Thursday 17 July 2014

and so she sews...

I don't know about you, but for me I always have this list of things I would like to achieve before the school holidays kick in. I know as soon as the first day of the school holidays start I can wave my little crafty project goodbye. So amongst many other things, this dress was on this so called list. I will add here that since the beginning of the year, when life changed directions, my so called to-do-lists were chucked out the back door and I must confess that even though there are days I feel very tempted to put a pencil to paper to make a list or two (as really I am a gal who likes a good list), I no longer allow myself the pleasure. So when I refer to this before-the-holiday-start-list, it really is very much a mental list, but hopefully it comes without the pressure (or so she says!!)

So coming back to this dress. Now a few years ago I was in our local fent shop when I spotted this rather gorgeous, what I would class as retro looking, fabric and I knew that despite the fact that it was rather pricey, I just had to buy it there and then. Now years later I found the pattern and it seems the rest is history. Honestly from start to finish it didn't take too long, we are not talking hours here, in fact much more like days, but it was still good going for me that is. I seem to be getting a little better at understanding patterns and how to use them and this one threw a few tricky curve balls my way just to make sure I was concentrating, but I got there in the end (oh Google what would I do without thee!).

Now as I was nearing the end, having just done all my interfacings, I was trying to trim away some of the excess bulk around the neck and arm areas in order to get a clean and crisp press finish. Well it was all going swimmingly, until my Fiskars Micro Tip scissors couldn't get through the bulk of the layers of fabric and I reached for sewing scissors, when yes, brace yourselves, I cut through my dress, yes interfacing, dress and all. Now all you Instagram folk shared my panic and pain and offered much support and fortunately after a knock on the door, a cuppa, and a moment to breath, I returned on a mission to put it right and fortunately I managed to do just that, phew! (yes a big phew!).

One thing I am still struggling with is to ensure the dress fits me perfectly. Both the dresses that I have made fit, but not like a glove and that is the whole point of making your own clothes right. So this is something that I need to figure out. I am forever having to take darts in to get it a little snugger and after wearing this dress for the first time today I will be making a few alterations to it over the next couple of days. So if anyone has any good advice on good books or youtube links, please share as I would be very interested to hear your input.

As for the rest of my mental list (no pressure is the mantra!) there are quite a few things I would like to achieve by next Tuesday, but honestly when I look at the calendar, I can only but sigh and breathe as it is looking rather unlikely.

This week Tuesday we celebrated 15 years of being together and it has been the best 15 years of my life. Who would have thought that 15 years ago when we sat in some dingy pub in London just off Fleet street and my man plucked up the courage to ask me to court with him (yes he comes with good manners!), that we would be the best team ever. We work so well together, we gel in oh so many ways and I love my man more than words can say and there is not a day that I don't feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Tuesdays are busy days in our household and by the time we get back from gymnastic, kids are fractious and hungry, this week to add insult to injury little J joined hubby for an orienteering fell race and by the time they both walked through the door tired and muddy it was  LATE.

A table was set in the garden for the two of us, nothing fancy but all the same it was special. The kids enjoyed a late telly session whilst us grown ups longingly looked into each others eyes declaring our undying love to each other (well actually it was more along the lines of 'oh my what the hell happened in parliament today?', need I say more!). One thing is for sure, Romance is NOT dead in our house. It was such a lovely evening and I look forward to sharing another 45 years with my man. He is my best friend, lover and the most amazing Dad to our two kids, what more could I ask for in one lifetime! I am truly blessed.

(and yes of course there had to be a little dessert, Paleo all the same. Basically its one avocado, cacao powder, a little honey, one can coconut milk, and some dates. A bit of an improvisation and it possibly needs a little tweaking but one day when I get around to setting up my new blog it will be on there! All in all not too shabby at all).

That's it for today, I will be back soon with another project that I worked on this week, for now though I am wishing you all a very lovely week.

Warm Wishes

Sunday 13 July 2014

A sweet little crocheted Hexie showermat

Today I quickly wanted to share a sweet little hexie shower mat that I finished a few weeks ago. I am quite a neutral kinda girl, especially when it comes to the bathrooms, I like whites, greys and muted colours, so I figured it might be time to step out a little and inject a spot of colour into our very grey shower room.

I used Drops Paris yet again largely because I know exactly what I am going to end up with. I know from experience that my stool covers and step cover get a great deal of daily use, which means they are often hanging on the washing line and always come out looking like new. A shower mat is something that you want to wash often so this is the perfect yarn for the job. It has already been washed and as expected it came out looking even better than when it went in.

So basically it is 29 hexies all sewn together or join as you go and you end up with a rather lovely shower or bath mat. 

In fact we are loving it so much that I will soon have to make one for the bath room. They really don't take that long to throw together (if you ignore sewing in those pesky ends!). 

A short and sweet post today. Wishing you all a fantabulous day!

Warm Wishes

Tuesday 1 July 2014

July Monthly Mandalong

Hello and happy July to all you lovely people out there. Honestly I can't believe that we are half way through 2014, where is the time going? Someone please slow that wagon down!! So lets not waste any and get straight to today's post which is all about a MANDALA. For my most recent Monthly Mandalong, I decided to crochet the gorgeous Starflower Mandala by the very clever Zelna Olivier and I must confess that not only do I love it, but I thoroughly enjoyed making it, which is the reason we do it right?!

It was my first time to make a mandala using Stylecraft DK and I really like the end result of it. It is not as thick as Drops Paris cotton and doesn't really offer that perfect trivet feel, but it is really soft and looks beautiful draped over one of my little tables. 

There was no specific colour strategy it was all about going with the flow, which made it all the more fun to work.

Don't be mistaken, this is no ordinary Mandala, no it really is lovely and big and personally I think it will make a wonderful cushion cover. I know one little creature would definitely like it as his little seat or bed cover, so I suspect there might be another two future projects for the log book. Thank you Zelna for kindly sharing this beautiful pattern with us, it certainly was a real pleasure to make.

 Now I suspect many of you have been beavering away making mandala's for the Yarndale Festival, sadly I couldn't include it in my Monthly Mandalong for June as planned, but I have spoken to Lucy and it seems that she is after some Starflower Mandala's but made in Cotton, which will look fabulous! Lucy is hoping to use a few of the large Starflower Mandalas to suspend from the ceiling for an extra wow effect, so if anyone is up to the challenge that would be great, just drop me a line at the bottom of the post so Lucy has an idea of how many she is likely to receive. For those of you who have already done their bit and don't fancy another, I have an exiting mandala for us to work on next month, so stay tuned. For anyone wanting to know a little more about the Yarndale Festival and Lucy's input, you can read more here

That's it for today, I hope you all have a lovely week and don't forget if you have a mandala to share, please add your link below.

Warm Wishes