Well done you handy Mums!!!

When on the sewing meet up another blogger asked me, do I make clothes for my son? My response was a dead end no! I didn’t want my son to be one of those kids who the other kids take the mick out of….for whatever reason and I do believe this is one area when they can be given ammunition! Sorry to all you very creative Mums out there….but as you will see I ate my words on a silver platter!!!!
I like making play and crafty things for my son. There’s been a tepee, a toybox, 3D letters of his name and tote bags (plus more no doubt) and I have repeatedly reflected on my response to the question I was asked and thought…..why the heck not make him clothes, he’s 3, he doesn’t care what I dress him, though he does get a little more excited when Spiderman t-shirts and jumpers come out! And the other kids at nursery, come on they are 3 not like the hugely judgemental teenage boys I teach! I got scoffed at for mentioning my shoes were from Tesco…nothing wrong with that! But apparently the only place to buy your footwear is JD sport……hmmmmmm???? can’t imagine turning up to school in my running trainers! (Big roll of the eyes to afore mentioned teenager!).

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So, here’s what happened. While partaking in one of my ‘should be doing something but procrastinating’ by mooching about on pinterest! Love it, can do it for hours! I found MADE, again. I’ve used this site for tutorials before, and looking through the kids clothing tutorials found some fab trouser ideas and noticed a free pattern which it turns out is exactly the right size for Fin! Woohoo! Adapted the pattern to be flat fronted, as I think this style looks less bulky and more shop bought et voila, I’m never buying pj bums again!
My next mission is to get down to the fabric shop and get material for summer trousers and racer shorts!!

So to all you Mums who make their kids clothes…. I praise you! I think it’s a great idea and can’t wait to do more! And even just to see the look on Fin’s face when he has something made FOR HIM!! …….especially with dinosaurs on!!!

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A fallen crochet hook and the uprising of earrings!

Doing a little crocheting on the decking and…woops… the crochet hook has fallen between the planks! Supersize doh!!! and no amount of faffing with tweezers will get it out! QUick! Jump in the car and get to the closest place I can think of for a crochet hook, the local garden centre which has a craft store….awesome! I think the only thing I have bought from there before is….surprisingly a crochet hook…..but me oh my am I glad we went! 50% OFF EVERYTHING!!!!! So zippedy doo dah! I got very excited, maybe a little too excited! I have been wanting to get my son letters of his name for some name recognition and letter practise, plus a little fun painting activity on a sunny afternoon! So…check!

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The best bit was finding the beads and earring making notions! Awesome! Didn’t have a clue what I was doing so picked up some pliers and wire and then discovered what I actually needed by watching a tutorial on youtube and returned the next day! So here is my new collection and some of my early creations! I got some big crystal effect hearts, which I want to make earrings with but am unsure of how to rig up, any ideas????

Can you see the big hearts? Middle top row!

Can you see the big hearts? Middle top row!

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Crochet in public? Me? Hell yeah…..!!!!!!

I felt so inspired with the response to my blog post about the stigma of crocheting in public….and I truly mean inspired! I would not have done what I did otherwise…. I did it! I crocheted in public!

 

I tried to be quite discreet as I was a little nervy and put the two necessary balls of wool into my handbag (if I was going to do it I was going to do something proper!) and yeah I did tuck myself away abit , it was either sit slap bang in the middle of everyone or over to the side on a little sofa! We were at the jungle gym so people kept walking past me, and don’t get me wrong I did go and play with Fin, but every now and again I’d scoot off and leave him to it and do a little crochet! So hurrah for crafting in public! I didn’t get any obvious ‘she’s a crazy lady looks’ and to be honest once I started I didn’t even feel self conscious. I also figured there was less chance of my handbag disappearing (which surely it wouldn’t) if people had seen it’s full of wool!

Here’s the picture as proof – don’t really like taking pics in this sort of place- but proof was necessary! xx

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Would love to hear some more stories of your public displays of crafting!! xx

Can you crochet…….in public?

