The Seamstress and the Duchess

So I said I would share my costume musings with you and here I am. I did not really have much time this summer to make any costume for Steampunk due to making lots of bags and quite a bit of work stuff to do .

Anyway was a bit unsure of what I really wanted to make, what would really inspire me. The lace on the jacket and boots were a stopgap and both will be worn for everyday as well and the top hat has had plenty of wear since I made it.

I have been considering various options and have looked through all of my fabric stash and have finally decided on a make.

I have been inspired almost simultaneously by two sources, the Seamstress Squadron and a blog,  American Duchess and helped by a recent Ebay purchase or two as shown below!

 

 

Ebay tablecloth 1

Ebay tablecloth 2

Ebay tablecloth 3

The blog I discovered through Pinterest on the way to Ellie’s on the train and spent a happy hour looking at all the lfantastic costumes that they make.

I noticed that one of my costumed lovelies at Lincoln had a badge saying Seamstress Squadron which I thought was pretty cool, and was talking to the lovely lady Allison in the sewing themed dress later on and noticed that she had one too!

Seamstress Squadron patch

Turns out that this is a Facebook group of like minded people who share costume ideas and make wonderful things. They even had a couple of meet ups over the Lincoln weekend.Here is a picture of their sewing motif banner outside the cathedral.

Seamstress Squadron banner

I have joined the group and looking through all their lovely ideas made me realise that I do want to make something original, just for me rather than buy one of the many pretty outfits available.

So what would I make, what really sums up me and what I love fabric wise? Walking into my craft room the answer was obvious, I love vintage embroidery, linen , lace and crochet. Could I combine this into an outfit?

July bags and pouches 13

July extra pouches and bags 7

Once again Pinterest is my friend and inspiration here. I had thought of just putting patches on a garment like the lovely patches I have made for my bag below but then I remembered the tablecloths.

Vintage log cabin bag 1

I was going to cut out the motifs and use them for various things but actually think that there is enough fabric in these tablecloths to make shirt.It was Ellie that gave me the idea as I was talking about a black satin one and she suggested a white one to go with my new purple skirt.

Look at these gorgeous things, all made from tablecloths, doileys, lace and bits of crochet!

Tablecloth garment 1

Tablecloth garment 2

Tablecloth garment 3

Tablecloth garment 4

A quick Google search turned up this lovely pattern for a jacket and skirt set that can also be adapted to make a blouse, I got it half price in the sale as well ūüôā I think this may be the one Allison used to make her outfit as it does look similar.

Butterick pattern 1

Butterick pattern 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am very pleased with my musings, hopefully I will be able to make something lovely and unique as I realised the things I loved most this weekend were the very quirky and individual ones and I can make the most of this sewing themed outfit. I will be able to use up some of my sewing charms as well and will be decorating this purple hat to go with my theme and making a bag.

Farmer Phils 14- Purple hat

And the great thing is that if it all does go terribly wrong I can still cut it up and make patchwork!

I am going to start this adventure in fabric next week as soon as the tablecloths and pattern arrive. I know Lincoln is not until next year but we will probably go to a couple of other events in Nov and Feb and if I leave the project until next year it may well get forgotten about like the new peasant dress I keep meaning to make every season ūüėČ

Wish me luck and I will keep you updated on the progress!

Thanks as always for visiting and for your lovely comments.

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Angle experiments

I have had a lovely time playing with Dresdens in my craft room over the last weekend. I have learnt a lot and made some pretty things.I am very much an experimenter when it comes to my crafting and am trying to expand my techniques. I never like to follow patterns or ideas directly and prefer using these as basis for a bit of creativity.

This is why I have ended up with such a variety of sizes, rather than actually following any instructions I just kept thinking, ‘what if I do this….?’

Which explains the giant Dresden, this measures 17 inches across and is a result of seeing what happens when you use the other end of the new Dresden ruler! I am not sure what this is going to be, was thinking bag but maybe a cushion cover with a large crochet piece in the centre from my stash and even a few Suffolk Puffs!

Large pink Dresden 1

This is the first one, the blades are 3 inches in length with the narrow end of my new ruler, worked out that you need 20 of these to complete the design so just kept adding fabric.

Medium Pink Dresden 1

Medium Pink Dresden 2

And this one is the, ‘what if I make it wider at the top’, experiment. done with a 2 length inch blade but wider at the top so only 12 were needed. I am not sure about the linen blades here, loved them but have now decided to applique this onto a linen pouch so may need to swap them out for a contrast fabric.

