Recent makes…

By way of a catch up, here’s what I’ve been making over the last few weeks…

Zebra Print Sorbetto

I cut this out at the beginning of the summer before my life was thrown into chaos by building work going on in our house.  I finished it but its too cold to wear it.  I’ve made multiple Colette Sorbetto tops as they are really quick and easy to make and comfortable to wear.  I usually make more sensible ones for work, but this will be fun to wear with jeans when it gets warmer.  It’s particularly great, as its a free pattern.

Zebra Top

Mango & Coconut Flapjack

This is from Deliciously Ella: The Plant Based Cookbook which is brilliant.  The kids love this flapjack, and I’ve been trying to take it along to school pick up as a healthier and more filling snack.

Its really easy to make and cooks in 25 minutes.  The main challenge is not eating it all before I get to the playground.

Mango Flapjack

Grainline Linden Sweatshirt

I bought this pattern as I thought it was time to branch out from Sorbetto.  I’ve been looking for new sweatshirts for ages with no success, so I thought I’d better try and make my own!  I ordered fabric online for the first time.  I bought it from Guthrie & Ghani as I’ve been following Lauren (who owns and runs the shop in Birmingham) since the Great British Sewing Bee and I had read a blog post she had written about choosing sweatshirt patterns.  I got this fabric: https://guthrie-ghani.co.uk/shop/fabric/cosy-colours-sky-blue-multi-fleck-fleece-sweatshirt-fabric and it is really lovely.  I also got the mustard colour.  It pre-washed really well.  My Auntie Jackie came over to help me and we managed to get the sweatshirt made in one day.  The pattern instructions were really clear and easy to follow.  I love how it fits and I’ve already worn it loads.  Number two is cut out and ready to sew.   I’ve had my eye on this Atelier Brunette sweatshirt fabric, so now I know the pattern works for me, I might treat myself to some for number three!  I think this sweatshirt might be my favourite thing I’ve ever made as for once, I am completely satisfied with what I’ve made!  Although my all time favourite sewing project still has to be the Elsa Costume I made for my daughter when she was four.  That project nearly broke me but she loved it so much.  She’s 8 now and still tries to squeeze into it!

Linden

(This photo was taken at night time so doesn’t show the true turquoise colour)

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Winwick Mum Socks

I knitted my first pair of socks a couple of years ago as part of the Winwick Mum Sockalong which was brilliant.  Christine has since brought out a book, which I bought as I find it easier to turn physical pages than to follow online.  I finished the first of my second pair of socks this week and am now speeding on with the second one.  I’m using a short circular needle rather than DPNs this time and really enjoying it.

Socks

Puppy

I’ve been constantly disrupted by our new family member, but I am loving taking him out for walks.  I love walking, but its even more fun when you’ve got a puppy!

Lando

That’s all for now, I’ve got to get these kids to bed so I can get on with my knitting!  My husband’s out for the evening so the TV is all mine 🙂

Kx

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Blogging for inspiration and mental health

Hi!  Its been a while.  I stopped blogging because life was hectic and I wasn’t managing to make much time for crafting, and because I doubted anyone was interested anyway.

However, I’ve recently discovered a new sewing and knitting podcast on You Tube called The Little Tailoress and watching it has really inspired me to get on with my own knitting and sewing projects which are often extremely neglected.  My kids are a little bit older now and although life is very busy, it is possible to make time for crafting if I step away from the lure of my phone.

I really want to lead my kids by example, so I’d like them to see me crafting and reading more which will hopefully encourage them to find their own passions outside of screens.

I’ve done some sewing and knitting over the last few weeks, and it has made me so happy.   The world seems a lot brighter when you make time for your passions.

So I’ve decided to start blogging again, even if it is just a record of things I’ve done and made for the future.  I loved looking back through the old posts on this blog.

To be continued….

Kx

 

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2016 Makes

Here’s what I’ve been making so far this year…

I’ve made two Sorbetto tops before and they are really useful and quick to make so I made a two more in more work suitable fabrics bought on sale in John Lewis.  Both tops made for a total of £10!  Free pattern

This only took me six months to knit! (Very good for me as I am a left handed person who knits right handed and consequently can’t throw the yarn so am slow – that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!).  I love this snood but sadly I managed to miss a row halfway through (only me!) and flip the pattern.  However once it was sewn up it doesn’t really notice – and it wouldn’t be a knitted item by me without a characterful mistake!  Another free pattern.  Yarn not so much!

