Posts Tagged dr. who

Dr. Why


Paper Pieced Tardis Pattern

Do people sometimes ask you why you make your own clothes?  Or why you knit your own jumpers/socks/blankets?   Or why you make quilts or greetings cards or paint pictures.  Does there always have to be a logical answer to questions about why we want to create certain things?

Mr. Tialys cannot see the point in buying perfectly good fabric and then cutting it up into smaller pieces and joining it up again – this is a very common ‘man’ question I believe.  If I were smashing plates and making mosaics, I don’t believe he would ask the same thing.  Although he might look askance come dinner time.

Another question he often asks is why I have so much fabric that I would have a job using it all up in my lifetime (no matter how long that might be) yet still, occasionally, well quite often actually, buy more.  This, I don’t really have an answer to except that it makes me happy and keeps me out of the casinos, pubs, betting shops and places of ill-repute that I might otherwise frequent and spend my money in.  Unlikely scenarios but you get my drift.

Sometimes I make things ‘just because’ – although I do usually have some sort of vague idea why I want to make something even if it’s to try out a new skill or method to see whether I want to continue down that road or never touch it again – needle felting anyone?

Needle Felting Equipment

NeedleFelted Chick

(This is not to denigrate the craft of needle felting in any way because there are some awesome needle felting artists out there – just my own lack of proficiency at it. Just saying..)

Anyway, I recently got the foundation paper piecing bug which, for anybody who doesn’t know what that is, involves laying small pieces of fabric on to the reverse side of a printed paper pattern, then flipping it over and sewing each, sometimes teeny piece, onto the piece adjoining it in the order stipulated by the pattern, until you have a completed patchwork block or image.  Then you have to tear all that paper off which has hopefully been thoroughly perforated by your sewing machine needle and, voila, a finished work that should be very accurately pieced.  You may well ask ‘why?’.  Well, I like it because I sometimes find accuracy fairly hard to achieve using other piecing methods and this appears to be my best shot.

Here is how a piece looks from the reverse side with some of the papers removed.

Tardis Paper Piecing Pattern

So, inspired by a recent project by a blogging friend Avis of OhSewTempting,  and because my Dr. Who loving daughter has just moved into her post-university flat and needs a few soft furnishings in her life, I decided to make a paper pieced Tardis and then incorporate it into a cushion.

So far so good.  I had a project with a purpose and could use some stash fabric to make it.

I found some ‘constellation’ fabric that had come in a ‘stash building’ bundle of ‘blues’ I’d ordered online and didn’t even realise I had.  (Slight pause while we all stop laughing at the very idea I need any ‘stash building’ ).   This would made a perfect background for the Doctor’s tardis hurtling through space and time.

DSC_0004 (5)

Then, I remembered I had some ‘Police Box’ ribbon I’d bought for making quirky dog collars.

Dr. Who Ribbon

It was meant to be.  My life was complete.

The first mistake I made was not checking my printer settings so the pattern printed out to finish at 9.5 inches instead of 10 inches which I didn’t realise until I’d already started piecing and, as it didn’t really need to be a specific size as it’s not going into a quilt, I let it be.  This, despite the fact that, two posts ago, I wrote about this self-same thing.

PDF file instructions

The second mistake I made was believing the designer had made an error  and put the outside written notice on the wrong side of the tardis – something my daughter would have immediately picked up on.  So, I reversed the pieces, forgetting that because you sew the fabric on the reverse, the reverse eventually becomes the front.  I expect your brain hurts now.  I know mine did.  Anyway, trying to be clever made joining those window and door pieces more difficult than they needed to be but I got there in the end.

It was all coming together so well.  All the individual sections looked good.

Detail Paper Piecing

Then I started to join them together.

This was the first result.  I had noticed the slight overhang on the right side of the tardis wasn’t overhanging slightly or in any way at all on my version but thought it wouldn’t matter too much as the rest wasn’t bad.  Then, what wasn’t that obvious in ‘real life’ became glaringly obvious in the photo – the right hand side of the tardis was in its own time warp and waving about all over the place and there was bagging in the background fabric.

Paper Pieced Tardis

It was around about that time I found myself  asking the question ‘why?’ and also cursing quite a lot in a very unladylike manner.

I had to unpick many many teeny stitches and, after a couple of attempts at re-doing it through the papers, eventually  took the seams apart up the sides,  separated the mid section, redid the ‘police box’ line, took the papers off and then joined it all up again with 1/4 inch seams of my own devising.

Well, I am older and wiser yet again and have now tackled teeny pieces in a pattern and have ended up with a vaguely acceptable tardis.

I’m going to put a border round it to make a bigger cushion and do an envelope back edged with more ‘Public Telephone’ ribbon.  Any ideas for the border colour? I’m thinking of the navy I used on the box itself  or maybe some navy with little white stars but other suggestions welcome.

Dr. Who's Tardis in fabric

O.K., there are still a few areas I could improve on and, if I made it again, I would stitch those little window frames as Avis did as it looks a lot neater (as does her whole project but I have aspirations), and the good thing is that the pattern – printed free from Craftsy here – says ‘intermediate level’ so perhaps I can now feel I’ve graduated from ‘beginner’.


