Thursday, 20 July 2017

Easiest Skirt Ever

 I have made the easiest skirt ever and it has been right under my nose for years! 

I have seen Handmade Jane make a few of these skirts. She said they were easy and used up a small amount of fabric - she was darn right.

I would like to say New Look K6217 has earned its keep but it was free on the front of a magazine over two years ago. I have made three pairs of the trousers from it, one pair of which are too tight for me right now! I forget how many of the tops I have made, many, but I had never tried the skirt. I guess I just already had other short skirt patterns I used and felt I couldn't really improve on what I had but I was wrong. 

Simply two pieces with back darts and side vents eliminating the need to make a kick pleat on the back. I used an invisible zip but the pattern walks you through a lapped zip if you want to master one.

I did some pattern matching to make it look smooth on the side seams. My top tip here is to put two pins together to remind you not to sew all the way to the end otherwise you will not get side vents. I use this two-pin-stop technique a lot.

The pattern is particularly good if you only have a small piece of fabric left over because you do not need to cut a long waistband piece. You finish the waste with twill tape. This piece was just the right length and guess what? It was the ribbon that held a bunch of fat quarters together! My stitching is a bit wobbly there, whoops. I cut out a size 14 at 6pm and had it on at 7:20pm. Fast.

This has been my favourite skirt length of late. I used to make them shorter which is fine for winter skirts with tights or leggings but I need a longer version for summer vanity.

Worn with a cotton blouse I made a while back whilst being photo bombed by the dog, I felt pretty happy with this skirt. Especially as it only cost me 50p for the zip. The fabric was from an elderly lady who was having a clear out at craft group and she gave me a bag of stuff in February. I wore it to work and sports day on Tuesday.

I had a big haircut yestersday after this photo - so hot. 
Enjoy the sunshine. Jo xxx 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Doggie bag

Do you know the phrase doggie bag? A phrase used to imply a bag of leftover food to take home to give your dog instead of wasting the food in the bin. Well, Big Sis made a doggie bag of a different kind.

She drew up a design for a light over the shoulder bag to hold dog poo bags and training treats. When training a dog the reward has to be immediate and this leaves her hands free for other tasks like trying to get the lead back on or picking up the stick to throw again. 

I love that she can just use the machine on her own and knows some techniques without my prompt. I came back into the room and started to speak and she interrupted and said, "Yeeesss, I have snipped off the corners already!"

She made it brown so that Bloke could use it too. She had been saving the dog fabric which had come in a rag bag to us in February. The beads were in a giveaway parcel from CJ made so they have gone to good use already. I am not sure if Bloke has used it yet but it was a nice thought.

One very functional project. Thanks for stopping by. 
Jo xxxx

PS. It always amazes me what you folks comment on, thank you for your lovely comments about the granny shawl. I posted it and thought it was a bit of a lame post and then you all loved it! It just shows we all blog for different reasons and we all have different likes and dislikes. Thanks again.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Granny Triangle Crochet

I like to have portable craft on the go to cater for any crafting need. Small time slots here and there: in the car waiting for an appointment, lunchtime at work, a trip to the park etc. Crochet usually fits the bill because the stitches stay put with a safety pin in the working stitch.

This project has been sliding in and out of view since April. I took it on holiday and it was a very satisfying poolside distraction.

The yarn was donated by a work colleague. No ball band but it was a silky and drapey acrylic of some kind so I started a granny triangle on a 2.5mm hook. I would have liked a little more but beggars can't be choosers;my late grandmother was very fond of that saying.

Just in the nick of time this one is for Heidi's class teacher who has helped her make so much progress in maths this year. The children have one more week to go before the big six week Summer holidays.

Thanks for dropping by. Have a good weekend. Jo xx

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Wondering ..

Wondering - How to explain to my bloke that these are facings not sleeves for his next ironing foray!

Wondering - When I will start to care about my house garden again. It has got into such a mess and I am really unmotivated about it which I don't like.

Wondering - How much more allotment fruit we will get this season. 4.5Kg of strawberries this year. Blackcurrants next.

Wondering - Why I like to craft so much and what is it a substitute for?

