Monday, 29 August 2011

Work in Progress...

 Lots of stuff on the go... first is this jacket from Ottobre 3/04.  It was meant for summer but summer seems to be gone now!  It still needs some buttons to finish.  The collar was a complete disaster.  I couldn't figure out from the instructions what I was supposed to do, so I made it up, and it turned out very wrong!  I have tried my best to fix it but it is far from perfect.
 This is from Ottobre 1/07 - the cover design.  I need to put the collar on then finish it off with hems and buttons etc.
 A quilt top made from Moda's Birdie fabric.  The picture doesn't show the colours up very well.  I need to cut the binding and the backing then it is ready to quilt.
 This is going to be a bag from the book Fabulous Fat Quarter Bags.  I need to find buckles and things before I can go any further with it.  My picture is pretty bad - the colours are much brighter in real life.

This is going to be a cathedral window cushion - eventually....


Finally finished something!  One and a half pairs of pyjamas.  I don't know where the bottoms from the smaller size went.  Maybe I didn't even cut them out.  These are from Ottobre issue 4/05.  They turned out far too huge and baggy.  The neck line is also very large.

 I didn't do the neck binding like it said in the instructions.  I copied the method from a Jalie pattern, which I really like the look of.  I didn't manage to get my V quite pointy enough though.
Girls pyjamas.  The top is from Ottobre 1/03 - it's not a pyjama top, just a long sleeved t.shirt.  The bottoms are the leggings pattern from the book Sewing Clothes Kids Love.  The top turned out to be a bit on the large side, and the leggings really are very tight, so maybe not the best thing for pyjamas.  I didn't like the neck binding on the top.  It turned out very bulky.  I need to make more girls pyjamas and also some plain long sleeved tops for wearing under things, so I think I'll have a look around for some different patterns.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Actually sewing!

Well, that's not quite true.  I have been cutting out though.  Finally got a bit of a sewing bug again.
I did actually sew some cushions for the boys room with Ikea fabric a week or two ago.  I was pleased with how they turned out.

Now I have some pyjamas cut out to sew for W & R, I did trace out the same pattern for S but I ran out of fabric.  The pjs are from an old Ottobre magazine.  04/05 I think.  I also have a jacket cut out for E from an old Ottobre mag.  I'm making it from a striped orange fabric, since orange is her favourite colour.  It looks like a fairly complex project.  I'm not really sure what she is going to wear it with either.  I have some other things cut out for her from a really ancient Burda magazines.  There is a shorts and top set, and a short tracksuit set.

Hope to have some pictures to post here soon. 

Sunday, 6 February 2011

UFO Challenge

So I'm not quite finished my To-do list yet, but I fancy a change of scene.  I’ve just had a rummage through my UFO boxes and I’ve found:

  • Girls Pjs
  • Ooga Booga hooded top
  • Smocked dresses x3
  • Oliver+S playsuit
  • Newborn nappy cover
  • Newborn AIO
  • Newborn nappy
  • AIO nappies x2
  • Dress/pinafore type thing
  • Baby carrier

Most of them are fairly simple to finish.  Makes me wonder why I never finished them in the first place!  I’ve got 13 items, so I will see how many I can finish in 7 days – starting tomorrow.  That gives me today to find pattern instructions and get everything I need to hand to finish these projects.

To-do list completed so far…

Finished the Ottobre pyjamas.  They’re from the 6/2009 issue.  I am not overly impressed with them.  The necklines are very wide, the top seems quite baggy, and the trousers are very small.  I get that they are supposed to have a legging type fit, but there isn’t much bum space!  For a child in nappies they would be useless.


This is the first pair I made.  The squirrely/moose fabric is from the JOS co-op, and the grey knit is from eBay.  Its not quite as stretchy as the interlock.  I made these the way the instructions said to make them – the seams are overlapped then sewn with a cover stitch.  I found this very annoying!  It kind of has a chewed up look to it.

I don’t like the wavy effect on the ribbing.  Maybe cutting the ribbing slightly wider would have helped.

The second pair is made from some fabric I got from a friend paired with eBay interlock.  I made fake cover stitched seams this time.  I just sewed and ordinary seam, then cover stitched over the top – I actually used a mock cover stitch that I have on my sewing machine because I just could not figure out how to sew it with my overlocker.  Again I didn’t like the way the cuffs looked.


The third pair are made with JOS and eBay fabric.  I did the fake cover stitch seams again and this time skipped sewing it on the cuffs.  I think they look a lot better this way.


Here is a close up of the cuffs.

