Monday 30 June 2008

More puddings!

During last week's trip to IKEA I picked up a copy of their 'Family' magazine. There were two useful complementary frozen dessert recipes - one using egg yolks [from this book]  and the other egg whites. So I made up both and we enjoyed them at the weekend. However, I did have to make some modifications, as I didn't have any whipping cream [so substituted 'squirty' stuff] and also IKEA's recipe needed lingonberry cordial and frozen cranberries - but I only had Ribena and fresh strawberries. Also the first one was meant to be a 'bombe' but I served it in 2 ramekins.

The icecream we enjoyed on Saturday [before I remembered to take a photo - sorry] and the sorbet worked well for lunch AND supper.


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 50g sugar
  • 150ml hot milk
  • 200ml of 'squirty' cream
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • 3tsp strong coffee
  • 1½ tbsp nutella

Whisk yolks, conflour and sugar till smooth. Ad dsmilk slowly, whisking. Heat for 5 mins stirring constantly. Cool. Stir in the cream. Divide in two - add coffee to one, and vanilla to other. Freeze 1½ hours. Warm Nutella in microwave till runny. Remove ice creams from freezer and stir gently. Divide vanilla ice between 2 glass ramekins. Pour 1 tsp warmed Nutella over each one. Put coffee ice on top. Pour remaining Nutella over. Return to freezer till ready to serve.

SUMMER SORBET - serves 2 greedy people or 4 with smaller dishes!

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup Ribena [or IKEA Lingonberry Cordial ]
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries [or frozen cranberries]
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • fruit to garnish [I used some red seedless grapes]

Beat egg whites, fold in cordial, fruit, sugar. Pour into plastic dish. Freeze at least 5 hours. Stir before serving. IM002626 Garnish.

Here they are in the lovely glass dishes I inherited from Bob's Mum. This is before Bob's portion got covered in squirty cream! Well, he had worked VERY hard during the morning service and deserved a treat, I felt.

Being hot and thirsty, we were drinking J20 [Sainsbury's and Aldi both do a cheaper copy of that now] diluted with fizzy water.



I served these long cool drinks in the wonderful "Meniscus" glasses which came from Liz's days at The Tate.

On the Tate website, designer Richard Wentworth says, "I like the way we say 'I'll be with you as soon as I finish my drink'. The 'Meniscus' glass offers us the ability to measure our pleasure: by oral temperament, liquid time elapsed, sips, mouthfuls and gulps."

This was my first ever attempt at a sorbet, and I was amazed how a; easy and b; successful it was!

Sunday 29 June 2008

I got rhythm...

It is, as my grandmother would have said "Coming down straight 'airpins out there!" so I hope that it is not quite as wet in Somerset for Steph and Mark who are at GlastonburyGLASTO [where 13 podiatrists are on hand in case of trench foot apparently!] It has been an exceedingly musical week for the whole family. Liz entered a competition and got tickets AND A BOX at the ENO on Monday night, and went to Candide with Jon - then someone gave the pair of them free tickets for Kenwood last CANDIDERnight for the open air Brian Wilson [Beach Boy] concert.           


On top of that, she has also got some free tickets for a N.E.R.D. gig on Tuesday night. Whoever they are!

    brianwilson                                               My musical week included the Wrong Trousers at school on Friday, then last night at KMFC we hosted a concert by the Kingfisher Chorale. The women iNERDn the choir all wear wonderful jewel-coloured jackets which catch the light like kingfishers skimming the water. Isn't that poetic!


They were extremely good, and I loved the organist's rendition of Widor's Toccata.

Then today we had a wonderful, old, hymn at KMFC, which Bob chose having heard it sung by a lovely blind  JamaicanKingfishergroup guy at the OAP service he did on Thursday.

Also in this morning's service, we had one of the brilliant Rob Bell "Nooma" videos, all about forgiveness.

Despite all this music, I am still unable to sing in tune. But I am very impressed by Liz's ability to get all this free stuff - the thrift gene has obviously been passed on there then!



