It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas ….

Thankfully the ornament production is well under way now, inspired by our little Wool and Wine workshop session last weekend I have been making lots and lots of things this week so am actually now ahead of myself in terms of what I need which is great.

Part of the reason that I have made extra is so that some can go to our Wool and Wine tree at the local Christmas tree festival in the village church but also because I just love making them. They are so sparkly and pretty and fill my little heart with joy 🙂

Xmas baubles Nov 4

These three all use a similar colourway and the same type of finishing with this very ornate gold braid around the centre. I love these ribbons, so much velvet and satin loveliness!The embellishments are mainly jewelry making supplies and a variety of different types of beads which I bought from Ebay .

 

The next set are more muted but still very gorgeous, sadly I am running out of these ribbons and will have to source more. I think the green one originally came from Tesco but I must have had it for about 10 years.

Xmas baubles Nov 9

 

There are several Youtube videos of how to make these and you can use either fabric squares or ribbon but one of the best sources of information and inspiration is The Ornament Girl, if you sign up to her site she will send you tutorial links by e-mail.

Rosemari, Sarah and Debbie made the baubles as well at our crafting session, I forgot to get a picture of Sarah’s which was a gorgeous blue and silver one but here is Debbie’s ribbon bauble and Rosemari’s silver fabric one. The fabric version comes from Decorations to Dazzle by Springwood House Designs.

Edited to add: The Ornament Girl has just offered a freebie PDF book on how to make these fabric baubles with an included template – follow this link for more details.

Xmas baubles Nov 1

Xmas baubles Nov 3

I have also made one pine cone so far, again from Springwood House Designs, this design was originally a kit. I just kept adding more and more fabric to this one so it has so many layers! I have been struggling to find any long gold topped pins but have lots of pearl ones so thought I would use one of those and think that it looks good.

Xmas baubles Nov 14

Xmas baubles Nov 15

Xmas baubles Nov 16

I was sorting out some of my ornaments to use for our group tree and came across a little knitted stocking that I made lots of about 6 years ago. They are so cute so I made two more this week. A lovely quick knit from Julie of Little Cotton Rabbits , this is a free pattern from her and you can put so many variations in in terms of contrast toe and heel colour.

Xmas baubles Nov 17

Xmas baubles Nov 18

Xmas baubles Nov 19

I think the reindeer head buttons were originally bought from a craft fair but you can find similar ones on Ebay here .

I love these multicoloured versions of the stockings from Miyayo on Ravelry which I found while searching for other knitted ornament patterns. These would make a lovely Advent Calendar as well and you can use any Fair Isle or cross stitch pattern for the design that fits in with the 27 stitch count.

Mini-Knitted-Christmas-Socks-Pattern-550x413

I have still got a few more ornaments that I want to make and also have some presents to make. There will hopefully be some felty cuteness of a new sort coming soon for my great-niece Ava, maybe I will get a start on that this weekend.

Hope all your pre-Christmas craftiness is coming all well and have a good week ahead. Thanks for visiting.

 

Don’t you know there is a war on?

I wanted to show you some more of the Clumber pictures before I go away again. I didn’t get chance to take many but have also got some from the National Trust Facebook page.

These are mainly courtesy of Charlotte who was organising the event with Ellen and Lewis. He is the marvellous ranger who helped everyone pitch their tents in the rain on Friday when they realised that the ground was really hard and they couldn’t get the pegs in. Here they all are with Winston Churchill and a member of the Admiralty.

Clumber event 10

I really love this one of Charlotte and Ellen, they look so happy. Despite the stresses of the event organisation including the bad weather they did a brilliant job and hopefully we may get to attend a similar event next year.

Clumber event 9

Ellen got the chance to fire a few guns which made her very happy.

Clumber event 8

I met some very nice people while doing the rationing talk, the costumes were brilliant and I had lots of chats with people about making, my favourite sort of conversations.

Clumber event 1

These lovely ladies were also Steampunk people and had knitted a Land Army jumper, matching gloves with the rest of the wool and also made a hat.

Clumber event 2

Clumber event 3

I didn’t get their names but the lady with the hat told me she had a very large collection so I don’t feel too indulgent with my now quite small (9 at present) including two Steampunk works in progress.