I loved doing this as part of my first ever Sewalong.  I was slower than the Sewalong itself of course, but I loved how it was all broken up into small sections.  Perfect for me.  I have worn the dress but have decided that although the top fits brilliantly, the skirt part is just too voluminous.  So my Auntie Jackie came to the rescue again and pinned me and told me what I need to do to alter it.  That’s what I’m going to do in my 2 hour window of free time tomorrow morning (I will keep it free.  I will.)

  • Hand Sewn Pin Cushion made at a WI meeting about Patchworking

I really enjoyed doing some hand sewing.  I finished it off the next evening while watching TV and it was very relaxing.  I’d love to do patch working and quilting – one day there will be a bit more time.

This was a brilliant Sockalong with a free pattern and really excellent step by step instructions.  Its taken me a year to finish them but they’re worth it.  So comfy.  Don’t think I’m quite ready to start another pair yet though!

I knitted this pattern a few years ago for my little boy.  Here’s the post I wrote about it: Post.  It took my a year (recurring theme?) but he has worn it so much and it has been admired by lots of people SO I have decided to knit another in the next size as after 2 years he has sadly outgrown the first one.  I’m determined to knit a little each day so hopefully it won’t take a year this time!

I’ve already made one glaring mistake but as its on the back, I’m just going for ‘character’ and leaving it.

  • Vegetable Patch by Dad

My lovely Dad kindly built this vegetable patch in my garden for me and provided some plants from his own greenhouse which I’ve been steadily planing – and they’re actually growing (well, so far so good).   Just got to try and remember to water them now, not my strong point unfortunately.

 

That’s why I love blogging – it reminds you of all the things you have achieved, even though it feels like you spend most of the time loading the washing machine and tidying up!

K x

 

 

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Time for a change

Wow!  ‘Write blog’ has been on my ‘to do’ list for the longest time, and I’ve realised I haven’t written a post since June.

It makes me sad because I love blogging and I love making but I seem to be finding very little time for either lately.  I really need to re-assess, decided which things I really enjoy and just do them.  And a lot less of ridiculous things like looking at Facebook.

Part of me feels like scrapping this blog and starting afresh.  But looking back at the things I’ve made is so nice – and that’s really all this blog ever was – a place for me to record things I’ve been making.  So I think I’ll carry on.

I’ve got some knitting and sewing on the go, and a planned craft project with the kids – so I resolve to watch a bit less TV, do a bit less social media browsing and get down to a bit of crafting.  Then I can report back.

Merry Christmas!

Kx

 

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Sewing box table

A while back, a friend of my Dad’s who is quite elderly very kindly gave me this old fashioned sewing box table:

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I don’t actually know him, but my Dad must have mentioned that I was learning to sew, and so he offered the table to me.  I think it belonged to his wife, who sadly passed away, and he wanted it to have a good home.

At the weekend, as the sun was out, I finally sat down in the garden and looked through it:

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Above: the main compartment  – Below: a little pull out drawer

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I sorted through the contents, and discovered lots of different things:

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I don’t know what some of the things are, and I don’t have any particular use for them but it feels wrong to just throw away the contents of an obviously well used (and, probably, loved) sewing box.

The inside of the box is very worn and tatty, and I have no idea how to go about cleaning it up.  I would like to do something though, so that I can use it.  The wood is fine and it looks lovely on the outside.  Here’s the inside view:

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I’m not sure what I need to do.  Could I get it re-upholsered?  Or would that be really expensive?  Could I line it with something else?  It seems a shame to do nothing, which is what I have been doing for quite a while.  I love the idea of making it all fresh and clean and storing some of my own sewing things in it.

And what to do with the contents?   Some of the pins and needles are still in good condition and I love the old school cases.  The threads look great, but perhaps they are dusty?  Should I keep them?  Should I take the buckles and things to the charity shop?  The darning threads are not something I would know how to use, but I just love all the old fashioned packaging with it.  So much nicer than the plastic stuff we get these days.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, they would be very gratefully received.

