Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The finished blanket…

Just a quick post to show you a photo of the finished blanket, hastily photographed moments after my aunt unwrapped it on Christmas day!
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

We’ve been crocheting mad…

Or driven mad by excessive crochet. Either way, since we’ve each had bouts of flu-like symptoms mum and me have had a lot of free time we could only fill with low-impact work.
This blanket is a Christmas present for my aunt, there are 289 little squares and every single one is different (well, nearly – I made a mistake and repeated one square, prizes if you can spot it) It’s not huge, but it is very pretty. We used Stylecraft special DK because the colours are amazing and easily washable. It’s blocking now, so just the edging to do and it’s finished. It’s based on Attic24’s cushion, in fact my recent preoccupation with crochet is entirely based on Attic24 which I discovered a couple of weeks ago. I could already crochet but Lucy’s blog is really, really inspiring – if you haven’t discovered it yet, go and have a look!
The crochet birds are also Christmas presents, and yes the pattern can be found on Attic24
I bought this lamp (sorry no before pictures) from a charity shop for £2 because my last one blew up. I liked the shape but the base was a sort of pastely purple with oily lustre. Yuck! So I crocheted a cover for it and slung a tatty vintage traycloth over the top. Much nicer, and it only took an hour or so.
Hail to the all new colourful life!

Monday, 6 December 2010

A little magpie sale…

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Hello folks, I just wanted to let you know that in the run up to Christmas you can get 15% off in my shop by using the coupon code Wipster.

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You can have a look-see through such shop sections as little brooches, bigger brooches and biggest brooches. All you have to do is enter the code when you checkout to get your discount.

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I also have lovely embroidered felt chokers and keyrings. The coupon code is valid through to Christmas day on all purchases here.


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Ah that’s better, a tidier page to look at…

So, since I’ve been snowed in and work closed today I needed some homey things to do. I’m waiting on some materials to make planned Christmas presents (more on that later) so I couldn’t start anything big.


I finished mum’s Bay jumper in the morning and later I was trawling through this blog looking for a tutorial so I could send someone a link, and I thought: Hang on! These should all be in a handy list on that left hand side bar over there! And that banner is reaally old. And some more pictures would brighten it up a treat! And those links are pointless. So that’s what I did, I had a bit of a tidy up and it beat washing the pots and hoovering!

If you’re after any handy prezzie related tutorials, all of them have gift-giving potential if you have the time to make, and there will probably be a few more added if I have the time to write them (!)


Monday, 29 November 2010

Lawks, it only went and snowed again…

It snowed overnight – isn’t that the best thing about snow? Do you remember when you were a kid, going to bed and hoping it would snow through the night because that depended whether or not you went to school in the morning? Ok, maybe not those of you in Texas! But those of us in unpredictable weather land (where it will probably rain instead) it always felt a bit like it was Christmas eve. Will the snow come, won’t it? Will I get to drive my mum mad at home instead of doing sums?

When I woke up this morning it looked like this:


And this…


And this…


At the moment it’s falling like little polystyrene balls, almost hail. I can hear them clattering down the chimney into the fireplace.


Bearing in mind that this is really unseasonable weather – it hasn’t snowed this early in the UK for 17 years. We also live in a valley, ok so it’s a big valley I can’t see the sides of, but it usually snows on the moors, dales or pennines and all we see is a distant cloud passing by that could possibly hold snow for some lucky kid.

All that is why I’m currently banging my palms together like a deranged seal and squealing like a squealy thing.


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Oh my giddy aunt, it snowed like a monkey…

Raise a glass to unseasonable cold snaps and hail the gods of snow! I love snow, in fact I get unreasonably excited and squealy for a 30 year-old.

Yesterday it looked like this:


Just a sprinkling of dusty whiteness. Then a few hours ago it looked like this:


A little bit more! But now it looks like this:


And this:

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That second photo was taken with the flash on, look at all the twinkly snowflakes!

I just drove home from my gran’s house in a blizzard (less than 15mph all the way) and I should have been scared but I was way too excited. Excited but cautious. Did I mention I love snow? I love snow. Heeee!

Anyway, it’s mum’s birthday on the 8th and I need to finish that stripy jumper – what better weather to sit and knit behind a window looking out on. Or something.


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Stripy McStripe

I’ve finished the back, front and half a sleeve of mum’s birthday/Christmas jumper (Bay by Rowan). Phew, it’s a lovely jumper and easy to knit but boy, is it boring! I could have knit a hundred scarves by now.
It’s taken so long that my Ravelry queue is getting pretty long and my planned Christmas knitting is going to get way behind… do you find that sometimes you itch to move to a new project before you’ve finished the current one? Maybe it’s true what they say about attention spans these days…
Anyway, I digress, and this jumper really is beautiful and mum’s wanted me to knit it for her for ages so I’m sure she’s going to love it whether I finish it in time for her birthday (the 8th December!) or Christmas.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Kasia skirt number two…