What are you wondering?
Jo xx

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Knitting is Addictive

Knitting is addictive. Just one more row. So many patterns, so little time. "Yes of course I would love that big bag of wool you are giving away!" Knit. Purl. Knit. Purl. I am currently experiencing the need for knitting to become more complex like a real addict. Something harder to tackle. A project to push more buttons. So it is with excitement that I show you my latest cast on. 
This gorgeous basket, which I bought in France, is holding the yarn for an intarsia knit. The yarn is all thrifted/donated/gifted. A brand of pure wool called Hjerte from Denmark and a co ordinating brown DK acrylic. A delightful Autumnal palette which I really want to wear. I wouldn't normally mix fibres but this will be a hand wash in the end anyway.

I am going to try and make this Kaffe Fasset cardigan from The Knitter issue 112

I made a start but had some technique problems. I needed 4 colours for each row (on my colour design) so I twisted the yarn on every stitch to keep the four colours trucking along the work.

I liked the colour mixes but the stitches were very twisted on the front and the fabric texture had no stretch at all because the twists locked every stitch. STOP this is not right I decided. I frogged it and started again, this time making separate balls for each diamond motif. It makes a stretchy fabric but now I am knitting with 12 balls of yarn and I feel like some kind of woolley demigod.

So another interesting project to add to my ever growing pile of WIP's.

What do you think? Tell me it is all going to be alright after I have stood up and said, "My name is Joanne and I am a knitter!"
Jo x

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Bought some fabric

My New Years Resolution to not buy any craft materials has been going really well. If you consider that everything I have posted, twice a week since January, has been made out of materials I already have you will, I am sure, be impressed with my will power.

However, I really wanted to make this dress but I did not have a big enough piece of jersey to make it so I bought some. There I said it. I bought some fabric and that is absolutely fine by me. 

It is from Sherwood fabrics and I must say that I have had three orders of fabric from them in the past and none of them have sat in my stash cupboard for more than a fortnight before they are turned into something lovely to wear. It always comes wrapped in paper feeling like a little present to yourself.

Anyway it made a super dress with lovely ease in all the right places. Not tight on my armholes, some tummy room but fitted through the thighs. The fabric is such great quality, really thick and stretchy like a top brand long sleeved T-shirt fabric.

I enjoyed wearing it to the office last week and it was so comfortable for sitting in for long periods of time lesson planning on the computer. Too hot for today though...

Bruce was trying to get in on the photo and was licking my toes.

I finished it with a little tab. Love our Earth, Love your neighbours and don't forget to love yourself a little too.

I'm glad I bought it now. It felt such a treat when I had not been buying sale/craft/whim purchases for such a long time, I really did love myself a little with this one.

Here is another version my sewing pal made. 
Really spot on colour choice Beth. Whoohoo!

Enjoy the sunshine.
Jo xxx

Monday, 3 July 2017

The Dog Ate My Scout Tee Homework!

You know the phrase 'The dog ate my homework' 
Well in my case, 'The dog ate my neckband!' 

I bought the Scout Tee T-shirt pattern to use up some smaller pieces of lightweight fabric from my hoard. These pieces were given to me in a big carrier bag. This year, if you didn't know, I am on a stash diet.

I made a test top in this cotton lawn. It is a beautiful quality cotton if a little dated now so I thought I would use it to make the sizing toile (twa:l). I cut a size 10 (the sizing is US so that is a 40" hip and 37" bust) It is a tad too big but I wanted to get the hip size big enough without having to make slits at the side like I always do.

While cutting out my new paper pattern carefully on the lines, Bruce our puppy lay on the rug under the table. I collected all the pieces up and was ready to cut the fabric - I could not find the neckband piece. It was thin so I went through the whole bin looking at each strip I had cut off the pattern - nothing. Then I heard a rustling sound and Bruce had just finished eating it!  

I contacted CJ Made who was my inspiration to buy this pattern (she has so many nice Scout Tees) and she gave me some details on the size of the piece by looking at her pattern. Phew! disaster averted. So here it is finished.

The next one I made on Sunday went down a size and was much better. I made this from a piece of fabric I won in a giveaway from Caroline at CJ Made (all a bit spooky). Thanks Caroline it was a fabulous bag of goodies. My mind is whirring already.

The colour was absolutely perfect as the partner for my new cardigan which my aunt bought over this weekend. Look!

We went on a walk to Benthall Hall on Sunday which is in walking distance from our house. The day became warmer and warmer until I had to remove my beautiful new cardigan. 

The Scout Tee is the pattern for me!
Hope you had a good weekend
Jo x