, , , , , , ,


What’s The Plural Of ‘Tardis’?

Madamoiselle Tialys the elder has now left to go back to University in the U.K.

I am pleased to get my workroom back to myself but I don’t think I’m going to enjoy myself quite so much.  Having persuaded me to fork out a small fortune on postage to get this fabric from the U.S., she was determined to get the most out of a metre.

(Just pointing out,  for those of you who don’t know about Dr. Who and his time machine that looks like an old fashioned British police telephone box – or ‘the tardis’ as it is known to us Whovians – that is the design on the fabric.)

Tardis Skirt

Tardis Project 1

Dr. Who Phone CoverTardis Project 2

Tardis HairbowTardis Project 3

Dr. Who Bandana BibTardis Project 4 (plus we had just enough over to get another bandana bib out of it

Not bad for a metre of fabric and, because she has proved her addiction  dedication to the delights of sewing, a Janome sewing machine is winging its way to her appartment as we speak.

Now, does anybody know the plural of Tardis?  Tardises? or, my preference, Tardi?  Or, being only one of them in the entire universe – as far as we know – can it be said that no plural exists?

Meanwhile, I’m inching reluctantly back towards the rather more grown up and down to earth by making a skater dress for Mlle. Tialys the younger.  She has a thing for  roses at the moment, preferably partnered with skulls but she’ll have to make do with polka dots this time.  I downloaded this pattern from Kitschy Coo and, after having a playschool hour or so cutting it out and taping it together, I have semi-assembled the bodice for fit but we can’t decide on cap, 3/4 or long sleeves.


If it turns out well, I’m going to make one for myself in a Liberty print jersey and I’ve already decided on 3/4 length sleeves for mine.   Hmm…..back to normality.

, , , , , , ,


Gourds, Sunflowers and a Dire Warning

( very photo heavy post – just saying)


I thought I’d wandered into a kind of French South Park episode at the weekend when we decided to go to a nearby village and see ‘Le Jardin Enchanté’  (the enchanted garden) which is only rarely open to the public and saw this sign.

French Warning SIgnTranslation:   Supervise your Children – Stay with them.

Yes, there was a river with quite a few rocks around and the French aren’t ones to install safety barriers around things but I’m not sure the illustration needed to be quite so graphic.

RiverOr maybe it wasn’t graphic enough as this little tot’s father was actively encouraging a bit of extreme river and rock playtime.

The idea of the day – if I understood the blurb correctly and it’s possible I didn’t –  was to combine art with agriculture and there were some interesting examples.   Being the beginning of September, gourds and sunflowers were mostly the objets d’art of choice.

Decorated Gourd

Bath or Shower

Love the sunflower shower head.

Decorated Tree

and the dressed to kill tree

Clay Decoration

Not sure about the unfortunate swelling on the front there!

Gourd in Knickers

Marks and Spencer trying to save money on lingerie models?


Moving away from the primitive art, there were some gorgeous end of summer colours.  The sunflowers in our garden only grew due to the cast off seeds which dropped off the birdfeeder in the winter so we can’t take credit for those and we are a bit high up to grow some of the other plants so I was a bit envious.

 Sunflower Heads

Somebody’s been busy with flowerheads – these are floating in the river


Late Summer Flowers


Lots of time and effort (and stones) must have gone into some of these little structures

Stone Man

Straw Girl

Some quite subtle installations and (back to the primitive art)

Coal Scuttle Face

some not!

French Sign

It was a lovely place  with a very ‘hippy’ feel to it with brightly coloured baggy trousers, piercings and dreadlocks in abundance  – some spots along the river had incense sticks burning amongst the stones and flowers –  definitely different from the more traditional garden open day in the U.K.   Some of the ‘spectacles’ were a bit weird and very French.  One appeared to consist of a grown woman playing with a doll made out of straw in exactly the sort of way my daughters used to play with Barbies,  apparently for the entertainment of the crowd.   On this evidence we decided not to stay for the spectacles due to take place later in the day even though it was all free.   A good excuse for a family afternoon out  before college and University start again though and an opportunity to take some silly photos like Mlle. T the elder (in her recently finished handmade dress, please note!) pretending to use a gourd as a punch bag – as you do.

Large Gourd

Back to the sewing table next time and some tips on what to do with fabric covered in Dr. Who’s tardis – how I tempt you.

, , , , , , ,


Five Things That Made Me Go ‘Ooh’ Last Week

Well, there may have been more but these are the five I most remember – and happen to have photographs or links for!

Jennifer & DonnaMy lovely niece, who is in the R.A.F., went to South Africa for her wedding.  She looks so happy but I wish they’d swept the beach a bit first!!

davidtennantquiltThis amazing quilt featuring the 10th Dr. Who (David Tennant) made by an amazingly talented person called Kirsty. Click here to see how she did it.

mammography machineA mammography machine – a triple ‘ooh’.   I’ve just realised how like a coffee machine it looks.

