Sunday, March 23, 2014

More sewing, stitching and such.

I have been busy with costumes again for the local drama group.  This dress was waiting for a transformation into a spanish dress when seen here. The transformation is now almost complete and I have a number of other items to make and alter before the costumes are required at the end of April.

Apart from this, I have been busily mending a couple of coats which had been torn and a couple of pairs of trousers. These last had had the hems badly scuffed since they had been just a fraction too long for the wearer. Not me, I hasten to add.

There has been little in the way of quilting, although my third journal quilt is nearly ready to stitch.

I can't get over just how messy my workroom looks in the photo above. It is time for another tidying session before getting stuck into something new. The list of projects certainly doesn't get any shorter. At present it looks like this: Complete Spanish dress; make shoulder pads for a ready-made blouse; alter an apron; make a jacket out of fine net and decorate it with flying birds (don't ask.......); complete a black pair of palazzo pants, along with a separate waistband to give the illusion of a high waist; journal quilts for March and April; quilt for the Sky's the Limit group challenge; start textile book for the beading group; start textile book for the Machine Embroidery Group; finish the one stitch challenge piece. Those are just the sewn items.......

No matter, it will all get done, though I think it is only the costume items which will be completed on time. I must get some photos taken ready for my next post here.

Monday, March 03, 2014

A busy time - sewing and such

Frosted ground from my garden.
It was quite a shock to realise that a month had passed since I last posted anything on my Blog. It has been really busy here. I organised the Contemporary Quilt stand at the recent Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts Show at Event City in Manchester. That was really enjoyable, especially being able to chat to others interested in textiles.
"Contrast" - for Sky's the Limit group
I have also been sewing - this is the piece I made for the February theme from the Sky's the Limit group. The design was taken from some work I did on Notan whilst on a workshop back in September 2011. I couldn't see how to use the ideas at the time. It does take me rather a long time to work out how to use something. Do go and have a look at all the other pieces shown on the group's Blog.
January journal quilt - Journeys 1 Walking boot.
This is the finished journal quilt. I had shown the beginnings of it in my last post. I added sheer fabric and net under the drawing of the boot just to add a bit of colour. The boot has been hand stitched.

February journal quilt - Journeys 2 Walking with Ella. 
Again, I showed you the start of this piece last time too. The background fabric is a collection of dye catchers sewn together with a free machine stitched map drawn over the top. This shows a  little of the area where I go for walks with Ella. The landscape round here has a number of these electricity pylons looking as if they are striding across the land like giants.

The salt mine, River Weaver.
The river was so still this morning and there was such a bright blue sky, I really just had to record this image. This is a pile of salt stockpiled ready for next winter.

Tree felled by the recent bad weather.
Sadly, we have lost a number of trees round here due to the very high winds. This particular tree fell across one of the paths through a copse. For a few days I found myself having to clamber round the fallen tree. Now the tree has been chopped into pieces. I just loved the colours of the wood inside the bark.

Spring is on the way - new lambs.
Another sight on my way home with Ella. Two newborn lambs snuggling together and enjoying the sunshine.

Monday, February 03, 2014

As you can see I have been playing around with fabrics - in this instance a collection of dye-catchers, under which is a sheet of silk which I have put through the printer.

This sketch has been transferred onto a sheet of Stitch and tear ready for stitching.

A piece which was going to be for the January challenge of the Sky's the Limit Group. However, I really am not happy with it so it is languishing on my workbench.

It has been rather an up and down week with the sewing this week. I'll let you see what I'm working on now in my next post. It is at that will it work or not stage at present. The theme is "Journeys", but that is all I can say for now. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sewing and knitting.

The skirt before adding the waistband.
 This week has been busy. I managed to finish my skirt. Sadly, I haven't yet been able to take any really good pictures of the finished skirt. These were taken while the skirt was in the process of having the narrow waistband added. The skirt is being worn by my dress makers dummy, Aggie.
Skirt back showing faux pocket and lined front pocket.
I was so pleased that I took the time to add a full lining to the skirt and also added a lining to the pockets. The fabric is a wool mix which could be a little itchy to wear without a full lining. Ending on the knee, the skirt is a little shorter than I usually wear, but is extremely comfortable to wear. I like the large pockets too.
Right front pocket showing concealed zip behind pocket opening.
The concealed zip was a bit of an adventure. I have never managed to use one of these zips before. After searching my sewing machine manual, I found that my usual zipper foot will also sew in a concealed zip. My next concern had been how to actually sew it in place. I just could not get my head around the instructions in the Burda Style magazine. Luckily, I have a copy of "The Colette Sewing Handbook". There, on page 23 is a beautifully illustrated "How to" set of instructions. Just what I needed. Thanks Sarai Mitnick!

