Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Quick Hanging Basket

My husband came home  from work today with a hanging basket he picked up at Home bargains at lunch time, it was £2.50.  That will do, seeing as the one we saw made up  the other day was £12.   I had plants already from the ones I bought on Sunday so it was up in no time.  I know you can get the plastic ones for about £5 but they usually only have about two plants in and I think the actual basket on this one is much better.

After tea I finished the other bridesmaid dress, so that is another  job out of the way and finished off the miracle morning the book I couldn't get on with last time.  After looking back I couldn't see if I had posted about it before but anyway it was better this time.  It mostly focuses on having a good positive morning routine that starts early and leads you towards getting more done. 

 I do wonder if I enjoy certain books more depending on what mood I am in to begin with, does anyone else feel this way?  The part about habits feels spot on , I know there are things I have been doing for years which come easily because they are routine.  In short if we get through the first, difficult weeks of forming a new habit and make it to a month we will have incorporated it into our lives.  There are a few good habits I would like to add.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Hemming a Bridesmaid Dress

This week I have been asked to take up two dresses for a lady used to work with, they are a very pretty chiffon on top,  so two layers to deal with.  When I have something like this I like to take my time, items for myself are usually rattled off in a hurry but not things I do for other people.

A few people have mentioned to me that they are over cautious about taking up skirts and dresses, any skirts at all that is.  If you measure accurately where you want the skirt to finish and put a line of pins there this will keep you on track, don't rush! I take longer with this part if it is something is special than the actual sewing because once you have this bit right that is most of the work done.

It is a bit crumpled I know, not my doing they are both folded into small bags I think they have been ordered from somewhere.  That faint line of pins you can see is the finished length so I will leave an inch below that and cut there, it is double thickness here so both pieces will be folded towards each other so no raw edges are visible.  To get my finish length I measured 5 inch up all the way along the bottom as that was how much I was told.

I had  a little dip there so I sorted that, now the pins in this picture have been moved as I carefully folded the layers up in line with the original pins then replaced them to keep both layers in place. It was then stitched close to the edge.   I then repeated the process with the chiffon layer but this time I only took off 4 inch  so it would hang below.  One  dress down and then I was very hot, so I will finish dress two tomorrow and share a few more pictures.  The cool shower  I had when I came home from work has worn off so no more sewing this evening.

Food this evening consisted of chickpeas, onions , tomatoes, garlic and all manner of other things cooked in a pan with spices, no recipe to follow just throwing in whatever I fancied and it was delicious.  It makes me wonder why I bother with the formal recipes at times, more success seems to be  had with the throw it all in pan method.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Just Gardening

Today has been mainly a case of getting on with the garden, we go through phases I think where we believe we are on top of it and then we leave it for a while and there is nothing in the pots and the weeds creep in.  So while we have it fairly low maintenance anyway it was time to put a bit of colour in, and pull a few more of those weeds.  Hottest day I think so not the easiest task but there will always be an excuse so we got on and did a bit, there is still a lot of topsoil needed for a bed down the side but that was not something to be bought at the local garden centre.  It can be bought cheaper and delivered in a larger quantity I think.

We didn't go too mad, we bought a couple of dahlias yesterday and another today and a few packs of bedding plants at 3 for £6.  It has made the front of the house look a bit brighter and filled a couple of pots on the back, I still need to do the hanging basket, there are plants left for this but we decided the actual basket had seen better days so we need o source another in the next couple of days.
A few on the front

A dahlia for each side of the door, I already had all the pots.

There is actually a grape vine in this pot that never has any grapes.

Amazing what a difference a few flowers can make but of course the sun is also shining and that always puts a better light on everything too.

I have started to re-read The Miracle Morning which I originally read and said it wasn't very good but now it feels altogether different, funny how that happens sometimes and the saying goes you are not who you were a year ago so this time around I am getting something from it. It does make me wonder about all those books that have gone to the charity shop though because I thought they were rubbish, maybe if I had held on to them  I would have enjoyed them at a later date.

