Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Beautiful Life


Goodness, here we are again so soon and all is well….

Recently I lost my right hand…, no, not really,  but my sewing machine is in for service and it kinda feels like it – what purpose do I now serve?

_The+Curated+Closet_+A+simple+system+for+discovering+your+personal+style+and+building+your+dream+wardrobe_Recently, one day in town I was a little early for an appointment and I went to a bookstore and bought The Curated Closet to read in order to fill in the time.  Think of Me-Made-May for people who buy clothes and you’ve got the idea……there are a lot of ‘exercises’ and ‘things to do’ and ‘lists to make’ and ‘photos to take’ in order to achieve your individualised curated closet. Personally, I couldn’t  be bothered with all that palaver but it was an interesting read regardless.

Then, as if by serendipity, Kate sent me a PDF version of her newly released book to review and that has certainly helped filled the not-sewing time. Making Life More Beautiful is also an interesting read. You really have to admire FabricKated – she never seems to sit still and when she does, she’s knitting, writing, thinking, plotting and planning the the next project. Unlike myself, Kate’s blogging has remained consistent and regular. She writes and researches everything, from what other people wear and how they wear it to what she sews and knits and then throws in the odd post about family and exhibitions. You never know what you’ll be reading about from one day to the next. And such is the content of her book. Here are the chapters and what a variety they are:






Make your own textiles 


Based primarily on her blog posts, Kate has enhanced, elaborated, edited and added to her prolific writing to independently produce a book that is beautiful to look at, fascinating to read and with a few added projects, an activity book too. The photography is refreshingly natural and real. Kate completed a photography course (one of many artistic classes she has completed) and the evidence of her learning is evident in the book.

The photographs are of ‘real people’ in natural settings and are simply inspirational on their own. Kate includes her own images and garments which certainly elevates this book beyond the commercial and sets it into everyday and real life.

Maybe a coffee table photography book is next, Kate??

Kate’s book was launched at a grand London location with much festivity and many activities. I wasn’t there in person but if I could I would have. I was certainly there in spirit.

51O173L4ixL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_Making Life More Beautiful is not so much a set of rigid rules to dress by but a guidebook that gently guides the reader to better and more refined dressing and styling, using examples from real life and the all important advice on how-not-to-wear. It is also Kate’s personal journey through her own life and significant eras and hence, this book is somewhat biographical. We learn from Kate’s mistakes!

I’ve met Kate IRL (she’s one of my favourite blogging friends) and a more hospitable and welcoming host I couldn’t hope to meet. Here’s our night of Six Napoleon dresses 20161028_205233 which Marijanna (on the left) organised.

In her own inimitable style, Kate says it as she thinks – she is a truly no-nonsense girl.

“Isn’t it amazing? Today the democratic medium of blogging allows anyone to communicate with many, freely and easily, turning the old publishing model completely on its head. I wanted to write about a subject that would inspire me. I work in housing, I have a family, I enjoy travel, architecture and good design, I love London, and at least three times a day I think about food. I might have landed on any one of these subjects, and sung like a canary.”




So while I can only try to emulate Kate’s candour on style, colouring and life, I simply feel compelled to make my own reference to the inconsistent misuse of the apostrophe throughout the book.  From the front cover and inside fly page, to dates and otherwise scattered throughout, the apostrophe seems to have been inserted at random with no thought (knowledge?) whatsoever to meaning or grammar. Please tell me I am not the only person still alive who knows how and where to use the correct punctuation, including the elusive colon and its cousin the semi-colon, not to mention brackets?

Anyway, if you can read beyond the punctuation errors this book will happily fill a summer’s afternoon and you will find yourself delving in and out throughout the autumnal days and long winter nights for inspiration, advice, happy images and the knowledge that it was written and produced by a very accomplished sewer/knitter/blogger/writer/photographer/shoe-maker/critic/jewellery-artist/ weaver/mother/art lover/CEO/daughter/wife/home-maker/friend/blogger. Have I left anything out?

To me, this will will be henceforth be known as Kate’s book, until she publishes another that is……





6 thoughts on “Beautiful Life

  1. Oops. Sorry about the typos. I did my own proof-reading too, without doing a course on grammar. I assure you this isn’t a mistake I will make again.

    Thanks for a generous and interesting review. You are so kind and funny and so very talented. Looking forward to your next visit.

    • A minor criticism Kate. It’s only my pedantic rant – no offence intended.
      Thank you for sending me the preview and I appreciate that you appreciate my point of view.

  2. Stop blogging and start packing – you are due to fly to Mexico in just 3 days!!!

    • You’re behind the times – it’s only 2 days from where I am!!
      Bag packed and all visas completed. I have a toothbrush and passport – I need nothing else.
      USA certainly do not make it easy to visit or stop over for only a few hours!! Geez.

  3. I’m a person who gnashes my teeth at grammar and punctuation mistakes found in even favorite blogs. Something “peaked” someone’s interest but I suspect the writer is referring to the French word “piqued.” Using “simplistic” with the intention to mean “sophisticated simplicity” when in actuality the meaning is closer to “superficial.” “It’s” (a contraction of “it is”) and “Its” (a possessive word similar to “his” or “hers”) are misused constantly. In spite of my critical nature I find myself making errors when writing but usually not until after the writing is published!

  4. It does seem as though a majority of people in the English-speaking world no longer know what the purpose of the apostrophe is and they are especially clueless about “its” and “it’s”. I see this error EVERYWHERE, especially online. Then there are “your” and “you”re” and let’s not even get started on “lay” versus “lie”!

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