Sunday, 25 September 2016

Sock yarn, Soap and a Surprise

Surprise!I did not make a crochet sock yarn blanket, all along I was slowly making a shawl to wear this Autumn which I have called Autumn Wander, perfect for kicking through the leaves. 



My stash ran out pretty quickly by late July as the rows got longer. Luckily I have a very special blog friend Christina from Colourful Life who offered to send me some sock yarn left overs in Autumnal colours through the post. 

How good is that? She nailed the Autumn palette.
I also ordered some Ceramic greek beads from Beadsite to finish the edging. I LOVE these beads and use them a lot.

Also in the parcel I was giddy to find she had sent me one of her handmade soaps. I know I am making you all jealous now but the scent is heavenly, citrus and peachy with a perfect pattern that makes you want to keep staring at it. Thank you so much Christina. I am steeling myself from starting to make soap because I know I will be instantly addicted to making it.

If you want a loose recipe for making a sock yarn shawl you are welcome to use the one below which I made up as I went along to make this one. I have called it Autumn Wander and it is on ravelry.

Make a magic loop, ch3, 2tr in the loop, ch3, 3tr in the loop. You should have a fan consisting of two treble sets. Pull the loop closed. 

Turn work. ch3, 2tr in the top of the last treble from the last row. Move to the centre hole. (Note there are no chains between the sets of trebles only in the centre fan) 3tr, 3ch, 3tr, 3 tr in the top of the last treble.

Turn work. Continue adding another set of trebles in the top of the ones at both ends of each row. Remember to do two sets separated with 3ch in the centre on each row.

Change yarn colour as often as you like to achieve a desired effect. Add beads, make a shell border, sew on a pom pom trim, crochet a pom pom trim - whatever takes your fancy. Do take the time to block it, it makes it drape beautifully and have pointy corners.

It was a prize winner in our local show too!

Hope you might make one. The equinox passed last week so Autumn Chit chat may now commence! 
Jo xxx

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Minerva Fleece

My big girl is growing, upwards mainly. She has long arms and legs. We were due a dressing gown reshuffle here where everyone moves up a size. In the 'growing-up box' of clothes we collect from like minded friends, there was not a longer version for Big Sis so this month I chose some fleece from Minerva to make a dressing gown.

The fleece was so soft and fluffy. I chose a coordinating cotton for the cuffs, pocket and belt. I made the sleeves really long so you can see them now turned over to their full depth but I over locked the edge which looks neat until they need turning down.

It was really easy to make from an Ottobre magazine pattern. The pattern was in fact lined cotton but I just used the fleece on its own using the pattern shapes. You can get a free dressing gown pattern on Pinterest here.

I used my overlocker to sew the fleece together and finish the edges at the same time then used my machine to do the five rows of top stitching detail along the front bands. Don't be put off though, fleece does not fray so you can just sew it on a regular machine all over no problem.

The belt is sewn on in one straight seam in the centre back to stop it getting lost.

Now you have to say what all mums say, "You'll be fine, you'll grow into it!" She loves it and lays it on top of her duvet at night. Little M got a little jealous with her hand-me-down, so you guessed it, I had to make another one but they were a quick sew.


All sorted for dressing gowns now for the chillier nights,thanks Minerva.
Jo xxx

PS. I made these the week before the summer holidays started way back in July, I have not been sewing 24 hours a day in case it seemed impossible to believe I made them this week!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Louisa Dress in Needlecord

This dress is everything I wanted it to be and this new pattern purchase is everything I didn't want it to be. Let me explain...

I had a weak internet moment. I have not been knitting or crocheting much (niggly knitting shoulder) so I have taken to browsing pinterest in an attempt to satiate my crafty yearnings. I saw the Louisa dress on one of my boards and clicked further to investigate.

 The pattern was so versatile. Sleeveless, short sleeved, 3/4 sleeved, contrast side panels, fully lined, half lined; the list seemed endless. I saw the potential to use up bits of left over fabric from my own dressmaking projects too. It even went from age 1 to 10. I have two girls who are 6 and 9 so I started to talk myself into it.

I needed to talk myself into it, it was 16 Euros, £13.54 or $18.00 for the paper pattern. I had already written off the cheaper PDF download because of my loathing for piecing A4 paper patterns together. So I clicked. I treated myself, and the girls, to the paper pattern. I was excited. A new indie pattern would be plopping onto the mat very soon. Eeek! £13.54...

 AAGGGHHH! I had to print out the 18 page instructions myself, I opened the beautiful packaging to cut out the size I wanted to find the pattern pieces were all overlapping, the print was in light brown so it was hard to trace AND seam allowances were not included. Jeez, those are the most annoying things about patterns - why do it?

Anyway, I traced off the size 5 for Megan (on my own paper!) one evening, cut it out the next evening (adding seam allowances) and sewed it over the next two days. In hindsight I could have used my clothkits cord pinafore pattern and used the time I spent faffing around getting the pattern with drafting a pocket and some sleeves and kept my cash. There you have it, a perfect dress from an awful pattern. 

