Thursday 29 September 2016

Skinny Jeans Burda 7863

Currently this blog is seeing the end of lots of projects started at the beginning of the Summer. Eventually, here are my skinny jeans. I have stayed away from this style for a long time but have finally succumbed. When I try them on in the shops I find the waist is always too big for the hip size required for my derriere. However, what would happen if I made them in a really stretchy cord I thought? I really like using cord at this time of year, you may have noticed...

I bought this fabric from in the sale. They often have interesting stretch fabrics in their sale. I guess people are a bit more wary of sewing with stretch but I have practiced with it a bit now and am not frightened. The stretch is 40%. You find it out by measuring 10cm of fabric on the stretch grain, then stretch it as far as it will go. My 10 cm turned out to go to 14cm so it has 40% stretch. Little tip there for you.

I made some adjustments to the Burda 7863 pattern:
  • Took 2cm out of the front and back seat depth as my last two pairs from this pattern were too high waisted.
  • Did not interface the waistband to keep it stretchy.
  • Omitted the belt loops to make them smooth enough to wear with a tunic
  • Took a stack out of the back waist yoke for the right hip:waist ratio
  • My mum pinned out the legs for me so that I did not have baggy knees
  • Generally, I kept sewing and trying on, sewing and trying on.


I am really pleased with them. I think I have a few centimeters of bum wrinkling (I'm not a perfectionist)but that might just be my bottom! You can bend, stretch, squat and run up and down the stairs and they just keep recovering. I think they will fit into my Autumn wardrobe well with some of my other makes - Victoria shawl, sock yarn scarf, Mathilde blouse, spotty vintage hepburn collar blouse and a gaggle of coco long sleeved T-shirts - the list is seemingly endless.

These jeans took me ages, all of the summer holidays in fact, tiny little stages completed during the whole six weeks and a final push this week to finish and hem them. 
'You can eat a whole cow - a bit at a time!'

Jo xxx

PS. I bought a new camera so no blurry bum photos today. Hooray!

Sunday 25 September 2016

Sock yarn, Soap and a Surprise

Surprise!I did not make a crochet sock yarn blanket, all along I was slowly making a shawl to wear this Autumn which I have called Autumn Wander, perfect for kicking through the leaves. 



My stash ran out pretty quickly by late July as the rows got longer. Luckily I have a very special blog friend Christina from Colourful Life who offered to send me some sock yarn left overs in Autumnal colours through the post. 

How good is that? She nailed the Autumn palette.
I also ordered some Ceramic greek beads from Beadsite to finish the edging. I LOVE these beads and use them a lot.

Also in the parcel I was giddy to find she had sent me one of her handmade soaps. I know I am making you all jealous now but the scent is heavenly, citrus and peachy with a perfect pattern that makes you want to keep staring at it. Thank you so much Christina. I am steeling myself from starting to make soap because I know I will be instantly addicted to making it.

If you want a loose recipe for making a sock yarn shawl you are welcome to use the one below which I made up as I went along to make this one. I have called it Autumn Wander and it is on ravelry.

Make a magic loop, ch3, 2tr in the loop, ch3, 3tr in the loop. You should have a fan consisting of two treble sets. Pull the loop closed. 

Turn work. ch3, 2tr in the top of the last treble from the last row. Move to the centre hole. (Note there are no chains between the sets of trebles only in the centre fan) 3tr, 3ch, 3tr, 3 tr in the top of the last treble.

Turn work. Continue adding another set of trebles in the top of the ones at both ends of each row. Remember to do two sets separated with 3ch in the centre on each row.

Change yarn colour as often as you like to achieve a desired effect. Add beads, make a shell border, sew on a pom pom trim, crochet a pom pom trim - whatever takes your fancy. Do take the time to block it, it makes it drape beautifully and have pointy corners.

It was a prize winner in our local show too!

Hope you might make one. The equinox passed last week so Autumn Chit chat may now commence! 
Jo xxx

Thursday 22 September 2016

Minerva Fleece

My big girl is growing, upwards mainly. She has long arms and legs. We were due a dressing gown reshuffle here where everyone moves up a size. In the 'growing-up box' of clothes we collect from like minded friends, there was not a longer version for Big Sis so this month I chose some fleece from Minerva to make a dressing gown.

The fleece was so soft and fluffy. I chose a coordinating cotton for the cuffs, pocket and belt. I made the sleeves really long so you can see them now turned over to their full depth but I over locked the edge which looks neat until they need turning down.

It was really easy to make from an Ottobre magazine pattern. The pattern was in fact lined cotton but I just used the fleece on its own using the pattern shapes. You can get a free dressing gown pattern on Pinterest here.

I used my overlocker to sew the fleece together and finish the edges at the same time then used my machine to do the five rows of top stitching detail along the front bands. Don't be put off though, fleece does not fray so you can just sew it on a regular machine all over no problem.

