Tag Archives: children

My Sewing Bee

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Having watched, and sort of enjoyed, The Great British Sewing Bee, I remembered making a waistcoat for a special person.

I don’t think it would pass inspection by the Bee Judges but at the time I was proud of this attempt at tailoring! It was in 1979 that my Sis got married and asked my eldest son to be her Pageboy! I made the trousers and waistcoat for the event and forced him to wear a bow tie. I remember making bound buttonholes as my machine didn’t have the facility. I was taught how to do bound buttonholes at school and have always had success with them.

Happy days!

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Flash Back Fri

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In an attempt to trawl through old photographs to make a scrap book of ” items that I have made” I have come across a few gems. Most can be filed under Vintage and many can be filed under ” did I REALLY wear that?”and

There are a few gems and including this Clothkits jacket that I made for my daughter in about 1986. This was a quilted jacket with a zoo theme. There was even mini stuffed animals in the pockets. Clothkits still exists as a company but with a slightly different format. The garment was printed onto the fabric and it was a matter of just cutting it out and sewing. I loved this jacket and Darling Daughter still remembers it with fondness.

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The People of India (2)

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There was men weaving on “pit looms” the most exquisite silk saris. Their sons would often sit with them to learn the trade. The homes where this takes place, were frequently poorly lit. Interestingly they were also listening to cricket on the radio ( and India was winning!)This lady attempted to show us how to work Chiken stitch a traditional shadow stitch often worked on saris and pashminas. I tried hard but failed miserably!Market stalls were piled high with traditional textiles in eye popping colours.

Traditional crafts were apparent in the maintenance of buildings, contrasting with the poverty on the roadsides and city streets.

on my recent “Textile Treasure Hunt” to India I saw many people working long hours in often, difficult conditions. They were invariably pleasant, smiley and happy.

Vintage Confession

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I have always been a chocoholic- until now that is. When my children were young I traditionally bought each of them a Selection Box for Christmas. One particular selection box was in the shape of a Christmas stocking covered with nylon netting.

Now for the confession, and not a lot of people know this! One Christmas I carefully un picked the end of the stocking and slid out the Mars bar. I, of course, ate it! This meant that I could buy a new bar of chocolate and slide it into place. I fastened down the end of the stocking and happily gave it to the intended recipient.

I am no longer a Chocaholic. In fact chocolate has not passed my lips for ten months. My halo is chocking me!

Welcome to my Craft Room

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Its done! It’s finished! It’s fab!

IMG_1091This was a year ago and it’s not stayed this tidy. I need the House Elves to visit and the Dust Bunnies to work hard! Still off to my craft room to make Bunting for Step Granddaughters birthday. According to her she’s ” turning the big one zero!”. More about Bunting later.

Cushions Galore

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Eldest child turns up and says”Can you make some cushions for my new house Mum?”

“Of course I can son – no problem” I reply.

And the result is:

Eldest son arrived clutching a bag containing off cuts of Harris Tweed. Irregular shapes with some from a sample book as they had appropriate holes in them. I put them together in a random patchwork pattern and stitched them ktogether. I chose a lush silver grey velvet from my stash ( Hoorah more stash used up) and inserted a zip along one long side. There were some Harris Tweed labels which I stitched onto the cushions and whoo hoo! Two really nice cushions. They look great in son’s new house and coordinate nicely with the decor.

She Made It!

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Well my Mum turned 90 this last week! She has now officially lived longer than any of her Six siblings. Well done Mum! On her actual special day she was very happy to hear “Happy Birthday” sung by her 2 daughters ( me and Sis), her 3 Grandchildren and 3 Great Grandchildren.

imageI’ve done a lot of celebrating this week! No crafting and no sensible eating.

imageWe met friends in Chester on Friday who we met on the last cruise. We had afternoon tea in a restaurant by the River Dee. Top location and top company.

Today I met up with Girl friends and we had a Champagne lunch in the Grosvenor Hotel Chester. I could get used to this life.

imageCheers Mum!

Giving and Gifts

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I find it hard to believe that there are 73 children living in Chester and North Wales who will not be receiving Christmas presents this year. This is due to extenuating circumstances which has rendered them homeless or in shared housing. These are local children living in our communities.

Well now they will receive their gifts. This is due to a local new charity called Share, a local company called Dandys Topsoil and Turf and the generosity of local people.

Yesterday I took a car boot full of gifts and felt like Mother Christmas in a way I’ve not experienced before. I was only the courier ( OK I did give some gifts) but many were donated by Daughter’s colleagues at Lush Chester.

Just a small effort to make Christmas a little special for some children less fortunate than us.

Children’s Vintage Crafts and Gifts

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image image image image imageThese embroidery samples were each made by my children when they were in Junior school. They were usually made as Mothers Day gifts. The two boys produced excellent results which is amazing as neither would dream of picking up a needle and thread these days. Well maybe the Company Sergent Major would! They have used Aida cloth.

Aida cloth is manufactured with various size spaces or holes between the warp and weft to accommodate different thicknesses of yarn. These are described by the count. For example, a 10-count aida cloth would have 10 squares per linear inch. Typical sizes are 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 22 count, ranked from the coarsest to the finest count. Traditional colours are white, ecru, or shades of tan and brown, although brighter colors are also available. Aida cloth is sold in precut sheets or in bolts of 40″ – 60″ width.

Aida cloth has a tendency to fray and often needs hemming before use. It should never be laundered prior to craft work and tends to contract when the finished item is washed in soap and water. Hand washing improves the appearance of finished cross-stitching because Aida cloth naturally contracts in specific areas where it is embroidered.

I suspect that the teacher would have helped quite a lot,as they were each made when they were aged about eight or nine.The patterns are all quite precise and carefully balanced. I adore these “Folk Art” samplers and will keep them with my other treasures. My three children all have children now so I am watching with interest to see if the Grandchildren bring home similar gifts.

Posting to Nepal

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Back in June and July I blogged about our village craft group knitting for Nepal. How could anyone not be touched at the plight of the Nepal people following the devastating earthquake? Hubs and I trekked to the village of Ghandruk, in the Annapurna region, a few years ago so I decided to send the donated items to their clinic for distribution.

imageI remember walking UP this path for a long way. The people were so nice, kind and generous. We saw children walking for at least an hour along this path to school every day!

imageThe pile of knitted items included children’s sweaters, hats, scarves, shawl and baby blankets. I wrestled them all into two parcels and struggled to the village post office with them. I had to send them surface mail as the cost for air mail was phenomenal. The Post Master said that they would go by sea which is a puzzle as Nepal is land locked!!

They should arrive by Christmas before their cold weather really sets in. If I ever hear when they will arrive I will let you know.