The displays in the camps looked really interesting, we got a chance to see them on the Friday night after set up and to chat with the re-enactors on Saturday in the beer tent.

Clumber event 6

Clumber event 7

I did not get chance to visit on Sunday as we were so busy but did get chance to have a quick wander round the turning yard where these groups were having afternoon tea with their vintage cars.

I love the attention to detail here, the tablecloths, tea cosies and china all looked amazing. I had serious tablecloth envy and I loved their vintage picnic chairs.

Clumber event 5

Clumber event 4

I am having a very nice quiet day today, it is actually my birthday but I celebrated early in Spain. I had a lovely time there, I did do lots and lots of work on my doctorate so it is about 80% completed. I also got chance to go to the pool a few times and the beach and had a brilliant visit to Tabarca, the island I have previously posted about . It was a gorgeous day and we swam in cool blue sea feeling very lucky and happy.

I am off to a conference tomorrow, the International Medieval Conference in Leeds, where I am presenting about some of my research into how re-enactors develop their roles as medieval royalty. I am really looking forward to that and to going to all of the other presentations that I have chosen, mainly on textiles! It will be brilliant to spend four days in the company of so many people who love the same things that I do.

Then it is back here for some more working on the doctorate time before the Tewkesbury event. I am then looking forward to a nice quiet summer with lots of time to just relax and do textile related things. I seem to have been so busy in the last few months it will be nice to just be at home with very little to do. We do have a couple of weekends away planned but then nothing more until the end of August. I intend to make a big list of all the unfinished projects and get some of those worked on.

I hope you have a nice week ahead, what ever you have planned and thanks, as always for visiting.

 

 

 

 

Make do and Mend – cute flowers and vintage finds!

I have been having a lovely time this week working on my hat and some more felt flowers. I am now slightly obsessed as these are so easy to make so I have made enough for the hat and for a corsage and am now making some extra ones for my display. One of the things that I bought in the original charity shop bargain haul was a very boring burgundy felt hat so I am planning some beautiful marigold style flowers for that one.

I have treated myself to some new felt which I know is not strictly in the Make do and Mend spirit but I still have quiet books on my to do list for sometime so I will use some of it for that as well.

MDaM felt flowers 1

I found lots of inspiration for the flowers on Pinterest and also came across this brilliant site with free templates for personal use, thank you Paper and Peony for your generosity with these! I used template P-01 for the pink flowers below and P-03 and P-05 in layers for the hat flowers.

MDaM felt flowers 2

 

The corsage flowers are two layers of felt stitched with perle thread with a pearl bead added and then backed with leaves from the templates and a stem I cut myself and stitched with perle. I have seen wired versions as well that use florist’s wire.

MDaM felt flowers 3

 

I have added a little brooch pin from stash, I think these came from Ebay or Etsy and I bought them a while ago when I was making flower brooches out of fabric.

MDaM felt flowers 4

 

The hat is modelled on an advert for one that I found on Pinterest.

Make do and mend hat

I have no idea if it is actually a 40s design but since it is for a hat and felt flowers to make yourself it does fit with the spirit of Make do and Mend. I actually bought the hat from Amazon here  and removed the feathers and sewed the flowers on with perle. I liked this hat as it is not made from the more modern simamay but from stiffened fabric.

MDaM felt flowers 5

 

The flowers are made from three layers of felt petals and then the centre is just a short piece of felt snipped on one side and rolled up and stitched in place. It does not show up very well in the photos but there are different colours used in the pink and darker purple ones.

MDaM felt flowers 6

 

I am still working on the slippers ( as I got sidetracked by flowers!) but I wanted to show you the vintage finds that I have been gathering. I do have my mother’s ration book to use in the display, she was born in 1941, but also I managed to win these on Ebay which cover three years of clothing coupons which were owned by a man from Stockton. I wonder if most of the books that are left are from men who did not spend their coupons!

MDaM - ration books 1

MDaM - ration books 2

MDaM - ration books 3

I have also got this wonderful set of vintage dressing up dolls. I wanted to find something that I could use to let children decide what to spend their coupons on and found this set on Ebay. I wasn’t sure if I was going to carry on bidding for them but told Ellie about them and she won them for me as a present! There are lots of dolls and outfits so they are going to make a marvellous addition to the display.