That last thought however brings me on to something I was thinking about earlier in relation to clutter. The bottom of my wardrobe seems to have got out of control and I was tidying it and adding the shoe racks when I thought 'what happened to getting rid of an item a day?'  Now that was something I started a while ago as a war on stuff but it has somehow been neglected, so I am beginning again to remove one item a day (it doesn't matter how small) of useless stuff from my life.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Charity Shop Finds

What a scorcher it has been today! We have only just walked the dogs as it has been too hot all day but really it is still baking out there now, I am not complaining it has felt like being on holiday today. I was outside drinking tea and reading at six this morning, washing out, exercise done and house all vacuumed before nine.  It makes me wonder why I can't be more productive every morning, I will try and keep it up.

We didn't go that far today but had a lovely time, we called in the charity shop to drop some items off and I saw this lovely dress, it's a size twelve so will need taking in a bit and also maxi length so I will cut a lot off the bottom but the fabric is gorgeous.
Just a quick photo on the chair before it went in the machine, but you get the idea.

I  also spotted a shoe rack for a couple of pounds which is amazing because I was just staring at the jumble of shoes in my wardrobe yesterday and thinking I need a shoe rack, and I came across one just like that.  Now to organise them, some are boots and trainers but it will be easier to keep tidy with them stacked.

We popped in the library to return a book and got these two from the new books shelf...

Hot Milk has been started already as I sat outside in the sun grabbing a bit of vitamin D, it is off to a good start.  Lunch was also outside but in the shade, you have to make the most of these sunny days. There was also quite a bit of weeding and a couple of plants bought for the pots which have been empty for ages, we need to get a couple more cheap and cheerful ones tomorrow. It is one of those things, I like to see the garden looking nice but when you buy the plants and they seem to have a short life it makes me grumpy.  Hopefully the few we buy will give a bit of colour for a good while. 

Friday, 16 June 2017

A Dress for June

Today I finished off the dress I started with the material I bought in Devon, it cost a grand total of five pound so nice and thrifty the way I like it.  I already had matching thread and it evolved somewhat as I went along.

It began quite a bit longer then I decided I don't like them that length and chopped off the bottom, the sleeves were also longer, then one had elastic but that that didn't quite work with this fabric so out it came!  Then I shortened those as well, I tried it on and decided the neckline was a little dull so I cut a line down the front, faced it with some cotton and added some ribbon loops and a ribbon tie.  The loops were made from the hanger tabs you get at the shoulders in clothing but no one ever uses.

I have taken a few photos some on the mannequin and some on me.  It is a light fabric so I may add a quick skirt lining using some cotton or satin I have already, I like my skirts to feel like they won't blow up or even if they did to have a lining safely underneath so it is likely that is what I'll do.

It has an elasticated waist so can be worn without a belt.

After taking this photo I made a little loop for my belt as the excess was annoying me when it kept falling down.

Now I do like dresses and especially summery ones but the reality of it is we only get a short time to wear them here in England, so I will definitely be making a top of some sort with the other piece of fabric then at least I can wear it with jeans on a dull wet day with a jacket on if I go out.

Sad news for the day is that I had another disaster from Vegan food magazine.  This time it was buns, they looked good again, the ingredients looked promising but as I was mixing it I thought the consistency looked wrong. They were just like rubber, awful!  Right now they are in the bin and I am annoyed at the waste of food again.
Now I know that they weren't over cooked as I tested them at the required time and they were still catching on the fork so they just had an additional few minutes.  I know it is harder with specialist flours but even cakes I have thrown together myself with GF flour have come out better than this, grrr!   They were almond and cherry in case you were wondering.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

A Fab School Trip

Today I had the treat of accompanying Y6 on their trip to Crucial Crew in Rotherham. This was a really interesting day out and I am sure the children got lots out of it, I had heard about it as both of my children had been on the trip in Y6 but as I mainly work with younger children I had never been myself.