Doesn’t it look lovely with a bit of my vintage crochet in the centre?

Small Pink Dresden 1

One of the reasons I have been able to just play and add blades as needed is that I have been very naughty and bought new fabric, sush don’t tell the kids ūüėČ

I bought two beautiful packs from a new supplier of ditsy florals that I found a while ago, Always Knitting and Sewing.

At the time I posted this wish list pic from the web site, and though I didn’t realise it when I ordered this it mostly what I bought.

bundle-10-fat-quarters-cream-floral-Always Knitting and Sewing

They came as two bundles, with ten 10¬†inch squares of beautiful quality fabric in each bundle, ¬†very good value at ¬£5.99 each. There is lots of choice of other colours as well. I ordered one cream and one pink bundle which has given me lots of beautiful things to play with. Aren’t they just absolutely gorgeous ūüôā

This is one of my very favourite ones and as I need a new make up bag and have some more linen coming think I will save this for me!

Dresen Rose and Hubble fabrics 5

Most of their stock seems to be Rose and Hubble and Moda and I love all of it. I am very tempted by this beautiful colourway.

Red fabrics - wish list

I have also started another Sew Illustrated project, this one using one of the sewing motifs from the book and one of my favourite sayings, ‘Sew many projects, sew little time!’ This will be a pouch, again either for me to keep¬†or a gift.

Sew Ilustrated spool pouch 1

Love using up my Liberty scraps on these and hope that they do look like spools.

Sew Ilustrated spool pouch 4

I do really love this time of year! I am able to go to work and come home in the light, the rhododendrons are just about to bloom and it is nearly time to go to Spain again ūüôā

Also with my new role most of my teaching finishes next week, that means lots of marking for the next couple of months but that can mostly be done from the comfort of my sofa.

Then I have to do some serious work on my doctorate over the summer, but that still leaves plenty of time for crafting in the late afternoons, so along with the plan for my doctorate I have written a crafting plan for the summer.

So I am a very happy bunny. Hope that you are all having a nice Spring (or Autumn), take care and thanks for visiting.

Quilty maths and a sheep in progress

Hello and hope that you are all having a very lovely weekend, after the busyness of the previous three I am having a very lovely time in my craft room. Last weekend I was helping Ellie paint her new house which went very well and this weekend I have a whole weekend devoted to sewing ūüôā

She has a very lovely bathroom, very much a spa style gorgeous pamper place in grey so I made her this little pouch as a house warming gift.

Grey linen pouch 1

The grey linen, lining fabric and crochet lace are all from my stash and the little squares are from the Moda mini charm packs that I bought at the Quilt Festival in the summer.

I have been hard at work on Dresedens applying my maths knowledge to working out sizes and angles. It has been very much trial and error as I have not looked at any patterns just done some cutting and gone for it.

I have taught maths for most of the last 29 years and trained lots of maths teachers over the last 15 years and have always told them about the maths in crafting such as quilts so have been putting it into good practice.

Last week I made this lovely piece, was surprised how easily it went together and turned it into a mug rug for my craft room with the addition of one of my vintage crochet motifs.

I have just purchased a book that has been on my radar for a while, Sew Illustrated,  by Minki Kim and Kristin Esser and was inspired by all the lovely things in it to do something similar today.

Just look at all this cuteness, particularly liking the baskets and the little house bags, after making so many house pincushions can see this as a way of using up more ideas for fabric combinations in a more practical way. Need to find something cute for fussy cutting the door!

Sew Illustrated book 4

Sew Illustrated book 6

This is my work in progress sheep knitting notions bag, probably for Sarah’s Yarndale stall if I don’t decide it is too lovely¬†and has to stay with me ūüôā I have been hand embroidering the sheep’s legs and head tonight while watching the third series of the excellent Grace and Frankie on Netflix.

Sheep knitting acessories bag 1

Sheep knitting acessories bag 2

Sheep knitting acessories bag 3

Have also made a couple of other Dresdens, one a little bigger than the above and an experiment with the other end of my new Dresden ruler that has ended up being rather on the large side ūüôā

More on that in a future post, meanwhile happy crafting, thanks for visiting and see you soon.

Yarndale

Yesterday my friend Sarah from knitting and I went to Yarndale, a festival of all things woolly, in the pretty little town of Skipton on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Here is the front cover of the show guide – how cute is that sheep!

