17 October 2014

Survey: Should I change to Disqus comments?


I need your help! I'm thinking of changing my comments to Disqus comments, and would really like your thoughts.

Why Disqus?

Mostly, I find it more interactive. If I comment on someone else's blog, unless there is a 'subscribe to comments' feature or in the case of Blogger, the 'Notify me' option is available (which it often isn't!), the only way to see any response(s) to my comment is to go back to the post in question and lordy, I cannot remember every single post I comment on. With Disqus, I get a notification of a reply to my comment, either by e-mail or from within the Disqus interface itself when logged in on anyone's blog/website.

However, I know that some people really don't like it e.g. some people report login or sign-up problems. And I wouldn't want to stop or put people off commenting on my blog. Whilst I want to foster further conversation, and for  people to be notified of my replies, I don't want to stem all conversation in the first place!

Your help

So, my question to the people who do comment on my blog (gawd love ya! thank you!), would you love, hate or be indifferent about this? I've created a wee poll down there and would loveyoulongtime if you could select one of those answers. Of course, if you have more to stay please go ahead and leave a comment.

I'm looking forward to your thoughts!


If you changed to Disqus comments, I would...

11 October 2014

Sewing Saturday: Colette Iris shorts

This Sewing Saturday post comes in the shape of shorts.


Colette — Iris  |  £12 Printed Pattern  |  Beginner

These shorts were actually the first piece of clothing I made (read: finished) and I was really happy with how they turned out. Of course, you will notice how shoddily my invisible zipper insertion is! And I probably should've fixed that. *slapped wrist* But they are really comfortable! The purple zip was the only invisible zip I had at the time but with the purple flowers in this cotton/linen blend fabric, I think I just about get away with it. Maybe not. There are some slight issues with the zipper reaching the top. But, I liked them so much, I made them in a navy flowery print as well! The zip was much better on those pair. ;)

Beige and flower print, cotton/linen blend. Navy flower print, cotton. Fabricland, Bristol, each ~£4 per metre. 
Sizing and cutting
  • Size: I cut a size 6 and it fit out of the packet. 
  • Adjustment(s): None
  • Fabric: As you can see, I didn't pattern match; the fabric is busy enough. The stretch of the fabric means they do give a little. This is what makes them so comfortable! Once washed, they return to their original shape. I made the same size in the navy flowery cotton and that doesn't have as much give so they are a little tighter. Both pairs were lined in white cotton lawn.
Pattern instructions
The pattern instructions were very good and easy to follow. The second time around, very little reference to the pattern instructions was required. 
Fitting and alterations
Only one real alternation:
  • Lining: the pattern does not provide details on lining the shorts but I decided to line them. This involves cutting the same pieces for the shorts, without creating the pockets, and joining them at the top of the shorts before adding the waistband. 
Yay! No adjustments to the pattern pieces needed.
  • Seams: I made these when I had access to an overlocker so the seams had a purdy, professional finish. 
  • Lining: As I mentioned above, I lined the pockets and shorts with white cotton lawn.
  • Hem: I actually hand stitched the lining for the beige pair (!) and machine top-stitched the navy pair.
Despite the dodgy zip, I'm happy with the beige pair. They are my go-to shorts for holidays and around the house.

Working on...

1. Tilly And The Buttons — Lilou Dress  |  Traced pattern  |  Book £10 on Amazon

Yup, still working on this. It's been rather calamitous! After a disaster with a broken zip that left me stuck in the dress until I could get the zip down, and fabric that has given way too much at the seams, I put this to one side for a little while.

Also, I've not really been able, or wanted to touch any fabric the last week or so as I managed to pick up impetigo whilst at a party where they hold playgroups! But antibiotics finally cured me and I should be able to get back on the sewing wagon.

2. Neon Dot Canvas Totes  |  Basic Tote pattern

For our sponsored charity at work, FareShare Southwest, we are hosting a Craft Fair where I plan to sell canvas tote bags decorated with neon dots, zippered polka dot pouches and possibly some geometric cushions. Watch this space!

Other news...

1. Celebrate Indie Patterns competition win  |  3 x By Hand London patterns

I won a competition! That basically never happens. After posting a review of a By Hand London pattern; my Georgia you saw last time, on Pattern Review, I was chosen at random to receive three By Hand London patterns of my choice! :D To diversify my pattern collection slightly I opted for the Holly Jumpsuit, Anna Dress and Victoria Blazer. I really would recommend becoming part of Pattern Review, subscribing to their newsletter and watching out for their competitions.

