Monday, 30 November 2015

All done Tartan #10

My 'all done' posts feature a little round up of everything I have made from one piece of fabric. I am not a hoarder, I like to see everything all used up then I can enjoy buying, accepting and choosing new fabrics instead of always looking at the same patterns.

I have been collecting for this bag for a while now. Bits of tweed, wool and thicker fabrics here and there but had yet to find the right colour combinations. However, the last scraps of the two kilt skirts finally brought it all together. 

The pattern is from Patch by Cath Kidston

One outdated skirt and another too long skirt is the same as...


One sassy kilt plus one smart skirt


add one winter handbag plus one pressie messenger bag.


 add one girls pinafore for the daughter of the mum who gave me the kilts in the first place... (keeping up??)

Which is your favourite make?

PS. In the end, with a little pooling of resources, the four members of my sewing group all made a messenger bag. There were grey, brown and green toned bags but we all found the fabric we needed from each other and really felt ours looked just as good as the one in the book.



Here are three of them I managed to get photos of.

Thanks for stopping by. 
Jo xxxx

Friday, 27 November 2015


Thank you sooooo much for your messages, they really have warmed our soul this week.

I buried myself in a little sewing to keep me busy. A top which kept morphing into different things. It ended up as a useful layering tunic.

However, it started life as a self drafted fold neck top but it was too generous and I ended up with a sack including saggy sleeves!

So I made ties for the shoulders which pulled in the neck hole and changed the sleeve shape to give a narrower profile. I wasn't for giving up.

Better, but still too big in length and lacking in shape.

Ah, I see,  it needed a tie waist. A really nice tunic to layer up for winter. I got there in the end. The fabric is from Minerva, it is a stretch nylon jersey with a great drape. I also made a Bettine Dress by Tilly and the Buttons from the same fabric a while back and I have worn it many times, the fabric does not need ironing - maybe that is why I have worn it so much!

Love to all you fabulous people out there.

Jo xxxx

Monday, 23 November 2015

Mother Nature

When we visit the cabin, Mother Nature shows us her best side - flowers, insects, trees and mountains...

but this weekend she showed us her power and force. It is a sad day here at Three Stories High, our cabin has blown down in Hurricane Barney.

Andy is devastated. He cried sobs swinging from dogged determination to fix it; to wanting to put a match to it. 

We collected all the fabric items to take home to wash and dry as this must have happened last Tuesday so it has been rained on since. A neighbour who lives close to the cabin phoned me to let me know, he is an airline pilot so the weather would have been high on his work agenda last week. He had thought of our cabin when he arrived back home on Friday and took a walk across the field to check it out.

I don't know how the kitchenette got away without being tipped over. The roof blew off taking the chimney to the log burner with it and amazingly the glass blew out of the door casements but didn't break as the front fell in. Three walls remain standing.

Apart from the shed itself, the only casualty was the jug from the wash stand.

We rallied some family troops, my mum looked after the children so they didn't have to see it, my mum's husband came to the farm with a van to collect our belongings that needed bringing home, my dad fired up the dumper truck to take the furniture contents up to the farmyard sheds across the muddy field, his wife and I collected the wood to stack up and my brother tied it all down. Andy had spent Friday night in the dark on his own wearing a head torch trying to tie a tarp to the roof but to no avail, it was still too windy.

We packed up the entire contents into boxes and put it in the farm sheds. After three hours, I suggested we go home, drink tea and  have a bit of thinking time until we decide what we can do about it in the Spring.

I seemed strangely reticent not emotional as I picked up my homemade things and put them in bin bags. Mothers can be strong, as strong as Mother Nature in many ways, I believe. It is just a shed, we weren't in it, it is not our home, we are all safe and all our things can be washed, dried and put back when we have the strength to give the structure some thought and fervour.

I never write about sad times on my blog but I feel that the cabin was a real part of this little blog space. 

I know some of you will want to leave a comment but four kisses, one for each of us will show us your support and good wishes, I know your kindness would upset me too much otherwise and I have held it together up until now.

