Monday, 26 October 2020

Jersey Dresses

 I have finally got a few shots of my new dress makes, one of them was only completed yesterday but the grey one was finished a few weeks ago.  I decided if I waited for a bright day now I would probably be in for a long wait so we took a few while out on our walk yesterday then a couple of the latest make today.

The grey dress is a lovely soft jersey from minerva and the code is Cotswald11-C should you wish to have a look for that.  It is lovely and warm so just the right kind of thing for this time of year.   I used a patteren I traced off from the tilly stretch book when I had it from the library.  The dress is the Freya, I also made the top version of this a while ago in red and the fit is very good.

It is a high neck and long sleeves on my version but in the book version you can do a-line and also a frill detail to the front.  I didn't think that this pattern fabric required that frill detail so I chose to leave that part out. Also wow I look pale in that photograph!

 Coat back on here because it was too  cold to stand around without it!

The next dress is made from an Art gallery fabrics jersey, again from minerva code K-17403,  I have decided it might be nice to start and add these numbers in as I have found I sometimes see a fabric and then when I go back and look for it I can't find it as there are just so many.  That happens even when I know exactly what I am looking for.   I chose to use a simple sew pattern and this was passed on to me from Jo at Three stories High, thank you very much. It is the Alexa midi dress.   We went out for a meal today to soothe ourselves as we lost out on our holiday, I intended to get some nice shots in the gardens near the restaurant but the rain had other plans so more indoor shots today of the cherry dress as I am calling it.

It is quite hard to see on here but there is darting to the front and back and also under bust, the only thing I omitted was the back zip  as it was jersey it didn't need one Oh and also I did away with the back v as I thought it was impractical for a day dress but for evening it would look great.

There is also  a small vent to the back it would have been longer on the  longer version of course but I  did take quite a bit off the length as originally it was too long for me. 

So I have managed to document a bit of my sewing this week and I will try to keep that up at least this week as I am sure a s soon as we go back to school things will get busy really quickly again.   I have another project to make up but I am still in the deciding process with that one, there a some curtains that need altering for someone, a couple of my own mending jobs and of course the kitchen revamp.   hopefully some of this will be completed!

I am still enjoying Spinning Silver and think everyone should go off and read some grown up fairy tale style fiction for the season.  Also watching a good drama series at the moment called The Alienist, (that being about a psychologist and a murder case not aliens)  set in New York in the late 19th century. 

There are still some winter flowers growing in  my greenhouse and they really need to go out but to be honest my gardening enthusiasm feels like it has gone into hibernation now until next spring.  I will go and rescue what is in there, have a tidy up and let things wait now. I know all you hardy gardeners will be growing right through the winter but I like to garden in the sunshine myself. 

Well that's all for now, keep busy. 

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Let's all Stay Home

 Well here we go, another half term of staying put.  We had just booked  little weekend on a site at Whitby to try out the new caravan before winter kicks in but of course we have had to cancel that.  I am disappointed but it can't be helped, my colleagues all had  late holidays planned too.  It has been a long half term  and I know the children were really ready for this rest.  We have just been sat outside in the caravan with the heater on!  The weather is pretty bleak today but tomorrow it is supposed to be a little brighter so maybe we can have a better walk at least then, we got caught in the rain coming back today.

My outing of the day was a walk in the park and a trip to the charity shop down the road which is now open finally.  I bought two books and a top from the pound rail, I have no idea why it was only a pound and can't understand why no  one else wanted it.   One of the books I have already read twice, but don't own a copy as it was a library book and that is The Handmaids Tale and at 75p for a like new copy I couldn't pass it up.  The other is When God was a Rabbit, an intriguing title so I thought I would give it a go.

It feels really good quality and was originally from White Stuff.

So that is about as much shopping as you will find me doing! I won't be starting the book just yet as I am currently reading Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik and I also have a couple more on my shelf that I have collected while the libraries have been closed.  Our local one is now open to collect or drop off, so you have to have ordered over the phone and only from their stock.  It is a bit hard to know what to ask for when you can't go in  and look, you could be asking for book after book and them saying no we haven't got that.

I have a few more dress makes that need I need images of, I have worn a few of them but not got around to taking the pictures.  If it is dry tomorrow my husband is going to take a few for me while we are out, I get a bit fed up of taking them in the same place in the garden or house.  I'm after a few autumn leaves to show off the autumn makes.

Here is a bag I made last week, there is another with the same girl fabric but not the same bag and that one is for my sister in law, it was on the shop briefly but she admired it so it is going in the post as a gift for her.  This one has red faux leather, the other has a wool mix background.

The other one I made was this...
This week has seen a bit of baking, first a very successful gf vegan chocolate cake but alas no image again, it was cut into rather sharpish.  I used the basis of my banana loaf to make it but added lots of cocoa and adjusted the flour, it worked well.   Then some oat cookies that I did remember to photograph

Now I didn't even wait for these to cool down and as you can see there is one missing already.  The recipe was again modified but this time from the BBC food website.  I changed the flour to GF, only used half the sugar, added a tablespoon of applesauce and added extra oil and soya milk as the mixture looked far too dry and would never have held otherwise.

