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Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Desigual Scarf

Another of the days in Barcelona, we went into the Desigual store and bought this scarf.
 As I am losing weight I didn't really want to buy any clothing, but a scarf fits whatever weight.
This has lots of wonderful soft blue and green tones which really work with my eye colour.
A lot of Desigual items are very heavy on the black which is not my best colour, so to find this pretty soft scarf was a great bonus.

In the store they had both the blue (which we purchased) and the 'red' (pink/coral/orange) version both of which I loved, but in the end I plumped for the blue version. Online there is also a greens version but this was not in the store.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Sagrada Familia Stained Glass Windows

We recently took a trip to spain staying near Barcelona and travelling in a couple of times to the city.
One day we went to the Sagrada Familia, and we had a wonderful time again there. N likes the soaring nature of the columns whilst I am entranced by the modern stained glass windows.
You may remember my very talented Auntie Joy made this quilt for my wall based on a previous photos of the stained glass windows.
Since our visit in 2012work has continued at the Sagrada Familia and even more of the windows now contain equisite stained glass. We looked for ages and eventually managed to find 'my' window again.







And finally here's my window!
I bought a small book in the gift shop all about the stained glass.


Sunday, 25 September 2016

Rainbow thread drawers

I bought a second hand white melamine desk. It has some damage but is basically sound. It is slightly deeper, taller and wider than the previous small childs desk I had for extra machines in the sewing room. The previous desk has now moved down to the conservatory (my location for mismatched furniture, some of which then gets donated/given to friends). The drawers of the desk is my main storage area for thread. As I have a sewing machine, overlocker (serger) and coverhem all threaded up at once when sewing knits I like to have multiple spools of thread in the same colour.
So I took some time this afternoon to watch TV, assemble some 12 section storage dividers (bought on sale and never fitting any drawers until now) and move the thread across to the new drawers.
Bobbins, embroidery thread, shirring elastic and various odd spools are stored in a wooden tray which slots into the open section above the drawers (there are multiple layers here with items in specialist boxes or shallow cardboard trays. The drawers then hold the main threads which are mostly Moon or Empress Mills, broadly sorted by colour - 1 drawer is neutrals and top stitching thread, another blues/greens and the third is pinks/purples/red/orange.
There are a few stray spools elsewhere also, but I will now be able to put them away neatly, and should be able to easily find thread for the next project.
I've not included the larger spools of overlocker thread, and I must admit I often forget to use them, so will need to come up with some sort of approach for them, perhaps using the low shelves also on the 'new' desk.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Teal cardigan (from a throw)

There's something sold in home dec departments in the UK called a 'throw'. This is a small decorative blanket which can be artfully thrown across the sofa or bed. They are good for sunggling up when watching TV on cold winter nights.

I do have a taupe fleece and faux shearling blanket near my sofa for this purpose, however I also buy these on sale particularly when they are made from finished knit yardage and like to make cardigan jackets from them. Careful layout can utilise the ribbed edging for the finished garment and scraps can be cushions, hats, scarves and stuffing.

My latest throw was bought in the Sainsburys yesterday.
What is not too obvious from the tiny picture is that this has some silver threads running along the two ribbed edges and a smattering of tiny sequins throughout. After much debate and trying of layouts I decided to have the silver running up and down the fronts as the vertical line is more slimming than having this round the hem. This means the knitting is going round the body, though I am not finding that too upsetting.
I decided to cut the sleeves with the same detailing on the hem so the stretch is going round on the sleeves as I thought this would be more comfortable and give a nice wrist detail.
With a very loose knit fabric like this I try to keep the handling to a minimum, pin carefully on a large flat surface, then carefully gather and go to the sewing machine and immediately though the serger. Shoulder and back neckline are stabilised with ribbon.
I used a cardigan jacket pattern from the November 2010 issue of Prima magazine with the front flare reduced slightly and lengthened by about 12". Prima is a general women's magazine published in the UK, which if you subscribe comes with a free sewing pattern, often a very simple style, so good for things like this.
This has a front collar band which extends round and becomes the back neckline and collar and set in sleeves. I line up the bottom edge of the jacket with the throw edges, the front neckband with another edge and also use an edge for the sleeve hem. Then when sewn up this leaves no raw edges.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Button cuff links

Here are some simple button cuff links.
 Take a one inch ear wire (or length of jewellery wire) and bend into a figure of eight.
Add a shank button on each end and close up the loops, and voila, you have some cufflinks made from shank buttons.
These are the ones I have made so far. They will probably mostly go to the next craft fair (once I have taken any I like for myself)