Do come back for happy news next week. 
Jo xxxxxx

Friday, 20 November 2015

Vintage patterns with love

I have been sharing my vintage pattern makes all year with  A Stitching Odyssey and on the dedicated pinterest board. My final one for this year is from my all time favourite vintage pattern Simplicity 7642 (1968)


I have made View 2 and 4 so far and today I am sharing View 3.
I also have two new sensational patterns that I have not used yet but was itching to show.

I mean what a pattern!! What other skirt would you ever need in your life? Oh, Butterick 4965 (1960's) I could happily go to my grave wearing variations of the tops from the first pattern and skirts from this pattern - oh and some jeans too obviously.

I recently bought this one, it was a 'wanty' thing, simplicity 8495 (1969) to cover any parties I might be invited to. If I don't get invited anywhere I will just stop in and stare at these pretty pictures with a glass of wine wearing carmen hot rollers.

If I could only have one more vintage pattern, heaven forbid, I would keep this one: Butterick 3598 for an everyday dress. I have made it twice. 1960's is my 'thing' with vintage patterns.

So what have I actually made? This fantastic top, view 3 from the first pattern, which I am so pleased with because it goes with everything, I mean everything.
(Terrible early morning winter picture alert btw)

Homemade Jeans. Tick.

Navy work trousers. Tick.

My homemade pencil skirt (not ironed!). Tick.

Denim skirt and boots. Tick.

My boiled wool jumper upcycle. Tick

I settled on this for work today and left the bedroom with navy clothes strewn everywhere for my return.

The bottom border is a new thing for me. I used giant cotton ric rac to make a scallop edge. It has two purposes it turns out: it looks beautiful and it weighs the light cotton down to stop the top riding up at the back or the front.

You may have worked out by now that I love this top. The fabric was from the clearance section on  A navy background with little bits of my favourite fresh green in the centre of the circles.

Happy sewing folks. Thanks to Marie for hosting a great challenge this year. I am no longer a collector of vintage patterns, I am now a maker and wearer of them.

 Thanks for stopping by.

Jo xxxxx

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

All done Rowan #9

After the painful purchase of one ball of Rowan wool at £8 I had to make the most of it. I have used up every last scrap of both colours I pooled from mine and my mum's miette cardigans to make another present for the Christmas box.

The pattern for both the hat and the flower are in my sidebar so if you are making Christmas presents and you can crochet, give it a go. This one is Aran weight yarn on a 5.5 hook.

I squeezed out two flower brooches as teachers presents, I used scraps to make the stamen on one instead while using a button and bow on the other. 

This is it people, this is what I had left. I love it when that happens. The fabric background is my latest purchase from the stitching show at the Birmingham NEC a few Sundays ago. It is summer weight cotton for...possibly a shirt dress, we'll see. It will hibernate now though until spring.

All done with Rowan creative worsted. 6 teal and nearly 3 purple balls of wool made:



Two shawls, a cardigan, a flower hat and two brooches. 
Happy crafting and watch those pennies! 
Jo xxx

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Do what you see...

Big Sis, who is eight, has this rather neat basket by her bed, she is an early riser, her sister isn't however they share a room. Big Sis has been amusing herself quietly in the mornings with some crochet circles. She is mastering the art of increasing at regular intervals while being able to count the stitches in between on her own. 

She has used her Kids learn to crochet book to follow the diagrams so with very little help she has managed a few presents for her friends. This is genuinely how tidy her basket is all the time - puts us to shame doesn't it?

She cut the felt flowers, chose buttons and crocheted the centres. All I had to do was supervise using the glue gun to stick them all together in the layering up part. I also sewed the brooch pins on because she was struggling to get through the backing and the holes.

This afternoon we made stamped tags together because I had a few Christmas gifts that needed tags too. Look at this find from the craft show at the NEC a few weeks ago. I have had my £1 investment back already! Tah da!

Hope you are enjoying crafting at the moment, on your own or in the company of someone you love spending time with. 
Jo xxxx