Posts Tagged ‘handmade’

Sewing Club Shopping Trip

I’ve been planning making my own summer wardrobe for a while now. There has definitely been lots of planning. Research and planning, but not a lot else. I’m totally scared of actually taking the plunge into dressmaking. Well April is the month I take action! With advice from my lovely friends at sewing club I’ve worked up a list of patterns I’d like to start with. I’ve taken all my measurements (thanks for the help mum!) and written a fabric shopping list, yeah I love lists. So Next step is a good one, fabric shopping.

Last Saturday was sewing clubs first shopping outing. We were all pretty excited, it was like going on your first school trip. I was up early and on the train with my shopping list in hand. First stop Walthamstow Market. I bought some great leopard print jersey from the man outside Sainsburys.

With this one I’m going to make a maxi dress using the Misson Maxi pattern
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And using the same pattern I thought this would make a great vest.

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They were both a bargain £2 a metre.

Here we all are happy with our purchases.

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Photo courtesy of Rachel Pinheiro.

I picked up 6 yards of this 100% cotton from one of the shops along the high street for £10!!

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I had planned to make a full circle skirt out of it but as there’s so much I can’t decide whether to make a dress or matching skirt and top? Any thoughts?

After a good look round the market we all split off to do different things. Mum, Shelley and I popped to Shaukat on Old Brompton Road. If you love Liberty fabrics, actually just fabric in general you should definitely check it out. The website doesn’t do it justice, it’s an Aladdin’s cave of fabric yumminess!

Next mum and I headed off to Goldhawk road. This is where I got a little overwhelmed. Seriously there were so many fabric shops it all just blurred into one. After visiting pretty much every shop I settled on this light weight denim which I plan to use for a pair of scalloped hem shorts. I think it was around £6 a metre.

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Sorry the photo isn’t great, the fabric almost has a shine to it (in a good way) and is so unbelievably soft. I’m a bit nervous about making shorts but I’m really looking forward to wearing them.

I bought this jersey for another vest too, £2 a metre.

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My last purchase of the day was from the lovely Rashid. He was so helpful, here he is cutting my mums purchase.

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I chose this super bright jersey, think it was about £4 a metre and will be another maxi dress.

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After a long day shopping there was only one thing left to do, DRINK!

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To Do List Review

You might remember that in January I shared a bit of a to do list on my blog. Well we’re a quarter of the way through the year (wow that went fast!) so I thought it would be good to review the list.

Close my Etsy shop
All done. I definitely have more time to sew and work through my to do lists.

– Teach Monster no1 to sew.
We haven’t had time to sit at the sewing machine together yet but I’m hoping over the Easter holidays we can finish his pin wheel cushion.

– Work through my crafty to do list.
Oh come on, as if this will ever get crossed off. Every time I finish one WIP 3 or more new projects have been added to the list, oops.

– Make my own clothes.
Now this one I’m pretty excited about! It’s not crossed off yet but I have been busy buying patterns and this weekend I’m off to London with some of my sewing club friends to buy fabric for my planned projects. It’s definitely going to be a comfy shoes and big bag kinda day out. Don’t worry I’ll be sharing my plans and purchases with you next week.

– Exercise more.
I haven’t got round to joining a gym yet but I am walking more now I know where to go for good walks in the area. The dogs love trekking through the woods, especially now the weather is starting to improve.

Blog at least once a week
I can definitely cross this off the list. Since January I’ve made a conscious effort to post more and have enjoyed sharing my week and WIP’s, good or bad, with you. I hope you don’t feel so neglected and I promise I’ll keep it up.

Midweek WIP’s

I haven’t got a lot to share with you this week. I have been busy sewing but something that’s still not quite ready to share yet. Hopefully it won’t be long now and I can tell you all about it, I’m so excited! I’ve been plodding along with my quilt and I made a cushion but that’s a gift so can’t show you that for a few weeks yet either.

