Thursday, 11 September 2008

'I like your top'. 'Thanks, I made it myself'

Have, as usual been doing lots of everything and getting nothing finished...well almost nothing. I have managed to finish my top, which I admit, I'm right chuffed with and I wore it on the school run. It looks, am pleased to report, outrageously pretty with a pair of jeans and has left me feeling a bit smug that it cost me less than two quid to make.

I only had a metre of the fabric so thought I might have to do the sleeves in a different fabric but, I had enough for the sleeves and body and I used a bit of leftover lining fabric from my skirt for the facing, after all when it's on, nobody can see the chuffing facing anyway.

Soooo, what do you do if you have 4 projects on the go and a bag full of knitted and crocheted fabric waiting to be seamed, why of course you start another one, well you do if you're me. My attention span seems to be getting shorter as I get older. I've got a jacket thing to finish, (see previous post) a bolero type thing, a pair of socks on the go (knitted) and a crochet dress, oh and I can't count because I am also in the middle of making a skirt (sewn).

And NOW I have embarked on a bed cover thingy for my mums french chateau, which will be made from these blue and cream hexagons, that you see here. They take about 10 minutes each to make, so are perfect to just sit down with a cup of tea after lunch and amuse myself with before I go to work. I nicked the idea from an old 60s Twilleys pamphlet for a bedspread made out of hexagons. I haven't used the pattern, I used the hexagons from '250 stitch motifs to crochet' and will seam them as I go because the thought of seaming hundreds of little hexagons in one go is enough to have me running screaming for the hills!
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Thursday, 28 August 2008

How to buy yourself a couple of hours peace and tranquility.

It is (as some of you will know) nearing the end of the long, lazy summer holidays, I must admit I have worked whilst dh has done the lions share of ferrying to zoos and whatnot and when I've been here, we've mostly crafted together (with dd of course, the TEEN mostly does his own thing).

Dd has wanted to paint her own t shirts for a while so yesterday she did, this, dear reader is the results. I am especially taken with the flowers, so taken in fact I might pass her one of my t shirts to daube them on, as I can't draw funky flowers to save my life, she obviously gets it from dh's side of the family!!

The crocheted block at the bottom is the back of my cropped jacket, which will hopefully adorn my frame at some point this winter, it's crocheted in half trebles and I am half way through half of the front (not shown here), it's taken from a pattern in the fabulously naff CrochetWorld, although because I just can't behave myself I've not really followed the pattern to the letter and just used the idea and merrily gone my own way! Que Sera Sera.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

A pyschedelic shopper fit for the 70s and THAT doll swap!

In between working overtime and prepping fabric for my skirt, I have been indulging in a little light crocheting, this lime green and lurid pink beauty was knocked up during a few commutes into work and a couple of evenings slobbing in front of the telly. The inspiration for the colours came from browsing the Purplelinda
website and happening upon the dayglo cotton yarn that I ordered from there to make it with (Anchor Style CREATIVA, in case you were wondering). I love it for its Austin Powers style retro look and I will carry it with pride, obviously ignoring the sniggers of the more staid bastions of my small community, if I were a braver woman then I would of course wear it with a knitted all in one shorts suit.

My swap partner received my doll last week, so I am now posting it here in all it's glory, unfortunately whilst trying to photograph it, the camera kept shutting off, then dd kept rearranging the feather boa and repositioning her, so the photos are not good. However I thought she turned out really well, I added the boa for a quirky 1920s touch (feather yarn does have its uses) but the original pattern belongs to the uber talented Miaou
crafting diva of the highlands, who owns the rights to the pattern, so if you want to make one yourself, contact her, I think she is selling the pattern. I will definitely be making another as dd wants one to go with the wildlife and fauna that festoons her bed.
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Saturday, 2 August 2008

Bags and flowers.

Well now I've dispatched my doll swap (only 6 months late!! The Shame!), I can now throw myself into a bit of dressmaking. As the old adage goes, have cash, will shop, so I have!

First stop was Betsy Ross
to buy the beautiful charmed dress pattern and the raglan top. I bought the A line skirt pattern about a year ago and made a charming skirt out of a pair of my nans old curtains but, as I tried trimming the hem with a pair of 8" shears, I managed to snip a hole in it!! Still I've kept the skirt because a) it was my nans old curtains(and they remind me of her and b) it was my first attempt at a skirt. I've made a few since but I found this gorgeous summery fabric in a shop in Walthamstow for the princely sum of a quid a metre, so I bagged a couple of metres along with some lining and I am planning to make another glorious skirt with it, minus the mistakes this time.

Speaking of old curtains, I needed another stash bag so I knocked this one up (out of, appropriately) old curtains. For some reason, the photo doesn't really do it justice (tis much nicer in the flesh), although I misjudged the firmness of the curtains and should have interfaced the whole thing, not just the top. But it will do nicely for stashing my work uniform in, when I want to indulge in a little light morning retail therapy and I'll still have plenty of space for a yarn project and some purchases.

