Pain stops play :-(

I was hoping that I would have lots of lovely things to show you from my weekend and from the last few days as I have had the luxury of time not at work but sadly I have trapped a nerve in my shoulder and so have been doing very slow and steady stitching with not much of note to share.

It is very painful and I am miffed, not least as these were my two free weekends to get all of my Christmas ornaments sorted. I am working Saturdays again for the next couple of weeks so have limited free time until mid November.

Ho hum best laid plans as they say. At least I have lots of great TV to watch, I have been enjoying some Sci Fi, courtesy of friend’s recommendations. I have been watching the new Star Trek:Discovery and an X-files like Stranger Things, both of which I have really enjoyed.

I do have a finish to share with you from previous work, this is one of the lovely Jenny of Elefantz’s designs which I made as a, ‘thank ewe’ , present for my friend Sharon for all her help over the past few years with taking Jake to and from Uni. She likes sheep and we have plenty in Marsden so it seemed appropriate!

Thankewe 1

This is from Jenny’s Primitive Stitching series which was part of the Stitchery Club a while ago. I can’t find this pattern on her Craftsy page but there are many more other gorgeous ones there. I particularly love the little cotton reel.

She also has a free Block of the Month , this year based around the theme of home which you can find at the link. She is so generous with her free patterns and tutorials and all of her things are so pretty, I love visiting her blog!

I really need to stitch some more of her designs soon and I love these which are on vintage linen, pics from Jenny’s Craftsy page.These are both from this year’s Block of the Month.

ELEFANTZ BOM 2017 block 4 cover

ELEFANTZ+guard+your+heart+cover

I have a few quiet days this week as I am working from home, hopefully things will improve and I will be back to full capacity soon. Thank god for the internet, at least I can browse and look at all of the lovely things other people have been making as well.

Hope that you are all well and happy, take care and thanks for visiting.

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Plus difficile? Pattern matching with a difference

So today I made a start on the Steampunk jacket. My intention was just to iron the pattern, a top tip from the Seamstress Squadron forum,  then cut the pieces out and have a little think about how I might lay them out.

However I have ended up with a jacket all cut out and so far I am very pleased 🙂

I was a little daunted when I opened the pattern, I hadn’t looked too carefully at it when I bought it as it was late at night and it was on sale and well… there may have been wine involved 😉 I just thought, ‘ooh how pretty’ , and clicked.

The back of the packet did not inspire confidence with its, ‘plus difficile’, rating and when I looked at the instructions it felt a bit complicated. But I managed to make the wedding jacket for Amanda from a similarly complicated pattern, with a lining, so as I sorted the pieces and worked out how it all goes together I felt a bit more confident.

I am intending to alter the pattern a bit though, what I did not realise was that the front panel which is in the contrast dark blue on the illustration is cut like a facing then folded back and stitched onto the main front.

I am also not making the back longer and there will not be a bow. And I wanted to use these three tablecloths to make it, kindly held up by Jake, excuse the lack of light it, it has been raining here all day.

Steampunk linen jacket 5 tablecloth

Steampunk linen jacket 6 tablecloth

Steampunk linen jacket 7 tablecloth

Add to that the fact that I am a bit spatially challenged anyway when it comes to layouts and what could possibly go wrong!

I tried all of the pattern pieces on all of the table cloths and eventually decided on a layout that I liked.

I could have left it there, it took me about two hours to pluck up the courage to cut into Amanda’s fabric but that was £40 a metre silk and the end of the roll and this was three tablecloths costing £12 in total so just thought why not go for it so I did.

Steampunk linen jacket 14 cut frontjpg

I am very pleased with the way it has turned out, there was plenty of fabric and I have managed to match motifs easily to the pieces. To my surprise the smallest tablecloth had enough for both front pieces.I will have to lose some of the design at the bottom though as it is too long at the moment but love the shoulder pieces.

Steampunk linen jacket 13 cut back

I am especially pleased with the back and the way I have been able to stagger the stitched motifs. Below is one of the sleeves, front and back piece. I like the trailing design for the arms.

Steampunk linen jacket 12 cut sleeves

I also love the way the three different designs go together, they have all been stitched with the same palette of threads and I think they work very well.

Steampunk linen jacket 15 cut layout

I was expecting less cohesion which would have been fine.