If you are not familiar with this, the whole place is set up like a film set so that the children can experience and learn about different personal safety situations in a lifelike setting.  A lot of the staff are volunteers but some are employees of the fire service, police and St John ambulance etc.  I felt it gave them a taste of what could happen in a way that we couldn't in school. Anyway this may not be of interest to everyone but I just thought I would share as education often gets a bad rap and we fail to celebrate all the wonderful work that goes on. Thank you to all the staff and volunteers at the Lifewise Centre Rotherham

Dinner today was very simple just some veggie roll things for me with a baked potato and beans and fish for my husband and younger son. The thing is I really enjoyed it, so I spend all this time trying to find new recipes and faffing about in the kitchen and the thing I enjoy the most all week is just the easiest, throw in the oven meal.

That is my working week done for this week and I really can't explain what a difference it has made to have Friday off.  Of course it  reduced my income but as I watch what I spend this has not made big difference.  Everyone lives to their means so you naturally make adjustments as your circumstances change, the only difference being I chose to reduce my hours.  

We are not all the same and I know some people recoil at the thought of buying second hand, DIY, home cooking and sewing their own clothes but for many these pursuits are not only money savers but also hobbies.  Time is precious and I don't think you can buy peace, so if you ae feeling overwhelmed have a look at where you can cut costs it might just save you a day a week.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Bits and Pieces

A few random bits today grouped under one heading, the first being the pieces of my dress that I am in the middle of making.  I did mention that I needed tops and that is still the case but the piece of fabric was big enough for a dress so it seemed a waste not to make one and have a big bit left over.

I still have unused patterns left from the sewing magazines that I got at Christmas but as I didn't like one of the patterns I tried I have just returned to cutting around my own clothing.  This always seems to work for me and the fit is much better with my try as I go approach.

Now this is the fabric that changes colour in different lighting, I have decided to do an elastic waist which will then have a belt worn over it and small sleeves, I am undecided at this point whether to line the dress or not.

Last week I decided to buy Vegan Food and Living magazine, I am not a fan of magazines in general as they are usually full of advertisements and  a bit of a waste of money.  The only reason I requested a couple at Christmas was because they contained free patterns so I had been debating with myself if it would be worth the five pounds to buy one about food.

Well I bit the bullet and it has been quite an interesting read  but sadly the first recipe I tried did not go down well.  My husband politely ate it but told me after it was bland, I felt the same to be honest and youngest son just said this is horrible.  Oh dear! 

It was three bean paella and did look promising in the photo and ingredients but I hate it when that happens as you feel like you have wasted time and money, I ate all that was on my plate I mean it was healthy if not that tasty but with so many flavours in there I am baffled as  how it could taste so dull.   I took left overs the next day to work not being one to waste food but it tasted even worse and did end up in the bin.  Here is the magazine photo...
Now I probably won't try everything in the magazine but I have decided to at least try one new recipe a week from it for the next few weeks, I will keep you posted and won't let this little mishap put me off.

The magazine did have some interesting reading and not that many ads so I was pleasantly surprised at that but I won't be buying every month as I don't think it is necessary, they do have interesting content on their website.
I find it quite amusing that the Buda bowls on the front cover are considered a recipe, surely that is just arranging different foods in a bowl? 

At the moment I am still reading this book...
It is good but it is one of those that seem to take forever and I had promised myself I would read more by authors of some depth, the thing is I can't just whip through them and I tend to stop and think for a while, or sometimes think 'what?' as there are some strange goings on.

Also getting a repeat read through was this little book...
Very short but such a lot of wisdom, I know the message so well but just need a reminder from time to time, we are what we think.

