Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Jelly roll play time

I love looking at the Jelly Rolls when I am in fabric shops.  For those who don't know, they are 2.5 inch strips of fabric that usually have different shades or a little assortment of a fabric collection that are then stacked up and rolled into a little bundle giving it a swirly Jelly or Swiss roll kind of appearance. I didn't take a photo before undoing mine to play with.  These little bundles of colours or designs are always appealing to me.  Very popular with quilters particularly I believe. When I was last in the fabric shop (longer ago than most people who know me will believe!) I purchased 2 different packs of Jelly Rolls.  Wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with them at the time but I couldn't resist. 

Yesterday I was out and about with my daughter and Gary and inspiration struck. I knew I wanted to make a new quilt but wanted something a little bit different.  When I got home and found some time to get to play I selected 3 strips from a jelly roll and created this.

I know the points don't all match up but I still like it.  And it was so easy to make.

I took 3 strips which were 2.5 inches by the width of fabric or 3 strips from a jelly roll. I sewed 3 together along the length and pressed them with the seams to one side , usually this is towards the darker side. Then with an equilateral triangle template or ruler I cut off the excess at on end and cut out a triangle.  Then flipping the top point to the bottom so the triangle looks like a V I aligned it with the just cut edge and carried on cutting out triangles like this until I couldn't cut anymore.  My triangle was a little small for this but I just carried on cutting in the same line with my rotary cutter after I finished along the side of the triangle.  If I didn't have this ruler I would of made a cardboard triangle and would of drawn my lines in chalk or air erasable pen and cut out with scissors instead

This gave me  4 of one design and 5 of the other, So I had a few left over and will probably randomly make up a few hexagons after I have done the main ones

I alternated the triangles and sewed them together in 3's until I had half hexagons

Here's what the back looks like after pressing. Exciting stuff right??

Then sewed the 2 halves into a whole hexagon.
Fairly quick and easy to do I thought. And not bad without a pattern or idea to work from.

I really need a new ironing board cover.  I managed to slice a few bits of the cover with my rotary  cutter because I was using a small self healing mat instead of a bigger one. 

Since I made this I started sewing on a project I cut the fabric out for last night.  A 40s style blouse.  Pattern from Gretchen Hirsch book Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. I am making it in a large gingham check in navy and white fabric. I was going to make a sleeveless version but decided to do the pattern as is first of all. I added 3 inches to the front and back before I decided this so it is already not as suggested.  
It is coming along nicely so far.  I have had a few ripping moments with my good friend the stitch ripper.  But that came down to not reading the instructions properly or not checking the right sides were together when sewing etc. I am pretty impressed with the little cuffs on the short sleeves that came out so well.  Looking forward to finishing this one and wearing it in the summer. Hopefully one more session and it should be done.  Will keep you all updated and hopefully some photos of progress soon 

For now take care and stay crafty
Jules x 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Nearly finished butterfly dresses

Not to long ago I started on a couple of dresses made using this pattern, using view A, which is the red and white dress on the left/ Today the girls came round to see me after school for a try on of their dresses and some dinner. 

I didn't do the final hemming as I wanted to make sure the length was OK on the girls first. I will do the hems tomorrow so they are all ready for their event on Friday. 

Their Mum took a few photos of the girls today when they tried the dresses on. I thought I would share them with you to show you how they are coming along. 

I think we can safely say they girls were pleased. 

Our mini model Ever. 

Ever and Ruby.  Very happy on the lengths actually.

I didn't think Ruby would be into trying the dress on, but once Ever had hers on and was outside getting her photo taken Ruby was more than willing to join in with the fun of it all. Even with her leggings still on she looked so cute.  They both do.

Can't get over how big these 2 are getting!  I loved doing these dresses,  I learnt a fair bit and had to improvise a bit as I had 3 layers of fabric to deal with in places and 2 where there should of been one.  I chose a chiffon with a border print of butterflies, which I lined with white so it wasn't sheer on the girls.  Then I also had to use lining in places as called for in the pattern.  But it worked :o)

Sunday, 19 June 2016

fabric clip flower storage tutorial

I love purple and I love flowers, so this make made me really smile. Only took me about half an hour, and that was including ripping a bookcase apart looking for a glue gun.  Found it though luckily.

