Hay you!

 

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Last weekend I had a lovely visit from my sister and a couple of her friends who wanted to visit Hay on Wye – a book town. We all love books and reading so it was the obvious place for them to visit but they hadn’t been before. It was many years since I was last there so was overdue a visit.

We had a fabulous day, and I wasn’t too nutty and only bought five books.  The trousers I’m wearing in the photo are from my ‘missing time’. They are a rough approximation of a Uniqlo pair I bought and loved. They’re made in an ancient viscose from very, very deep stash and have been worn lots this summer as they are cool and very comfortable (secret pyjamas).

Anyway, conversations recently with my fabulous little sister have turned to exercise. She’s back at the gym, and is also running, so I thought I would get her to try on the bits I had made in the fabric I showed in my last post with the intention of making some for her …. sometime. Well she looked so good I sent her home with them all. Don’t you agree? Please take note that she has my 12kg kettlebell rather than the 8kg. She wanted that to be known 😂.

The deets.

The leggings are my self drafted pattern. Thank goodness we aren’t too far apart in size and that the stretch can accommodate her extra height.

The shorts are the Greenstyle Moxi again. I put the pocket into the back this time – I needed to make it a bit wider to take a longer zipper and enable my phone to fit. I have an iPhone 5 so if you want to use this pattern pocket for similar phones check the fit before you seal it up.

The top is Melissa Fehrs VNA  top. I made it before (ages ago) and thought it worth repeating as I often wear it for yoga and thought another would be useful. Guess I’m making another nother.

I’ve had another day out this week – Birmingham again with the lovely Demented Fairy and Glenda. We were all astoundingly well behaved, well Glenda and I were, and only bought what was on our lists. HONEST!

I had checked in advance what I wanted for upcoming projects and stuck faithfully to what I needed. (In all honesty had there been anything I really loved I may not have been so good). One item was a Dylon Rosewood  dye to transform some dismally boring beige cotton twill to use as a wearable muslin for a project I really want to start.

The fabric is now dyed and cut out. I’m going to save more information for next time. It’s from the long list of things I wanted to make, made from stash fabric too. Sorry for teasing! (Not sorry 😂)

Back soon!

 

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Next!

Well not too long this time!

I’m not entirely convinced I should be wearing these but that’s tough. I finally got round to making a pair of Greenstyle Moxi shorts and I love them. They might not be considered correct attire for a lady of my vintage but they will be great gardening attire – and if I’m feeling particularly brave I may even wear them to run.

I’ve had the pattern for ages so I’m happy to have finally made use of it. These were a trial pair made in scrap leftovers from a dress made in my gap (if I get a photo I’ll share it) and binding made from cotton scrap. All in all a completely scrappy project. I slightly regret not taking more time and putting the pocket into the back yoke as they have turned out so well.

Pictures taken on my Kindle with a timer I’ve just discovered. Tell me what you think.

 

I have already found more fabric to make another pair and a pair of leggings too. Too much orIMG_20190709_150515 a brilliant pattern? One thing is sure  ….. I will be easy to spot 😂


How long does it take to make a Shirtdress?

Before I go any further may I just say how moved I was to receive so many supportive comments. This sort of response is probably why I even thought of continuing blogging. You are all officially amazing 😘.

Anyway, the shirtdress. It’s  been in bits and under construction for ever – or it feels like it. It had been cut out and started when the lovely Sue, the Fadanista, came to visit at the end of May. I was a bit fed up with not having a set of buttons I liked in my multitude of tins which worked so I let it fester. It began to have the smell of a UFO about it so I decided last week that it had to be done!

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The details. The pattern was from Burda 5/2010 (yes, it’s been on the mental list for quit a while) and the fabric was a Barry’s bargain table delight. At first sight it looks like any old chambray but it has an undercurrent of orange. The back and front of the fabric are very similar but not the same. That led to some fruity language during construction. I added shaping to the waist, back darts, and side seam pockets.

I’m reasonably happy with the final result, although it is a little bit big. The Management says it doesn’t have the drag lines on the back generally “you must have been standing funny”. What can I say? I have lost a little bulk and changed shape a bit with the work in the gym and the running I do to try to keep my bones strong so none of my old patterns for any more. Now that this pattern has been adjusted I think I may make another quite soon – but I need to let the memory of this one fade a little first!

Check this out – I even marked the pattern pieces and put them away properly before I move on! I’m hoping not to find too many more orphan pattern pieces where I have no idea where they belong. Let’s see how long that lasts…..

I already have plans for another project. Let’s hope it doesn’t take as long to make as this dress 😂.


I’m back ….. I think

Yup, I know it’s been a while. I’m not even going to try to apologise because I know it’s been far too long. I have been trying to decide whether to even continue blogging – this is what happens when you leave things too long.

Anyway, updates. In the gap I became sixty years old, and my mum died. I’m an elderly orphan. She was really unhappy in her final months so I think it was the right time for her – maybe we all get to know when we’ve had enough. Her dying has reminded me that I need to make the most of my time. That sometimes means opting out of doing anything at all and I’m ok with that.

