Sunday, 4 December 2016

Crochet Ear Flap Hat

I had a bit of wool left over from Little M's school cardigan so I knocked up a crochet hat. No pattern just making a head shape and calling my big girl every night for a try on.


She likes an earflap style hat and has had several over the years. 


To make the earflaps on this one, we chose heart shapes.



It is worked in double crochet, then half trebles (UK) and finished with the crab stitch or reverse double crochet. I just made it up as I went along.


She likes it. She wears it. The yarn has all gone.
 What more can you ask for?
Have a great week.

Jo xxx

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Christmas Skirt

I have been busting to show you my Christmas Skirt. Now that it is the 1st of December, here it is. 



From a distance it looks like a fun spotty skirt but close up...




...BAUBLES! 
I have a loathing for Christmas Jumpers - the acrylic, the lack of what to wear one with and still look nice, the sweatshop behind them etc. etc. Last year I received a serious barrage of teasing at the 'wear a Christmas jumper to work day' because I don't have one or wish to wear one. So this year I am coming back fighting with a sewing alternative.


A cotton A-line skirt which is lined so that it will always sit well on tights in December. Excuse me, it is a Saturday. I have been sewing, the girls are dancing to the radio and bloke is at the farm hedglaying therefore today is not a day to see my Saturday at home face!


I used vintage Simplicity 7725 view 4 which is still too long for me so I shortened it some more. 


I have already worn it to the school Christmas fayre. It's also earmarked for work drinks, watching the girls school play performances at school, Christmas shopping and of course Christmas day!

What do you think? In my head, I have won!

Jo xxxxx

PS. I have learnt this week that the hard drive on my PC has gone bang and the data can not be retrieved which is so frustrating. I have lost so many pictures of the girls, all my lesson plans and activities for work along with photos for here. So bear with me while the PC is having a new hard drive fitted - I don't have photo editing software on Blokes laptop so things are not the quality I would like them to be. Everything for work is taking twice as long so time is short for blogging. I wrote a lesson plan with a biro today and I haven't done that in 20 years! Back up your stuff folks that is all I am saying.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Cosy Easy Dress for Winter

Here is a quick one. I made this dress from a soft Ponte Roma in two hours from cutting to wearing.



I used a free pattern from NEW LOOK to make this simple dress with raglan sleeves. Arm zips not for me thanks.



I cut a 12 but it had a lot of ease in the sleeves and underarm area so I think I would cut a 10 next time grading out for my hips to a 12- there will be a next time.



A bit smarter than a tunic but just as comfortable, this dress has been so comfy for work where I am sometimes stood up teaching for two hours or sitting at my desk for two hours. 


Now the clocks have changed and the bleakness of November is upon us I am struggling to take good quality photos so they are a touch grainy I am afraid but I think you get the idea.


The fabric is from a new supplier to me (no affiliation or sponsorship) but you speak as you find and I was delighted with my parcel from Sherwood Fabrics. On time, cut straight which is a rarity and beautifully wrapped in tissue like a little gift to myself. They have a comprehensive range of dress fabrics that mimic ready to wear fabrics rather than stocking novelty or craft fabrics. There is a good SALE and remnant section too. I will be going there again.


I was in a geometric state of mind for this online shopping trip.


The prefect cosy, easy, winter dress. 
Thanks for dropping by. 
Jo x

PS. Our PC has gone bang so I have limited access to the internet and photoshop software so bear with me while I find a repair outlet. I have some December posts already on my dashboard so I may lose some time continuity over the next few weeks.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Christmas PJ set

  This month my Minerva make has an almost festive winter feel.


I have made two sets of the Fi Fi PJ set by Tilly and the Buttons for my friend's daughters (slim ones!) and I finally felt sure I wanted a pair myself. I LOVE making this pattern. It is so accurate and detailed with fabulous results every time. This has just come out of the wash but shows the fabric in all its glory.



