Archive for May, 2011

May 30, 2011


Yesterday I took another load of stuff to the dump, put one large and two small bags of stuff in the boot to take to the charity shop on Tuesday. Winter coats that have still be hanging up are now in the Suitcase in the shed which holds all our out of season clothes. The bedroom floor is clear of stuff and I have given up and put some bits of fabric in another bag which needs to be recycled. I can’t really keep hanging on to every bit of cloth I find in the hope that one day I will transform it into something else because we just don’t have space. I may yet add some more to that bag this week.

I did get a lot of sewing done too: some new origami purses. I’m hoping to sell these through a local shop that sells recycled and upcycled stuff as well as offering crafty classes for kids and adults. Two are cut from old curtains, one is from a bit of fabric I found in a charity shop and the other is a pillowcase. I bet you can tell which is which!

This one is really cute

I cut and sewed the trousers all bar the waistband facing and the zip and they are a bit snug. Oops. The fabric I used last time had a bit of stretch in it but this woven doesn’t. Mr G got home with the girls just as I was sewing the curved waistband on and although I carried Miss Froo out of the car and into bed I wasn’t very interested in the tales of the weekend as I was a bit fixated on how I was going to add a bit of room to these trousers. Fortunately the pattern has 5/8″ seam allowances so I have added a bit to the hips and waist at the side and a bit through the crotch too and will finish them even if I end up having to lose a few pounds to get in them! The pieces go together beautifully and I love the shape so I might just go an get something a bit stretchy and make another pair.

Now my to do list is this:

A bag for the pump – still not done

Add polo shirt lower half to the blue skirt yoke with the pockets in a wrap that wraps at the back for Miss Amoo.

Take in the side seams and possibly add back darts to a shirt for El Famosisimo. I bought the shirt for Mr G in Tesco in a sale some years ago but when I got home I realised that the security tag was still in the shoulder yoke. I’d binned the receipt somehow so didn’t fancy taking it back to ask them to take it off. I found the shirt in my clearing out yesterday and had J google how to get the thing off. We couldn’t find a strong enough magnet so following the other popular advice to break the thing open, we got a big hammer out. That worked well and EF is now in line for a new shirt as Mr G doesn’t really suit dark coloured shirts anyway.

Finish my trousers

Sew a muslin for the 60s dress I want to sew up now that I have found an old duvet cover that I don’t want to refashion.

Post some patterns here to see if anyone wants them

List my old machine cabinet on ebay.

Ah, not much to do and I haven’t counted cooking or washing or all the rest of it!

May 28, 2011

Home Alone

This week has been a weird one with all sorts of things expected but still surprising when the day rolled around.

Last Saturday I had a fit of pique, put the back seats down in the car and started throwing things into it to get rid of. J and I made one trip to the dump which is now known as the Waste Recycling Centre but still appears to be the place where people dump stuff when they just can’t think of what else to do with it. I went with a firm thought that we were just going to leave things and not bring anything home. I went with El Famosisimo last time and we ended up with a bike and a stack of LPs including Abba and Elton Johns classics.

That done, the garden looked a bit less like a junk yard so I started on the sheds, the under stairs cupboard and the kitchen and filled the car up again ready for a 10am start at the car boot round the corner from us. We sold all sorts and I swapped my unused earth rake for a plastic springbok type rake with another stallholder which was nice. It was so wild and windy all day though that I came home with grit and dust in the creases round my eyes! We brought a lot less back with us than we set out with and the other bits have gone to the charity shop. We had enough money keep a bit of cash on our wallets as well as buy a massive piece of beef which lasted from Sunday dinner to Wednesday lunch which is not bad going in this house.

Wednesday was our wedding anniversary – 9 years working hard, raising an ever growing family and moving furniture around. How do we do it? I have no idea but we are pleased to have, once again, confounded my ILs who were convinced that it wouldn’t last. My MIL called me after the first time she met me back in 1999 to tell me that I wasn’t what she had planned for her son. This woman has some front and her daughter has inherited a good chunk of it too.

So, the day came sort of unexpectedly and we were unprepared. No cards or gifts of pottery or willow but lots of rushing about all day including me going to work (I keep forgetting I’ve got a job tutoring some small boys in maths) leaving Mr G to take the girls with him to collect EF and drop him at the orthodontist. We remembered the day was today so we ate our dinner at home then left EF with the others and went out for pudding at Ask in town where we sat at a table next to the parents of the lad we employ twice a week to do virtual filing…. and across from a new tenant. This town is too small, I tell you!

When we got back there were three extra young men in our living room playing guitar, googling stuff on youtube and drinking tea with biscuits. What is the youth of today coming to? Thank goodness they aren’t as reckless as I remember being.

