Friday, 1 August 2014

Looking Forward in August 2014


Looking back over July, I feel it was quite productive: top row - Sashiko Phone Case, Pincushion, French birthday card; middle row - Fabric flower card, Chelsea buns, Easy Sew skirt; bottom row - Sureau dress, another pincushion and First Aid Pouch. I also launched my new Slow Cooker blog - Mrs Jones and the Slow Cooker.

For August, I am still working on a scrappy quilt using half square triangles to build up a chevron pattern. Also on the quilting front, I am itching to get stuck into my September Blue fat quarter bundle which I won in a giveaway in July. 

I have my annual holiday to France this month, so you will be sure to find a little recap of that later on. This year, I am taking some crafts with me in the form of a little Christmas cross stitch kit. Whether I actually get around to it or not is another thing! 

I am linking up with Fresh Sewing Day over at Lily's Quilts.

Love Mrs Jones x


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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Sewn: The Deer & Doe Sureau Dress

This dress has been a long time in the making! It was one of the items on this year's To Sew list and I have had the pattern and the fabric since Christmas, just waiting for the right moment to make it. 

Pattern



Pattern Description
Mid season dress with gathered bust and 3/4 length sleeves.





Size
I used the Size 36 for bust and hip measurements, grading it out to a Size 40 for the waist. I didn't alter the bust (it is meant to fit a cup size C and I am by no means a C), but I don't think it needed a small bust adjustment either. 


Fabric used
I love the chambray look of my fabric, although it is just a humble cotton poplin which is so nice to sew with!


Alterations
I added in a broderie anglaise trim to the sleeve ends which was my second ribbon choice from my Fantastic Ribbons review. I love this trim! I would have used some on the dress hem too but I didn't want it to be over the top. I have also seen lace trim used either side of the button placket to good effect.


Sew it again?
I love this dress! Yes I would sew it again - maybe the sleeveless variation. I have to say that I wouldn't have wanted to sew this dress as an absolute beginner. Some of the instructions were not that clear if you haven't done much sewing before, for example, there are three versions of the dress on the back of the envelope but the instructions only cover the one option.



I love this informal photo where Atticus has yet again got in on the action!

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 28 July 2014

Paper: Fabric Flower Birthday Card


I have been playing with some fun Summer Flower cards with scrap pieces of fabric and some of the sizzlit and framelit dies that came with my Sissix Big Shot machine. I love the big bold impact that these flowers create. 

I debated whether or not to sew the fabric onto the card, but opted for using glue dots instead.


Love Mrs Jones x

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Fabric: September Blue from Dashwood Studios

I was the lucky winner of a fat quarter bundle of the new fabric range from Dashwood Studios - September Blue, designed  by Susan Driscoll. Celtic Fusion Fabrics held the giveaway earlier this month and asked for sewing tips for an entry. 


My parcel of delicious fabric arrived a week ago and although I have been tempted to start using it straight away, I already have a quilt in progress (more soon) and I also wanted to get my Deer & Doe Sureau dress made, which has been ready to sew since Christmas! 



I am looking for some inspiration - I love what Lily's Quilts made - such a beautiful quilt, as always. I am leaning towards going for something with quite large patches because the larger scale prints are going to be lost otherwise, so it won't be another half square triangle quilt! This may be the chance I need to get to grips with the Quiltography app on my ipad. 

What quilt pattern would you choose?

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 21 July 2014

Craft: A Beginners Patchwork Pincushion

I love saving my fabric scraps and using them in small projects - even the tiniest amount of fabric will cover a button, or can be used in a little patchwork. But often, I am too keen to start on new fabric rather than revisit the scraps, so I have been trying to redress that with some scrap fabric patchwork. I have a scrappy HST chevron quilt on the go and I have just finished this pincushion. This is a great first project for anyone who fancies dipping their toes into patchwork.


I was given the opportunity to choose and review some ribbon from Fantastic Ribbons, a shop which sells ribbons by the roll. I chose the 6mm centre stitch ribbon (above) and a gorgeous broderie anglaise trim which I am planning to use in my Sureau dress (currently on my sewing table).

To make the pincushion you will need:

  • 2 pieces of scrap fabric measuring 12cm square (or equivalent)
  • Roll of 6mm Ribbon
  • Wadding
  • Button

1. Iron your fabric then measure and cut each piece of fabric into four squares 6cm x 6cm.



2. Arrange your fabric in your desired pattern. Take the first two squares and pin right sides together.



3. Sew down one side with your sewing machine. Repeat for the second two squares.



4. With your iron, press open the seams of the two rectangles you have just sewn.



5. Place the two rectangles right sides together, matching up your centre seams first and pinning. Sew together.

6. Again, press open the seams with your iron.

7. Repeat steps 2 to 6 with the remaining four squares.



8. Measure and cut your ribbon into four lengths, the same length as your completed squares. Pin the first one carefully down the centre seam of your square, covering your seam line.

9. Place your sewing machine needle in the right sided position and carefully sew down one edge. Repeat for the other side.

10. Place and pin your second piece of ribbon, again ensuring it covers your seam line and sew in place. Repeat steps 9 and 10 for your second patchwork square.


11. Pin the two finished squares together (right sides together) on three sides, and with your machine needle back in the centre position, sew, backstitching at the start and finish. 


12. Clip across the corners without cutting into your sewing line. Turn the right way around and stuff with wadding - you will want to pack it into the far corners first.

13. Press under the two raw edges and neatly hand sew shut.



14. To finish, sew a button in the centre.



A little bit of ribbon trim can really give a project its finishing touch! I love having the freedom of a whole roll of ribbon to play with, and not realising that you haven't bought enough from your local haberdasher! Here is a sneak peek of what I did with the broderie anglaise trim - check back on Wednesday for the full lowdown on the Sureau dress:


Love Mrs Jones x

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Launching...Mrs Jones and the Slow Cooker

About six weeks ago, I bought myself a slow cooker to aid my transition from illness to back to work. I had no idea how much it would revolutionise the way I cook for my family, or how much use I would get out of it at a time of year when slow cookers are not renowned for their popularity (they are seen as a Winter thing). I set about learning how to use my slow cooker and have been trawling slow cooker recipes across the web and through a stack of library books, and I am charting my progress over on my new blog: Mrs Jones and the Slow Cooker. 


Already, there are a selection of recipes posted for you to browse, and some of these include ideas on what to do with any leftovers. Do pop over and see what I have been cooking - I would love for you to share your own slow cooker recipes with me.

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 14 July 2014

Le Challenge: Small Sashiko Phone Case

This month's Le Challenge theme is Small and I had no trouble deciding on what I was going to make: a Sashiko phone case for my new phone. This was my very first time at trying my hand at Sashiko, so please be kind!! The fabric I used is a linen/viscose blend which I used to make this dress and is a deep purple colour, not quite the intense indigo that is traditionally used.


Sashiko thread should be quite thick - I used two threads of some embroidery floss which I already had in my stash. Cottonpatch have a range of threads, patterns and the unusual thimble in stock.


I sketched my freehand design on my fabric with some fabric chalk.

I found it quite tricky to embroider such a lightweight fabric - I could really have done with an embroidery hoop! There is an art to getting the stitch and gap ratio correct, and I don't even pretend that I managed it! But I did try the technique of putting lots of stitches on my needle and then pushing the fabric through.

Do be sure to check out the other Le Challenge entries this month by clicking here:


Le Challenge

Love Mrs Jones x