Blimy, are my hips really that big? Haha must be! And I should really use the iron more before I take photos. This is the Burdastyle Kasia skirt I started an age ago, made from some more of those curtains I found in a charity shop for £6. Remember I made Burdastyle’s Coffee Date Dress from the same fabric? That £6 is stretching far and I’ve got loads of the fabric left. Matching hat? :)
Don’t you love the buttons? All from stash, I decided to make two buttonholes instead of three – I’ll let you know if it gapes weirdly. I think stacked buttons might just be my new favourite thing. I had all my buttons out and was trying to find something that matched. Mum started looking too, and five minutes later she had come up with this combination. Go ma!
This is my second Kasia, but I don’t think I’ll make any more. I managed the waistband first time round (but I was so involved in getting it right, it didn’t actually fit and was too big), but this time I lost my mojo and botched it together. It’s an arse. Consider that a warning chaps!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Thrifty man’s shirt refashion with a mini tutorial

I made this cute shirt-for-that-meeting-with-HR-I-have-next-week…IMG_9916
…from this big old man’s shirt…
Here’s how I did it!
First I removed the sleeves and unpicked the side seams, leaving the shoulder seams intact.
Then I put it inside-out on the dressform and pinned like crazy. I had to add bust darts to the side and front and back darts too to make it fit the form.
I also pinned the sides to make sure the darts were in the right position. I then sewed the darts in place and pressed them flat. This is the time to try on the shirt and check those darts – if they are wrong you’ll have to take the whole shirt apart to put them right!
When I was sure the darts were right I sewed up the side seams. I measured on myself, from shoulder to hem, how long I wanted the shirt to be and transferred these measurements to the shirt. Then I hacked off the bottom hem.
I knew I wanted the sleeves to hit my elbows and that I wanted to turn the cuffs back, so I measured from my shoulder to my elbow and cut the sleeve accordingly, following the line of the existing seam. I then pinned the sleeve to the shirt and used tailors chalk to mark the new armhole. Because I wanted puffed sleeves I gathered the top part of the sleeve and tacked it before pinning it to the shirt. I then pinned and sewed in the sleeves backwards. This meant that the split in the cuff would be at the front instead of at the back and allow easy movement (and maybe look cute?)
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The cuffs were obviously too small to fasten the buttons at my elbow so I folded them back and pressed them before sewing them down following the line of the existing stitching on the cuff. You can’t quite see on the photo but the cuffs each had two buttonholes so Mr. Man could have the option of using cufflinks. I sewed the extra buttons from the bottom of the shirt onto the extra buttonholes to make it a design feature.
Now I have a shirt for that meeting I ought to try to look smart for (work attire usually consists of jeans and a jumper at this time of year – us ceramicy folk have to wear clothes we don’t mind getting mucky every five minutes)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Thrifted sundress to skirt…

Sorry for the poor before photos, I took them late last night when I decided to start this project!
I got this dress from a jumble sale on Wednesday, it was 20p (!) in fact everything was 20 or 30p but by the time we got there (approx 15-20 minutes after the doors opened) it was a scrum with ladies elbowing each other out of the way for the chance of a bargain. I got a few things, but I saw some beautiful fabric disappearing into people’s carrier bags *sigh*…
Anyway, I like the fabric but the dress is totally not me – it also felt a bit maternity with that not-quite empire line and huge belly-framing bow in the front.
So I decided to take the top off and make a skirt out of it.
The back was shirred so I decided to rip the stitches along that not-quite empire line and cut across the middle of the shirring, making that the waist so I wouldn’t lose the casing for the bow/belt and could use the elastic instead of a zip.
You probably can’t see but there are gold holographic sequins on that top, *shudder*
I sewed bright pink bias binding around the top to stabilise it and added a casing to the top of the shirring to hold a wider piece of elastic. I also pulled the shirring tighter by pulling the elastic and tying a knot in it.
I took about 8 inches off the hem, re-hemmed then rethreaded the belt. All in all, it was about an hour’s work and now I have something I’ll actually wear!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Some thrifted goodies…

First some fabric. I can’t walk by a fabricy bargain! There is loads of this first one, more than enough for a twirly dress and honestly, it’s much nicer in real life – it looks quite 40’s :)


This next fabric is actually a pair of cotton curtains, I love the slightly offset printing of the yellow.


I have a special soft-spot for Sanderson type fabrics. This is only a little piece but it’s more than enough for a bag.


I love old craft books, I’ve got lots of them but there’s always room on my overcrowded shelves for one more!


Look at the illustrations!


I picked up this little box of thread for £1 at my favourite Sally Army. They are only little spools but the lovely bright colours will be great for accents.


Any idea what this is? It cost £1 and I thought it might be a little loom.


It sort-of is, but (have you guessed yet?)…


It’s for darning! I’ll never use it, but I love interesting old sewing paraphernalia.


So the end of my recent thrifty travels, but I’m off to a jumble sale tomorrow…


Monday, 27 September 2010

Scrappy birthday card

Ok, so I know it’s not clothing, but it used to be! I painted and stamped the background with fabric paints then sewed on fabric houses made from my mountain of scraps. I couldn’t resist the button moon (does anyone else remember the cartoon?)

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I then sewed the whole thing to a bit of folded card. There are bits of shirts, skirts, and allsorts in there – it’s a great way to use up your scraps :)