Wow this is summing up to be a pretty boring post sorry! There is one other project I’ve started which I can show you (well a little sneak peek anyway). My mum, nan and sister came to visit at the weekend so we headed to Milestones Museum for a bit of family fun. We all had such a good time and I would definitely recommend it for all ages, at the moment they have a fun Lego exhibition on so the monsters had great fun finding all the Lego exhibits. While we were walking round looking at the vintage furniture my sister was telling me how she would love a blanket that she could have on her sofa once she moves into her own place. She wanted something with a retro feel, quite clashy colours that wouldn’t match any decor. I knew exactly what she wanted so told her I would accept her challenge. As soon as our visitors left I got to work making granny squares from what I had in my stash.

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I’m a little ashamed to say that my yarn stash is pretty small. I haven’t been crocheting for that long so haven’t had a excuse chance to buy lots yet. Tuesday I headed to my local yarn shop and with the help of Monster 2 picked up some fun colours for Frankie’s blanket.

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A nice start don’t you think? Now obviously this is a work in progress so I’ll be adding more colours as and when I see them. This is the perfect project to pick up when I have a spare few minutes or when I’m watching a film in the evening with the hubby. Do you have a nice long term project you work on when you only have a little time for something crafty? Something portable is always handy, good for when you’re waiting at school pick up or on the train to work.

Midweek WIP’s

I’ve enjoyed my sewing this week. My cousin gave birth to a little girl, she came early and I wasn’t exactly prepared gift wise so I whipped up this cute nautical themed skirt for her.

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I didn’t have any elastic in my stash so I popped to Hobbycraft to pick some up and got slightly distracted by some tiny pompom trim. Well I just couldn’t resist it could I?

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See, isn’t it just the perfect finishing touch. It might not look that tiny in the photos but the skirt length is only 6 1/2″ and the waist is 15″.

Sunday was sewing club day. I tried to be organised this month so only packed one project to work on. I opted for a quilt top that’s been neatly folded away for about a year now. If I’m honest I think I’ve just been avoiding it because I love making quilts but I find the actual quilting stage hard. Well Sunday was the day to get working on it. It was a lovely sunny day and the atmosphere at sewing group was great. I set to work basting while the sun shone through the window.

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While we worked we all spent a lot of time discussing dress making, quilting, knitting and crochet. It was a lovely crafty chat!

The last project I’ve been working on this week has to stay secret for a little bit longer but I’ve been busy taking photos that I’ll be sharing with you soon.

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Midweek WIP’s

Sorry for not posting last week but it was half term here so I had no spare time to sew or update you lovely lot on what I had (or hadn’t) been up to.

We had a great week with friends and my sister coming to stay. We visited The Living Rainforest which the kids loved and for just over £30 for a family annual pass it was well worth it. We managed to get out for a nice walk during a brief gap in the rain too so that made the dogs happy. We also took the kids bowling which we all enjoyed. It was monster no2’s first time and he loved it, as we were leaving he asked me when we could go again!

Here he is talking tactics with Daddy.

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Although I’ve been busy having half term fun I have also managed to get on with a few projects.

I’ve had this UGLY pair of DKNY 90’s mum jeans hanging around for a while now. For years they haven’t fitted me but I just hung on to them to spur me on to lose weight and get back in to them. I’ve got to be honest I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought them, they are just so unflattering. I’ve finally lost enough weight to be able to wear them but they are hideous!

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See they are seriously nasty! The thing is I just can’t bring myself to throw them away. Do you get that feeling about clothes? I can’t remember where or when I bought them, they don’t remind me of a special memory, but for some weird reason I just can’t chuck them out. So instead of them hanging limply, unworn, shunned by my other clothes in the wardrobe I decided to do some major upcycling. Those poor little outcasts got a make over. I grabbed for my scissors and chopped most of the leg off, seam ripped the hell out of the crutch and turned those bad boys into a skirt.

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Much better don’t you agree? I even added a little Architextures scrap to finish off the front.

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I’ve left the edge raw around the botttom of the skirt but topstitched about 1/4″ away from it in a blue thread to stop it fraying too much. I did want to use a heavier orange thread but my sewing machine had other plans.

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I had a few words with my machine I swapped for a lighter weight thread and all went well.