It has taken me over a year to figure out how to crochet! I have picked up and put down little bits; circles, stars and now squares and it’s only just clicked! I have knit for a few years and just got it straight away! But crocheting to me was like a foreign language!
I find knitting quite relaxing, unless I’m on a mission to finish something, but have quite dodgy wrists after 7 years ago injuring myself kitesurfing……yes kitesurfing – the fewer questions about that one the better, and yes 7 years ago, which I got told off for by the physio I eventually went to see last week….apparently I should have gone straight to A&E when it happened, but carried on kitesurfing instead! So knitting is a bit of a no no, but I have so many random balls of wool it’s depressing! So let’s give crocheting a granny blanket a go! Inspired by The Make-For-Anyone Blanket MollieMakes article from issue 24. Now if you look closely I haven’t gone through the exact part of the stitch to pick up another stitch! And I’m not quite up on the terminology yet either! It is a really easy pattern, just using treble crochet and chain stitches and easy to pick up after a few squares! Don’t even need to look at the pattern now! I’m aiming for 54 squares, and they are big squares! Only 38 to go!IMG_2141 IMG_2142

I could be making a lot faster if I didn’t feel the eyes glaring at me in a ‘what on Earth is she doing???’ when I even debate crocheting in public! Sat in the jungle gym yesterday for 2 hours, there’s 3 more done for example…. but I’m too much of a scaredy cat! Anyone else feel like this? Or do us crafters stick together and not care how the world of non crafters stare at us in a non understanding disbelief!!!

Frustrated seamstress!

There is nothing more annoying than starting a dress and not being able to finish it! When I start a project I aim to get it finished! Have I made my point?

I started thinking about this dress as soon as I bought the bright pink material on the Birmingham meet-up and on Thursday took some patterns to sewing club and had a natter with the ladies and had a nosey at what Hannah was making…..got a little inspiration there! And on Saturday afternoon, when it was a ‘shock, horror’ wet and windy afternoon, I got cutting.

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So excited to have made my first semi circle skirt, thanks to JoJo at Stylefactory for digging out a pattern! They are such a flattering shape skirt, from what I can see pinning the unfinished dress to myself! I adapted a pattern of a bodice, well I chopped the top of the bodice off and kept fiddling with it to make a sweetheart neckline, I then attached a netted section to create something like this,

Think this is a stunning dress! I WANT TO MAKE ME ONE!!!

but decided it was too dressy and unlikely I would wear it very often (bear it mind it is shocking pink!) and it looked a bit wedding dressy as the back was in two triangular sections- it was lovely and if I’m ever going anywhere ooober dressy I will be using those neckline sections which I have kept! So I figured straps for a sundress! With the aid of a little interfacing, which I just laid the dress over some more of the pink material and drew a line the shape of the neckline! Made overly long straps which I gathered for the front and while holding up the front of the bodice marked where I wanted them and stitched them in.

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Now I’m itching to try it on and see how it’s all come together, especially as I have made up the majority of the dress myself, which is quite a new trick for me, as I really have been relying on patterns! But I have to try and stop dancing on the spot until my Mum (who knows what she’s doing) can pop round and help me out pinning the straps into the interfacing in the correct spot!

Sewing Meet Up!

I know it’s a little late in the day but what an amazing time was had by all at the sewing meet-up in Birmingham on Saturday! Lovely ladies to chat sewing and fabric with, lovely lunch, amazing shopping and a cute little flower brooch (which was very handy knowing who to talk to in the fabric shop…..which was busy!).

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Marie, Kat and Claire did an amazing job organising everyone, especially the awkward person who order their lunch wrong (ooops…. yes that was me!). They kept everyone together and made everyone welcome and sorted a fab swap! Well done ladies!

I was lucky enough to have met Hannah from Madewithhugsandkisses before the swap and headed down to Brum on the train with the lovely lady! But to anybody who possibly put off turning out for the event, there would be no need to be daunted, everybody spoke to everybody else and was really friendly! Everyone was really happy to talk fabric and we were all discussing which patterns we were planning…..I got some great tips about doing the Colette Anise jacket – Thanks Claire and Charlotte!

The day was great and very exciting, but the excitement is still there, every time I walk past my new stash of fabric! I get a little giddy feeling in my tummy! Especially when I remember how much some of them cost! The Market was amazing and we got some amazing materials! One of which (the lemon) was £1 a meter!!!! What…… £1??????!!!!!!!!! Mental!

So here is the new stash and yes, all jackets are covered!!!

I got so excited about this turquoise gabardine (yes I discovered fabric with gabardine on the label! I know what it is now!) and I cannot wait to get started for my summer Anise. Talking of Anise I discovered this gorgeous green tweed to make a winter Anise jacket! And yes I do have a green flat cap I can wear with it!

