Tuesday, 25 May 2010

I can't stop coughing

Sorry guys, I haven't sorted my passing on of the sweet blogger award, I've had a rotten cold which as usual has resulted in a cough that won't stop or go away!! I'm also trying to revis for my exams next week and the week after in between coughing bouts!! Today I've hardly done anything as I kept falling asleep! Well My Mum used to say sleep is the best healer so hopefully I will feel better for my drive to college tomorrow and last lectures before the exams.

I have been really bad at the MMM lark since I've felt so rough but I have been wearing MMM over the weekend but forgot to take pics!! some of the outfits were repeats in different combos so not that interesting anyway. However I did wear the first dress I made from a duvet cover, I had forgotten what a flattering pattern it is for me and as I remember quite quick and easy to put together, I have 2 curtain lengths that would suit but I think they need bleaching to fade them out a bit before wearing. I haven't ever tried this technique so I think a little experimenting needs to take place this weekend. then some stitching but it may have to wait for completion until after 9th June, when I'll be free for the summer!!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Sweet Blogger Award

Hey I've just discovered I've recieved a sweet blogger award from Anne at Anne's antics.
The rules are that I thank the giver so thank you very much Anne, and now I have to name 10 other recipients, but its really late and I'm so tired so I'm going to have a think and name people tomorrow!

Sleep well everyone.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

MMM again!! A good day

No pics today, mainly because it would be a bit boring, I got up late and dressed in a hurry so just grabbed my jersey dress from the other day. It is sooo easy to wear that it is often a first choice!!

My day today has been really good, I know I have mentioned before that I have been going through a bit of a time of depression over the last few months, well I finally feel that I am coming out of it and beginning to be pleased that I'm still part of this world!! Today was a really good day, I started the day praying with a group of friends. It has been a while since that has brought me any deep joy but today it was great, I always know God is there and on my side but sometimes it is more of a head thing than a heart thing. Today the whole body joined in yay!!

Then I saw my counsellor and that was really encouraging, I'm really seeing how the process is working for me and believing in it even more. It is a requirement of the course I'm doing, that we have 10 sessions of counselling and it is really helpful to be the client and experience the process. It makes all the learning to be the counsellor make sense!!

Then this evening I met with 3 others in a local pub, they had asked me to teach them to knit so we decided to meet there and make it a social evening as well. The barmaid came up and asked if we met regularly and could she join us? So first meeting and we are growing already!! All 3 of my friends succcessfully knitted for the evening, although it may not have been as chatty as they thought it would be, as there was some deep concentration going on!!

I hope all you guys out there had a good day too, I've had so many dreary days that I had forgotten what fun it is to have day like today!! I'd like to sing a little song to celebrate, so I'll potter off and do that and you can be glad you can't hear me cos even cats sound better than me!!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Me-Made-May 7 & 8

Well I am trying with MMM but I'm failing a bit on the documentation front!! I have a couple of days to show you now but yesterday I completely forgot to photograph the outfit!! However, I have asked my husband to take my pic so often in the last week that if he asked if I was selling myself on the internet rather than bags!! I think it would have to be piecemeal, not sure whole package is worth much and the postage would be astronomical!!!

Anyway here are day 7 and 8

Actually it is day 8 then day 7 on far right!! I'm sorry day 7 is a bit dark and I look a bit scruffy, I just remembered to take the pic before going to bed!! I'm wearing a jersey dress, which has to be my best make of the year, I have worn it loads, its very comfy and washes like a dream, no ironing and doesn't crease when it is folded up in a suitcase!! I'm also wearing a hand knit cardi over the top, it may be May but it has been very chilly here!! This cardi is a bit of a cheat as I didn't knit it, friend did!!

Day 8 I'm wearing jeans and t-shirt not MMM but the tunic top, scarf and earrings are all my own work. The fabric is an old Rowan quilting cotton from my stash, it was one of the first KaffeFasset designs that they did and to be honest it wasn't great quality so I never used it for quilting but I like it for this tunic top. The scarf is a free pattern from Noro, that takes one skein of sock yarn and is very quick and easy to do, I got the pattern from the shop where I bought the wool so I haven't got a link but if anyone is interested let me know and I'll hunt it out.

The patterns I used were New look 6722 for the dress and Simplicity 3867 for the tunic top. I can't seem to get pics of them onto the blog but there is a link to the New Look one!! Technology beats me again!!

I have 2 knitting things on the go, Ysolda's Leisl Cardi, which I'm knitting in Sirdar Denim, chunky in a purple marl mix, and a bag by Claire Crompton which I got at Wonderwool. Its made of squares but you knit them together as you go so no painful sewing up!!

I must go and get on with some revision as I have a big assessment this weekend for the end of my Counselling Certificate!!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

At Last My Folksy Shop

At long, long last after much talking and little doing I have set up my folksy shop, and there's a link on my sidebar. As usual I'm battling the techy elements of this and have yet to get the folksy logo on the sidebar and the banner on my shop is eye catchingly bright pink but needs more oomph but that is much harder for me than making bags to sell. So I have enlisted help and hopefully will be sorted soon. There is a small selection of the stuff I make, some knitted and some sewn but their are loads more in the pipeline we occasionally refer to as my brain!!