Saturday 28 June 2008

Hugh is a Thoroughly Good Egg!

prairie girl I think this book looks wonderfully useful. "Little House on the Prairie" and "The Waltons" were two programmes beloved by my late mother. Mind you, I think that was partly because the families always went to church on Sundays and said Grace before meals! My own daughters enjoyed reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books too. On the other hand, it is probably 50% stuff I can do already [back in the 60's before health'n'safety took over, you had to learn to "lay a fire" as part of being a Brownie, at the age of just 7!] and the other 50% is stuff that is only useful if actually living on the prairie. What's the Leicestershire equivalent?

My knitting friend Jacqui is awaiting delivery of her Eglu eglu_studio_red_c3 - I am very impressed by that - she will have happy free range chickens laying eggs for her [as opposed to laying fires - what a perverse language we have] Jacqui's getting a BRIGHT PINK eglu - which is fabulously girlie, I think!

hugh f-w On the subject of chickens, three cheers for Hugh Fearlessly-Eatsitall. At least he tried to get Tesco's to change their ways. I cannot believe that the shareholders [£38bn profit last year according to today's paper] think it is OK to ignore the RSPCA guidelines about the care of chickens. And do they eat these birds themselves? The NFU, Compassion in World Farming, and the RSPCA are very unhappy about Tesco's £1.99 chickens, so is Jamie Oliver. SO AM I. If Sainsbury's and other supermarkets can do it, then why not Tesco's. It is just sheer greed!

Friday 27 June 2008

It's the Wrong Trousers, Gromit!

IM002614 Our charity day at school was really successful - lots of singing, some fun learning, and loads of brilliant examples of 'wrong trousers'.

Having spent Tuesday making Claire's trousers, I ran out of time to do any for myself - so I ended up wearing Bob's huge green work overalls - which have "Pastor Bob" embroidered on the back. They were a great conversation starter!

I am always impressed by the way parents and children take these events on board and try hard to come up with ideas. Judging the best 'wrong' trousers in each year group was so hard. One boy made trousers by pIM002618utting his legs down 2 different coloured fleeces jackets, and another simply stuck foam shapes on a pair of jeans. Others had gone to great lengths decorating and modifying trousers, or creating them from newspaper, boxes, and other garments.


In the afternoon the children I was working with in Year 1 played the musical instruments they had made at home as part of their homework.

Again, there was lots of creativity - things to strum, shake, bang and blow.

We had an enjoyable, but raIM002622ther noisy time. Janet came and played her guitar [she is very musical - playing both guitar and piano]

As well as the newer Dave Godfrey songs, the children loved singing the traditional "Go Down Moses" [we have just been doing Moses in RE with them]






Earlier in the day, we made "Wrong Trousers"- story writing on the inside, and colouring on the outside.

It was all wonderful fun - well done Claire for organising it all.I look forward to hearing how much we have raised for the Children's Hospices.

IM002624 IM002625

Thursday 26 June 2008

Consider the lilies

My friend Judith sent me this link - to a clogo-gossypiumompany I confess I had not heard of - but they have some interesting stuff on the website.

littlebabaji I am not so sure about the story of Little Babaji though - it has a very controversial history, originally being called 'Little Black Sambo'.

Tesco were selling two fairtrade cotton T-shirts for a fiver a few weeks ago. I do not understand how they can do that, unless it is as a 'loss-leader'.

It is too easy to get tempted to buy another bright and colourful T-shirt, just because it is so cheap - I do not needsider hunger any more tops. I have plenty of clothes. Love Russia are running a "Coats for Kids" campaign for children in Russia who will be cold this winter.

Its about time I dug out this book again  - I read it in 1978 when it was first published in the UK and was deeply moved by it. I think I need to be challenged again, about my Christian stewardship.

So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Salt of the Earth!

At the fete on Saturday I bought a biscuit tiIM002612n full of buttons. Inside was this wonderful little tin, full of vintage shirt buttons.

It is amazingly tiny - measuring 44mm x 25mm x 70mm - which I reckon to be about 16 teaspoonsful of gravy salt. There is a simple recipe printed on the side for "A Savoury dish for a Family."

It requires 2lbs mutton, 6 small potatoes, 1 cabbage, 2 onions, 1 gill warm water, pepper and Burdall's Gravy Salt.

The instructions state "Wipe the meat, cut into convenient pieces. Put into dish, add water and seasoning and simmer half an hour. Add potatoes sliced, and cabbage cut into 8 pieces. Stew from one to two hours. Serve up."

