Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Pyjama bonanza

Over the last week I have managed to wear out two (TWO!!) pairs of pyjama trousers. How does that happen?! They weren't even the same make or the same age.

As I'm on a bit of a sewing bee at the moment, I salvaged the usable remnants and (after a quick wash) I cut out two new pairs of pj trousers from the ruins. One pair is for the jelly bean (5 next week!) and the second pair is for the bean - his pair are shorts as that was all I could eke out of the fabric available. 

I used some existing pjs as a template, adding as much length in the leg as I could manage. My children tend on the slim side and just seem to get longer/taller rather than wider as they grow.

While I was cutting out pyjama trousers, and, given that I am down two pairs, I cut out a pair for myself. I used an existing (non-ripped) pair as a template, and cut into some rather fabulous cotton lawn I bought on a whim a year or so back. 

They are going to be rather gorgeous. I did wonder about making a matching top (there is still quite a lot of fabric left), but thought that would be a bit much, particularly as none of my other pyjamas have matching tops! 

Sunday, 10 August 2014


Over the last few months I've been collecting worn and holey socks, piling them up ready for the darning fairy to repair them. She hasn't been around very much, that fairy, as - like all housework fairies - she is rather unreliable and easily distracted. You know, by shiny in-the-moment things like the Commonwealth Games, or drinking beer, or starting new projects (ahem).

While the holey sock pile has been marinading, I came up with a plan for a socksperiment.  Because my socks invariably go into a hole on the ball of the foot rather than the heel or the toe, I have been wondering if there was a way to reinforce this part of the sock and increase the sock's longevity.  

I think I have found a way. It involves knitting around the sock in s1 k1 a bit like a heel flap. And, when you are using two yarns in a grumperina' stripe it has the additional benefit of changing the direction of the stripes! [I must confess that this discovery makes me deliriously happy - I love knitting stripey socks, and making the stripes change direction is just mind-blowing. Just me? Oh, okay]

In order to test my hypothesis in a really scientific way, I am making myself a new pair of socks (see what I mean about being easily distracted). One sock has been knit the 'normal' way, and the other will be finished in the new way. I'm a third of the way along the foot of the second sock, and just about to start the k1 s1 section. 

Once I've finished them, I'll wear the blighters and see what happens. I hope it won't be quite as long-winded as the search for the Higgs bosun, or those experiments waiting for a drop of pitch to drop....

Thursday, 17 July 2014

FO: flowery top hack

Last year I bought myself a couple of summery cotton tops, suitable for life with a newborn (e.g. easy to wash; and with plenty of ease to allow for discreet breast-feeding). One of the tops has been in regular use, fitting in nicely with other things in my wardrobe, although the shape was a bit, um, meh. The other one has just too much fabric to be flattering and I have never worn it...(but since both tops came from charity shops and cost no more than £4, I'm not too bothered about that).

I've been planning to refashion both tops for a while, and last week I finally got round to hacking the first top.

Here it is before (a giant flowery square). [In case you recognise this item from R*ver Island, I should say that I removed the weird interesting neckline beading and the patch pockets when I bought it]. Anyway, back to the hack...

In order to make it shaped a bit more like me (a woman with boobs that stick out and a waisty bit that goes in ever so slightly), I cut off the bottom so that I could create an empire line under the bust. I used another top as a guideline to help me decide where to cut.  

I then opened one of the side seams, and removed a couple of inches of width from the front part of the top. I left the back as it was. [If I was a proper sewing person, I would have opened both side seams and taken the width from each side, however, I am not that person and I figured I could get away with being lazy it].

I then resewed the side seam, and fitted the bottom back onto the bodice, which I had subtly gathered under the bust. I sewed the two parts together again, and then added some elastic to the seam on the back of the top. Proper sewists would no doubt have done this with a casing, but I'm just too impatient. So, I just cut the elastic to length, and zigzagged it straight on, using the new seam as a guide. 


It is quite a small change really, but it's made this top much more flattering to wear without changing my ability to feed the little bean if I need to. If I wasn't breast feeding then I might have taken more fabric out of the front panel, and made it a bit more fitted. I'll try and post an action shot sometime which shows the front...

Wednesday, 14 May 2014


Our little bean is one today. 

A whole year of you. We are so lucky.

Happy Birthday little one.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Princess Leia

The jelly bean was invited to a Star Wars party, so we crafted a suitable outfit. 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Not dead

I am not dead, just busy getting back into the swing of family life after maternity leave. I will return. sometime. 

soon, maybe.

I am still knitting

one of the pairs of Christmas socks.

It is nearly done.


as always there are 

Grand Plans 

for the crafting year ahead.

If anything comes to pass, I'll be sure to write it down. 

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A new year

It wasn't a white or frosty Christmas this year, but we had a good time.

There was plenty of food, and drink, and family and presents. Santa and his helpers brought me a small pile of yarn, including some sock yarn and some of Natalie Fergie's silk. Two skeins. Yum. I'll have to think carefully about what to do with that.

As well as all that there were trips to the panto, the cinema (Frozen and free birds - the latter most definitely a complete turkey), and a bit of time outdoors and plenty of hunkering inside watching the rain lash and/or the wind howl.

I didn't get all of my Christmas crafting finished, but no one seemed to notice. I did make lots of fudge, and some fabric sacks for under the tree, and some shoe bags for my husband man and two raglan tees for the jelly bean. So, it wasn't a complete disaster.

As for 2014, well now. Next week I will be back at work and adjusting to another new pattern of daily to-ing and fro-ing. Time for crafting and blogging may be hard to come by, but I live (always) in hope.

Happy New Year. Let's make it a good one.