On the MMM front, I'm afraid I have not got dressed last 2 days as I have a sick bug, and none of us want to see what I'm wearing as I sit in bed typing this!! I have slept 18 of last 24 hours on and off and this morning decided to risk brekkie, big mistake, now trying to keep very still!! "That's quite enough information", says the more sensitive side of my brain!!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


So I'm getting into the swing of MMM, I have managed to wear stuff made by me for 2 days and I've photographed it and added it to the others on the Me-Made-May flickr group, check that link to see all the great creations people are making and wearing from all over the world. Ain't the tinternet a wonderful thing?!?

Any way here is my Day 3 outfit, I refashioned the pinafore, knitted the top and the bag is made from leftover denim and a curtain remnant! I haven't made all new for this venture but I'm trying to wear only my makes for this month, although I will be making some new outfits!!

This is Day 4 outfit, the jeans are not made by me, but the tunic top, knitted top and jacket have all been crafted by my fair hands!! I have even made the necklace and earrings to make up for the jeans!!

I'm also putting together some bags and purses to sell on Folksy, as soon as the page is ready I'll be posting the details.

I hope you enjoy looking at the other MMM creations on flickr.

Monday, 3 May 2010


I spent 2 days with some great patchwork friends last week, I no longer live near them so I can't get to our weekly group but when we do get together we slot back into our old friendships and laugh together and share the joys and worries of our respective families. I love friendships like that, where you can just pick up where you left off, however long ago that was!

Well on day 1 we had lunch and catch up and then a visit to a patchwork shop!! I wasn't going to buy anything but I found a pack of charm squares called Happy Campers and just couldn't resist. Last weekend in the camper van had made me realise that it is a bit beige and bland and needs Janeyfying!! So on Day 2 I made a table cover, using a technique called disappearing nine patch. Its very simple and really good to use for charm squares as there are enough to do 4 roughly 12" blocks with a few squares over so you can swap them in if you need to for colour or pattern balance.

A charm pack is 4 1/2" squares, 1 of each fabric in the range, in each colourway. I started by laying out all my squares and discarding the ones I didn't really like. Then I arranged the rest of the squares into 9 square block, ie 3 square by 3 squares. This is easier said than done because you need a balance of colour and pattern, also at this point you need to remember that is only the four corners that will not get cut so they need to be the fabrics you really like and in my range I had some picture fabrics so I wanted to keep them whole. When you have stitched your 9 patches, you then take your rotary cutter and cut them in half vertically and horizontally, you are left with 4 blocks / 9-patch which have a large 4" square, a strip on 2 sides and a small 2" square in the opposite corner. This would have been so much easier to explain if I had taken pics on the way!! But we have discussed my brain disconnection problem before!!

Anyway rearrange the squares and rejoin them. The trick with doing this is being able to look forward to next step whenever you arrange the squares, the first time I did it I have very pleasing 9-patch but when cut up it was more difficult to arrange and get a good balance. Anyway this time, I had a bit of forethought in my head and also my wonderful friend Joan, who has a great colour sense and makes very gentle suggestions, so you think you have done it yourself but actually she has carefully guided you through the whole process!!

Can you see that wonderful camping scene straight from "Five go Camping"? All the fabics were so wonderfully retro, here are some more close ups

and lastly,

These are at the last re-arranging stage.

I have now stitched them together and I need to check the stash and put together a backing and and some wadding and I'm planning to hand quilt this as it is quite a small project, more pics of that when we are to that stage!! This is the final arrangement.

Latest Refashion

I mentioned a few posts ago that I wanted a rucksack to wear when riding my bike, as my normal bags keep falling out of the basket or I buy too much shopping to balance everything on the bike! Well I did have a look around the shops and either the ones I like were way too expensive, as bags are always a whim with me!! Or they were too sporty, outdoorsy for me, I love my bike but it is just a way of getting around for me so I have to wear normal clothes etc, I'm not into the whole lycra special outfit stuff. Which if you knew me you would breathe a huge sigh of relief, I'm not built for lycra, or only in industrial quantities!!

So I decided to have a wander through the many black sacks of cast off clothing I have accumulated from my daughter and her friends mainly!! I found a charcoal gray/almost black suit and decided I could use the jacket!

I drew around an A4 folder as this was the size I wanted the bag, onto pattern paper, Then I added a bit for ease and seam allowances and curved the corners. I cut 2 of these pieces from the back of the jacket, I kept the lining attached as I knew I would need the layers for padding. Then I found an old skirt in my stash that was cotton and used that for lining, I cut the back piece around an existing pocket so that I would have an internal pocket at no extra work!!