Thursday was more work and more tutoring and panicking about getting out early on Friday morning. All was well and we had a good day. Then I forgot that I have to take J to fencing at 7.30 and I hadn’t cooked anything by 7.00 so we went out hungry-ish. I am losing my head, I am sure.

Well today I am Home Alone or at least it seems that way with the girls and Mr G away again at the ILs. His sister didn’t tell him that his folks were visiting her last week so he wasn’t able to give his dad his 65th birthday gift by easily driving for 20 mins to her place but instead is now trekking three and a half hours to give it to him in Lyme Regis where they live.

El Famosisimo has been out for most of the day so I have been here with J who is not much into conversation or neediness which is a welcome break from a day with his sisters and their demands. I have cleared out all sorts from the living room and he spent the day reading a book called Enders Game which he has almost finished now. There is dinner in the oven, EF is due home to eat with us and I have been addressing my pile of odd things that needed sewing solutions.

Miss Amoo’s fleece jacket was bought for a pound by my mum last year but the sleeves were too long and against my better judgement Moo cut them off a bit shorter. Now of course they are short so I’ve reused the ribbing I cut from a sweatshirt of my Dad’s which became the waistband of the upcycled jeans last year to make some loose cuffs. The colour match isn’t great but they should reach her wrists now.

The badge is her favourite

This next shirt I bought years ago thinking I could make a skirt or something from it but never got round to it. Miss Amoo has grown so much that it fits her as a long, loose, tunic sort of thing so I’ve fixed the ripped underarm seams and top stitched the sleeve bindings which I think I had unpicked in order to fix the tears at some point.

I bought this skirt at a jumble sale as despite it being way too small for me the fabric was buttery soft and draped well.

I made a little skirt with a ribbed waistband from the original lower part of the skirt last year and this yoke has been hanging about because I can’t throw it away….. I am planning to add a skirt to it for Miss Amoo as she will like the pockets. I will need to take some width out of the back seam but I’ll see what I can do.

The weekend’s other challenges area: to clear the bedroom so it doesn’t look like a jumble sale; to sew a drawstring bag for the air bed pump and power pack that has been in the living room for some reason and whose box is now flat… to sew up some more origami purses that are cut and ready and lastly I really want to sew myself a pair of summer trousers with 2m of chocolate brown linen I bought last summer for this purpose but didn’t sew up. I am going to use New Look 6190 which I sewed back when I couldn’t get any trousers on over my DVT leg as it was so swollen. There is a ridiculous amount of ease in this pattern and I took 3″ off the waistband last time I sewed it so I will have to make some adjustments there this time to save mucking about later.

If I find any other upcycles that could be finished today or tomorrow I will do them too but now I’m going to have a cup of tea and get ready to sit on the sofa for 90 minutes watching Wallander without being bale to multi task as it has subtitles!.

May 26, 2011


Uh Oh.

We are booked to go to a day of building and baking in the next yokel town along from ours and the whole do starts at 10am. We are leaving here before 9am to get to a friend’s by just after 9am so we can go together.

What was I thinking? I am so unprepared for these kind of things.

I am better at picking up the phone and telling the HE team at our local county council that they need to have a word with their attendance and engagement officers about the Guidance for Elective Home Education. They should be told that there is no requirement for any interview process or requesting permission or being ‘allowed’ to home educate and they certainly shouldn’t be door-stepping anyone and telling them these untruths.

May 21, 2011

There has been some sewing

I needed a bag to go with my ‘summer’ wardrobe so I cut into a pair of Mr G’s old Levis that he ripped the bum out of twice and are now beyond repair (and a bit too big – yay) I picked a stained shirt for the lining and dug out my pattern for the Japanese Knot Bag Martha Stewart has a similar pattern here which is a simpler to sew.

I have made two of these in the past – one for me and one for my mum and I use mine a lot. She uses hers for glamorous nights out. You can see why mine doesn’t go with a summery wardrobe, right?

The original pattern has a round base but I wanted a slimmer bag so I drafted a new eye-shaped base when I made the first bags.

Here’s my new bag

I love this style of bag for its simplicity and size. I can close it and hang it on my wrist while holding other bags or children’s hands and I know nothing will fall our of it, or I can hang it on my arm by one of the handles keeping it open so that I can get my keys out of it when I get to the car or the front door. It is big enough for my purse, my phone, a little diary, keys and a rolled up shopping bag or a book.

I sewed it in a hurry and that little bit of fraying denim you can see on the shorter handle has got worse so I’m going to unpick it a bit and re-sew that side – maybe…….!

I’ve also sewed Miss Amoo yet another pair of trousers from the Jump pattern in the Ottobre 1/ 2008 but they are a bit warm for the weather we have been having and they are making her legs itchy. She’s growing like a weed at the moment so I’m going to have to get a lighter weight fabric and sew her another pair as she hasn’t got any trousers that fit her. Bought trousers just aren’t right, it seems.