Saturday, 27 February 2016

February Patchwork Challenge

Well another month is nearly over and I can't believe how quickly! I browsed a number of ideas of what to try in patchwork this month and then I saw a design called windmill 2 on a pinterest pin and I thought I would have a go at that.  I am not sure if it has another name or if the pinner just called it that, it did say it was Japanese.

I opted for another cushion mainly because my puppy is still nibbling and has chewed the corner of one of my cushions so I was one down and in need of a replacement.  Here is a picture of the completed cushion.
I really like the folds because it gives it depth.

I used some of the new fabric which I bought last month, the rest was deconstructed old shirts belonging to my husband.   I didn't have any instructions I just cut up some squares of paper and marked on them where each piece should overlap to make it even.

I pinned all the folds as I didn't want them falling off while I was sewing, it also helped to lay them out on the table to see how I wanted to arrange them.

I have used the same colours in each piece but this would be a great way to use up odd bits.

This was a time consuming piece but I would use it again, it is much more interesting than the flat designs but I can see there being a problem with my dogs getting their paws stuck in the folds and potentially tearing something.  I will have to keep an eye out for that!

I am going to see if I can find more folded designs,  the only issue is what to do with the pieces when they are finished as they are not the kind of styles that you can use in clothing and I don't want to be limited to cushions and quilts.

Aside from sewing that I have read another book this week  ' A Year of Marvellous Ways' by Sarah Winman.  I really enjoyed it, it didn't take me long to get through it which is always a sign I am enjoying a book, but then a little sad it's over. Does anyone else get that? 
Before that I completed ' The Next Time You See Me' by Holly Goddadrd Jones also a good read.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

T Shirt Revamp/Makeover

A while ago I saved an idea for updating a T shirt on pinterest, it's still on my board so I had another look and the picture is actually of one that you can buy not an upcycle here it is.
When I was putting stuff away earlier I noticed a T shirt that I hadn't worn for ages so I thought I would give it a go with some of the bargain fabric I bought a couple of weeks ago.
Here is what I came up with, now the fabric is a bit wild and I didn't really choose this one for clothing but broken up a bit with the purple I like it.
I shaped the bottom at the back same as the one in the photo where I got my inspiration, this is probably a good idea as all the jeans are so low slung now it's good if your tops come down a bit further!
Because I overlocked around the neck I didn't need to face it, I just turned it under a small amount and hemmed and it lays nice and flat.  I did make sure I pulled on the cotton a little as I overlocked it just to give it a little bit of give as I went around the curve. 

Now I didn't put the neckline back the same as on  a T shirt as I like the neck a little lower but you could do this if you unpick it carefully first.  The sleeves proved to be a pain as I made the mistake of cutting the hem off them to shorten, well even after overlocking the jersey had so much bounce the hem would not lay flat.  Then on unpicking one I made a little hole and had to re-cut new short sleeves from the remaining fabric I took from the middle of the shirt.  I made sure I cut at the bottom though where the original hem had been so I didn't have problems with that again.
So if you do this and want to change the sleeve length I would recommend taking out the sleeve at the shoulder and shorten from the top or use a binding at the hem.

Here is what the T shirt looked like to begin with, |I think I may repeat this process on more old stuff, and it doesn't require much fabric.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Crochet Floral Wreath Completed

Last night I finished sewing the flowers on my crochet wreath, I'm really pleased with it as this is what I wanted to make when I began to crochet last month.  I did have plans to do some daffodils and pansies on it but when I began to arrange the flowers it became clear to me that enough was enough. The colours on it I feel go well together and compliment  my sewing space, adding more and more would have just overloaded it.
Here it is on my wall, as you can see it goes with paint colour and the curtains behind my sewing table.

The purple and pink flowers are the ones from the pattern in the triangle shared last week. I just made up the flower part then stopped.  The daisies I saw a picture of and just made up, they are perhaps all a bit different and not very straight but I think they resemble a daisy so that's ok with me.   The same goes for the leaves I just crocheted a bit then cast off or on to get the leaf shape and it seamed to work.  Although I do intend to learn to do some proper ones at some point,  these are fine for this.

I added a few buttons and beads to the centre of the flowers.

