Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Here goes nothing

Having come back from ship and rejoiced in having my lovely comfortable bed back again, I then had to pack up my stuff again as I have moved. For the first time in about 5 years Nikki and I are officially living in different houses! I have moved to near Poole to help look after my grandparents.

Thankfully Nikki was lovely and drove me over there and thankfully we managed to squeeze everything in the back of her tiny car! After moving everything in and helping me set up a few things she decided driving back that evening was a bit of a mission and opted for one of the 4 air beds that we had in the house courtesy of our parents. When all three of us (Ed was staying as well) woke up in the morning complaining about how bad the nights sleep had been we decided that new mattresses were in order! A "short" trip to IKEA later I now have a mattress to sleep on and a few other essential things for the house.
It is weird how used to having things you get, I keep thinking I have things them remembering I didnt bring that with me. I am currently on the hunt for a large saucepan and a set of scales as this house has two apple trees and a grape vine so I am going to make some grape jelly!

I apologise for the awful photo, but look grapes!

One thing that moving has done is force me to look at the amount of stuff that I have, between Nikki and I we sent 4 bags of clothes to charity just before I left at least two of which came from me looking through my stuff before packing it, throwing out anything that didn't fit me or was just not my style anymore. I am looking to reduce the amount of clothes I own and try to make a lot more of it. I also need to reduce the amount of crafting stuff I have - namely fabric - and the Craft Sessions series about 'stashing less' is really making me think hard about this!

In payment for Nikki moving me over here I have agreed to take up her Ballroom Dress, so far I have cut the crinoline off the bottom of the outer skirt. There is about 15m of it! and that is just one of the four layers!

Sooo Much Skirt!

So here goes nothing, lets see how living in a completely different town goes!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Winter Sewing plans

This winter I will get a bit of a chance to do some sewing again since I am back in the land of communication and sewing machines... So I am planning to make the most of my time.
One problem with sewing nice things for myself is that I need them to be practical, as when I am on ship everything needs to be able to be thrown in the washing machine which realistically has only one setting on it  and then into the tumble dryer. This has already claimed one of my favourite PJ tops and a fair amount of my underwear is starting to show signs of wear... In addition to this I am trying to pare down my wardrobe so that I have less clothes which therefore take up less space as my room is tiny and I spend a large proportion of my life living out of a bag of some variety.

With this in mind it doesn't make sense to make loads of lovely clothes that I will never wear, although constanatly making functional Tshirts and the like can get boring so this winter I need to work out what I need to make and what I can use to improve my sewing skills with out cluttering up my wardrobe. I would quite like to master a trousers pattern or two and possibly try my hand at making a coat so that I can have a nice stylish coat that I actually have the possibility of wearing a jumper underneath AND stil being able to lift my arms! Apparently a wish which is too much for the RTW comunity to cope with!

I currently have one nice winter jacket which I found 2/3 years ago, after about 2 months of searching, in Primark of all places. Its a lovely teal colour almost knee length coat with lots of volume in the "skirt" section, but I can only wear thin jumpers underneath it and even then it can be a bit tight at times. I love the length of the coat as I always find it hard to keep my legs warm on cold days (I'm thinking long skirts and thick tights might be a good call this winter) So this might be a coat to try and copy (take inspiration from) possibly in a more modest colour... Possibly... Maybe a Plaid pattern...

Winter Coat

I like this style but I'm not sure about the hood

Trousers (Chinos and wide legged)

Possibly try to fit these trousers and make up in a chino fabric

Maxi skirt.

I'm thinking of making a maxi skirt like this for layering throughout the winter, using the properties of a skirt to keep me warm

Button Up Shirt

Sewaholic Granville, Grainline Archer or go down the lines of Lladybird and pick a shirt with princess seams..


I'm thinking the Oslo Cardigan in this Wool Rib Knit...

Monday, 28 September 2015

Homeward Bound

It feels like I have been absent for ages... And it has been nearly 2 months since I last posted, I feel I should post more often but for this time I have been away from home and more importantly the internet  but on Weds I am coming 'home' for the foreseeable future, well the next few months at least.

Working on a ship really does make posting on this blog regularly very hard, partly because I have little access to the internet when I'm on ship, it requires me to lug my computer to the Pub (as I am currently) or a coffee shop. But also I don't really get any time to do anything creative and blog worthy...

I love being away at sea but there are times that I wish I could be at home and when I miss things like my Garden and Sewing Machine. Last winter when I was working on the ship when she was alongside I got back into knitting as this doesn't require much in the way of tools just wool and needles, but as I was supposed to be sailing most of the time I was on ship this time I didn't bring my knitting with me and I'm looking forward to getting back to it.