Then in case you are in any doubt it states "These are splendid dishes, need no sauce, but a healthy appetite" [and good eyesight, the print is TINY!] It all looks wonderfully economical.

The recipe doesn't actually tell you what to do with the onions! I wonder how large the 'family' is meant to be [4, 6, 8?] I don't think I fancy cabbage which has been stewed for 2 hours, however tasty the gravy salt is! Internet research suggests it was discontinued about 5 years ago, but a firm locally here in Leicestershire makes "Old Jake's" and claims it to be a good replacement. I come from a Bisto family - but admit to using Sainsbury's gravy granules for years now!

Am reminded of Tony Hancock's wonderful quote "I thought my mother was a bad cook, but at least her gravy moved"!!!

The Devil wears Primark

trousers Friday is the "Wrong Trousers" Day at school, with all sorts of fun things happening and money being raised for Children's Hospices in the UK. Claire, our Music Co-ordinator, is organising the day, and asked if I could manage to make her some 'Wrong Trousers -' with a 'Music Rocks' theme. I got some stripey fabric in IKEA on Monday and using more blessed Bondaweb, I appliqued some letters and musical motifs. IM002609

Here are the pieces laid over the sofa, before I sewed them up and put a tape drawstring through the waist. Took them into school today for her to try, and mercifully they fitted and she was pleased with them!


Making them took most of Tuesday morning, and then I spent the afternoon on an otter costume, two delivery men's overalls and four trees!

A few weeks back I spent an evening cutting out over 300 leaf shapes from my stash of plain green fabrics - and foolishly thought that sewing them onto simple dark brown kaftan shapes wouldn't take long! It was hot, tiring work - and that was sitting comfortably at a table using a good machine. Four trees took over 3 hours to decorate. Having watched the Panorama Primark Programme the night before [what attractive alliteration!] my thoughts were with all those poor Indian children sewing beads and sequins on 'cheap' garments for the UK market.IM002611 I am all for thriftiness and spending my pennies wisely - but please God, never let me seek to save money through the mindless exploitation of others - or the abuse of children.

The Panorama programme was good insofar as it went - but I would have liked a bit more information about other brands. I can see that if you pay only £5 for a heavily embellished tee-shirt, someone hasn't been paid a fair rate per hour for the work. But what about other brands - the most expensive dress I've ever bought came from Monsoon, and is hand beaded - but who did the sewing on that? and were they paid a fair rate? I cannot presume that because I paid a lot, the workers who made it saw any benefit.

I think [hope!] that I have done all the costumes now. I have really enjoyed making them, but I am ready to move on to other things!

Monday 23 June 2008

Sunday Reflections

Yesterday was - as usual - a very busy In the morning, extra children meant that my Sunday School class had 11 children - usually its only 5 or 6. We are using Click material these days, and started with it last September. It is extremely good, and very flexible - the plus points for me being that it is well-planned and has loads of ideas. I am not rushing around trying to find extra things to pad out the lesson - rather the material is more of a pick'n'mix and it is possible to choose the stuff which is appropriate for the group. I would recommend it whole-heartedly to any church looking for an alternative lesson plan.

Anyway we had a really good time discussing Paul and Silas in Philippi. The group is aged 8-11, and we have been working hard to get them to pray out loud at the end of the session. There's usually a few giggles, but on the whole they are beginning to get the hang of it, and occasionally say some quite surprising [and moving] things. Having visiting kids I didn't know yesterday, I said "If you don't want to say a prayer, just say 'Amen' and let the next person speak" In fact, most did pray on the 'first round' then one said "Oh I have got a prayer now!" and we went round again.

