Friday, 30 June 2017

Tailors Ham and sausage - make your own

Hello again my lovelies, ooops looks like I've gone over a week without popping by to write a post. This time I can actually say its because I have been so busy enjoying myself that I just didn't realise that its Friday already!! But I did promise myself that I would write more about where my new adventures were taking me so here I am with 'what I did next' :D

So with all this garment making I fully intend to carry out, I have been looking for sewing gadgets/tools that I would need (well not need but want of course) to complete my projects. The first thing on my list was a Tailors Ham and Sausage (tee hee! that still makes me laugh every time I say it, it just sounds so ridiculous but so fitting). After doing the usual and Googling them, I found two types. The first, totally practical, would do the job no doubt....but they were boring black and red tartan (not my thing) round about £6-9. The second, right up my street made out of funky fabrics, bright colourful, interesting, fun....problem - most sets were about £50+!!! 

Really!!!!! Now I know better than most that you should never undermine someones work...EVER....and I know what blood, sweat and floods of tears can go into a handmade item, I've been there and bare the scars. dont judge me on this! Please....

I just could not justify (not only that I do not have £50+ to be spending on them for starters) paying this amount for something that looked relatively simple. I am in no way putting anyone's craftman/womanship down, I couldn't sell a bloody complex, detailed handbag for that so I know that pain very well! 

My mind was made up, I decided I was going to make my own

So I found a free pattern on Craftsy, downloaded it, had it printed out and I was on my way. I chose this gorgeous sheep patterned fabric that I have had lying around in my stash for ages. It wasn't quite big enough for most projects but I couldn't bare to part with it. I'm glad I didn't now as it was a perfect size for this pattern. I also found this co-ordinating polka dot fabric too, there wasn't quite enough for the back of the sausage but I added a 1cm seam allowance and used two pieces.

Luckily at Christmas my Dad brought me two ginormous bags of sawdust, we were originally going to use it for kindling for the fire but we just haven't gotten round to pressing some blocks yet.

I just have to add that my Dad is so talented and can pretty much make anything with his hands (must be where I get it from). He has made his own kitchen units and doors from scratch and even his bedroom furniture and a tv cabinet, oh yeah and he can also carve rocking horses too!!!! So this is how I came about the sawdust.

So after patiently stuffing both the ham and sausage this was the finished result!! I'm so pleased with them. You do have to pack them really tight with the sawdust but when you've finished you realise why, They need to be sturdy/solid enough like an ironing board if they were saggy then you would get creases in your garments that you dont want.

I love the fact they are very practical but so much fun at the same time....and of course they co-ordinate with the colour scheme of my sewing room, naturally :D

So if you fancy having a go at these yourself this is the link to the pattern:

And this is the link to Elewa's instructions on how to make them:

I hope you enjoy making and using them :D

Have a great Fri-yay!

.....Emma xxx

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

And sew it begins : PJ bottoms

Good morning my lovelies, another glorious day out there. I love Summer :) there's nothing better than sitting in my sewing room creating, other than sitting in my sewing room creating and the sun is shining!!

I have a very large mug of coffee so lets get started before I go and finish some more pen cases and tackle the rest of my to do list (yes I am most definitely keeping myself busy). I thought I'd show you my first Make 9 project. Now I know its a little late in the year to be starting only my first project as I posted about this back in early February, but there is still plenty of time in the year to get the other 8 done for sure!

So first from the list I chose PJ bottoms, mainly because I live out of them (dont judge me, I like being comfy lol). The very lovely Lynne from The Make It Room kindly offered to send me the pattern and instructions that she uses in her classes. If you have never heard of Lynne before pop over and take a look at her website. She runs workshops and courses in dressmaking and sewing, feltmaking, needlefelting, knitting, crochet, lampshade making, rag rugs, painted furniture and d├ęcoupage. I do wished that I lived closer so I could attend all of her sewing classes :(

I bought some beautiful cotton from a shop on ebay which was about £11 for 2 1/2 meters which I thought was really cheap, I didn't want to buy anything too expensive as this was my first project. Once I get a little more back into the swing of things I will be a bit more adventurous with my choice of fabrics. I have my eye on a few :D I bought some elastic for the waist band and already had this beautiful cream ribbon that I bought from John Lewis many moons ago.

