Thursday, 6 August 2020

Summer Days

Hello everyone I hope you are enjoying the summer, we are trying to make the best of being at home.  My husband had two holiday days last week so we went to Chatsworth gardens on Friday.  It was hot so we left the dogs at home with my son, we did see a few dogs being pulled around exhausted and they did not look happy so I think we made the right decision.   The gardens are beautiful and I am glad we had a look but we both agreed that the estate is so large that next time we will pay to park and explore the wider area but not pay for the gardens now that we have seen them. 
We took a picnic and I am glad we did as I remember when we visited at Christmas there was not a great deal for me to eat.  We found a nice spot near some ducks on a bench and had our lunch there.
There were people swimming in the river and really making the most of the good weather, there were also families with children playing on the waterfall steps.  We thought it was nice that they let them do this as some places would have come and told them to stop in this world of health and safety gone mad.  At the first sign of anyone having fun there is usually someone with a clipboard ready to put a stop to it. 
 I was about to add another image but I have tried three times and this new set up keeps changing my font to blue and underlined no matter how many times I change it back or try to remove the underline!  I am losing my patience with it.

I have just been weeding the garden, this took me a lot longer than I thought it would, I also had a go at taking some hydrangea cuttings while I was out there.  There are now three in pots, I followed the instructions as I read them online so now it is just a case of waiting to see what happens. 

There has been some bag making this past week and I have also added a make up bag, I thought I would do some smaller items for my Esty shop as sometimes people may not want a bigger gift.  I have to say that I end up taking quite a bit of time on the little things too as I end up faffing about with fabric!    The bag I made I used a panel I created some time ago called cathedral window, it has been sitting waiting for the right project.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Burda Summer Dress

I spent yesterday making a summer dress from the July issue of Burda, it was the only thing that really grabbed my eye in that issue but that may not have been helped by the over use of pastel colours in a lot of the styling throughout  the magazine.  These are not my favourite colours to wear so I suppose any garments made in those colours would not naturally attract me, also I found a lot of the styles in this particular issue a bit boxy. 

So for the dress, it was nice to make up once the original pattern was traced off.  As usual I went off and did a few things my own way I do find the instructions to be a bit vague which is just as well as I rarely follow them anyway but that could be problematic if you are uncertain about what you are doing. 

For the neck I chose to use ribbon rather than the suggested cord and I also shortened the dress before adding the bottom frill as I thought it would be a bit long for me otherwise.   There was lots of pinning while on the mannequin as that gave me a better idea about the gathers and also if the fit was looking ok. 

I will share a few pictures here but I am saving the rest for the Minerva post...

Overall this is a very loose fitting dress so any sizing issues I may have had with some of the other magazine patterns would  not really apply here.  I think it would be a great dress for all sizes and abilities.  The most time consuming part was arranging the gathers evenly at the shoulders, wrists and hem.

How is everyone else on blogger finding this new layout?  I am uncertain whether to revert back to the original format but is that me just being resistant to change?  I think it is when you are used to just quickly doing things a set way then someone comes along and changes everything, it just takes longer. 

Here is my fabric set up in my new room, that is a bit different too as I still need to cut out downstairs as that is where the table is and the other day I  kept forgetting things upstairs. It will take some adjusting.

 It is so much brighter up here I have to say, the computer is there as I was listening to a podcast and I know that is not a very practical place to put it but I wanted to be able to reach to forward through all the adverts!

We don't have any holidays booked so this week we are having a meal out and then hopefully a bike ride on Friday.  My husband has spaced out a few holiday days so we can make use of them that way, I have seen a few people have still ventures abroad but I don't think I would be able to relax wondering about quarantine on arriving home.  There are a few interesting properties here in the UK we have seen for rent maybe October time, we will wait and see what happens first.

Have a relaxing week everyone whatever you are up to. 


Monday, 27 July 2020

A New Sewing Space

I am quite excited that I now have a new space to sew in, as I mentioned a few weeks ago my oldest son has moved out which was a bit strange I have to say. He is however visiting every weekend so so we are still seeing a lot of him, as this was my first week off I got cracking with the sorting and clearing, I ordered a skip, cleaned out the now spare room and set about painting it. As it had been blue it took five coats of paint cover it all in white as it had been blue before, I wanted it a nice bright space for when I am sewing.

At the weekend my husband bought a piece of furniture board and some wood and built me a long desk for both my machines, this gives me a nice area to work on and he also ordered some LED lights that are under the overhead cupboard.  I have the say the lights are very good, They have a remote with different settings and are nice and bright on the main setting.  You can tell a man was in charge of this bit as I would have just stuck a lamp on the table next to me and that wouldn't have been as good!   So in this case the boys with their toys bit worked out well as I am very impressed with the lights.

The room does still need a few bits of finishing off, I need a blind for the window as it will be a bit open in winter with the lights on and it will also keep in heat.  A new rug possibly as the carpet isn't great I have down a heavy throw in this image below, possibly a few pictures but I don't want to spoil the bright white look of the room.