On the corner of my small sewing desk is a big coffee jar that I use as a thread/snips/fabric scraps bin. I actually find it a really satisfying, useful and pretty addition to my work area. 
Trouble is there isn't much room on the desk after the sewing machine and overlocker/serger are put on there. Apart from a pin cushion I also have a red ramekin that is usually precariously perched on some odd corner waiting to be knocked over when not in use. SoI thought about it a while and remembered a pin for felt flowers vaguely. And someone using it to hold wonder clips/clover clips/ whatever these clips are called.

A bit of quick thinking I grabbed some felt sheets, thatI have a small supply of, and cut them along the longest size into 2.5 inch wide strips.  I did one of the paler felt and 3  of the darker felt.

Folded the strips in half along the length and used my clips to hold these together as I sewed down the open long edge. I back stitched at the beginning and end of the stitching line and used the edge of the presser foot as my guide. Felt doesn't fray so had no need to finish or secure the edges.  I didn't even clip the threads in between the pieces of felt.  Just lifted the presser foot and placed the new piece of felt right in front of last one and carried on sewing  with a back stitch a few stitches into the new felt strip

Then I had great fun placing on my clips so I could see how wide each 'petal' should be giving enough room for a clip and a small bit of room either side.  Seemed a faster method than measuring and marking each bit. 

I cut in between the clip and removed them all. I cut down until just before the stitch line and made sure I didn't cut any further as didn't want to snip through the stitches


Then came the fun.  I started with warming my glue gun.  You could also sew the base bits together and use a different glue to later stick onto your chosen base.  I started with my lighter strip and placed a dab od glue on one end and then started to roll the strip up on its self.  I glued all along in small sections and rolled up all along the 4 sections until they formed one big base.

Looking good huh?

The light in my sewing area is not ideal, especially in a dark gloomy rainy evening, but I am pretty pleased with how this came out.

The colour here is more true than the one above.

I turned it upside down and applied hot glue over the base and in this case stuck it to the top of the coffee jar lid.  You could stick it on any suitable container or even make one for a wrist strap and sew it on maybe

I'm pretty happy how it turned out as it looks fun and pretty, but it is saving a space on the desk safely when I put things away. Plus, I can now use the ramekin for its intended purpose it was bought for, cooking.  Souffles anyone??

Friday, 17 June 2016

I'm back!

I know, I know went and vanished for a week! Blame it on the weather and migraines. Really messed my head up lately.  Back to normal today though.

These photos are from the other day so I will introduce what I am making.  My daughter and her little family are off to a wedding next week so I offered to make the gorgeous granddaughters dresses :o)  Can you tell I am happy about that. So I found this pattern.

Started off the boring bit of tracing off 2 sizes and preparing everything.

I have a white lining satin type fabric and a chiffon fabric with butterflies as a border print.  We are keeping the top a kind of light cream and the bottom gathered skirts will have riots of butterflies. Cool huh?

I am so behind on the sewing and have almost got the tops and straps sewn together now. Give me a few days and I will have them finished. I thought the fabric choices were going to be a pain the neck but all is working out so far OK.  

I am carrying on with an audio book series by Jodie Taylor the chronicles of Saint Mary's.  Loving the series so far,  I have laughed and cried and really enjoyed their varied escapades and stories. 

So for now I am about to start my weekend and will hopefully will be back on here really soon.  I still have been doing some crafty things just haven't blogged them yet.  

Take care and stay crafty
Jules x 

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Photo to canvas part 2

Unfortunately I had a failure with this, I will give it another go next week as I think I wasn't far off.  Maybe I needed a thicker layer of the gel medium  A bit of research is needed. 

Looked like this after drying for a day

Then I tried to peel off the paper using some water and rubbing the paper off.   Unfortunately what happened was it took off whole areas and the ink ran slightly so I googled and saw someone else do this using a lot more gel medium so I will try that next.

Poor Ty has lost his eyebrows here. 

Not everything goes right first time.  I still have a big tub of gel medium and 3 canvases though. 

On the plus side I have almost finished my Heelo Kitty project for my granddaughter. Just the hem to sew and it's done. Will share that when it's done. 

This evening will be watching Supernatural on DVD and knitting. It's so warm it's wearing me out so a quiet evening is needed before tomorrows adventures. 

