Friday, 19 July 2019

Sewing Face Wipes

Today has been a bit of a washout so I have been getting some small sewing jobs done.  The main thing I did was to create some more of the face wipe pads that I made for a colleague earlier in the week.  I have made little sets of eight with a wash bag to put the dirty ones in and then I listed two sets on Etsy and two on Folksy.  I don't know if they will have any interest but with the current trend towards using reusable items over throw away ones lets hope that is something that more people will adopt.  They will certainly not go to waste.
I love the fact that these use up small amounts of fabric, these ones match but they don't have to so there is no reason why every bathroom can't have a set.  
It is cotton jersey, soft side up on the back and feels really soft.  Simple zig  zag stitch as my overlocker was not making a great go of such a small curve.  If I made them a bit bigger it was fine but then they are a less handy shape.  I think people sometimes like thing to be similar to the originals and these are more like the removal pads you buy in terms of size.

I also had to take a photo of this lovely plant, the hot pink seems to be theme this week.

Yesterday when I was out watering I snapped a few more pictures of the garden, it makes me happy that just a few months ago this was bare and these plants were just seeds in a packet.  We did wonder if we were able to fill the space with what I was growing in the greenhouse, we needn't have worried.
It is a bit crowded and wild at the moment but I don't mind I like the colour.
Ignore the odd bits of wood next to the fence, they are temporarily filling gaps one of the dog keeps making.

As one thing stops flowering another thing starts so that has been good.

The stone circle you can see in this image had an evacuation of flying ants the other day they were everywhere!  It happens every year and we always have lots of ants on our garden, I should have been quick and got an image of that for you.

Well that's all for now have a good weekend.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Green Things

This past week I caught up on watching Hugh's War on Plastic, it is pretty unsettling stuff I have to say and a lot of it just leaves you feeling a bit helpless.  We try to do our best but as the show highlighted, the shops don't make it easy for you and there is also the fact that as fast as we are trying to reduce our consumption the manufacturers are setting targets to increase output of the stuff.

I was asked this week by a colleague to make some reusable scrubbies for taking off make-up, she had bought some from a shop and wanted more.  I used materials I had and made twelve small circular ones and a little drawstring bag to wash them in.  I had a nice photo to share but yesterday my phone did an update and now everything is in the wrong place and all the photo's taken before yesterday have transferred small and out of focus!  I am disappointed about that and will get my son to look at it when he is home later, as I am not one of the phone generation it will take me twice as long to sort it.

This evening I have been altering t-shirts for another colleague, she buys them and then likes them shorter, with smaller sleeves and a lower neck.  It is one way of getting what you want, a lot of people won't shop charity shops but if they did they would see that you can buy things you love cheaply then get them altered.  It is still often cheaper than buying new and you can have them fitted to you.

It seems there is a lot of action from the public on reducing our consumption but very little from the government or big business. I still see a lot of unnecessary  packaging everywhere and lots of plastic that doesn't serve a purpose.  My husband just feels I think too much about these things but there are too many people who don't think about it at all perhaps.  A lot of the plastic free shops are in affluent areas also and I would imagine many people struggling on a tight budget are more worried about buying  affordable food for the week than they are about our long term futures on the planet.

On a lighter note summer term is almost over, there is lots of winding down going on, people moving on and new faces appearing at work.  I was sad to say goodbye to a colleague today, she  started at the same time as me and has been wonderful to work with.  I am sure we will be seeing her again soon.  She very kindly bought me this plant and I will leave you with an image of that after my initial grumpy start over the state of the planet.

Friday, 12 July 2019

A Day Out

We have had a bit of a change today and went out for the afternoon, my husband had booked a day off so we thought we would make the most of it.  We went  to Cleethorpes, we haven't been there for years and it is only an hour away. As it is a Friday we thought it wouldn't be too busy as most people go for the weekend and don't set off until Friday teatime.  It was still quite busy as lots of people were there with young children, there were also a couple of school trips on the beach.  Unfortunately we couldn't take the dogs down onto the sand but walked along the front instead.

 It has been a good day for the weather, the sun did keep disappearing behind a cloud and it was very breezy but I have to say that is better for the dogs.  If it had been blazing sunshine we would have had to get them out of the heat after a short walk, but with the wind and the cloud we managed a good walk.