MDaM - dolls 1

I have also bought some vintage knitting patterns, these are so lovely and I am very tempted to do some actual jumper knitting as I love the styles that were available. I love the cheerful expression on the glove pattern lady’s face and she does have the most fantastic hat.

MDaM -knitting pattern 1

MDaM -knitting pattern 2

MDaM -knitting pattern 3

MDaM -knitting pattern 4

I love the pram set, especially the little leggings with feet. I knitted a lot when I was pregnant with Ellie and I still have the little woollen suit that I knitted to bring her home from hospital. I used to love knitting baby bootees as they were so quick and cute.

I have been drooling over the work of a brilliant knitter who I found on my travels, 1940s Style for You. She no longer actually blogs but has a Facebook page and still sells vintage clothing but has some wonderful stuff on her blog and I have been learning a lot as there are posts covering four years of knitting and vintage clothing.

MDaM -knitting pattern 5

MDaM -knitting pattern 6

1940s jumper patterns feature a lot of lacy designs as this takes less wool. Wool cost 2 coupons per ball so the less you could get away with the better when you only had only around 20 coupons for 6 months. I will do a full post on all of the lovely stuff I have found out later on about rationing and tell you more about the Stitching for Victory book as well.

Today’s plans are for a bit more doctorate work then spending the afternoon in the craft room finishing the slippers and sorting out all my things for the event. I leave Thursday afternoon as I am helping with set up on Friday and my wonderful best friend Kerry is coming to get me so we will have chance to have a catch up as well.

I am so excited about the event, there has been some publicity about the replica of the trench digging tank that they have made and it looks absolutely fantastic. I am so proud of Ellie and her team. I am also very, very pleased to tell you that Jake, my son, has got a teaching job in Japan. I am not sure where he will be going yet but that will be sometime in August. I have been a very proud Mum this week 🙂

I hope you have a lovely time whatever you are doing and I will attempt to post some pictures from the event before I leave for Spain a few days later. Take care and thanks for visiting.

Favourite colours

Although I love purple I am also really fond of turquoise and pink, my craft room is in these colours and I love how they look together.I realised when I was sorting out photos for this post that both my recent makes are in the same colours.

I have been very productive on the doctorate front with about 10,000 words written this week and I am aiming for a few more before I leave for Poland on Monday. I will then have three weeks not thinking about it at all which will be brilliant. Much as I am enjoying doing it I am spending a lot of time staring at the screen and am really looking forward to reading books and going for walks when in Spain, and of course seeing Krakow which looks stunning!

I finished this little basket as a birthday present for a friend’s not so little girl last weekend, she is 11 this year and I was really pleased to be able to get some matching nail polish and toe separators as I know that she loves painting her nails.This is the smallest version of the Friends of the One Hour basket pattern and is available via a link from this blog for just £4. I have made this pattern so many times now it is so versatile and I love it.

I have also finished another outfit for Barbie, well nearly, the dress is still pinned together and needs the Velcro adding but that will be done before I take it to Spain as a gift for one of my cousin’s daughters.

Barbie coat and dress 4

I used the leftover shirt fabric as before with some other scraps and the coat pattern comes from my old pattern book that I mentioned in my original Barbie clothes post.

Barbie coat and dress 1

Barbie coat and dress 2

The coat is a little big but I think it looks very snug and the yarn is lovely and soft. I have a turquoise shrug to go with the outfit as well and another few dresses in progress to go with a pink version of the coat as well.

Barbie coat and dress 3

Although I haven’t started on the WW2 make do and mend outfit I have had a charity shop bargain haul and came home with a jacket, two shirts, some trousers and a hat all for £5 which I was very pleased with. I also bought a bag and a pair of sandals for Spain for £1 each. This is an RSPCA clearance shop where everything is £1 but I don’t often go there as it is out of town but was in the area and was really pleased to get all of that.

