Category Archives: Crafts

Me Made May – or, finally joining in.

*fanfare*….ta daaaaa…..Me-Made-May 2014

YAY!!!!!!….I’ve made my pledge, I’m doing it! I can’t remember when I first came across this project and decided that next year would be the year that I’d do it and every next year it turned out that I was no further forward with my me made projects and May would roll along and another year would pass me by.

Well, this year, I decided to just do it. I’ve pledged something that is 100% achievable and yet will still be a challenge for me (when you consider that I work full time and about 40% of my evenings are already spoken for across May, not to mention that (seriously) about 80% of my weekend time is already booked). So, here’s my pledge:

‘I, Susie of Sosusie: The Midlife Ramblings of a Teenage Mother sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear at least two me made items (clothing and accessories) each week for the duration of May 2014’

As a part of this, I plan to: 
Finish off at least one of my knitting projects that I’ve started for myself.
Make one of the four items that I have on my list of makes:
The By Hand London Elisalex dress, Gertie’s Pencil Skirt or Sultry Sheath, or the idea that I’m formulating in my head for a dress.
This is definitely a challenge for me.

Tee hee…I’m too excited. I’ve printed off the final page of the Miette pattern (the cardigan is finished, and has been for at least a year, except for the button band and buttons!) and I’ve sorted through my stash of fabric. I’ve been wanting to get sewing ‘everyday’ wear for myself for ages and this is the kickstart that I need. I also want to do more knitting for myself – it’s not that I haven’t produced anything in the past couple of years, it’s just that none of it has been for me. So, here goes a month of selfishness (and long may it last).

Though I did promise D that his would be the next knitting project that I took on. I don’t think finishing things off counts as breaking that promise though..does it?

 

 

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Sew-a-longs

So I’ve decided to join a sewalong. I think I’m being a bit silly clothing wise at the moment, I’m doing what one should never do which is buying clothes that don’t quite fit because I’m losing weight (well…slowly putting it back on but that’s just failing to get out of my Christmas over-indulging) and I’m going to do the same with the skirt I’m going to make as part of the sewalong. I’ve been kind of keeping my eye on knitalongs and sewalongs and there are blogs that I absolutely love that have initiated them but they’ve seemed always to choose projects I’m not in love with. I am in love with this project – http://shop.byhandlondon.com/product/charlotte-skirt and I’m really looking forward to making it and have to admit I kind of just want to charge on with it but…the whole reason I decided to join a sewalong was to make sure that I do this properly and learn more about making adjustments etc. I’ve already learned something – you should never cut the pattern printed on the tissue paper you should always trace it out to something else! Makes perfect sense…particularly for someone like me whose size and to a lesser extent shape is on the move. Anyway, I haven’t even got any fabric for this project yet so I can’t really get too ahead of myself.

This isn’t a well thought out blog – this is definitely a ramble. I’ve been working on my tax return all day and my stall accounts and meant to get to this earlier but I am snowed under! Anyway, I plan to make more things for myself this year, and to spruce up my look a bit so here’s to that!Charlotte_Peplum_New_BC

Birthdays

So sweet. The kids (young adults) are busying themselves cooking supper for their father’s birthday. We’re having roast beef with all the trimmings and a lurid pinkish red sparkle covered birthday sponge. I can hear them downstairs preparing, they’ve both dressed for dinner, and I think it’s going to be (their version) or a rather fancypants evening.

Strange to think that in two weeks they’ll both have left. I’m a little bit heart broken. Still…I know this is how it’s meant to be and I know that they’re both off to have adventures and that they will be fine.

The sewing blog world seems to be full of people at the other end of this parenting malarkey with pregnancies being announced by people I don’t know personally but nevertheless feel very happy for…the internet’s a strange beast. Check out Joanne and Casey I’m looking forward to see all the baby stuff they both make.

Sewing class

So this week saw me do the first of three sewing classes at the sickeningly gorgeous Ray Stitch on Essex Road. I met Mrs Ray, not her real name, at a Selvedge Magazine Craft fair in June 2010 – I’m not quite as stalker-y as I sound I just remember because the fair was held across the road from a friend of mine and having not seen her for a while I thought it an opportune time to pop in on her too only she had buggered off to Glastonbury Festival (a distant memory for me now, expect I won’t go there again). Anyway, Mrs Ray and I got to talking about selling wool amongst other things and she said she was looking for premises for a shop but had recently lost out on somewhere.

Jump forward a year, and my not having made any purchases from the Ray Stitch online store whilst still lusting after the just so Ray Stitch lifestyle or even just style, and my friend J (a very cute hip young slip of a girl) knowing that I liked all things sew-y and knitty told me about this shop she’d noticed that was due to open soon that she thought I’d like. Well, even though I was excited about the prospect of Ray Stitch in the flesh it still took me a couple of months to visit the shop – all I can say is I need a new better paid job because it’s like fabric porn in there and the little café is pretty good too with a lovely and very friendly young man behind the counter – their flat white was even, dare I think it, better than the one I get from Shoreditch Grind!