This gorgeous blue floral fabric was hidden in my stash, much to my excitement, think I got it from Hitchin market and is going to become the main body of the Betsy Ross raglan top. There is only a metre of it, so I've carefully measured it up and worked out there is enough for the main body and the facings, I will do the sleeves in a plain material for a bit of contrast, am undecided as to whether the contrast should be blue, white or cream, so I will have to do some side by side comparisons to see which looks best. Although I think plain cornflower blue cotton would work a treat. Must remember....TRIM WITH EMBROIDERY SCISSORS ONLY!!

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Sunday, 20 July 2008

A PARCEL from America and a pattern of this week.

Well I got a parcel from my swap parcel in America and here is what she sent me (the cat doll), how gorgeous is that!! Dd loves it (of course, she's 'borrowed' it) and it has joined various Gingermonkey toys on her bed, she still sleeps with that lavender mouse that GM made for me. I have parcelled my swap up now I've just got to make the trek to the post office and await with baited breath the arrival of it on the other side of the pond. Thanks M.

Inbetween battling with my doll swap (the hair required tackling a sewing needle and I think you might have guessed by now that handsewing is not my favourite activity), I knocked up a cotton shopping bag. I'm heartily fed up of carrying around a plastic asda 'green' reusuable bag, so I crocheted my own, much better looking alternative to put the 'green' carrier bag in!!. It's fine for lighter shopping but I fear 4 pints of milk may end in carnage!! By the time this photo was taken it had been used for several weeks and I can roll it up and just stick it in my (not exceptionally big) handbag. Soothing therapy and usefulness all rolled up in one little package, bliss.

Inspired by a conversation on a crafting forum (and those responsible for it's inclusion here.... you know who you are ;-) ) I just had to have this charming late 60s pant suit as pattern of the week, I culled it from a dog eared booklet in a collection of patterns that my mum gave me. I do love this booklet in a deeply unironic way, not only does it include bikinis and a knitted all in one playsuit (the joy!!), it also has a crocheted mod wedding dress, complete with cloche type cap. Really it's enough to make you hyperventilate!!

Sunday, 6 July 2008

A haircut to celebrate my return.

Well, it's been a while but my return to work has meant less hours crafting and less blogging time too. Still now that I've learnt how to successfully juggle, I can blog with more frequency and less haste.

First things first, a new haircut (and colour of course) to celebrate and here it is, in all it's glory, admittedly the picture is not great and first thing in the morning is never a good time to have your pic taken but what the hell, at least I can console myself with the thought that I look better by lunch time, particularly as by then I would have put some slap on and combed my tangerine coloured barnet into some sort of shape.

Of course, I needed some new accessories to go with the new hair and the two pics on the bottom show my first hard earned purchases courtesy of Whizzz
(the turquoise one) and Chickadee cards
the Victoriana style one. I don't actually feel that the pics do them justice, so I may replace them with better ones shortly but I love them.

I finished my MILs berry bag and this (halfway down) is the end result, I am really pleased with it (not my sort of colour, I'll admit but MIL likes it) and I am doing one in a lovely marine coloured blue and green for myself, that is once I have packaged up my doll swap and sent it off.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

My swap from GM, a tag and my first pattern of the week!!

As promised I am blogging the gorgeous cat that GingerMonkey made for my dd in return for my owl (I got the best end of the bargain hee hee ;-) ). It is in fact a pirate cat but darling daughter is insistent that this week she is just KitKat and that she doesn't return in her pirate guise until next week, so if I want pirate cat, I'll have to come back next week!! Dd is seriously glued to this cat, it goes to bed with her, has been to show and tell at school and has even been known to sit and wait outside the bathroom for her to finish her bath. GingerMonkeys marvellous shop is here
should you want to peruse and buy.

In other news, I have been tagged by Dior
so here' s my answers (the more sensitive amongst you may want to look away).

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was a single mother to a 4 year old, working full time and harbouring a major crush on a man who is now my dh! And I was just getting my first promotion at work IIRC.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
Well they were
1) Do the weekly veg and fruit shop at the market.
2)Do the weekly button shop for dd's growing button tin.
3)Browse the charity shop for some clothes.
4)Take dd to the library (we didn't get there).
5)Attempt to finish MILs knitting bag birthday present.

3) Snacks I enjoy:
Marmite on toast, cheese on toast, cheese and biscuits, (bit of a theme here) sour cream and chive pringles (proper pringles, not the low fat, rice cracker jobs), anything with lime and chili in.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Buy myself a fabulous art deco house with a separate wing to use exlusively for stashing yarn and fabric.

5) Places I have lived:

6) 6 bloggers I want to know more about .
Hmmm, want to put Dior but she's already done, so

World of whizzz

Sew to bed



Juicy Fig

And now for my first pattern of the week.

f you've read my blog before you're probably aware of my fascination for all things retro, in the general spirit, I will be selecting a pattern from my stash of charity shop/ebay/passed down from mum finds and nominating it my favourite of the week, so ladies and (perhaps the odd gentleman) ta da, I give you the silver smock top from above. It's contained in a 1971 published book, charmingly entitled The Golden Hands book of crochet and I bagged it in our local Age Concern for the princely sum of £1.70 and it's crocheted in Twilleys Goldfingering, which is a yarn I have long had a childlike hankering for. It's twinkly and shiny, see and satisfies my inner 5 year old fairy whims. Look and release your inner Abigail, you know you want to.

Vintage KittyKat