Sunday, 31 December 2017

Sewing for the Home

I hope everyone has had a lovely holiday and you are all ready for the new year, we went away last week so this was a nice change for us at Christmas we still cooked our own Christmas lunch and other meals but the change of setting was good.

We don't really bother much with the sales as I often think they just get the rubbish out that doesn't sell the rest of the year however we did pop in John Lewis yesterday as last year they had massively reduced fabric.  Well I didn't buy any dress fabric as most of it was bright patterns, lovely but what to make as I am trying to buy more neutral fabrics for everyday stuff.  What I did buy though were three pieces of furnishing fabric, reduced of course and I only wanted about 3/4 of a metre of each.  Well that confused the guy serving me (I don't know why, go in any dress fabric shop and they can handle that request!).  Anyway I ended up getting 0.6 of each which was enough as it happens to make my new cushion covers.  It was enough as I used a different fabric for the backs, something I have started doing as you never really see the back and it saves on your nice fabric.

I also bought two throw for my sofas  for £20 pound each these were half price, this has given my sofas a mini makeover with the new cushions...
My sofas are a deep red and we wanted a change, we had thought maybe new ones next year but I have talked myself out of that.  I don't want to spend money to be worrying about the dogs snagging the sofa or things getting spilt.  So I felt this way we get a change and if there are any spillages I can just put everything in the wash and it was also a cheap way of doing so.
I know you can still see the arms but never mind, I tried the throws a few different ways but this way they stay put when you sit on them.  The throws are quilted so they are actually comfy too.

There are lots of posts out there at the moment about sewing goals for the new year, I don't usually make them as such.  Two years ago I set myself a challenge to do more patchwork, which I did and I tried a number of different designs, it didn't last for the whole year though as I was wondering what to use it all for.  As for clothes my wardrobe is pretty packed and while I do have some dress fabric left over from my birthday and some from Minerva to post about over the coming month I do feel I need to be sewing something different.

So I will have a think about that and any ideas I would love to hear about them, anything involving recycling would be great as I have used a lot of new fabric recently, or ways to use up my little bits and scraps.

I will leave you with a few views from my Christmas week away, enjoy this evening and have a Happy New Year,
A bit of snow on the mountains, this was actually the nicest day, we had thick fog most of the time we were there.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Relax and Enjoy

Well the day is nearly here and I hope everyone is having a restful time and not still running around like maniacs.  We were out having a walk yesterday and had to call in the supermarket, you would not believe the chaos in there anyone would think the world was about to end or the shops never to reopen.  I really don't get it as the shops are usually only really closed for a day and as for the food shopping, why do people go so crazy with the food?

We were very impressed with all the veg for 29p at Morrisons and I have just seen an advert where all the veg is 20p at the moment in ASDA, that is carrots, sprouts, parsnips and potatoes.  I have tried to get on with sprouts but they give me a stomach ache, so just the husband eating those.  It did make me think though that even with quite a few people round for lunch it doesn't have to cost a fortune for Christmas dinner.  It is all the pre-prepared and unnecessary stuff that boosts the cost.

I am  having a few days off from sewing but I do have my post for this fabric and top...
 This can be viewed over at the Minerva blog just follow that link, I have already worn it quite a bit so this was a really useful make and very comfortable.  It is a very strange thing but over many years of sewing I never bought bias binding and always made my own and now I am buying it in every colour and using it on everything.  It is so cheap and useful!  Why did I spend time making my own when it just costs pennies?  Don't get me wrong if you have some little strips left it is a great way to use them up if they can be cut at the right angle but it has saved me time using the ready made binding.

Right we are off out for a walk in a little while , have a lovely restful Christmas and try not to stress about it because there really is no need.  Happy Christmas. x

Monday, 18 December 2017

Christmas Sweatshirt

I know most people have had their Christmas jumper day at work now but ours is this week, I am not a big fan of heavy jumpers so I didn't fancy buying one, the only solution was to make something.
Last week I bought the fabric, a heavy jersey in royal  blue, some felt and a packet of little silver stars.  Yesterday I put it all together, the most time consuming part was sewing on all the little stars but they do make all the difference.
Now due to artificial lighting the colour looks a bit washed out but it is a really nice royal blue.

The reindeer template I made last year to write everyone's names on for Christmas lunch I just got it out and cut it out of felt this time.  I know there were lots of reindeer but I was content to just cut out two.   I could have gone on and on sewing on stars so I had to say to myself enough!

When I tried the top on I decided the sleeves needed a cuff so I quickly added these, I think it looks more finished off than in the first picture and has the bonus of keeping the heat in. I think I will probably wear this more than if I had just bought a novelty woolly jumper.

If you would like to see what I used the reindeer template for last year it is in this post, I am sure it will be used again in the future.  Every year I think I might make some cushions just for Christmas but I never get around to it, maybe next year?  I think what puts me off is that they would be on for such a short time.

While browsing the other day I saw a lovely Christmas dress by My dear Lizzie, just the thing to wear on Christmas day (while inside of course). I am sure many layers will be required when we venture out so while it is nice to dress up, the jeans will be back on for dog walking.

