Craftysticks: the Christmas edition (in January, naturally)

Things might have been quiet on the blog, but that’s more down to having computer issues than me not being crafty! I am currently dictating this post into my phone as the PC is still misbehaving. Thankfully Andy ordered us a new one last night, so hopefully I will be back on the blog more often in future 🙂

Sewing:

img_0147-copyThis year I decided I wanted to make more of my Christmas presents again, and went the sewing rather than my customary knitting and crochet route for a fair few of them. First up is the one I’m most proud of, mainly because I’ve had it in my head to make for my friend for several years now. It’s a cushion featuring her favourite TV detective, Colombo! I used Dylon Image Maker to transfer a black-and-white laserprinted picture of Columbo that I found online. It was simple enough to do, and the only real difficulty is the number of times you have to wet and gently scrape off the paper residue; definitely more than the two times they suggest on the packet. I had originally intended to put the pom-poms as trim around the edge of the cushion and piece the front with a mitred border, as well as inserting a zip closure, but the image making took longer than expected and I had to cut some corners. The cushion is now a simple envelope design, and I used the pom-pom trim to cover the less-than-perfect edges of the Columbo appliquĂ©. My friend was thrilled, and the cushion now resides on her computer chair. Continue reading Craftysticks: the Christmas edition (in January, naturally)

Craftysticks November update

November is nearly over, so it must be time for an update!

Sewing:

This has been a month of quite dull but very useful sewing. I had a sudden paranoid thought that if a winter vomiting bug hit I wouldn’t have enough spare bedding for Daisy’s bed. She used to be in a double bed (long story) but is now in a single, and I only had one set of bedding for it. I’ve been saying for ages that I’d cut down her old favourite duvet cover to make a single, and this month I finally did it. I also made a fitted sheet out of another old duvet cover that had a few random stains from fabric paint (absolutely impossible to remove, but I managed to avoid them by careful cutting) and I cut down her mattress protector too. I’m particularly proud of the way I utilised the print on the duvet cover to do this on the side of her mattress:

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And as if all that wasn’t enough, I bought Gabriel his first proper duvet. It was a cotbed size with a dinky little pillow to match, and rather than buy readymade covers I decided to economise and again cut down an old duvet cover, carefully avoiding some random tears and bleach stains. He now has the cutest little bedding set! Continue reading Craftysticks November update

And now for something completely impractical…

Today’s post comes to you from Gabriel’s sick bed. Well, okay, the chair next to the “sick sofa” where he’s crashed out in front of CBeebies. It’s been an exhausting day what with him vomiting copiously last night (and today)  in what is probably a reaction to the antibiotics he’s just been put on because his hernia surgery incision became infected. Ugh. Have had a fun day speaking to doctors, driving to the out of hours NHS clinic in Shepton Mallet, and doing heaps of laundry. Seriously, the washing machine and tumble drier have been going ALL DAY LONG. This is why I like making easy to wash and care for clothes these days.

So here’s a totally impractical make to remind me of the carefree days that will hopefully come again once the kids are grown up…

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Yeah, you’d better take this top seriously, inexplicably grainy photos or not!

In a Nutshell:

A beautiful, romantic vest top by my favourite crochet designer that fits like a dream. Shame I don’t have much occasion to wear it…

You can see my Ravelry entry for this project here: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Anna-Jo/crochet-vest—cecilia-chemise

Pattern:

Continue reading And now for something completely impractical…

Craftysticks: October update

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Daisy having fun with my MiL’s vintage Singer. I’ve borrowed it for a project that needed lots of topstitching. Maybe I should put Daisy to work in my own mini-sweatshop?!

Yeah, until I ever get more hours in the day this looks like being a monthly rather than a weekly thing. I’ve been managing to get some crafting done along with the writing, though, by starting writing as soon as Gabriel goes down for his nap, then once I’ve written 1250 words I can spend the rest of the time (generally about half an hour, give or take) sewing. Woohoo! I need that reward to power on through with the writing some days.

Sewing:

I finished the last of Daisy’s school dresses and she’s still wearing them even though the weather has cooled right down, so that’s good. Turns out a summer dress is perfect for autumn when you have a long sleeved top and leggings underneath 🙂

I’ve also sewn myself another mini skirt. Yeah, I know, my last two projects were mini skirts too. Not sure what’s going on there, but I think it will be the last one I sew for some time. There are only so many winter minis a girl needs…

Continue reading Craftysticks: October update

Craftysticks: breaking promises but finishing garments.