 The overhead cupboards were already in the room and I  decided to leave them, where the desk is my sons bed was fitted against that wall previously.  I am sure the lighting is going to be much better in here than in my sewing corner that I have used for the past eleven years.  Even today on a dark rainy day the light is good.

This past week I have also been sewing although not yet in my new room as it is only just finished.  I made a new bag...

So that was one of my jobs for the week as I realised I hadn't listed a new bag for a few weeks, then I made a top from a simple sew pattern.  Now I will share this another day mainly because I don't have a still of it but what I do have is a video of the process.  Now I have sent that for someone to take a look at and I am still highly self conscious about the whole being filmed bit but I have done it so we will see.  My husband said it is ok so maybe I am over critical but nobody likes to see or hear themselves do they?    I will get some photographs of the top and post another day.

My sewing job for today is to make a dress from the July Burda issue , I know I was not as productive as I was with the June issue but there were not as many things that jumped out at me.  I did  like this dress so I have been waiting for the fabric and the time to do it, so now for a bit of tracing off.

 This fabric is fun in the image on the magazine but if you follow their links to fabric it is very expensive, so I have gone for this floral design.

Well I hope you are all keeping safe, enjoying the snippets of summer that we get here in the UK and managing to get some creating done.  I have noticed among the blogs that I follow that we all seem to be on a bit of a go slow at the moment, I am sure many of you may be on your summer holidays. We are staying here with a few day trips out, bye for now.

Sunday, 19 July 2020


Hello, well I have had a bit of a break from the blog this last few weeks but now the summer holidays are here so I feel I will have more time for making and blogging. I finally got around to this make with stripes, I bought this fabric just before lockdown and I was a bit undecided what to do with it so it sort of got pushed to one side.  Friday I made the decision to make  McCalls dress with it as it needed to be simple, I had not however made myself a note the last time I made this pattern that it comes out huge!  It has a sticky note on it now!  A ,lot of taking in, a few darts added and a curved hem and you guessed it, it is now far away from the original but better I think and I really must make notes on patterns as soon as I realize they are poorly sized.

I bought the fabric from Happy Hare in Sheffield, it is a good weight jersey so will also be good for autumn/winter with tights.

It is good to know that I have a few weeks of uninterrupted time stretching out over the next few weeks as there is so much to do. I had sorted my oldest son's bedroom a few weeks ago after he moved out in preparation for a ceiling repair, that will be a few weeks yet waiting for the plasterer and then I can redecorate.  The bedroom at the front was cleared yesterday ready for me to decorate that and my husband will build me a new long desk as that will be my sewing room.   It was a big sorting job in there too, for years my boys have never wanted to part with anything including the lego boxes (just in case) and now all of a sudden there is so much to get rid of and nowhere for it to go.  The tip says emergencies only?  What would qualify as an emergency at the tip I wonder? We may have to get a skip but  I don't really like doing that, it is also still tricky donating to charities at the moment as a lot of places are taking   the minimum, not taking books or are just overwhelmed.  I would imagine a lot of people have been off and sorting so this is perhaps a time when lots of  people have  clothes, books and toys to donate but nowhere is accepting it all. 

The garden is looking amazing at the moment, well I think so it is a bit wild and full as I have put plants in everywhere I just hop they don't all stop flowering at once.

I wasn't sure how big some of these mixed seeds were going to grow so now I  have things over shadowing others, I'd try to pick some out but I don't want to damage anything.  I will try and get some better pictures later it was so grey yesterday today we have a bit of sun.

Last week I started reading A Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante, the library digital version, I read the first book my brilliant friend over two days and loved it.  I recently watched the TV version and it was very close to the books.  There are four books  in total so I will be reading all of them, I highly recommend.

Well that is all for now as I want to get out and enjoy the sun, have a lovely weekend, bye for now.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Burda Jumpsuit

Hello I hope you all had a good weekend, I managed to get back to the machine to make my jumpsuit and I have to say that halfway through I wasn't really sure about this. It is certainly one of those garments that looks so much better on than off and the fabric is quite see through I feel, this also looks better once you are wearing it.  Well colour matched underwear will be required though!

This was my third make from the Burda June issue and how am I feeling about that?  Well I like the things I have made so far but I do wonder about the accuracy of the sizings,  I made a bigger size to be safe and then still needed to let out the seems to a very small seem allowance.  I know I haven't gained that much weight during lockdown or none of my clothes would fit.  So now I will be even more cautious with the sizes for future makes.  I went on a forum and this was a common theme and it is not on every garment so there must be errors.  This is only a grumble as I know I would have sized it more accurately without the pattern and by trying do things according to the magazine it all took so much longer then needed adjusting.  Well it is finished and I do like it except if I visit the toilet while I am in it I will need assistance with the  button when I come out and that has been my issue with jumpsuits all along the practicality of wearing them and also why I own three mock ones.

So it doesn't look see through at all in this image but then the weather was very dull, a bit of light shining through and it may be different.

