Saturday, 27 April 2013

the dreaded lurgy

I'm feeling just a teeny bit sorry for myself as I've caught the dreaded lurgy that Joanna and Douglas had/have. I warned them that there was no way they were to pass said lurgy on to me until after the 2 concerts I was singing in. The second of those concerts took place on Tuesday evening and, since I managed to get to Friday feeling just fine, I thought I'd managed to escape it.

Wrong! Now I have the thumping head, the runny nose and I won't be surprised if I get a cough in the next few days. Ahhh the joys!! I'm off to sit/lie on the couch with a cup of tea, my book and a box of tissues. Let's hope this goes away soon!

Apologies for not replying to the comments on my last post. Let me just thank you all here for taking the time to comment and hopefully I'll be back up to speed really soon.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

fabrics, steam trains and secrets

At choir rehearsal last week, one of the ladies asked me if I'd be interested in some fabric she'd found when she'd been tidying out a cupboard. Naturally, I said "Yes!" and she gave it to me last night. There's a piece of turquoise silk (or, if it's not silk, it's mighty like it!), a piece of white cotton with a multicolour pattern on it, a piece of dusky pink furnishing fabric and...

... a fat quarter bundle.

Fabulous stuff! Free fabric - what's not to love? Oh and she told me she had some grey flannel too and would I like that as well? Can you guess what my answer was? :oD

We have the main east coast railway line running at the back our garden. This morning a steam train went by and I managed to get a fairly decent photo of it!

These next two photos are some secret sewing that I'm doing. I can't show the whole thing as it's for someone who reads my blog and I don't want to spoil the surprise. I'm having fun sewing it and I'm sure the person will love it when it's delivered.

Monday, 22 April 2013

52 weeks of happy - week 16

Here are my 4 happy photos for this week.

1. Joanna and I shared the cost of the new Michael Bublé album. Well, Joanna bought it and I owe her £2.50 for my share of it. I'll try and remember to give it to her! :oD

2. I decided that the tartan bee needed some new stock so I set to and cut out some shopping bags. Sewing things where the size doesn't need to be accurate really makes me happy!

3. Today I cut out and made this new pouch. I'm hoping it's a good day for photographing tomorrow so I can get it loaded into the shop.

4. And finally, the new Nora Roberts book arrived. I'm enjoying it so far but then it's a new Nora so I'd expect no less!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

my shaping dilemmas

I've been working my way through the class I got last week for the sassy librarian blouse. (I got it when they had a one day sale and this one was one third of the proper price. Yay!)

I know how to sew blouses but I'm making myself sit and watch the videos, no matter how long and drawn out they feel to me. For example, I watched the lesson for how to make and attach the collar. The video took 38 minutes and 5 seconds to watch and I then went and did the collar bit in about 15 minutes. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the class but I wish it didn't take up so much of my sewing time to watch it!

The other thing is, I'm thinking I'll just watch the rest of the class without making the blouse and then watch the other class which I got at half price. (Yay!) That one was called "Sew the Perfect Fit". Why am I thinking of doing this? Well, this is a photo of the blouse front and I've added arrows to it to explain.

See where the bust dart ends? And the place where my bust point is? Well, that needs to be about 1" from the end of the bust dart which means I need to move the dart by about 3"! The side seam end of the dart is also way too close to my armhole so it needs moved down as well. *sigh*

Then there are the release pleats at the bottom of the blouse. They're meant to give the blouse shaping but, if they're not in the right place for my body, then the shaping will shape the bits I'd rather weren't shaped! As you can see, they're about 2" offline as well. I also need to lengthen the body of the blouse by about 2". *more sighing*

And then there are the sleeves. Anyone who has read my blog for a while knows that I have a constant problem with blouse sleeves. I hate to think how many blouses I've made and then put in the charity bag because I can't get the sleeves on my arms. Yes, I have fat arms - or at least pattern manufacturers would have me believe that! I already allowed for my large armage in this pattern but not enough as they're still too tight! *even more sighing*

So, I really need to learn how to make the pattern fit me before I go any further. In the meantime, I'll leave the sassy librarian in the WIP box. It was only meant to be a muslin anyway - I made it from a cheap sheet - so it's not like I've wasted any "good" fabric in what I've done so far. And, because it was a sheet, there's plenty left to remake the fronts when I learn how to do that. Okay, off to watch some more videos!

Monday, 15 April 2013

52 weeks of happy - week 15

Here are my 4 happy photos for this week.

1. My first photo is of a blouse that I'm making as part of a sewing course. I'd read last week some time that the courses were on sale for one day only so I went to see if I'd be interested in any of them. I enrolled for one about making patterns fit which was half price (and included a Vogue pattern in that price) and for the " Sassy Librarian Blouse " course which was a third of its normal price. Saving lots of money always makes me happy!! This photo shows me at the very early stages of the blouse course with the paper pieces stuck together. I've got a long way to go with it but so far I'm happy with it.

2. When we moved the bookcase with my cookery books through to the livingroom last week, the salts and peppers all got put together on the alcove shelves. They will get moved sometime to another happy shelf but, in the meantime, I like them like this.

3. I was tidying some computer files this afternoon and found this. Debbie had made it a while ago and that's Rosie and Molly at the top - allegedly.

