Saturday, 27 June 2020

Shattered, Socks and Showers

What a week! It has been my first time teaching the same class full time since 2009 and I am shattered. I shouldn't be really: there are only 15 in my group and the curriculum is more basic than normal but with the heat and then returning home to help my girls with their school work, I sure was ready for the weekend. Only three weeks to go.

With this new normal in mind, I cast on a pair of socks two Sundays ago. I know it isn't really the weather for socks but I felt that I could do a bit of simple knitting in the evenings and know what to do. It is the fastest I have ever knit a pair of socks! 

Even after a few years of sock knitting, I still get a tiny ladder at my DPN corners. Luckily, it disappears after the first wash.

I used the January pattern from Christina's blog A colourful life. I love her sock patterns; so easy to follow. The yarn is Drops Fabel in bright greens and oranges. Pattern wise....

I nailed it! If I stood up straight of course.

Carefully, I took out a little section of the second ball to get the match and I am thrilled with it.

Thank you for your lovely comments on my jumpsuit. Time to try and dodge the showers on the building site tomorrow.
Hope you are all well. 
Jo xx

Thursday, 18 June 2020


Just the heads up on a fantastic fabric and a perfect pattern. 

I sometimes fall into the trap of using the same patterns over and over again but with different fabric - nothing wrong there - but I really wanted to try making a jumpsuit which suited my body shape. It was time to switch things round a bit.

This is Burda 6516. I looked at an awful lot of patterns looking for just the right one. The features that lured me towards this one were full bra strap coverage, wide legs, enormous pockets and a clear waistline so that I could adjust body length. I don't normally buy Burda patterns because they are always too long for me but I knew I could make it work. In this one, I had to take 2" off the lengthen shorten line on the legs.

This fabric from Minerva is by John Kaldor. There is only the purple colourway left but I really liked it with my charity shop Clarks purple shoes. I cut a size 12 top grading to a 14 on the waist knowing I had a waist tie to nip it in a bit while feeling certain it would be easy to get on and off. I cut a 12 lower leg but graded out to a 14 on my hips. You can get a feel for these kind of alterations the more clothes you make for yourself.

The crepe, which is a really good weight for this garment, was perfect for the soft pleats in the front and back. These are also quite adjustable during fitting in tandem with the darts on the trousers. Brilliantly, the pattern allows you to get a cracking fit depending on your body shape.

If I made it again, I would carve out a little more for the armholes; it must be my builders arms! I am saying 'again' because this was a test run for my nephews wedding (whenever that will be now). It is still totally wearable, but if I wanted perfection then that is what I would do next time.

Are you a jumpsuit fan? People either seem to love them or loathe them.

I may be off the radar for a while, I have volunteered to work full time until the end of term so that all year groups of children at our school can return and be in smaller classes. Just four weeks...and breathe. Jo xxxx

Friday, 12 June 2020

Feeling - Lucky.

Making - Little pump bags to hold all of the baby clothes I have been making during lockdown. My one friend had a baby girl on the 1st June. She will have the one with the bunnies on. Just waiting for my other friend now and then I can divvy the clothes up accordingly. Fingers crossed for a boy.

Eating - Wild Strawberries. I found a little patch the other day on a dog walk which inevitably led to me collecting enough to add to a fruit salad via an empty dog poo bag!

Tasting - my first bottle of 2020 elderflower cordial

Trying - new hair styles on each other now that we all have very long hair.

Cutting - Grandad's hair. We had been calling him Einstein but we got the clippers out at the farm and Meg gave him a trim now that we can meet one other person outside.

Building - a rather agricultural looking paddling pool from an old water tank, a lorry strap and some pipe insulation!

Unpicking - I nearly finished a short sleeved cardigan but the first sleeve didn't look right so I tried to unpick it but snipped the back instead of the sewing stitches. I had to rip the whole of the back out including the sleeve I didn't like so I am back to having two fronts left in my basket. Ho hum.

Repairing - another hole in my jeans. I am calling it my third eye.

Completing - a very unseasonal pair of fingerless mitts but I liked making them.

Recycling - two broken bags into one. The leather handles had broken on my basket and the bottom fell out of a hessian shopping bag so I mashed them together and made a new bag with a lining to cover where I had cut the leather ones off.

Gardening - My little collection of succulents that I have grown from cuttings of friend's plants is looking really good.

Watching - Sewing Bee (obviously) and A House Through Time, which I love.
Buying - a new jumpsuit pattern.

Loving - Meg's little bit of crafting

My posts normally have a kind of seasonal look to them but this is truly a hotchpotch of a post reflective of our current lifestyles. Strange.

Thanks for dropping by. Jo xxxxx

Monday, 8 June 2020

Crochet Sweater

I am all out of words today. My head is ringing from screen time: home learning for my girls and online learning for my pupils. I just wanted to let you know that nine balls of Sublime DK tweed are on my back and not in my yarn basket and that has kind of cheered me along today. The clematis is going over and actually looks better in the photo than in real life! Photos with lock down hair and no make up will continue henceforth...

The pattern is from the DK bumper book of crochet. It is called the cropped sweater but I made longer sleeves that taper to the wrists. I love it. The wool was a bargain at £1.50 a ball some three years ago!

I hope you are all safe and well. Thanks for dropping by. Jo xxxxx

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

When your garden matches your underwear...

Hello all! This is my third lingerie set of lock down and it coincides with the wonderful display of roses in our garden.

The sewing table always gets into a complete crazy mess when I make lingerie: lots of sorting, choosing and measuring of notions and elastics. It is great to use a bit of this and that.

The fabric kit comes from website called the sewing chest. The kits are reasonably priced and there is always a bit left over from each kit to use for experiments for the next set. I have been a happy customer for a long time.

I made a couple of pairs of knickers too using the non-stretch fabric for the fronts and an unwanted white T-shirt for the backs. I used up some green fold over elastic from a previous kit for the legs. Then I found a nice piece of red waist elastic too for a mix and match style.

The pattern is Madalynne Simplicity 8229. Which I have used four times before therefore I can whizz up a bra in about 90 minutes once cut. I am all sorted for undies now although the urge to sew more sets is being gently quashed.

A new jumpsuit pattern has landed on my door mat today so luckily I have other distractions along with returning to teach tomorrow. Eeek!

Hope you are all well. Jo xxx