Wednesday, 4 May 2016

May challenge for those Lazy Bums

My challenge this month was to make a T shirt, from fabric which has been lurking for over a year. What excuses can I make?

Pure idleness!
So the challenge was issued, just as I had got the fabric out and the pattern ready anyway! Lucky lucky!

I think this may be a Liberty print jersey- it is certainly William Morris inspired, with a dark blue background, and those lovely colours in the print, slightly muted, but singing to me. 

 Top-stitching round curves is not as easy as it might be...  but helps stop the facing escaping.

The facing was interfaced with iron on stretch interfacing, which is different from my last stretch interfacing, more stretchy? I think it may be better for this project. It is very light weight!

I do like a slightly longer T shirt than is currently available in the shops, so making it oneself is the sensible option. I also like the bell sleeve, which I redrafted from a straight sleeve, for a previous T shirt A little cooler than the straighter version.

And I overlocked all the seams, just hemming and topstitching with the standard machine. It went together super quick, and is very comfortable.

The hem is done with a twin needle, designed for stretch fabric. Not a ball point twin, but a stretch twin. It makes all the difference!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A challenge completed

Well, it was this month's challenge.. and last month's and I think also the challenge at various previous months... But it is done!

 The fabric was bought in Goldhawk Road, down near Shepherd's Bush, last year, with the assistance of my lovely son, and his young lady, and has been waiting patiently for me to deal with ever since. But now, it is ready for wearing.I am rather happy with the end result, though I have not finished the neck as well as I ought, but hey, who is to inspect it there? Get those paws off!

And I did self covered buttons, just because!

And I have still some T shirts awaiting the making... so I needed some more stretch interfacing, and went off to Abakhan for it. What I got was not quite what I ahd had previously, but I trust it will do. 

 It certainly looks stretchy enough.

and, as sometimes happens, while I was there a couple of other fabrics just sort of fell into my hand....

No, I am not sure what I plan for them just yet, either, but this is what came home with me...

All seemed to have that mystery something that meant they were not supposed to stay in the shop...

Not safe to be let loose some of us...

I am also the proud possessor of a new wee toy..
 Yes, a one of these..  My youngest gave it to me, and I still need to give it a go. I have a sort of idea in my mind as to what I shall use it for in the first playing... watch this space!

but do not hold your breath, I have some distance learning to do for work, which has to come first...

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Screen printing ( Painting, anyone?)

You may recall a visit I made to Stitchscape, which is down the road a way from me. It is about a mile away, so really convenient to get to. That was back in November.
So when I saw that Di had Karen Lewis ( yes, really, Karen Lewis!!!) coming to do a workshop in February, I sadly decided that I could not attend. You see, it was on a Saturday, all day, and I work including Saturdays. I came home and whinged to my husband... and he said, book it. And that he wanted to come too!  and then I thought about someone else... who I thought might like to come as well. So, I spoke to Di ( she is a love, you should meet her, she is just amazingly lovely) and she agreed to hold a place if she could... but there were other people interested, and they needed first refusal... and, and... and then she spoke to Karen, who agreed an extra place could be found, for a special overseas visitor!

So I spoke to my lovely friend from overseas, and booked us all on!  She did wonder a bit why I was all excited, until she twigged what we were really doing, and mentioned it to her friends more locally, who said, yes, there is someone really good, Karen Lewis, that would be OK, and then, of course they wanted to climb in her suitcase and come too...

Sorry Karen, not the most flattering shot, as you were mid explanation, but the only one I have of you!
Karen explained eveything really well, made it all simple, and got us all doing our own designs and preparing the masks for printing, Everyone did different things, and very effective some of those designs! We all came away with fabric samples to use, and a set of simple techniques so that we can print all sorts of stuff at home. Karen is great fun and very friendly. You can ask about any aspect of the process and she will keep you laughing and doing!

Nobody said it was a tidy craft to pursue! a lot of mess is fairly inevitable!

Teatowels were provided for us to play with, as well as bringing our own fabric to print on, and tha blank newsprint was good for making masks as well as practising technique. 

this lady used curves from a ruler to get her design up and running. 
Altogether we had a fabulous day, thanks to Karen and to Di. 

Di plans to run another Karen Lewis day in the autumn, so watch out for her on Stitchscape, or you may miss a fantastic opportunity!

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Bee blocks

December, January and February  seem to have come and gone before I could even blink, but bee blocks were made and sent

This is November's block, delayed until I could get to it in December. It is the 'WantaFanta' block,  It was easy to make and en masse it will be a lovely quilt. Hot pinks were added from stash, with our queen bee supplying the white.

Then our January queen requested this pineapple, as she is making a wedding quilt for her sister. It is a large block, but again, when all contributions are in, she will have the makings of a lovely quilt.

