Sunday, 30 March 2014

Hooray! PJ bottoms

We are on a bit of a go slow at the moment with general illness, but there are still times for making things as always.

Big Sis has made a pair of PJ bottoms from a piece of brushed cotton she found in the fabric drawer. I still need to stand behind her and guide the fabric a bit if we want straight seams but generally she gets a good steady speed going.

It is when we do this sort of activity together that she spontaneously says she loves me! Isn't that nice? Especially on Mothers day here in the UK.

Quite big but I convinced her that when she is in the cabin she needs big warm PJ bottoms. She was pretty proud of these. 
Thanks for looking.

Jo and Big Sis x
Mother and daughter.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Sewing Table Makeover

This month for my Minerva craft post, I have made a few accessories for my sewing table. I don't have a huge space but I have been leaving my machine out all the time of late and it means I can snatch an hour of sewing here and there without the set up and clear up which eats into this precious time.

I saw this fabric and thought it ideal for my sewing table. I made bias binding using the patchwork pack. There is always a moment in my sewing where I need to tell myself to keep calm, what about you?

Ta dah!

The kit includes: 

A fat quarter pack, pattern, thread and the oh 'sew' 
appropriate fabric.

The pattern has a variety of things to try. It is great if you have just got a new machine or want to have a play with one that has been handed down to you. You can make really useful things but nothing that requires anything to actually fit!

I did however have to do a little bit of pattern joining - Look at that, eat your heart out Patrick and May!

Covered Notion pots. Quick and fun to make out of some 
recycled body cream pots.

A pattern box for those pesky vintage patterns I like but 
can't get to fit...

A pin jar for my machine feet, bobbins and unpicker. 
I added a little crochet flower too.

The final sewing table makeover:

I hope you have been inspired to dust off your sewing machine by The Great British Sewing Bee BBC TV series or maybe by my little table of sewing loveliness.

Thanks Minerva. Love Jo x

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

WIP Wednesday

Lots on the go but nothing to show!

1. Shawl for June
2. Blanket for August
3. School cardigan for September

I'm still creating everyday,I hope you have time to be creative today. I have been enjoying a blog called Tami's Amis and other creations so I am linking up for WIP Wednesday today, go and take a look at her lovely yarn today.

Jo xxx

Monday, 24 March 2014

Rolled Hem Foot Fun

I had a blouse, 100% silk from Boden, bought in the sale about two years ago, but I got a little hole in the sleeve. I thought one day I will fix that somehow remembering how Sandra from the Sewing Bee in series one had used a rolled hem foot on some chiffon.

Next...After reading a post from Lazy Daisy about different types of feet for her sewing machine I set to work on the problem...

With my new machine (new 2013) I had one of these feet included but had never used it. I was bold, I am, it is just the way things are, so I cut a curve off the sleeve removing the hole.

I found the instruction book which lasted about five minutes, I could not find it in there so I had a little test on the cut off pieces. It was so ridiculously easy! 

You started the hem off by folding it by hand, get your first stitch in then just keep guiding the raw edge to the left and it curls in itself.

Look at the edge. It looks really professional. Few whispy bits there to cut off but no major problems. Then I got the bug and couldn't bear to throw away the pieces I had cut off the arms to use as testers. Look...

Hooray! New party top to wear with skinny jeans and my green ballet flats. I LOVE green.

And I love my new revamped blouse - so if you have a rolled hem foot lurking in your kit, get it out and have a go. 

Happy Days Jo xxx

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Brooch Swap

A little parcel arrived this week...

 Look at my lovely felt brooch from Bee at The Linen Cloud, such teeny tiny stitches. I love it!

It has found a happy home on my brown velvet blazer from my university days but I still love to wear it now with jeans.

Thanks Bee and thanks to all the other swappers for bringing a little Spring into our step.

Jo xx

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Hooray! New room

I had to hop off my blog, things were seriously backing up in our house. We were in the middle of decorating, I have tonsillitis, the children have been killing each other and I have been trying to fit in paid work around house maintenance and general mum duties. Anyway...

I thought you might want to see progress on my curtains as you had only seen the roll. Little M has been very patient with me while I keep telling her I will be finished in a minute and she has spent a great deal of her day times watching me at the sewing machine and asking me to come and play/make a drink/snack. Her ways to distract me to become her mum again became ever more sophisticated.

They are now finished. They need some hanging time, each curtain was hard to press because it was so big, it just got creased again, but in time they will find their place.

I also made a few cushions with the left over pieces.

