Sunday, 23 September 2012

A new (ad)venture

I'm so excited...I've signed up to some sewing classes. In particular, dressmaking classes! I've now been sewing for about 18 months but I still consider myself a novice. I've made quilts, bags, cushion covers, other little crafty bits and pieces all of which I've loved making and will carry on making. But there are a few things that have been bothering me. One is that I just can't sew intuitively unless it's something I've made before and the other is that I've always wanted to be able to make my own clothes but I just can't seem to get my head round patterns . I'm sure it's just a case of practice, practice, practice but it's not something I feel I can do by myself at home.

So I did a bit of research about local sewing classes and found Gill Arnold. She seems really lovely, was very patient with me over the phone when I was asking fairly stupid questions(!) and holds evening classes nearby. And I found out that she used to be a wardrobe mistress at the Birmingham Rep Theatre way back in the day! I mean, how cool is that?!

I start in a couple of weeks and I can't wait! There are a few other "new ladies" (as Gill calls us) starting at the same time as me and Gill is going to teach us how to measure ourselves accurately, how to read and cut out patterns so that they will fit and ultimately go through a pattern for us to make. I've chosen a skirt as my first project - Favorite Things Belle Skirt - which I bought ages ago but haven't been brave enough to try yet.

Look out for progress reports and the finished article on here over the next few months...

The vegetables of our labour...

Potato, onion and tomato gratin with garlicky courgette slices on the side. A lovely Sunday treat, made even more special with the knowledge that every ingredient is fresh out of our own garden.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Les fleurs

You remember I mentioned in the previous post that I bought some milk jugs from the GDSF? Well, here's what I wanted them for:
Sorry, not the best photos, especially of the messy lounge (*really hope no-one's noticed the mess of wires by the tv...*) but just wanted to illustrate what you can do with pretty (not to mention dirt cheap - all between £1 and £3!) jugs as vases and a few flowers from the garden. You can't quite see but the design on the first vase is really vintagey with roses and the Eiffel Tower, love it.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair

This is my first time at the GDSF. Wow is all I can say! We went for two days, camping overnight.

 It was a mudbath and I'm so glad I took my wellies!
 This was a donkey that was going to work a cider press! Unfortunately I forgot to go back and see him at work...
 There were loads of shire horses and other farm animals there - that was what made it for me!
And of course, lots of steam engines gleaming in the sun (well, at least on the second day, the first day it poured with rain). At night, they get lit up and some drive organs for fairground music.

I especially loved the stalls selling all manner of things - great bargains and loads of tat too! I came away with three milk jugs (I will talk about these in another post), a Russian-style army hat, thread, a picture frame, dappers from another army surplus stall and lots more which I can't quite remember...I know that I did use up every single penny I had!

I will definitely be going again in years to come. If you go I will say just one thing - you have to go and see the Wall of Death - amazing!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Little purses and homemade jewellery

I love making gifts! Two friends from work, my ward clerks Mary and Jan, had birthdays very close together. Mary loves pink and Jan loves green. So I made them a few homemade presents.

Based on a tutorial from this website

Based on this tutorial
The first purse with the zip in the middle was really easy to do. The bunting purse not so much! Really fiddly and I STILL can't get the hang of zips properly!! But I do like the finished product even so, it looks quite cute. I hope Jan and Mary think the same! Oh and the jewellery was completely designed and made by myself using beads and findings from my stash.