I added some length to the pattern as I have very long legs so 6" extra was necessary! And that was it I was ready to get going!!

This was the first time in a long time since I had used an over locker. It is ridiculous how excited I was to thread it up and over lock something. Although it had been ages since I had used it I still managed to thread it up like it was only yesterday. I could have literally spent all day just over locking stuff (yes I need to get out more).

Anyway I did manage to prise myself away from the over locker to actually sew them together and start sewing the casing for the waist band. My one mistake was that I ran out of the thread and had to use two different colours, if you look carefully at the photo below. But I dont think I will ever notice!!

I started to get a real pang of excitment once I started feeding the elastic in for the waist band.....they were actually looking like a garment!! 

I hemmed the bottoms and added the ribbon...........
.........and this is how they turned out!!!!!

I couldnt be happier with my first make. In fact I was a mix of emotions of 'why the hell have you not been doing this all along' and I was so proud that I had made something that I could wear! 

These wont be the last pair I make...I have already ordered some more fabric to make my next pair. They were so easy to make, Lynne's instructions were so easy to follow and the fit was perfect.

It has really fuelled my passion for sewing again, I feel like I just want to spend every single day sewing!! So if anyone can find me a permanent job where I can sew all day then please let me know lol.

I'm already planning my next two projects and cant wait to get started.....

Emma xxx

Friday, 16 June 2017

Learn a new skill : Modern Calligraphy

Happy Fri-yay my lovelies, I hope you have all got something nice planned for the weekend. Especially if you're in the UK, apparently this weekend is going to be a scorcher!!! 
Lets hope so :D

Let me start off with giving you all a quick update as to where I'm at and what I'm experiencing/feeling since being made redundant from my 'day job'. As I said in an earlier post the first few days, in fact the first week just felt like I was on holiday. So I dont think I really knew how to act or feel. I did have days where I felt a little lost. I think this was due to Mr.B still working and it felt like I was on holiday on my own....bit of a strange feeling. So I busied myself with house work and relaxing. I did a little bit of reading (which is totally not like me), planning and writing notes about the things that really make me happy (this was soooo good to do, try writing a list of 7 things that make you happy) and I spent quite a while sorting through all of the fabrics I had in my stash. This week I seem to be settling down into my own personal routine which feels AMAZING!!! Let hope I can some how keep some of that in my life going forward whatever I decide to do.

Anyway....I have also spent quit a lot of time practising my modern calligraphy, which was obviously the purpose of the post but yet again, Emma went off on a tangent!

I met a lovely lady called Lauren at Kirsty Allsops Handmade Fair who was teaching one of the workshops I had signed up to. We had great fun learning the very basics, but once I was home I wanted to learn more. A friend had bought me a modern calligraphy set for my birthday in January which I hadn't opened.... I quickly ordered some practice paper and inks from Laura's website 'Oh Wonder' and thats it!!! As soon as it arrived I got started and I'm hooked!!!! I want to run at a pace of a million miles and be able to just go ahead and write something pretty but I have to keep reminding myself that to be good you need to practice, practice, practice. So I've been starting off with alphabet drills and then just writing words that I like. Favourite letters to write so far are, h, m and r. 

Its a wonderful way to lose yourself for an hour or so in the quiet calm of your mind, its very relaxing and I'm slowly starting to make improvement (top pic is my current progress).

Its good to learn a new skill, there are so many out that that I want to learn, its a wonder how I will fit them all in :D

Have a wonderful weekend....
Emma xxx

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Fabric de-stash

Hello again my lovelies, I'm having a big de-stash over on my FB page and Instagram account (depending on which one you follow). 