Anise fabric

Anise fabric

I had given up the ghost on material for the Robson coat! Until……this little beauty turned up and for £2 a meter! (on the market obviously) I was made up, especially as I needed 5m! Check out the weave! Love it waffley!!!!!

Robson fabric

Robson fabric

The swap was great….put your unwanted items in and take out what you like the look of! One woman’s unwanted sewing items…. are another woman’s treasure! So I put in a few fabrics and a pattern and took a few fabrics and a pattern and stood back from the table but there were so many fab items left people just weren’t into and so I picked up the amazing orange with shiny pink…love it! definitely being made into a skirt and a bag! The ditsy floral I had my eye on as soon as the materials were laid out and the black lace…..well….I had been telling some ladies earlier I wanted to try making a lace shift dress! so the plan came together perfectly…and thank you Lara for not wanting the lace!

Swaps!

Swaps!

A better shot of the lace!

A better shot of the lace!

Now here are a number of dresses for our not so fabulous summer but still, so excited by all the material and some ideas! And yes it was a bit of a shopping spree and I won’t be going fabric shopping again in a long time – but it will be back in Birmingham!

From the market!

From the market!

From the shop!

From the shop!

This is going to keep me very busy……..

Cannot wait for the next meet up ladies! XX

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I have soooo much to talk about and I think it may have to wait for the weekend! Which is just too long as the meet up in Birmingham at the weekend was AWESOME! Hello all you lovely ladies who made fabric shopping and lunch so much fun! Plus thanks for the swaps! xx

Feeling Crafty!

Who’d have thought sewing would have become such a huge part of my spare (!?!) time (generally I should be doing other things….oops!) and this blog has generally been dominated by the clothes I’ve made. Three months in and my conscience is getting the better of me and it was time to make something for Fin! (and a little upgrade project for me…exciting! another first!) So a toy box did emerge!

My Kirstie Allsopp moment! Carbooting it!

My Kirstie Allsopp moment! Carbooting it!

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I went to a carboot sale on a sunny day, as seems to be the only time when people ever go to carboot sales…….better than IKEA in the sun I suppose! Stumbling across a box…yes folks, a box! I had visions of a fabulously upholstered, baroque style footstool and classy storage/ less obvious toybox…..did it happen did it heck! The child in me, or the three year old which lives in my house, took over and so bright blue paint and dinosaurs did emerge.

Now it did take a bit of work to get this box living in the house worthy! A little bit of Martha Stewart research later and a, luckily very sunny Saturday, the box sat open in the back garden for at least 5 hours to let the sun dry it out and then I wiped it down with white vinegar soaked into a cloth (this is supposedly to get rid of the musty smell and kill any bacteria), but then onbiouvsly there was a slight waft of vinegar, so the box got left in the kitchen over night with a bowl of bicarbonate of soda inside and the lid closed to draw out and absorb all the smells…..3 methods has got to be better than one! And indeed the box is now living in the living room and not at all wiffy!!

The next day turned out to be another sunny one so was happy to have run around b&q to get my stash of crafting bits and be home painting in the back garden! Luckily I remembered a tin of paint I bought to paint a feature wall and never got round to, so didn’t need to buy paint! After sanding all the surfaces of the box I got to work slopping paint everywhere – love painting – and two coats later it was looking fab! You’ll notice I painted the lid….which was unnecessary as I then completely covered the lid!

I thought it would be really easy doing the upholstery bit, but I  must have spent 30 minutes faffing about with how to fold in the corners as it’s obviously not flush over the cushion. After hacking the material away and nailing the material to the lid in various places it seemed to work…..but looked quite messy! Hence, the idea to then cover the inside of the lid with the blue material. Now I could have used a staple gun, but as my boy is going to be using it I didn’t want staples falling out or catching him and the nails are the right thickness for the wood, lie flush into the wood and aren’t very obvious so I didn’t even bother to cover the last few. Idid put on new hinges to replace the rusty ones, looks much better!

The padding was a cushion I had lieing around the house waiting for such a project and I just chopped it down to size! I was quite lucky I had the majority of the materials I needed in the house! Both Fin and I are happy with the outcome of our multipurpose toybox/ footstool/ seat! Maybe it needs some pics or stencils on the sides!?!

And not a stitch to sew!!!