Wednesday 31 July 2013

Hooray! Winter pinafore

Well done, you see, you can see the pattern pieces. My very good friend saw my tunic the other week and then gave me quite a bit of fabric she had acquired from a house clearance. Some was thick jersey and two pieces were a wool blend plaid. Now I don't normally wash my fabric before making up but I did because a)I was not sure if the wool ones would shrink and b) Big sis said they smelt funny!

So you may (or may not) have worked out from the crazy pattern that I went for the plaid pinafore. It was exactly the right fabric for that pattern. I nearly got the check matched too but it is tricky when you are cutting on the bias and this is good enough for me.

I had a little play with the free hand on my machine and made these flowers for the embellishment. I wasn't sure if Big Sis would think cream and brown would be girly enough so I went all out on the d├ęcor. I think these are great and have so many uses.

Another alteration I made was to use a placket and buttons instead of a zip, only because I didn't have a zip at home and when I am doing something I just have to use my energy to get going not worry about the small stuff.

She loves it and it is fully lined too. I made it a few sizes bigger for when she enters the trashy world of 7-11yr clothes. (My, aren't girls clothes mostly awful!)I am now on the look out for brown leggings and a long sleeved T-shirt.
Hope you likey Jo xxx

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Magazine Peekaboo Two

I have made two successful adult items from Ottobre magazine, a scarf and the tunic. So now it is time to show you a little peek into the children's version.

My girls are a bit past the baby items but when I measured Big Sis she was 118cm high and was still graded in their toddler section. All of the children's clothes go right up to 170cm high.

So what caught their eye...

Little M loved this... but then she is 3 and a half.

Big Sis loved this.

She also liked this but then again so did I.
I wonder how tall I am?...

I liked this dressing gown. It is nearly impossible to buy a children's terry towelling dressing gown these days, they are all fleece and it is awful when they are wet as it sticks to their skin. We have been lucky so far with hand me downs but soon fleece ones will be creeping into our second hand glad rag bags. I am going to buy two towels and make it from them.

OK so you know the score. I have to trace the pattern. Use your magic eye and see which one I did. I used a highlighter pen to give me a better chance. Which do you think I did first?

Will show you the results tomorrow, even though it is finished.xx


Sunday 28 July 2013

Hooray! Jersey Tunic dress

I know it is roasting hot but I damn well traced and cut out those pesky pattern pieces and I wanted something to show for my patience.

Here is the 'Pigeon Grey' Tunic dress from Ottobre magazine. It was too long for me, down passed my knees, it made me look like a Ye Olde farm peasant so I cut it off and got a better jeans/boots/tunic length. (wearing my DM sandals today)

I have really enjoyed working with this thick Jersey and thought it would be a lot more difficult than it was. The pattern is great - no zip, fastenings, tricky bits just really well put together pattern pieces.

I used interfacing on the neck pieces and it was too thick so it made top stitching really difficult because the foot kept veering off the thickness of fabric. There is a lesson to learn in every garment. Look at that shoddy neckline... thank heavens I made the scarf as a practise piece to wear over the top of it.

I am going to put it under the bed for Autumn/Winter and then pull it out in late September with an exclamation of surprise that I forgot I had made it.

Settling into a bit more tracing this afternoon. Now, where are my glasses....

Jo x

Saturday 27 July 2013

Playhouse Makeover

Yesterday we had a playhouse makeover inspired by Tales from a happy house.

It involved some painting without clothes on - it seemed the best way to stop paint getting on their clothes and me nagging them to be careful.
They hoovered the carpet and picked up all the outdoor toys that were spread around the garden.

I stapled some spotty fabric to the ceiling (I made an apron out of it last week) added her party bunting and gave the table a wipe.

They played cafes and did colouring for about two hours and Little M pretended she had moved house. All prepared now for the summer holidays. We filled up the pockets with pencils, farm animals and notebooks for the holidays. We made the wall pocket a while ago here Do go over and look at Tales from a happy home's playhouse. It has had an outdoor paint job too and is completely delightful.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Jo xx

Friday 26 July 2013

Little slippers

I made another pair of these little slippers which I made here.
They are so cute. The little one is only 18 months and she was naked but for the slippers because she would not take them off even in the afternoon sunshine.
Jo x

Thursday 25 July 2013

Craft Club

I hold a craft club every other Wednesday. It is a spin off from crochet lessons and means people who just want to make a little something or get some 'craft clinic' on a project they are stuck on they can drop in for tea and cake. It really helps my crochet enthusiasts go it alone once they have learnt the basics with a little safety net of checking in with me when they get to a difficult bit.

Tonight we had a little card workshop. I showed my favourite 'four squares in a square' design. The photo is late at night so not the best light available BUT look what everyone came up with...

I think it is great that they are all different. We learnt to ink the edges, make background mats and use a little technique for handwriting a message, whatever your handwriting looks like.

Everyone made two cards each and enjoyed cutting and sticking, chatting and laughing

I would like to say a big thank you to all the regular commenters on my blog you really make me smile and it makes me think of something new to show and keeps my motivation going. Thanks a million. Jo x

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Party time!

Bake off party all prepared... decorations and party dress all done.