Spent the afternoon [whilst Bob watched the Grand Prix!] finishing off preparation for the evening. Why is it that leading worship and preaching seems to also leave me a little anxious about trivia? I can't wear the skirt I was going to wear - because there's nowhere for me to fix the pack from the radio mic! And I've chosen two hymns where the organist needs to source the tunes elsewhere, will that work out OK? And should I wear the clip on mic, or try out the new headset mic? And why do I find it harder to preach when Bob is in the congregation - that is utterly stupid I know, but I have this sense he would do it better. [Even though I know that if God has got ME there, then He will give ME the sermon he wants preached]

Got to church in good time,and discovered that the headset mic feels really uncomfortable on me [my head is smaller than Bob's I think!] Elizabeth was there- having only just got home from India. That was lovely, and I look forward to a proper chat when she has recovered from all the travelling.

music The first hymn went OK [Be the God of All My Sundays], sung to Beethoven's 9th] the second was disastrous! It was one I really like {Baptist Hymn Book 218] Star Whose light Shines O'er Me,  which I like sung to the tune Princethorpe. But it was more like One Song to The Tune of Another on "I'm Sorry I haven't A Clue." Never mind - we moved on with the rest of the service.

Then I got to the Intercessory Prayers. I had thought I was well mugabe prepared-made a proper list of topics etc beforehand. But slipped up and almost prayed for the Philistines instead of the Philippines! Then got on to Zimbabwe. Mugabe has said "only God" could remove him from office. It was hard to get the words right there - and not actually ask the Lord to get rid of him immediately! Retreated into the usual cliches about justice and freedom, and prayed simply that God would humble him.

Finally got to the sermon - and everything fell into place then, by the grace of God. It is so lovely preaching to such a responsive congregation - especially when the comments afterwards are positive and there is a sense of having connected with people and helped them gain insights into Scripture. Looking forward to going to the URC in Groby in 2 weeks time now. I might even rework this Psalm 23 sermon again for them! [unless I get inspired by something else in the meantime] but I will definitely choose the music a little more carefully next time.

Sunday 22 June 2008

Wet, but wonderful!

IM002606  Karl,our Village Bobby, came and opened the Carey Gardens Fete. Don't be fooled by his short sleeves- it was a really wet, miserable day, with drizzly, pervasive, misty rain which left everything [except our spirits] damp and miserable.

Despite the weather, all the events were well supported. Here's Maureen and Betty at the Cake Stall. They were sheltering under a rather large gazebo!






Debbie, Jane and Jackie ran the Crafts Stall. The rain got suddenly heavy at this point, so apologies to people selling flowers, bric-a-brac and books, because I never photographed you! Had a good discussion with Mike about making waterproof covers for loudspeakers. Ate a hot dog

I walked down to the School, IM002607where Bob and Nick were working hard doing PA for the equally damp Fete there. Nick had fixed binbags with gaffer tape round the speakers. I did make covers back in March for one of Bob's sets of speakers - but in a hurry [with a dismantled £5 nylon fishing shelter] and I think the job needs to be done properly, both for Bob's gear and the Church equipment. Ate another hotdog!

People were still enjoying themselves though despite the rain [sorry - no pictures taken here either]. Last year the school had more stalls selling 'stuff' [books, bric-a-brac, craft etc] This year it was just food, or activities [bat-the-rat, hook-a-duck etc] apart from ONE stall - selling plastic cap guns and toy assault rifles. I felt rather uncomfortable with that - and the number of little boys leaping round the playground 'shooting' each other and random passers by. Is this really to be encouraged, if we are trying to reduce the 'gun-culture' society?

Perhaps if I were a parent of a pupil at the school, I would write to the Head. But I'm not [is that opting out of my responsibility?] I am just the Wife of the Sound Guy [the Very Sound Guy!]

After the School Fete finished, we wound the cables and loaded all the gear into the car, then Nick and I walked backed to CG [no room for us two in the car due to all the gear!] Bob met us there, and we shared a cream tea [Nice scones!] Alex, Tom and their crew were doing a great job Car Washing, and the rain had eased up a lot, which was useful.

All in all it was a good - if rather moist - day. People work so hard and give up so much time, and it was a lovely community atmosphere all round the village, which is great. People were happily drifting from one event to the other and I had some good conversations with people. IM002608










Mark and Marie have kindly let me do the window display for the Village Newsagent's Shop - featuring a sport theme - with all the footballs and stuff they sell, along with posters about our Holiday Bible Club. Bookings are beginning to roll in quite fast now!


