Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Jeans Refashion

I bought these jeans on a walk past a sale rail in M&S back in Spring, I thought they were OK but as the summer went on they just got too big in the thigh and did nothing for my bottom. I am not saying a £10 pair of jeans owes me a penny for my backside but they went into the rag bag as a poor impulse buy which I felt bad about.

Then I raked them back out because I loved that starry denim, I couldn't buy that anywhere.

I had a little measure

and a snippety snip.

inspired by this...

Some top stitching and Ta dah!

A new denim mini skirt saving those cute little stars for another year. The thighs were so big I didn't even need to put in the little triangle insert. My eco-equilibrium has been reset. Phew, that was close!

Jo x

PS: An oversight on my part - The book is fabulous, it is called Dressmaking the complete step by step guide by Alison Smith (DK Publishers) If you are new to making clothes it has all the technique you will ever need and the next advanced level and a complete pattern wardrobe to download. 

Monday, 28 December 2015

Bah Humbug!

Well, It has been the house of sickness here over Christmas and I am the only one out of the four of us who has escaped which has meant endless hours of crochet with someone, on rotation, lolling around on the sofa next to me since the 23rd December. Today is the first day we have all eaten together at the same time!

Most crochet I come across on blogs is for home decor or accessories: blankets, decorations, face clothes, pot holders, brooches, hats and scarves etc. but I like to make clothes with crochet. Why? because it is just so darn quick.

I have made this cardigan over the last two months between knitting to give the muscles in my arm a rest, I like to alternate to stop myself getting RSI but I have motored on with it over the festive period through boredom.

The pattern is free from Ravelry. It is brilliant for beginners as you can make adjustments to the overlapping front edge. You don't need button holes, just the holes in the crochet and it is worked in one piece from the top down. I did cheat a little in that my friend made one and I tried hers on so I knew it was going to be a good fit and style on me. I was attracted to the asymmetrical button front.

The yarn is Rico cotton in nougat which makes it a sort of Spring garment really but that is fine. Sometimes I need a lighter knit to wear to the office part of my job. The stitch definition is really good with this compact yarn with a slight sheen. The arm length was determined by my yarn stash but they are actually quite useful like that.

So do you like?

I really love it and it is a winner in my wardrobe because it goes with plenty of things. It looks nice on its own too without anything underneath.

Thanks for stopping by. 
Do you crochet garments to wear?
Jo x

Friday, 25 December 2015

Minerva Pj's

Well hello there! Happy Christmas! My Minerva post this month has landed on Christmas day and isn't that clever because I made a Christmas present for my Bloke with my fabric this month.

In fact I made two pairs of Pyjama bottoms - his and hers. Mine were from some Minerva cotton leftovers from my tartan summer dress this Summer and his were from a beautiful brushed cotton from my choice this month.

I have had the pattern for Yeeeaaarrs. I picked it up in a bargain bin at a haberdashery in Shrewsbury in the 90's! I have never used it but the shorts and trousers looked just the right.

I stamped a little label for the bottom for my bloke.

If you are looking to make PJ bottoms then this blue fabric is the cotton for you - soft, brushed and cosy. 

 These short ones are so comfy and light, a great way to use up some leftovers. I added a bit of cotton crochet lace to make them look more like ladies PJ shorts. 

Do you get dressed straight away on Christmas day or do you lounge around in your pyjamas for a bit first?

Happy Christmas! Jo xxxxxx

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Recycling presents

I love to make something out of nothing, it gives me such satisfaction. I made these needle cases for my sewing class friends. Grey photo alert I'm afraid folks but I wanted to show you nonetheless. I knew it would be, see the last post!

The outer shell is made from a jumper I shrank in the wash accidently, combined with little bits of fabric leftovers. For the applique design I used a pattern from my daughters sewing book by Jane Bull called Stitch by Stitch.

I used corduroy to make the cotton on the reel. My blanket stitch got better as they went along but I loved making them in one evening.

Inside is a felt flap to hold sewing needles. The use of pinking shears around the outside meant that I didn't have to turn it out and have bulky edges.

Ta dah! Four needle cases stitched with love.

Excitement for Father Christmas is building in this house I can tell you!
Jo xxx

Monday, 21 December 2015


Typical, a beautiful sunny winters day and nothing finished to photograph! Tomorrow it will probably be all grey and I will be faffing around with my camera settings again.