There was also a lovely boating pond (no boats on it!) full of ducks that we walked around and had our picnic there. We were very prepared today, icepacks in the rucksack, sandwiches, tomatoes, crisps and drinks.  We also managed to park around the corner from one of the main car parks for free, very frugal!
This one clearly is clearly after some food, we didn't feed it as we didn't have  appropriate food.

 This area was beautiful and very well kept.

There was a path leading to a nature reserve, we didn't take that as it involved walking through long grass and two of us had bare legs, I am a bit cautious of getting a tick from long grass having seen one they are hideous things!

We didn't choose to walk around the town after but headed home before the work traffic started to build up, we always try and plan any outing around the least possible traffic.

When I got home I managed to get a load of weeding done and re-pot one of my planters with some of my seedlings from the greenhouse.  I have quite a lot of black flies/aphids on some of my plants I am finding the only solution where there are so many is to remove the affected plants.  It is not too bad as I have spent very little and the garden is full of colour at the moment, all the seed planting paid off. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Sewing Blue

I think I need to shake things up a bit when choosing my fabric, I have just set out the fabric for my latest make and once again it is blue.  When I am choosing it I must just go into default mode as it is only when it arrives that I realise I have once again chosen the blue option. A couple of my makes were featured on the Minerva Crafts Blog on Sunday 7th (I've had to amend this as I was given a different date!) so if you would like a look go have a look on the blog, you'll have to go back a bit,   but they are of course blue.  Some of you have seen a peek of these before...

This top.
This dress also.
I have to say they have had a bit of wear already, the dress is comfy and the top goes well with jeans, if you want the full details just follow the link above to Minerva. So as I said this came to mind as I was planning my current make, this fabric...

Maybe I can let myself off the hook a little as I did make the green and grey cami on Friday but that was more of a using up small pieces project.   I wonder if any of you find yourselves going into auto pilot and making the same sorts of choices with fabric or wool. It does make sense to shop what you will wear of course but do we sometimes get stuck in a colour rut without realising it?

Here is a little compilation of some of the other blue makes, not including the one above, so as you can see a bit of a theme.  It also seems to have been the last year or so. Note to self to be more adventurous with the fabric choices.

I have just read 'Grit: Why Passion and Resilience are the Keys to Success ' by Angela Duckworth this past week.  It was an interesting read and makes a lot of sense when you consider some of the people who go on to do great things, they are not always the people who were outstanding students or particularly gifted.

 Following on from that one I read 'So Good They Can't Ignore You' by Cal Newport, this was also enjoyable but not always realistic.  A lot of the career stories mentioned  were of people in fields where there is a lot of room for growth and promotion.  While it is always preferable to be doing your best in anything you do, late hours, working and taking no holidays as a life is dedicated to a certain job has seen some people cast aside redundant after many years of service.  Some are simply overlooked no matter what while others may progress  by doing very little, but have the connections, say the right things and so on.  I think in some cases circumstances just fall right for some and other times life just doesn't go that way.   This particular author is very interesting and has achieved a lot, I have another book of his on my to read list and I find his ideas fascinating.  I just think we have to be prepared for the fact that unfortunately good work does sometimes go unnoticed and that is just the way it is, but to not let it ruin the next venture because there will always be something else.  This reminds me of what I mentioned a couple of weeks ago regarding exam results.  Young people need to be aware that there are many paths, some careers may not work out and some will, plus our plans can and will change.  To be believe in a sole dedication to one thing or else is quite dangerous. What do you think? 

Friday, 5 July 2019

Long Quarter Cami

This past couple of days this make has gone through a few changes.  I decided to use the white cotton with my bird print to make my cami top and then I played around with various effects to make the frill look like it had a bit of movement even though the fabric didn't.  At first I tried cutting a wavy effect at the bottom of the fabric and then edging it really close to produce a wave.  I forget to photograph this!  I tried it on the top but I felt the effect just looked badly made so I trimmed it straight.  After that I tried on the top with the white fabric, again I was not happy as the white fabric looked just like a sheet but then that is after all what it is ;) so off with that.  Finally I cut out the green scrap of fabric (cotton challis)  much better!  I instantly felt this was the right choice so went ahead with finishing up.  After deciding the frill was not an option I left the bird fabric as a loose panel back and front over the green.

I have used the fabric so sparing so I even have some left, I cut small pieces going in the correct direction for the straps then stitched them together to make a long length matching the birds as I went.  So this has left me with a big enough piece to go into a bag. 

