Sunday, 22 November 2015

Revamp and Resize Jeans

Usually when family or friends are getting rid of old jeans I ask if they can pass them on to me and I use them for bags and pouches.  If you have a bit of a search on pinterest you will find there are all sorts of things that you can do with them.
A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine gave me a bag with a few pairs in and straight away I used a pair to make a bag (which I  shared on here). However there was another pair that was such good denim and although not my style or size I thought I will save that pair and see if I can do something with them.
Today I took the scissors to them and thought why not? If it all goes wrong the denim will go on other projects as originally intended.   They have a bit of bright fabric in the pocket if you read below you will find out why.
These are the finished jeans...

I tried them first and they were a couple of sizes too big, they were also loose all around the bottom and the style of leg was a wide boot cut.  The jeans are from Gap and have a slight stretch.

First of all I pinned them at each side of the waist how much they needed to come in.  Then I stitched that part first to see how the fit was.
 I had to cut a 'V' shape out of each side before I stitched to get rid of the rivets or the machine would not have been able to stitch over them .  If you are only adjusting  the waist of your jeans by a small amount then cut this 'v' out from the centre back seam only.
I also removed the belt loops at the sides at this point to add them on after if required.  Because of the amount I needed to take my jeans in I also had to remove the small riveted pocket within the front pocket.

I know one side is bigger than the other but that is easily trimmed to match.

Because I had removed this inner pocket I then added a piece of fabric that I like along with a piece of scrap denim beneath it for strength. I stitched this by hand over where I had removed the small pocket.  You don't have to add contrasting fabric you could just use another bit of denim.

Once this was done I stitched down the sides then tried them on for fit, I had to take a little more off.
Then I turned them inside out, tried them on  again and pinned all the way down each leg to make them fitted and straight legged at the bottom.
Then I sewed the seams following my pins as a guide.  Next trim away all the excess fabric and zig zag to finish.

I am very happy with the finished result and these are probably my best fitting pair of jeans now! It is very rare you can get a pair that fit you properly all over.
Here is the front...
Much better I think
I also like the fact that they come up higher at the back than most jeans now, I have a couple of pair that you don't want to bend down in without forever hoisting them up!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Charity Shop Bargains and Baileys & Sultana Cake

The weekend has felt really bleak the weather has really taken a turn now and going out for a walk means adding on the layers.  There have been a couple of times the dogs have had to be pushed out of the back door to go out because they really do not like heavy rain. The puppy has a little coat but obviously he doesn't wear that just to nip out for a wee! The dogs also get really dirty at this time of year as well, more so as they are all small and close to the ground.
We have been watching a Swedish crime series on the T.V called Arne Dahl I like watching
dramas from other countries and I think you become more engrossed in them as you have to concentrate more.
Yesterday we had a quick look in a couple of the charity shops near us St Lukes and Bluebell Wood (which supports the local children's hospice) We had a go on the raffle in both and I got a fantastic little next jacket for £6 I'm so pleased with it. I always have a look if I'm passing but I don't just buy stuff for the sake of it.
I thought I could wear it at Christmas, I will wear the same dress I made for Christmas last year as it has only been worn once.

Really pretty lining too I like little details like that.

I also got a couple of books for my son who I am trying to encourage to get back into reading.  At 13 he appears to have lost interest and the selection at the library for teens is a bit poor. Its all werewolves, death and vampires.  I don't know how the two I picked up will stand up to the challenge but we will see.

They were 70p each and in good condition.

Today I was making the dinner and I decided to quickly make a gluten free cake for me.  Everyone else was having banoffee cheese cake and sometimes I just want a desert, all the GF pre made stuff is such a rip off.  
So like I said very quick...

Baileys & Sultana Cake

4oz GF flour
4oz margarine
4oz sugar 
2 eggs
2 handfuls of sultanas (didn't weigh them!)
1 tsp mixed spice 
1tsp baking powder
 A glug of Baileys (about a double measure)
Splash of soya milk

Cream sugar and margarine, beat in the eggs, sift in dry ingredients, fold in, add the sultanas, Baileys and soya and  give it another very quick stir. I have a loaf tin but it is a bit big for this mixture but never mind, in it went.  In the oven at 200 for about 20-25 minutes.