I then layered the pieces with wadding in between and machine quilted in a wavy pattern, which is a pre-set stitch pattern on my machine. I cut the side and bottom gusset, 3"wide, from the sleeves and layered them in the same way and quilted them. The front pocket is the pocket from the front of the suit jacket, I cut a big square from the front then trimmed away 1 1/4" squares from each corner then joined the 2 short edges at each corner so that the pocket had a bit of depth. I did this without damaging the pocket inner of the original jacket so that there would be 2 layers and the pocket would be a bit stronger. I then made a flower and decorated the pocket,
The pattern for this flower is from artsy-crafty babe, so thank you to Rebekah (great blog btw). It was very easy to do and I had been given some precut circles so I used them, the button was also from a bag of goodies I've been given. there is a little stitching but I used glue gun for assembly so very quick!

I joined all the pieces wrong side to wrong side and then bound the edges, this was not only the easiest way, but also means each join is stitched 3 times so has added strength. I made the straps from the fronts, the top from the shoulder down past the lapels. This part of a tailored jacket, has lots of layers for shaping and finish, I used them all, stitching them together on my overlocker, I then added strong tape to meet the bottom, centre of the back. Before I fixed this position, I tried it on and got it comfy on my back and made sure I could get it on and off easily as I didn't want to got to the fuss of making adjustable straps!! The zip came from my stash so I didn't need to but anything to make this rucksack so that was pleasing!!

I really enjoyed making this project, I did the designing and working out in my head during the previous few days so that by the time I sat down to do it, everything went very smoothly. I have used it this last week while I have been away and it has been very useful. I have also had an outing on the bike with it and was very glad of it cos I always buy more than fits in the paniers and basket!!

Me made May

I've been away this last week so no posts but I have made a very poor start to MMM. This weekend appears to have been one of those where my brain and I part company!! I spent a couple of days with my daughter and her friends (all lovely and fantastic hosts and hostesses, truly pampered!!) where I managed to mishear things and find myself talking out loud when I should have been just thinking!! This proved to cause much hilarity amongst the friends and my daughter permanently trying to convince herself that I hadn't gone faintly senile!!

Anyway the connection to MMM is that I missed day 1 because I thought it was still April and yesterday I did wear all made by me clothes but forgot to get a photo taken!! I will do better today!! and hopefully the rest of the month!! I'm still contemplating today's outfit so pics later! Today is a bank holiday here in England, which usually means mooching around in an outfit that is maybe only one step up from jamas, that is ok to walk the dogs in, comfy for lounging and I don't mind getting covered in threads for when I sew! I don't tend to sew those kinds of outfits but maybe I will refashion something to fit that bill during the month. Today we are also seeing friends for tea so that definitely means something bit tidier and co-ordinated so I thinking denim pinafore and knitted top.

Meanwhile a bit of catch-up, during my absence from blogging, I have been to Wonderwool in Wales. We took our motor home/camper van out for its first trip this year and stayed just out side Rhayader, the site was quite small and very quiet and we had a fab view over the River Wye and up to hills behind. It an area where they have worked at re-building a colony(?) of Red Kites. Now I'm not any kind of bird watcher, you have to be too still and quiet, but my husband is big on the whole nature thing and so I do have these things pointed out to me and Red Kites are really quite spectacular and easy to identify. So even I kept an eye on the sky and kept shouting,"there's one!" we had pretty good weather, lots of sunshine by welsh standards and really quite warm.

But I was starting the brain separation phase that weekend because I carried my camera around the whole time and forgot to take any pics at all!! So I can only show you pics of what I bought at Wonderwool when I got home. There was loads to see and feel, yarn to excite me for knitting but lots of new stuff to interest me too. There was heaps of felting and dyeing, spinning and weaving. I do like the look of spinning wheels but I'm way too impatient for that process. But felting looked interesting, I have tried knitting things and felting them but it has not been very successsful, and just seemed a bit of a waste of good quality yarn. I did stop and watch someone making felted beads and felted discs around a curtain ring that you then embellish and make really pretty brooches and that seemed well within my capabilities and more to the point my budget as it was the end of the day!! So this is the fleece I bought to make some jewellery, I have a couple of birthdays coming up so I think I can do some pretty stuff with these colours.
These are my other purchases, two skeins of yarn, one silk.
and this one that is cashmere and merino mixed,

both of these are suitable for lace knitting and I want to do a smallish triangular shawl/scarf, possibly a swallowtail but I need a bit of a roam around Ravelry and my own patterns to make my mind up. They will definitely be quite lacey so could be holiday knitting where I can concentrate and not loost my way on the pattern!!

The next purchases were these lovely vintage buckles from a lady who sadly does not have a website but she had a lovely selection of buttons and fastenings and they were very reasonable I thought.

I can just see them on self fabric belts making my dresses (unmade as yet!) look very finished and professional!

Lastly I bought some patterns from Claire Crompton, I bought some of hers last year. She doesn't tie you into any particular yarn so you can use up leftovers really easily!! This year I bought a bag pattern (of course!), a modular sock pattern, and a lariat, that you can make in anything from 4ply to chunky. I'm making one in 2 strands of 1 ply shetland on the tiniest needles and I'm beading it as I go so it will be a necklace, finished pics soon!!

So that was my weekend in Wales, most enjoyable made even more so by having the motorhome parked at home now, we were unpacked in 30 mins and sitting down with a cuppa, bliss!!