Steampunk linen jacket 16 cut layout closeup

The look I am going for is slightly bizarre anyway as this jacket will probably be accessorised with stitching charms etc and worn with the purple top hat but I think it is splendid so far.

Steampunk linen jacket 17 cut layout closeup 2

I will have to do some serious fitting though as had to cut out a size 24 to accommodate my generous bosom, luckily having made clothes from scratch before I know how strange the sizings can be and will have to do lots of cutting down of sleeves etc.

Will be a few days before I can do any more work on it and I need to underline it, have lots of cotton in my stash that I will use for that, some old curtains will do nicely!

I do really love the, ‘make do and mend’ attitude of the Seamstress Squadron, so many people making wonderful things out of old curtains and adapting charity shop clothes, it is perfect!

Until then take care and thanks for visiting.

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 🙂 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 😉

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

Thanks as always for visiting and for your lovely comments.

Nunnington needlework

We had a great mini trip up North, the first place we visited was Nunnington Hall in North Yorkshire, a lovely stone house dating back to the 12th century surrounded by beautiful countryside.

Not only was the house beautiful with lots of light and airy paneled rooms as the house has been displayed as it would have been in the 1920s, but there were also some wonderful examples of needlework connected to the family.

Firstly this Durham quilt, hand quilted by the last owner’s grandmother.

Nunnington -quilt 1

Nunnington -quilt 3

Nunnington -quilt 2

Then these stunning Jacobean crewelwork panels in the bedroom, they have been restored by the Trust, mainly to mend the linen backing, but the colours are still wonderful even though they are faded.

Nunnington -crewelwork bedroom

Nunnington -crewelwork detail

Panels this size must have taken so long to make, they were originally made for a bed.

There was also a very pretty needlepoint chair cover and some samplers dating from 1785 and 1835 with the makers’ names on.

Nunnington -needlepoint

Nunnington -sampler 1

Nunnington -sampler 2

This is not a good picture of the sampler due to the low light but here is a better one from the National Trust Collections site here. It was stitched by 10 year old Betsy Pickard in 1835 as a firescreen and is beautifully done.

Another thing that I really liked were the little cross stitched signs, someone has been working very hard to theme the information given.

Nunnington -label 1

Nunnington -label 2

There was also some very impressive other needlework that I will share with you in a later post, I absolutely loved it and it has given me an interesting challenge that I will share with you then.

Today will be mainly finishing off items for Yarndale, I have a basket and needlebook in progress and there is always more embroidering of sheep to be done!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Unexpected productivity

What do they say about,’the best laid plans of mice and men…’? I was not able to go to Peveril after all as my lovely son has been poorly so I stayed home to look after him.

This has given me three more days in the craft room though so I have been quite productive again. Fingers crossed I will be leaving for Spain tomorrow as he is much better and will be taking some more sheep with me to embroider but have managed to complete two more pouches and two more bags.

July extra pouches and bags 1

As you know I have been experimenting with Dresdens and these ones use some of my vintage crochet motifs in the middle.

I was short of linen so came up with the idea of using some fabric for a contrast bottom for the pouch and loved it so did the same with the pink one as well.

The baskets have lovely vintage print sewing themed fabric, both are by Makower and can be found at several suppliers by searching for it by description.

I particularly love the pale one, reminds me of my grandmother and all of her patterns when I was little. I now need to make some little pincushions to go with these.

July extra pouches and bags 2

July extra pouches and bags 3

Links for the tutorials and patterns for the pouches are bags are in the previous post if you want them.

July extra pouches and bags 4

July extra pouches and bags 5

I also finished two needlebooks, a hexagonal one to match the pincushions that I made last year and a rectangular one, both with some more of my pieced Liberty stars that I make on a regular basis. I do love a bit of therapeutic English Paper Piecing!

I have two more of these in construction as well. I always like to put a few pretty pins in as a nice gift for the person who buys them.

This puts me well ahead of schedule for Yarndale, hopefully I will get chance to make a few more things when I return and then it will be time to start the Christmas sewing! I think I will be experimenting with Dresden for ornaments this year as I do love them and I have some gorgeous fabric in my scraps drawer.

Well will love you and leave you for the second time and hope, in the nicest possible way that I do not see you all again for a couple of weeks!

Have a good time and thanks for visiting.

