on the holiday!

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Markets and Martyrs

Instead of hurtling down the motorway to our destination in France, last week we took a more leisurely journey and stopped off overnight in Rouen.

We have driven through Rouen several times as it is on the most direct route from the Channel Tunnel to our ultimate destination, but had never before stopped there other than accidentally because of roadworks!

Finding our hotel for the night, which was on a pedestrian street in the Old Town was our first challenge, and negotiating the car lift to the underground car park was our second! Once settled though we headed out to explore.

Although it was early evening the market place was busy and there was still a considerable amount of produce available to purchase.

Those peppers were particularly tempting!

On a more grisly note, this cross next to the market place marks the site where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake on May 30th, 1431. Joan was only 19 at the time of her death and a later re-examination of her trial pronounced her innocent and declared her a martyr.

A modern church commemorated to St Joan and completed in 1979, now stands at the spot too. The sweeping curves of the roof are said to be a reference to the flames of the execution.

Rouen is famous for it's centuries old half-timbered houses, many of which have been restored, and some of the examples in this street of the Great Clock are thought to pre-date the burning of St Joan!

Rouen is also a city of magnificent churches and this one, St Maclou, is one of the prettiest I think.

St Ouen Abbey church is pretty impressive too!

And just when you think that can't be surpassed then you come across Notre-Dame Cathedral!

Have I whetted your appetite for a visit to Rouen? And I haven't even mentioned the restaurants:) Just let me say that I will never look at smoked beef in the same way again :)

Linking up to Wandering Camera

If you have visited somewhere New to You this month link up your post to this month's New to Me link party here I am always on the lookout for new places to go!

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