Wednesday, 3 August 2016

One metre dungi-dresses

I am not much one for clothes shopping, or at least not the kind where you have to visit fashion outlets on the high street (I'm more of a charity shop/make it myself/order it online kind of shopper). But the last time I went, I noticed a new trend for dungarees. Now I love the idea of dungarees - comfy, easy to wear, practical - but sadly dungarees do not love me.

They make me look pregnant. Which I am not. Nor do I want to be.

But but but, I also noticed that the fashion extends to dungaree dresses. Now you're talking! Except, all I could find in my short and slightly scared foray into the high street stores were dresses so short that looking pregnant would be the least of my worries.

I gave up and came home.

Then... whilst perusing the delights of instagram, I came upon a series of posts by Mrs Fairy Steps aka Ren. She was making herself what she described as a pinapron, based on the shape of her favourite kitchen apron. This was the light bulb moment. I took her brief but excellent instructions, both my kitchen aprons and a box of pins and started playing in front of the mirror.

Now I am not especially fond of the shape of either of my aprons but they were a start. After all, an apron and dungarees have a lot in common...  I made a paper pattern and then dived in with a metre of ikea's best £3 per meter cotton.

Ta Da!

Yup, you read right. Just one metre of material to make a frock for a not so skinny me. Plus an off-cut of something else for the facings.

I decided against the pocket on the bib and went for dungaree style patch pockets instead.

The one metre thing only works if your fabric doesn't have a way up (or I suppose if you don't mind having the back upside down).

I totally love it! The only problem is I keep wanting to wipe my hands on it because, you know, it's quite like an apron...

In fact, I love it so much

Ta Da!

I made another one. Out of a piece of upholstery material from my stash. It had no label but I think it is silk. I washed it and tumble dried it first to shrink it and soften it. It is a very dense weave, so has something of denim about it, but the reverse is smooth and gorgeous. I made all the facings from the same stuff but wrong side out. I also made it a bit longer to wear with tights in the winter rather than jeans or leggings.

I have to confess that I have been eyeing up my stash for other possibilities... Just one little metre!


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Summer Fun

School finished early on Tuesday so we used the bonus hour at the beginning of our summer holiday to make a list of lots of things we fancy doing.

Unfortunately, when we got up next morning eager to make a start on some serious summer fun, we realised that Big Trouble has chicken pox. Disaster!

Never the less we have done our best. We began with Big Trouble's favourite suggestion: Watch lots of TV. Hmmm not quite what I had in mind but poxy boys need lots of down time so TV it was. Actually, I didn't watch too. I couldn't bear to waste the day. Instead, I pottered about tidying up and sorting out and admiring the thunder and lightening which were pretty impressive.

Next up, Tall Girl's suggestion: Painting nails. Seventy of them. She did her own, but I did mine and the boys. Nail varnish is banned in term time so this is a real summer holiday treat.

Today I had to work and Grandma was on Small duty, but when I got back we had a go at making ice lollies. Chopped fruit and lemonade. We're waiting with baited breath to see ho they turn out...

I reckon we have another 3 or 4 days of keeping away from people, excessive sunshine, sand and salt water. Looks like cooking, sewing and straws will have to keep us occupied until we can hit the beach for some sand art and sea side jollies.


Monday, 18 July 2016

Happy Scrappy Cushions

Hello hello!

New to my etsy shop are these Happy Scrappy Cushions. You can purchase one of these or commission your own.  

I can make one in whatever colour/pattern combination you fancy or I can use fabrics that have meaning for you. Perhaps scraps of those cherished first baby clothes or toddler frocks that you've been hanging onto but don't know what to do with.

Happy shopping!


Friday, 15 July 2016

Putting my head back on

Oh my goodness, how on earth did three months go by?

I think I needed a little break while I put my head back on. You see, over the winter I spent huge gobs of time applying for jobs that I thought I should have, but didn't really want. Unsurprisingly, they didn't want me either. But the constant uncertainty and waiting for the rejections that, in some cases, never came (rude people) did me no good at all. My head pretty much came off. Or at least was very wobbly.

Not long after my last post I stopped. I stopped pretending, stopped wasting all that time and got on with something useful instead. I painted all the downstairs windows on my house, and the front door, and the back door. And organised someone to paint the upstairs ones. I planted things and weeded things and got on with things.

Then what do you know... whilst nattering to some extremely fabulous women friends about the whole pants-ness of job applications and the much-better-ness of getting on with something productive, one of them offered me some work. Not the sitting in an office managing stuff and organising stuff work that I have always done. No, completely out of nowhere, and completely insightfully and brilliantly she asked me to be her gardener. (Or more accurately a gardener for a holiday house owned by her business).

Yes! Yes yes yes!

I love it! And although I have been cramming in the hours a bit trying to get on top of it before the school holidays eat my days, and it has been squeezing the rest of life a bit in consequence, I am happier than I have been in a long time.

Thanks to another friend who heard what I was up to and who knows people who know people, I am going to see another lady next week to see if I can help her get on top of her garden in September.

At the same time I gave up my little high street shop space as a waste of time and money. Instead, I am going to try to master etsy a bit better. The latest development is that another lovely friend has asked me to do some sewing for her.

It may never make my fortune, but I am ok with that. It may be very seasonal (read occasional), but I am ok with that too. The most important thing is that it is life affirming rather than life sucking. I am back in control, and if there is no gardening work, or sewing work to be done right now, then I am free to work on my house, work on my own garden and sew things I want to sew. Or not.

And that's perfect.


Thursday, 14 April 2016

The Creator's Collective

So, after many months and years of dithering and finding reasons not to, I have finally taken the plunge... I have taken a space in a new shop in a nearby village. And my Stitches and Seeds makes are available to buy on the high street!

If you want to swing by, it is at 16 High Street, Belford, Northumberland. You can also find them on facebook.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Crochet cubes

O a very old friend and my sister-in-law both had babies so I made some cubes. They squeak, rattle and crinkle.