A sewing story!

When we hear a story about sewing, one thinks of sewing beas and summer days and all niceties which come with the calm and tranquility of going to your space to create…..well I did until I read chapter forty-six of ‘The Silence of The Lambs’. Yep, that’s right! If you have seen the film you will have clocked onto the fact the nasty man could sew, but as ever the book is always better than the film and the little sections….chapter forty-six….. which are left out from the film show more significance to the mentality of the characters….not that I’m saying all seamstresses are nutters! A little quirky, but not to the extent Thomas Harris is making out! Even though, the story really caught my attention at chapter forty-six and I was really happy to be reading about darts, muslins, plackets, velcro and lycra and then….. remembering what the chap is actually constructing and the ‘fabric’ he was working with became a little disturbed with myself I was enjoying ‘The Silence of The Lambs’ so much!!!!

Does anybody know of any books which use sewing as a basis? Preferably without the murders!!!!

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Here’s to 2014!

2013 was a year of development for me. I learned to sew! And it has surprisingly opened a number of doors, including making some great friends……you know who you are! Yet as the new year has arrived its time to pass over the reflections of the year, though just to mention which is my proudest moment….the sewaholic Robson coat! Took me a good while and the sense of achievement when it was completed is indescribable. ….Literally dont know how to say it!

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As for 2014 I have many personal goals which reflect on other areas of my life than the crafting, but I shall not bore you with the politics of the workplace or my hopes to do another, longer distance triathlon…..though no doubt I shall end up blogging about it at some point! Here are my plans for sewing and creating- a few projects to develop my skills and test my patience, no doubt! I have decided to choose 6 projects, I would have done 12 – 1 per month – but I do get distracted by other pretty dresses and time is short as it is! so,

1- make a quilt! I have seen a fab stag template I want to use to make a double quilt for all the reindeers- getting excited for next Christmas already! There will be a few firsts eg freezer paper and most importantly cutting to exact measurements and straight lines – I’m worried already!

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2- make a pair of trousers! I don’t really wear trousers, other than my jeans very often…..but as I will be soooo skinny from all this exercise I plan to do….ahem!…… I think I shall be enjoying my new waistline! Ok…. I’m nearly choking lol!!

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3 – Complete the Anise jacket! I have had the pattern since may and two lots of fabric with buttons for nearly as long!

4- Make a couture type gown! Mwa ha ha ha! My evil master plan!

I've seen this use of princess seams before and am excited to have a go!

I’ve seen this use of princess seams before and am excited to have a go!

5 – Restyle something AWESOME! I’m going charity shop hunting!! And possibly drop on a leather Chanel handbag….you never know (or keep on dreaming).

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6- create my own pattern, perfect for me! Check out my stash of Sewing Christmas presents and it will make sense!

And a few other ‘resolutions’:

Blog once a week

And one nearly all seamstresses must make every year….use the patterns and fabric in the stash before buying anymore! How many uncut patterns do you have in your stash?

I hope everybody enjoyed the New Year and are looking forward to the year ahead!

A snuggly shawl!

When you can’t take your sewing on your hols, what’s the only other option….. grab your knitting bag and take your crocheting to a new level! I’ve spread my wings and completed my first shawl!

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I’ve wanted to do a lacy shawl for aaaagggges but have struggled finding a pattern I had a) the patience for b) used chunkier wool so it would not take forevvvvvver! c) the pattern was not too complex…. I get lost very easily when there are hundreds of stitches and I have to count them all the way through the pattern – blah! So hurrah for mooching around on ravelry and finding ‘I promise you pineapples!‘ by Justyna Kacprzak. I had a look at the pattern and discovered there was a repetition in each row which was very easy to follow and due to the type of wool used would build up quickly ( I have too many projects on the go I did not want to bring something home half finished…cos it would have stayed that way till after Christmas). I headed up to my stash of wool and rooted out four balls of ecowool chunky in grey….very warm snuggly real wool left over from a HUGE cardi I started a few Christmases ago (and finished the following Christmas….are you catching on?????) and decided it should be enough – how wrong I was! As you can see from the pics it made the main body of the shawl and there was only a little left over, at which point I was on Anglesey and debating how to get my hands on more chunky wool to finish it off! I did think aswell that it looked somewhat drab just being grey…..very wintery and a girl needs cheering up on a winter’s day, so thought some hot pink would be great for the pineapples round the edge – I also love pink and think it’s a great contrast with grey! On a sneaky trip to the poundshop for a chocolate stash….what did I spot but a huge stash of hot pink double knit, 3 balls for £2 ….. how could I not!!!! But as it was DK and not chunky I did briefly debate the matter till, come on, at that price double up the wool! Et voila!!!!! So working with two threads next to each other my pineapples appeared and I could not be happier with the outcome!IMG_3100[1]IMG_3106[1]

Love the colours, the main body is so warm with the real wool and I got to practice my crochet skills! A fab rainy holiday project! xx

Buttons!

After spending about 2 hours on etsy I eventually decided on the buttons I wanted for my many coats!
The stars for khaki anise and trees….these were the most expensive but I luuuuuurve them!!!!!! For what I consider teal material anise! And pretty little flowers for my girly purple Robson mac! Love it!!!

Very happy with my choices and the lady I bought them from Lyanwood and the fact they turned up in around a week from Hong Kong! I have now ordered some jewellery from etsy for a present ( not to myself unfortunately) I have a feeling the sellers are more conscientious and bothered about their customers!!!

