Thursday, 6 July 2017

Making me smile :)

The new dress is in regular use and looks much better in the sunlight with a bit of blue sky and a splash of aconitum..

Dress IS in use

Other things making me smile:

The first Hollyhock flower of the season is open..

first Hollyhock flower of the year

The old teasels have survived to stand beside the new ones..

teasels old and new

And this little pot of Marguerite daisies stands by the front door to welcome us home each evening..

Marguerite daisy

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Dress IS

Dress IS

Photos not great sorry,  but it is pouring down outside and I can't seem to coordinate time and sunshine at the moment. Anyway, the dress pattern is an old favourite which is a combination of two dresses from the Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori- dresses I and S.
My previous ones are here and here if you want to take a peek, both linen.

Dress IS

This time I made the pattern up slightly looser initially because the last one pulled a bit sometimes across the back. I then got the usually direct but often helpful feedback from child number one, who said it was a bit "sack-like"!! She was right I think, and I decided the best option, (not to mention the easiest one due to not having to take out the zip) was to try a couple of rows of shearing elastic across the back..

Dress IS

This is a technique I learnt while make a Washi Dress- seen here - which is another favourite. The Washi Dress has 6 rows of shearing and the stretchiness of it makes it super comfortable.

The fabric, mentioned in my last post, is Indigo Pond Life bought from Merchant and Mills. It is such a soft cotton and drapes well. I used a double thickness to line the bodice and a plain muslin to line the skirt.

Dress IS

All in all it has worked out ok which is a good job because the black one has finally worn out.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Sunshine and stars


The ripple blanket is growing slowly, ideal for carrying round for a sneaky bit of hooky while waiting to pick up various people from various places, you know how it is.


The colours are still a bit of "make it up as you go along" but I find the regular bits of grey help to tie it all together. I didn't used to like grey that much as a colour to work with but maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have a slowly increasing number of grey hairs that I am trying to embrace!!

Apatched knee

This was just a very quick project finished out of necessity. My favourite jeans developed a hole and it may be stylish for the kids to have ripped jeans but I felt a bit of a pillock. I have been looking at some sewing ideas on Pinterest here, and here, and thought I could try a bit out on the offending hole.

New fabric

This beauty arrived all wonderfully packaged from Merchant and Mills a couple of weeks ago and I have finally decided it will be a dress. The fabric is Indigo Pond Life and is a really soft cotton. More to come on that one.


Why is it when you are trying to get a picture that there often seems to be a slight gust of wind just at the wrong moment..


That's better. Five little stars, another work in progress. Using linen recycled from a shirt and some Tilda fabric kindly bought for me for my birthday. Thanks Mum and Dad.


And finally just had to mention these lovelies- last years antirrhinums which survived over winter and are just flowering their hearts out and making me smile.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Tunic and a cheat!

Dress E
Just finished a new tunic.
The pattern was taken from the "Stylish Dress Book" by Yoshiko Tsukiori. I love the Japanese pattern books and spend hours looking at the pictures, trying to imagine the patterns made up in different fabrics. The blog "Make Something" written by Karyn is really helpful because she has made up a number of the patterns which she kindly shares. The dresses can look so different depending on the fabric and length chosen and Karyn has made things I wouldn't have tried from the book, but that end up looking completely different. 
This is Dress E, made without sleeves,  just binding the arm hole edges with bias strips cut from the dress fabric. The pleated front panel and gathers along the back make it a super comfy dress or tunic. And it's got pockets too, my Nan would have approved!
It's a very light weight and soft cotton, indigo dyed I think.
I have made the pattern before in a linen cotton mix, with sleeves. Just to compare here it is ..
Blue linen dress
and here is a view of the back...

Blue linen dress

On to other things...

Cushion detail

This cushion was made using left over Moorland Blanket (more here) yarn
and it is already in use on the sofa. It's a bit of a cheat if I am honest as I just sort of appliqued it on top of the old cushion front that had seen better days, reusing the back with a zippered opening.
Super quick and very lazy of me but sometimes a bit of a cheat is ok I think.
Cushion and start of a new ripple blanket
In the basket is my next crochet project, a new ripple blanket using two shades of grey and other leftovers from various projects. It's a "make it up as you go" project because my leftovers basket was starting to overflow. 

Blabket detail


Monday, 15 May 2017

Spring "Snow"

Two cushions on their way to my brother who requested them for his birthday,
 I like those sorts of requests!
The fish panels are quite a thick furnishing fabric and the borders are linen,
quilted with the bubbles onto some cotton wadding to give them some shape.

quilting detail

I have been doing a crochet cushion cover using the left over bits of Moorland yarn from my blanket.
It is good to have a slightly smaller project while I ponder on the next blanket.  