I will take some before pictures of the items and then I need to get cracking on that when I return, I am fast running out of days to do everything so if anyone finds a knitting pattern for an extra day a week please send me a link 🙂

I am off to Sarah’s now as she is having a wool de-stash, I am going to be good and not try and buy anything but am just going for a bit of a catch up, there may be wine involved!

I will be back in three weeks, take care, have fun and thanks for visiting.

The miracles of blocking

I have been very productive with my knitting, this pile below looks slightly less impressive when you know that it is all Barbie sized but I am still pleased as I have not knitted for a few years.

Barbie blocking 6

I love knitting but especially love knitting little things, some years ago I knitted thirteen of Julie’s wonderful animals and various dresses for them and would love to make some more of those again.

knitted bonnie-elephant-spain1

knitted sophie-and-daisy-bunnies1

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday blocking all the little pieces ready for sewing them all together, I am always amazed that a little bit of steam turns things from a curly mess to a lovely flat piece and had a happy time in my sewing room sorting all of these out.

Barbie blocking 1

Barbie blocking 2

I have so far knitted two jumpers and a coat, all from the old Barbie knitting patterns book that I have had since Ellie was little, and a shrug from this site. I am halfway through another coat in pink. The wool is a lot brighter turquoise than it looks in this picture.

Barbie blocking 3

Barbie blocking 4

Barbie blocking 5

I have only made one dress so far, this was very quick and easy from a tutorial at this site here.

Barbie shrug and dress 3

Barbie shrug and dress 2

Barbie shrug and dress 1

This is scrap material from a shirt I bought some years ago just for the fabric and I have used it in various things.One of the first was for this little appliqued bunny on the back of one of my very first quilts in 2010 that I donated to the children’s hospice.

hospice-quilt-1

 

hospice-quilt-2

I do love making use of my scrap bin, fits in so well with my passions for recycling and making things out of little scraps! The great thing about having a blog as well is that I can track my uses of all of the fabric over the years.I have only just finished using bits of the offcuts from the quilt fabric and am down to the tiniest scraps now which are still appearing in pincushions like the one below.

pink-and-multi-cushion-1

The shirt material I used is slightly stretchy which was great for the top part of the dress. I just have to get some Velcro now and some cute pink ribbon for a belt. I am trying as far as possible to use stash but will allow myself a bit of haberdashery 😉

I am loving making these clothes, I have various little girls who have birthdays from May until August and there are always Christmas presents to consider so I might just make nothing else this year!

However I do have another longish term project coming up which I will tell you more about in another post. This is something inspired by this woman, Nella Last, played here by Victoria Wood in the film Housewife 49, and is going to form quite a big part of my summer in one way or another.

ITV ARCHIVE

 

More of that later, for now I shall be carrying on with using up all those lovely balls of wool that have been languishing neglected for years. I particularly love the variegated lilac one, some of my favourite colours.

Hope that you are all enjoying what you are doing this week, we have a nice week ahead at work with a couple of trips out with the students and then I have most of the weekend off which is very exciting as I have been teaching a lot of Saturdays just recently.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

I’m a Barbie girl ….

Do you remember that very irritating song some years ago that started with this? I recall the lines about it being fantastic and plastic and it did remind me at the time of my own fun playing with Barbies as a child.

I loved making clothes and houses for Barbie when Ellie was little. I made an entire apartment out of cardboard boxes, including all of the furniture and we loved doing that together, visiting the DIY shop for large samples of wallpaper and using old carpet and fabric scraps.

I have decided to make some Barbie clothes as presents for the younger cousins this year as all of them have the dolls and enjoy playing with them but don’t have an extensive wardrobe. I am hoping I might be able to do a little bit of knitting for them as well, I have not knitted for ages but think my wrist would stand some small items.

