Gift ideas

I am thinking ahead for this year with things that I can make for various birthdays as I think it is a great idea to have a supply of gifts at hand.

Jenny of Elefantz recently posted some really good ideas for things to make for a gift stash. I love her ideas for bookmarks and these lovely soup bowl cosies with the free pattern from this link, the pictures of bookmarks are from Jenny’s web site. She has some gorgeous motifs in her patterns for use on book marks and who doesn’t love a good read?

ELEFANTZ simple pleasures bookmarks 1

soup bowl cozy

I know that pouches are always useful for people so will be making some more of those and will also make some more stitching related goodies. Jenny’s designs come in handy for bags as well.

My recent giveaway winner,Daisy Debs, said she liked Liberty and vintage embroidery so I made her a needlecase with both on. I have done this design before on pouches and bags but not on needlecases so will make more of those.

Giveaway Liberty needlebook 1

Giveaway Liberty needlebook 2

Giveaway Liberty needlebook 3

Aprons for kids are a lovely gift, I made four a few years ago using the tutorial from this site. The picture is from the tutorial.

Child's Apron Tutorial

One thing I have been collecting ideas for but not done yet is quiet books, there are so many lovely ideas out there, this is my Pinterest page for them. Ava is one next month so a little young for one yet but I am thinking a bit later one of these might be good. Not sure where this originally comes from but have seen it on lots of Pinterest pages. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Quiet book

I only managed to sneak in a couple of hours crafting this weekend due to having to work the rest but finished off the stitching things pouch so that will go in the stash for Yarndale. I have a nice stash of zips now so am hoping to do lots of pouches over the coming months.

Have been doing cross stitching in between other things, still working on Christmas ornaments! Thought I had better get ahead just in case of injury next Autumn have already completed a couple for this year’s collection which I will share with you in the next post.

Happy crafting, hope the work week goes well and see you at the weekend! Thanks for visiting.

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Happy times!

Although I have really enjoyed being in Spain I had a lovely afternoon yesterday as was back in my beloved craft room.Even though I have a huge workload this term and will have to work most weekends as well as long as I can have a couple of hours a day at the weekend in my respite care room I will be very happy.

I had said to the family not to buy me gifts for Christmas this year but to give money instead for the festival ticket that I am going to next August but my lovely Mum had already bought me this gorgeous bag of vintage lace and crochet from Spain. Look at all of that loveliness!

Crochet bag 1

I particularly like these and thought they would be ideal for using on pouches and bags so yesterday I got creative.

My sister in law Amanda also bought me these gorgeous little charms, I thought they would go really well on bags as well and remembered that I have some similar brass ones.

Sewing charms 1

Sewing charms 2

So this was the result of yesterday’s work, I have used recycled denim from some old jeans and the flowered material will be at the bottom of the bag so most of it will be hidden by the boxing out.

Stitching stuff bag WIP 1

I have lots of old buttons, my Aunt Maureen let me raid her button box when I was with her last year and I love the shiny pearly look of these.

I am just waiting on a delivery of some more flowery lace zips from Buddly Crafts and then I can finish this one next weekend hopefully. This will go towards my stash for either a Yarndale stall later in the year or other craft fairs/ gifts.

I am planning more creativity this afternoon after the tea has been prepared and put in the slow cooker, I love being able to sort everything out at lunchtime rather than have to stop and cook later on so use my slow cooker most winter weekends.

Have a good creative day yourselves and thanks for visiting.

Thinking ahead

I always like to have a little think at this time of year what I am going to try and get done next year craft wise. I did the same thing in early Jan last year when I had a little review of what I had made and the plans for the year ahead.

Some of it I have achieved like more pouches and bags of different sorts including how to make Dresdens. I have made some really lovely ones this year that I am very pleased with. Must do some more of these with crochet and vintage embroidery.

 

I have also done a lot of cross stitching in the last few months, still hoping to do more including some more lovely snowflake inspired things for next Christmas.At least if I start them in Jan I will not have the frantic finishing rush that I have had this year.

Progress with some of the larger items will be ongoing such as the hexagon quilt. I have made all 60 of the hexagons, am now on the slightly less glamorous job of removing all of the papers then I have to applique them to background squares and then hand quilt and put together.

Hexi stack 2

I need to finish the Steampunk jacket made from the vintage tablecloths which has been on hold, it is not needed until August but you know how time flies! There is the hat to decorate to go with that and I need some festival clothes for August as well.

There will have to be new stuff of course! I am still so tempted by all of Lori Holt’s lovely work and really want to make some applique things based on her designs. Probably not the full quilt but look at all the lovely things in her latest Bee Happy Quilt. I love that car and caravan!

Bee Happy Quilt

Then there are always Jenny’s designs. I did finish the sampler block this year, that just needs making into a hanging. I also have a couple of other ones of hers completed but not made into anything that I will share when finished.

I would love to do some more of her Christmas designs from this year’s Stitchery Club for next year. Picture from Jenny’s blog.

ELEFANTZ Christmas stitching

I also need to make some things from my birthday book, Happy Flower Quilts. I intended to include some of these designs for pouches but did not have time so would like to do some of these as gifts.

I would love to be able to paper piece as well like Charise does, she has some beautiful designs and it is just the sort of fiddly work that appeals to me. Isn’t this just gorgeous, picture from her blog.

Charise Apple bag

I am looking forward to the last weekend of stitching before Christmas, have still got one more ornament to make and then two to finish off before I can pack them all up to send off. Teaching has finished now so apart from a huge load of marking I can relax and get into the festive spirit.

Mum arrives this week then we will be going down to Ellie’s and then to meet my great niece Ava for the first time, really looking forward to that and to spending lots of time with Mum, my sister and the kids playing games and relaxing. We are going to be at Clumber a couple of times so will hopefully have some lovely pictures of that for you.

Will pop in next week to wish you all Merry Christmas, don’t forget to like this or any other post to enter my giveaway.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

The last of the flock… for now!

I have just finished the very final pouch for Yarndale and so will be packing everything up this week for Sarah to take with her. It isn’t until the 23rd of Sept but it is nice to be ready well in advance and I am hoping to go if I have time.

Yarndale sheep bags 1

 

The sheep bags have had good reactions from my friends at knitting so I think that I will be making some more of them.I think they are very cute and am hoping they will be popular.

I have really enjoyed doing them and the sewing themed ones so will carry on making them in between other things. Got to make a start on the Xmas ornaments for this year soon 😉

I have also made a few more of the bags, these are from the fabric I had last year.

Yarndake bags Sept 1

Yarndake bags Sept 2

Yarndake bags Sept 3

I have made pincushions for most of the bags and tried to make them all individual in design and thought that this one would look pretty with lace attaching it.

Yarndake bags Sept 5

I love the sewing motifs and was really pleased to get some more in a similar design at the Steampunk market at Lincoln.

Yarndale new fabric 1

Yarndale new fabric 2

Yarndale new fabric 3

I shall be away next weekend at our last event at Caldicot Castle in South Wales. Really looking forward to seeing everyone before the season ends. Term starts next week so it will be back to long days and snuggling under the fleece with candles lit in the evenings 🙂

I have not made any more progress on the jacket yet but had some really nice comments on it from the Seamstress Squadron page and some very helpful tips and pictures from people who have already made the pattern. I will be concentrating on that in a couple of weeks once I have a free weekend.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

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.