I said in my first (and so far, only) Craftysticks post that it would be a weekly update post. Uh, try monthly, as that was back at the beginning of July! Ah well, it’s been a busy few weeks, what with me having to finish a novella and get it off to my editor–a novella called Custom Fit, featuring a fashion student, a man in a homemade dress and some major clothing kinks, so it’s okay to mention it here, right?!

Sewing:

Anyway, I started well on the sewing, almost polishing off one of Daisy’s school dresses. Unfortunately I didn’t quite get it finished before school ended for the summer, and since then I’ve been somewhat discouraged. I do need to finish it (just the hemming) and get the other one done too (which is at pre zip insertion stage) before the weekend, though, as I’m going to the SEWN Sewcial in Bristol, and I’ll need my sewing machine for another, more exciting project. Not sure what, exactly, but I’ve promised myself I’m not going to rethread either of my machines until I’ve finished the damn dresses. Anyone else get tough with themselves like that? Sometimes it’s the only way to finish things! Or not finish them, in this case…

Crochet:

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I finished sewing the buttons on the Cecilia Chemise! It looks gorgeous, and fits so well! Still haven’t worn it anywhere, though. I keep telling myself I’m saving it for the UK Meet in September, but I should probably where it somewhere first in case I discover any issues when wearing it. You don’t want that to happen when you’re at a convention with your author hat on, trying to be all charismatic and so on. Trust me. Been there, done that…

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The other Stitchdiva pattern I’m working on, the Rebel Lace Cardie, is progressing slowly but surely. I need some better light so I can work on it in the evenings, though. Navy yarn is not my friend in anything other than the brightest light! I’ve now reached the second armhole split, which means the upper bodice is nearly finished. I have a feeling it might take me till next summer to finish this thing, but hey, I don’t mind. It’s soothing, in a strange way, considering how tricky it is.

In the works:

I now just have to work out which of my various planned projects I’m going to get cut and ready to stitch on Sunday at the Sewcial @SEWN . Ooh, do I go tricky with chiffon, make a rainbow Pride corduroy skirt, or take several t-shirt projects to whizz through on my overlocker? The overlocker is much lighter than the sewing machine, and I’ve no idea how far I’ll have to carry it. Hmm, decisions, decisions…

Right, off to finish those gingham school dresses before Daisy grows out of them.

Anyone else reading this going to be in Bristol for the Sewcial on Sunday?

Craftysticks: a weekly crafting update

So why Craftysticks? Well, that’s a nickname a friend gave me a good few years back, when I was teaching her and another friend how to make dolls, sew and crochet.

And the weekly update part? I tend to work on a few projects at once, so sometimes it might be weeks before I finish anything at all. In the interests of more regular posting I thought I’d start making sure I blog something every week, even if it’s just general musings on textile crafts and making stuff. Any stuff. I’m not too fussy, I just like my hands to be busy!

Life has been a bit derailed this week as Gabriel has cut four new teeth and had a 72hr tummy bug, but I’m getting back on track now. And I’ve managed to get in a bit of crafting to keep myself sane. It’s my me-time, and I need it!

Sewing:

Continue reading Craftysticks: a weekly crafting update

#2016MakeNine summer sewing plans

So, at the moment I’m a bit strapped for cash, what with all the recent expense of moving house and the fact it’s been a while since I’ve had a new book out. However, at the same time I’m facing a need for new summer clothing, including things I can’t make myself like sandals. I’ve given it some thought and have decided the best way to proceed is to curb my impulses to buy ALL the fabric and ALL the patterns, and shop my stash instead, thus saving my small amount of cash for some splendid footwear. Or not-so-splendid footwear, as the case may be. We’ll just have to see what I can find in my budget…

Anyway, here’s my plans for nine summery things I can make from my stash:

 

 

Me Made May (23) (Copy)Plantain tee

I’ve already made a three-quarter sleeve version, and I want more! There’s plenty of jersey in the stash. I’m thinking a short sleeved one to begin with, and possibly adapt it into a tank. Continue reading #2016MakeNine summer sewing plans