Another detail that I added was to put a few gather stitches at the front, just enough to pull the front down a little.  When I tried it on I felt it needed a bit more shape so this was the solution.  Had this been a plain top I may have added a few buttons or a bow there too but as it is patterned it doesn't need it.

On the inside I used homemade bias binding again, this time it was  made a while ago from one of my husbands old shirts.  The colours just happened to be spot on.

As you can see here it goes straight across at the back, I left the top panel hanging away from the green fabric and handstitched a hem on it.    It does look like what I had in my head apart from the  bottom of the print being straight and not frilly, that may not be a bad thing as my husband never seems to like things that are too frilly anyway so this is more likely to get his approval.  

In all I am very pleased with this make, the only new item was the long quarter at £2.50, the green was leftover fabric, bias binding I had already made and the cotton was one I already owned.  Even though it went through a few transitions I enjoyed the process, it is good to try different things to see what works because without that I wouldn't have ended up with this. 

If anyone else decides to give this a go pleased link back to me and leave me a comment, I would love to see other people trying this out with all the lovely craft cottons out there.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Free Cami or Jumpsuit Pattern

Hi there, I know a few of you love printing off these free patterns so I thought I would share this one that I found on the Simply Sewing website.  I love the idea of the camisole with a different colour frill so I think that may be on my list of things to make.  I personally like to make my own patterns where I can so for my cami top I will not be printing off the pattern, it is about forty pages for the whole thing!  The idea is lovely however so this is where I have taken my inspiration but I do know that lots of people like to have a printed pattern to work to so I thought you might enjoy this link if you haven't seen it already.  Simply Sewing Camisole and Jumpsuit free pattern.

Now I am in the planning stage of this make because I have a few bits of fabric that are just big enough to go with a solid colour for the rest of the top.  Well one of the pieces I just bought but it is a small piece. Apparently the free pattern is from 'The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric book, does anyone own this book? If so is it worth a peak?  I may have to see it available from the library.  If they don't have it I may suggest they buy it, you can do that you know. The library have a fixed amount to spend and a librarian at my local  library told me they don't always know what to buy so they welcome suggestions. I made a suggestion of a book before and got a new copy as soon as it was in stock so that is worth knowing I think.

Any how back to the pattern here is a little taste of what I am thinking for my top. I am leaning towards the white with the pattern as the green is not the shade that is in the pattern so maybe it will be a bad match? On the other hand the colour would be more practical as I tend to always splash plain white, even when I don't normally do that when wearing other colours.  I seem to wait until I am wearing a white top!  Does anyone else have this issue?   I feel this could be a good way to use up odd fabric, I bought the long quarter of the bird fabric just this week because it is so cute. Just a couple of pounds spent.

Tonight I will play around with a few shapes and see what it looks like, the free pattern does look like it may be cut on the bias with the way the frill is hanging.  If I am using the bird print I can't do that as the birds need to be the right way up.

This past week I have been finding it easier to get up, also I have switched my pilates (free at home in pjs) to the morning and this seems to be working well as I feel I have achieved something for me immediately.

Tomorrow we have a school trip so that will be nice, lets all pray it doesn't rain.
Bye for now.

Friday, 28 June 2019

Silky PJs

After pondering what to make with the silky aubergine fabric intended for an underwear set I finally decided on some shorts pyjamas.  I didn't use  a pyjama pattern but rather one intended for a  top and a modified trouser pattern.   I will give you a peek here but the full details are being saved for my Minerva post.

This is the top but I have to say I have since made the flounce a bit narrower as my husband was not a fan of it.
I do hope I won't look too much like I am about the enter a boxing match wearing these silky shorts!
One of the details I enjoyed was making the bias biding out of some scrap fabric that I had, it is only me that sees it but I like knowing it is there.

After I finished these today I sat outside in the sunshine with a cup of tea, my new cook book that I bought last week from the charity shop and I planned a few new meals to try for the week.  We had one for tea tonight, a gorgeous broccoli pesto. I made half the quantity and there was still loads left I don't know where they get there portion sizes from sometimes?
I have more of the purple fabric left so there might be just enough for a short wrap, or that might be a squeeze, we'll see.  That's all for now just a short one today.

Sewing Face Wipes

Today has been a bit of a washout so I have been getting some small sewing jobs done.  The main thing I did was to create some more of the f...