Anyway not long to go now, I wonder if I can fit one more make in before Christmas alongside the curtains I need to shorten?

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Midweek Treats

I know it's not quite midweek but it really does feel like it, I think it's the dark mornings that are doing it. I was talking to a colleague today about some recipes that were healthy, easy and could be done quickly with children.  The trouble is that a lot of what I make contains nuts as I need the protein and they are super good for you.  Well you have to avoid them with children due to the nut allergy problem and many don't like them even if they can eat them.  So I had a little look around and found this super recipe online.  If you are making it with children I would use coco instead of coffee but for yourselves go ahead and use coffee.

Chocolate Oatmeal Balls, thanks to  Nutrionist meets chef

I have to say I ate one before they went in the fridge, the good thing about these is that they give you that bit of sweetness but there is still nutrition in there in the form of dates, oats and I used cacao instead of coco as I'm vegan and coco powder often has milk. Cacao is more expensive but more nutritious.

Saying that making these is still less expensive than buying the raw bars you can get from the supermarket such as Naked. For some mad reason I still buy those when I'm feeling lazy and I really must stop,  as making your own doesn't take much time at all.

What I really need are some nice storage tins to keep the treats in and I have only just realised that!  As I have a little birthday money I think I will treat myself to some storage solutions for homemade treats.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Practical Sewing and Secret Makes

This week has seen another batch of alterations, with a few more in the coming weeks.  Shortening pyjamas for my mum, a ripped seam, darned socks and replacement zips.  I also have a zip for a coat in the coming week and some curtains to shorten. I did do some sewing on Friday in the form of a new dress for our Christmas night out, I can't share that right now  though as the post was for Minerva fabrics.  I did however make an infinity scarf with the piece that was left...
I will share the link to the dress in the future if they decide to use it.

It is that time of year when there is lots going on and you try to fit in seeing everyone, going out and getting presents and cards delivered.  We don't go the whole way and buy for everyone, we decided as a family years ago we would just buy for the children of the family and there are a few friends but that is all.  It has taken all the stress out of it, one of my friends told me they always do theatre or other nights out as their present as they never know what to get.  

I put my tree up today, a little later than I usually do and had a nice meal and a catch up with my friends. The tree could probably use some new tinsel I have been getting out these same decorations for years now but on the whole the rest are ok.

  I also got out my Christmas handbag...
Blurry picture I know, my camera doesn't do dark nights.

So feeling a bit festive and I'm sure that will only increase as the week goes on at School, I still have the rest of my cards to write and none of the children's presents are wrapped but being older there are not lots of little bits.  

We went into town yesterday as well and I got the fabric to make my Christmas jumper, well mine will be more of a Christmas top but I would have been uncomfortable in a big thick jumper all day.  I will share later in the week when that is finished.  It is not needed until a week on Wednesday, we are finishing close to the big day this year. 

Hope the snow is not too disruptive wherever you are, it is lovely to see but soon becomes a pain when you need to get to work.  Have a lovely week. 

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Winter White Long Sleeve T-Shirt

This little top that I have made has come out better than expected, you know sometimes you buy fabric online then it arrives and you are not that inspired? Well this was that fabric for me, I was trying to keep with my resolve of not always buying wild patterns so I chose this plain off white with a semi transparent stripe.  I have stared at it a lot and thought oh it will be just too plain, today I cut it out and made it up within an hour and I love it.
 So sometimes less fuss is better, as soon as I put it on I thought it will probably get lots of wear, the fabric is good and thick so time will tell how it holds up after a few washes.
I used a satin stretch bias binding around the neck this time and that was good to work with, just a simple hem on the sleeves and a curved hem again but a bit shorter than the last top I made.

I have cropped these photos but there is a dog trying to creep into every one and cock their leg, here one of them succeeded! 
Here is my baking paper pattern in use again that I made a while ago, I think it will see many outings in various forms.

Happy to have got that finished I then took up the sleeves on a coat for a colleague while watching a few Ted talks and powered through my ironing for the week curtesy of my new iron. My old one gave up on me last night just as I was about to go over a dress I was going out in, fortunately it only had a few wrinkles from being hung in a cramped wardrobe.  The night out was a treat to myself, I went to see the Northern Ballet perform The Little Mermaid it was wonderful, it was the original story not to be confused with the Disney version!

I don't  know what it is with us and irons as we seem to get through a lot, always just after the warranty has expired annoyingly.  There are some who tell me they never iron, how is this possible? Why are people not constantly crumpled if they never iron?  There must be some secret non ironing society that I have been left out of and doomed to buy a new iron every year or so.  If you have details of the non ironing secret please feel free to pass them on.  However being a dress maker there will always be something that needs a press to finish it off won't there.

This week I have tried out some lovely new recipes one of them being the Masala Cheela Pancake
it uses the gram flour and is the closest I have come to feeling like I ate a pancake since turning vegan.  I probably added more veggies than stated but it was lovely so have a look at the Hungry Gecko blog for more recipes just follow the  link above.

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