Desperately wanting to take one of their new sewing courses, and yet able to sew from a commercial pattern already so definitely not a beginner and maybe not really an improver, I plumped for the make a blouse improvers course run over three weeks. I reasoned  that I lust after the Ray Stitch look because on the clothes and projects they feature the lines are so clean and simple and they only work because they are beautifully made. I can make more or less anything but I’m not the most careful crafter on the block so I thought that this lesson would get me back on neatness track.

I’d gone in to the shop the week before and bought some beautiful Anna Maria Horner fabric from her Little Folks range so that I could pre-wash it (shown below at the cutting stage) and now I was ready for my class.

Cutting out the Anna Maria Horner fabric
Cutting out the Anna Maria Horner fabric

The lessons take place in the basement, a lovely space – though I found it not big enough for cutting out the paper pattern and the fabric, set up for six students one of whom turned out to be Mrs Ray!!…hehe. We were offered wine and there were nibbles including some delicious bruschetta topped with a sweet red onion relish and a generous couple of slices of meltingly soft goats cheese and smoked salmon and cream cheese.

We all introduced ourselves and got on with measuring ourselves, deciding which version of the blouse we wanted to make, cutting out the paper pattern, one of the cult Colette patterns, and cutting out the fabric. That’s as far as I got because there wasn’t quite enough space for us all to cut out at the same time and I’ve realised that I tend to think because I’m the biggest person in the room, usually, I need to try and make sure I take up as little room as possible so I preferred to let the slip of a woman sitting opposite me and the one to my side (both of whom seemed really pleasant) have first dibs at the space. In other words I didn’t finish everything we were meant to by the end of the night so I’ve got homework!!…Serves me right for being all – I do know how to sew you know.
 
I’m really looking forward to the next class and I promise I won’t leave my homework until the very last moment.

Well well well. Busy times

I’ve been up to loads of fun things in the past couple of weeks, a couple of which I shall touch on here:

I have been to a meeting at our local knitting group pub, The Stapleton Arms, about starting up a new Women’s Institute group in our area. This excites me so much as I tried to join an almost local one about a year and a half ago. I went along to a taster meeting, they were just doing a social night and were going bowling, and I was all fired up to join when they informed me they were disbanding. Disappointed but not so much as to set up my own group I went on my merry way casting dreams of WI aside. And then, a few weeks ago there started to be rumblings about setting one up in Stroud Green spearheaded by the lovely MissAnnie and my jam making fantasies (not really fantasies – see my next post) were reawoken.

I’ve bought some excellent crafty/lifestyley/cookery books recently most notably Supper Club by Kerstin Rodgers and this little beauty –

1945 book on crafts
Crafting the old-skool way.

Both were bought from the very charming and rather excellent The Book Barge which, I have to say, wasn’t the book barge I thought it was going to be. One of the other stall holders at Archway Market, J who runs the secondhand book stall, has started up a bookshop on a barge but he doesn’t deal in new books and The Book Barge does. Both shops are very interesting, J’s will tour London only and TBB is in the middle of touring England.

Crouch End Barboot Sale and two lovely new jewellery designers

So last Friday found me meeting up with B to check out the Barboot Sale event in Crouch End. Barboot Sale is held on the first Friday of every month, a few shops open up their doors after hours to stall holders and shoppers and some provide drinks and nibbles. Whilst I really enjoyed myself it wasn’t quite what I’d been expecting, I thought there was going to be food and drink aplenty and I’m sure I saw somewhere that there would be live music (A informed me there was live music at The Haberdashery).

A couple of the shops didn’t have much in the way of stalls and it felt more like they were hopping on the Barboot Sale bandwagon. The Haberdashery, kind of the Barboot Sale HQ I think, did it well and had stalls out front, inside and in the back garden – including my friend A and her beautiful kindle cases. Another shop that did it rather well was Little Paris, a shop I adore in any case but try not to go in to that often.

There was quite a bit of beaded jewellery of the type that I could make, ie not particularly inspired, and then there were two designers (sharing a stall in Little Paris) who just had an eye and touch for what they were doing – dear oh deer and Respice Finem. Both designers were absolutely lovely which also helps.

Below are a couple of pictures that absolutely don’t do the jewellery justice, really must work on my presentation – see!!..I just tried cropping the photos and now I look at what I’ve uploaded it’s the pre-cropped photos – doh, so please do check out their links.

Beaded chain on feather chain
Beautifully simple beaded chain

Absolutely loving this make do mend style blog

Have been following this blog for a while now, in so much as I regularly follow any blogs – KristenMakes – I spent ages catching up with it last night and what struck me was how many things Kristen has knitted for herself. I’m just coming to the end of the first full garment I’ve knitted for myself in ages and I feel inspired to hurry up and make something else now.

Kristen is taking part in something called Me-Made-March which is all about appreciating homemade things and wearing them and I believe that you pledge to wear at least one homemade, from scratch, sewn, knitted, crocheted, upcycled or refashioned, or whatever, piece every day in March. I wouldn’t be able to do it but maybe I’ll work towards that for next year.

There are also links to other making clothes-y blogs that are excellent and, again, that make me want to get on with clothes making.