Saturday, 27 February 2021

Three Coats in 2021...

I have managed to make no less than three coats so far in 2021. My first Eden Coat by Tilly and the Buttons was such an enjoyable sew and a truly brilliant coat to wear but I had no real intention of making another one. I ended up making another one however when I let my mum try on my Gustav Klimt patterned coat. I was happy to make her one too knowing it would be successful with all that I had learnt from the first project.

I did order a bit less of the waterproof fabric this second time because I had quite a bit left over on the first coat but I still seemed to have a sizeable remnant left over; more than just a matching shopping bags worth. My youngest started to swoop in with subtle subliminal messages about how her current mac was not long enough to sit on and keep her bottom dry....

Call me a sucker but I knocked out another coat! This time I had to find a child version. A trawl through my vintage patterns found this retro mac which was a little big but allows room for growth. Megan can be a very tricky customer, the kind you might find on Saville Row - lots of requests for tiny details to either be added or removed - the brief was tight but I am a capricorn!

There was a panic in the back of her eyes when I showed her the pattern - maybe she thought I would make her wear orange tights or something - but after lots of encouragement to help her see the design lines rather than the artistic pattern cover illustration, I got the go ahead.

The vintage pattern was not lined but I used all the transferable skills I had learnt making the Eden coat to line hers with some slinky jersey I had from my Pound a Metre jersey bundle.

While the children remain at home, sewing is happening with earnest as I try to find alternative things to do which do not involve me using the PC or laptop but are fleeting enough for them to stop me and ask about mathematical ratios, help annotate the wordsworth poem 'Daffodils' or to join in with a PE workout! 

Hope you are staying safe and enjoying some sunshine. 
Love Jo xx

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

The New No-Sleeves Sensation

I think I may have found my new path for knitting. If I am hardly wearing my woolly jumpers in February in the depths of a UK winter, then it feels like there is no need to knit any more...but I love knitting! My new garment of choice is going to be sleeveless knits. I have found that in our new warm house I can comfortably work, keep busy and stay warm enough in a sleeveless top over a shirt.

The pattern is from a Drops magazine purchased from a charity shop in October. I did think the stitch pattern would be cables from the picture but it turned out to be easier than that by creating a knit 3 and passing the first stitch over to cinch in the pattern section.

 My mum made something from the magazine too but we both felt the instructions were a little strange. It just goes to show how  spoilt we are having so many patterns written in English, the English translation in the magazine was a little wayward but we helped each other out.

The top is made with Drops Paris so the whole thing came in at about £7 which is an absolute winner. The colourway was described as heather but it is more of a raspberry colour.

It was not without its dramas. I sewed up a shoulder, knit the neckband and just before sewing up the last shoulder I had a thought that it looked a bit small. Doh! It wouldn't go over my head. A little unpicking then picking up and re knitting the shoulders soon rectified the problem.


This latest top is testimony to the discovery that I love wearing sleeveless. It was chosen to store away for summer but I loved the colour so much that I wanted to wear it straight away so I paired it with a white shirt and hey presto! Comfortable but not scruffy, I have loved wearing it. It has even been through the wash and still looks great. It made me want to make some more. Furthermore, you know me, it made me want to make a new shirt too!

Lately, I had lost my knitting mojo somewhere so I subscribed to The Knitter magazine which lead me to buy a book by Kate Davies which I read about in an article. I am all fired up again now. 

Guess what? there is a short sleeved 4ply knit in the book which is right up my new garden path. Wool is on order...exciting...

Are you knitting anything good?

Jo xx

Friday, 12 February 2021

Feeling - I am being a bit of a one way blogger at the moment but the girls are on the PC and the laptop in the day doing home-school so it is hard for me to totally engage with you folks like I normally do. Please know that I am reading your blogs on my phone but I always make a mess of commenting with such a small keypad so have taken to just digesting your news. The main theme seems to be that we are all finding winter lockdown a lot harder than a summer one but hang in there and do your best you stoic people. Here is what we have been up to and I hope it brings you some joy even if you can't actually eat a piece of that cake!

