Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Quick project

A while ago my Granddaughters Ever and Ruby were over just after I had taken delivery of these fabrics.  I was telling Ever I was planning on making shorts, skirts and an top out of both fabrics for them.  I got informed I was allowed to make hers in yellow and Rubys could be blue! There is a young lady who knows what she wants and how to get it. I madly cut out 8 pairs of shorts from this fabric and a couple of others I had in my stash,  a top each and a skirt each. Then I serged and mostly put all the shorts together until the elastic bit.  I read on the pattern 1/4 inch elastic was needed.  Well to be fair it is but only for the tops.  After buying 10 metres of 1/4 inch elastic I then discovered I had a grand total of 7 inches of the 1/2 inch elastic I actually needed for the shorts and skirts.  Problem solved a while ago on a shopping trip.  Decided today I had better get back to these clothes for the girls.

Today was the skirts.  They are pretty basic rectangles.  Each descending layer twice as long as the one before.  Gathered up and then sewn to the layer above.  I had fun using my nifty sergers gathering foot for this. And while not perfect I am gaining confidence and experience. I just need to do a final press and I can call them done

Thursday I will hand these over and see how well they fit the girls. Best to see how these fit before doing the elastic on 4 pairs of shorts for each girl.

A relatively easy and fast project today.  Some days I need something to engage my mind but today I wanted to do calm and easy sewing while I listened to an audiobook. 

That kept me amused in the rainy weather we have here today. What have you been up to? Getting a bit lonely here talking to myself, why not put a comment below about your day?

Take care and stay crafty
Jules x 

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Bias cut top

A few weeks ago the Great British Sewing Bee started again on Monday evenings, So I needed the book to accompany the series of course.  I have had a look through the book and need to make lots from it.  

I decided on the Bias cut top from episode one. It's also the first pattern in the book.

So first thing first we had to go fabric shopping.  Chose a black and white stripe, simple or so we thought until we pulled it off the shelf. Then noticed the stripes changed in size,  No problem I thought. Got home and I thought I was going to go blind laying it out on the floor to cut. 

The cutting took some time to be matching up the stripes, using more care and precision that I ever have before but I got there.  I was pinning and flipping to make sure of my placing before cutting

Then finally I got to sewing. Had to stay stitch the neck edges to help prevent them misshaping.  I pinned on all the black stripes and took a deep breath and sewed, 

Then pressed my seam and opened up tadah! matching chevrons  woohooo!!! 

This has been the most precise I think I have ever been in sewing.  Learnt a lot by sewing this top.  Being an easy going Sunday I had stayed in pyjamas up until this point but decided to get dressed for some photos in this top 

looking good huh?

I didn't even bother with trying to match the sides so was very pleased they came out like this :o)

And a back view for you. 

While out in the garden I noticed one of my roses has it's first bloom  I got this rose last year or year before.  It's name is Paul's scarlet. My eldest sons name is Paul so had to have this rose bush. looking forward to more blooms over the coming summer months. 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Triumphant Tuesday

Today has been a good day in many ways. A few weeks ago I bought some cheap oversized scarves from Primark,  I wanted to see if I could turn them into a kimono cover up. So I started with this 

And ended up with this. I folded the scarf in half so the top had a folded edge.  measured down the measurement  I wanted the sleeves to be then added half an inch.  Took out my rotary cutter and cut off 6 inches widthwise and rest of length.  Leaving me with a t shape.  I french seamed the cut edges together.  Then cut up front center on one layer only,  and removed a triangular shape at the top for the neck.  Rolled the edge over twice and sewed it down.  It's very floaty and will be ideal for the summer when I want to wear vest tops but not flash my arms about. I might make it shorter to, I am not sure if it reminds me to much of a dressing gown at the moment.  Will leave it up on model and see how I feel tomorrow.  

I did learn the reason Primark sell these so cheaply.  They aren't cut/printed straight so very difficult to line up.  So I don't think I did a bad job all things considered.

I do not like not being able to do things.  Very often I set my mind to do something and I will carry on until I get there.  In this case I have always been evaded by shirring.  All those little girls dresses, skirts and tops I could have made if I could do it.  I have watched many a youtube video and read many books etc.  but alas no joy has been had.  That is until today :o)  I shall probably now be found madly muttering as I wind 100's (maybe a slight exaggeration) of bobbins with shirring elastic by hand. I proudly present my first ever shirring that ever worked to you.