Lots of leftover bits from the fridge have been used up to make this lentil and veg soup 3 servings.

Then today a Shepherdess pie four servings.

So I have lots of things to keep me busy over the coming week even if we can't go far including the kitchen cupboards to paint.  Take care everyone, bye for now.

Monday, 5 October 2020

Busy Week

 Hello I hope everyone is having a good day, it has been a bit manic at work today I have to say it was just one of those days where you feel like you are rushing to catch up all day long. Home now and looking forward to my dinner! 

This week I have made a couple of bags and the first sold within minutes to one of my colleagues who is just flamingo crazy, it is this one here...

To be honest I did have her in mind when I saw the fabric in the shop, she just loves anything with flamingos on.  This is a  new faux leather that I have tried out and it is very soft, it comes in a few different shades so I think I will be be trying more of them in the future.  

The next bag I finished yesterday afternoon and it has a unicorn on each side, it is a Tula Pink fabric so a gorgeous vibrant print.  I really love this pattern but I think I need to be able to let them go when I make them!  This one has been listed on my Etsy shop.

It was a b it rubbish weather wise this weekend so we didn't manage to get out on the bikes but we have some exciting news...We are caravan owners once more, we had wanted a van conversion but after weeks of my husband going the through ideas, costs to run and the build cost it did not seem practical for us.  We went to the caravan show earlier   in the year and saw these amazing little tab caravans, so when one came up at the right price this weekend we snapped it up.   Here it is...

They are amazingly spacious inside, this one is a two berth.

We look forward to being able to get around in it and hopefully the restrictions will not last forever!

Well that is a quick round up of my week, I'm off now to  have my dinner and recharge ready for tomorrow, take care everyone.


Saturday, 26 September 2020

Poppy Skirt

 This week I made a skirt from the burda September magazine  with a frill and a high/ low hem line.  I have had the fabric a couple of weeks and wanted to find just the right pattern for it.  The fabric is from Minerva and it is John Kaldor microfibre, when I first saw this pattern it looked on the layout instructions to be be cut on the bias.  It is not, just confusing diagrams! I never use the layout instructions anyway but had it been on the bias it would not have worked as the poppies would have been slanting.  On cutting the pattern pieces it became clear that they were on the straight grain so I could go ahead with this fabric.

I am very happy with it and feel that it can be worn summer or winter.

A summer look

An Autumn look

The fabric has a nice flow to it so it worked well with the frill, I also like the fact that after I had washed the fabric it didn't need ironing.  I have just washed some more fabric ready for my next projects I am trying to be more organised with this and not make up garments with unwashed fabric, sometimes my impatience has got the better of me. 

Earlier this week I started reading The Foundling by Stacey Halls, I bought this because I really enjoyed The Familiars last year.  So far I am struggling to get into it but I think that is because I enjoyed the Elena Ferante series so much everything I pick up now is being compared.   I finished Wakekenhyrst last week but I was not fully engaged with that either.

Yesterday my husband had booked a holiday day so we went out for lunch at a vegetarian cafe I have wanted to try for years, the food was tasty but on very small plates and for some reason my pot of tea was only luke warm (how do you get tea wrong??  Boiling water at least!)  As soon as we left my stomach was griping a little then I felt a bit odd later, in the middle of the night I was up and being sick! An awful feeling, I am a bit weak this morning and feeling robbed.  We went out for a treat and it made me sick and also ruined my day today, my husband has gone out on the bike and I felt too rough to join him. I don't want to leave a negative review as I don't want to affect someone's business in that way but I know it was a result of the food.  It sort of puts you off going out to eat.

My burda magazine for October came yesterday and I have to say there isn't really anything I want to make from this one.  It is an anniversary edition and all the clothes appear to be vintage and I am sorry to say quite ugly.  There is one skirt that I would say is modern but it of a style that I already make so I would not trace off a pattern I already know how to do, too much faffing.

I have still been busy collecting seeds I have picked up a couple of seed heads off a plant I passed in the street in town yesterday and just pooped them in my bag, I labelled it up unknown purple plant.  I will find out what it is if it takes next year by taking a picture and putting it on plant net.  I could have done that  yesterday but my husband was  already walking off in front and saying what are you doing?  Ha! They would have only blown on the concrete path so best I saved them I think. 

I am trying to avoid the news while at the same time I need to be aware what the latest rules are, I feel increasingly frustrated that while people are being told once more not to visit other households or meet in gardens, School staff such as myself and others are expected to be in close contact with a class full of children all day who all come from different households.  Meeting your own family from a different house and that is irresponsible is it??  But those twenty four families from the class, not to mention all the staff couldn't possibly pass it on could they?? It really doesn't make sense, yes I do follow the rules but it doesn't mean they are rational.

I'll stop ranting now,  take care everyone and have a good week.  