So in all it was a nice little project to make, pattern free as the only thing I followed any strict rules for were the purple and pink flowers which were the centre of the triangles like I said (here is the link to that) also the actual wreath shape was free/recycled from the celebrations lid (find that here).

I know there is a lot I need to learn about this craft but as with sewing I like to experiment with things and see what happens if you do things your own way. They may not always come out looking exactly like the projects  other people are making but that is a good thing. 

It is good to get inspiration from other people  but you should also go with your own interpretation of things I think.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Crochet Wreath on the Cheap

When I decided I wanted to learn to crochet this year I was very much inspired by all the lovely colourful projects created by Lucy at Attic 24 .  I especially love her seasonal wreaths which are just amazing, so with that in mind I have decided to have a bash at one.

Now as I am only just starting out I only have the few colours of wool that I have bought this past couple of weeks.  That is pale green, dusky pink, purple, navy and some grey that I found at my mums from when I knitted a little cardigan for my son when he was a baby.  This is why the little bits I keep sharing are all in the same colours.

I had a look back over the ideas on attic 24 and it appears you need a circle base of polystyrene that you cover in your base piece of crochet.  Well for a start I have a feeling these specialised little bits and bobs will be overpriced and also surely there is something else that could be used?

Below is a picture of my covered base, grey is not very colourful I know but I'm sure when it is covered with flowers and whatever it will get better!
Looking a bit plain at the moment.

So I had a look around the house and found a celebrations tub in the cupboard from Christmas with one sad chocolate in it.  I took the lid and with old scissors cut a circle out of the lid.  This was quite tricky and I bet there are easier ways of doing this.
Not terribly accurate cutting but it will all be covered over.

Then I wrapped the whole thing in two plastic bags, just sort of winding them around it and then tucking in the ends.
So ok it doesn't look much like this but does it really matter if you are going to completely cover the whole thing? As ever I really like the idea that something that was rubbish is getting re-used and also that I haven't had to go out and buy some overpriced craft item.

I have made a few more flowers this afternoon while sitting here with the dogs, the youngest had a little operation today so it was a quiet afternoon in. I look forward to sharing the completed wreath with you.  

Sunday, 7 February 2016

More Crochet

Well I finally feel like this virus is starting to shift, it's still there but it's going, you know the feeling. So I am feeling more awake now and it's just as well because it's half term so I get a lovely whole week off work. That means there will be time to look over the fabrics that I bought a couple of weeks ago, start this months patchwork and learn some more crochet patterns.

I have sewn together some of the squares that I finished, I'm not sure I would do it that way next time, the book suggested sewing with the raised seams for effect but in future I think I will sew them flat.  I also mastered the little flowers but the middle on two is different because I thought the centre hole was too big so I changed that on the second one.   Here is a picture below, not sure if I should keep going until its a blanket or just a cushion cover, blankets like this are tricky in my house anyway as the dogs will pull at the holes.
I know there is a bit of a wobble going on, I didn't block it, but do you have to do that with every bit? Any advice appreciated.

I really liked making the little bits so maybe that's the way for me to go with this, endless straight lines might bore me a bit, although I do enjoy making the little squares it is very therapeutic when I have just come in form work.
Yesterday I had a go at a triangle with the flower in the middle the one below is my third attempt, the first two got unravelled! It is not as neat as the one in the book but it does resemble it, also it has not been blocked  (again) and I think this shape would really benefit from that.  I like it but again not sure what I would do with a lot of them, I just like trying the different patterns at the moment.

My wool has lots of fibres coming off it, so it can be tricky to see which stitch you are going into, I have looked at a couple of images online and the projects look like they are using more of a smooth yarn so I may treat myself to some at some point.

While we were out food shopping I did have a quick look at the magazines to see if there were any crochet ones as you sometimes get little gifts of wool and so on with those things (not that I usually buy them!).  There weren't any on crochet just one on knitting with bright yellow wool with it, it was expensive too, £5.99.
So I may have a look on ebay to see if anyone is selling any crochet magazines or books that are less expensive.

The next piece of patchwork I want to try is called windmill and it's a Japanese style I saw on pinterest, so I copied the picture onto my notepad and will be starting that this week.

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...