Quote

Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

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.

Update

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.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Sewn 'New Home' card

I have new neighbours and so sewed up this simple housewarming card for them.
I hope they like it.
I am planning some Christmas cards in a similar style.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Wonderful crocheted poppy pin

My colleague L was selling these today, and I bought one immediately because its just wonderful.
I have an official paper poppy too (left), but its just so good!
The crochet version is likely to survive being worn by me a lot better.
I wonder if next year I could make some fabric ones?

Friday, 7 November 2014

Craft Fair: Shower Curtain Fabric Shopping Bags

I have a few cushions I made which can go along to the Craft Fair next Saturday but all the shopping bags had sold out at the last one, so I decided to make some out of shower curtain fabric. If you cut the area with the rings off you can get 6 shopping bags out of a standard curtain. 3 across by 2 down. I added toning turquoise webbing handles and plan to sell these for £2 each, which hopefully will be about right for the materials and effort that's gone into them.
Its taken part of three evenings to cut out and sew these up, so hopefully they will appeal to people and sell well.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Winter 6PAC: 2 layering pieces completed

First up, a cardigan based on New Look 6735, with the lower portion of the jacket replaced with a peplum with angled corners, this can be worn loose, pinned with a brooch at the waist or belted.
The second layering piece is a soft jacket made from New Look 6082. For this I used a quilted paisley fabric for the outer and a beautiful olive satin for the lining. It is fully bagged by machine and is lovely to wear. The quilted layer makes it very warm.
I am happy with both of these, especially once I give the quilted jacket a little press, as all that turning through the narrow sleeve opening has crumpled it a little.

If I can find a nice pattern (anything in recent Burdas?) then I would like to make the rest of the olive satin into a draped neck top.
The fabric would work very well with the cowled drapey style and be a stylish juxtaposition to the burgundy (I hope!).

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Winter PAC: Burgundy turtleneck cowl sweater

Here's the second item from the 6PAC, happily this picture has come out with the real colour, which is much darker than the skirt appeared in the previous post. You can see the skirt hanging up behind the top.
The necklace was also made by me and is tiny little faux pearls between oval shaped mother-of-pearl beads which have the shimmering blue green one side but a matt shell pink on the other.

I can't really tell you what this pattern is, though its based on 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.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Winter 6PAC: Vogue 2989 Burgundy Skirt

Here's the completed Vogue 2989 skirt made up in the dark burgundy knit.
This was not as well behaved as the charcoal ponte I used for this pattern in April.
The pleat detail is on the opposite side due to me having trouble working out which was the right side of the fabric when cutting out under artifical light.
Here it is styled with the ivory top I made for SWAP and a necklace from my collection. A grey or navy jacket would finish things up nicely.
Sewing this skirt required me to get out the sewing machine, overlocker and coverhem and set them up in my tiny new sewing room. It is quite crowded in there, so I may move the shelving unit full of the fabric stash up into the loft once all the work on the boiler, bathroom and loft has been done.