An evening in

Today was my first real Saturday in my house. Last weekend my mum was here and the weekend before my army of friends was helping me to move in. I was a little worried I’d go stir crazy by myself but I’ve actually had a grand day.

Granted I did see one friend and his girls as I discovered I’m too short to change the battery in my smoke alarm and it was going off all through the night last night. But that was just a short visit.

For the rest of the day I entertained myself! I went to the gym (and in the process discovered there is no quick way to walk there) and the library (2 new books!) And after lunch went to aldi to get some groceries.

My friend Karen is coming to afternoon tea tomorrow so after my aldi trip I made a cake. After all that I planned on sitting down with a cuppa and watching Grease 2…

However…I then got a sewing urge. 4 hours later I have made 2 skirts. The first was a bit of a flop as I followed the measurements on the pattern I found on Pinterest which were WRONG! But the second I did without a pattern, just making it up as I went along and I have to say I’m chuffed with the result!

You can’t tell but the fabric is actually a bedsheet that I got on sale. I think it’s a pretty pattern. It has 2 darts at the front to give it shape, french seams (cos I learned how to do them after watching The Great British Sewing Bee) and a zip at the back.

Yay me!! Another few Saturday evenings like this and I’ll have a whole new wardrobe!

Hope your Saturday was lovely too
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Fabric Flower Tutorial

I’ve fallen in love with this really simple way of making pretty flowers out of scraps of fabric.

It involves minimal sewing (basic running stitches only) and the whole flower takes less than an hour to complete. Perfect little task for when you’ve an hour to spare.

You only need:

6 rectangles of fabric…matching or contrasting, you can use anything. For this flower I used a pink fabric with multicoloured spots, but have also made one using two different florals, and another using 6 completely different fabrics. It really depends what you have available, and if you want to match/contrast to an item of clothing or something like that.

Anyway, six rectangles. They can be any size, as long as the short end is 1/2 the long end. (e.g. 3 inches x 6 inches) This is because the first step is to fold the rectangles and sew along one side, at right angles to the fold:

The next step is to cut a curve, from the bottom of the stitched seam, to the diagonally opposite corner on the fold. Like so…

A tip to make sure your curves are all the same is to cut one, then use it as a template for the others. They won’t be exactly identical, but they need to be as close to identical as possible so that there is uniformity in the petals.

Next turn your squares inside out, and ensure that where your seam meets the fold, there is a clean corner.

Here comes the fun, and only tricky bit. You need a strong thread for this – I use regular cotton but doubled over for extra hold. Tie a knot in the end of the threat, and sew a loose running stitch through the petals, ensuring that the start of one petal overlaps onto the end of the one previous.

I was so involved in this step that I didn’t get a photo, but the aim is to have all the petals along the thread. You want as few stitches as possible, so that the petals pleat easily when you pull the thread through and scrunch them down.

They should all just come together neatly in the centre, though on all mine I’ve done some oversewing on the back. On the front you don’t need to be so neat, since you can fix a button over the section where all the petals meet.

And there you have a 1 hour fabric flower. I’ve turned mine into hair accessories (sew on an elastic hair band, or fix a hair grip in place with a few stiches to make a slide in accessory) or corsages by fixing a length of ribbon to the back of the flower (ensuring the stitches are halfway through the length of the ribbon). You can also purchase brooch backs from craft stores/online, if you’re a brooch kind of person.

I think they’re really cute and they’re so simple, making use of the scraps which you keep for “that project one day”!

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Bible covers!

Our cell group – now to be called Small Group – are all reading the Bible in a Year…so far we’re up to Joseph in Genesis and Jesus has fed thousands upon thousands in Matthew. It’s going well, I like to read my Bible whilst I’m eating breakfast – nourish the body and the soul at the same time!!

The only thing is, all the Bibles we bought are the same, and in Rosie’s and my case it’s tricky because I always need to check which Bible belongs to whom (though typing this I’m wondering if it matters, since we’re both going to be reading the same thing each day…?)

Besides the point. This evening some of the ladies from our Small Group got together and made Bible covers! I did Rosie’s as well as  mine, as she has a cold and needed a night in to rest.

Aren’t they pretty?

Mine is the one on the left...
I even made a little page marker!

I am LOVING the polka dots. The page marker matches a pair of shoes that I have. That might be a little odd, but I like dots.

All in all it was a lovely night, I enjoyed spending time with people and all our covers are very different so we will know whose is whose the next time we get together to discusswhat we’ve been reading 🙂

Now I am looking forward to my bed.

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Labelling…

This evening I spent several hours with two lovely friends,  helping a third lovely friend sew name labels on her son’s new school uniform. Earlier today, when I told my colleague my evening plans, she made that face…the one where she’s thinking “better you than me!” 

However – it’s the kind of thing I love to do, why not keep your hands busy whilst catching up with friends? We did have a preach on in the background, but it wasn’t really listened to as mostly we just talked.

I’d had a fairly busy day (I won’t say “stressful” although there were moments) and I didn’t leave the office until almost 6pm, then I was taking a meal to a couple from church who have just adopted a new baby. I was super-conscious of the extra time I spent at work, and trying to ensure everything was done at home so I could enjoy my evening…as a result when Faith picked me up I was a little out of it…but I perked up when we arrived and had tea and a slice of very naughty chocolate cake!

It can be tempting, at least for me, to want to just veg out after a long day. I often want to put my jammies on as soon as I get in the door, not eat a proper dinner and just watch mind-numbing TV for the evening and end up not even having an early night. But, I know this isn’t good for my ’emotional health’. So, after my loooong day I was very glad I had plans which meant I couldn’t wallow (though I’m not sure that’s the right word) but that also didn’t demand very much of me!

It felt like something from Gone with the Wind, or Little Women. A sewing circle really is my idea of a good time, because you don’t have to talk a whole lot, you can be distracted with whatever you’re sewing and it feels good to be productive.

Also, it was nice to be able to help my friend – she and her husband have both been very supportive of me, throughout Uni and Impact, and they both work incredibly hard. They have four great children, three of whom are moving schools this September, so there are a lot of labels to do – one is going to boarding school so needs labels in literally everything! We didn’t get through it all, by any means, but in just over 90 minutes we accomplished: hockey socks, vests, jumper, shirts, polo shirts, tie and towels. It would take much longer for just one person, and I’m betting it would be much less fun!

In short, what might seem like a really monotonous task to some (!) actually was a very enjoyable evening…I got to sew, spend time with friends, and help out someone who is lovely, and important to me. I’m going to bed happy 🙂

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