Friday, 28 September 2012

Holiday time!

Well, it's holiday time again and this time for two whole weeks, hurray! It's going to be a mixture of being at home and going away for a few days which will be so nice. I'm not guaranteeing any posts but it will be nice to get back into routine after we come back for the gentle slide towards Christmas!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend and see you mid October!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Hems and more hems!

As I have said before I have a problem with my hems. What an issue! I handsew my hems as I just didn't know how to tackle hemming on a machine. So I bought a sewing machine foot for rolling hems. I tried it on the fabric I used forJessica's winter nightdress but it's just too bulky so it didn't roll very well but I did get the hang of it on lighter material. So I will definitely use rolled hems for summer clothes and maybe my napkins if I'm looking for more of a casual look.

Sooooo, I looked out my sewing machine manual and manoeuvred my way through the diagrams to work out how to blind hem the nightdress. And after quite a few tries, I had a light bulb moment and I got the hang of it! Brilliant! It definitely cuts down the time required for hand sewing. You can't really see the hem on this photo - but that is kind of the point to a blind hem!

I also extended the sleeves on the nightdress as you will remember that I had problems squeezing the pattern into the fabric I had ordered. I took a couple of scraps and sewed them onto the sleeves. It looks rather fetching and as if it was a deliberate cuff to the sleeves so quite pleased with it.

Autumn has arrived and in a cold blowy way, not a lovely leaves underfoot, nice crisp walk kind of way. Let's hope the nice autumn days do arrive! I haven't seen the sun all morning, just grey!

And if you have problems with your workload, think of my friend (who already has a 15 month old) who has just announced she is going to have twins in April so she will have three children under the age of two! She will cope brilliantly though.


Monday, 24 September 2012


Hello! I'm back again. Accounts all done, VAT return filed and back to normal this week. The accounts next need to be done in a couple of months time so I have all that time to do crafting and enjoying my little girl! The only thing is that we're on holiday at the end of this week for two weeks so I'll probably not be posting properly again until mid October but bear with me until I get back into a rhythm again.

Over the next few weeks I'm planning to make more things for my Etsy shop and also I have discovered the combination of felt and embroidery. It's great fun! I'm hoping to tackle a stash of felt with me whilst I'm on holiday and really get to grips with how I want to use it. Exciting times.

Now that the nights are drawing in with the curtains being closed just after supper, less time will be spent on the garden jobs which demand to be done and there will be more time by the wood burning stove tucked up inside out of the elements. Oooo, it's almost tomato soup time of the year, a cosy time of the year. Lovely.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Are these tables the right colour?

Mmmmm, I don't think so. I painted the other wooden furniture which we have in the sitting room to match the test lamp table I did last week. I thought that even if it was the wrong colour then at least I have done the long job of sanding, priming and first coat of colour.

So here are the other three tables primed

And all painted

However, when they are all in the sitting room, they are just all too green, it's too blue a green. You can't really see this in the photograph though I definitely need to find a sludgier green so that's my job for this weekend: to go through the paint charts and try to find a better shade!

I bought all my hyacinth, tulip and daffodil bulbs today so will get potting those up for some colour and fragrance through the winter.

I am doing my book-keeping again next week as the VAT return has to be submitted by the end of September. I will try my very hardest to post Tuesday and Thursday as normal but it may just slip by as next week is looking incredibly busy. I'll be pleased to get back to blogging though when I can.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

My Etsy shop is open!!!

Well, who would have thought it?! I certainly didn't think I would be opening it this week as I was toying with the idea of opening it on my return back from our two week holiday at the beginning. But I have opened my shop on Etsy!

I had done all the work yesterday that I needed to do to finish it off and then I thought, why wait for a month or so, why not just do it. So I did!

And here it is:

So far, I have just got some napkin sets on there at the moment which I made before all my blog reading and perfecting my sewing techniques. But I'm working on some 'all purpose baby cloths' for catching all those spills you have through the day with a baby. I'm making them for a couple of friends at the moment but I'm going to make some more for the shop. Here's a sneak preview:


It's just a prototype at the moment, a couple of things I want to perfect before I give them to friends or put them on the shop. And I have so many ideas of things to make! The only limitation is going to be time....

Go check out the shop, it's exciting times!


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

That was a head scratcher!!

I left you last week with a bolt of fabric and an altered pattern for Jessica's autumn nightdress. It proved to be a bit of a challenge but we got there in the end! I was worried that I didn't have enough fabric for the pattern. And I didn't - when I tried to layout the pieces in a conventional manner with the fabric folded along its straight edges.

However..... I thought why not see what happens when you fold the fabric on the diagonal (the bias). I had nothing to lose apart from another search for appropriate fabric and another wait for it to arrive. The pattern has lots of fabric in it anyway to allow for a full dress so I knew that some of that could be sacrificed by altering the pattern slightly when it was laid out.

So here we are, the fabric has been folded in a triangle,


then folded again to allow for two pieces of the body and the sleeve to be cut out at the same time.

Oooo, the anticipation.... It looks like its worked but you just don't know until you separate the pattern from the fabric....

Hurray! It worked. Just a little separation on the main dress section was required. It did help though that it was a non-directional pattern and so patterns didn't need to be matched up. What an efficient use of the fabric though. Note to self: must remember that when using other non-patterned fabrics.


Here it is all pinned up and ready to be sewn. It reminds me of a snow angel that you make in the snow.


And finally, it's all sewn up and ready for the hems. It's so cute! You could almost use it for a day dress.

Oh and huge congratulations to Andy Murray who has finally done it!! He's the first British tennis player to win a Grand Slam tournament in 76 years - beat Djokovic in the US Open last night, woo hoo!!


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Something different...

So I've done something different to sewing this week, painting! I have quite a few pieces of furniture in the sitting room which need a good paint to make them all look like brand new. So I did one table as a test:


I think it looks really good and it's a new home for my sewing machine! But I'm concerned that the green is a bit too 'green' for the curtains and may need to be a bit sludgier, a bit more of a muted green. I'm going to use up the paint I do have on the other items and if it doesn't work then at least I will have done the hard work of sand papering and applying the undercoats. I can then just do one top coat in the chosen colour!

I have adapted the pattern for Jessica's nightdress to make it longer for her to grow into and longer sleeves to keep her cosy.

However, I have a feeling that I don't have enough cloth for it now that it's a larger size.... I'm going to try to figure that one out this afternoon!


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Comfortable chairs at last.

I have finished my seat pads, hurray! They are now in pride of place and have been sat on. My kitchen chairs have gone from bearing old, tatty Ikea chair pads, I'm almost ashamed to show them.....

To sporting lovely new shiny chair pads which have proper stuffing and are comfortable which is the main priority


The one thing I would change is maybe making the pads a little bit bigger so that they reach the bottom edge of the chair. The stuffing took a little bit of the length out of them but it's all a learning curve isn't it? I'm considering making them for my Etsy shop too.

Speaking of which, I am busy working behind the scenes on my Etsy shop on setting it up, so I'm hoping that it will be up and running in a couple of weeks. However, I may delay it until I get back from our holiday. We have our two week holiday coming up at the beginning of October and the countdown has most definitely started...... It probably makes more sense to launch after the hols with a clear run up to Christmas.

So today, I'm hoping to get going with Jessica's autumn nightdress. The shirring elastic has arrived and on Amazon this morning, I found a special sewing machine foot for shirring - bonus! It should be winging my way for the end of the week when I should be finishing the dress.

Big treat of the week tonight.... The Great British Bakeoff! Can't wait, get the slippers on and snuggle down for a good hour of television!