Ah! all done, feet up and a few crochet rows on the blanket in the basket I think to make me better again.
 Thanks for always stopping by, it makes my day. 
Jo xx

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Spring Chicken Tutorial psst... pass it on

Look at these chickens, cool or what? I sent them as my gift in the brooch swap but now I want to make one for myself and thought maybe you might like to too.

I can not take credit for the kilt pin concept, I saw it on pinterest, but I have written out a crochet version of this fantastic chicken idea. I wanted an easy crochet version as the one I saw was in knitted moss stitch.

This tutorial is for intermediates as it is a bit fiddly and you need to know how to twiddle your fingers a little. It is written using UK crochet terms.

You will need:

2.5 mm hook, ribbon for a bow, 4 ply cotton yarn, a kilt pin, and a small fluffy chicken to chop up!

Starting at the closure end, double crochet 15 - 20 stitches onto the stem to end at the hinge.

Foundation Row: Next chain 19 and ss join into the end of the Kilt pin dc.

Row 1: dc18 in each chain to end. ch1 and turn

Row 2: ss into the first 2 sts, dc into 12 sts, ss into next 2 sts, ch1 and turn.

Row 3: ss into 3 sts, dc into 10 sts, ss in next st, ch and turn.

Row 4: ss in 1 st *2dc in the next st, 1dc in the next* do this 4 times, ss in next 3 sts, turn (without a turning ch)

Row 5: ss in the first 3 sts, dc in next 2 sts, 1htr, 2tr in the next st, 3dtr in the next st, 2tr in the next st, 1htr, dc in the next 2 sts, ss6, Turn (without a turning chain)

Row 6: 9dc, 2dc in the next st, 2 in the next,8dc, ss and fasten off

Good stuff, the hard bit is done, now you need to make another one on it's own. Following the same pattern from foundation row to row 6.

Time to start construction. Sew them together adding some toy stuffing or yarn bits depending on how chunky you want it. This pattern works either with the blunt end for a head which makes a hen or with the thin end as the head for more of a cockerel shape. 

I didn't photograph it but you need to chop the legs off a fluffy chick and ensure you sew these into the base as you stuff your chicken.

To make a beak, sew a loop into the head, then work a hand-stitched button clasp stitch all the way around and pull it together at the beak end. You could add a felt beak, or whatever you are good at.

You can make a french knot eye or use a button or a bead. I like to just use up all the bits I already have.

Then just let you imagination run wild from your sewing basket. 

I hope some people give it a go, it looks great on a bag or as an unusual coat pin. You can always make the chicken and sew a normal brooch pin on if the kilt pin is a bit scary - but I love it this way. I need to make one for myself now, you know what they say, plumbers always have leaky pipes!

Thanks for stopping by. Jo xxxx blog entry is my submission to the Deramores Blog Awards 2014. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies. 

Friday, 14 March 2014

The Curtain story

I made a cushion for my Minerva post and then when I photographed it, it glared out at me how much I have wanted to change these curtains for at least the last year.

I made them about 10 years ago with Laura Ashley fabric from a closing down sale. I loved the classic style of them in our high ceiling room but I am tiring of them now. I have not had any spare money to frivolously change them but it is always in the back of my mind.

Then two weeks ago I passed a barn shop called Stanway Fabrics on the way to work. I had never been in there but I knew it was full of top quality fabric which was all way out of my price range. I thought next week, I must call in there just for some inspiration.

The next Friday, there was a sign outside saying "75% off everything must go" It closed at 4pm, it was 3.45 so I pulled in.

I chose a fabric which was reduced from £36.99 a metre to £7.50!!!! I thought I needed 10 metres. I begged them to keep it for me until Saturday.I needed to measure the windows.

I drove home. Measured my windows. Rang them back. 

They cut it. I ordered lining and tape... In the space of 30 minutes I had made a complete impulse purchase without any family negotiation. Whoops!

The next day I drove out again and picked up the whole lot for £112.00. (That was actually my car fund money to sort out my dodgy handbrake but I will just have to leave it in gear for a bit longer!)

So two days and a paint job later I thought I should really try and sell the other curtains on ebay, we should not waste resources should we? I put them in for a cheeky buy it now price and sold them within the hour. BUM! I now have no curtains...

This is how we are living at the moment. I will be back with a ta dah! in a few weeks time. 100% silk curtains in a freshly painted room, sometimes impulse buys are the best. But I seriously need time to get this sorted out so I will take a little decorating blog-break if you don't mind. Speak soon. Thanks everso.

Jo xxxx