Yarndale 15 brochure
Skipton is worth a visit at any time as the town and the countryside are lovely and as the weather was beautiful we had a great journey there.

Sarah is a very talented knitter, crocheter and designer and she has some beautiful patterns here on her blog Wessenden Woollies and on Ravelry. She is working on some new designs and wanted to source wool for these.

I am being very good at the moment and not buying anything else (until the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show) so just went for the chance to see some woolly loveliness.

And it was there in abundance! This is Yarndale’s second year and it is held in the animal auctions sheds in Skipton so the whole place smells of sheep and the pens are ready to welcome new visitors such as these cute alpacas who had come to model their gorgeous fleeces.

Yarndale 1 Alpaca

Yarndale 2 Alpaca

There were some old favourites there such as Oliver Twists who do such beautiful threads and some lovely new things.

Yarndale 4 Oliver Twist

One of my favourites was Susan Crawford Vintage  who designs garments based on patterns from the 1920s to 1950s, published as A Stitch in Time , I do like that name :-).

Yarndale 10-vintage knits

As well as wool there were textile artists. Two that I particularly liked were Marmalade Rose  with gorgeous felted pictures (and some fab vintage linens re-used on her blog) and Anne Brooke with stunning stitched textile pieces.

There were also very original display ideas on the stalls and this was one of my favourites.

Yarndale 8 tray

Yarndale 9 tray

I think it is an old printer’s drawer but thought something like this would be an excellent decoration for¬†my craft room, loved all the little balls of wool and buttons!

The hall was decorated with strings of bunting made for last year’s Yarndale¬†and over 1000¬†mandalas made for this year’s event by readers of Lucy’s Attic 24 blog. They had been sent from 48 different countries after she asked for help from her¬†bloggy friends¬†– don’t you just love the power of the internet!

Yarndale 6 Bunting

Yarndale 7 Bunting

Yarndale 3 Mandalas

These were a few of the ones laid out on the table for closer inspection, love the sheep buttons on that top one and the bike charms (you may remember Yorkshire hosted the start of the Tour de France earlier this summer).

Yarndale 11 - mandala close up

Yarndale 12 mandala close up

Yarndale 13 mandala close up

There was also a display of crochet flowers.

Yarndale 5 Flower garden
And look at this cute button jug! Might have to add that to my Christmas list as that would look really good in my craft room.

Yarndale 14 button jug

Speaking of buttons I was very good and all I bought at the event were these few buttons. I am using them for more of my flower brooches and made this denim one last night.

Yarndale 18 big pretty buttons

Yarndale 19 Denim flower

Earlier on in the week I ordered some very similar buttons from a supplier I found on Ebay (was looking for holly buttons but got distracted!). They are from Bluebell Craft Supplies  and were very good value as there are 80 small 15mm buttons in a packet for £1.69 plus postage.

arndale 17 pretty buttons

Also bought some Christmas ones – these have got some very cute vintage designs on them.

Yarndale xmas buttons

Have found a supplier of the larger ones on Ebay at Willow Tree Mill  as well so might be tempted to go back for more (only once I have used all these up though!)

I also signed up for a subscription to Simply Crochet, as well as improving my quilting this year I would like to learn to crochet as keep seeing wonderful things that I want to make (got to have something to keep me busy over the off-season apart from work and kit making!)

Since I have had a very busy first week of term and it is a dull day I am going to stay snuggled under my fleecy blanket and make more brooches and Xmas ornaments today.

Don’t forget to like my last post for the giveaway to celebrate 400 posts¬†(thanks to all of you who have already done so) I will be choosing the winner next Sunday. Hope you have had a nice week whatever you have been doing and thanks for visiting.

On top of the world

Hello there

Hope you are all well and happy, thank you for your lovely comments on my new things.

I have been busy this weekend adding to the stock as I have made a couple of new items, these are phone covers. The top one I am going to keep as I made a bit of an error with the lining ;-(

Phone cover 3

Phone cover 2

Phone cover 1

The crochet on that one is from a large piece which contains about 30 of these flower motifs РI used some of a similar design and different colour last year to make a handbag which I blogged about here. So I have plenty more to make other items.

The other phone case used one of  the smaller motifs from the tablecloth that I have used for the hearts and the Kindle cover I made. I think I have got about 6 items out of that tablecloth already and still have loads of motifs left.

I acquired a new tablecloth this weekend, this one is cross stitched so I am looking forward to making some bigger items from that РI am thinking maybe toilet bags.