I will stick with Ottobre magazine from now on. OK, so I have to trace off the patterns but for £10 I get a beautifully photographed magazine for my girls to peruse and a wardrobe of patterns for 20 items every back issue I buy.

Rant over. She absolutely loves it because it is fully lined and feels all silky inside. The purple fabric is a really fine needlecord with a slight stretch from and the pocket is a gifted fat quarter. It has a massive pocket for treasures and she is mad for the colour purple. I added a crochet flower on a brooch pin using the free pattern on my sidebar.

Thanks for dropping by, I will be more jolly next time, promise! 
Jo xx

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Enjoying the weather

A few pictures of our weekend, enjoying the weather, preparing for the next chapter of the year and our new family livestock.

I picked more blackberries.

 My dad bought some Hebridean sheep for the farm to graze the grass.

Little M is trying to pet them but they were more interested in the lush grass.

Bloke installed the old log burner in the new cabin.

Little M thought she had found the best marshmallow stick ever until she realised one was getting burnt while the other two remained raw!

It got too hot for the girls so I helped out with the toasting while laughing because I couldn't get up off the floor without the treat starting to slide off the stick!!

Big Sis made little bowls and models from clay exposed on the lower fields.

On Sunday we made our usual weekend National trust visit, this time a mile walk away at Benthall Hall

Savoring the dappled sunshine.

Happy Days! Have a great week one and all. Jo xxx

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Sewing Wreath

I have had this project on my mind for a while now, a collection of objects have been accumulating in a little fabric bin especially for this purpose. Vintage sewing finds, empty cotton reels, a tape measure and a polystyrene ring waiting for decoration.

I didn't have enough wooden reels of my grandmothers to complete the ring so I covered the plastic ones to blend in. I am saving the wooden ones a little while longer until I have collected some more.

A crafty friend bought me some self adhesive fabric squares last Christmas and these immediately sprang to mind. I covered the plastic reels then stared at them for a while because they were so pretty for something that would have otherwise gone in the bin.

To cover the ring I considered crochet but as my shoulder is still not A1 I went for a rag tie technique to stay with the sewing theme. Then I just got pinning and decorating. 

Ta dah! Sewing wreath for the door of the room I sew in on the top floor. 

I am so lucky to have space to leave all my tack out permanently. The girls call the cupboard I blagged from my neighbour when she was having a new kitchen 'The shop.' For example, "Mum, can we have some buttons from the shop?" It makes me smile because it is mostly full of thrifted, gifted or second hand craft materials. It does help me keep stash under control though, if it doesn't fit in the cupboard then I can't have it or I simply have to consider that I don't actually  need it.

Happy Crafting. Jo xxxx

Monday, 12 September 2016

All done #13 flowery cord

I had a smidgeon of flowery cord left over and my 'all done' posts, 13 now, celebrate the final using up of left overs. It was gifted to me from my friend who does house clearances, she comes up with some real corkers sometimes and this was one of them. The last small piece had been kicking round a while and I always have a flurry of sewing with cord at this time of year, it seems the perfect fabric to be working with right now.

I made a little denim style skirt without the metal trimmings but with the addition of two buttons to adjust as she grows. The pattern is from my trusty Ottobre Autumn 2105 edition. She really loved it when she saw it on the end of her bed in the morning and wore it straight away. That is a good sign for Little M.

We went to Hanbury Hall national trust and she asked me to wear mine too. I was a little dubious but joined in the fun.

She kept whispering to me, "nobody has noticed we are wearing the same skirts have they?!" They probably have I explained but were admiring from afar without actually mentioning it to us...

Annyyway, she has worn it lots and really likes it. I am striking while the iron is hot so to speak with a few more sews for her while she is keen. She is seven in October but we have only just let go of many aged 3-4 clothes in her drawers, she is a hoarder this one and hates to get rid of her belongings. Little M is small too which means she loathes baggy waists and aged 3-4 is eventually getting too small now.

All done flowery cord, we will wear them with pride but possibly not always at the same time!

On Saturday we entered lots of exhibits in our local craft and horticultural show. Big Sis wanted to enter a victoria sandwich cake but there was not a childrens class so she went up against the adults. It is a very prestigious class and there were eight cakes  however she came second! It was anonymous judging so they did not know who entered, she was thrilled. Bloke entered a 'cake with a vegetable ingredient' This is the remnants of his chocolate and potato cake which came first. He has won this class three times - what a keeper.

Big Sis also won a trophy for the best exhibit across all childrens classes with a cross stitch she had been working on since Easter which can now join the hoop gallery at the cabin.

Not to be left out Little M won 'a garden on a plate' which she enjoyed making with precision.

Me, I entered some knitting and crochet items which won prizes too but you see enough of my stuff here, I am sharing my families happiness today. 

Thanks for spending some time here. Jo xxx