Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Lurex striped green cardi

And I managed to get the cardigan sewed up as well.
That's going to be some twinset! Maybe I won't wear them together....

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Lurex striped green top

I bought a remnant of striped dark green and sparkly green thin knit in the local roll end shop.
I thought it would make a fun top and cardigan set for the Christmas period, and managed to cut them out on Thursday evening,start sewing up the top on Friday evening and then finished it off today.
I will work on the matching cardigan in the evenings next week and hopefully it'll be done in time for Christmas.

Coat into jacket upcycle

I had a purple double breasted boiled wool jacket I had thrifted.
In practice it wasn't very good as a coat being a bit small, and only a single layer of boiled wool so I didn't wear it much as a coat, even though I loved it.
I had been harbouring an idea for a long time to make it into a jacket and one afternoon I actually got round to it.
What I did was.
- remove the belt and belt loops
- cut the coat off just below the pockets and topstitch as per the original hem
- sew up any unused buttonholes from the double breasted version, remove and resew the original buttons
- use the old inside buttons on the cuffs which were previously loose)

The fabric I have cut off will make a fabric bag and some travel slippers for the craft sale box.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Baby Trousers

** disclaimer -  I did not knit the cute little cardigans **
Ok so the adorable little cardigans were knitted by the lady on the next stall to me at the church Christmas Craft Fair, and I bought them off her. I can't knit very well and don't particularly feel the inclination to learn so this was a win-win for both of us.
I did however want to add a little something of my own making to the gifts and decided that given the shortage of time before the goodies needed posting, it needed to be something very quick and simple. So after a quick saunter through the fabric and pattern stashes I decided to use the pants from Simplicity 7807 in size newborn for the smaller baby and in small for the next baby. I used white thread throughout and the hems are sewn on the coverhem.
The striped fabric is a linen jersey and the plain blue a cotton jersey, so both will hopefully be nice for the babies to wear. I have no idea on the sizes of actual babies and have not had the joy of meeting either of them in person, so I hope I have got it about right.

Singin' in the rain gift cards

DBF bought tickets to a performance of  "Singin' in the rain" as gifts for various family members, and I made some little cards with umbrellas on them as gift cards to contain the tickets.
They came out a bit crazy so I hope the recipients enjoy them. I used pretty much the same technique as on the Christmas cards, only did the handles in stitching. These took a bit longer as the shapes are slightly more complicated. It does show though that a simple shape works well for this style of card.

Gold 'paper-chain' style garland using slats from an old blind

When I moved into my new-to-me  little house, the previous people had left behind the blind in the bathroom. I realised pretty quickly that it was broken and unfixable, so I cut the strings to get more light into the bathroom. I've since removed the top bar as well and as its a frosted upstairs window facing onto the side of my neighbours garage its not an urgent need to replace.

Anyhow I noticed once I had taken it down, that what I had thought was a brown blind was actually just a very dirty sparkly gold blind. So at this point I fished it back out of the waste paper bin and chucked it in a corner waiting for future inspiration to strike.
As we got nearer to Christmas we had a Christmas tree festival at church decorated by local groups, and one had a paper chain decoration. 'Ah ha' I thought, 'I could cut the blind up into pieces, staple them together and make a gold garland.....
So I washed and dried the slats, cut each one into 5 pieces about the same length discarding the sections round the little holes for the cord, and made a chain using 2 staples in each piece to hold them together. Its pretty springy stuff so glue or sticky tape is no good.
In use it is nicer if you turn the stapled sections to the back so they don't show too much. In my case each blind slat makes 5 loops and even with two garlands the lengths in the picture I have lots still to make up. All that stapling gets a bit hard on the wrist though and I needed to wrap a few presents so I paused for a bit.
I used a few sections of the blind as tags in the pots of Hyacinth bulbs to indicate the recipients (no pictures of that but you can probably imagine how that works.).

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Sewn Christmas Cards

These went to my family and a few friends, I made 30 in all, and used the same design for all of them.
There were a few failed test items, but these worked so well I made the whole batch the same.

At some point I will make up the rest of the card sheets (I think it was a pack of 50), and have them ready for future craft fairs.
As you can see it is a very simple Christmas tree design, where the tree shape is cut from a dark green fabric already printed with stars which look like decorations on the tree (if you ignore the decorated trunk!).
I like to start at the top of the tree and stitch round in one go using thread which matches the card. I just snip the threads, as it seems daft to spend ages tying them off on what is basically a disposable item.
A few people have commented on them, so they seem to have gone down quite well.


Hi, I've realised that I've not done a post in ages. It's been busy in the run up to Christmas and I'm working right though to the 24th so have to fit things in at the weekend or in lunch breaks.

I will try to do a little bit catching up sharing the things I have made, these were basically Christmas cards, themed gift cards and some jersey baby trousers. I've also mended some hems, taken a waistband in and turned a boiled wool coat into a jacket by cutting the bottom section off and moving buttons. Oh and made a paper-chain style garland out of the plastic slats from a broken gold venetian blind.