I have been sewing (a very little – mainly repairs),  knitting – always relaxing since it was never a job, and joined an art class. WHAT!?!?!  YES. An art class. After not being allowed to study art at school after I was 13 years old I’m doing it just for me. I’m not convinced I have any talent but that’s not the point.

After spending so much time sewing for others I’m still not entirely enthusiastic about sewing for me but I think that may be coming back. Maybe. I’m reading pattern cutting books again, and I’m shuffling the stash and remembering what I wanted to make with it. I’m still slightly horrified at how much fabric I have so maybe that alone will make me sew again!

So what might I be able to share here? Maybe some of the clothes I’ve had planned but not executed for years. Maybe some of the pattern cutting howlers there are bound to be as I get back to that. Hopefully one or two successes. I used to be good at this and I need to remind myself of that.

Why am I even thinking of blogging again? I have had contact with some fabulous people via blogging over the years and really appreciate that. Some I have even been lucky enough to meet in person. None have disappointed. You are wonderful people out there in blogland. I have been made aware of new patterns, new companies, and new techniques from the blogs I have been reading. If I ever pass on anything useful that would make me happy.

If you’re still reading this ….. thank you. If you’re still following me after not posting for ages …… a bigger thank you. And I promise it won’t be so long until I post again.


The cushions won…

Yup, almost a whole month since my last post a pretty much all I have to show for it is an exhausted demeanor and a sofa full of cushions. I’m afraid I went for the (very) easy option as my brain seems to have gone away altogether. Everything is feeling like hard work at the moment. I have actually cut out a pair of pj’s but they aren’t coming together at any rate at all. So please admire the cushions.

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Ok? They don’t all live on that sofa all of the time but I grouped them for the photo.

I have also managed to finish the EZKAL from Kates blog. You might remember from my last post that this has ended up too wide across the front neckline for me (picture here) so I needed to pull the knitting back to just above where I joined the sleeves on. I have to confess that I left this for a ridiculous amount of time as I simply didn’t have the brainpower to handle what needed to be done. When I eventually DID get around to it the task was nowhere near as difficult as I anticipated.

Using pattern cutting, and previous knitting, knowledge I decided I needed to reduce the stitches low in the raglan shaping to take the excess away from the point above the bust. Not hard, I just increased the decrease rate to every row rather than alternates until I had reduced by the number of stitches to reduce the neck appropriately. I wanted the neckline to be a little away from the neck ( more boat rather than a little round jewel neckline) so tried the jumper on a couple of times to get the position about right. It is probably still a little higher than I really wanted it but I wasn’t prepared to pull down again.

I’m pretty happy with this frankly ridiculous garment, and I know I will wear it a lot. I would have preferred not to have the camel colour as the ribs and by my face but it was the colour with the largest quantity available so hey ho. It is longer than I expected which is odd since I was using the same measurements that I used for the pink alpaca sweater but I’m happy. It is also a bit bigger than expected too – maybe using the acrylic made my gauge a little ‘off’ – but over all I can’t say I’m upset about that. I have to say thank you to Kate for introducing me to the Elizabeth Zimmerman system of knitting as I’m really enjoying her methods.

I’m on a promise to make another of these for my daughter now and hopefully it will take less time than this one. There’s a reasonable amount of decent tv at present so once I have set up it should be a good mindless knit.

Hopefully I will manage to achieve more in September than I have in the past few months but I’m making no promises. I hope you’re achieving more than I am. It wouldn’t be difficult 😦

Kim

 


Past the finishing post……

….. at least for The Managements quilt. You might remember that this was started an age ago, took way longer than I expected to cut and sew the topper, and I gained speed whilst hand quilting the layers together listening to audio books from the library. I finished this a little while ago but circumstances have been such that I didn’t get a photograph. So here it is. Ta dah!

He is happy with it – honest!

As you may recall this was inspired by the Bridget Riley picture ‘Nataraja’. Himself chose the fabric for the topper, and I was left to make something that looked a little like the original – but not a ‘faithful copy’. I’m pretty happy with this as my first attempt at quilting, and although I’m in no hurry to repeat the experience I’m no longer totally averse to the idea.

The circumstances I referred to earlier have been that my mum has been in hospital for about five to six weeks and was unable to go back to the circumstances she was living in before. Cue a mad rush to redecorate and carpet a little apartment in an extra care facility with five days to complete the work and have enough of her belongings moved in for her to get by. And then empty her bungalow.

Wow. She has always been very clean and tidy so it came as a complete shock to discover that every cupboard and drawer had been filled to busting. It turned out to be a much bigger job than my sister and I expected. Despite that I have enjoyed my time with my sister, and visits laden down like a pack horse to mum with extra stuff. I’m pleased to say she is in and fairly comfortable now – and has already tested out the care staff by falling off the bed! They responded admirably so I know we have made the right decision.

I had been getting on well with the EZKAL from Kates blog but that came to a total halt when I needed to go to Northumberland. It was, in fact, just after I had discovered that the raglan decreases were a bit too slow across the front for me and that I need to pull the bodice section out and start again once I have done some calculations. I realised that if I got to the width I wanted I would lose the opportunity to have a boat neckline rather than a jewel neckline. I did take a picture to check it so I will show my progress so far. I’m pretty happy with how it’s looking, and have already agreed to make another for my daughter in yarn from stash in a strawberry pink and off white.