WIP cushion cover
The peace above is surrounded by the scattered wisteria petals which along with the cherry blossom are making a sort of "spring snow" all over the garden.
The smell from the wisteria has been gorgeous this year and it is really starting to cover the pergola we built about 8 years ago. With hindsight I should have put a Clematis Montana or something in to spread more quickly while we waited but never mind.

It has been worth the wait.

I was asked by a friend to come up with some fish ideas for a craft workshop type thing. They have to cover all abilities but not take too long. So far I have crochet fish, fish lavender bags, recycled jumper fish and lavender fish!
If anyone else has any ideas I would be grateful if you could let me know?!
I think pillows/cushions would take too long.
Also it has to be hand sewing not machine which limits it a bit.  

Fish ideas
 It is a wet and rainy day here but the bluebells in the wood are still full of colour if a little bowed under the weight of all the rain drops!!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Spring and things.

Happy Tally
This is a happy Tally.
Another walk along the estuary on a beautiful sunny morning, plus some water and a lot of mud, topped off with a dash of drift wood, all equals one happy dog.  

It was a really quite chilly but the picture makes it look warm with that big expanse of blue sky
 and a few cotton wool clouds.  

drift wood

I love the light at this time of year and can almost feel myself waking up as the days get longer.
It is definitely my favourite time of year.

Tally and a big stick
On the making front, I have finally finished my Moorland Blanket.
Thanks again to Lucy from Attic 24 for such a great pattern.  

Finished Moorland Blanket
I think this may be my favourite blanket so far. The wave pattern of stitches makes such a close weave (if there is such a term in crochet!!) and the result is a really cosy blanket.
And then there's the colours.. 

Moorland Blanket

Sky colours are not my usual choice but in combination with the rest I am a converted person. 

Moorland Blanket
That's better. The right way up.
I would have had a lovely picture of this held out carefully by child number 1, but the risk of using teenagers to do that sort of job is that they use the opportunity to hold up various fingers as well as the blanket!!! And their daft mother doesn't see until she uploads the photo.
So this 'draped in the tree' version will just have to do.   

I think it's Lithodora!
And finally a garden catch up.
This blue is so vivid. I think the plant is Lithodora but don't hold me to that.  

Marguerite daisy
A patch of marguerite daisies that all came from one tiny cutting given to me by a friend about 6 or 7 years ago. I just keep taking more cuttings and planting more because they are so easy to do and look after themselves - my sort of plant.

apple blossom
And its apple blossom time again.
Oh, and new peg bag time...
new peg bag
I hope spring is springing with you too.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Happy Easter

Post box yarnbomb
The little bit of crochet in the last post turned into this - an Easter yarnbomb.
WIP- planning a yarnbomb
The background is the same pattern used for the Moorland blanket by Lucy of Attic 24 found here but using any scraps of green and brown that I had left over from various projects.
The daffodils are also a free pattern on Lucy's blog found here.
The little primula flowers were found here.
My Moorland blanket is nearly there now, just on the border
and will share the finished blanket soon I hope.

We have just returned from a lovely week in the Brecon beacons, walking in the mountains..
Cribyn from pen y Fan
and also taking Tally along the gentler Monmouthshire and Brecon canal..
Monmouthshire and Brecon canal

There hasn't been too much sewing going on but I did manage to finish this
dragonfly skirt for work..  
Dragonfly skirt
This photo doesn't do justice to the lovely indigo dyed cotton fabric
which I found on a trip to Totnes in a great fabric shop called Stone Fabrics.
I will try and get some better pictures when I have time!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Happy Tally

Tally, our Labrador, is 12 this year and starting to slow up. She is getting more fussy about her walks and is most definitely bored of going on the same old loops from our house. If you are lucky, she will follow you out of the garden and down the road but she stops and sniffs at every opportunity and it takes half an hour to go 100 meters!
Sometimes she just sits down at the gate and looks at you as if to say,
 "I'd rather not if that's ok".

In desperation I got out a map of the local area and looked for some local footpaths that would be new and a bit more interesting. This morning we ventured over some fields..

walking Tally
down a slope..
walking Tally
past some boats..

walking Tally
and ended up by an estuary..

walking Tally
and hey presto....happy Tally.

walking Tally
In the process we are finding some lovely new walks and seeing parts of the countryside that we would never have explored like this without her.

My sewing is a bit thin on the ground at the moment, I cant seem to decide what next.
It's not really a problem as there is plenty to do in the garden. I have a plan for this little bunch of willow canes..

 WIP- willow sticks

and the evenings are busy working slowly on my Moorland blanket..
WIP- Moorland blanket
And I have a plan for this little fellow..
WIP- planning a yarnbomb
but will share more later!