Today, after the success of the trip to London's Goldhawk Road with some members of my old sewing and dressmaking class, we are currently perusing the fabric on offer at Birmingham Rag Market followed by a trip to Guthrie & Ghani. I am on the hunt for some fabric for an Anna Dress for our 1920's themed Work Christmas Ball. What fabric and colour to go for?!

2. Lauren to Sew with Lauren  |  Signed Book £25 at Guthrie & Ghani |  Book £17 on Amazon

In addition to the sewing and dressmaking books now gracing my shelves that I mentioned last time, I also received a free copy of Learn to Sew with Lauren after subscribing to Love Sewing magazine. If anyone is interested, I definitely recommend a subscription.

Lauren's book comes with 5 adult garments with multi-size patterns in handy little envelopes at the front and back of the book. I already have my eye on several of the projects!

3. I have an overlocker!  |  Singer 14SH754  |  £129 Lidl

I almost could not believe this deal at Lidl! They were selling Singer overlockers for £129 AND Singer sewing machines for £99. This overlocker is priced at £300 in Hobbycraft and £250 on Amazon. I was not passing this opportunity up! And so I was the first person in my local Lidl store when they opened at 8am and bagged myself the first overlocker. :D I haven't used her yet as I'm still a little scared, but soon!

Do keep your eyes peeled for Lidl offers like this as I'm told they do them perhaps every year. Maybe Aldi too.

Has anyone else been sewing or crafting? What's on your table?


Sewing page | Sewing Saturday posts

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I purchased all items mentioned myself. All views expressed are my own.

07 October 2014

The year in books: October

This year is going uber fast! August was a very satisfying month book-wise so I was hoping this month was going to follow suit.


The City & the City - China Miéville (2009)

date finished: 4 Oct 2014  |  ASIN: B003E2UQLO   |  pages: 373 (Kindle)

Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad begins investigating the murder of a female PhD student in his city of residence, Besel. As the investigation continues and the details unravel, he has no option but to travel to Ul Qoma to get answers.

This was certainly an interesting read but whether I enjoyed it, is difficult to say really. Having started with the murder I really thought the investigation and the interaction between Besel and Ul Qoma; the two cities of the title, would be the main focus of the book and it was up to a point but the investigative parts didn't really ring true, I struggled to connect with the characters and visual descriptions of either city were severely lacking. Then toward the end, it felt as though Miéville though 'Oh shit! I need to get in loads that stuff I mentioned in the synopsis about nationalists and unifications buy I'm running out of time/pages! Quick, do it now. RELEASE!' because there was just a mass of information and introduction of characters that I got pretty lost. In terms of excitement and understanding, the end of the book was peaks and troughs. The final chapters, as far as I could tell, were supposed to have an ethereal feel but I'm not sure that it didn't just evoke in me 'Er... what?!' and I'm still not entirely sure whodunnit. It's a shame as I know a lot of people enjoyed this, and the concept of these two cities was very interesting. I didn't dislike it but it wasn't great for me.

rating: ★★★☆☆


This month's book is a recommendation from a friend, someone else who equally enjoyed Nele Neuhaus' Snow White Must Die. So, October's book is Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. After trying the Kindle sample, I had to have it. And decided to buy the paperback this month as, well, just look at the cover! The picture doesn't do it justice at all. It's lovely to touch too; it has a brushed effect.
Northern Iceland, 1829. A woman condemned to death for murdering her lover. A family forced to take her in. A priest tasked with absolving her. But all is not as it seems, and time is running out: winter is coming, and with it the execution date. Only she can know the truth. This is Agnes's story.
Does this take anyone else's fancy?

Also, with that synopsis, I cannot resist posting a link to this meme.

More October books...

So after debating last month whether to duck out of the work book club. Yeah, I'm gonna. The constant cancellations and postponements are frustrating, and this happening on the day of said meeting, after I have potentially put over other activities for it, is down right aggravating. So, I'm joining another for now; Bristol Book Group. You are given three books to choose from and just read whatever you takes your fancy, or all if you wish. I've opted for Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca as my sister has a copy. Of the other two, Emma Donoghue's Room has been on my to-read list for a while but the library were out (and I am being strict with spending); and Thomas Harris' Red Dragon was tricky to get hold of, cheaply at least.

Also, if anyone has any book recommendations, I have a work trip followed by mini-holiday to Hawaii thus have many hours of long haul and beach time to fill. Recommend away!

What are you reading?


Want to take part in The Year in Books project?
Visit Laura's October link-up post at The Circle of Pine Trees blog to add yourself to the list and grab the button she's very kindly created. You can take part using the hashtag #theyearinbooks on Instagram and Twitter. There is also a Pinterest board and a Goodreads group. I know; great, right?