Today has been a beautiful day and I have had a lovely walk with the dogs when I got in from work, early finish today out on a school trip all day tomorrow.  There was also a bit of sitting outside with a cup of tea what a difference the sun can make.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Kale and Mushroom Risotto (Vegan)

Just recently I have been browsing lots of recipes, I feel the need to add some new ideas to what I eat as I have been rehashing the same recipes for a while now.  I think this is mainly because you come home from work and make the things you know will work, everyone (or some of you!) will eat and that don't take too long. The other reason is that I hate it when you come across recipes that require lots of ingredients that you don't have and may never use again.  This can be a waste, so often it puts me off.

While on holiday I made a recipe I saw in a Tesco magazine that was in the cottage we stayed in, tender stem broccoli with chilli and rice.  Now I ended spending a bit on ingredients there but I feel I will use them again as the dish went down well.

Yesterday I made Curried lentil balls from the Vegan Food and Living website, I forgot to take photographs but it was so nice and I have saved a portion for in the week.  Today we haven't strayed from home at all as we need to keep an eye on the little dog who is ill, he needs rest and can only have small amounts of food but I have to say he appears much better today and keeps trying to get the other two dogs to play.  I decided to cook some lunch and use what I have in so here is what I made...

Kale and Mushroom Risotto

300/400g of white rice (the cheap stuff)
100g of red lentils
1 veg stock cube
1 red chilli
2 garlic cloves
75g Kale
50g mushrooms
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 tablespoon Nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup vegan cheese sauce ( made with hot water and powder from Holland and Barret)
salt and pepper to taste
Boiled water as required
olive oil
1 small grated piece of Prosociano vegan cheese from Tesco (if desired)


Wash and finely chop kale, chilli and one garlic clove, fry in the pan for a few minutes until the kale has halved in size.  Transfer to a plate and set aside, heat oil in the pan and fry the rice and lentils for a few minutes gently then add the stock. 

After a few minutes as the stock cooks down begin to add more water as required from a boiled kettle.

While the rice and lentils cook slice the mushrooms, after about fifteen minutes add the mushrooms and the other crushed garlic clove, cook for five minutes more then add the kale mixture, cheese sauce, oregano and yeast flakes.

Keep stirring as it cooks down and begins to stick, about another five minutes, add seasoning and serve. I added grated Prosociano vegan cheese once it was cooked and stirred through, I bought this on holiday and while it is not cheap I really like it and you only need a little.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Half Term Break

We have just returned from a break in Devon, we came home early as one of the dogs is ill so while he is resting beside me I thought I would update here a little. 

We stayed in a property that was converted from an old barn, it was very nicely done with lots of little touches like fresh flowers in  every room.  It had a living room upstairs with a nice balcony overlooking the owners land, very private and quiet. It was close to Barnstaple and we also visited Woolacomb and Bude while we were there.

The dogs loved being on the beach the downside being that now I am worried that it was something from the beach that has made the little one ill.

The photographs above are from the two days we actually had sunshine as mostly it was grey and overcast, in typical fashion it was glorious all day yesterday as we travelled home. We enjoyed the change of scene it is just a shame it was cut short.

I did spot a little fabric shop in Bude and bought two pieces of fabric...
This is a stretch chiffon.

This one is quite unusual, you can't see in this picture but it is brown in the daylight and green when you are inside.

I really want to do dresses with both but what I need are more tops as in reality that is what I will be wearing with jeans when I'm home walking the dogs.  Some thinking required first before I decide perhaps.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Japanese Pinwheel Patchwork Cushion

 This week I wanted to make a new cushion cover as one of them was looking a bit tired, I decided I would do a patchwork pattern that I have done before and is a favourite.  There is also the bonus that I had already worked out the square sizes for this cushion pad the last time I made it.

It is quite fabric greedy as you are folding the pieces in half and laying them over each other but it gives a really nice result.  This is also a good opportunity to use up all those old shirts as they look so much more interesting when folded together like this.

I started by cutting out my 16 bigger squares which form the backing of your block from a charity shop duvet cover.  Then I cut the first of my smaller squares out of an old shirt, fold in half and pin on.

Then I had to decide which other fabrics to use with it, this involved lots of getting bits out of bags and holding it against it.  I eventually decided on my three other fabrics and repeated the process the whole way around the square.  So it is a lot of squares for one side of a cushion.