Now it slopes a bit to one side due to wrong tin size, but it is really nice. I cut it in half so half can go in the freezer, had  a slice straight way and wrapped the rest to go in the cupboard.  It will not win any beauty contests but it's cake.  

Monday, 2 November 2015

Art Doodles

At the start of the summer holidays I bought myself some coloured pencils and fine tipped pens. This was inspired by an evening I attended at a friend's house. We all created some art on a postcard and the theme was based around the work of Hannah Dunnett. Now you may have seen some of her beautiful work without realising it as she has lot of it out there on greetings cards and posters.
I really enjoyed doing this and promised myself I would take the time to do more as the process was really relaxing whatever the end result.
Sad times at the start of the summer put a halt on all creativity with the passing of my father and the business that followed helping my mother.
I did manage to create a couple more however and while they may not be the standard of Hannah Dunnett  (I'm not an artist) I am happy with them and feel I will continue to try and get some ideas on paper no matter how infrequent.
Here is one of them, I followed her same detail of adding Bible passages but I suppose you could use favourite poetry, song lyrics or your own musings.  I just chose a word as my theme on this one and linked verses to it, the others I did were pictures.

I suppose the big thing at the moment is adult colouring to relieve stress, I like the idea but prefer to make my own images to fill. The pencils I bought are Derwent Academy and the pens Scribblicious.

I think sometimes as we get older we feel a bit guilty if we sit and do something like this.  There are always so many other things we feel we should be doing, and most of the time they are things people don't notice or that don't really matter.  I saw a bit of a show on T.V about people who clean obsessively, hoovering numerous times a day and cleaning the bathroom four times a day.  What on earth are they doing? Hiding evidence? It's insane and they will never get that time back but the dust will return.  I watched ten minutes of it that was enough.  
Anyway if you would like to take a look at more of Hannah Dunnett's  work there is a collection on pinterest here
I'll try and add one but it may not save...

Hannah Dunnett art. God is Good.

Here you see, her work is fabulous.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Craft Library Books

Yesterday I mentioned how I always have too many books on the go, well not too many but maybe I need to narrow my focus a little. I was searching on Amazon and happily clicking away adding things to my wish list  earlier, now many of them will never be bought, as I change my mind but it's good to have options.  I then take my list and see how may I can get from the library for free by searching the online catalogue.  Now this is usually disappointing as the ones I want are often not in the system, also the search tool is a little flawed.  For some reason you can type in the exact title and author and it will come up item not found, then you can try with some vague description and it will find the book you were looking for all along!

Now that is what it is like with the Sheffield Library catalogue let me know what it is like in your area.  Well I had that same problem today and I thought I wasn't going to have any luck at all then I stumbled across these ...

They were not the exact ones I was looking for but I just put in searches like craft for sale, marketing crafts, craft as business etc.

There were also a couple of other non craft related books on my list and I will look forwards to those arriving at the library. I do buy some second hand off Amazon occasionally but I like to get most from the library.

I am re-reading parts of Fluent Forever (which I did buy) at the moment. I am still not convinced by this title but maybe my resolve isn't as strong as the authors. One tip which is to watch a Spanish film, then watch ten minute slots repeatedly until you know them by heart has left me a little exasperated. 
I really enjoyed the film ( The Sea Inside, and Javier Bardem was amazing in it) but rewinding and repeating over and over was driving me nuts. I will have to concentrate on other tips from the book.

Here is a little peak at some of my bookcase...
Quite a mix I know, classics, self improvement, languages and young adult fiction, oh and recycling on the end there.

This amuses me, so much Spanish on the shelf more of it needs to be in my head!
Right I'm off to do my ironing while listening to Paul Noble.

Another Shift Dress

The dress I made today is from the free New Look pattern I got with Sew magazine last month. It is very similar to the scuba dress I made bu...