Friday, 28 August 2015

dress muslin and a Christmas stitchery

I finished the muslin of the next dress for Joanna yesterday. I didn't have enough of the peachy-orange sheet to make sleeves so I used navy instead. It's not going to get worn anywhere so navy sleeves won't be a problem - they just look a bit odd! LOL

This is the pattern I'm using - view D, shown in navy on the pattern envelope.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't realise it had a zip in it when I started cutting it out. It's a side zip, tucked under the left arm and opening from about an inch below the armpit to 14" below that. I'm really hoping that, because of the wideish (is that even a word?) neckline, Joanna might be able to get it on and off without using the zip and, if she can do that, then I won't be putting a zip in the "proper" dress.

This morning I used the sewing room window to copy a Christmas stitchery for Joanna to do. I had told her how to copy it but, even as I was telling her, I knew I wasn't making much sense so she asked me to do it for her.

Don't get fooled by the sunshine in that photo. Within minutes it was bucketing rain ... again.

Anyway, it didn't take me long to copy the design for her.

In case that doesn't show the design very well, here it is on paper. It'll be fabulous once it's done. :o)

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

swimming bag, a top and 3 dresses

I noticed on my way back from swimming on Monday that the plastic carrier bag I used for my swimming stuff was ripped. I'd thought for a while that I should make myself a swimming bag so that's exactly what I did. If the brightest bag wins, this one definitely gets the prize!!

I lined it with a cheap shower curtain which I had in my stash for exactly this kind of project. I'm really pleased with the bag and it certainly looks a lot better than the mangy old carrier bag I had been using!

In the last couple of days, I've made a muslin of this pattern.

It's for Joanna and, since I've not used the pattern before, I wanted to make it up to test the fit. I used the spotty fabric from the back of one of my bargain downie covers. Hopefully it'll fit her so I can make the top for her in the "proper" fabric.

I've got a few other things cut out for Joanna too. The dress on the left is my next project - another pattern I haven't made for her before so I'm making a muslin of that one too.

The other 2 are dresses that I have made for her before so, when I do get around to making them, they should be quick makes. Hopefully!

Friday, 21 August 2015

needlecord jacket and more LTP blocks

I finished the needlecord jacket I was making the other day. It's another version of Butterick 5616, view B which I've previously made in denim blogged about here and red blogged about here.

I didn't want to risk any funny-face self-taken photos so I asked Douglas to take some of me. I don't know what he said to me before he took this one but I bet it was something rude! ;o)

I see he managed to get his own thumb on the bottom of that photo. Honestly, you just can't get the staff! :oD

I think I was giving him the "for goodness sake take a decent photo" look in this one! LOL

I love this jacket just as much as the denim and red ones. I have some royal blue fabric that I might make another one with - might. I haven't decided yet. I wonder about having 4 jackets from the same pattern but then, why not? If I love the jackets - and will wear every one of them - I say just go for it!

In other sewing, I've been keeping on with my LTP (long term project) blocks.

They're not arranged in any particular order - just 4 blocks laid out together to make a bigger square.

I'm really enjoying this project. It's fun going through the scraps and remembering where I bought them or who gave them to me or what I used them for - or all of the above!

This is a very pleasing pile of 27 blocks done. I don't know how many I'm going to make but I'll just keep going for now.

Monday, 17 August 2015

a blouse and 2 skirts

Last week I did some unselfish sewing - a blouse and a couple of skirts for Joanna. The blouse is another version of the Lottie blouse which I made back in February this year. This is the pattern - I think it came "free" with a magazine.

The photo is a bit fuzzy but I hope you get the idea.

Next I made a couple of skirts. The pattern is McCall's 5523:

I also made this skirt back in February for Joanna. You can read about the previous incarnations of the blouse and skirt here.

The first skirt is black - fairly plain on the front.

But with a fish-tail on the back.

As usual, I didn't make facings at the waist but used some fancy home-made bias binding instead.

The second skirt is a dark brown version of the same pattern. Plain on the front -

Fish-tail on the back.

With some fancy bias binding inside.

