Saturday, 19 January 2019

A Cracker of a T-Shirt

Thank you for visiting my ing post. They are always very popular.

Today I have new T-shirt to show you. I am lucky enough to part of the Minerva blogger network which has kept me in fine fabric and wonderful wool for a good few years. Sometimes I get the opportunity to try something new through them and an exciting email appeared asking for volunteers to join a book review collaboration with Wendy Ward, this was way back in April 2018. 

Her new book Sewing with knitted fabrics is a comprehensive encyclopedic offering of useful knowledge on sewing with stretch jersey fabrics along with a capsule wardrobe of patterns. 

If you sew for yourself or your family you may find that making woven cotton dresses and skirts starts to become a little limiting after a while. I found this and once I had decided that I wanted to make most of my everyday clothes it became apparent that I needed to be able to sew jersey for T-shirts, tops, leggings, PJ's, loungewear and underwear.

The book contains paper patterns for tracing in the back. All of the patterns are interchangeable so the T-shirt pieces double up as a T-shirt dress, crop T-shirt, Long sleeved T-shirt and a natty patchwork detailed one. There is a creative element of building your own design each time which I really like.

Minerva asked me to try a pattern from the book and sent me a top quality piece of Art gallery cotton jersey. I like a new learning challenge as you know so I went for a T-shirt with a shirring waist detail. I have not done this before so I referred to the section on winding a bobbin with shirring elastic and had a go on a practice piece first.

Previously, I have used trial and error, blogs and Youtube to learn to sew jersey but I wish I had had this book back then. The knowledge section of the book is really good. It is written for home sewers of a beginner level, however as a more experienced sewer, I still found it very stimulating but easy to understand.

The T-shirt was a triumph. It is worth mentioning that I made this entirely on my normal sewing machine without using my serger. The techniques in the book guide you to useful stitch selection, length and width choices which made sewing easy.

Ah, my summer tan has faded now and I am back to being the colour of a raw pig!

Thanks for stopping by. Jo xxx

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Making - My cotton jumper

Baking - For lunchboxes, we do it every week. This week we made a chocolate orange traybake.

Eating - Pheasant. We have a supply of free pheasants and luckily the girls eat it. Casseroles are usually what I make but I have experimented with a rather successful pheasant bolognese sauce.

Building - Painting and painting and painting and painting. Three coats needed in every room. I painted for 22 hours last week!

Learning - How to grout. I tried doing it like a builder with a small trowel but decided to use what I already knew and made a great job with a piping bag and a sponge! I will show you the finished version later...

Thinking - What other building skills I could learn to save money.

Loving - Having my birthday to look forward to in the dreary month of January.

Wondering - Whether to go down another size after my first attempt at the Nora top by Tilly and the Buttons.

Getting - Really stuck into the Carolyn Pyjama pattern - a real investment in sewing nightwear.

Buying - A new Swimsuit pattern to try this year.

Watching - My girls continue to enjoy long walks even when it is bitterly cold.

Disliking - How much chocolate and sweets we have left over from Christmas. I just want it all to go away.

Wearing - All of my knitted garments with pride. They are such an investment of time but have such longevity. The socks inside my boots are pretty cosy too.

 Enjoying - Making a stack of Birthday cards for the coming year with this months Minerva Blogger network. 

Deciding - What to clear out of my wardrobe, it needs some attention.

Feeling - Mostly cold on the outside but warm on the inside.

Do join me in an ing post, they are great fun to put together. You can always link back to here.

Jo xxxx

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

because it was easy...

Over the Christmas holidays I didn't really have a yarn project that I could get stuck into with the limited amount of brain space I had available so I plumped for some simple granny crochet.

After assembling a little pile of sock yarn scraps in harmonious colours I made my third granny triangle scarf from the pattern on the left sidebar. 

Not a scrap of brain power was required but it allowed my mind to rest each day after Christmas preparations.

I managed to use the rainbow yarn throughout the scarf so that the bright colours appear like little jewels. This one does not have a beaded edge but it was blocked which created a wonderful drape. 