Now I will do a shirred skirt I think first. Will be ideal for the summer months.  But for now a Supernatural Episode on DVD and a spot of knitting.
For now take care and stay crafty
Jules x 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Colette Clover trousers

I have been eyeing this pattern up for quite a few months now.  I have seen these made in a youtube video and a few blog posts and Pinterest posts. I was smarting a bit at the price of the pattern though.  By luck I popped in to my local fabric/haberdashery/wool shop Boutique Haberdashery last week for elastic.  They didn't actually have the elastic I wanted but they did have a 40% off sale table with a lot of patterns including this one.  So I grabbed it and last night decided after everyone else had gone to bed to trace out the pattern.  I did version A and no pockets

These need a  press but I was so pleased to get them made and almost all going well that I took photos pinned to my Dressmakers Dummy instead of parading around the garden and getting Gary to take photos.  As a side note my iron seems to be not working to well and only produces steam when it feels like it and same for heat.  Definitely going to have to invest in a new iron. People who know me well will be laughing at that thought! 

It's a nice cotton with subtle stripes and embroidery flowers and leaves.  Look a lot better than the photos are showing.  They have a side invisible zip that somehow I have managed to put on the right side instead of the left side.

The embroidery isn't as shiny as this and seems to be hard to photograph.  I will try another day or when I first wear them more like. I might crop them to a 3/4 length for the summer, I haven't made my mind up on that just yet.

As for the pattern itself, it was a breath of fresh air compared to some of the mainstream patterns you can buy.  I felt things were explained really well.  I did wonder at the thoughts of putting it as a beginners pattern with an invisible zip fastening it it.  But as I said it was explained well and there was also a video link you could go look at if you got stuck. Definitely becoming a fan of Colette patterns.

Hope your weekend has been a great one but for now
Take care and stay crafty
Jules x 

Staunton Country Farm

Now and again we have a little adventure day with my older son and his fantastic girlfriend. It's been well overdue for this one so we were all excited to be visiting Staunton Country Farm in Havant. I didn't get millions of photos and I am only sharing a few. 

This hairy chap we found in a pot near the beginning/end of the maze. to see what made us chuckle you have to look closer
Somebody has been braiding it.  Much like someone might braid a beard.

And for once I can say it wasn't one of my lot that did something like this.  As if they would *coughs*

We had a few showers and the raindrops looked so magical almost I couldn't resist taking a few photos of them.

Luke took 5 minutes to think and ponder the meaning of life looking at his calm serious face here.

This little terror kept trying to headbutt us, mostly my older son. great character but very antisocial.

And these fascinated us up close it was hard to believe it was a tree.

They get stranger don't they?

I had to ask what tree it was and given everyone seemed to answer me at once I think I was the only one that didn't know it was a Monkey puzzle tree.Very impressive indeed.

I should have taken a video to because these pigs tails were moving so much you would of thought they were happy dogs and about to take off with the force they were wagging round.

We also saw rabbits, Jersey cows, Alpacas, Llamas, Guinea Pigs, Rheas, geese and ducks.  They also had walled gardens and a Victorian greenhouse.

Something for everyone I think, even have some friendly goats 

It's not the most biggest of places or cheapest but we enjoyed our get together and seeing what they did have.  Roll on the next adventure day. I may just have something up my sleeve ;o)

But for now I hope to get back in the sewing room tomorrow with another upcycle idea to try on an old tee shirt and maybe start sewing a dress or pair of trousers. Depends on the amount of sleep I may or may not get tonight 

for now though
take care and stay crafty
Jules x 

Friday, 20 May 2016

upcycling jeans

I have this pile of jeans, they are jeans that some I have had for a few years and some just 5 or 6 months.  All now are way to big so I had an idea about making a jeans quilt with them.  It hasn't happened yet unfortunately. This morning a weekend challenge was announced on the Facebook 'Just sew' to upcycle an item of clothing into something else.  On the spur of the moment I thought of my last summer shorts that were currently lounging on my sewing areas floor. Being I love to cook and sew what better than a new apron?

So these are the before photos

I unpicked the side seams and cut the fronts off along the top leaving the waist band so I could do the apron up with existing button. Trimmed the shape around the side that was left so I was left with a flat piece to use as the apron front.

I measured around the now apron front and doubled that width an added a few inches and sewed together 4 inch strips to get to the length I needed. I hemmed one long edge  and decided to give the gathering foot on my serger a go.  Boy I love that foot :o) Sewed on the ruffle and topstitched it.  Then admired my work.  The fabric for the frill was leftover from sewing bits for my granddaughters and the jeans were ready for rag bag or charity shop.  Cost me nothing and I really like the outcome 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Not glazed carrots!

I discovered glazed carrots a few years ago, really loved them.  Being I am following the slimming world lifestyle I choose not to make them because I didn't want to use all that butter in carrots.  I tried this way out one day ( or rather forgot these were still cooking) and discovered although it wasn't exactly the same it made some delicious carrots.  So I thought I would share with you all how I do them.

