Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Starting, finishing, sharing & meeting up

Hello there!

I've come to the conclusion that my creativity dries up when I feel a bit stressed. Being released to start my new job is taking longer than I'd hoped and I can't seem to settle to anything, I'm as much use as a chocolate teapot! I've avoided blogging because I've been such a grump!

I'm trying to be a bit productive, even if I'm having to push myself, I know ultimately it will make me feel better.

I started this new skirt on Sunday ...

I wasn't sure about the size so I made a muslin and was happy enough with it to cut it out of some fabric I bought in Japan. I think it will go together pretty quickly but I'm going to do that at the weekend in natural light, I do struggle to sew in artificial light. The shape is pretty flattering, I'm using the back view in the photo.

I think crochet is my 'comfort craft'. I've been finishing off this Ripple blanket ...

it's for a little boy who has a seaside themed bedroom. I'm about 70% done now, this is perfect to work on in front of the TV on a dark evening.

And a colleague left a gift on my desk ...


Does this seem familiar?

This was really kind of her but I don't need two! They're both the same size (6-14). I've not made it myself yet but have read good reviews. I don't know any other dressmakers locally and it seems a shame for it to go to waste. So, I'm passing the kindness on, let me know if you'd like the spare (to use, not to pop on eBay!) and I'll post it. If there's more than one request I'll pick a name out of a hat :)

I am very excited about the meet up that Sam has proposed over at alittleofwhatyoufancy - an exhibition, a real life meeting with a fellow blogger, tea and cake - perfect!


Monday, 15 October 2012

Mostly making memories

We had my niece and nephew for the weekend, I didn't accomplish much but I'm getting them interested early ...

Little A sitting in the middle of "a fabric puddle" made by her big brother - no, I've no idea what a fabric puddle is either. F gave me suggestions for every piece, several of which were deemed "boring". I have a request to make a "fabric robot with a real engine" - he's going to be disappointed! She's sitting on her favourite bit - keeping it safe!
F is planning on having his own craft room when he grows up. I think he quite likes the fact that A is too little to join in even though he's really good with her.
We're worn out - will get some sewing done this week.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Celebrate 'Jacq Got A New Job Day'!

I got it! I have a new job, it's a promotion and I am reducing to a 4 day working week in the process. I may actually have the elusive work/life balance within my sights! A dedicated crafting day per week maybe? Not only that, it's a fresh challenge and I'll be working for someone for whom I have the greatest respect, a woman of integrity. She even has the same birthday as me and I'll be proud to work for her. I am chuffed to bits - can you tell?

I thought I'd stuffed up the task entirely as it took 10 minutes and I'd been alloted 45. 35 minutes is a very long time to re-read questions and worry that you've totally missed the point. Thank goodness I stuck with my gut instinct. I even managed not to be sick - that felt like a real possibility at one stage!

Thank you for your kind wishes, it meant a lot.

Right, am off to be entirely spoilt by my husband - it's a very good day.



Sunday, 7 October 2012

Shut up and sew something!

That was pretty much the talk I had with myself this week and, very occasionally, I listen. My fabric mountain is not going to sew itself. So here's what I've made this weekend, ably assisted by Doris:

The Interview Dress

I have an interview on Tuesday, it matters to me, enough said. I thought I'd focus my nervous energy on making something to wear.


  • Japanese superfine cotton lawn
  • Bluewater Craft Show Sept 2012
  • 1.5 metres, £9

  • The People Pattern Service No 919, 1960s I think
  • Vintage Craft Fair March 2012
  • Part of a bundle I got for £2.50, so about 50p. However, I'm calling this free as it's the fourth time I've made it (twice for me, once for my daughter)
  • All previous versions sleeveless and 'interlined'(I think this is right, effectively sewed lining and fabric as one?)
  • This is not exactly as originally intended, I've winged it with instructions, altered the neckline, taken in seams, shortened and tapered the skirt but it's only small tweaks to the pattern. Oh, and some of the facings were missing (and wouldn't fit now anyway) so I remade those.
  • This uses so little fabric it's a real stashbuster of a dress

  • Thread, from stash
  • That's it, no fastenings at all
  • Belt that I already own. I'm not sure about a matching belt this time as it might get lost because of the fabric pattern. I have sufficient scraps left if I change my mind.
I love Doris dearly but she's not doing this justice, it looks less 'sack like' on honestly!
With new Laura Ashley cardigan and M&S shoes - the purchase of which may have negated the money-saving benefits of my bargain dress. However, I have a 'wardrobe building plan', both pieces will get lots of wear. And I'm a rubbish knitter and cannot make shoes!

Lessons Learned:

Style my hair and do my face after putting on any 'over the head' outfit!

This is such a straightforward pattern, now I've altered it to literally only a front & back piece, both cut on the fold. Tweaking the side seams and belting it give it the shape. It's smart and so easy for work and a classic shape.

I'm generally struggling with fit, this is a breath of fresh air but I think I need to get brave and move on. I can't just keep wearing the same dress!

Over and out :)

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Giving, receiving & letting go

Firstly, PixieSam and Meg the Grand could you please both email me your postal addresses as I have some little parcels to send to you both. My email address is Thank you :)

Secondly, look what I got in the post this weekend, a lovely surprise when I got home from Wales, taking my boy back to Uni and visiting my Mum on her birthday:

Thank you Sam, Elmo was very impressed, she appears from nowhere if ever you unwrap something! I am currently working on my winter sewing plan trying to match fabric with patterns, I'm really looking forward to incorporating these bits and pieces. Watch this space, I'm trying very hard to be realistic about what I can achieve.

Thirdly, I've undertaken scientific research over consecutive years and can categorically conclude it does not get easier to take my boy to Uni and come away without him. He's a grown man and entirely capable - I apparently am not! If you passed a weepy woman on the M4/M25 on Sunday it was me, and it wasn't just the traffic that reduced me to tears :)

There's no 'fourthly', bet you're relieved!