Well I'm looking forward to posting a load of photos from the last few months onboard, and I must not forget to tell the story of the Giant Golden Cock... But for now I have to leave the pub and go back to crash out.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Shopping in Totnes

Today I went shopping in Totnes before heading back to Southampton tomorrow and as normal I headed round the plethora of charity shops. I also introduced my mother to Revival which is a complete Aladdin's Cave, we may have spent some time stroking fur coats and marvelling at sequinned dresses. We managed to tear ourselves away from there in the end and reached my goal for the day which was Stones the fabric shop at the top of the high street.

From the charity shops I managed to get some fabric and notions:

Fabric bought at Save the Children in Totnes. A pale mint green crepey fabric and a greeny patterned Poly blend that was once a roller blind I think

And a Knitting Stitch Book


Stones Fabric:

In stones I bought some lovely fabrics from their yardage and a few unknown fabrics from their remnants bin.

Stones Fabric
L-R Teal Crepe like Fabric, Flower print Viscose, Black Polka Dot Viscose, Blue woven 'scarf' material, White Bamboo Jersey.
I am so looking forward to making something out of these fabrics, it is so nice to go into a shop which has predominantly fashion fabrics and isn't catering to just quilters.

I am particularly looking forward to using that flower fabric and if I have enough material I think the Teal one has to become a draped skirt.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Pattern Haul

This weekend I have travelled around the South Coast seeing family. I was on my way down to Devon for my (non-maternal) Grandmother's Birthday Celebrations, a nice sit down meal at Exeter Golf Course which was lovely and nice to see her side of the family which I haven't seen since a similar gathering 10 years ago.
It was also nice to get to go somewhere to wear my new dress that I made this week (photos to come soon).

On the way down there we stopped in at my Grandparents near Poole, whilst there a was tasked with helping Nan move some stuff in the spare room during which we uncovered a box with sewing patterns (and one with knitting patterns that apparently got back to the 20's but we didn't open that one this time!) when sorting through the sewing patterns I found a few interesting ones which I ended up going home with :)

Welcome to the Pattern Stash

Simplicity 7786

I thought the jacket (minus the pockets) looks quite a lot like the one that I have recently bought and that it is simple enough to try as a basic pattern and the trousers look nicely office like. I would probably leave out the lovely crease down the front.

Butterick 5981

Another simple jacket pattern which looks like it could be nice for an over jacket, I might have to combine the tailoring of the previous pattern to make it a little less boxy, but I like the collar. I would probably avoid the elasticated waist trousers though.

Simplicity 6773

This is probably going to be the first pattern that I make up from this haul as I have recently come to love big wide (crazy) trousers but can't seem to be able to find any in a plain fabric ie not a crazy print, and would like some more plain ones. I just need to look for a light and floaty fabric now... Shame...


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Fitting for my Body

I have managed to get some sewing in recently which is good and have spent some time working out how to fit a few staples to my weird body shape, ok so I have only done a small amount of fitting and have still got to work out how to deal with my sway back but that is another issue...

Renfrew T-shirt (top) and Sorbetto Top (bottom). I have finally modified these patterns to fit my shape/tastes.
Some of the Modifications. Top L Sorbetto FBA, I also lowered the Armscye. Top R, Creating facings for another Sorbetto
Bottom, Adding some volume to the Sorbetto sleeve template.

I'm very glad to have finally sorted out getting the Sorbetto pattern to fit me as I think this is such a good shell pattern that I can modify in many ways to get what I want. It did take me a while to work out what I needed to do and now I have to just suck it up and realise that I need to do an FBA which is what I did on my New Look 6123 muslin and other than needing to take some length out of the bottom of the CB seam it pretty much fitted me out of the pack after that.

Left and Middle, Wearable Muslin for New Look 6123, Right self drafted floaty top.

Again I'm quite happy that I have fitted this pattern as the plain version is a nice sheath dress which I think is going to be a nice base for modifications.
I am trying to make another version of this dress that I ended up buying for my friends wedding, which is a fantastic dress, well made, nice fit (which is surprising for me) and when I teamed it with a bright orange jacket, totally out of my comfort zone colour wise.

Closet dress, bought at TK Maxx
I think that with some dart manipulation I could make a bodice similar to this and then just replace the sheath skirt with a more flared skirt and this would be a similar style dress.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Making a Raised Bed

In an attempt to make our garden more productive (and reduce the area of lawn we have to mow) we decided to create a raised bed on one of the sections of lawn. We recently purchased some scaffold planks from Southampton Wood Recycling Project and some 2 by 2's for the corners.



We screwed the planks into the corner posts and not into one another as this meant we could go in from the front of the planks and not into the end grain. We also lined the sides of the bed with pond liner to increase its life span a help hold in water/soil.



The finished bed is 3 planks high which is quite high but it means that we will not have to bend down too much to work on it which is nice. We are also trying out a new (to us) technique of Hugelkultur so lined the bottom of the bed with logs that we had lying about with some other bits of wood and garden cuttings on top. After the wood we layered straw and then soil on top of that.







We have not finished filling the bed yet but are looking for a good source of manure/soil to fill up the top of the bed. We are looking forward to seeing what this bed can produce over the next few seasons.
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