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  1. eternal magpie & Rainbright Photography

    For our dress giveaway, Sarah of Rainbright Photography and I asked folks to leave a comment describing what their child would be most likely to keep in the pockets of this dress. The results were many and varied, ranging from kisses (so sweet!) to little toys. Certain themes did crop up quite frequently though, so I've compiled a Top Five list of Things To Keep In Your Pockets: 

    eternal magpie: what would you keep in your pockets?

    Stones, pebbles and rocks were the most popular answer, by a very long way! Maybe the current painted rock craze has something to do with that... or perhaps everybody loves a nice smooth pebble? 

    Daisies and other flowers were second on the list - perhaps inspired by Sarah's beautiful photos of Sienna, who definitely enjoyed picking lots of different flowers and popping them in her pockets! 

    After that, there were clear groupings of other items. Natural treasures such as leaves, feathers, sticks, acorns and fir cones were very popular. Then came a selection of actual creatures, from slugs, snails, worms and baby birds to a pet mouse! There was some concern as to whether a pet mouse might nibble a hole... but can't you just imagine a sweet little mouse curled up in a cosy pocket nest? 

    In fifth place, with an equal number of comments, came fairies and snacks - clearly both very important items to keep about your person!

    Given that the majority of the pocket treasures on the list are things found in nature... I had an idea to maybe write a monthly(ish) blog post (or start a mailing list) about what you might find out and about each month that you could bring home in your pockets. What do you think? Is that the sort of thing you might be interested in reading, either on the blog or in an email? Let me know!

  2. Liberty print summer pointy witch hat

    You know that train of thought where you’re looking at your felted witch’s hat and thinking that it’s a bit hot to wear for the summer solstice and then you start to wonder what a summer witch’s hat would look like and suddenly you’re drawing up a new sewing pattern...? 

    So, here's the thing. I seem to have made a Liberty tana lawn witch's hat. 

    It needs some minor alterations to the brim (it's asymmetrical, and a bit floppy on the other side), but I rather fancy making a few more of these!

  3. eternal magpie: behind the scenes with Rainbright Photography

    A little while ago my friend Sarah and I ran a model call, so that we could take some photos of my dresses on an Actual Person rather than on a coathanger up a tree. After several weeks of waiting for the perfect evening weather, and some tense moments when the local council very inconsiderately mowed down our favourite meadow (how rude!), the day came around and we all met up at a local park. 

    Rainbright Photography & eternal magpie photo shoot

    I think we can agree that it went quite well! 

    Rainbright Photography & eternal magpie photo shoot

    I absolutely love Sarah's work - as Rainbright Photography, she specialises in outdoor seasonal portraits of children and families. The way she captures the light, no matter the time of year, is absolutely magical. 

    Rainbright Photography & eternal magpie photo shoot

    These are just a few of Sarah's images - I'll share the rest over the next few weeks, as I pop them on social media and start changing over some of the pictures on the website. I've specifically picked out some of the photos featuring the lovely Sienna making good use of the pockets, and that's because...

    drum roll... 

    Rainbright Photography & eternal magpie photo shoot

    We're having a GIVEAWAY, and you can win this dress! 

    I actually have two, in ages four and five. The way to enter is to pop over to my eternal magpie Facebook page and leave a comment letting me know what your little one would most like to keep in their pockets!
    For an extra bonus entry, you can do the same thing on Sarah's Rainbright Photography Facebook page too. 

    We'll be choosing the winner on Saturday, so you've got until Friday night to get your comments in!

  4. eternal magpie: upcycled t-shirt

    Some days it's all about sewing lovely dresses. 

    Some days it's all about taking the scissors to your favourite t-shirt because you can't stand the way it's touching you. 

    Today is the second kind of day. 

    I bought this t-shirt last year, and completely forgot (despite it being very clearly stated on the website!) that this particular brand runs small. I wear it a lot, because I love the print, but I always find myself tugging at the too-high neckline or fussing with the too-tight sleeves. 

    Today I'd had enough, so I took the scissors to it and turned it into a vest! 

    All I did was very carefully and neatly snip off the sleeves and the neckline ribbing.

    Jersey t-shirt fabric doesn't fray, so I could have simply left it at that and allowed the edges to roll over - no sewing required! 

    I decided that I would quite like to hem the neckline and sleeves, so all I did was fold the raw edges to the inside, pin the hems into place making sure they were nice and even all the way around, and stitched them down. 

    I didn't use any fancy stretch stitches, I didn't use my overlocker to cover the edges. I just stitched the hems with an ordinary straight stitch and then ironed them nice and flat. And now I have a brand new favourite t-shirt, that doesn't irritate me every time I put it on. Success! 

  5. Inspiration: India Flint and Secret Lentil

    Have I mentioned lately how much I love the work of both India Flint and Secret Lentil?  

    I've been following Helen of Secret Lentil for years (which sounds a bit stalker-ish now I come to think of it), but haven't quite managed to buy anything from her yet. A few years ago I saved up very hard for a dress that I loved, and somebody else bought it THE DAY BEFORE I got paid. I'm still a bit sad about that.

    I always have to fight this vague feeling of "oh well I could make that myself anyway", because of course I do have a mountain of cotton jersey and an overlocker right here, but obviously it's not as simple as that. I start with patterns and plans and write myself instructions. Helen builds imaginary clothes that live in her head. How cool is that?! 

    India Flint I learned about when I bought her "Eco Colour" book, and tried out a few experiments with natural dyeing. India's clothes have a strong connection to the location where they were created, having been dyed by the plants, earth and water of the places where they were made.

    I have lots of plans in mind for future plant dyeing projects, and I have a freezer filled with sumac and rhubarb and raspberry leaves, and avocado stones and skins, just waiting to come out and add colour to something. Where I get stuck is with the thought that I need to design the "perfect dress" before I can dye it, otherwise it'll be a waste of cloth and plants and time and water and heat. 

    (Don't tell anybody, but... sometimes I wonder what I could come up with if I just made whatever I liked, and didn't spend so much time worrying about what other people might want to buy.)