Monday, 30 November 2015

padding the dummy and other things

I can't show everything I've been making this week as some of them are "blanks" for Christmas gifts. I've taken photos, though, so, after the big man has been, I'll dig them out and fill in the blanks.

In the meantime, here are a few miscellaneous shots from my camera.

First of all, this is Diana the dummy in her new spotty outfit. I wanted her to look more like me - bigger in the boobular area and not so flat over the tummy section so I padded her out with wadding and bump (curtain interlining) and this is how she looks now. She's got a few lumps there (a wee bit like myself! :oD) but she measures the same as I do now so she'll give me a more accurate idea of the fit of things. Hopefully!

I dug out our Christmas mugs last week, washed them and hung them on the mug hooks. Three hooks are empty because I'd already used the mugs before I thought of taking the photo! I have to say, I find the 2 mugs on the right really annoying. The pattern is only printed on one side and, to show said pattern, they need to hang differently from all the other mugs. I don't think I have OCD but it annoys me a lot that they're like that! ;o)

Yesterday morning we had snow. It did lie for about quarter of an hour but, thankfully, it was wet snow so it didn't take long to disappear. Phew!

I was tidying my Christmas fabrics and found a few that I could make pinnies from so I cut them out yesterday and started sewing them today. Only the tapes to sew on now and I can start wearing my share! Yay!

I also found a piece of Christmas pvc fabric in the pile so I cut it out for a shopping bag. I know I'll be letting loose with a few wee sweary words as I sew the pvc but hopefully not too many. I need to remind myself when I see pvc in the remnant box, how much I *hate* sewing with the stuff!!

Our Christmas concert yesterday went quite well. There were a few "moments" that should have been better but the audience didn't notice and clapped loudly. Hopefully we'll have made a lot of money for the "Save the Children" charity. Douglas did take some photos for me but he was so far back in the hall that you can barely see the choir never mind the bow ties and mini bow tie brooches I made. Oh well, maybe next year! :o)

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

blog more often!!

Why don't I blog more often? I ask myself this question quite a lot and I don't ever get a sensible answer from myself! The thing is, when I do blog - in today's case 12 days (!!!) after the previous blog post - I have so much to say/show that it takes ages to write the post. And who wants to read screeds and screeds of "here's what I made" posts? Not me, that's for sure! So, I'm really going to try to blog more often. We'll just have to wait and see if that happens!!

Okay, so here are some photos to show what I've been doing since I last blogged.

I finished the 2 Christmas stockings for the raffle at our concert only to get to the rehearsal last week to be told there wasn't going to be a raffle table. After a bit of (inward, small) sweary words, I just let it go. If I'd said anything, I'd probably have been roped into organising it and no way was I doing that. It should have been done weeks/months ago, not 2 weeks before the concert takes place!

Debbie is doing a table at a craft fair on Friday so, amongst other Tartan Bee stuff, I've given her the 2 stockings. Maybe she'll sell them, maybe she won't. If she doesn't, I'll just list them in my Etsy shop.

The next thing I made were a couple of white blouses. The first one is my old standard McCall's 5359. It fits me beautifully and might well be the blouse I wear under my red jacket for the concert.

This next one is a Vogue pattern - Vogue 8747, view A. I was a bit concerned that the bust wouldn't be big enough but, when I made it up, the gathered bit is actually a bit big for me.

I've tried the blouse on under my red jacket and it looks fine so it's another possibility for the concert.

I made a wee tree ornament for Joanna to add to a gift she's sending to someone in the US. It's all made from scraps of tartan so appropriately Scottish!

Last Friday, Douglas, Joanna and I headed to Glasgow. Joanna and I went to the Country Living Christmas Fayre and Douglas headed to the Science Museum. A good time was had by all. I didn't buy much but I did spend £1 to get this bag from the Scotsman newspaper stand.

It also had some oaty snacks and a packet of quick porridge as well as the newspaper in the bag. The handles were too long for me so, when I got home, I shortened them and added a bag lining. Others may also have paid £1 for the bag but mine is now unique!

Joanna asked me to trace her next stichery for her. It's going to be awesome!

I took a notion to make myself a mini bow tie brooch to wear on my red jacket.

It was quite finicky to make it so I didn't really want to make one for all 14 of the ladies in our choir. I puzzled over it last weekend and tried a different method of making them and it worked so here are the 14 mini bow tie brooches all waiting to go to tomorrow's rehearsal.

On Monday afternoon, Joanna and I headed to Stirling. We were going to a talk given by Diana Gabaldon - author of the Outlander series - and Neil Oliver - tv presenter with his first novel released. The talk was to be at Stirling Castle. I took this photo when we got to the car park. Isn't it fabulous? I love it so much, I've set it as my desktop picture on my computer!

The talk was absolutely fascinating. Both authors had stories to tell and were very interesting. I was definitely glad we went. This is Joanna after getting Neil Oliver's autograph.

And here she is with Diana Gabaldon. Both authors must have had sore hands by the end of the night after signing all those books!