IM002601 I DID finish reading "The Shack" - at midnight on Friday, just as Bob came upstairs. Then had to discuss it with him [in a very roundabout way, so as not to reveal the plot!] for an hour or so. It is very clever. But then my brain was really buzzing and I couldn't sleep. Got up, and made 17 handbag tissue holders!  They are dead easy - you just cut two bits of fabric, 6" x 7", seam the short eIM002602dges, turn out, press, do some fancy top-stitching, then put edges to the centre and seam top and bottom. Clip seams and turn out. Fill with a little pack of tissues. Done!

They are good for using up scraps and make excellent little gifts. Perhaps I should get the girls at Sewing Club to do some nearer Christmas-time. Anyway the exercise was quite therapeutic, and by 2.30am I was ready to fall asleep.

Saturday 21 June 2008

...and fools seldom differ!

mouse prayer My good friend Lynda [aka Cinderella in the Panto] sent me this mouse late last night.

I pass it on, with love, to you who bother to read my blog - along with apologies to those who read Bob's too.

In the busyness of these last few days we have both been posting our blogs - then when we stop and read each others we realised we had been saying almost identical things on some days. So apologies if you thought you were suffering déjà vu, or you thought we were just trying to get a point across. It isn't that at all - we just seem to be thinking the same thoughts [which is very encouraging, really!]

It is wet and miserable out there this morning. I do hope it gets brighter before all the fun starts!

Friday 20 June 2008

Put out more flags!

Roll on Monday- and the chance to relax a bit! I have had a great time in school this week [ignoring the news about reduced hours next term]On Wednesday the Year 4's were catching up on science - so spent the whole day investigating creatures and their habitats in the school grounds - we collected and inspected [then carefully woodlouse returned] newts, beetles, ants, slugs, and LOADS of woodlice. At the end of the day,the children had to take home one of  those letters about headlice. Woodlice and headlice - do not confuse the two! This is a photo of a woodlouse.

Thursday and Friday I have spent working with the Year 1's - and during break lunchtime with Year 5's measuring up more children for play costumes.

The evenings have been busy with housegroup, sewing group, pastoral visiting and a coffee evening. Bob has been equally busy windmill and so tonight we nipped out for a quick, and inexpensive meal at a nearby pub. The Windmill at Brascote serves excellent food at very reasonable prices - and the landlord is the husband of one of my teaching colleagues. It was good to have a few moments to chat, away from distractions of the phone etc. We were back home by 7pm [in time for The Archers!]

I've spent most of the evening reading a great book "The Shack" which Bob got at his conference. More on that when I have finished it.

We heard today of the death of our friend Jennifer French in gb Welling. I served with Jenny for 9 years in Girls' Brigade and she was a lovely woman - one of the hardest working Christians I knew. Not only was she a GB Officer and a Sunday School teacher, she also cared for her parents till their death, supported her children and grandchildren, did pastoral visiting, baked cakes and organised coffee mornings, sewed Brigade uniforms and dance costumes, and always showed genuine concern for those in need. She and her husband Melvyn, a BB Officer, have had a tremendous impact on the lives of many young people through the years. Our thoughts are with him, and Graham and Heather at this time.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

bunting Tomorrow is going to be even more busy - School Fete, Carey Gardens Fete, and a Car Wash for Tom and Alex. The CG folk just rang to ask if they could borrow my red, white and blue bunting. I made it for the Queen's Jubilee in 2002 and it has done good service over the past 6 years. It was made entirely from scraps of fabric in my stash and I cannot believe it is still going. It's been hung out for countless events at church. What is more remarkable is the fact that I found it easily tonight, despite theshack house being overwhelmed by other projects at the minute! Bob has spent the morning cleaning the BBQ and the evening loading PA gear into the car. He has got more energy than me today. I am determined to finish The Shack before I go to bed as I know he is keen to read it too. It's a good job we are both fast readers!

Thursday 19 June 2008

Words for worship

I ought to be planning my Sunday School Class, but I got distracted reading "Spoken Worship" - the poetry book Bob brought back from his RUN Conference.

Two particularly caught my eye - the first one in the book "Rob's God" which you can read on Gerard Hughes' website, and another entitled "Fit me in Somewhere" which begins with these versejigsaws, and appeals to the patchworker in me!