Apologies too - I hadn't taken out all the tailor's tacks before taking the photos. I assure you that they have all disappeared now. Oh, I forgot to add that I added an edge of bias binding and a fancy stitch around the front pockets rather than just the top stitching indicated in the pattern.
My cosy cowl.

Another item finished this week was this cowl. It is really cosy and will be so useful for those windy wintry mornings. It was a really quick knit too. I have now started another hat to keep my ears warm.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Trying to get some sewing done

A cold morning
Most mornings start the same way now that Ella has come to live with us. A brisk walk for around an hour and a half, taking in the local countryside. I'm lucky to live in a place where there are so many interesting places to walk. All this exercise is making me fitter too.

I think I love the inspiration I get from being outside most of all. I saw these teasels against a cold wintry sky. They look so architectural.

Jersey fabric
But I need to be sewing. I have such a collection of projects that I really should be getting on with. This jersey fabric is destined for a long sleeved top which I had originally planned to make for Christmas. It still hasn't even been cut out. The pattern is ready and waiting. It is one from a Burda Style Magazine. Not that I could ever look like the model in the magazine.
At present I am making a skirt which is a bit of a challenge with it's curved seams. Still, I am hoping to get it finished before too long. At the moment it is all pins and I'm still trying to understand the instructions!  Again, this is from a Burda Style magazine. It is one of two skirt patterns I am testing out for myself. I might b making one of these for my daughter.

Knitting project
The only project that seems to be running quickly is this one. I only have around an inch or so to get to the end. I made of these for myself a couple of years ago, but one of my daughter liked the look of it and then it became hers.
Has anyone got any ideas for time management? I have far more projects I would like to be working on than I have the time in which to make them.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sewing, stitching, knitting and taking the dog for a walk.

Ella wearing her new backpack.
Ella has a new backpack which we took out on her walk this morning. She is just getting used to wearing it. 
The nice thing was that it really didn't seem to trouble her at all. There is nothing bar a few plastic bags in these pockets. I won't be adding any weights until she is quite happy with wearing this backpack. She will only carry about ten percent of her own bodyweight - this will be around 5lbs at most. The intention is to use this for long walks where she can carry some water and a collapsible dog bowl. I'm getting a backpack of my own for a flask, snacks and my camera.  

A frosty puddle.
Frosted leaves.
A chilly morning, it was lovely to see the patterns made by the overnight frost.

Small pot holder.

Collection of pot holders nearing completion.

Yes, there has been some sewing completed. I am playing around with pot holders at the moment since I managed to find some insulated wadding a while back. Oven gloves are really not all that useful at times and I have always wanted something a little smaller. The square ones didn't have a pattern, however you can find the pattern for the oval shaped ones here:

A new pair of socks.
This pair of socks is being knitted from a pattern I go to regularly. It is Wise Hilda's Basic Ribbed Socks. You can find the link to the pattern on Ravelry.

The Etui pattern.
Lastly, I am working on this delightful kit by Sue Hawkins. It really is lovely to work on during the evening, especially since I have a really powerful little lamp I can use to light up the area where I am working.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Happy New Year!

Silly hat - front
The last few weeks have been a mad rush to get a waistcoat finished for my daughter as well as getting some bags done as gifts. In all the rush I forgot to take photos! Maddening.

One of the felt flowers
This silly hat was put together quite quickly to go to a New Years Eve party which was also held to celebrate the 50th birthday of one of our neighbours.

Silly hat - back
The invitation read "entry wearing a silly hat", so I attacked my collection of bits of felt. The hat was a bought one, I must admit. A bright purple top hat.

Some more of the flowers.
The buttons were in my button collection. I didn't need to buy anything. The buttons held the pieces of each flower together with a few stitches fastening them in place. The completed flowers were then attached to the hat with double sided sticky tape. It was great fun to make, just messing around with a sharp pair of fabric scissors. I ended up with second prize too!

I do hope that you had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year and that 2014 will be a healthy, creative and enjoyable time for you all.