Thursday, 21 March 2019

Early Summer Sewing

Well, call me optimistic but I have made a start on my summer sewing already and I know we are nowhere near.  Oh well we can dream, and to kick off my summer wardrobe I have made a lovely floaty sun dress.  I know there are gaps in my current wardrobe that probably need filling first but when you get sent this gorgeous fabric what can you do?  This dress is going to be a favourite I feel, the full post will be shared later on Minerva crafts but for now I thought I would share a peek.

I love this fabric and it also comes in a black design, needless to say I had to make a little lining for the bottom half or otherwise it may have felt like I wasn't wearing very much!  The plan was nip outside for some photographs in this but it started to rain and the wind was blowing all afternoon, I don't think they would have made  good images.

There are a couple of pieces of jersey sitting on my sewing table waiting to be made into t-shirts, it is a quick job but I have not decided on the style yet.  The plan is to make both a little different if only in terms of sleeve length and neckline.  These will be wardrobe gap filling projects as  I keep pulling out a patterned skirt and thinking I need more plain tops.  I did mention this last year and then what did I go and do?  I bought patterned fabric and made tops that I now wear with jeans!

During the week I have been flicking through some sewing magazines that a friend gave me a while ago, this has provided me with a couple more online fabric shops that I didn't know of and a couple of new blogs to read.  I have also been making a note of different styles I like in them so I can copy, I don't always use patterns so sometimes it is just a case of having an image to go on.  One dress in particular caught my eye and I had just bought a £5 duvet cover from the charity shop with more or less the same colours and a very similar print.  So that is one plan for recycling that item.

Later today I have a jumpsuit to modify the shoulders on for someone, this is to make it look  little more dressy and my son has informed me that his pockets have gone through on some of his jeans so they need repairing (or rather remaking!)  I think I'll have a walk with the dogs before I start.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

March Inspiration

It is finally looking a bit brighter morning and evening and my creativity seems to have woke up a little.  The weather is all over the place  but at least it's light so I don't feel like I'm venturing to and from work in the middle of the night (dramatic I know but I loath short days), daylight does wonders for the mood.   I made another bag last week inspired by all the gorgeous daffodils that are everywhere, a few recycled bits and pieces and a repurposed strap from another bag that is no longer used.  The idea for this bag has been in my head for a while but it was the daffodils that finally brought it together in my head I think.


 I have added it to my Etsy shop I will put the link at the bottom from now on as I don't quite know how to add it at the side!  If it doesn't sell after a few months I will have it, it cheers me up.  The problem with that is I often think that so I would never want to part with anything.
There may be other bags along this nature theme as I really enjoyed stitching the design on this one, it is also a great way to showcase lovely bits of fabric you have leftover.

My modern twinset was featured on Minerva crafts here a couple of days ago, I did intend to share that on the day but I had wrote down the 13th for some dizzy reason.  Here is a reminder anyway the full post is available by  following the link above.


The top has had lots of wear already not so much the jacket so I have a feeling the top is going to fade much quicker.

I finally found a fiction book I am enjoying at the moment in fact it is almost finished, it is called The Wonder by Emma Donoghue.  It is historical and I am finding I enjoy that particular kind of fiction more.  I picked it up because I liked the cover as they say you shouldn't but this time it paid off.


I have had a bit of a run of starting books that had a lot of hype or good reviews and they have been terrible, so it does make you wonder how some books get so much attention.  Although I have put quite a few on order at the library so let's hope they are worth a look.


Etsy shop


Friday, 8 March 2019

A Quick Sweater

In my quest to add more tops and everyday wearable items to my wardrobe I ordered this knit fabric from Minerva a couple of weeks ago.  It is a good weight, not too heavy but just right for this time of year when it is still cold but you don't want a really thick jumper on.   I decided to use a favourite long sleeved top of mine that I made last year, I know it fits well I made the pattern for it and it gets a lot of wear.

Working again  with just the one metre I had to get creative with the sleeves to have the pattern in the right direction.  This time I chose to do a deep cuff otherwise there wasn't enough fabric to make the sleeves long enough.


This worked well I think and at least these little setbacks force me to add a bit of detail here and there where otherwise it might not have happened.  I also wanted to add some interest at the neck, I have done this detail before on a black top.  I cut the neck round then made a slit, after that I added binding and hemmed it, finally fishing the effect by hand gathering it down to create a slightly rouched effect.


I am not about to stitch over there I just rested the needle there a moment to get an image for you.