I have bought myself a model for fitting purposes, she came from the local charity shop.I thought I might be able to make a pattern from the jeans she is wearing.

barbie model 1barbie model 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do have a knitting pattern book from ages ago and have been looking up some new resources which I thought I would share with you. You can see that the owner of my doll also had the same knitting book, the ski jumper is identical and look at those fab 1990s disco outfits. I am sure I had some jumpers that were very similar at the time!

barbie knitting pattern book 1

barbie knitting pattern book 2

barbie knitting pattern book 3

barbie knitting pattern book 4barbie knitting pattern book 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was also looking at Barbie sets on Ebay and was so tempted.They had the original Country Camper on Ebay which I remember getting for Christmas one year and was thrilled, that obviously sewed the seeds for my love of camping and camper vans.

barbie country camper

There is a newer version as well which is fantastic, look at all the options you have here, and a pool!

barbie new camper 1

barbie new camper 2

This Sprucecrafts site has got links to ten other sites with patterns or tutorials for clothes.My favourite link out of all of them is this one Craftiness is not optional, not just for the wonderful blog name but also for all of the beautiful and very simple and adaptable ideas there are here.Pictures below are from the blog.

barbie dressbarbie skirt 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have also found a pattern for a little knitted shrug from this site.

barbie shrug

I am really looking forward to making some cute skirts and dresses with some of my Liberty fabric and my collection of lace, crochet and vintage embroidery. I was lucky enough to get these three new tray cloths on my charity shop trip as well and Barbie clothes will be great for using up the tiny scraps.

vintage traycloths jan all

 

I am planning to make more of the Liberty edged vintage log cabin blocks as below with these as well as eventually I would like enough to make a quilt.

vintage-log-cabin-block-11

I think it would look really cute to try and make some skirts for the dolls with the embroidery on the bottom using the tray cloth designs. If I can make it work for a whole jacket I should be able to do it for some Barbie skirts!

vintage traycloths jan 4

 

Progress on the Steampunk Vampire hunter outfit is going well, I finished embellishing the hat and umbrella some weeks ago and have bought some new lace gloves and the black skirt in the same design as the red and purple ones.

I am really looking forward to Whitby next weekend, not only is it a chance to spend time with Ellie. Kerry and James but I can’t wait to see all the lovely outfits that everyone is wearing there.

I was very pleased, after fruitless hours of searching on Ebay for bottles and printable labels, to find this gorgeous perfume bottle that I am going to use as a holy water bottle. It was in a local shop for the bargain sum of £2 🙂 Isn’t it beautiful? I am going to hang it from my belt.

steampunk whitby holy water bottle 1

steampunk whitby holy water bottle 2

I will take lots of photos for you and be back soon with those. Meanwhile have a lovely week ahead and thanks for visiting.

Ladies from Lichtenstein and other delights

As we expected the Steampunk event at Lincoln was amazing, we were again in awe of all of the costumes and I have so many pictures to show you. I have come back with lots of ideas for new costumes for both Steampunk and festival wear.

There were a group from Lichtenstein who won the fashion show last year and they were there again this year, with new costumes. We loved these dresses as it just shows how varied things can be made from the same fabric.

These were their new outfits, how beautiful!

Steampunk Lichenstein new 1

Steampunk Lichenstein new 2

Steampunk Lichenstein new 3

The loveliest thing is chatting to people about their outfits and the pride that people take in having made things themselves. I talked the lady in purple about her fab, and very comfy, shoes and to the lady in the pink hat who told us how she made it. She did a fantastic job and it looked amazing.

There are lots of people dressed in things they have bought and they look wonderful but I really love meeting the people with the more quirky outfits and will develop that for my future outfits.

This lady I met last year with a gorgeous cross stitched butterfly dress and this year she had based her outfit on the nursery rhyme, ‘Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow’.The work that had gone into this was incredible and I loved the grass background fabric, inspired!

Another lovely one was this outfit based on crazy patchwork, I talked to the woman who had made it all herself and she said that the ribbon embroidery square was her favourite one.

Steampunk patchwork 5

Another wonderful quirky one was this patchwork of knitting and buttons, with peacock feathers and a wig and a fab top hat, just love it!

Then there were the absolutely stunning ones like these dragon and dragon egg costumes.

Steampunk costumes 4

This lady was there last year in a peacock dress and her new dress with wings was amazing. Her bodyguard also looked stunning.

I will return with another post with our outfits once I get a ,’before’, picture from Ellie as she transformed a dress of Kerry’s into her outfit. I was pleased with mine, not as fantastic as some of the others but I felt good and had my picture taken quite a few times which was a nice complement.

Take care and thanks for visiting.