For now take care and stay crafty

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Photo onto canvas DIY part one

I cannot for the life of me remember where I saw this idea about 6 or 7 weeks ago but I thought it was good I headed over to Amazon and bought myself a tub of gel medium and promptly forgot all about it until a week or so ago.  Then I popped into the works to get a pack of 5 inch by 7 inch canvases to have a play with. I got organised last night and collected all the bits together

A canvas
A picture printed with normal printer ink on plain printer paper, that will fit on your canvas
A tub of Gel medium
Scissors to trim your photo down if needed
Paintbrush for applying the Gel medium

Now for the fun bit. I printed off a great photo and trimmed it to fit on the canvas.  Remembering to flip the picture first, if you need to, as it will be in reverse once you have finished

Paint a small amount of the gel medium all over the front of the canvas.  It is quite thick but spreads a long way. For the first try I concentrated on even and smooth as possible.I know you can't probably see it in photo below but it's there I promise.

Then I took my printed photo and placed it carefully print side down over the canvas onto the gel medium and smoothed it out as best I could, I have to leave it to try until it is dry. 

Being I have not a lot of patience at times I am going to leave it and get on with other things before I come back and finish it off later. Fingers crossed it will work well.  Will let you know in my next post.

Take care and stay crafty
Jules x

Popped into the fabric shop for a zip.....

...... And some fabric for a toddlers romper suit. Came out with fabric for a dress for me, which was planned, and it needed a zip which I forgot! So I will have to admire the fabric a bit longer. Isn't it pretty though? 

Then I spied this beauty. My eldest granddaughter loves hello kitty things. It's so soft and a fluffy lined tracksuitting fabric. Just the thing for the hot weather we are having..... Not! I am aware it says heelo Kitty and not Hello. But I think GD will be still impressed. 

And I am planning on making this newlook pattern 6822 with it. 

The main view A which is shown on the model and orange diagram. I traced off the pattern earlier in afternoon and will get on with it tomorrow, while I am waiting for the zip I ordered to arrive that is. 

I also have a different kind of craft to try out tomorrow so will share that with you even if it goes disasteriously wrong. But for now I am off to bed. 

Take care and stay crafty
Jules X 

Monday, 6 June 2016

Carrie Trousers

As I mentioned yesterday I had cut the pattern out for these trousers. I went looking today for fabric I had already and come up with this glorious butterfly print.  I have had it about a year but hadn't been confident enough to cut into it up until today.

They aren't as tight as they look here, Trying to show off the pockets has distracted from their flowing drapy quality

Same for the back. These are so comfortable I might need to make them in all the fabrics.  Well light draping fabrics at least.

And the pockets are such a generous size, I love pockets. Always feel a bit lost if I don't have pockets to carry my phone or put my hands into while stood around. 

The trousers are made from the Carrie Trousers pattern from I discovered Lisa Comfort through YouTube last year. She really makes things seem more achievable.

Only problem I had today was I run out of my preferred black thread. My machine happily ticked over with a cheaper brand, which is unusual for it. No complaints from me on that score.  Will treat her to a few more reels of the good stuff tomorrow though.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Sunday confessions

Hope you weren't after juicy gossip! I admit I missed blogging yesterday, to be fair I think blogging over the weekends is a bit overambitious.  With family around etc I would rather be spending time with them than stuck to a screen or worrying about blogging. 

On Thursday I had to pop into town as had to pick up sons new blazer.  I also popped into a few charity shops.  I picked up a game of Triominos for 99p.  This was a game I spent many hours playing with my Mum over the years.  It's like dominos but they are triangles and a bit harder to match up. I offered Luke a game and he caught on and loved it luckily. May of found myself a new games partner. 

Another thing I have been up to is sorting out some patterns to get started on this week. My email alerted me to the fact that sew over it had a new online class and there was a voucher code yesterday for money off.  2 patterns were included, the ultimate trousers and The Carrie trousers.  After eyeing up the Ultimate trousers for some time I jumped at this offer.  We had family over today and this evening so I couldn't dive straight into this, but this evening after I had happily settled into pyjamas I spent a while printing off, then sticking together and cutting out the Carrie trousers pattern.