The colours are nice and bright and it is comfortable to wear, I do feel I have to force myself to make practical items even though I need them.  It just always seems to me that dresses are more fun especially the impractical ones, but then they sit in the wardrobe waiting for a rare night out!

There is a definite need for some more plain black tops to go with the colourful skirts I have made, or navy perhaps, it is just a case of buying the plain fabric because it is not very exciting.  Maybe if I can find some with a texture on it will inspire me a bit more.

I have decided to give Etsy another go, I had a few bags packed away that I had made a while ago and I intend to add to that each week.  I got quite excited because I listed last weekend and got a sale on Monday evening.  They are a modest sum which doesn't really reflect the time spent but it is always nice to see that people want the things you make. Here is a link if anyone would like a peek, my etsy shop 










Saturday, 2 March 2019

A Flamingo Makeover

Last week I was wondering what to do with the fabulous flamingo wrapping paper that I bought from Wenthworth garden centre. A few ideas came to mind like notebooks and storage boxes but I still felt it needed to be on display as it is too pretty to hide in a cupboard. Julie at  My Threadbare Life suggested putting it in a frame, that is also a good idea but then I spotted one of my sewing boxes that was looking a bit tired.  I had painted the vintage box when it was given to me some years ago but it was starting to get a bit faded and scuffed.  It is one the boxes I use for some of my cottons and many of you may have one the same.

Here it is with its new flamingo cover...

I started off cutting out all the pieces by carefully laying the paper on then making a little fold where I needed to cut.  Originally I started out with some very sticky glue that was not a good idea and just made a mess, a trusty glue stick from Asda worked much better I just made sure I put plenty on.  It could really do with a clear coat of varnish now but I haven't any at the moment.  All the ones I have seen in the shops have a slight yellow tinge to them and I don't want that.  Any ideas would be welcome.

When I had placed all my paper pieces there was still a little bit of cream paint showing around the edges of the drawers.  Luckily I had a little pale green paint leftover from when I did the makeover on my hall cupboard here Retro cupboard makeover, it was a little pale for this so I added a little dark green from my son's paints he had when he was younger.  I kept the little box of paints and brushes  as I knew they would come in useful and they often do!


This has given it a new lease of life and the wrapping paper was only £2.49, there were so many lovely designs I will have to keep them in mind for any future makeovers.  There is still a small amount of paper left so maybe it will go around a pencil pot or something like that.


Here it is before I started with my  original paint job, it has many more years of life left in it.  I think the old lady who originally owned it would be pleased to see it is still being put to good use.

Etsy Shop


Tuesday, 26 February 2019

William Morris Dress

Well I am calling this my William Morris dress because that is what the fabric reminds me of.  The fabric was simply called birds and flowers, which says it all really but as soon as I opened it I thought William Morris.  I have had a look around and had it been based on one of his original designs I think it would have been a bit more than £7.50 a metre!   I only bought one metre too because it was intended for a top but as soon as I saw it I changed my mind.  I kept the shape simple just a tunic shape with a little elastic at the waist to give it a bit of interest.
It is quite thin so I think warm summer wear or definitely with leggings the rest of the time, it also originally had longer sleeves that I cut down to just three quarter. However I had a mishap when cleaning up the seams under the overlocker and it dragged the sleeve in cutting a hole in it!  At that point I had to shorten the sleeves altogether.
There was just enough of a strip left to make a narrow tie belt, I think that just finishes it off.
There was no pattern this time just a bit of making it up as I went, I used another dress for the general size and shape.  Also there wasn't actually enough fabric for any sleeves with the pattern laying in the right direction so what I did was sew the strips that were left together  then cut out the sleeve shape with a seam running down the centre of the arm.  Once the seams were ironed flat it is such a busy pattern you can't notice it.
Here you can see the join, but not once it was ironed.

This fabric was nice to work with and has a bit of a floaty feel so it will be nice to wear in the warmer months. I am also hoping it will be one of those items that doesn't crease too much when you wear it. 

When I wasn't making that I was reading The other Side of Happiness by Brock Bastian.  This was quite an interesting read and I just picked it up by chance in the library.
What I found most interesting were the points about how young people are becoming less resilient due to the way in which they are protected to from everything that could possibly upset them.  Rather then learning and growing form setbacks and challenges many are falling apart at the first problem.   We all want to protect our children but I suppose in our current way of life many problems are prevented before they ever surface. One thing that springs to my mind is the way sports day no longer has individual winners just winning teams, surely we have to learn to take part with the possibility of not always being a winner or ever?    Anyway it worth  a look, although some of the initiation rituals practised by some tribes that are mentioned in the book,  left me a little queasy!

