Tuesday 30 June 2015

All Done #7 Stars in your eyes

My 'All done' posts feature everything I make from one piece of fabric. I am not a stash hoarder, I like it all used up and useful. A piece of this jersey turned up in my last stash clearout a few weeks ago. 

Longtime followers may recall a tunic dress I made for Big Sis when I entered the world of jersey and stretch fabrics along with my wonderful, not so new now, overlocker about 2 years ago.

She has grown and it has since become a top with waterfall sides.

I made a simple gathered skirt in March to wear underneath with a jersey waistband because my girls are skinny bilinkies. I made a small comfy waistband that will roll down as they grow. They appear to get taller but not wider it seems. She wore this to a bouncy castle party - an ideal jumping/dancing outfit

Little M was pleased with her teeny leggings I made last summer too. I made her another pair early this Spring in the next leg size up, that impossibly small bottom is still the same size.

The last piece was used to make a longer pair of leggings and this T-shirt tunic top from Ottobre magazine this week.

Your modelling is coming on a treat girlie.

party tattoos, don't you just love 'em!!
All done now with these flopsy jersey stars. A batwing top, t-shirt tunic, two pairs of leggings and a skirt.

Thanks for stopping by. Jo xx

You can check out my other 'All done' posts by using the labels on the left. It might inspire you to use up something that has been kicking around for a while.

Monday 29 June 2015

Creative Crochet

So I gave you a sneak preview a while back on a crochet project going on here at Three Stories High.

Big Sis had learnt to make granny squares and I helped her along to make a pile. There was no ending planned for this project. Then she suggested in her seven year old naive voice...

"I want to make my baby blanket from Auntie Di bigger now that I am bigger so I can use the tassels to tie on the squares can't I?" Awww. You can't stop a creative mind, it was an idea though even if it lacked knowledge. Now is the time I need to show this girl how to join squares together I thought.

Last weekend, in a flurry of activity, she measured along each side to see if she had enough. She took time to think about which colours to put next to each other. She was quite particular about that.

I taught her how to join squares with double crochet. Look at that concentration along with her own hold which she worked out herself. It is not the way I crochet. She pulls the ball yarn under her index finger to get tension.

We have all been enjoying crafting this month with the Summer being a bit of a non-starter. Little M is busy on a piece of Binca making her name and a heart in crazy yarn colours.

So here it is, I mean I wouldn't choose it myself but I love that she thinks she has made a blanket and that it was all her own idea.

Next she says she wants to add flowers to it so I will teach her some simple blossoms over Summer. I have a feeling this blanket will grow and grow just like my creative thinking girl.

Bit teary now. Jo xxx

Thursday 25 June 2015

Summer but not flowers

I have made a summer dress but not with flowers on. I thought I would try something else to test my sewing skills. I tried working with tartan. The fabric is from Minerva. It is a beautiful lightweight cotton that presses really well.

It is a different style for me. I usually go for a shift dress but thought I would try a floaty summer pattern instead. It is from the Sewing Bee first series book. 

The summary drew me in... 

I have not bought any of the other books. I like to have a good go at a few things before I start ogling something new. I think it is a good book with some stylish patterns. This book can be picked up quite cheaply now because it is 'old'.

Working in tartan gave me a chance to practice my pattern matching skills. It was fun and very rewarding especially while fitting the bodice which is lined.

I struggled with the length a bit. How long should it be? What will I wear on my feet? Will I ever take my hands out of those lovely deep pockets? I made it shorter than the pattern because I am well...short.

Thanks Minerva for stretching my fabric choice beyond flowers for a summer dress. There are lots of lovely tartans in their range go and take a peek. Great choices for men's shirts, not that I have ever made a shirt for a man, over to you Lazy Daisy Jones....

Jo xxx

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Fat Quarters

I have posted previously about my little fore into making knickers. I made a pair in Liberty fabric for a friend for her birthday and I wish I could play you the squealing answer phone message she sent me after she had tried them on. "OMG they fit, they actually fit and they are beautiful...etc.etc." I made her size 14 out of the rest of my Liberty Wiltshire fabric from White Tree Fabrics. 

I had heard it said that you could make lots of pairs of knickers from fat quarters. Not my fat quarters I can tell you! I made a size 8 pair for my best friend's daughter for her 16th Birthday out of one but you can't cut the bigger sizes on the bias. Then I saw these on White Tree fabric's website.
A mini bolt. Never heard of them but they are considerably bigger than a fat quarter. They are 1.5 x 45 cm. White Tree kindly sent me some to try with some knicker elastic.

Oh joy! I can get two pairs out of one bolt and I needed 2.3m of elastic for one pair. I am keeping these ones for myself. The pattern is from Flo Jo. I have worn and washed one pair (the ones at the back) and they turned out fine.

These bolts are so pretty and would be great for making any patchwork, aprons, pump bags, make up cases, cushions or even knickers!!

Strawberry news: I made this cake for my mum's 60th Birthday last week called the "I can't believe you made that, cake" from a book by Lorraine Pascal. It was divine.

Happy crafting. Jo xxx

Sunday 21 June 2015

Yarn bowl exchange

Today is a heartwarming community story. I belly dance with my neighbour Jill, she is the one with 'THE' blonde hair. Her husband is a ceramic artist and plays live music for the local Morris dancing team, he is the one in the stripy jacket. Sometimes this becomes a fusion and he plays alongside a drummer to accompany our outdoor belly dancing performances like this last year. We danced on Sunday in the sunshine this time, in the same spot as this photo.