Baking - Chocolate orange loaf cake. Meg is a whizz at this gorgeous cake. 

Eating - Saturday soup with parsnip bread. I love this bread come scone which is so quick to make, the fact that everyone loves it is a complete bonus.

Continuing - to sew quilt strips together. It will soon be time to decide on some kind of overall design.

Watching - Ghosts on BBC. I watched the Christmas special in  December and was immediately drawn into the historical, funny characters so I went back to episode 1; I had the whole family hooked. We were treating it like an expensive box of chocolates and watched one episode each evening.

Bottling - a pear and apple wine I started before Christmas. This is the school fruit that was going to be binned at the end of term. I made a gallon of wine which has cleared nicely.

Experimenting - with making ricotta cheese. It was delicious. The by product, whey, made a few good batches of breakfast waffles too.

Trying - my first ever batch (well I think it is, I can't rightly remember) of lemon curd and it was out of this world. So much better than a sweet tasteless bought one. This sure does pack a citrus punch.

Watching - the small girl get really engrossed in quilling. She made a stunning design.

Finding - more holes appearing in my jeans. When I held them up to the light I could see the next weak areas to go enabling me to make lots of patches before the rips appeared. I did the front ones this month and will work on the back next month.

Finding - a knitting project to enjoy.

Walking and climbing - in our local area. Small girl would have been on her outdoor adventure week with school but it has been cancelled so we have been trying to do some outdoor adventure things with her.

Looking - for little pockets of snowdrops on our dog walks.

Growing - some house plant cuttings very successfully.

Leaving - you with a contented dog picture. He is loving having the daytime company of the girls at home.

Feeling - lucky to be safe at home.

Jo xxxxx

Friday, 5 February 2021

A LOT of sewing!

 We are doing a massive amount of sewing at the moment. Some of it needed and some of it just to pass the time wholesomely in lockdown. The girls crack on with their school work in the mornings, we have lunch and then we head out for a dog walk/fresh air/exercise followed by a few hours in the studio becoming makers of all things.

All three of us continue to sew strips together 
for a collaboration quilt topper.

I did a bit of a fabric audit:two Seasalt sale pieces from 2019, some cotton with strawberries on from 2020, the last piece of cactus jersey and the last of my stretch denim. These are my best pieces.

My new years resolution to learn to use my ruffler foot will be spurred on greatly if I make something that actually needs ruffles. I love this skirt pattern and have started to make a collection of fabrics ready to have a go. It has a frilled hem and pockets.

 I cut out and bagged up a jersey T-shirt dress and a cord pinafore for more sewing days ahead.


A very small piece of fabric can be used to make this quick top. It is a NEWLOOK pattern that I discovered last year and was excited to use it again with this very last small piece of georgette. 


Meg got a t-shirt with snaps on the shoulders, she loves it because she loves growing cactus.

I enjoyed making this A-line lined skirt from the last of the woven boucle from my friend Michelle. It was from a vintage pattern and if the truth be told, I thought of it as a bit of toile for another fabric but as is always the way - it turned out to be perfect!

I bought some labels; this sentiment was specifically bought as a label for my new Eden coat. I like it but I know that is isn't everyone's cup of tea.

Lately, I have tried out a few new fabric suppliers in the January sales. Will keep you posted of my purchases.

Andy bought me some pattern weights for my birthday in January so I will start another cutting session tomorrow.

Big girl enjoyed some new experiences with designing her own pattern; going on the overlocker; finding out how to make a half square triangle and using a rotary cutter. All firsts for her this week.

This strange looking fleece is again a toile to try out the sizing on a free pattern download. It says age 9-10 for the largest size but it was plenty big enough for Meg. I didn't want to use my good fabric yet so I made cuffs from a pair of kids ribbed tights - they were a triumph. The tights still had the tags on but seemed to have missed the right season for the right sized legs on both girls! 

Anyway, now she loves this one so I will wait until I have a piece of sweatshirt fabric to have another go. I told you there was a lot of sewing! A random collection of how we have been staying busy.

It is my way of saying stay safe. May your bobbins always be full.
 Jo xxxx