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Old t shirts make a new seat

6 Apr

BEFORE:
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Our lovely friend A– had left this out for someone to adopt. It caught my eye because it’s one of those projects everyone did at school – my mum made one, my little sister made one. But I never did….

DURING:
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Used 2 balls of Jersey yarn I cut from old tshirts and a 50p charity shop find elastic threader to do my weaving. I found that an extra loop round the frame at the end of each row kept everything taut.

AFTER:
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New stool!

Incipient addiction to crochet

6 Dec

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I’ve always wanted to crochet. I find the textures wonderful. I’ve tried following books and you tube clips but always ended up with a dispiriting knotted mess. Instead of all that rubbish I’m taking a short course at Little Woollie in Shortlands. It’s wonderful. Tips that really helped…. Seeing how to hold the work, making a chain with a hook 1/2 size bigger so it’s easier to then get the proper size hook into, use pale yarn to get started because you can see the stitches better…I can dc and tr and I think I’ve invented a few special stitches too.
I am carrying crochet round and practising on the tube, in the train, waiting outside school, …. I’m going to take a knitting course next and finally learn how to do more than knit one, knit one, …

It’s summer but it’s winter

21 Jul

I know it’s hot. But the autumn winter fashion strand pulled from Game of Thrones’ medievalism is getting my juices going. Roll on nights with the bedroom window shut and more than a thin sheet on the bed. If Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel are anything to go by we’ll be going all manner of textured woollens furs and empress Theodora prints. Chanel are channelling Katherine Hepburn in Lion in Winter with the White Witch herself, Tilda Swinton. It can only work well with the trend for pearls off the back of the coming V&A show.

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Cover up at the Royal Academy

4 Jul

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Wondrous installation across the front of the Royal Academy. El Anatsui’s work, painstakingly constructed from bottle caps and recycled materials.

Wearing our best frocks!

27 Jul

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Finished today. Another easy make from the “Girls World” pattern book by Jennifer Paganelli, using assorted vintage fabrics from Ardingly fair.
All lined up for the Olympics opening ceremony now trying to explain Maypoles to a 5 year old, trying to explain why there’s a tear in my eye listening to the glories of past Olympics. Pleased Number 1 is old enough to remember this. May London be glorious!

Rapunzel dress

24 Jul

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Into a routine this week of cutting fabric late at night ready to be made up the following day. I can sew quickly with the two around but not cut the pattern at speed – too many expensive mistakes. I feel like the shoemaker’s elves, or was that the other way around. Anyway today Number 1 received this fairy tale gown c/o mummy and her Ardingly haul of old fabric. I was thinking it was like the curtain clothes Maria makes for the kids in the Sound of Music. Number 1 declared it very suitable for Rapunzel. I believe that is good.

Marie Merveilleuse’ tablecloth

21 Jul

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How about this for a lovely lovely surprise? My Ma brought me this today. It’s a lovely waffle weave linen cloth from France with wonderfully anthropomorphic M M monogram dead centre. Fits my long narrow chestnut French kitchen table perfectly. Always wonder about monograms… Marie Merveilleuse? Michelle Ma belle? Used an old silver napkin ring today at the party engraved with ‘Inga’. Have a spoon with a very worn ‘Catherine Bennet’ which makes me think of Pride & Prejudice’s silly Kitty.

Ardingly better than ever

17 Jul

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Good day at Ardingly. It didn’t even rain. Definitely worth paying £20 for the first day. Our haul was necessarily small – a) I bought a table on eBay this week and a rocking chair last week b) I had two small children with me. Number 1 was a superstar and scored an unprecedented 9.5 across the board, Number 2 … best to move swiftly on. Vintage wooden cotton reels £1, great vintage French fabrics from £2 for quite generous pieces, beautifully embroidered linens, crisp deco knives. All of these I will use. Number 1 will have some very unusual frocks on the go for Autumn/Winter 2012.

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Improv patchwork

8 Jul

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Improv patchwork. I am not a patient person. This took me 3 hrs flat zipping along with the sewing machine at full tilt. I have three large crates with scrap fabric or ‘cabbage’ – one brights, one warm colours, one cold colours – and this was thrown together from the brights box. The rules are these, akin to dry stone walling, that if you pick up a piece you have to use it. It works fine once you get moving at speed. I knocked everything together into 3 wide strips of assembled fragments. The back was a king size flat sheet from a sale, folded over to the front to make a quilted border. The finished article is big enough for a single bed or to roll up small children in on the sofa.

Apple core quilt … In progress

5 Jul

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Pink Mister: “Why are you doing more knitting? Who is that for?”
He knows it’s quilting. He refers to all sewing, making, cutting up and sewing back together as ‘knitting’. But you see some part of me reckons that some of these quilts might outlast me. So I keep cutting up and stitching back together. Making something out of otherwise useless fabric scraps brings me immense satisfaction too. This one contains, amongst other things, gingham from a skirt I wore as a kid which I have altered for number 1, bits salvaged from kiddie pants, ‘cabbage’ from some dresses I made, pieces from old work shirts, fragments of pillowcases we had when we were children…. I love stitching by hand and the apple cores are turning out to be very pleasurable to fit together. I like organic projects, which I can add to as suitable new fabrics turn up. I’ve not the patience for grands projets.