Got on well with my sewing yesterday and completed the three XL trousers. Not quite so well today. I made a good start on the four tops but found the facings very time consuming. The previous tops I have made using a cross over binding down the front rather than facings which is much quicker. I will use this method for the next batch. Also when I came to fit the sleeve it was too small. I checked to make sure I had cut out the right size, which I had. Anyway I tried cutting another sleeve in the next size up which fitted fine but this meant I only finished one top today and have to re-cut the other three sets of sleeves. The good news is I can make use of the originals for the next batch which will be a size L.
I ventured out on Sunday to Walsall to take some matchboarding (and marmalade) to Richard so that he could finish the back of some cupboards. (Something else gone out of the loft, yay!). I promised it to him a while ago and then lockdown intervened. It's the furthest I have been in ages and it was lovely to see the family, even from a distance. Bren proudly showed my his tortoises (see Deb's blog brenoli.wordpress.com). I could only stay a few minutes as I was parked on the neighbour's drive as there was no where else. (Downside of lockdown is everyone is at home!).
Should have been starting a week's holiday in Somerset today in the caravans with Mark, Michelle, Anais and Roman. We stay at a farm where there are three lovely donkeys which we go and feed each evening. They are very sweet.
Instead of that however I have been making face coverings. They are made from a layer of closely woven polyester cotton backed with iron-on interfacing and lined with knitted cotton (tee shirt material) as it is nice and soft. I added wire across the bridge of the nose as this helps to keep the mask in place and also if you wear glasses you can put them over the top which stops them from steaming up. For this I used some of those annoying ties that you sometimes get in packaging (I knew they would come in useful one day!). First I made a prototype and then made four. All made from material left over from making scrubs and scrub hats.
Yesterday I decided to make marmalade. I make jam regularly but have never done marmalade as it looked a bit of a faff. Anyway Michelle had great success using a kit so I thought I would give it a try and got one from Hobbycraft. It's basically a concentrate to which you add water and sugar. The kit I had was Seville orange, medium cut. It was very simple to use and produced a good few jars. It tastes quite tangy which is great. Each jar is covered with a disk of grease proof paper and sealed tightly with the lid while the contents are still really hot. This causes a vacuum as the marmalade cools and keeps out the air.
I even found some labels which I think were a present. My friend Jackie gave me some empty jars some weeks ago so one jar will be heading her way when I get chance. I like to put jam pot covers on the jars as I think it looks pretty but didn't quite have enough so I made a few more.
Sorted out my tapestries and found I had 3 of suitable size. Decided to go with the Spanish lady as I thought it would go better in the room and it was the one that my mother did. I first had to remove the label which said it had won 1st prize. My grandmother rather naughtily entered it into a competition at the local Darby and Joan club as her own work and it won first prize!
Next I had to find a suitable board to mount it on and found some really thick (1/2cm) card which had been the cover of a fabric sample book. It was quite hard to cut and involved a Stanley knife and steel rule. Tapestries have to be stretched into shape as they tend to go diamond shaped as they are worked. This is usually done by lacing it with string at the back. I used a ball of dishcloth cotton which worked well and then stapled it in place to stop it moving again.
As it was a nice day yesterday I decided to go mad and wear a dress! I chose a new dress that I had not worn before but decided I did not like the buttons that had been used on the front. They were brown! Why anyone would would choose to use brown buttons on a green and white dress defeats me, so I changed them for white, much better. Luckily I have a fairly good button collection!
While on the subject of polishing brass and copper things I gave my antique electric kettle a good polish and made a start on the coal scuttle which I use to keep logs in. I again used lemon juice first and then metal polish. You can see it starting to take effect on the scuttle in the middle photo and I have started to polish it up but still a lot of work to do on that one.
Over the last couple of days, mostly while watching TV, I have crocheted a dishcloth for display in the kitchen. I used an odd ball of grey cotton and still have plenty left. I did one row trebles and one row in double crochet to keep it firm.
Last year I bought a yellow miniature rose to cheer up the bedroom. A few days ago I noticed it had a bud and now it has a beautiful peach flower which is nothing like the original yellow flowers at all but very nice.
As part of cleaning and tidying the laundry room I polished the little brass weights to the old scales. I left them soaking overnight in lemon juice and then used metal polish to clean them up nice and shiny. I noticed the 4oz cast iron weight was missing so had a look upstairs where I knew I had some more weights and lo and behold there was a spare 4oz so I gave it a good brush with a wire brush and sprayed it black. It matches the rest of the weights perfectly.
While I was on the subject of spraying things black I also cleaned and sprayed an old cast iron clothes iron and a large 7lb weight. The iron goes nicely in the laundry room but I am not quite sure what to do with the weight, a door stop perhaps.
Finally I sprayed the two things for taking boots off (I don't know what they are called, boot pulls perhaps). Debbie got them for us when she worked at Thomas Dudley (famous for making drain covers and toilet cisterns) and they are cast iron. I have Mr Pickwick and a beetle.
No sewing today. Made up the last pair of trousers yesterday and can't do anything else until the rest of the material arrives. Went for a nice walk and on the way back noticed that my passion flower in the front garden was all in bloom as you can see from the photo. This reminded me that I have a plate in the laundry room with passion flowers on so took a photo of that too.
This led me to think that I really should get everything off the shelves and give it all a good clean so I spent the rest of the day doing just that. As you can see I like to display lots of things out there. It's a sort of cross between a laundry room and a pantry.
I am Jenny (when I was little my dad always called me Jenny Wren) and I enjoy making hand crafted things. Watch this space to see what I am working on.