Archive for sewing

Ashamed, ashamed, ashamed……….

My last post was in January, and since then I have stitched a grand total of………

NOTHING!!!!

How bad is that?  No, I tell a lie – I have turned up a further two pairs of jeans.  Does that count?  No?  Thought not.  Granted, a lot of my time this year has been spent shooting with The Pix Factory (I am the lighting monkey, the bag carrying monkey and the transport monkey – my husband is the super-talented photographer).  However, that is no excuse.

So.  I’m getting myself organised.  I’ve been in touch with local designer Helen Rhiannon about signing myself up for a pattern cutting workshop.  She’s in Oz until March but she says that she’ll have her workshops up and running as soon as she gets back.  I’m also simply going to pull my finger out and so some stitching again in the meantime.  I’ve had two ladies suits hanging up in my sewing room since July – they just need hems altering.  So I’m going to do that today (the poor woman must think she’s never going to get them back!).  A good excuse to blow the dust off my machine.  And then I have a skirt for myself that needs finishing – all it needs is the lining to be inserted, facings added and turn up the hem.  How long would that take!  A couple of hours – including coffee breaks.  Get on with it woman!

I’m also hoping to get myself signed up for a Photographic Make Up course at our local college.  Hoping to be a very busy bunny in the very near future.  Watch this space…..

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Woo-hoo for the Jean-a-ma-jig!

You know what its like – somebody asks you to turn up a pair of jeans.  “Yeah, no problem” you say, “leave them with me and I’ll have them done in a jiffy”.

And then they sit there staring at you for weeks.

So after another nagging from my friend this afternoon I thought I’d better crack on.  One of the reasons I’ve been putting it off is because I hate sewing over the thick seams on jeans.  They make my machine go haywire and I’m terrified of breaking it.  But now I have a secret weapon …….

This nifty little gadget only cost a couple of pounds and is designed to help you stitch over those pesky seams.  I’ve had it in my sewing drawer for about two years now but I haven’t been able to work out how to use it.  Yes, I know – why didn’t I look on the www for advice?  I have no answer.  Sometimes I am just stupid.

Anyway, I finally took the plunge today and took it out of the drawer.  I Googled “how to use a jean-a-ma-jig” and up the answer popped.  It was so darned simple even my cat could have used it!  For those of you keen to know how this little bit of plastic works click – http://www.dritz.com/brands/showcase/details.php?ITEM_NUM=915          

It was easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Anyone need some jeans turning up?

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Busy Bee …

… exactly what I’ve been the last few weeks.  Unfortunately, not many pics to show you what I’ve done.  Everything I’ve made recently I’ve finished by the skin of my teeth so no time to take photos but hopefully I can take some retrospectively.

Firstly, I finished the costumes for the class assembly.  I have to say I was very pleased with the way they came out although the bonnets were a little on the “snug” side.  If I made them again for the same age child I think I would use narrower seam allowances.  I would definitely recommend the pattern though – nice and easy to use and the bonnets look gorgeous.  I’m pretty certain Jen took some pictures of the assembly so hopefully I’ll be able to post some in September when we go back to school.

I’ve also had a go at upcycling “The practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value”.  There was a great project to upcycle an old pair of jeans into a skirt in Issue 15 of “Sew Hip” .  I have to admit, I’m not blessed with great ideas so previous attempts at refashioning clothes have been rather, well – let’s not beat about the bush, pathetic.  But following Tracy Cushing’s clear instructions – voila!

I added a little (very basic) embroidery i.e. cross stitch, blanket stitch & running stitch.  The last time I used those stitches I was 10 and making a Sampler Pencil Case out of binca (remember that?) in school.  I also added some little mother of pearl buttons that I’d bought for another “upcycling” project that never really happened.  I’m quite pleased with the result, especially as the jeans were so badly torn at the thigh (“curvy” thighs – jeans always split there with me) that I was going to bin them.

I’ve given my crochet hooks an airing for the first time in about 8 years.  My friend recently gave birth to a baby boy so I crochet him a little jacket and beret.  I used a pattern from Sirdar book 269 “Babies in Crochet”.  It’s the only “proper” boys pattern I’ve ever managed to find.  I want a pic of him wearing it and I’ll post that as soon as I get one.

And lastly (but not leastly) I’ve been making end of term gifts for some of the girls in work.  I’ve dabbled occasionally in jewellery-making so made a few pairs of earrings (no pics – sorry) and also some matching bracelets (piccies above – sorry they’re a bit pants, photography’s hubby’s specialist area but he’s in work).  I saw something very similar in a local gallery for an absolutely extortionate price and thought “I can do that”.  So I did.  It’s a bit tough on the fingers but the results are worth it.

Time to clean the house now s’pose …..

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Costumes for school

Ok, I’ve finished playing the drama queen over my linen dress.  I’m still not 100% happy with it but I’ve had lots of lovely and helpful comments about it (http://www.thesewingforum.co.uk/photoplog/index.php?n=3313 and here of course – thank you everyone) so I don’t feel quite as rubbish about it as I did.