I will try and work through and do some posts showing what I have done. As they are pretty simple ideas they might be useful for others.

Oh btw I did buy the bookcase from Ikea. The shelves are not adjustable, however each is large enough for a magazine rack or A4 folder so very useful in a study. It is up, mostly filled and is helping make things work better in my study/guest room.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

60cm wide Ikea bookcase - finally

I have quite a few old Ikea Billy bookcases in a now discontinued colour called Beech. Two of these are also in the now discontinued width of 60cm and are very handy for those narrower spaces. I have never liked the 40cm wide Billy bookcases and have not bought any.
I have a couple of spaces in the new house which could use a 60cm wide bookcase. So was happy to see the new Ikea GERSBY which is 60cm wide, 24cm deep and 1.8m tall.

There is another Ikea bookcase in black or red the same size but called FINNBY.
Currently no light oak/beech type colours which would be nice and complement my furniture better but these look to be handy.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Burgundy Winter 6 PAC: Photos and mending

Here's the Burgundy collection with the added RTW plum trousers and ox blood coat.
I fixed the hem on some dark plum M&S Per Una trousers I've been wearing with my Burgundy 5 PAC. They look the same only don't have a bit of hem hanging down for your foot to get caught in when you try ot put them on, and then wobble and fall down. So its a health and safety thing.
As you can see compared to the burgundy cardigan the plum trousers are a bit darker, and blend very well with both tops and both jackets so I am really pleased.
I also found this old ox blood leather car coat in with some of the winter clothes I had packed before moving, which works well as an outerlayer with the whole collection.

I also fixed the hem on some black RTW trousers which are part of a very boring but useful M&S trouser suit. I noticed the hem was down on the morning train on the way to London a few months ago, and decided to just ignore it and hope no-one noticed. I work in IT with a load of blokes so as far as I can tell no-one did notice. Anyway it bugged me so I got round to fixing them which is great.

The next day after a deep breath, I started altering another pair of black trousers, this time some Debenhams designer ones I got in the January sale. They needed the waistband making smaller by quite a few inches. It was a lot of messing about but the fit is now quite good. They still look like black trousers, though nicer quality fabric than the M&S ones.

Really none of these is worth a picture. I have some grey suit trousers and a tan suit skirt which need something similar to happen, I'm going to leave them for a little bit so the trauma can die down a bit after the black ones. I hate doing alterations but I like wearing nicely fitting clothes.

In the spirit of fixing things I decided the burgundy skirt needs a little bit of elastic adding into the drooping areas, so I did that next, but hope you liked how the trousers and coat work with the sewn pieces.
 Thanks Ruthie

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Winter 6PAC summary so far

Here's the collection so far, looking quite good. (the skirt is from the same fabric as the top and cardigan so does match it just looks an odd colour in that photo).

I am a little torn now, the machines are threaded up with white, so I want to sew another striped top, this time in a fabric which is off white and taupe so would blend with a great many things. However I think the plan says I should sew another bottom.

I do have some darker toning trousers (purchased) which I've been wearing with the collection so maybe I am already covered. Thoughts?

Monday, 17 November 2014

Guest room curtain rail and curtains.

Batten and curtain rail put up by DBF in the study/guest room (with me trying to help), neither of us natural DIYers.
Curtains, made by me (before the move) in a very Ruthie leaf motif.
The fabric is a gold home dec woven with tiny leaves across and down and is backed with the light blocking rubbery background fabric. They may get hemmed a little shorter but for now they work.
The curtain pole is a silvery finish metal pole with twiddly ends.
I think I will try to stick to cream, gold and silver in here as a colour scheme as its a rather small room.
Currently there's only a single folding bed, but there will be a proper double in here for my guests at some future point.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Craft Fair

Today's stall at the craft fair.
I am wearing the striped top and burgundy cardigan I made recently.

Fabric Scrap Christmas Cards

Fabric Scrap Christmas cards, either to sell at the Craft Fair or to send to the people in my address book...
The shapes are sewn on by machine then the buttons are hand sewn on afterwards.
I think my favourite one is in the centre on the bottom row. I cut this out of the foliage part of a large print.

These all sold at the Christmas Fair.

I use card blanks (not paper) which I bought from Dunelm Mill a while back before they stopped carrying craft materials.

To avoid the card tearing make sure you don't stitch too close to the edge of  card.

Winter 6PAC: Striped top completed

This is the same pattern as the burgundy top, but here done in a woven stripe. The colours are bungundy, beige, grey and off-white.
The stripe matches across the centre back seam, on the side seams or the sleeve seams but only at one point on the front armhole.
Pattern: As mentioned before the body from New Look 6414 view C, altered for a forward head and high round back, the long sleeve from Butterick 3344 and a collar I drafted myself which is just a big rectangle the length of the original neckband and made a lot deeper.
In the Autumn and Winter I wear these tops a lot and they are my version of a turtleneck. Due to the forward head fitting problem I can't purchase turtlenecks so this is a great option for me.