I start with chunky cut carrots, If you try this you can cut them however you want I will not shout at you.  And one oxo cube, can be any flavour, Vegetable and chicken ones are the ones we prefer.  Put the kettle on to boil.

I put the carrots in a non stick pan with the crumbled oxo cube and poured enough boiling water  to just cover the carrots, bring to the boil and keep the neat to a medium maybe a touch more. DO NOT put a lid on or it won't work. 

The liquid should start to boil down to a syrupy consistency

It's hard to see here but the trick is when the bottoms just start to caramalise to take them out.  That crusty looking coating on my pan just took a wooden spoon to scrape it off.

I like doing my carrots this way as they come out quite sweet, tender but not overcooked.  If they aren't quite cooked through when water runs out I just add more water to the pan and keep an eye on them, Adding thyme or other herbs to the stock in the first step is a good thing to.

pink and quick

My Granddaughter Ever will be moving schools soon due to moving house. For her start to a new school after half term I decided to make her a little something new and pretty for school.  I found this princess fairy fabric in a Dunelm store a little while ago.  It's more a canvas cotton than a thinner cotton/  Pink, princesses and fairies has to tick all the boxes for a very girly girl right?

It was a very quick bag to run up.  Apart from the machine applique that I did on the name. I used a set of sizzix alphabet dies to cut out the letters and attached them to the bag with a little zig zag stitch. I used some ribbon to thread through the channels I made in the top of the bag, so the bag could be cinched ( is that the right word?) or pulled tight when it is holding whatever it is used for.

Excuse the chalk line I haven't brushed it off yet 

At the moment it holds the crayon roll I made the other day and a puzzle/colouring book.  Hopefully Ever will be as thrilled with it as I was making it for her 

Take care and stay crafty
Jules x

Monday, 16 May 2016


Bit of a strange day today. This afternoon just didn't seem to happen and then it was gone. I never got much time to do much apart from send a strongly but politely worded complaint email to someone. 

This evening saw the return of the Great British Sewing Bee. I love the show and it was this show that encouraged me to dig out my machine and start sewing again. I was like a complete newbie all over again. The first episode that aired tonight has encouraged me to get on with my A line skirt. 

I saw this fabric last Tuesday in Winchester 
It kind of reminds me of Sargeant Pepper kind of artwork or yellow submarine cartoon style art. Very 70's type of print and I had to have it. After a few chats in a few groups online I think I am turning this into an A line skirt. 

I also picked up some very girly fairy princess fabric a while ago with my granddaughter in mind, and will finally get to use it to make her a new PE bag for when she changes school soon.
I will try to remember to update you on my knitting project soon and a new knitting project to. But for now I'm off to sleep. 

Take care and stay crafty. Jules  

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Crayon Roll

I have seen this around on pinterest etc for a long time. I have also wanted to try the bag version with the crayons on the outside of a bag so you can gift the bag with a colouring book in it.  But on a Facebook group I am on Just Sew they just announced a weekend challenge of making something with a fat quarter or scraps that make up same amount of fabric. My granddaughter is very artistic and loves to colour, draw and create so I made this one for her

The roll is kept closed with a hair band sewn in and a ladybird button.  So cute isn't it?

Hardest bit was choosing which 12 crayons out of the box of 48 to use here

I think only complaint I will get is it isn't pink! I think a few more for gifts, and in different sizes may be on my horizon. I can see this sort of thing being useful for make up brushes, pencils, sets of  double ended knitting needles,all sorts of things

Take care and stay crafty
Jules x

back from amazingness

I vanished, I know, but in all fairness it was for such an awesome reason that I am pretty happy.  I have this sister called Lynnette, we are both BIG fans of the TV show Supernatural.  About 9 months ago we decided going to the convention for Supernatural this year was an amazing idea, so we did :o) Saying that, 2 very excitable people that have to wait when we don't like waiting kind of was hard work. But it was an amazing time at Asylum 16 organised by Rogue Events.  It was that brilliant we are going next year for Asylum 18.

I won't go into full story mode but I will share a few photos later in this post for those who are interested.

I returned from my time away on Monday, 2 appointments on Tuesday and trying to sort out the school to this week.  It has taken so long just to get back into a routine.  I haven't really had much crafting time and only have had 2 short sewing sessions this week.

Tomorrow (Monday) is hopefully the day I get back to normal. I had such a brilliant time away with some of the cast and the supernatural (SPN) family of fans that I really cannot wait to attend again soon.

I will just leave a few photos here and let you either look or walk off ;o)

In no particular order these are our photo ops.  We chose to share most of them so we could have more fun