Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Stash Buster Duster part 2

This is a little later than planned.. where did the last week go?!  But back to my stash buster..

I didn't have a piece of felt quite big enough to cut both sleeve from.. so I stitched pieces on until it was big enough :)
I got my sleeve template by drawing round the sleeve of my kaftan (in part 1)
After stitching the sleeves on.  I made them slightly long and flared
and with a slit up to the wrist at the back.
 I couldn't find suitable buttons for this.. so I decided to make a brooch instead

From a scrap I cut 4 rough circles
and freemotion machine embroidered (with my darning foot)
fairly tight spirals, starting at the centre and working my way out..
which gave them a nice slightly cupped shape
I added a brooch back and stitched the layers together by hand.
Reminds me of a Charles Rennie Mackintosh rose.

All finished :)

I am most definitely wider around the bottom than the top these days :)
so I found it necessary to add to the front rectangles around the bottom.
I stitched a long triangle to the front on each side.
The funny thing is it's the imperfections.. the 'make do and mends' that are my favourite parts..  the patchwork sleeve and hemline add-ons :)   Probably not surprising from a girl who loves darns and patches and wears them with pride lol.

Almost ready to go out..
don't forget your lipstick and high heels!
Being stupid :)

But where was I going?  Well.. do you remember back in March when I mentioned that I had been asked to put together a craft project for a local magazine?  Well the magazine has just been published!  And Friday was the launch event..  it was held at the Town Hall in the town where I was born, West Bromwich.  I don't have any photos but can tell you there was an abundance of tea and cakes, beautiful old china tea services and smiling faces.

And here's a glimps at the magazine :)

I must admit the 'local fayre' recipe for faggots makes me shudder..
I've hated them since I was a kid
The felt flower project got a 4 page spread!
Which meant that the interview and other photos all got cut, but hey
you can't tell someone how to felt a flower without explaining it can you ?!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Stash Buster Duster part 1

Well, in my last post I was felting meterage.. but how did it turn out and what have I done with it?

I felted 3 long pieces.. 1 wide for the back and 2 narrower for the front.. of the duster jacket I was planning to sew :)
 I had these lengths of lovely coloured nuno felt sitting there looking at me for months.. just BEGGING me to work on them.  This week I finally got round to it :)

I didn't have a pattern, or too much of an idea of how to construct a jacket, but as it's for me I can play around.  I used my old favourite kaftan as a template.. this is a soft, snuggly, thick and warm kaftan and I just love the simple shape.  The front and back are pretty much the same and the sleeves are dead simple too, so I decided to just adapt it to make a jacket.

I laid the kaftan on top of tracing paper and outlined it in pencil, then cut it out
Pinned the paper template to my felt and drew round it in tailors chalk..
this line would be my stitch line
Cut out leaving 1cm seam allowance
After cutting the back and both front pieces I pinned them together
and tried it carefully on.. just to check.  It was just right so I stitched the sides (leaving slits open at
the bottom each side) and shoulders
I didn't actually have 2 pieces big enough to cut my sleeves from..
so I stitched pieces together in a bit of a patchwork and cut them from that.

And I'm going to have to leave it there for now.. as I don't have photos yet of it all sewn together :)

Next time the sewing is finished and I work on (and hopefully finish) the closure xx

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Back to something FIBRE related :)

Stash busting has been an ongoing theme through 2013 for me.  The project that I am almost finished with right now, I actually started a few months back..

I had a nice green and navy silk sari that I just couldn't think how to use..  and I had several left over bits of batts that had gotten messy.. plus some tops that were knocking around... I decided to make some meterage, so bended the merino with silk fibres to get some nice bright batts.

I found some nice bright silk fabrics to add nuno interest
Laying out fine layers of batts over the silk sari.
The layout was approx 4 x 10 feet
After wetting and covering with builders plastic (it was laid out on builders plastic too)
my ridged roller came in useful for squeezing the air pockets out
With all the air squeezed out I wrapped the edges of the plastic up and over to completely
enclose the layout.. then rolled it round a damp bath towel
A dry towel wrapped round the outside and tied securely..
ready to pop in the tumble drier.. 
Once the fibres had started to creep through the silk I finished it off by hand.. making a nice sturdy felt, which I'll show you more of next time :)


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

here, there and everywhere..

The past two or three weeks have past in the blink of an eye!  I've been away camping two weekends in a row .. I have never had so many holidays :)  I'm not going to talk too much about them.. but both weekends were lovely.

The first trip was to the Mercian Gathering with my friend Jane.. the weather was lovely and dry, Friday and Sunday were scorching sunshine and Saturday was sun and cloud with a cool wind (I caught the sun rather nicely :).  It was a weekend full of lovely folk music and workshops.. I did Qi Gong for the first time (and loved it - must do more).  

Here are a couple of pics (as I didn't take my camera 3 of them are from the website.. hope its ok that I used them..)
A rather impressive wicker man under construction
Saturday night.. burning the wicker man
Once he had collapsed, and the fire had been racked into a long narrow burn lots of people jumped over it, the young bucks went first while the flames were rather high - they must of been mad - but that's young lads for you lol .. as time went on the flames got lower and lower and more and more people jumped over.  I must confess that much as I wanted to jump over I was wearing crocs on my feet.. and had visions of falling flat on my face as I run down the avenue before even reaching the fire!  So I watched and cheered instead.

Burning labyrinth.
Everyone joined hands and either danced or walked in procession through the labyrinth, between the flames, as an act of purification.
The Witchmen - The Other Morris
As a Terry Pratchett fan this was a real treat :)
both the dancers and their musicians are most excellent!
As lovely as the days were, both nights were COLD .. too cold to sleep well and I was totally shattered when I got home.  And what a lovely homecoming it was!  This was my first time away from the family and they missed me.. I came home to a spotlessly clean house, all the washing done, a cooked dinner complete with desert and my lovely hubby had brought a bottle of my favourite wine :)

I had four days to recover before, with a serious case of de-ja-vu I repacked the camping ki for a weekend in Cornwall (yes, back again lol)!  My mum-in-law was born and raised in Bodmin, Cornwall and has been feeling particularly homesick lately.  So we decided to take her for a long weekend back to her old stomping ground :) which just happens to be our favourite holiday destination. Having only been there 3 weeks previously it felt a little like we had never been away..  the nice thing is we got to do things that we were unable to do on the last trip.

Friday night was wonderful.. for the first time in 7 years all four of us got to play in the surf together at the same time on Polzeath beach.. yay.  As dogs are not allowed on the beach at least one of us usually has to stay behind with them, but mum-in-law was more than happy to sit and watch from the top of the beach.  The tide was high so we were not that far from her..  The sea looked like molten silver and was warm as bath water, the waves were beautiful and apart from us there were only about 5 other people in the sea at that time.. so plenty of waves for everyone :).  We finally forced ourselves out when the light started to fade..  

Saturday we explored Tintagel (which was quieter than I have ever seen it) here are a couple more pics :)

I like the colours in this one
Low tide at Tintagel exposed more caves to explore
Amber and Jess had lots of fun too :)

I found lots of beautiful colours and textures to be inspired and intrigued by..

Lichens on weather battered coastal walls
Stacked stones on Tintagel beach..
They look like they were placed, but they are so big and heavy I
 think they must have found their own way into this position.
And now I'm back home for the winter!  Autumn is most definitely kicking in .. there's a definite bite in the air and the berries are turning bright red.  It is time to get the bird feeders out!  

Everyone is either back at work or school now and I am free to do 'my thing'. First on the agenda I really ought to finish clearing out my 'craft' room - it's a store room really.  And then I can get felting - my fingers are itching to do this!