Friday, 28 April 2017

Lined Cleo Dungaree Skirt

Having a dog is taking me to new photo shoot places. This is only three minutes from our house but it makes a great backdrop for my new Cleo Dungaree skirt with a filter on.

The story... I made my first Cleo in a cord that was too lightweight probably about 16 wale: it stuck to my tights, it rode up at the back, the clips were too heavy for the straps etc. etc. So I embarked on another one. This cord was in a donated box I received in January from a work colleague. It is more of an 8 wale weight. Luckily in the box, there was also some lining. I decided upon a lined Cleo to solve some of the wearing problems.

I had a few fit issues with the last one too. Although it is a relaxed style is was way too big around the waist, add to that a swayback and I could get a loaf of bread through the back straps. I took some off the waist but now I have to wiggle to get it over my hips but it is not a problem, it feels much better.

Here is the front...It hangs so much better now. This time, I am wearing the pinafore not 'it' is wearing me which is what it felt like in the olive green one. 

And the back...The sway back is obvious but not an issue when I am wearing it.(so is my frozen shoulder injury with a dipping shoulder like that!) 

Anyway the cord and lining were perfect which was all free so it feels like a win win project all around. Here is a photo of the true colour without barn door filters.

I am going to revisit my original one next, take off the facings (liberty fabric which is top stitched Gulp!) and line it with the rest of the gifted lining fabric - at least I can enjoy wearing it then.

Thanks for stopping by. Jo xxxx

Edit: Corduroy is found in the construction of trousers, jackets and shirts. The width of the cord is commonly referred to as the size of the "wale" (i.e. the number of ridges per inch). The lower the "wale" number, the thicker the width of the wale (e.g., 4-wale is much thicker than 11-wale).

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Crochet with String

I had a few packets of nice string in my stash. I liked it because it was made in the UK but I wondered what I could do with it, I had been 'saving' it. 

I could have wrapped a present but then the person receiving the gift might not have admired UK manufacturing the way I do and simply thrown it in the bin!

Therefore I made a blossom cluster for my jacket. We have had enough Spring days now for me to put my winter wool coat under its dust cover and give my denim jacket a seasonal shake.

Ever tried crocheting with string? I made a shopping basket once and it was so heavy I could hardly lift it and my fingers were so sore from making it but a little project like this was a joy with this soft, light string. Mr Henry Winning, I love your 'exceptional twine' it was soft enough to crochet with.

Quick fix Wednesday post. See ya, Jo xxx

Monday, 24 April 2017

Quilt Sampler Block 3 and 4 - Crazy HST

Crazy quilt blocks are by nature of their title, a bit crazy. I was given an acrylic template by my Auntie but had never used it. I looked up a few tutorials and dug out my longest, thinnest scraps from the patchwork box.

You start by cutting the centre shape. Then apply strips to each side ironing them down as you go. You work clockwise and keep adding more and more strips. It is really hard to explain; if you want to have a go watch this brilliant video.

Eventually you will get a piece that you can cut a 12x12" square out of.

The third block in Meg's Sampler quilt uses up some left over Half Square Triangles (HST) These ones did not make the cut from my first double bed quilt for various reasons too small, wrong colour etc. but I have trimmed them down to make a 12X12" square.

There is still a happy pile of scraps to keep me going for quite a few more blocks yet and this is the 'small scraps' box. I have a 'large scraps' box - I am a bit like that when it comes to fabric organising!

I had to stand back and assess the damage! It was time to clear away before I picked up the little ladies from school.

Block number 3 and 4 - A crazy quilt block and a HST block for Meg's sampler quilt.
Thanks for dropping in. Jo xx

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Minerva Spring Greens

Ooh! refreshing. This month my Minerva make looks forward to warmer climes. I have chosen a batik fabric to try this awesome vintage pattern: Style 3172. A wrap dress with buttons and a midriff band  which comes with sleeve options. I am making Sleeveless View C

The pattern is unscathed and had never been cut out so it felt a real treat, like a paper time capsule, although I do like the used ones with little notes from ladies gone by. 

This pattern had the potential to be well fitting. I have used patterns with this midriff feature before and I can adjust the body length easily without losing shape. I made a muslin from curtain lining for this one because I wanted to check that the front would not gape. 

It is not pretty obviously but I found out something crucial. The Centre Front line stayed beautifully central on my chest then gradually pulled to the (photo) right to accommodate my backside. To remedy this I added some width to the skirt pieces at the hip. I also took a slither off the outer shoulder/armhole and added a second dart to get better bust shaping rather than two flappy wings by my upper arms. 