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I’m quite pleased with how the back looks but I can’t decide whether to add some embroidery to one of the pockets, maybe some blue circles to match the fabric on the front?

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A few nights ago while watching tv I had the urge to make a little something so I grabbed my embroidery threads and got googling. I eventually came across this great tutorial for making Friendship bracelets. How cute is this?!

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I’d forgotten how much I love making them, so expect to see a few more soon.

Before I go I forgot to share with you my finished EPP cushion I shared with you a few weeks ago. I ended up backing it with a green Summersville print and adding a dark pink binding to finish off. It now has pride of place on the sofa 🙂

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Midweek WIP’s (Almost)

I know I’m a day late but yesterday just kinda got away from me. I had to do grown up stuff like housework and cooking Yuk! Anyway I’m here now although I haven’t got too much to share this week. We spent the weekend out walking with friends as the weather was finally dry enough so I didn’t get much sewing time.

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It was so nice to be outside without getting soaked, letting the monsters explore the local woods, although we were all pretty muddy by the time we got to the pub for a cheeky pint!

The boys both wanted new scarves for the weekend adventures so they each chose some yarn and I got to work with my crochet hook. I opted for a simple stripey cowl. I can honestly say I had no influence on the colour choices.

Monster no1 chose quite mellow colours but brightened it up with the red which I really liked. Then there’s monster no2s scarf, I’ve called this the German Custard Cowl. It really reminds me of Birds custard and the German flag! I think their colour choices really show how different their personalities are.

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I managed to finish one other small project this week, the little embroidery for my sewing room. I think it sums me up perfectly 🙂

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Midweek WIP’s

It’s that time of the week again! I’m quite surprised to say I have actually got a few projects to share with you this week as since moving I’ve found it really hard to get back into any kind of sewing routine, but here goes.

My EPP cushion hasn’t really gone much further, I’ve had a bit of a look in my stash but nothing is really jumping out at me for the background so I’ll probably buy something new.

I was thinking this
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Or this?
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Tonight I’m going to finish this fun little pot holder, I just have to hand stitch the binding and I’m done. I used a few scraps from my stash, the moustaches have to be one of my all time favourite prints and this was the last piece I had that was really useable.

You can’t go wrong with spotty binding.
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I’ve started a new crochet project too. I’ve had my eye on a nice, chunky infinity scarf with a hood but couldn’t decide on what pattern to follow so I did what any sensible person would do and decided to make it up. I opted for this really soft yarn from my new local wool shop, Pack Lane Wool they have an online shop too.

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So far this is all I’ve done, but in my defence it is crazy long and ribbed too so it’s not growing quite as fast as I’d hoped. It should be ready for next winter though!

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My last project of the week is a cheeky lil stitchery for my sewing room. Not really sure where I’m going with it yet but I like it so far.

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Midweek WIP’s

See I promised I was going to pay you more attention, I’m back already!

Sometimes I get to the middle of the week and can’t help thinking “Why is it so long till the weekend?!” or “Half the week is gone already and what have I actually done?”. I need a little mid week motivation so every Wednesday I’m going to share the week’s WIPs with you. Now I’m not going to promise that I’ll have a lot to share but at least if it’s in black and white it will make me realise what I’ve managed to achieve or give me the kick up the bum I need to work through my crafty to do list.

This week I’ve been working on a little EPP project. It started out as a doodle a few nights ago while I was watching tv.

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But then I remembered I had some precious Lucie Summers overprints that I’d been saving for something special and a few scraps of solids that just by chance coordinated perfectly, so my little doodle is now destined to be a cushion.

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Sunday was sewing club day so off I went with my biscuit tin of EPP goodies (aren’t biscuit tins just the best!) and had a lovely relaxing day stitching away. I’ve got one more piece to join then it will be finished but I just can’t decide what to use for the background and the back of the cushion? Something plain and neutral like a cream or grey? Or do I go for something a bit wilder? All opinions gratefully received.

How’s your crafty week working out? I’d love to here about your WIPs so feel free to share them in the comments 🙂

Shameless Plug Alert

Just a quick one to let you all know that there is 30% OFF all ready made items in my Etsy Shop so go check out the bargains!