Cross stitch table cloth Feb 1

Cross stitch table cloth Feb 2

I am feeling very well at the moment – touch wood my dodgy back is behaving itself and I went on a really lovely strenuous walk yesterday literally to the top of my little world. It was a glorious day, very blustery and still icy as you can see from the foliage pictures below.

Binn Moor walk 1

Binn Moor walk 2

Binn Moor walk 3

Binn Moor walk 4

Binn Moor walk 5

It was wonderful to be up so high looking down on the reservoirs.My house is just at the bottom right of this view.

I have just finished a stitch for the Winter Exchange – more will be revealed when it has reached its destination and nearly finished another version of the variegated wool hat. Have so many lovely projects I would like to do next don’t know where to start ūüôā

Right am off and now for a wander and when I come back more crafting – what a lovely life!

Thanks for visiting.

Happy Mothers’ Day – cupcakes, vintage crochet and knitting

Hello and a very Happy Mothers’ Day to you if you live in the UK. If you don’t Happy first Sunday in April and I hope that you are having a lovely day anyway! I would like to dedicate this post to all of my lovely friends who are mums¬†both in real life and blogland¬†as a celebration of your fabulousness. And of course to my wonderful Mum who has always been a brilliant friend as well as a mum.

Being a mum is fantastic and I am very thankful that I have such lovely kids who have once again bought me very thoughtful presents and cards.I had a bracelet and  Mackintosh pattern box last week and today as a surprise I got this!

Elm creek book
Sylvia's Bridal Sampler Quilt Book

I have wanted this book¬† for ages and¬†I was very impressed as normally the kids don’t buy me crafting books from my wish list (they think I have enough already – as if such a thing exists) So thanks very, very much!

I have lots of friends who have in the last few years become new mums and one of the things I value most about the internet is being able to keep in touch with them, to see pics of the kids and to be able to offer support through the power of a nice comment or two when they may be feeling a bit overwhelmed or the kids are poorly, teething etc. I am very lucky to have had a great group of local friends who I met through a Mother and Toddler group and we have kept each other going through the years and are now supporting through teenage and University issues and the joys of having more time to ourselves now we are becoming empty nesters!

I am always impressed by the mums who run their own businesses both ones I know in real life and through blogging. I have mentioned my very talented friend Kat lots of times before and her medieval headdresses and costume business Kats Hats . I would also like to introduce another friend to you who has recently set up her own business, Simply Yummy Cupcakes, which as you can probably tell is a cake business! The link is from Facebook so you might have to be logged in to see it. Now¬†I know a lot of people do cupcakes but these are something very special – I hope she won’t mind me sharing a couple of pics with you of her work – look how¬† talented she is!

Laura's cakes 1
These are obviously very topical for today!
Laura's cakes 2
These 'bouquets' are made out of cupcakes decorated like roses!

¬†Laura also makes cupcakes to order for birthdays, weddings and other special events including some very unusual ‘cake pops’ that you can use as wedding favours – she is based in Newport , South Wales in the UK so if you need special cakes go and have a look at her creations.I am planning to do a little baking later on this afternoon for Jake – some chocolate orange cupcakes with chocolate frosting which¬†I tried out on him last week and¬†they got the seal of approval but they are not as wonderful as Laura’s.

Taking inspiration from another very talented mum, Hen House, I went to a Vintage Fair in town yesterday held in a little Victorian Arcade where my friend Lydia has her wool shop Spun. Hen makes the most wonderful things out of her vintage embroidery finds – adding them to quilts and cushions so look what I picked up.

Vintage crochet 2
Two crochet runners and a linen tablecloth

 

Vintage crochet 1
Look at those lovely flowers!

I have tried to learn to crochet but no luck so far but the little flowers on these two pieces¬†are lovely and I thought that I could turn them into something nice with some denim that I have in my stash and some of the fabric that I bought from Lydia not long ago. Lovely daughter Ellie is home from University in May so hopefully we will be able to spend lots of time crafting and¬†I thought she might like these. The tablecloth I plan to incorporate into a quilted throw for my lounge that I have some beautiful medieval prints for which I¬†bought last year. Quite when I will get around to starting these projects¬†I don’t know as¬†I already have several WIPs¬†to complete but it help to have all the stash handy for when the right time arrives doesn’t it!