This fabric has the amazing ability to make a curve due to the crinkled nature of it. I added a second dart and then ironed the bust out which gave a perfect breast shape as the fabric eased out of its wrinkles.

I cut out the pattern from the fabric which does have irregularities in it due to the hand printed nature of the design so I didn't worry too much about pattern matching. Bloke said, 'What are you making with that sprout fabric?' amusing...helped me with my post title...anyway...


Ta Dah! My friend bought me the necklace for Christmas and the the bracelet for my birthday in January because I liked it so much. A perfect combo I think.

There are some nice vintage features inside. Wide facings with a binding finish and large arm facings which help the sleeve edges stay neat.

A very on trend colour to be making a dress out of, I believe. 

Thank you for popping in. Jo xxx

Monday, 17 April 2017

Bit More of This and That

I thought I would show you what I have on the go at the moment, nothing has priority, all WIP's there for me to pick up and put down as I please purely for my own pleasure over the Easter break.

More blocks for Meg's Quilt

Another 56 rows done on my stranded knitting - with a green line mistake but I can live with that. 

A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new 
- Albert Einstein.

Fast paced evening knitting with my cosmic sweater, growing so quickly.

I could have a proper rant here but I spent a lot of money and time looking for this bag in October and the lining is completely shot. Yes, yes, I could take it back and complain but it took me 20 minutes to just sew it up with a needle and thread. Done. Grrr!

The girls are working on their WIPs too. They always have a little go with their scrapbooks in the holidays along with half made dolls clothes and bits of crochet.

What have you got on the go this week?
 Jo xxx

Friday, 14 April 2017 in April

Making - A Cosmic sweater in soft cotton

Reading - At Knits End. A meditation for people who knit too much

Cooking - Cous cous with lamb and roasted peppers 

Drinking - Fruit tea and laying off so much coffee

Wanting - People to put things back where they belong

Deciding - Which bit of the garden I am happy for the dog to trash

Enjoying - Blossom at the farm

Wondering - Why my stash is not going down even though I have not spent a penny!

Considering - What we need or what we want

Buying - New White school socks for the girls

Loving - Dancing with the Severn Sisters

Disliking - The gap between rich and poor

Watching - How many biscuits I am eating!

Wearing - Summer trousers

Getting - A bad back a lot

Thinking - About Easter

Eating - Poached egg on toast every Monday

Feeling - Happy

If you do - Happy Easter.
Jo xx

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Strawberry Girls

I have taken the opportunity to remeasure my girls this week and use up some smaller pieces of fabric which have been hanging around my cupboard for long. I have had my fingers burnt before making them clothes when they are at school only to find they don't fit when I have the Ta dah! moment with them when they get home.

At the trade show I attended in February I met the lovely people from Ottobre on their tiny little stand and I was really waxing lyrical about their pattern magazines because I absolutely love them, a bit too much probably, I may have looked a bit of a loopy super fan. Anyway, she gave me a badge each for the girls and a couple of copies.

The girls swooned over the childrens copy choosing items to wear. I traced off the long sleeved sweatshirt called 'raw edge detail'. I had some strawberry sweatshirt fabric to use. Originally I had bought it for myself but the strawbs were much bigger than I thought and it just wasn't right for a grown up. It is however perfect for a 9 year old.

...and a 7 year old.

This is the sort of useful sewing that I like to make for us to wear everyday, with mixed weather options of course! 

Jo xxx

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Cosmic Sweater

We are on our two week Easter holiday from school so there will be creative childcare and dog sitting, juggling work with a spot of knitting mixed in from me. Thank you for your kind words about our new dog - all is well so far...

I have been well and truly treated. The lovely people at Wool and the Gang have sent me a kit to try out. You may well know them as a knitting kit company for chunky sweaters but I am embarking on a summer knit in the smoothest cotton called the cosmic sweater.

The kits are the height of luxury. When the box arrived, I said, 'Well, Hello!' right back to it, I was that excited to be personally addressed.

Out came the parcel for the Cosmic sweater, an intermediate knit in 100% peruvian cotton. The kit contained 5 balls of cotton, a pair of rosewood needles, a sewing up needle, a little label and of course the pattern. 

It is a large shape and size with a drapey loose texture. The picture below is the back piece. It knits up really quickly on the beautifully smooth needles which are so light with really pointy ends for an easy pick up.

I am knitting it to wear this summer on our holiday in the south of France. I reckon I am going to throw it over my red stripy handmade swimsuit - she says nonchalantly.

We go at the end of May so a couple of months of knitting 
should do it comfortably without straining my still vulnerable knitting shoulder which I am trying to save for gardening at this time of year.

Tricot Heureux! Happy Knitting. Jo xxxx