I commented last August that his jacket was falling apart. I could see the back lining hanging below the jacket and the sleeve lining hanging out of the cuffs. He quickly pounced and said, "Well, maybe my friendly neighbour will fix it for me!" In reply, as quick as a flash I replied, "If you make me a yarn bowl." The deal was made.

It is a messy business re-lining a jacket when you have no idea what you are doing when all you have to spur you on is a self-inflated confidence and a huge yearning for a free yarn bowl .

Alistair invited the girls to go round and watch him make the yarn bowl in his studio in March.

The bowl was made so I persevered and completed the jacket overhaul.

That was in February, it featured in the corner of my Quilt photo reveal.

Now Alistair is a bit arty and time schedules are not his thing. He said he would fire and glaze it when the weather got warmer. Last Thursday, however, Jill came round to go to dancing with me and brought the bowl round. Hooray!!!

Just in time for me to try it out on the final borders of my nearly finished aran cardigan.

I love my new yarn bowl especially how it stands on the old Singer right where I sit in the evenings with the sun streaming in from the large windows. I also love that two neighbours found two skills that were useful to each other. Hope you enjoyed the story. 

Continuing with the red theme...Here is today's strawberry picture. A whole punnet full picked from the allotment.YUM!

More on the crochet later.
Ever had a good skill swap? 
Jo xxxx

Friday 19 June 2015

Wardrobe puzzle solved

I have solved the puzzle of my handmade wardrobe. I know, quite a statement isn't it? You may remember me saying I found it hard to wear some of my handmade clothes because they all went with Jeans and I can't wear jeans to work for the majority of the week...but look at these...

Wide leg trousers made with dark chambray. Everything in my wardrobe, when held up to these trousers, worked for me. It was like having 'work' jeans.

Coloured tops - tick
The pattern was from Simplicity and came free from in March with Sew magazine earlier in the year. (Simplicity K1699)

They have a darted front and back and an invisible side zip - so comfy but with the crease in the front, so smart too.

Flowery top - tick

Marble printed silk top - tick

It is Friday, I am done in with work, family, feeding everybody, remembering birthdays and laundry. Last weeks refashioned strawberry represents how I feel right now! I need the weekend.

Jo  xxxx

Tuesday 16 June 2015

The cherry club

I love my Cherries from Amy at Love made my home. Her tutorial is so easy to follow. I made two on holiday without the pattern just by looking at the one on my jacket - a trial run if you like then I made two for grown up birthday presents when I got home. Here is the evolution of cherries that came from my hook.

My first one with one strand of yarn, then two strands but uneven cherry sizes with a messy join, next two better ones, finally the one I had from Amy with double knitting yarn.

The first two trial ones I pinned to my girls. They wear red to school and Little M came back and said "Pippa, Ellie and Indy all want you to make them cherries!" I bet they do I thought!

Anyway, because I am a bit of a soft touch I made a brooch for Ellie as it was her birthday party on Sunday and we popped it in with her sticker book present.

Then I made two more. Little M is starting some sort of gang based on who is wearing a set of crocheted cherries. I don't know if this story has an alternative ending other than me making billions of cherries for the whole class!

Other fruit based news: this is our first strawberry from the allotment this year and yes, we did cut it into four to all enjoy a piece each!

Jo xxx

Sunday 14 June 2015

Grannies are the best

I am helping Big Sis aged seven, along with her granny square quest. I love them, they are the knitting equivalent of stocking stitch, a no brainer for me, I was happy to join in.

In truth, she has made about four whole ones but I keep finding her half started ones all around the house! She really gets it, it is a thrill to see.

 She doesn't know what they will be, she just loves 
making them - me too!

Thursday 11 June 2015


I have recently been obsessed with a blog called Charity Shop Chic it is totally amazing and inspirational, do go there and be wowed.

The blog made me think of a boiled lambswool jumper I was given a while back from my friend Naomi who is my crochet buddy at knit and natter.

I made this...

From this...

She shrank her husbands jumper, squirrelled it away in her basket and gave it to me. He need not know...It was a good one too from Saville Row with double sided cuffs. I perused the jars for some bits and pieces: Matching thread and some cotton left from my double bed quilt in a conveniently labelled box named Patchwork. I love my new craft cupboard so much!

First up I tried it on, it was a snug jumper but OK. I marked the centre and cut straight through. Next I cut off the V neck ribbing and curved out the collar bone area.

I went on to make two 18" long strips to finish the front edges.  Then I used the neck shape to cut neck facings by tracing the shape onto paper and matching the joins at the shoulder seams.

I made them large on the neck so that the back would not itch me if I had a wide neck item on underneath.

I tried it on and it looked too long. It was still too old lady for me so I turned up the ribbing to go for a box style boiled wool jacket.

 Then I messed around with the self timer in the bathroom for a bit.

Then I refashioned a strawberry....

This has got to stop I thought... so I continued to turn things into other things in a more constructive manner. I turned chicken thighs into chicken curry, dirty laundry into clean laundry and crumpled beds into ones we can all sleep in later when all this crazy creative mind stuff fizzles out.

I think I used my time off in lieu this morning really well don't you? Thanks for looking Jo xxx