There is elastic casing all around the top of the trousers and the back top is attached but the front is just attached at the sides so the front can tie.   I used the fabric recommended in the magazine and this is a linen viscose blend and the colour is coral.

The July issue has arrived but I am struggling to find something to make in this copy, a lot of the styles are very boxy and basic but there is one dress that is a maybe but I am wondering if it may be too frilly for every day wear as I am trying to make things to be worn not saved.

Does anyone else have the July Burda and if so what are your thoughts on it? Sometimes it can all be down to fabric choices or the way things are styled.  I keep having another browse through as I had should a good reaction to last months issue but they won't all be winners I guess.

On another subject my oldest moved in with his girlfriend at the weekend it felt a  little odd, although he often stays out at her flat it felt very different knowing that he wouldn't be home.  Now we have the massive sort out task of his room. 

Well that is all for now back soon.


Thursday, 25 June 2020

Well I have been a little blog absent this last few weeks but sometimes you have to have a little  break especially at the moment. Last week I had intended to post here but I had pulled my back and couldn't think of anything else for days, no sleep, couldn't sit for any period and generally feeling a bit useless at hurting my back!  Therefor I did not complete the sewing planned for the weekend, it is all cut and ready to go...

Planning a jumpsuit, well tracing off and cutting out then leaving on the table all week! That is what happened but that can't be helped but the weekend is nearly here and I will finish it off then.  It is the Burda jumpsuit that I shared from the magazine and the third make form the May issue.

Here is my cut fabric, when will I wear this? Well hopefully soon and lots I like to make things that I can wear every day but my days are looking very different at work so we will have to see.

Adapting to my work... small classes mean I am often surplus, so cleaning sorting etc, it can be dull at times. I love the busy ordered day where we have so much to do and lots of children to work with with.  The difference is quite drastic and as we all do I long for normality.

Reading  some of the books I have bought, I have read a little book on Frida Kahlo it wasn't very long but I like the way it was styled.  You could say it was more of a gift book really with just a few art pictures, quotes and details of her life.  I enjoyed it but it was a very quick read as the pages were meant to look pretty rather then be fact filled.  I am still enjoying Things in Jars by Jess Kidd, reading at a slower pace and in no hurry  but loving it none the less.  Next on my list will be Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik I have enjoyed her other novels  so I thought I would give this one a try.

Now this is rare for me as I am a lover of the library and charity shops for my books but we do  not have that option at the moment so I have bought new.  I am ok with that as it is out of necessity and they will be treasured.

Loving  all the plants starting to flower in the garden, there is still a lot that will be a while yet but the ones that are are starting to bloom are looking lovely.

 We have three water butts and we are getting through a lot plus there are the courgettes and tomatoes which tend to be very thirsty.  I love watching things grow however and I am perhaps too over excited at at a new bloom.

Watching Sinner and we are are on series three I believe, my uncertainty is due to the male habit of always having the remote so I know what we watch but I often struggle to tell you if it is on Netflix, Now or whatever!  It may even be sky... anyhow we are binge watching that this week, well does one episode a night equal binge watching?? I think the young people would probably watch the whole series in one sitting, but that is not my thing.

Browsing  my new copy of Burda magazine but I am not as taken with this copy, I would say I don't need a pattern for all of the items in it so why would I trace them?  There is maybe one dress that I will make but it is not great I feel for July.  Everything is way too basic, it could be the time of year and the styles or just because I haver made similar before.

That is all for now, I hope to be sewing productive this weekend so I will hopefully have something to share next time, take care.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Sewing for Boys

I hope you are all having a good weekend,  I have spent the last two afternoons making two jackets for my friend's boys.  They are my latest make from the burda  June issue, the sizing didn't go down small enough for the baby one so I have had to create my own pattern from a little jacket my friend dropped off.  I made the bigger jacket first then worried it was a tad too short so I have added a cuff to the bottom to give it extra length and it also now has four buttons not three.

I chose to line the jackets but they are not lined in the magazine, I also faced them my own way as the pattern just shows it as continuous piping.  Always I have to go off on my own way, I think you just find your own preference for doing things after time.

Oops I forgot to take another picture of the larger one with the amended hem, it just has a cuff like you have on a bomber jacket but in cotton.  That is the only difference a bit more a big boys jacket.

It has been some time since I have made things for my boys, also they always used to want dressing up clothes making of whatever the favourite character of the moment was.

If anyone has a good idea about the sizings relate to UK ages it would be helpful, I know all children are different but I find the height info an odd way of doing it.

The fabric for the jumpsuit has arrived so that is next, I just need to trace those pieces off, I did find that I ordered a coral button to go with the coral fabric and the colours are nothing like each other, possibly coral can cover a range of colour shades.

This evening I have been watching Goodbye Christopher Robin, it makes no sense to me how the upper class could be so far removed from their children.  You would think if they had missed out on time and attention from their parents they would be more determined to change things but no it appears it just passed through the generations.

Well that is all for now, take care everyone.

Summer Days

Hello everyone I hope you are enjoying the summer, we are trying to make the best of being at home.  My husband had two holiday days last we...