Every time I start taping together these PDF patterns together I say to myself I really prefer to be tracing a pattern off a standard  pattern. I say I prefer printing and sticking PDFs than tracing when I am tracing off too.  My least favourite part of the whole process. At least tomorrow I can start with cutting out the fabric when I get back from the school run and the gym.

Other than that I've not been to productive this weekend.  It's been hot and humid, making it harder to breath. 

Take care and stay crafty
Jules xx

Friday, 3 June 2016

Saturday oh wait it's Friday

I keep thinking it's Saturday but nope, it is still only Friday. Probably because normal weekend things happened today instead of a Saturday or Sunday.  We visited Costco, and Luke went out with some of his Grandparents and 3 of his cousins. So my mind doesn't know what day is what. After Costco we found ourselves home alone minus children or anything to do.  So it must of been sewing time right? Opportunity seemed to good to pass it by.  Especially after spying these pictures in a magazine yesterday.

 It basically is a sleeveless draped/cowl neck top and it shows you how to draft your own pattern with your measurements. 

Being they suggest using journey I remembered this stretch t shirt type fabric I have had for a while and wasn't sure what to do with it.  Well tell a lie it's had about 10 different ideas thought about it but have never got around to it before today.

I drafted the pattern on the wrong side of the fabric with an air erasable pen and cut it out and followed up sewing instructions Tried it on my dressmakers dummy and decided the neck was way to wide so adjusted with pins before finishing it off.

Excuse the skirt, it actually is a shirred sundress I have on the dummy,  I cannot make up my mind on the length so it is staying there until inspiration strikes.

Anyhow I finished it up and it is a fairly quick project.  It's OK I like it, but I will be redrafting and making a few alterations.  It needs to be a lot longer and more of a drape in the front I think

I need to adjust the facings as well they are not quite laying as flat as they could be in areas and are almost sticking out the arm holes.  Will have a play tomorrow and will see were I get. Meanwhile this is wearable and would look good with a simple black skirt or jeans I think. 

I am about to curl up with a book Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Seen the film a few times and even have the DVD but have never read the book before now. Found it in a charity shop yesterday so thought it was worth reading at long last.  Been listening to many audiobooks lately as I sew, or read on my kindle, so it's been a fair while since I read a story from a real book. Never thought I would be saying that given the avid bookworm I have always been. 

For now take care and stay crafty
Jules x  

Thursday, 2 June 2016

5 year anniversary

Today is an emotional one due to the date. 5 years ago I visited Southampton University to have my cochlear implant activated and tuned in.

Up until this point I had been pretty much completely Deaf for 19/20 years. Due to a history of Mumps and a brain tumour called Acoustic Nueroma I lost my hearing in 2 stages. They pretty much dragged me down into a place where I lost a lot of my self belief and confidence. Hard times yes but I am to stubborn to give in and carried on the best I could.  It wasn't all doom and gloom.

About 6 years ago I had an old analogue hearing aid break on me (it helped with certain pitches of noise but not sound if that makes sense) which caused a few problems as I was told my hearing problems were not suitable for the all digital aids the NHS were now dealing with.  They sort of sorted one out but while this was going on I asked about the possibility of a cochlear implant? I had turned one down many years ago for various reasons. I, at this point had a grown up daughter, a grown up son and a younger son of 8. I was after any improvement I could get on just loud tinnitus and feeling the kids shout or laugh/whistle but not actually hear it.

Long story short I passed the hearing test to be referred, just!, and a bit further on in the year was invited to the University to meet 2 people who had previously had implants and were willing to talk to us and answer questions we may have.  My daughter came with me, we were given a presentation and had questions and answers.  All seemed to good to be true and I hardly dared to hope.

Over the next month or so I had various hearing tests and assessments. And finally I got the long awaited news that I had an operation date in April for my implant if I still wanted it? I had passed all my assessments :o)

April came and I had my operation.  Woke with a massive football sized bandage on my head.  I was x-rayed the next morning and sent home with a small chunk of hair missing and being told not to wash my hair for a month I think it was.  Not to get the wound wet.  I of course managed to wash my hair without getting my wound wet as it drove me nuts.