Time for a walk I think.


Thursday, 17 December 2015

Shoebox crafting

I am currently waiting to finish some big knitting and crochet projects -  I have ran out of wool on two garments so I have turned to fun little hand sewing bits and pieces to keep my hands busy while I wait for more yarn to arrive.

I saw these little yo-yo key rings on pinterest and my sewing class whipped up a few while we ate mince pies and drank tea. They look fab hanging from a gift bag too.

I also made a clamshell purse which opens when you squeeze it. I had a kit for it a while back where I traced off the plastic panels that go inside but this time I replicated it with the sides of plastic milk bottles but the accuracy was not quite the same. 

I keep my tailors chalk in mine to stop it making my sewing stuff all dusty but then again it would make a great present with jewellery or sweeties in. The original kit is by Clover here.

So I continue to make a little something everyday. 
What about you? Busy?

Monday, 14 December 2015

Sewing presents

I know a lot of the blogs I follow are by people who do crochet and knitting so the pressure can be felt at this time of year when presents are in production but of course yarn projects are not quick. I have thrown in a few more sewing projects this year and boy, is it fast.

I fell back on my Flo-Jo knicker kit pattern which I traced off in all sizes. It really is a brilliant design and I can make a pair in an hour from choosing the fabric to admiration.

This lightweight cotton was in a fat quarter pack I won in a competition and it has the perfect sized flowers on which doesn't require any pattern matching.

If you have a sewing friend I highly recommend this kit as a present in itself. The quality of the elastic is beautiful. I love making them so I made another pair... using some other elastic not as good, I might add, as the flo-jo elastic.

Happy making friends.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Crochet baubles

I saw these and thought ouch! when I saw the price. Instead I bought a pattern from Etsy for a fraction of the cost and got hooking.

Great for using up little bits of yarn stash.

They are constructed by making two hemispheres and sewing them together around a bauble.

Then I went a bit crazy for them...

Thanks for stopping by. Jo X

Wednesday, 9 December 2015


I don't want to alarm you... I made these cards last February in case you think I have made them recently! The craft section was closing down at our local Garden Centre and I bought up some Victorian ephemera card kits for stupid money.

I was so excited by the kits I made them up straight after I bought them way back in February and then packed them neatly in a box ready for Advent, smarmy I know.

Even the smallest bits made it onto a card towards the end. I hate keeping itty bitty things to clutter the table and never get used so I fell back on my favorite card layout - squares in a square - works for me every time.

I made 46 cards. These are the unopened kits I haven't used yet. Pence people, they were pence...

I will reveal to you now why these kits appealed to me so much in the first place. I collect old postcards. Not any kind but embroidered ones, Victorian 3D ones, especially cards with flowers and feminine model imagery on. They are my favourites. My nan started me off when I was little giving me a stash from our family history and I have added to the album whenever I see more.

This one is my ultimate showstopper. A postcard that lights up when you hold it up to the window. So simple but so incredible. 

Hope you enjoyed a bit of crafting with some history thrown in. 
I just have to actually write in mine now!

Jo xxx

Monday, 7 December 2015

Winter Link Party

Hello there if you are joining in with the Winter Link party from Thistlebear. The shine has gone off completing my cabin blanket as you can imagine but I had made lots of progress on it.

After joining the squares together I was undecided about a border. However, after seeing all your CAL Spice for Life blankets hosted by Cherry Heart I was inspired...

...a Spice for Life style border. I am just picking and choosing a pattern and a ball of yarn from the ones I have left then whizzing around with each colour for a border. I can see why you all found it such fun and totally addictive. 

More rounds to go but I am pleased so far...

It is hibernating for a while now because I don't have the same motivation for it at the moment.

 I do however have plenty of other cosy winter projects to share so I can party on with the Winter Project link party.

I have this school cardigan for Big Sis. Her arms keep getting longer but she is not really getting any bigger in the chest size.
I am knitting the two sleeves at the same time to avoid the 'making- another-one' syndrome I get.

I have also started a crochet cardigan for myself using Rico cotton, it is a no brainer pattern so it is good for a rest from the complex knitting pattern above.

I'm off to see what you have all been up to on 
these cosy winter days.
Thanks for stopping by Jo xxx