DSC02224The red trousers look totally stretched and wavy with the extra topstitching.  And I’m really not liking the white matched with the red!  For the robot pjs I wish I’d used the light blue instead of white for the arm cuffs, but I thought red and blue might look odd together.

Here is a pic of my re-organised fabric storage.  I still have a whole set of drawers full of fabric that I could be doing with to store clothes in!


On top from L to R are boxes with micro fleece, scraps, UFOs and wool. 

Top shelf from L to R is misc knits, PRR fabric, misc bits and pieces then fleece.  I think there are folders in the cube that is hidden behind the dress. 

Middle shelf from L to R has plain knits, boy knits, girl knits, then stripes and fabric I plan to use soon.  The hidden cube has interfacing, and some old clothes I plan to recycle into something else.

Lower shelf from L to R has basket of craft bits and pieces, PUL, basket of xmas craft things, PUL with suede cloth on top, then… dunno actually.  Must be a basket of something!  The dress that is hanging there I plan to take up.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Updated to do list

Alterations needing done:
  • Take up really long jeans
  • Take up other pair of jeans
  • Take up knit dress
  • Take up other dress
  • Take in denim dress
  • Possibly take up dress I am currently wearing(?)
Cutting out needing done:
  • Corduroy jacket
  • Mark cream blouse markings then remove pattern and cut out white blouse
  • Elastic in pjs
  • Jalie top needs hems
  • Possibly have a finishing marathon on old box of UFO’s
Sewing needing done:
  • Ottobre top – needs some interfacing cut out first

Saturday, 29 January 2011

My to do list

Alterations needing done:
  • Take up really long jeans
  • Take up other pair of jeans
  • Take up knit dress
  • Take up other dress
  • Take in denim dress
  • Possibly take up dress I am currently wearing(?)
Cutting out needing done:
  • Corduroy jacket
  • Mark cream blouse markings then remove pattern and cut out white blouse
  • Elastic in pjs
  • Jalie top needs hems
  • Possibly have a finishing marathon on old box of UFO’s
Sewing needing done:
  • Ottobre top – needs some interfacing cut out first
(Edited to add - this is my first time posting with Windows Live Writer.  It seems to be easy enough to use.  Will need to see what it is like with photos, since posting them with blogger can be a bit of a pain.)

Friday, 21 January 2011

Giving up supermarkets - pt 2

I cleaned out my cupboards last week.  I didn't think there was that much in them.  Wrong!!!!  I have been hoarding brown rice (4 packets of it!) and tinned tomatoes (7 tins).  There was more food in there than I would normally buy in a week.  So we've been eating from the cupboards for the last week.  I've just done a £50 order from Tesco since I had a £10 off voucher.  I went through (clicked on through so I could get some money back!) and I ended up saving £12 on the things I was going to buy.  They are a really good site.  Never used them before.  They suggest cheaper alternatives to the things you are going to buy.  It showed me that Tesco's "special offers" were not so special after all.  I'm hoping that this and the stuff in my cupboard will last me till the 4th of Feb - 2 weeks.

Then I will start up a weekly order with Grow Wild and do a bulk order for things like toilet roll etc from somewhere else.

Some exciting news (well exciting to me - my life really isn't that interesting!) my little corner shop has been taken over by new owners, and they stock organic milk!  And meat products from a local butcher, and today I noticed that they had Scottish yogurts.  They have a small stock of everything.  I already bought some dishwasher tablets from there.  They are open till 9pm every day too.  I'm thinking that if people don't buy the organic milk then they will stop stocking it, so I will make sure I buy from there.

I have ordered a few cook books this week from the last of my Christmas money.  I got a book called Five Minute Bread from the Book People.  This is the UK version of the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.  Basically you just make a huge batch of dough, store in the fridge then bake as you need it.  Its about £8.99 over at Amazon, but the Book People are selling it for £4.99.  I also got myself Jamie's America (my family will laugh - they say I am obsessed with him!  I'm not, I was just really impressed with his 30 Minute Meals book) it was only £5.  I got a few books for the children, qualified for a free book and free delivery!  I went through the Top Cash Back website and earned £1.65 cash back on the whole order.  (if you want to join topcashback please can you use my referral link -  It's free to join.  I can earn £2.50 for referring people.  Thanks!!!!)

I bought a book from Amazon called The Takeaway Secret.  The guy who wrote it had agoraphobia and really missed going out to get a takeaway, so he started experimenting at home to try and recreate the perfect takeaway.  We don't really eat a lot of takeaways, occasionally a pizza, but my home made pizzas have never been much to write home about.  I bought it to expand my cooking a bit.