Thursday, 17 September 2020

September Days

 This month is going well so far, the return to work has been going smoothly after the summer holiday and everyone appears to be back into the routine.  It is a bonus that there is still some daylight to be had at the end of the working day at the moment although the nights ado seem to be getting darker at quite a speedy pace.  We had a lovely day on Sunday thanks to the glorious weather, we had a walk around Elsecar Park with the dogs in the morning, then returned home for lunch then out on the bikes to Wentworth in the afternoon. We are making the most of the late sunshine.

I have photo's of both these places but they are on my husbands phone so I will have to share those later.  I have made a few things over the last few weeks but as I have been absent from my blog for a few weeks I am losing track of what I have shared!  The last thing I made was this little pinnie for a colleague at work, she wanted it for the class so she wouldn't keep losing her whiteboard pen and other bits and pieces.

Jo you may well recognise the purple piece of fabric!  Also the trim I really get the most out of all pieces of fabric that come my way. The butterfly patches are leftover from a wrap dress that I made.

The little apron has been worn and appreciated which is nice to see, I have also had more trousers to turn up for people, it must be that time of year certain things seem to come in groups.

The garden is still looking bright but many things are going to seed now, I sat the other evening just bagging up seeds for myself and a friend, just surrounded by bits of debris on the desk, it was quite relaxing.  I have brought in a few more dead heads just now to sort through.

My  friend brought some seeds for me today we have decided we will keep swapping and that way we will have lots of free plants (hopefully).

I listened to Normal People on audio last week, it was probably a bad choice to listen to out loud due to some of the events and language used. Also the female reader putting on a male Irish voice was quite off putting, still I finished it so I was interested to see how it ended but the whole book just felt sad and bleak to me.  Due to the topics raised it was, but it left me very unsettled so I am not sure I would recommend that one despite all the hype.

Further reading I am on the last book of the Neapolitan series  The story of the Lost child by Elena Ferante, I have loved these and will be sad when they end, highly recommend this whole series.

My last bag make was this one...

In other sewing I also made this little t-shirt for my friend's  son for his  birthday.

I just have not had the time to sit down and post anything here,  in fact I made the decision that while it was still light out I would not spend too much time on the computer and be sure to get out or do other things.    I redecorated my son's room a few weeks ago, there is just the ceiling to do as the plaster had to fully dry out.

Now I have bought grey cupboard paint to give my kitchen a facelift, it is just a case of when I will be brave enough to start as my main worry is if the paint is not durable and begins to get scratched.  It has had lots of good reviews so hopefully it will be hard wearing. 

Well that's all for now I hope you are having a good week, back soon. 

Sunday, 23 August 2020

 I thought I would do an 'ing' post as I am always stuck for a title, and it helps me sort my thoughts a little bit too.  I hope you are all having a lovely summer not that there is much of it left but lets grab a hold of the bit that is and make the most of it.   So here goes...

Riding my new bike, for the first time actually this morning.  My husband has been out on his quite a bit recently after converting it to an an e bike.  The problem from riding straight from our house to get any where was the hills coming back.  He has added this option just to use when you are shattered and need a boost getting up the hill.  It has worked for him as he can now go much further knowing that he can get back up many hills.  He wanted me to join him but I only normally do cycle paths, today was the first time for me on the actual road (with a bike that is, I do drive a car).  Sunday morning seemed a good idea to me and fortunately a lot of it was still cycle paths and canal paths.  We rode from out house to the city centre and around the canal paths there.  We did nineteen miles I know he would have done more without me but I enjoyed it.  It is now raining so we chose the best time.

So this above is Victoria Quays in Sheffield, quiet a few places where I was very close to the edge of the canal!

Listening to The Keeper of Lost Things, I am still undecided about listening to books in this way it is the voices that seem to annoy me.  Am I alone in that? Some of the narrators sound as if they are auditioning for Shakespeare and would you really read a book like that in your head, even with the non fiction books there seems to be too much emotion.  Well that aside the book is not bad.

Reading Those who leave and those Who stay by Elena Ferrante and  Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver, the first is digital and the second is in actual book form from the library as our library is now open for orders. 

Making quite a few things over the last few weeks, this last week I have made a dress from the burda August edition in a lovely stretch cotton jersey from Minerva.  I had to make quite a few changes, it was quite loose and sack like in shape so I have added shape and removed the back vent as that would have made it quite baggy. 

That little purple flower button was in my stash and it is just the perfect match  think.  I have also made some little coin purses and listed these in my etsy shop. 

They each have a little pocket inside for cards or notes.

Watching a German series on netflix called Biohackers, I really enjoyed this but it was only six episodes long.  It has been left as to make another series but worth a watch if you are wondering what to watch next. 

Planting some winter pansies and Viola, I am hoping that we will get a bit of colour from these in the winter months. I have some more lettuce on the go and Basil and my giant tomatoes are just starting to red.

Enjoying my last days of the summer holiday, I am really never bored and can never understand when people say they don't know what to do with themselves when they are  not at work.  

That is all for now, take care everyone. 



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.

Jersey Dresses

 I have finally got a few shots of my new dress makes, one of them was only completed yesterday but the grey one was finished a few weeks ag...