New Year, New County, New Sewing Room

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fabulous break and Father Christmas bought you everything you wished for.

My Christmas, well actually the whole of December was pretty insane. Monster no2 turned 3, 2 of our closest friends got married, oh and we moved house………..the weekend before Christmas. As I’m starting to write this I now understand why people were acting like I was insane on hearing our plans.

I’ve known my friend Jess since I was at uni, we met at our Saturday job and have been close friends since. A few years ago her and her lovely husband (eek!) Louie moved away for his work so the wedding meant a trip to Liverpool for us. I mean how perfect was that the week before Christmas, a cheeky trip to a beautiful city, maybe squeeze in a bit of shopping and then home in time for a big family Christmas at ours. Well that was my plan when we got our invite earlier in the year but then the beginning of November Sean came home and announced we were being relocated to Hampshire. Lucky girl you may think but here comes the best bit, we would be moving before Christmas. Now imagine me frantically driving backwards and forwards from Kent to Hampshire to find a house, school and nursery. Well I managed it but the only day we could move in was the day AFTER the wedding. So no shopping for me 🙁

Thanks to lots of help from my amazing mum, dad, sister and friend Sam I somehow managed to get us moved and to the wedding without any major catastrophes. We had a great time at the wedding, Jess looked amazing and I’m so glad we got to share such a special day with them.

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As a wedding present I made a pixelated heart quilt. All the patterned fabric used in the quilt top were “love” themed and for the back I used the last of my Ikea number print.

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After the wedding we had a few days to unpack and Christmasify (that’s a real word you know) the new house ready for our 5 guests arriving Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner for 11 of us Christmas Day.

My very hungry family
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A little Christmas Dinner
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The monsters and Aunty Frankie
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Just call her Rudolph
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Luckily I’d planned ahead when it came to making Christmas presents for everyone and just about managed to get everything finished before having to pack up all my sewing stuff for the move.

I made the monsters a Teepee. All the fabric is camping or outdoor themed and I used a fun black cobweb print for the tubes to hold the poles.
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My dad wanted something to keep his SatNav in, not overly exciting I know but it’s what he wanted. I went for this fun print that reminded me of The Two Ronnie’s.
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My mum loves anything nautical, the more anchors the better, so I chose a navy nautical print from Sevenberry for her quilted clutch. I also added a little zippered pocket inside which I lined with a bright pink and orange stripe fabric I had in my stash.
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I made both my Nan’s a set of pot holders each, one festive themed (an Alexander Henry print) and a scrappy one.
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For my sister I made a Crochet slouchy beanie. I used a Aran weight yarn so it was nice and chunky.
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These Dresden plate cushions were for Sean’s parents.
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I also made a few smaller gifts which I didn’t get a chance to photograph.

The best thing about the move for me was my sewing room. I finally have my own (very small) room, all to myself, just for me to fill with all my sewing goodies. Hopefully now the monsters are back at school and things are settling down I can start putting my room to good use and get sewing, I’ve got lots of crafty plans for 2014.

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Bloggers Quilt Festival Fall 2013 – Group Wedding Quilt

This is my first time entering the Bloggers Quilt Festival organised by the lovely Amy. If you’ve not heard about the festival head over now and learn all about it, or even better enter a quilt!

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you probably already know that I hold a sewing group once a week at my house. If you’re new to my blog hi and thanks for popping over!

We called our group The Ladies Wot Stitch and we’ve been meeting up for over a year now. We all like different crafts, some of us sew, some crochet or knit but we all really enjoy each others company.

Earlier this month one of our group, Natalie, got married. Her and her husband had a beautiful ceremony in Cyprus, then last Saturday they had a lovely reception party locally for us all to celebrate with them.

As a wedding gift the rest of The Ladies Wot Stitch and I decided to make them a Wedding Quilt. We opted for a turquoise, white and grey colour scheme and I came up with a simple heart themed pattern. Not all of the ladies have made quilts before, or even used a sewing machine, so I tried to keep it quite straight forward for all levels.