If any of you have a stash busting craft resolution - and I bet lots of you have - try the granny stitch shawl on the left in any yarn gauge.

Happy Crochet. Jo xxx

Saturday, 5 January 2019

A Square at a Time

I have been dipping in and out of a quilting project which is a slow burner. At my most confused times, I like to distract myself and
make a block. When all other sewing is just too damn difficult, sewing 5cm squares together is where it's at for me.

Sometimes if everything is really overwhelming I like to just cut out lots and lots of squares and put them in the cake tin. It is soooo satisfying to use up every last scrap of fabric from the pieces I have saved. Sometimes I amuse myself with a fussy cut square getting an image in the centre, like this little birdie.

Each block has 64 squares. I was wasting a lot of thread sewing them individually therefore I started to chain rows together and then join two rows at a time horizontally. They came together much faster.

This quilt is for my goddaughter, she is 12 at the moment but she will be 18 when it is finished. No tight deadlines on this project,a year maybe to make the topper.

Christina from colourful life sent me a little pile of colourful scraps which I have enjoyed cutting, recognising some of the fabrics from her amazing family quilts. 

In faster sewing news, I made a draw string bag to accommodate our family game of Tumble, you may know it as Jenga. While putting away new games we noticed the box had split again and they were all loose in the bottom of Heidi's wardrobe.

Thanks for dropping in. Jo xxx

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Crafting resolutions 2019

I don't often look back, I am a forward looking kinda girl but I did pretty well with my crafting resolutions for 2018. 

I used so many of my sewing machine feet in the little Orla Kiely tin on the shelf. Not all but most - I learnt to use the binding foot to apply bias binding to quilts. I seem to have two zipper feet, I found out that one gets really close and the other doesn't! I used my invisible zipper foot a lot which I hadn't used before. I learnt how to use my piping foot by making cushions. The walking foot was excellent for quilting projects. I can make a button hole first time now without wondering whether it is going to sew the hole off the edge of the fabric and I mastered my rolled hem foot too working with chiffon.

The ruffle foot didn't get an airing, it wasn't needed for anything but one day I will learn how to use that damn thing and I have a decorative flower foot that came with an old sewing machine but still haven't messed around with it. I suppose it is not a useful bit of kit if I haven't needed it in 12 months!

My sock knitting is getting better with every pair. I made a lace pair which was a 2018 resolution. I have however found my favourite pattern. A ribbed pair from Christina's free patterns. The comfiest socks ever!

The star of 2018 was our king size quilt named 'Lucky'. It was 1008 pieces of total joy all sewn together to make this heirloom quilt and I am so proud of myself for completing it. It will be the centre piece of our new bedroom when our new house is built - my dad would have thought I was bonkers for making it but deep down he would have known it was a great achievement. 

Finally, I have tried many different pattern companies this year but hands down my favourite makes have been from clothes made by Tilly and the Buttons patterns. They are well made, the tutorials are well photographed and the instructions are second to none. My favourite this year was the Stevie dress although my Ness skirt, which I am yet to reveal, is looking pretty fab at the moment too but it is not finished.

Looking ahead, I have some plans for 2019 - no fad diets or abstaining from the odd cider I enjoy, for me it is all about the making.

1.) To learn how to sew Roman blinds. I have tried before but always got the sizing wrong. I need lots for our new house.

2.) To crochet a blanket to bust some stash. Who isn't doing this?

3.) To complete my postage stamp quilt of 5 x 5 cm squares.

4.) To knit something from my ravelry favourites queue that has been there for more than two years!

I love that you visit this little part of my world, leave comments and share some love. Keep making stuff folks, it is really important. I will leave you with some fun photos of us all dressed up for the Circus themed New Year Party we attended last night.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Jo xxxx

Ps. I have spent an hour with a hangover trying to get the gap out of the text today but I am unable to do it :( It looks fine in the drafts but is always there on publish??