Friday, 29 November 2013

Felting decorations

I have the great pleasure of being sponsored by Minerva crafts this month. I have made up a needle felting kit which you can buy from them and I have been having a little play felting up some Christmas decorations.

A good way to get a simple shape is to use a biscuit cutter as a guide. You can get the main shape going and then trim it up at the end. Place the cutter on the felting brush and stab away...

Next, turn it over onto the other side, which will be all fuzzy, then stab away at that for a minute. Keep going until all the fibres are matted together.

Make two so that you can sew them together and stuff them lightly for a 3D decoration. Trim them up to get a clean edge.

Sew the two hearts together with blanket stitch and add a little stuffing. Embellish the heart as you like with beads, jewels, buttons, more stitching or with a different colour felt roving as I have below. I added a ready made felt ball from the kit which hides the hanging loop join.
The Minerva kit includes:


Once you have mastered the simple technique you can start to go off piste a bit and make your own shapes. What about this festive little fellow?

Felting is also great for 3D creative work. I have seen some great stuff around, toadstools from Nicole and the Bee and awesome animals from sew recycled.

I had a go at a little Christmas pudding...So quick and easy.

Hope you have enjoyed my little makes. I have really enjoyed getting to grips with a new craft thanks to Minerva Crafts.
Jo xxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

A Present for a Man

I have made this tablet case for my dad for Christmas. I used scraps of fabric from a dress made for Big sis and some recycled jeans, a zip I already had but I had to purchase a small amount of wadding.(99p worth actually!)

My dad works outside building or at the farm so I made a larger zip holder so that if he has cold or mucky fingers he can get hold of it.(they are the bits of a broken necklace on a leather string) At present he has his tablet wrapped in a piece of material slung on the truck seat so I thought this would add extra protection.
A man bag indeed. One more present to wrap. Jo x

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Wardrobe Re-hash

I have no clothes to wear? Isn't that what every woman says? I have lots of summer things, I make cotton skirts and little tops and pretty dresses but I am actually cold. I am trying my hardest to finish my collage jumper and I really need to focus on that in the next few weeks and stop making whimsy things that take my fancy that do not keep me warm.

Project number 1.

Over the weekend I fell back on this old trick.

I found a DYLON machine dye in purple that I bought moons ago and started to think... (references for UK shoppers coming up) My Monsoon jeans were looking decidedly washed out after two years of almost constant wear. So they went on the pile along with a Boden white cotton blouse that was now the shade of chewing gum after wearing it for, I am not exaggerating, 5 years. Lastly I found a Joules top from Big Sis that had faded but we didn't buy it in the first place, it was a hand me down, but I felt I could give it a new lease of life. Results...

 Richer shade of jeans, a purple blouse now with stitch detailing and a great sweatshirt. I will change the buttons on the blouse, I think I can afford those! A really successful afternoon.

  If you are a quilter or patch worker, this technique works well if you have lots of fabrics in too many un-harmonious shades. Stuff the whole lot in with the dye and you will get 'shades of' fabric in varying hues depending on if it is cotton, poly-cotton, patterned, already coloured etc. I did it at University for a textiles project and it was great.
Project number two.
I have wanted a short denim skirt for ages now, I mean years. When I saw them I had no money and when I had some money I couldn't find one. So on Sunday in a mad half an hour I shortened and took in an M&S skirt that was too big for me and added some stitch detailing with different coloured threads. Why didn't I do this ages ago?

So for an afternoons pottering I have gained a shirt, some jeans and a skirt. Right, where is the that jumper, I need to finish it.
Do you have any good revamping tips?
I saw a great button skirt on Nicole and the Bee.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Hooray! Party top

Big sis has wanted this top from Ottobre magazine for some time. It is from the winter 2011 edition.


It is made from viscose jersey and puts me in mind of a drunk friend I once walked home with on a skiing holiday in Austria in 2001, how so? It was floppy and fluid and unpredictable. You did not know which way it was going to slide next. Ultimately she was my friend so I stuck with it - same with the fabric. Big Sis really wanted it and chose it from a picture online so I had to persevere.

It has a drape and it falls so well when she spins around (so did my friend, enough now!) and she really liked to spin like the girl in the picture. When you choose online ( you don't get to feel the fabric and they didn't describe it as my friend Rachel so I had no idea what to expect.

Yes, that is the frying pan I burnt this morning!

It was a very simple pattern made from two batwing-esque pieces for the front and back, two cuffs and some ruffles around the neck.

I don't have an overlocker machine but one would have improved my finishing but tipped me over the edge plug wise in the spare room. So I am happy with it.

I know it is cold sweetie, hang on, nearly finished...

It is too long in the arms with the deep cuffs but as they are double fabric they turn back well. This is a garment with longevity. She can wear it as a tunic with the cuffs turned back and then as a top with the cuffs rolled down as she grows.

You can go in now, the cheque will be in your money box!
All in all we are both really pleased and we are just waiting for a party invite where a star tunic is essential kit. Although Little M is green with envy...

Jo x

Friday, 22 November 2013

Friday crafting

Firstly, thank you for all of your supportive comments this week, I know I have posted lots of times and it is really kind of you all to take time out to comment.

Talking of last week, I did well at the craft fair last Saturday and I have another one tonight and my table will be looking pretty light so I have been busy re-stocking the most popular things, things that are already half made, or things I can make quickly without further supplies.

From this...

To these... I sold 13 of these last week.
I had four blank tote bags upstairs I had bought for one pound and lots of owls still cut out from my Aunts Die-cutting machine...

I started with this one but it was hard to move a ready made bag under the free motion stitching foot. I needed something flat...

So I put each owl on a piece of recycled denim and made a pocket for each bag.

Zig zag and frayed the edge.

Also finished off two hot water bottle covers from felted jumpers and made two more mouse doorstops that were already cut out.

So lots made, now I just have to sell it all. I don't mind if I don't though, it will fill my Christmas box up nicely. I am deliriously happy today with the light, I haven't taken decent photos for ages. Jo x

Thursday, 21 November 2013

CAL Stitch directory (lost count!)

Here are this weeks squares for my crochet along with Chrissie and Marianne.

Double crochet spike stitch
Really effective. All you do is 3 rows of dc and then on your colour changing row you do 1dc in the row and 1dc in the stitch 2 or 1 row down depending how big you want your spikes and then repeat.

V Stitch
V stitch is a bit more lacy, I have used it on a cardigan front many moons ago but this one is going on the blanket.
So what does it look like? If I am honest, I really don't know what it is going to look like, it could go either way. It could be a random eclectic mix of patterns and colours or it could be a bit of a jumbled up mess - but I need to go a bit further yet before I decide.

Jo x

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Dog Hat

On my craft stall last week someone said "Can you make me a dog hat?" My mind whirred, I wasn't sure what to say, I was thinking of ear sizes and how different dogs have different sized heads etc. so I tried to clarify the request by saying "What sort of dog?" I am now in inner turmoil, I am thinking maybe Ravelry will help me out in some way and then she said...

"Any dog, my niece loves dogs and she would love a dog hat!"

PHEWWWWW! I am glad I did not show myself up as a complete crochet nutter and gladly took the order for a dog hat for a 7 year old. Here it is, on Little M just for show...

It is a re-hash of my Amelia hat pattern (on the right) With a deeper brim, eyes with button centres and improvised ears, decreasing and increasing as I saw fit for a dog ear. A dog hat, honestly what was I thinking!

Jo x