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For the centre of the quilt my clever mum, Julie, cross stitched their name and the date they got married. We all wanted to incorporate some cross stitch into the quilt as Natalie always has a cross stitch project on the go and she is forever telling us how much her husband moans about the amount of cross stitch they have in the house. We just knew it would put a smile on her face!

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To stabilise the fabric to enable my mum to cross stitch onto the quilting cotton she used some dissolvable Aida. She said it was great, once you have finished your work you simply soak it and tease the dissolving Aida away. I plan on giving it a go on a future project as I really liked the look of the finished block.

We were all really happy with the finished quilt. I love how everyone’s personality comes across in their block. It’s funny how when a group of people are given the same set of instructions how they interpret it, how different we all see colours and patterns.

For the back we chose Robert Kaufman Spot On wide quilt backing in Steel. I decided to keep the quilting light as I didn’t want to take away from everyone’s hard work.

We gave Natalie the quilt at the reception party. I think her expression says it all.

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This might not be the most complicated quilt but I really enjoyed making it and I think it was just right for the occasion. I’m so proud of our group, especially the members who had never attempted patchwork before and I think that the quilt sums up our friendships perfectly.

Berlin, Wonderful Berlin

******WARNING – This post is photo heavy. Sorry!!**********

Recently it was the hubby’s birthday and being the super wife that I am I decided he needed a break. I arranged for my amazing mum and dad to have the monsters, dropped the dogs off at the kennels and took him to Berlin for the weekend. Now you can imagine how many super wife points I racked up for a monster free weekend in a swanky hotel in a country that loves beer.

We weren’t really sure what to expect of Berlin, so we went with an open mind. We were totally overwhelmed by how beautiful it was. Both Sean and I instantly fell in love with the city, how open and green it was, the architecture, the history and of course the food and beer! We didn’t manage to see anywhere near as much as we wanted to but we gave it a good go.

We stayed in the East of the city. It was a really lucky choice, to be honest I didn’t really have a clue where would be best to stay, but as it turned out we were within walking distance of nearly all the sites we wanted to visit.

The TV Tower

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Reichstag Building

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Colourful Architecture

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I fell in love with the pedestrian crossing lights

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TV Tower from the East Side Gallery

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East Side Gallery

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The contrasts of history (section of the Berlin Wall)

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The Holocaust Memorial

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Humboldt University

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Gendarmenmarkt Cathedral (I think it was the French one, but I may have been a bit tipsy!)

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I made Sean take my picture with every Berliner Bear I could find, this one was outside our hotel……

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…….And we bumped into this guy in the Rittersport store

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I can’t really explain how much of an amazing time we had, we both completely fell in love with Berlin. We plan on visiting again soon, next time with the boys as we didn’t manage to see much of the West so would like to spend time exploring and visit the zoo.

 

Since we’ve been back I’ve been busy working on secret projects and Christmas gifts so I can’t share those with you yet, but before we went away I did manage to squeeze in a selfish crochet project. I made myself a scarf to take away, I decided on this Elise Shawl pattern that an Instagram friend had recommended (you can find it on Ravelry). It’s the first larger crochet project I’ve attempted and I found the pattern pretty easy to follow.

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I even blocked it which was a first for me too!

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I opted for a sock yarn in pinks and purples as I wanted to keep it light to wear through autumn. I’m already planning a second in a heavier yarn for winter but I really have to get on with my Christmas projects before anything else!

Super 90’s Rucksack

A while ago a friend of mine asked if I could make a rucksack. The kind that instantly takes me back to the 90’s, quite slouchy with pockets on the sides, drawstring top and a flap with buckle fastening. Well I do like a challenge and wanted to try making a new bag pattern so I decided to give it a go.

I found this really fun fabric at Ikea which was just the right weight for my bag. What made it even better was I got to colour it in!

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I wanted to keep the bag pretty simple so decided on just a pocket on each side for the monsters drinks when we are out. Inside I did contemplate putting a zipper pocket, but I’m glad I didn’t as I was worried it might alter the shape, I really wanted it to look nice a slouchy.