Then you just sew them all together as you would usual patchwork squares, I kept mine all facing the same way this time, the last time I made this design I turned each square one turn to vary the pattern.

I love the colour combination this time and this cushion is my new favourite, it was worth the time mulling over the fabric to use.  It is made from the duvet fabric, two fabrics from old shirts (the red striped and the blue) green craft cotton and grey cotton from an old project.

I made a vent and put the zip on the back part the way down so as not to spoil the sharp corners of the cushion as the seams are bulky enough.  The back of the cushion is the red fabric.

Now that is one finished I want to make more but I really ought to do another style, I just need to find another pattern I like as much. We have family for dinner today so I probably won't get chance later but I can browse ideas this evening.

Up very early with the dogs this morning and read the whole book 'Think Small' by Owain Service and Rory Gallagher before my husband got up.  It was quite interesting detailing how we should all be chunking out goals into small steps as we are often put off by the enormity of what we want to achieve.  Obviously it said a lot more than that but that was the basic idea.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Decorating for Free and Odd Jobs

I've been quite busy this week without actually going very far, I decided that I wanted to repair and paint my oldest son's bedroom ceiling but then of course I had to paint the whole room.  Fortunately we always put away any odds and ends of paint in the garage so I had the white paint for the ceiling and some masking tape.  I also had the two colours left that I originally did his room in a couple of years ago, a mint green and a sunrise (opposite walls).

As I was on holiday from work I decorated over a few days, I did the ceiling one day and coving, the orange walls the next and the green walls today.  I also scrubbed down all the fitted wardrobes, the window surround was done last week.  I always try to something like this when I am off work, last holiday I rubbed down the living room and dining room floors and varnished them. This ensures I don't have to pay anyone to do jobs I am quite capable of doing myself and by breaking them down they don't feel as daunting.

Earlier in the week a neighbour also gave us  load of purple slate that he wanted he rid of because he had taken all he wanted out of the bag. This was great as we have that on our garden but it is wearing thin. (You know picking up after dogs, you always get a bit of slate with it!)  So I carried that around the back bucket by bucket as the wheel barrow won't fit through  the gate.  I'm really pleased as we were going to buy some, he wouldn't take anything for it either.  Earlier this year we gave him some vintage computer games that were my brothers a big box and a bag full and he was really pleased with those so nice gestures do flow around people.

Back to the decorating and I was going to say that when I decorated youngest son's bedroom I had some white paint left and I just bought some tester pots in a bold blue and made a really good shade of blue for his room, not free but nearly.  However people always have odd tins of paint left so if you are in need I am sure a few relatives may have odd leftovers of white left that they may be happy for you to take and if there is a colour in there why not experiment?   Paint is such a difficult thing to dispose of and not great for the environment so it is really for the best that we use every last drop once it has been manufactured.

Anyway after the DIY not a lot of sewing going on this week.  I did resize the charity shop dress that I bought...
I altered the shoulder by this much.

I have taken it in by this much at the sides but forgot to take a picture as I wore it Easter Sunday straight after I fixed it.

I made a new little coaster as my youngest dog keeps eating them as this is apparently a really fun game, quick chase me I have your coaster!
A bit of elephant fabric there for binding, remember I use every bit.

Oh and a birthday card, recycled bits of course.  Fabric from previous projects, the ribbon from inside a blouse (you know those annoying hanger tabs at the shoulder) button from an old shirt and recycled envelope and newspaper.  It has a green insert to write on.

Other things I have been up to this week; I have just finished 'Miracles' by C.S. Lewis, as  a friend of mine said he is hard going. I enjoyed it but I feel I will need to review it again, quite heavy stuff but so well written.

 I am loving listening to Switchfoot the band, I have heard them  before but lots of listening this week while decorating and now I am a huge fan, with a CD  on order. ( I know such a mum ordering a CD but I like them for the car.)