6 weeks wait before the implant could be activated and tuned in and to see if it would work. I still at this point was still not holding up much hope.  I didn't dare to dream I would hear my children and my first granddaughter when she was born in the following month. But the day finally arrived.  My daughter came with me, and I was so grateful not to have to manage on my own on this day. After lots of fiddling and beeps and computer stuff it came to the point it all got turned on. I got asked can you hear me? by the Audiologist. I went to say I can, then stopped, and said Oh my god I can hear myself! And then I heard a giggle behind me, it was still unmistakable as the last time I had heard it from my 2 year old daughter years ago!  I turned and looked at Leanne who said something along the lines of 'oh shoot she heard me!' I could hear Leanne!!!! I was so taken aback and emotional I couldn't even cry at this point.

With your first tune ins you have your first and then go back in a couple of hours and then in a few days, a week after, then a month etc until you end up at yearly then every other year.  So off Leanne and I went around Southampton Uni for a few hours wait.  We went to see some of Andy Warhol's works in the Gallery exhibition they were holding, and then got some lunch.  To say I was distracted was an understatement. peoples voices everywhere and I forgot how loud people could be. At this stage voices were sounding a bit metallic and robotic. After a few hours and another tune in things were more natural but it did take almost 6 months before voices and sounds were more natural and recognisable as they once were. I will never forget spending those hours with my daughter listening to her voice.

We drove back and popped into see my Mum before heading back to the boys. It was just so comforting to hear my mums calm voice again.  Mum being Mum was testing my noise range out even on day one,  I heard the stirring spoon in a cup and the tapping of it on the top.  Her ring tapping on a table mat.

Then I came home to my sons.  Older son was looking after the younger one.  I came in and was not noticed for a few minutes, so I stood to one side of the door frame quietly and listened to the youngest making his 'happy'noises as he played on a computer game.  When I was noticed and the boys talked to me I almost could of floated on air.  First time ever listening to these boys and hearing them! I still don't have the words to describe the feelings from this day.

With all 3 of my children I never heard their newborn cries etc.  So when my daughter and her partner said I could be at my first granddaughters birth it was an emotional moment when Ever was born and she cried.  The room stopped to turn and look at me to ask if I had heard her.  I had :o) And it is to this day one of the best things I have ever heard.

As the months passed, then the years I have picked up better hearing.  I can talk on the phone sometimes with people if I practice with them.  It is not a perfect thing though, Sometimes I cannot understand the voices, mood and confidence can play a big part in something like phone calls.  I took Luke to a war of the worlds the new generation concert at the O2 in 2013 it rocked! And I am still going from strength to strength.  It's not just you can hear you have to keep working at it.  I listen to audiobooks and music daily to help exercise my brain for listening.

Music was always a big love for me and I hated losing it.  I was warned that Cochlear implants aren't designed to work with music.  Some people it works for others it doesn't.  After a lot of  music videos and lyrics on YouTube and a shed load of stubbornness I managed to understand some music and these days it is a lot more natural.

I won't go on much longer as it will get to long winded. But today is a day I will always quietly celebrate.  It changed my life in so many ways and gave me back some self confidence. It taught me so much.

Bit of a change in posts I know, I just wanted to write down a few words to mark the day before it was over

Take care

Jules xx

colouring the day away

We had the Granddaughters over this morning.  Turns out for a little longer than we thought.  No problem at all. To stop little people starting to get bored I got out some lining Paper and stuck 2 lengths together and drew around the girls, gave them some felt tips and pencils and let them go wild. 

As you can see from the photos there was much colour used, and great creativity.

The girls tried on their skirts I made the other day and refused to take them off, so I think they were a big hit. 

This is Evers outline and colouring in, with Rubys help of course

This is Rubys outline and colouring in with a little help, I am pretty sure she went home with as much felt tip pen on her arms as on the paper.

Ever decided we needed a foot by her head

Is it my imagination but is Ruby looking a bit like a chicken here?

Aw, sisterly cooperation

concentrating hard on putting the lids back on, pretty impressed with Ruby for that one.  She was a bit mystified with the thick/thin pens with 2 ends though.

Needed eyelashes for mascara so I am told

colours to match her outfit :o)

Few more photos, this went on for about 2 hours or so I think.  Great project the girls really got into.  All it cost was part of a roll of lining paper I guess.  Which we already had in the house. So free and easy crafty project both kids loved 

This wasn't a planned post or activity but sure glad we got to do it and looking forward to more fun soon.  Thanks for coming over to play girls :o) 

Take care and stay crafty
Jules xx