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The lining I chose was some tape measure print from my LQS and I opted for a white cord for the drawstring as I didn’t want to detract from the outer fabric. I got the buckle and strap findings from this website, they were really reasonably priced and arrived quickly so I’ll be shopping there again!

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The pattern didn’t take too much tweaking considering it was the first draft, I only had a bit of an issue deciding on the height. Apparently I’m not as tall as I think I am. Attaching the outer base was a bit of a bugger but once that was done (and I remembered I had a new walking foot) it was pretty straight forward. The walking foot handled the quilted straps and handle beautifully. I think it’s my new favourite toy.

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I have to confess this bag isn’t going to my friend, I’ve made it for me to use as hand luggage on a trip Sean and I are going on soon. Sorry Lisa, but I promise yours is next! I’m not planning on taking any other luggage so I’ve made the rucksack quite large, while still keeping within the airline restrictions.

Overall I’m really pleased with it and will definitely be making more, I’m thinking it would look cute in laminated cotton.

Summer Holidays part 2

Well the summer holidays are officially over and I’m hoping we return to normality over the next few days. It’s been great having the monsters at home, but I think they are both ready to be back at school.

Sean managed to take a few days off so we made sure we had a few fun days out, here are a few photos of our last few weeks of summer fun.
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A trip to London to see Buckingham Palace, a local air show, Legoland.

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Lego fun with daddy, seaside with my mum and dad, family BBQ at my aunt and uncles house.

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We all really love playing with uncle Tim’s John Deere ride on lawn mower. You can’t see it in the shot but my uncle is helping monster no1 drive, honest!

Roly-Poly Pinafore Blog Tour & Giveaway

Today it’s my turn on the blog tour for Imagine Gnats ( also known as the lovely Rachael) fab new pattern – The Roly Poly Pinafore.

the roly poly along blog tour button

I know why the hell would I be making a pretty little girls dress? For any new visitors I should explain I am a happy mother or two, two boys that is. So why would I jump at this chance for a spot on Rachael’s blog tour? Well I keep saying that this year I’m going to try and stretch myself, step out of my comfort zone and attempt to make more clothes. I really want to learn new skills. Then a few weeks ago I was noseying (that’s a word right?) around on Instagram and I saw the cutest little pinafore that Rose & Dahlia (Joanne) had made. I don’t know why but I just knew I had to make it, so I asked her where she got the pattern and started mentally listing all the little girls I knew trying to decide who to make it for.

Luckily I have a lovely friend who happens to have an equally lovely little girl who would look adorable in a new pinafore. That afternoon I told my friend the plan and bought the pattern. A few days later I chose some fabric and got to work.

Here’s the finished pinafore, I opted for AMH Field Study and some plain pink cotton. I think the bright pink buttons are just right don’t you?

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I really enjoyed this project. The pattern was great and simple to follow, you have the option of adding pockets, which on this one I didn’t but when I make it for an older child I would. The pattern covers ages 6 months to 10 years so you can definitely get your money’s worth! My favourite feature on this pinafore is that it’s reversible, lets be honest when kids are little they are always spilling something so at least if you’re out you can always turn it round and nobody will ever know.

I think it’s really versatile, it’s just as cute on its own for summer as it is with a long sleeve T-shirt and leggings for those chilly days.

Now here’s the really exciting bit, not only is this the first time I’ve been involved in a blog tour but its also my first ever giveaway! That’s right, thanks to the generosity of Rachael I have one copy of the Roly Poly Pinafore PDF pattern to giveaway!! All you need to do to enter is follow me in one of the following ways

Follow my blog
Follow me on Twitter @jakandgeegee
Follow me on Instagram @jakandgeegee
Like my Facebook page

then come back and leave a comment to let me know you’ve done it. If you already follow me then just comment below saying so. Simple as that.

If you do all of the above make sure you comment for each separately, that way you’ll have more chance of winning. Please remember to leave an email address as without this I won’t be able to contact the winner. No email = no prize. This giveaway is open internationally, I will announce the winner a week from today, Good Luck!