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Sorry about the photos! Posted this from my phone 😏

And so this is Christmas……But it’s still August!!!!!!!!

I am a big pinterest fan and can’t think of a better way to waste (!!?!) an hour than having a mooch….especially in the DIY and craft sections! Seeing the general boards – what’s going around at the moment! But at the moment I seem to be tripping over Christmas pins! And it’s giving me some inspiration……but, I hear you cry, IT IS AUGUST!!!! I know, I know!

But here’s the plan! And if you are one of the people that’s one my Christmas shopping list…..beware! The plan is a totally hand made Christmas! Give or take the odd present for kids! And things I already own are allowed – heads up – I ain’t making a Christmas tree!

Inspiration for Christmas!

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And watch out for those knitted socks folks!!!

Making for babies!

What better way to celebrate the arrival of a new born than to start making! Especially when the baby in question is my new niece. Freya was born in April and she’s had a few things made for her since then. It’s been a good chance for me to make a few novelty items and to make baby clothes…….yes, including bloomers! love it!

I love an excuse to make a bit of bunting and after making some single sided with my sons name on I decided to make it more of a keepsake for Freya and put her date of birth on the other side. If you ever get to making bunting remember to put the letters and then the reflection on the back in the opposite direction, first letter with last on the back! I did first with first on the back so when it flipped over the date of birth was the wrong way round! Doh!!! Bit of unpicking….sorted!!

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I do like making a dress, or two! So I jumped at the chance to make a summery girly dress! As you do when you have a boy and you can only get so creative with their clothes (poor Fin, or lucky Fin – whichever way you look at it!). There are so many cute patterns out there, but when I went to mooch through the catalogues at Abakhan nothing really stood out to me, especially for the price of one pattern! Then while nosing around Amazon to get my Mccalls 6466 pattern I discovered books with kids patterns – boys and girls age 0 to 5! Awesome Fin can get on this one too! There is some lovely stuff in it and all the patterns are included and since they are so small it makes easy tracing!

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And this was the outcome!

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Obviously the bloomers did not have the elastic in at this point. I took them with the elastic loose and measured them on Freya and then hand stitched them and closed the gaps in the fold over of material so the elastic would not rub on her skin! The dress is double layered as its very thin material, but this could be done with two different fabrics and a reversible dress made! It did seem very plain so I made a small flower with a little leaf behind and stitched it to the front of the dress. It’s quite a good style too as the shoulders untie, making it easier to get in and out of (as any parent will no doubt is essential in baby clothing!). This was such a quick little project – loved it! Freya! You’ll be getting many more dresses my dear!!!

Oooooo a granny square blanket!!!

IMG_2576[1]I started this project….oooooo……before the heatwave! it’s been great as a pick up/ put down project and complete at ease, as I could just do a square every now and again while watching the telly for example. Yet it has taken quite some time, mainly as it was my first attempt at crochet which has been successful. If you read my previous crochet post about crocheting in public (which I’m still up to every now and again!) I had tried crochet before but could never get my head around it! So perseverance and a great pattern, very easy to follow from Molly Makes Mag, resulted in this!

I love how it turned out! It could have been bigger and I could add to it in the future, but it’s been a great project and cost me the price of a new crochet hook (after I dropped one between the decking whilst crocheting in the garden!0 I used only spare wool I had in my stash and I’m made up I had the colours which you can see, they all work really well together and totally match my living room! Big happy face!

Attaching all the squares together and sewing in all the ends (I will be honest I was naughty and knotted some together) was somewhat of a painful job – it was just so time consuming, so luckily a rainy day, train set out (for my son) and on and off through the day it got done! When I was crocheting the granny squares together I was not quite sure I would like the outcome and initially had the blanket facing the other way so the white stitching could not be seen, but it’s grown on me and I like the white outline. I like how it frames each square! Lovely! Anyway…..made up with it and will defo be wrapping it round my shoulders when the autumn chill sets in (can’t be far off now!).

One sunny day…..

Again with the jersey! I love it! I bought this material around March I think and have been saving it as Iuuuuurved it and wanted to be able to make something I really liked, so I was really waiting for my skills to get better! Though with all this sunny weather around the coral and beige stripe was screaming to me to be worn! Now I love stripes but I have been very wary of wearing horizontals ever since something was once said by, I think it was Trinny and Suzanne, horizontal stripes make a person look wider! Yet there is so much nautical themed clothing around all encompassing horizontal stripes. What’s your thoughts on horizontal stripes? So I went for it and thought how I could break the horizontal stripes up a bit and make it unique.

The end result, fake leather straps and a dipped hem!

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And this was all put together in the morning before I went to meet some friends at 1.30, along with a lot of other jobs I won’t bore you with! I was very impressed with myself! I did cut the hem shorter than I would have liked at the front, so I didn’t hem the dress which saved me time! And as you can see in the pic the gathering is uneven when a belt is thrown straight on, so I do plan on putting elastic around the waist to even out the gather, this wasn’t me skipping a job to get it finished, I would have put it on if I’d had some in the house. But it was great to finish the dress and have the best excuse to wear it! xx

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P.S do you like the hair? Found a tutorial on pinterest and was really quick to do, great for the hot weather and much more fun than sticking it in a pony, like what happens nearly everyday!

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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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!!!