I chose a botanical print from Minerva with a colour palette of festive green with red roses revealing little ivy motifs. It is a beautifully soft high quality cotton but unfortunately this pattern has sold out but there are designs. Fifi is a bit of a fabric pig because you have to cut on the bias but you can reduce this by using ready made satin bias binding in a colour you pick out from the print however, I just love making it.



As it is colder, I decided to make long bottoms using a combination of the patterned fabric at the ankle cuffs and some single jersey for comfort. I love my beautiful new set in my favourite colour. 

Happy Sewing! Love Jo xx

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Knitting, but not on my own...

I am going out of my mind not being able to knit every night. Knitting is what keeps all of my mind in place. My mind is not full of knotted up balls of wool like some crazy creative spirit. Knitting gives me time to wind all my thoughts into neat little balls...



So it is with some trepidation and an air of deciet that I share my latest knitting project with you because I did not knit it all. I started it on the 8th of October...



In the end I had to sub contract the sleeves out to my mum who whipped up two in six days while I limped on in the same amount of time on the left front. The sleeves were a bit long because the little one was not around for a testing but Little M said it means she can wear the cardigan for longer - how sensible!



The yarn is WI aran from Hobbycraft. This wool washes so well week in week out and is so soft, I have used it before. The pattern is from Sirdar. It really was her turn for a school cardy and she knew it so another red cardigan was not to be avoided. I washed and blocked it but it is still a bit curly on the front button band.

I have physio exercises to do for my frozen shoulder but it is a slow process. Anyway it just goes to show what you can do if you share. Thanks Mum.

Jo xxx

Ps. Overseas followers, this is a version of a primary school uniform which children under 11 wear to school. Very often they are asked to wear a combination of grey trousers/skirt with a white T-shirt/cotton shirt and a jumper of their school colour. Colours vary but that is what happens in the UK just in case you wondered why my girl was dressed as a boy in a scalloped edged cardigan!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Lap Beanbag Tutorial

Us crafters are busy at this time of year making presents for family and friends. This little project is so inexpensive, quick and easy, I thought I would share it with you.It is a kindle/ipad/tablet/book lap beanbag perfect for crocheters who follow a pattern on an ipad while needing both hands free to work their magic or simply to use both fingers while typing on an ipad.


I used the bottom part of a pair of jeans. The top had been refashioned last year from large jeans into a miniskirt here. I had stowed the remaining legs in my craft cupboard and came across them the other day.


Two of the main seams required are already done if you use jeans but you could cut a piece of fabric 50cm x 46cm and sew it along one seam to make a tube.


Sew across one end. Trim off the corners and turn it the right way.


Fill it by three quarters with bean bag beans. You could liberate some from a current beanbag - nobody will notice! They get everywhere so do it inside the bag, don't try to pour them.


Turn under the opening making a seam and top stitch the end closed. Ensure you make the seam go in the opposite direction to the first end.


Lap beanbag complete. 
This one is for a man so the denim worked really well.

This tutorial is for my friend Fleur, enjoy! Jo xxx

Monday, 14 November 2016

#vintagepledge Sew Lovely Camisole

This has to be one of the easiest things I have ever sewn; a camisole in stretch lace to wear under jumpers. It is from an american pattern circa 1970 by Sew Lovely.


The fabric is sewn together using french seams to enclose the raw edges and the elastic was applied after I had overlocked all the way around the edges.


Pretty bows were added as a finishing touch. Simples! The fabric is from White Tree fabrics and was a complete bargain at £2.00 a metre in their mega summer sale a while back.

The knickers are about my fourth attempt at getting the So Zo free pattern to come a little higher up my bottom. These are the best so far but I could do with 2cm more on the back. You can't just add on 2cm in depth because then the sides are massive so each time you have to keep arching more out of the leg. Some might say why bother but I like learning new things!


I have worn them both for a whole day and I didn't know I was wearing them. They have both been through the wash too with great success. Have you ever made a camisole? 

Jo xx