Etsy Shop






Thursday, 21 February 2019

Santoro Fabric Bag Complete

Well I finished this bag this morning, it was sort of complete last night there was just a little hand stitching I needed to complete.  I have really enjoyed making this and feel I may get back into bag making, I did stop because I have a little collection that are unsold upstairs but for myself and gifts they are always appreciated.  The rivets have not arrived so I have left off that detail, I may add a couple later to strengthen where the strap meets the bag when they eventually arrive!
Here it is...
Now it isn't stuffed with anything here so I think it is standing up quite well empty, I will definitely use faux leather in future to strengthen bags.
It is the same on both sides, I was expecting the buckle and claws on the strap to be more silver or at least bronze but never mind.  There was also lots of pulling and straightening to get the folds out of the strap when it arrived but I suppose that it was you get for £3.49, I didn't want leather so there we are.
I made the little charm from a bit of the faux leather, an old key ring and some jewellery making beads and bits I had in my sewing box.  The tassel was a lot longer but I thought it looked too much so I cut a chunk off, I was also unsure how to attach it but I decided on a bit of embroidery thread plaited and stitched in before rolling the tassel.

The piping is just mock, I simply folded over some cord fabric, the only problem being that you don't have a definite width guide to follow.

Inside I have used a leftover bit of cotton from a dress I made last summer, and a saved zip from an old bag.

So in total this project has cost me £7.69.

Materials list

Santoro Gorjuss fabric £3.00 fat quarter from Happy Hare
Black strap  £3.49  ebay
Piece of black ribbon  £1.20 ebay
Cream faux leather;  leftover from an upholstery project for a relative.
Lining; leftover cotton from a dress.
Zips; recycled some years ago when they were unpicked from an old bag.
Mock piping; recycled cord leftover from making a cushion for a friend.
Bag charm; assorted bits from my sewing box ( and a lesson never to throw out old key rings, I have just recalled we got rid of a few two weeks ago when sorting the junk drawer!)

All in all this bag had a lot of recycled items and it has made me think a bit more about the details that make up a bag. Sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference and not what we spend on supplies.

Etsy Shop


Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Half Term Makes

I have started my new bag but unfortunately I can't go any further until my ribbon and other bits arrive in the post.  This is very annoying as I am itching to get it all finished, one side is complete and the bottom/sides are on one piece but I need the ribbon to complete the rest. I have had a play at making a tassel which I am going to embellish with beads and bits (I think) it may be a bit big we will have to see.  The lining is ready and I think the leftover faux leather from an upholstery project has come in really handy.  I will share a few pics here of just the cut pieces and lining I don't want to show too much before it is finished.
So the zips I am using are recycled from an old bag and have been in my sewing box a long time, the faux leather was from my mother in law ( I recovered one side of her corner suit with it), the bit of ribbon I had already but I have had to order a bit more and the lining is leftover fabric from a dress.  The only new items bought  for the project are the Santoro fabric (a fat quarter) a strap, a new bit of ribbon and some rivets.
Here is the lining with the recycled zip for the inside pocket.

This evening as I was making curry I thought I would make some little bits to go with it, I have this magazine from 2017 Vegan Food and Living (my only copy) and there is a recipe I thought I'd give a try.
Now I was quite excited about making these and they were quite messy to make too...
Sorry that is a bit blurry, masala dhal vadas, they looked interesting and I didn't have any fresh chilli but went on ahead.  I made two trays of these and to be fair nearly all of them went down well but I would say they were not that exciting and a lot of faff when you consider you can buy ready made pakora, samosa etc for quite a reasonable price.  I'm sure these were a lot cheaper as I  made so many but also messing about mashing potato, making the patties etc, I also covered mine in gram flour too.  So another recipe tried but on this occasion perhaps not worth the effort.
I know mine do not look much like the photo in the magazine but I didn't deep fry mine, I fried them a little in the pan then into the oven to keep warm.  I don't deep fry ever!

While I was cooking I was also watching this video from Handmade by Ditsy Tulip here  she has made some lovely covered buttons but more eye catching than that is her own logo she has created, it is so professional.  If you don't watch her videos go and have a look now, she has some lovely ideas and makes on her channel.   She is currently putting together a dolls house as a haberdashery  and has made some gorgeous mini bits for it, I look forward to watching it take shape.

Etsy Shop






Early Summer Sewing

Well, call me optimistic but I have made a start on my summer sewing already and I know we are nowhere near.  Oh well we can dream, and to k...