Onwards to my next project.

Jen and Yvonne (teachers in our Year 1 class) have asked me if I’d make two costumes for their class assembly next month.  The children are going to perform the story of “Mary Jones and her Bible” so I need to make a costume for Mary and her mother.  The story takes place in 1800 so I’m looking forward to making my first “historical” costumes.  I’m using Simplicity 3725 – view B for Mary and view B but with view A’s bonnet for her mother.

The story of Mary Jones and her Bible is the true story of a poor young Welsh girl who saved for six years and then had to walk barefoot the 25 miles to Bala to buy her very own Welsh Bible.  Wikepedia gives the factual details of the story but I prefer this version –  I can remember being told this version of the story as a little girl in my own school assembly.

I’ve just ordered the fabric from Online-fabrics.co.uk – they’ve got a really good offer on crepe at the moment – ideal for the dresses.  I’m itching to get started!

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A Very Good Week :-)

Well, just over a week really …….

……. starting on Good Friday

Hubby took me away for the weekend for my birthday.  Ok, it’s not actually my birthday for a couple of weeks but it was the only weekend he’s not going to be working for a while.  He doesn’t normally take me away for my birthday (not to mislead you that we’re very posh and do this sort of thing all the time) but it’s a big one this year 😦

So to soften the blow he booked us into the Castle House Hotel in Hereford.  Oh it was gorgeous!  You can take a little peep at the suite (yes, I did say suite!) we stayed in here.  What a treat! 

We stumbled across some lovely little sewing/fabric shops while we were there.  Doughtys have three shops in Hereford – one for quilting fabric, one for dressmaking and one for habi.  After a lot of agonising I eventually chose some lovely fabric to make myself a couple of summer dresses.

I got this:

Amy Butler’s “Wildflowers” in Navy.  And this:

Erin McMorris’s “Freespirit” in turqoise.  Yum!

Since I’ve been home I’ve worked on Chloe’s flourescent yellow top and I finished it this afternoon (pic to follow).  She loves it but her dad is rather unimpressed with the colour.  As I pointed out to him, we were wearing the same colours back in our teens and our parents probably thought the same.  (Although I was chatting with my mother-in-law last night and she told me how she wore those colours in her teens too!  Fashion doesn’t just go full circle – it loops the loop!).

And last, but certainly not least, we went to a couple of car boot sales this morning and I picked up som real bargains!

Bargain 1 – teenage girl books for 10p each!  I bought 7 for Chloe so that should keep her busy for a day or so.

Bargain 2 – BRAND SPANKING NEW Fiskars Softouch 21cm scissors for – wait for it – £5!!!!!  Amazon are currently selling them for £14.99. 

The packaging was seriously ratty but the scissors themselves are perfect.  It looks like the people selling them are buying damaged stock because they had lots of different types of Fiskars products for really silly prices.

For those of you living in the Swansea area they go to Singleton Hospital car boot on a Saturday morning and Julian’s (Garngoch) on a Sunday.

We’re off to Gloucester for the day tomorrow – maybe there’s a little fabric shop tucked away ……….

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Talking Threads

I’ve just been sent this fab link

http://www.talkingthreads.co.uk/linksandresources/ and wanted to share it with you all.

For those of you with Sky tv, Channel 171 “MyChannel” is currently showing a series called “Talking Threads” which is a series of half-hourly shows looking at sewing; quilting; silk painting etc.  Unfortunately, when you look at the on-screen tv guide the shows come up under the heading “Country Channel” which, from what I can see, also seems to cover programmes such as “100 ways to brush your horse” or “My favourite shovel” and other such nonsense (my apologies to those of you out there who actually do have a favourite shovel).

Sorry, I’m rambling now.  Anyway, the above link takes you directly to the Talking Threads web page where you can watch and download each episode from the series without having to wade through the hours of dross served up on the actual channel.

Whatever happened to Ann Ladbury?

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Frogs

It’s been weeks and weeks since I blogged last – we’re only just back online. 

I have to say it’s not been a brilliant start to the New Year – just before Christmas our poor house was diagnosed with dry rot.  It’s an absolutely horrible fungus thing that spreads like crazy and the treatment is pretty radical.  So basically, since Christmas we’ve been living on a building site while the builders hacked off infected plaster, ripped up floors and pulled out windows.  Anything of value has had to be packed in polythene to stop the phenomenal amount of dust getting into it.  So I’ve had no computer and no sewing machines for weeks!

The good new is the work is all finished bar the decorating.  The bad news is that it’s cost us a fortune (many thousands!) so hubby and I are thinking up ways of making extra cash.  Think I need to pull my finger out and start doing a few craft fairs …..

Anyway – frogs.  Check out this really fab fabric.  I picked it up in Butterfly Fabrics in Cardiff yesterday.

I’m going to make the bag in Issue 14 of Sew Hip magazine.  It looks nice and roomy, which is good because I tend to carry half a ton of junk round with me.  I’ll get hubby to take a pic of it when it’s finished.

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