Fit me in somewhere 

in this giant jigsaw, God,

somewhere in this work of art

you're working,

select a space my shape can fill

and with a puzzle maker's skill

let my contours find their fit without contortion.

Teach me which patch I am, God,  patchwork image

in the cosmic quilt you're quilting.

Show me where my square of selfhood is of use.

Let the colourful complexities

of the pattern that is me

find their purpose in the placement that you choose.

...enough distraction, back to the story of the Philippian Jailer!

Thirty eight and counting

IM002473 The fig tree now has the original eight large figs, and another 30 or so figlets of varying sizes. it is very exciting.

They seem to have arrived unexpectedly almost overnight, in between one watering and the next.

It has been an odd week - very early starts each morning so Bob can get to Peterborough and then school all day, then church stuff every evening. Very busy and very tiring.

Yesterday I discovered my work pattern is going to change dramatically in the Autumn Term - I am going from a regular 2 days a week down to 1 morning a week. I am not really surprised, schools budgets are very tight and it is easiest to cut down by eliminating teachers who are 'supply' and not 'fixed contract', and use Teaching Assistants instead. But it is interesting to read the stuff in the news this morning about the topic.

What should I do with the extra free time? No doubt there will be supply work available. Should I be doing more stuff that's Church-related? Or get more involved in community stuff like the Knitting Group? Bob said what about just taking some time and space and not doing anything for a bit? I said I couldn't possibly seboimagine doing nothing - so he said there was always The Housework!!  I promptly changed the subject.

Poor bloke - he cannot move round here without tripping over a bag of Holiday Club Crafts, Play Costumes, Knitting Group Activities, Sunday School Materials...This week I have been given no less than 5 bags full of craft materials from three very generous friends who were 'just sorting out, and thought you might make use of this'. All of it is useful and will be well used somewhere along the line.

It is bizarre - I have just found out that I am going to get a 70% cut in predictable income in 3 months time - but what concerns me most is how best to use the extra time I am gaining. I just have this overwhelming certainty that our needs will be met and I don't need to rush around worrying about how I will earn more. Thirty small figs and five bags of haberdashery have arrived unexpectedly in our home in the past week - and my lost purse was handed in by an anonymous good person. John Newton didn't just write Amazing Grace - he penned this too

When Satan appears
To stop up our path,
And fill us with fears,
We triumph by faith;
He cannot take from us,
Though oft he has tried,
This heart-cheering promise,
The Lord will provide.

Wednesday 18 June 2008

Last Tango for Cyd

Cyd Charisse has died. I shall find myself humming the cydcharisse tune 'Jealousy' all day, and singing these words to it...

Cyd Charisse

Upon the mantlepiece

She's such a shock there

We need a clock there!

They don't make films like that any more.

Tuesday 17 June 2008

God is so gracious!

On Saturday morning, when I came to leave Norfolk, I couldn't find purse my purse in my handbag. I wondered if I had dropped it at Church Friday night, or even left it behind before I left. I hunted high and low on my return, and rang best friend Chris, who is Church Secretary. The purse was not to be found. Felt Very Annoyed with myself, and rang the M&S Cardsafe line to cancel bank cards etc. The helpful lady said I needed a police incident number in case of any subsequent insurance claim, but otherwise all would be dealt with. This morning, my replacement bank card arrived.

Then at lunchtime, someone from Dereham Police Station rang to say the purse had been handed in. They can't say who, due to Data Protection Laws - but they can pass on my thanks. Adrian is going to collect the purse and send it on. Which is all quite unexpected - it's a fairly new purse and I thought it was gone for good. May God bless the honest person out there who took the trouble to hand it in -  HE knows who they are, even if the police cannot tell ME!

How to make an Officer's Peaked Cap

It is a boring title because I spent ages last week trying to find the instructions for this on the Net and failed completely in all my googling.So I'm posting MY TUTORIAL for the benefit of anyone else out there making play costumes! Actually mine are Train Driver's Caps, but they are the same thing. Boring geeky mIM002587aths bit - such a cap requires a disc [the top], a frustum [the sloping bit], an open cylinder [the hat band], and a shape made from 2 intersecting arcs [the peak].