Sadly February's queen decided she needed a month off, rather than thinking what we should all make for her... I feel I owe her something, she has been right in there for everyone, and made all blocks promptly and with imagination... I shall put my thinking cap on for her, as she is a love. ( you know who you are!)

 And this is what our March queen bee has asked for. A simple but effective block that went together so easily, you just would not believe! And some very pretty fabric popped itself into the envelope beside it, to go into our stash..

Stay tuned, Karen Lewis coming up.....shortly!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Delayed thanks...

There was this little tiny swap... well just a wee pouch swap... and, yes, I fell into it. Who can resist a pouch swap? Not this one, clearly...
A direct swap, this one. She sends to me, I send to her.... Keep it simple, no great mystery, but great fun.

Her preferences? simple bright cheerful colours. Happy and bright. Other than that, anything I like.

Now swap guidelines are maximum measurement, 9". Must have a fastening of some description. And a surprise.

So I did a teensy bit of stalking, and decided I had some really cheery red linen that would be perfect. But you cannot leave it there, now, can you? so...
 a set of lined pleats... what would you line them with? Green, of course!
 I had seen geese trailing off centre somewhere... how to do them... Oh, easy once you do the maths! not that they came out quite as well as I wanted... but...
And a few lines of stitching with my Sulky,

 And those pleats just caght back to show how pretty the green linings are...

And we have a pouch. Simple, but, I hope, sweet. 

And the surprise? 
a dumpling pouch, they are sweet, useful ( I keep sewing machine needles stashed in one of these, then I know where to find a new one... ) and fun to put together. 

And I made a pincushion to put on her machine.but somehow, no pictures of that... 

And I received, a beautiful linen pouch in return!
 Simple, with accents that work! And the little cotton reel zip pull...
And a small notebook included, for the surprise. 

Thank you Karin! It is perfect. 

Saturday, 2 January 2016

The lovely things made for me this year...

This is really self explanatory, I was lucky enough to have lots of hand made and home made things this year,

Not that tea is drunk in this house... no, no tea to speak of...

Our manky teacosy was replaced by this beauty made by my younger daughter-

 she has been doing a LOT of applique this year..

All those snowflakes appliqued by herself, and beautifully done too...

and I requested a pouch to take the bits that accompanied my Christmas present  ( and birthday, even unto the seventh generation....)
Yes, I got a new overlocker. Which has been a boon.

My old one which has given faithful service for about 25 years seized- in the middle of costume sewing season! Aaaargh! so we went out and bought a new one before Christmas, but it had to be my pressie...  and it came with all sorts of bits and pieces which need to be kept together really. Yes, more applique from my daughter!

and then there were those wonderful swap Christmas tree ornaments...
 A lovely Santa au jete, my snowflake dangle, snowman heart, Christmas bunny, dove of peace ( an extra with the bunny, gorgeous!), pretty red heart and the Christmouse! Thank you MQT swappers!

and these also came my way, the black birdie made by my son, who has started sewing, at the grand old age of ( well, maybe I shouldn't say, but he is my eldest...), a bonny fabric folded decoration from a friend, and the cheery pompom from someone I work with.

There were a couple of other new ornaments, though not home made,

The blue star, two glass teapots and a bauble were all new this Christmas.

And then, last but definitely not least, this gorgeous soft silk and alpaca scarf was woven for me by my elder daughter! It is sewn in a loop, so it doubles round my neck and is lovely and soft and warm, without feeling as if I am being strangled. I have been using it regularly, and can confirm that it is 100% lovely!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

getting there... getting there.. whops! I blinked and missed it!

It has been a frantic month! sewing costumes and then getting present sewing done, all of a rush! Several gifts had to be changed, I just had no time to do what had been planned, but here are a few photos...
First, did your house receive a visitor?   Ours certainly did, 
and I think he stopped for a nap, perhaps we were the final stop, but he was just caught going back to take his weary reindeer home, after all their efforts...

So, what did we find ?  All sorts of goodies came our way,

Including this lovely Christmas tree skirt, made secretly by my younger daughter, Frantically secreted in the room with the sewing machine and working away to get it done without me seeing anything! and then, sneaky child ( yes, she is fully an adult really) comes down in the wee smalls to put it round the tree- when everyone has already put presents round the tree- so she has to move them all, put skirt into place and reposition all presents...

I shall do a quick round up of some of the makes I made, and then, later, a post of all the makes received as well...

There are the main ones, yes, it was a well cushioned Christmas this year, there were some I failed to get photos of, but I think you can see why I was so busy? Of all these only the top one on the left was made before December started! The rest has had to be made in a tearing hurry to get all done in reasonable time, with the last couple of bits having to be made once Christmas was over...

I hope you all had as good a Christmas as we did, with no floods or disasters, and look forward to a 'makey' 2016.
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