Also watching  a new series 'Department Q' BBC Four, only three of them but all feature length, Danish and very good acting.  Only watch if you are interested in crime dramas as they are quite intense in parts.  Maybe I will get more sewing done over the weekend.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Slow Fashion

This post is about something that tends to come naturally to anyone who sews many of their own clothes and that is slow fashion.  I'm sure it is the same for knitters, those who crochet and also those who thrift a lot of items through charity shops.   If you are creative then the process is part of the charm, you know where the item was produced (but not always the fabric) and you know that you have played a small part in it.  There is also the fact that if you have spent many hours producing a garment you will be less inclined to quickly discard it as a passing fad.  You have invested your time and energy into it so it means more to you.

Unfortunately this is not the case for many items of clothing, they are in one season and out the next.  Wearing out of season clothing is viewed by some with scorn and snobbery with no thought for the impact that  all of this is having on the environment or our fellow human beings slaving away to mass produce cheap fashion.

Some people may think well it's not that cheap I buy from expensive stores, well it still is really when you think about it.  Even if you shop high end, factor in the farming of the materials, grown or animal based, the cleaning, dyeing, stitching and shipping.  Anyone who makes their own clothes knows that the labour alone amounts to hour upon hour for some garments and that is without the rest of it, so yes mainly your clothing is cheap!

Years ago people used to buy made to measure here in the UK, they visited a tailor or dressmaker occasionally and buying an outfit was a big purchase for many.  While it is wonderful that we are able to buy for ourselves without experiencing such hardship it is also a shame that we have lost that sense of respect for the labour that goes into every item we own.

I appreciate that when I buy new fabric many of these same principles apply, it is not something I buy often and I use every last bit of it, I also try to source second hand and repurpose whenever I can.

Top made from a charity shop dress.

There is an interesting article here at Not Just A Label, still a more in the theme of mass fashion production but maybe leading things the right way.  Of course there is always going to be a need for inexpensive clothing but often it is not a need that drives people to buy new but  the desire to own the latest trend,  just something to think about.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Repairing Ripped Chinos

Another day another repair, these chinos have been knocking about for a while now.  My son ripped them skateboarding and they were new, I was a bit put out because I tend to say if you are off doing that kind of activity or parkour (glad that has lost it's novelty!) then wear jogging bottoms, but no put on some new clothing first if you are a teenager.  So I just got around to this repair and this appears to be the theme this week while I am off work.

Here is the rip...
Now we have had this dilemma before as this is something that appears to be a common thing on young people's trousers.  I decided to do  what  I have in the past and that is put a fake seam across the knee.  Sounds strange but it does work and for this kind of trouser, a patch does not.

So pin across first and make sure you do it in exactly the same place on the other leg.

I taper it out at each side like you would a dart, if you are worried the trousers will be a funny shape you can do the same on the back as well.  I have found though that after a good press they are fine.   You sometimes buy chinos or jeans with this kind of detail on the front so it's not a problem.

I then turn  them the right way and topstitch close to the seam.

So now they can finally go back in the wardrobe, hopefully no more holes for a while.

I also had to take in a shirt for my husband this week and I have a top to straighten on the bottom for  my mum, it goes down to two triangles at each side and she doesn't like that (it is new).  There is also the fact that my mother in law needs her hair dyeing by me on Easter Sunday when they all come around for lunch, after that I may get to my own pile of put off jobs. 

This last few days has given me time to catch up on a few sewing blogs and to see what everyone else is up to.  I have seen some fantastic bra makes and this really is something I should get around to.  I am not keen on the idea of buying a kit though as they appear ridiculously expensive for what they are.  So if anyone has any tips on the best online shops to buy the notions at a reasonable price please let me know. 

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Shirt Sleeve Refashion and Repair

Repairing  clothes is something I seem to do a lot of, not just for my family but for friends also.   If you can repair an item it not only saves you having to replace it, it also saves that item from landfill.  I think these days people are far too quick to throw things out that can be salvaged, even if they don't know how to do it themselves there are people out there who can repair items.  Sometimes people may even see it as an ideal excuse to buy new but when did our clothing become such a throw away item?