Sewing - I rearranged all my fabric storage, so it is all tidy now.  I tided up my sewing desk and shelves too.  I plan to finish off the pjs I was making this evening, and I am going to cut out a shirt pattern for myself.  A lovely friend sent me some fabric since she is giving up sewing.  There is some fabric there that is perfect for a shirt.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Giving up supermarkets

This isn't about sewing, but I am sewing right now.  I've almost finished 3 pairs of pjs for R, and I have something cut out for myself.  I bought myself an Ottobre Woman magazine for my Christmas.  I also bought a bag pattern and some vintage patterns.  I plan to do quite a bit of sewing this year (like I planned to do last year, but just never got round to...)  Just reorganised my fabric stash the other day too.

I wanted to blog about my new idea... to give up shopping at supermarkets.  There are lots of reasons I want to do this.  It seems like supermarkets are trying to take over the world.  All the local shops are closed.  All their stuff is totally over-packaged.  And they're always trying to make me buy stuff I don't even want or need with their special offers. 

I want to be more eco-friendly - cutting down on the waste we produce.  I want to support local businesses that people actually own rather than big companies.  I want to eat more locally produced foods rather than stuff flown in from overseas.  I want to eat more organic food.

I am thinking I will start a weekly order from Grow Wild - a local fruit and veg delivery company.  They source the majority of their stuff locally.  And it is organic.  They also sell locally produced organic meat, honey, jams, eggs, and dairy.  I just priced up a few random items - Grow Wild was £9.97 and Tesco was £8.41 (is it just me or do Tesco just bump the price up of anything that has "organic" in the title?)  I usually have my stuff delivered from Tesco at a cost of £4.50ish.  Grow Wild charges £1 for delivery, so shopping from there is actually saving me almost £2!

I can use Grow Wild for my fruit and veg (just need to decide on what size and type of box to get) milk, cream, butter (will switch to real butter instead of margarine), eggs and some other things like pasta and even some cleaning products and toiletries. 

I think I might use somewhere like Ethical Superstore or Goodness Direct for toilet roll and bulk buying of flour, grains etc.  If we switch from boxed cereals to porridge, (quinoa porridge for me!) or eggs and toast etc in the morning then I think that will cut down on packaging and also be healthier.

I'm thinking I will put the bread maker to use again.  I've never been that happy with the bread I've made in it before, but it is good for mixing dough for things like bagels and rolls.

For the cats, Grow Wild sell a beef/lamb mix for pet food.  Not sure if I am meant to cook it or feed it to them raw?  I can also use the sort of local and family run pet shop in Linlithgow for cat biscuits and rat food.  I am going to avoid Pets at Home, since I think they count as a supermarket.  There is also place on the way to Larbert that sells bulk pet food.  I noticed that Ethical Superstore sells Bio Catalet cat litter - which we use for the rats.  Might be able to get that locally though.

Other things I have been thinking about - fizzy drinks (bad habit I know).  The amount of plastic bottles we go through must be huge!  I was thinking about getting a soda stream machine.  The children also like drinking squash type drinks... so what would they be replaced with???  I could get the Rocks Organic brand from Ethical Superstore.  They come in glass bottles, so easy to recycle too.  We can work on cutting down the amount of non-water drinks we drink.  Yogurt - we don't eat a huge amount, but I have always wanted to get a yogurt maker.  The cheapest place selling them is on ebay - but the place that sells them also sells "poultry dispatchers" which is something you can use to break a chickens neck... not sure I can buy from somewhere that sells stuff to murder chickens with...  Next cheapest place is amazon, but does that count as a supermaket?  Its a massive shop that sells everything.  Probably taking business away from local book sellers and companies. (tis my favourite place to shop tho!!)  There are loads of those EasiYo yogurt makers around, but it seems like the stuff you need to buy to use them is quite expensive, and I'm sure I remember reading that it comes from New Zealand... might be wrong on that though.

Other things we buy from the supermarket are crisps/biscuits and other snacky type foods.  I'm thinking that we could bake more.  Cheese scones for a savoury option and biscuits, cakes or muffins for sweet snacks.

I feel like this is probably going to be more expensive than my normal Tesco shop, but I have a pretty decent £500 a month budget for 2 adults, 4 children, 2 cats, 2 rats and some fish.

Got to get to bed.  I will add more ideas later, but I think I pretty much have it covered.  Just have to put it into practice really.