4. And finally, this one really makes me laugh. Our hut door has a cat flap in it and Joanna took Rosie into the hut to show her how it worked. As you can see, Molly was a bit surprised to see Rosie's face! :oD

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

living room re-do

I've wanted to move the living room around for a while and today I got my way. This was the start of it with one couch pulled out into the middle of the room and books being taken off shelves.

I didn't get any other shots of the before or even the during but I think the afters more than make up for that. This is by far the best bit of the re-do - the Farmer's Wife quilt up on the wall. Oh my goodness, I just fell in love with it all over again. Fab-U-Lous!

Here's another shot of it with Debbie lolloping about on the couch. Another of my favourite bits is the bookcase just next to the couch where all my cookery books are. We brought the bookcase through from the dining room. I *love* it!

This shot shows the wall where the 2 matching units of book shelves and drawers are with the telly in between. Wonderful!

Molly was exhausted after all her hard work! She wasn't the only one! :o)

Monday, 8 April 2013

52 weeks of happy - week 14

Here are my 4 happy photos for this week.

1. Today I finished the third of the 4 blouses I cut out for Joanna last week.

2. Douglas had fun setting fire to some pencil shavings! Some boys never grow up, eh? :oD

3. I made some muesli. I don't eat it myself - blech - but Douglas and Jason do so it's made them happy.

4. Next, just because it makes me laugh every time I see it, is an old ad for Yellow Pages. "I know this haircut has nothing to do with you ..... you're very, very nice people!" :oD

Sunday, 7 April 2013

3 things - March's report

At the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to do 3 things this year. How did I get on in March? Let's see.

Thing 1 - do not buy magazines.
This is getting easier to do as I don't even look at magazines any more.
March Result: Thing 1 done.

Thing 2 - use what I have.
I did buy some scrap bags but it was with tartan bee money so that's allowable according to me! :oD
March Result: Thing 2 done.

Thing 3 - I'm going to do the "52 weeks of happy" thing.
I was a week late with week 12 because of Mum falling and ending up in hospital for a few days. I did a double post the next week, though, so I'm all caught up again so I'm counting this one as done too.
March Result: Thing 3 done.

And for this month's funny photo. When Debbie got the dollies and their clothes down from the attic the other day, she also brought down the dressing up clothes. For some reason, Joanna thought Molly would look good in a gold lamé waistcoat. Molly doesn't look so sure about that! :oD

Saturday, 6 April 2013

2 blouses done and a cardie for Grace

Today I finished off two of the four blouses I've got cut out for Joanna. They're both New Look 6407, view E.

2 down, 2 to go.

And last night I finished off the cardie for Grace. I managed to get her to stand up to show it off. :o)

Douglas asked me if I was planning to knit garments for dollies to sell in the tartan bee and my answer was a resounding "no!". Although I enjoyed knitting this cardie for Grace, I wouldn't want to do it as a regular thing. I'd much rather sew things than knit them!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

blouses and dolls' clothes

I've cut out some more blouses for Joanna - 4 in total - and started making them today. Here are the front facings and collars all with their interfacings ironed on.

It'll take me a few days to get these finished but I'm happy that they're started and even happier that all of the fabrics except one came from my pile as did the interfacing and the buttons and threads! The one fabric that didn't come from the pile - the white one - was paid for by Joanna so, really, all four of them fit into my "use what I have" thing.

After me getting Grace yesterday, Debbie went up into the attic to find the box of her dollies and their clothes. It was fun to see those clothes again - and the dollies! Needless to say, after 20 odd years of being stored away, the clothes needed washed so she did that today. I didn't think she should tumble dry them so they got hung in the drying cupboard instead. How fun!

By the way, some people asked me what kind of dolly Grace is. I got her in Argos - Grace - but she seems to be quite similar in size and looks to the American Girl dolls.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013


Today a lovely pink box came into my possession.

Inside it there was some tissue paper ...

And under the tissue paper lay ... Grace.

Isn't she adorable? I think so!

My main idea is to make clothes for Grace and then, if they turn out well enough, I'd like to sell them in the tartan bee shop. I always used to make clothes for Debbie's and Joanna's dollies when they were small and loved every minute of it so I'm hoping that now - 30 years later!! - I might enjoy it just as much. I have a lot of pattern drafting to do before any of that happens though so, in the meantime, I dug out some dolly knitting patterns from all those years ago and started knitting Grace a cardigan.

I foresee some fun times ahead! :o)

Monday, 1 April 2013

52 weeks of happy - weeks 12 and 13

Thank you all once again for all your lovely comments last week. There were comments from "old" friends and some from new friends too. All of them meant so much to me and I can't thank you enough for them. Mum is doing well. She's happy to be back in her own house and that alone is helping her heal, I think.

Okay, on with bloggy business. I'm doing a double post for my happy photos this week as I missed it last week. So here are 8 happy photos from the last 2 weeks.

1. Jason - Debbie's fiancé - arrived from Canada! Yay!

2. I finished all 6 placemats. I *love* them.

3. Joanna and the dogs and their biscuits.

4. I baked some sultana cookies. The recipe is here.

5. I sewed a blouse for Joanna on Saturday. The blouse had been cut out since before Christmas! *blush*

6. Some tomato seeds which Douglas sowed are coming through.

7. I bought a pussy willow at the garden centre on Friday.

8. Molly and I giving each other hugs out in the sunshine.