 

Productivity

Well I surprised even myself with the amount I got completed this weekend.Look at all this bag and pouch loveliness!

July bags and pouches 1

I have had the makings of most of this ready for a while. I have been working on the embroidery with sayings over the last few months and have made a large pile of the vintage embroidery blocks for use in lots of things but I was really on a roll this weekend.

July bags and pouches 3

It helped that I started first thing in the morning and just kept going, alternating cutting out with machining as my sciatica does not enjoy long stretches at the machine.

July bags and pouches 5

July bags and pouches 6

I used the bag tutorial from Emkie Designs as before, I am getting  quite proficient with these now and don’t even need to look at the instructions any more.I think this one is my favourite, if it doesn’t sell that is fine, if it does will have to make one for me!

I like using the lacy zips as well as that is a lot quicker than adding zipper tabs. I have ordered a few more zips from Buddly Crafts to top up my stockpile.

July bags and pouches 10

July bags and pouches 11

The basket is the One Hour Basket tutorial again, I zig zag appliqued the vintage embroidery blocks on before construction.

The Liberty fabric handles were a happy accident, I cut the original handles too narrow and was wondering what to do when I had the bright idea of putting some patterned fabric for the top. I think it looks really good 🙂

July bags and pouches 14

July bags and pouches 16

This one is a gift for one of my cousin’s little girl who I am going to see when I go to Spain next week. I have used one of hexagons my friend Helen gifted me a while ago, I do like the contrast of it against the dark blue linen.

July bags and pouches 2

I have two more pouches in construction, using Dresdens and some vintage crochet and then I shall have to think about how many more I can make before mid Sept. Would love to do more of the sheep embroidery ones but they take a while to stitch.

I know mid Sept seems a long time away but I luckily do not have a free weekend until then. I am away at Peveril Castle for an event this weekend, then off to Spain for 10 days (I shall be mainly standing in a pool as it is about 40 degrees there at the moment!) and then off to a festival with my sister. Excellent amount of lovely things to look forward to, I am a very lucky girl 🙂

So I shall see you all in a couple of weeks when I get back, have fun whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.

 

Man made splendour

We also visited Penrhyn Castle when we were in Wales which is a stunning mock castle built in the 1820s for the wealthy Pennant family who had made their fortune from slate.

Penrhyn Castle

It is even more impressive when you learn that it was only a holiday home, used for a couple of months a year.

My favourite areas were the great hall, built to look like a cathedral, the amazing staircase made of dark and light stone and the drawing room with its beautiful silk damask wallpaper.

Penrhyn Castle 3

Penrhyn Castle staircase

The Drawing Room at Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd showing the oak chairs and sofa designed by Thomas Hopper and the dazzling silk lampas (brocade) and curtains

As with all the Trust properties that we visit I love looking for the details of the construction, like this wonderful door and the brass grille in the great hall that was part of the heating system. Such gorgeous work.

Penrhyn Castle 2

Penrhyn Castle 4

On a less grand, but equally lovely scale, we visited Plas Newydd, built beside the Menai Strait for the first Marquis of Angelsey who was a hero of the battle of Waterloo, again it was firstly used as a holiday home but later the family lived there full-time.

Plas Newdd house

This beautiful bedroom belonged to one of the women who lived there in the 1930s and it is just the sort of place that I could see myself actually living in.

Plas Newdd interior 2

Plas Newdd interior 1

I love the delicate fabrics on the bed, the beautiful printed wallpaper and the muslin spot fabric for the curtains and dressing table, so romantic!

There was lots of beautiful work on display at Erddig as well, stunning mirrors and furniture and some beautiful silk stitchery.

Erdigg interior 3

Erdigg interior 7

One of the best parts of the house for me were the housekeeper’s sitting room and the servants’ attic rooms, full of evidence of the sorts of stitching that the household staff would have been doing.

I love the way that these rooms look, a little shabby but so real, so unlike the grandeur of Penrhyn but just as interesting.

I have just had my birthday and my lovely children bought me lots of presents including a very nice quilting book so I will share that with you in my next post.

I am spending the weekend hand-stitching and watching TV, finishing off applying lace to lots of things for my steampunk outfit for next weekend and and working on some more embroidery for bags for Yarndale.

Hope that you all have a lovely weekend and thanks for visiting.