DSC_0003Having just got back into making clothes again, this cool fabric that I’ve used to make Mlle. Tialys (the more gothy one) a skirt.  It’s not finished yet (note the hem!) but I was so excited that I had to take a photo.

autismpositivity2013button2A bit of a change from the usual things I blog about but autism is a subject that has touched my life.  Last year hundreds of bloggers came together in a show of support and solidarity in response to an anonymous person’s Google search “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers”. The posts that came flooding in from all over the world were a beautiful example of the power of strength in numbers. With so much negativity still surrounding Autism and the misinformation and misconceptions that continue to abound, people were invited to share some of the positive things they have experienced instead.  This year, on 30th April, the same thing happened and, if you are at all interested, you can read some of the ‘positives’ here.

, , , , ,


Buttons, Bunnies, Buns and the BBC

When I go rummaging and foraging in dusty corners of junk shops, one of my most favourite things is finding an interesting looking box or tin.  The anticipation of opening it to see if there is anything inside is delicious.  Yesterday, I was on such a rummage and found this tin which, in itself, is a bit gorgeous.

vintage tinIt had a label on top saying ‘boite et boutons’ so I knew there were going to be a few old button inside but it was full to the brim, sorted into bags by colour and some of them are pretty unusual.  I’m not yet that brilliant with the macro lens yet, mainly because I am too lazy to set the tripod up,  but here is a small selection of what was inside. WARNING: zoom down a bit if you’re not interested in vintage buttons or dodgy macro photography.  Just saying.

DSC_0007vintage buttons DSC_0010 DSC_0014 DSC_0017 DSC_0023 DSC_0025

You can’t really blame Pandora for causing so much trouble can you?

I’ve got bunny fever again – must be the time of year – and here are a couple of new additions to the ever increasing bunny bento family – well, that’s rabbits for you.

whitebentobunny (2)

I actually found a local source yesterday for vaguely reasonably priced (well, it is France!) coloured linen and I’ve bought some in a soft grey which I think will be lovely for a bunny.  I have added it to the projects list.

Bluebunnybento (3)

I love hot cross buns and Mr. T. obligingly goes into Waitrose when he is in the U.K. and brings back supplies so we can keep up with the tradition of  slathering butter onto hot buns (ooer missus) and gorging on this Easter treat for a couple of days.  Funny, I don’t put much, if any,  butter on bread or toast but huge amounts of it are necessary for hot cross buns and jacket potatoes.  Anyway, inspired by the Great British Bake Off spin off for Easter, I’m going to slavishly follow the lovely Paul Hollywood’s recipe for hot cross buns.  I like the fact that they look all puffy and soft as the shop bought ones are usually a little flat.  Wish me luck with the piping bag when I add the crosses as I am usually not to be trusted with this kitchen tool that seems to behave perfectly well in anybody else’s hands but behaves like a demented serpent when I give it a go.

Paul Hollywoodand back to the buns…….

hot cross bunsIf mine turn out looking something (anything) like this, I’ll take a photo, if not I won’t.  Thank you BBC for the programme (the photos!) and the recipe which, if you want to give it a go, you can find here.

Thank you also BBC for the return of Dr. Who this Saturday.  The Doctor has obviously finished his work experience stint with Mr. Bricolage (see here if you are confused) and has returned to South London (mostly) to keep the Earth safe for us all.

Even better!  For those of us who love cooking AND sewing.  The Great British Sewing Bee is starting on BBC2 on Tuesday.  A sewing programme!!!  I will be interested to see what equipment the contestants will be given.  The bakers in The Great British Bake Off  had their own Smeg fridge, Neff oven and KitchenAid mixer – each had a different coloured one.  Will there be Husqvarnas or Berninas in tasteful pastel shades or what?  I can’t wait.  My life is now complete.

Madamoiselle Tialys the elder is back from Uni for the Easter break so I will be otherwise engaged listening to tales of student life and struggling to be ‘cool’ about it all and resisting the urge to send her to her room if she lets a swear word slip.  Whatever you are up to – have a great break. x

, , , , , , , , , , , ,


The Secret Life of Doctor Who

If anybody ever wondered how Matt Smith amuses himself between zipping around time and space for the B.B.C. as the beloved Dr. Who, I think I may have the answer.

M. Bricolage

Could this be him selling vegetable seedlings in the poster for a DIY store in France?    His new assistant looks sweet but I think the wardrobe department needs to do a bit of work on the outfits.

Mr. Tialys will be pleased as he always complains that, for a time traveller with the whole universe to choose from, Dr. Who spends an inordinate amount of time in South London.

, , ,


Dr Who – Or Dr. What The Hell’s Going On?


Is it me or is Dr. Who getting not only more scary but more incomprehensible?

When I was young I only had the daleks to contend with and they gave me nightmares even though I took comfort in the fact that I lived in a maisonette and daleks couldn’t climb stairs.

It’s still unmissable T.V. on a Saturday evening though.

Apologies to any of my readers who don’t watch it, get it in their country or are a series behind as you won’t know what I’m on about.  Anybody else, could you please explain the Amy giving birth thingy?



, ,