There are 76 fabrics up for grabs and I know I am biased but there are some beauts in there! Why am I de-stashing????

Well I'm hoping to make some room for a new adventure and I know in the bottom of my heart that I just wont use any of these fabrics. It seems such a shame that they would be stuck in a drawer rather than being made into something beautiful by someone who could use them.

So I have tried to be very fair in what I am asking for them, there are lots of different sizes but nothing goes over £3.50 and some are over a meter in length.

If you are like me and a fabric addict then great :) pop over to my FB page or Insta account and see if there is anything that takes your fancy. Help me de-stash please!!!! :D

Thank you....
Emma xxx

Friday, 9 June 2017

The first day...

Hello again my lovelies, waking up on the first day of my new adventure almost felt like I was on the first day of my holidays lol. Mr.B had taken the day off work to offer moral support so that I didn't feel like I was in limbo land wondering what to do with myself.

Now don't just me on this next photo :D when asked what I would like to do on my first day of 'freedom' (that's what Mr.B likes to call it), I said "can we go for a full English breakfast please?" This is something I wouldn't normally do, but in times of change/celebration we tend to over indulge as its deemed as being 'allowed'. 

So that is exactly what we did :D Mr.B says I am disgusting because I have red and brown sauce on my plate! Its just that I can never decide between the two, they are both as equally delicious but in different ways.

We then decided we would go out for the day to Rufford Country Park and walk off all those calories from earlier. It was a beautiful day, 23 degrees and the sun was shining. The car park was quite full and there were lots of families jostling children out of cars (it was half term). 

We bumped into this guy on our walk through the gardens...

...isn't he cute.

We walked all the way round the lake and saw lots of ducks and Canadian geese, it was good to get out into the fresh air. We talked about how I felt about leaving work while we walked, although it was still a little too soon to process things, I felt relaxed and grateful to be outside enjoying the sunshine on what would have been a 'work' day.

The gardens are beautiful at Rufford, and there are so many sculptures to see including a beautiful memorial wall. 

We then picked a lovely spot near the main house to sit in the sunshine and enjoy a picnic, even though it was a warm day I insisted on bringing a flask of tea (of course) I love tea :D

I have to confess afterwards I was so relaxed that I actually nodded off whilst lying on the picnic blanket ooooppss! Well in my defence I hadn't been sleeping very well in the previous weeks so this was obviously my body's way of telling me I needed some rest.

So this is me.....

Relaxed, processing change and looking forward to new adventures, which of course I will be posting about here :D Have a wonderful weekend,

......Emma xxx

Thursday, 8 June 2017

The last day...

Hello my lovelies, I cant believe that its been a week today since my last day at my day job!!

I was very anxious about my last day, I didn't know what to expect, or how I was going to feel. I didn't sleep much the two nights before either. There was never a feeling of am I doing the right thing, I think it was more about the stepping out of my comfort zone and into the unknown (well unknown for the last 13 years). 

I spent most of the morning feeling sick, nervous, anxious....and then I was called into the main office for my official "send off" at 10am even though I wasn't actually finishing until 4pm. Everyone was so lovely, there was a speech by the financial director of the company, then I was asked to say a few words. Now I cant tell you what I said because I honestly cant remember a word, my hands were shaking and my legs felt like jelly. There were lots of hugs and I was given a card and collection. I managed to keep my shit together just enough time for everyone to disperse and then I cried :'( 

It was all officially over!! 

I spent the rest of the day, saying my goodbyes to individual people and packing up the last bits and pieces from my desk.

At 4pm I was walked out by some of my work colleagues/friends and Mr.B drove us through the gates for the last time......

I really cant thank them enough, I was overwhelmed by their kindness and generosity and I will miss them very much.

But its all about writing my next chapter now and where it will take me.

....Emma xxx