Joanna had asked me to make an Outlander bag for her to give to Diana Gabaldon but I made it a bit special. Nobody else has one like this!!

Okay, I think that's me caught up now. It's taken me more than 45 minutes to write this post. Lesson learned. Blog more often!!

Friday, 13 November 2015

another week of makes

Another catching up post from my camera.

First - the 8 bow ties I made for the men in the choir I sing in. I took them to the rehearsal last week and everyone was delighted with them which pleased me no end!

I also took the flower I made for our musical director. She was over the moon with it which also pleased me no end!

For our concert, the ladies have to wear something red or something white or red and white. (This is on our top half - we wear black skirts or trousers on the bottom half!) I had decided to just wear a white shirt and my red cardigan. Then I thought about a piece of red fabric that's been in my stash for an embarrassingly long time. I dug it out and decided to make a jacket with it. The pattern I used is from way back when - possibly the mid 90s?

I've made it before albeit in a smaller size - so I was fairly happy that it would fit me (in the next size up). I changed the length to make it about 3" shorter. I know I haven't shrunk 3" since the 90s so I must have been happy wearing the longer length back then! Anyway, it fits me and I think it will work well as my red top half. I'll still wear a white blouse underneath it.

I decided to make a couple of Christmas stockings for the raffle which will be held at the concert. This is the first one all quilted and cut to shape. (Apologies for the bad photos. Winter photos are not good. Actually, my summer photos weren't that great either! *sigh*)

This is the second one which has now been sewn together, quilted and cut to shape. They now just need backed and lined and they'll be ready for raffling.

I was watching a video on youtube my Jennie Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company. It's a scrappy 4-patch star block and I was totally intrigued. I just knew I wanted to try it out in Christmas fabrics. So I did.

This is my first one:

And, of course, I had to make another one.

The pattern was so easy and quick to make. I can see myself making a few more of these ... after I've finished those stockings. No really, Anne. You HAVE to finish those stockings before you make any more of those scrappy four-patch stars.

Friday, 6 November 2015

what do you do?

Yesterday at lunchtime, our internet stopped working. No e-mail. No facetime. No house phone - ours is internet-based. No blogs. No Pinterest. What's a girl to do? Other than housework. Come on, let's be real here! LOL

Well, after I'd done the sewing I wanted to do, I sat on the couch with my Kindle and read the brand new Nora Roberts book which was delivered overnight to said Kindle.

There are some people who complain that Nora Roberts books are a bit cookie-cutter-ish. That they all have the same characters or the characters have the same traits as others. That doesn't bother me one little bit. In fact, I quite like working out who this or that character is like.

Anyway, this is the first of a new trilogy and, because the internet was down, I've finished it in record time. I enjoyed it a lot. In fact, I loved it! I can't wait for the next one to come out. And, when I see it's due, I'll be ordering it. Because I'd pre-ordered this one, I got it for the price it was when I ordered it - £6.05 - whereas it's now priced at £9.49. That's a great saving! I did wonder about ordering it as a paperback book rather than an e-book - I do like a real book - but that doesn't come out until June of next year. No way could I wait that long!

Our internet finally came back at lunchtime today - 23 hours and 45 minutes after it stopped working. At least I put my time to good use! :oD

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

miscellaneous bits

When I showed the bow tie to our choir's musical director last week, she asked me if it would be possible for me to make her a flower out of the same material for her to wear at the concert. I told her I would see what I came up with and this is what I made.

The back:

I've now got more of the snowflake fabric so I'll get on with making the flower for her so I can give it to her at this week's rehearsal. We decided that I would leave off the button on the front so she could pin a sparkly brooch on to it instead. I think it'll look great.

I made myself a doggy blouse. It's another McCall's 5359. I think I could make that blouse in my sleep, I've made it so often! LOL

Joanna asked me to fix her black skirt what seemed to have stretched at the waist. She gave me the brown skirt I had made for her which hadn't stretched so I could see what size it needed to be. Well, somehow the black skirt had stretched by 7cm - nearly 3". Wow!

I set to and unpicked the zip, the side seams, the waistband facings etc and took it in by the 7cm. When I'd sewn it all back up, I measured the re-sewn version against the brown skirt, it was still 4cm too big. What?? Well, it finally dawned on me that the black fabric was behaving exactly like the plum stuff I'd sewn trousers for myself with. Remember that "weird" fabric? Yep. I'm pretty sure the black fabric was the same.

So that black skirt got thrown into the charity bag and I made a completely new skirt for Joanna out of a metre of (non-weird) black fabric I had in my stash. Thankfully, that worked out at the same size as the brown one. Phew!

It's the usual pattern with the fishtail at the back:

I used some leftover fabric from the strawberry top I made for her (blogged here) for the waistband facings.

We made a red candle from leftover bits from some red tealights. When it solidified, there was a hole in it. Interesting!

Today I dug into the depths of the freezer and pulled out the strawberries and raspberries to make jam. Here's the strawberry jam:

And the raspberry jam.

They are both delicious! I know because we decided we had to test it and had homemade scones and jam for tea. The scones weren't particularly pretty but, boy did they taste good!