The belt is sewn on in one straight seam in the centre back to stop it getting lost.

Now you have to say what all mums say, "You'll be fine, you'll grow into it!" She loves it and lays it on top of her duvet at night. Little M got a little jealous with her hand-me-down, so you guessed it, I had to make another one but they were a quick sew.


All sorted for dressing gowns now for the chillier nights,thanks Minerva.
Jo xxx

PS. I made these the week before the summer holidays started way back in July, I have not been sewing 24 hours a day in case it seemed impossible to believe I made them this week!

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Louisa Dress in Needlecord

This dress is everything I wanted it to be and this new pattern purchase is everything I didn't want it to be. Let me explain...

I had a weak internet moment. I have not been knitting or crocheting much (niggly knitting shoulder) so I have taken to browsing pinterest in an attempt to satiate my crafty yearnings. I saw the Louisa dress on one of my boards and clicked further to investigate.

 The pattern was so versatile. Sleeveless, short sleeved, 3/4 sleeved, contrast side panels, fully lined, half lined; the list seemed endless. I saw the potential to use up bits of left over fabric from my own dressmaking projects too. It even went from age 1 to 10. I have two girls who are 6 and 9 so I started to talk myself into it.

I needed to talk myself into it, it was 16 Euros, £13.54 or $18.00 for the paper pattern. I had already written off the cheaper PDF download because of my loathing for piecing A4 paper patterns together. So I clicked. I treated myself, and the girls, to the paper pattern. I was excited. A new indie pattern would be plopping onto the mat very soon. Eeek! £13.54...

 AAGGGHHH! I had to print out the 18 page instructions myself, I opened the beautiful packaging to cut out the size I wanted to find the pattern pieces were all overlapping, the print was in light brown so it was hard to trace AND seam allowances were not included. Jeez, those are the most annoying things about patterns - why do it?

Anyway, I traced off the size 5 for Megan (on my own paper!) one evening, cut it out the next evening (adding seam allowances) and sewed it over the next two days. In hindsight I could have used my clothkits cord pinafore pattern and used the time I spent faffing around getting the pattern with drafting a pocket and some sleeves and kept my cash. There you have it, a perfect dress from an awful pattern. 

I will stick with Ottobre magazine from now on. OK, so I have to trace off the patterns but for £10 I get a beautifully photographed magazine for my girls to peruse and a wardrobe of patterns for 20 items every back issue I buy.

Rant over. She absolutely loves it because it is fully lined and feels all silky inside. The purple fabric is a really fine needlecord with a slight stretch from and the pocket is a gifted fat quarter. It has a massive pocket for treasures and she is mad for the colour purple. I added a crochet flower on a brooch pin using the free pattern on my sidebar.

Thanks for dropping by, I will be more jolly next time, promise! 
Jo xx

Sunday 18 September 2016

Enjoying the weather

A few pictures of our weekend, enjoying the weather, preparing for the next chapter of the year and our new family livestock.

I picked more blackberries.

 My dad bought some Hebridean sheep for the farm to graze the grass.

Little M is trying to pet them but they were more interested in the lush grass.

Bloke installed the old log burner in the new cabin.

Little M thought she had found the best marshmallow stick ever until she realised one was getting burnt while the other two remained raw!

It got too hot for the girls so I helped out with the toasting while laughing because I couldn't get up off the floor without the treat starting to slide off the stick!!

Big Sis made little bowls and models from clay exposed on the lower fields.

On Sunday we made our usual weekend National trust visit, this time a mile walk away at Benthall Hall

Savoring the dappled sunshine.

Happy Days! Have a great week one and all. Jo xxx

Thursday 15 September 2016

Sewing Wreath

I have had this project on my mind for a while now, a collection of objects have been accumulating in a little fabric bin especially for this purpose. Vintage sewing finds, empty cotton reels, a tape measure and a polystyrene ring waiting for decoration.

I didn't have enough wooden reels of my grandmothers to complete the ring so I covered the plastic ones to blend in. I am saving the wooden ones a little while longer until I have collected some more.

A crafty friend bought me some self adhesive fabric squares last Christmas and these immediately sprang to mind. I covered the plastic reels then stared at them for a while because they were so pretty for something that would have otherwise gone in the bin.

To cover the ring I considered crochet but as my shoulder is still not A1 I went for a rag tie technique to stay with the sewing theme. Then I just got pinning and decorating. 

Ta dah! Sewing wreath for the door of the room I sew in on the top floor. 

I am so lucky to have space to leave all my tack out permanently. The girls call the cupboard I blagged from my neighbour when she was having a new kitchen 'The shop.' For example, "Mum, can we have some buttons from the shop?" It makes me smile because it is mostly full of thrifted, gifted or second hand craft materials. It does help me keep stash under control though, if it doesn't fit in the cupboard then I can't have it or I simply have to consider that I don't actually  need it.

Happy Crafting. Jo xxxx