Anyway rant over, this post relates to a shirt belonging to my husband that he split a few days ago when he put it on.  The split is on the sleeve and he did say it was too tight so no longer any use to him.  At this point the options usually are; can I make it into something for me? Shall I deconstruct it for the fabric? Is it nice enough that oldest son might want it ? Shall I take it to the charity shop?  (Charity shops also take damaged items for rag weigh in, so don't be put off.)  It is a nice shirt and my son likes it so I said I would sort the sleeve and resize it for him.

Here is the offending ripped sleeve...

My son wanted the sleeve length just above the elbow, about where they would be if you rolled them up.  So I marked where he wanted it to finish.  Then I cut the sleeve off just below so there would be enough to fold back.

Then I repaired the bit of the sleeve that was ripped and zig zagged the edge. 

The cuffs were used to cut out a small rectangle that would become the tab on the sleeve.
I edged each side then folded a small hem to make the tabs, button hole is already there.

I made a small hem on the bottom of the sleeves then folded it back and put my tab in place to get an idea of where to stich it and where the button needed to go.  (The tab in this picture is not yet hemmed I was still getting my idea together at this point.)

Here it is finished.

I also had to take the shirt in to make it fit my son, he also wanted it a bit shorter in case he wanted to wear it out of his trousers.  It looks more of a casual shirt this way so more his style but it will still be smart enough to wear to work.  Being a young man he is more into gadgets than buying clothes so I'm sure it will be appreciated that it is one less item of work wear that needs to be bought.

Once it was all finished I gave it a good iron, it is still a bit crumpled in this picture, I have to take the photos while it is on my mind so I am trying to get into the habit of doing it straight away.  

I hope this has been useful if anyone has had a similar mishap with a shirt or if you just want to change the sleeves to this  style.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Charity Shop Finds

At the weekend we had a walk around town, by that I mean the city centre.  It is not something we do very often as I am not one for wandering around shops but we were going for a bit of lunch so I had a look in a few charity shops. (Those shops I like.)

I am always on the lookout for inexpensive fabric and these days I tend to look at the duvet sets as I have a few good purchases in the past, I made the napkins for Christmas day from a pillow slip and pyjama bottoms from a duvet set previously.  I always look but I don't always find anything, I don't want anything too worn and of course it has to be a pattern I like. So when I saw this red duvet cover for just £3.25 it was perfect, I love the colour and the pattern.

The beauty of this is you get so much fabric for such a good price.

Here it is on the line after being washed on a hot temperature, I always do this as things are often sat around in bags in the back room in a charity shop and I like to wash all purchases on hot.   My usual wash is on a normal temperature that's better for the environment.

Then in another shop I spotted this dress...

Now this is a size 14 and I am an 8 but that's not a problem it can be easily taken in.  The fabric is lovely for the summer and will be ideal for work, I may need to take it up a little as well as it is a bit long. It was £6, the items were from 'Mind' and 'Cancer Research'.

I think I would quite like to make a dress with the red duvet fabric, although there will still probably be lots left for other projects, the duvet is 142cm wide by 200cm so if you factor in both sides that is 4 metres of fabric. It will probably be popping up in cushion covers, make up bags and patchwork for quite some time.

Some people don't like to buy used items but I really don't see problem as long as you wash things thoroughly as you don't know how they were stored but then when people buy new they don't know how things have been  stored either.  Many items come from factories over seas or in the UK where fabric may have been stacked in  a warehouse, they don't know what may have crawled on these fabric stacks and yet still they wear items unwashed because they are new.  This in my mind makes all argument for not buying used invalid, you decide on the cleanliness of your items when they come into your possession.

Today I will be repairing the sleeves on a shirt and resizing it for my son, I will take a few pictures and share tomorrow.