I am past the half-way mark of the jacket I cut out for myself. I could have finished it today but the sun was shining so I decided to make the most of it and went outside instead. I believe rain is forecast for tomorrow - quelle surprise! - so I'll maybe get the jacket finished tomorrow.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

white spotty blouse and rain

I made myself a new blouse last week. It's another version of McCall's 5359. I'm a great believer in using a pattern more than once to get your money's worth out of it. I wish I'd kept an accurate count of how many blouses I've made with this one. Lots and lots and lots!!

Here's a close-up of the fabric - white spotty polycotton - and the flowery buttons.

Now, I might have moaned a time or two - or ten! - about the awful weather we've been having this "summer". Well, just in case you didn't believe me, here's some proof. This was yesterday afternoon, from my sewing room window. No wonder Scotland is so green!

Sunday, 9 August 2015


I had this random thought that I would choose some verbs and then write something beside each one. This is what today's verbing list looks like.

Baking: This week I baked Meg's Biscuits - recipe here

Buying: Not much other than food. I'm trying not to buy fabric unless I have a definite plan for it. I'm not sure how long that will last but at least I'm trying! ;o)

Cooking: For tea tonight we had fish and chips.

Drinking: Coffee until lunchtime, tea after that with a glass of milk at teatime.

Enjoying: that the pain in my back has gone for now. I know it will be back - it's one of the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis so I just have to put up with it as best as I can.

Feeling: fine, thanks. See "enjoying". :o)

Hearing: the computer humming and the telly in the living room where Douglas is watching who-knows-what! Sounds like a James Bond film.

Hoping: that summer isn't over yet! I could do with some more sun, please.

Knowing: that my "hoping" above could come to nothing and that we might just slip into autumn.

Looking: At the Simplicity/New Look website where there's a half-price sale. I wonder if I'll be able to resist? Probably not!

Making: plans to do some odd jobs in the house.

Reading: something on my Kindle. I love that you can get free Kindle books on Amazon. Some of them aren't that great but, when they're free, it's not that big a deal to stop reading if the book is bad. Mostly I enjoy what I choose.

Sewing: I have a jacket cut out for myself then I have a few things to make for Joanna.

Singing: I have the theme song of "Outlander" going around my head. It's basically "The Skye Boat Song" but with different words.

Sorting: I'm going through the drawers in my bedroom. I sorted some of my necklaces and earrings this morning. I tidied them up a bit and, although nobody else would notice, I like that they're tidier now.

Thinking: that Christmas is coming soon and, if I plan to make things, I need to get a move on.

Watching: The Great British Bake Off is back on the telly. I *love* it!

Wearing: I usually start the day off in a skirt & top but, by lunchtime, I'm back into my trousers with a cardigan and socks in the attempt to keep warm. (see "Hoping"!)

Friday, 7 August 2015


Today is Debbie's birthday. She's our older daughter and is 35 years old today. 35? Yikes, she's old!

Here she is in earlier times. She hasn't changed much really! :oD

Happy Birthday, Debbie. Hope you had a great day! :o)

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

more LTP blocks and a production

I haven't been doing much sewing this past week as my back has been a pain - literally. It's been a lot better the last few days so I made a few more of my long term project blocks.

This isn't the final placement - it's just a way of showing 4 blocks at a time.

I even dug into my Christmas scraps to make a couple of Christmas blocks. Fun!

On Saturday evening, we went to an outdoor production of Shakespeare's "As You Like It" at Falkand Palace. It was wonderful - the play and the acting and our picnic. The weather was not. Honestly! The last day in July and everyone was in winter jackets wearing hats and gloves (forgot mine!) with blankets over their knees or around their shoulders or both. It even rained a time or two but there was no way you could put brollies up as the folk behind wouldn't have been able to see. I just burrowed down into my winter coat and pretended I was a turtle!

I don't have any photos of the production so I'll just show the chairs we bought to take with us. Cheap garden foldy up things but they did the job beautifully.

If we go to another outdoor production next year, I'll be digging out the thermals, the gloves, the woolly hat and taking a flask (or 3) of tea to keep me cosy! Mind you, with the car seat heaters on in Douglas's car on the way home, it didn't take too long to defrost.