My cap is to fit a 10 year old whose head circumference is 22". You may need to adjust dimensions to fit a larger head. You will need the following

  • fabric [I used a stretchy black jersey] and thread
  • scissors, pins, needle, sewing machine
  • a fairly stiff plastic folder - for A4 paper, but measuring 9" across.
  • some stiff buckram ribbon, 1" wide, to stiffen the hatband.
  • a baseball cap - to use peak as template
  • a Sharpie Pen
  • sheet of newspaper
  • compasses - or two large discs to draw round - I used a 13" tray and a 9" pyrex plate.
  1. draw round the plate on the file with the sharpie. Cut out.
  2. draw round the peak of your baseball cap on the file. Cut out.
  3. put your plastic circle on the fabric, draw round. Cut out, leaving ½" seam allowance. Draw round again, to get two pieces slightly larger than semi circles,which will overlap to make a circle to line top of cap.IM002590
  4. Also draw round plastic peak twice, again allowing ½" seam allowance. [My fabric is helpfully grey on the back so you can just see the pen lines.
  5. Sandwich the round plastic disc between the circle and semi-circles RIGHT SIDE OF FABRIC OUT. Pin all round the edge and then seam as close as possible to the plastic.
  6. Place the two peak pieces together, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, and seam round the long curved edge. Clip curves and turn out. Slip the plastic peak inside. Pin along the top edge, and zigzag this edge closed.
  7. DIFFICULT BIT. To make the sloping piece, draw round your big tray, then put the plate in the exact centre of that circle and draw round. Cut out - leaving ½"IM002588 seam allowance again.
  8. Now through the ring, and curve it round to fit over the plate.Pin and mark where the overlap comes, and cut it. It should be slightly less than ¼ of the shape gone.
  9. IM002589 That is very hard to explain, but if you try it out, you will see what you need to do!
  10. Cut out one curved piece, and two strips for the band, each measuring 23" x 2".
  11. IM002591 Hem one of the short straight edges of the curved bit.
  12. TAKE THE PLASTIC DISC OUT OF THE CAP TOP. Now pin the LONG edge of this piece round the outer edge of your flat disc. Match the RIGHT side of the piece to the top of the hat [NOT the side with the slit across the middle.] Turn the cIM002592ircle over, and sew round in a circle ON TOP OF the circle you stitched before. Turn the hat to the right side. It should look a bit like a beret. I have photographed this stage with the blue disc tucked in temporarily to show what I mean. Here's a pic of the brim too. IM002593
  13. Now it gets even more complicated. Take out the disc, and turn the cap INSIDE OUTagain.
  14. Carefully pin the hatband round the inner edge. Put the two rectangular strips WRONG SIDES TOGETHER and pin them in place, matching the end of the strip with the gap where the hemmed overlap is [you can just see the pin marking it in the picture] Pin the hatband RIGHT SIDES together with curved strip.
  15. IM002594Sew all the way round.
  16. Now turn the hat right way out, tuck the buckram in between the two layers of hatband. Fold over the OUTER edge and machine down, close to the edge.
  17. Pin the peak to the OUTSIDE of the hatband, opposite the IM002595overlap [which is centre back] and machine down close to the edge. Now carefully fold the inner hatband up to enclose the buckram and hand stitch it in place all round the edge on the INSIDE of the cap EXCEPT when you get to the brim - you will need to fold it out and over the OUTSIDE , to cover the raw zigzagged edge of the brim.
  18. Almost done now! Put the plastic disc inside to stiffen the top.
  19. If you have any sort of name or cap badge sew that on.
  20. Tidy up the overlap at the back, sewing together and adjusting to fitIM002598

It took me 2½ hours to make the 2 caps. I am ridiculously pleased with the results. Next time I think I might make the band a little deeper [especially if it was a cap for an adult] I think an adult might require a slightly larger disc for the top piece [in which case an A4 folder might not be quite big enough to supply the plastic]

IM002599 NOTE - THE SLIT IN THE TOP LINING IS IMPORTANT! You need to be able to get the disc in and out whilst you are sewing, as you cannot easily turn the cap inside out/back again with the plastic in place. When you are happy with the finished cap, manipulate the seam allowance to the underside of the disc, to leave the top as smooth as possible.

This was hard work - not sure there will be a "next time"! I am going to have tea and go to HouseGroup.