Thank you very much.

Kx

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Fright Club

I don’t normally mix my blogs, but as this is quite a big deal for me, I have decided to share what I posted today on the blog I write about overcoming my bird phobia (www.cambirdbites.wordpress.com).  I’m doing this as I hope it might help other people with phobias.  Here goes….

Fright Club

Ok, here it is.  I have really mixed feelings about sharing this, as I was secretly hoping no-one would see it.

I only took part in this programme as it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to face my phobia in a group with access to great support.  The being on TV bit was the undesirable price I had to pay to get this help – and it was worth it.  I’m still in touch with the other people in my group on a regular basis, and my fear really is massively reduced.  The opportunity only came about because someone at Maverick (the production company) stumbled across this blog, and emailed me.  So I guess it was meant to be.

I haven’t seen the programme myself yet, so I have no idea how kind the editing process will have been.  Not very, I suspect.  Its going to be embarrassing (lots of screaming and crying, and the wearing of a very unflattering red boiler suit!), but if it helps someone else sitting at home with a bird phobia, then I don’t mind.  Focus on the bigger picture, I keep telling myself.

So, if you want to see me and my nine fellow bird phobia sufferers facing our fears, here are the details:

Fear & Phobias Sky © Ollie Upton for BskyB

My friends Vicky and Rick are in this photo, but yes, I really did stand in the middle of all those turkeys – and much more!

Let me know what you think.

Kx

PS.  I will post a bit of the diary I kept during the filming of the programme after its airs tomorrow.

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Actually finishing things!

Hi there!

I decided it was time to just get on and finish some projects.  No moaning.  And of course, finishing projects means… being much more organised and less overwhelmed?  Yes.  But also – the huge joy of…getting more projects!  Its a never ending circle really, isn’t it?  Oh well, lets just go with it.

The ‘Nightmare’ Dress

Two years ago (yes, that’s right), I went to a day course at a local fabric shop to make a dress.  Unfortunately, it was a bit of a disaster.  I just couldn’t keep up with the rest of the class (being new to sewing), and I made a terrible cutting mistake which resulted in having to buy a completely new piece of fabric and adapt the pattern.

I did manage to get it resembling a dress by the end of the day, but more 1950s maternity smock than anything I’d actually wear.

I was really disappointed as I’d spent a lot of money on two lots of fabrics, plus the cost of the class.  I sent my Auntie Jackie a photo (can’t find the photo at the moment, but when I do, I’ll add it), and she kindly offered to help me try and alter it.

We worked pretty hard on it, and although Jackie gave me lots of guidance and support, I’m proud to say – I sewed it all myself!  I managed to finish it half an hour before my WI meeting two weeks ago – so I wore it.

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I’m really pleased with it.  I got a few compliments and someone actually asked me ‘is it from White Stuff?’.  Great news for me as I love their stuff, but also because I got the chance to say the most satisfying words ever – ‘nope, I made it myself’.

Yipeeeee!!!!!!

Little girl’s cardigan

A while ago, I knitted my first garment – which was a tank top for my little boy.  Ever since, my little girl has been asking if I’d knit something for her.

I decided on a cardigan using a pattern I’d had hanging about for ages, and let her choose the colour.  A lot of time passed, and now – I’ve finished it.  I let her choose the button too – sparkly, of course.

Here it is:

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I’ve yet to managed to get a photo of her in it, but I’ll add it when I do.  I’m making a little dress for her to wear under it, so when I finish that it should make for an even better photo!

Little boy’s quilt

I made this potato chip quilt for my little boy ages ago, but finished it off in such a hurry that the edges were really messy.  I’ve had it in my ‘to do’ pile for ages, so last week, I made myself sit and sew the edges by hand.  It only took one evening, and was actually really nice to do while watching TV.

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Alas, he won’t sit still for a photo with it (reoccurring theme here!) – but I’ll catch him eventually and add it.

Summary

I am really pleased that I’ve got these projects finished.  Some many things hang around because I lose enthusiasm for them and don’t make time to get them done.  But when I do get on and finish them, I realise how much nicer to have them off my mind!

That’s all for now.

K x

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