Too much front width

I’m actually starting to itch to sew now – I keep looking at fabrics in the stash with a view to getting started. I also want to make some cushion covers for my front room (I already have the fillers). I wonder what will win?

Anyway, a word about stash – and all those other things we hoard. After my experience this last couple of weeks I will be clearing some of mine out and I suggest you look closely at yours – unless you want your kids to curse you when it comes for them to do it!

I promise a less rushed post next time. In the meantime enjoy your days – whatever you have planned.

Kim


Mystery Blogger Award

As I said in my last post I was nominated for a Mystery Blogger Award by the lovely Linda at Nice dress!  I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it justice that day so here is the separate post.

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“Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.” Created by: Okoto Enigma

Here are “The Rules” to the “Mystery Blogger Award”:

  • Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers you feel deserve the award
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny one
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

 

So, thank you Linda! I did include a link in my last post but just in case you missed it you can find her HERE

Three things about me? Hmmm…. not much that’s not known since I’ve been blogging for what seems like forever.

Ok… I used to get told off by my primary school teacher for sewing with raffia beneath my desk when we I should have been concentrating on what was being taught BUT that wasn’t the first sewing I am told about. Apparently my mother would thread a load of needles an let me sew buttons all over an old shirt to keep me occupied. Dad was tasked with removing them before the exercise was repeated the following day.(Good preparation for being a professional).

I love driving – though it took two attempts to pass my driving test (a very long time ago!). I will drive almost anything and did go from a large pick-up truck (used to facilitate my carriage driving hobby) to a Smart car when I no longer had my horses. Unfortunately I drove my dear little Smart like I stole it and almost killed it off. Apologies to who ever bought it after it was traded in….

Despite loving animals I am allergic to animal hair and suffer from hay fever. Not ideal when you were keeping horses, and two Siamese cats and a dog. I always try to take rescue animals rather than buying from breeders as there are so many out there – and apart from one completely bonkers Siamese cat I have always had great success in achieving friendly, affectionate animals. Sadly I have no animals at present.(Excluding The Management ).

Now to answer Linda’s questions.

  • If you won a lottery what would you buy first?

A flat/apartment for my daughter when lives in London. The cost of property in her area is mind boggling – and even renting in a flat share is horrific. It would be a real joy to be able to set her up somewhere of her own . (No fabric – I have enough and The Management may leave. Although maybe I could set him up in an…no only kidding).

  • Do you like turnips?

Love them – although there’s some dispute as to what is a turnip and what is a swede. I like them both. As an aside for any Americans I used to have a carved turnip for Halloween as I hadn’t actually seen a real pumpkin at that time. I loved the smell you got with a candle burning inside.

  • Who started you with sewing?

Probably my mum. Though I broke loose and exceeded her ability fairly quickly as she stuck to the same patterns for me for years. It wasn’t until after I did my City and Guilds qualifications that she confessed to hating sewing.

  • How many sewing/serger/coverstitch machines do you have, what kind are they and what are their names (if they have names)?

I have three elderly Singers, two hand crank and one treadle. All were in need of tlc on arrival and are now working just fine. There is another electric vintage which was found in a loft completely seized up but working well now.

My main machine is a Pfaff computerised whizz which I was terrified of for months when I bought it – I love it now but I think the Singer buttonhole attachment gives more reliable results.

I have a Janome backup machine which I didn’t use for an age and was very impressed with it when I finally did need it.

My overworked and much loved overlocker is a Juki. I hadn’t heard of the brand when i bought it but wouldn’t hesitate to recommend, or buy another when I need to.

The most recent new machine is my Janome coverstitcher. Only does one job, not an essential machine – but you will have to prise it from my cold dead grasp. Love it.

So that’s …… too many machines according to The Management. I sort of agree as i am currently trying to condense my mum’s belongings into a much smaller space and don’t want my daughter to have all of this to deal with eventually. I did give a couple of the Singers names but don’t as a rule.

  • What was the worst sewing project you ever worked on and why?

Oh, after over twenty years of sewing for other people they are too numerous to count (one day I will do a post on life as a professional dressmaker just in case anyone is considering it…). It would probably have involved really ratty fabric (“but it cost a FORTUNE!”), or unrealistic expectations (I’m a dressmaker not a wizard), or just a ridiculously short deadline.

So for my nominations I choose in no particular order:

The Demented Fairy

Sewniptuck

Hand made by Carolyn

The Compulsive Seamstress

Tialys

Textiles and trouble

Core Couture

Pretty Grievances

Sewbussted

Fit for a Queen

 

So, for their questions…..

  1. Do you read, and if yes what is your favourite book?
  2. What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
  3. What is your favourite season, and why.
  4. Do you prefer to sew in silence or with entertainment of some sort.
  5. Would you sing karaoke, and what song?

So that’s me done. Hopefully my nominees will play along, but if you haven’t already visited their sites I recommend that you do! They are all very inspiring people.

Bye for now

Kim