Baking gets underway...
My mum is on hand to help out with the aftermath. Mums are great aren't they?
Pass the parcel...
Party games in teams of two. Great game for grown ups too.
Time for the girls to ice the cakes and fold cake boxes.
"Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you...."
Find your cake for your party bag. Big sis enjoyed decorating these bags last week.
Finally, a piece of cake for me and mum.
I really enjoy the whole party thing at home. It feels like a real party, how parties used to be. Happy 6th Birthday. Jo x




Tuesday 23 July 2013

Barmy summer dancing

Quick photo of the Severn Sisters Tribal belly dance group in the barmy summer evening heat on Monday. We danced to live music played by the Severn Gilders Morris team. It was mighty hot to be wearing two bras one of which is crocheted and layers of hip regalia but it was fine cooling down with a real ale or two.

Our little mascot was a bit tired and shy but so cute! Jo x

Monday 22 July 2013

Party Apron

Big Sis is 6 in August so in a few days and we are having a party before all of her friends go on holiday. Her request was a 'bake off' party so I am making little cakes with seven girls. I have made a little prize for the pass the parcel.

The head strap has a button so that it doesn't hang too low but anyone can get it over their head.

Enjoyed having a play with the decorative stitches on my not-so-new machine. I'm still finding out great things about it. The fabric?... you know the drill, someone gave it to me - metres and metres of the stuff!

All ready to wrap and wrap and wrap... Jo x

Sunday 21 July 2013

Sewing apprentice

This girl can sew I can tell you. I only showed her once how to hold the needle and thread at the eye so that it didn't keep coming out like last time and she did a running stitch along the edge of the ribbon.
Big Sis showed her prowess by reading the instructions out loud on her own.
Such Fun!

Big sis managed her own button but I put the button on for little M because of the thickness of ribbon. They wore them today at Attingham Park and were really proud. We love the Ruby Loves magazine. Jo x

Saturday 20 July 2013

Sewing with stretch

I have learnt a few things to day about sewing with a stretch fabric.

  1. Buy a ball point needle
  2. Make sure it is in your machine properly
  3. Don't be lazy and always have the same thread in the top and the bottom even if you can't be bothered to wind up another bobbin - do it and don't be so stupid!
  4. Sewing for Autumn/Winter in hot summer is actually good because you are not in a rush for this item and you can take your time
  5. Stretch fabric is easier to sew than I thought and the stitches sort of bury themselves into the fabric.
  6. It is good to have a try out before you start your dream garment as there is much to learn

I made a flouncy scarf today with the left over cuts of my tunic fabric before I actually sew the tunic. I have not sewn with thick jersey before so this was all new to me - but very enjoyable.

I am pleased with my results and just need to go and get this long sleeved black t-shirt off now, not really the weather for modelling my Autumn/Winter collection 2013!! Jo x

Friday 19 July 2013

Magazine peekaboo

A friend of mine bought this FABULOUS magazine. It is Finish but you can get an English version and the philosophy of the publication is to make clothes for real people for everyday.

You get 20 patterns in each issue and you can check out the  schematic drawings before you decide which back issue to buy. I accidently bought two. A ladies one and one for children.
When I saw this,I thought if I could have a dream wardrobe this would be it. I do feel that life, however, is too short to make my own knickers! Here is a little peekaboo at the photos showing the designs.
Love the wrap over dress and sleeves on the T-shirt (well, I hate washing up anyway!)
I love this tunic and flouncy scarf. The long cardy seems a bit old for me though.
I am having some sort of love affair with this pinafore.

I am imagining cocktails in this evening top
Now, I have got you all excited haven't I? and you are wondering whether to go and check it out on the internet. Well Whooaa! there. The patterns need to be traced from these four sheets...
Cripes. I started with the flouncy scarf as it was one piece and I  'exposed'(Big sis says this as a morphed version of expect and suppose) it would be easy. It was mighty tricky but I rose to the challenge and then traced off the tunic the scarf was worn with. It got better as I got my eye in but it is not for the faint hearted. On the plus side,I have done it now and have that pattern all neatly folded in a big brown envelope.
My eyes have gone a bit funny now so I am off for a glass of wine, more on this tomorrow. Jo x

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Jewellery tutorial

I made stacks of these last year for a craft fair and I only have a few left so I thought I would write a tutorial and show you how to make them then sit in the garden and make a load more. It is perfect weather in the UK for a surf-dude bracelet.

These are ceramic Greek beads I had left over from a crochet/bead edging  on a scarf so I used them up but you could use buttons if you have lots in a jar - which I am suspecting you have! Do follow the link to the Beadsite it is great value and they have always been really good.

You need: 2 ply yarn or embroidery thread, 2.5 mm hook, 15 buttons or beads. Written in UK terms.
Firstly, thread 15 buttons or beads onto your yarn.
Row 1: Ch9 join into a circle with a SS to form a loop (this is the button hole that will close it at the end) Ch48
Now ch2. dc5 into the 2nd chain from the hook and join with a slip stich. (this makes a little pad to sew your closing button onto)
Row 2: Dc into every chain along the bracelet.
Row 3: *Ch3, miss 2ch, dc in the next ch* repeat to end to make lots of loops.

Row 4: This is the button row. *1dc into first chain loop slip up a button, SS, 1dc in the same loop, ch1* do this in every loop to the end.

Finishing: Sew a slightly larger button on the button pad. Weave in ends. Use the loop at the other end to close the bracelet round the larger button.

Did you enjoy it? What about a necklace to match?

Any questions do not hesitate to comment and I will try and help you out. What colours are you going to use? Will it work for a little fella? What button stash are you hoarding? Happy crochet! Jo x