I have done very well on my current projects – have nearly finished the stitched exchange piece. It has been a tricky stitch, not so much the pattern but the combination of the fabric¬†I chose and the silk thread and the fact that the count is very small so¬†I have to use the magnifying¬†glass and it has been slow going. As I wanted something a bit more mindless to work on this weekend (we were watching a film¬†where I needed concentrate!) and¬†I needed something new for knitting group¬†I have cast on for a baby cardi in my favourite Sublime yarn – this time a dusky pink. I could not get a good pic of the pattern (Blossom from Let’s Knit magazine ¬†August 2010) so apologies but it is a tie front cardi¬†with an eyelet detail in the body (which I have not tried before) and lacy diamond pattern sleeves.

Pink ballet cardi
WIP on the back showing eyelet details

Knitting with the Sublime yarn is wonderful after using the Marble Chunky for my hat. It was quick to knit but not as easy to see the stitch pattern at all whereas with Sublime you can see exactly what you are doing. I am going to Spain again next week (lucky, lucky me – it is my Mum’s 70th birthday in a couple of weeks so we are celebrating out there) so this will be my holiday project along with the JBW¬†pudding ornie.

Speaking of the red chunky hat here it is modelled by me this morning (thanks Jake for taking the pic!) I think it works very well as a slouchy beret and will use the rest of the ball to cast on for a scarf in the same pattern later in the year – not as much need for scarves here in Yorkshire now hurrah!

Red chunky hat modelled
I really like the colour changes in the yarn that give it the stripes and the lacy rib pattern

Well am now off to spend the rest of the day doing my favourite things – lucky me! Hope that you are all having a lovely day wherever you are and thank you very much for visiting.

Simple things

I have been having a relatively quiet week enjoying the simple things in life as my back has still been a bit sore. Have enjoyed long soaks in a nice hot bubble bath and the relief of getting home after a day’s teaching to lie on the sofa with my knitting. My lovely students bought me a big bunch of flowers as a get well present – aren’t they kind?

Flowers
Especially welcome as they are so bright - a contrast to the dull weather

I have taken delivery of a new edition of one of my recent magazine subscriptions this week so I thought I would share this with you. The magazine is called Piecework  and it comes from the USA. I subscribed a few months ago as I liked the fact that the magazine is a blend of the history of all sorts of crafts and ideas for making new items.

Piecework magazine cover 1
The Nov/Dec issue

Each magazine contains articles and then a project and covers embroidery, knitting, crochet, weaving etc so is perfect for me. I probably won’t get around to making any of the projects anytime soon (due to life interrupting the serious business of playing with textiles!) but love reading them. My favourite from this issue was the article on one woman’s grandmother’s crocheted pillow edgings.

Piecework article 1
The work of Mary Rebecca Spagnola who died in 1944

As regular readers know I  love the social history behind textiles and this was a really interesting article with a crochet pattern to go with it РI wish I could crochet but even if I could I think this would be beyond me!

Piecework article 2
A crocheted fan edging for a pillow

Last edition was all about the links between literature and textiles and include an article on one of my favourite subjects. I have been re-watching Little House on the Prairie and reading lots about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her life after the books ended and there was an article about her daughter Rose Wilder Lane.

Piecework magazine 2
The literature issue

 

Piecework  article 2
Rose Wilder Lane article

My friend Kath lent me two books about Rose’s childhood which I read on my recent holiday in Spain. She had a very similar upbringing to her mother in small rural communities but ended up becoming a journalist and travelling all over the world and writing about women’s needlework as well as travel and ¬†industrial change. It was she who encouraged her mother to write all the Little House books. I find their stories fascinating as a¬†record of how the roles of women changed so much in that era. I have one of Rose’s books on my wish list for Xmas – the ‘Women’s Day Book of American Needlework’¬† and if no-one buys it for me I will treat myself in Jan!

I am getting on well with my quilted Xmas wall hanging and my lace pattern scarf – no finishes to show you yet but they will be done soon! The lace scarf is a real labour of love as it has a 12 row pattern which takes lots of concentration but I am nearly there!

I do have a pic of the latest baby cardigan in Sublime with its recipient. Here is Anna – Mae with her parcel and wearing the cardigan – doesn’t she look lovely!¬†I am so glad that it fits.

Anna Mae 2
She is now nearly 18 months old - isn't she adorable!

Well I am going to be very busy this week with work but am really looking forward to my trip to the Harrogate Knitting and Stiching Show at the end of the week РI have my shopping list and there may well be Xmas fabric on it (as well as lots of stuff to make lovely quilts after Xmas Рhave been browsing the Makower  site for ideas!)

Thanks for visiting.