Friday, 30 April 2010

An (annoyance) of unfinished projects

I'm not sure what the correct collective term is for a group of unfinished projects but one thing that I do know is that the longer the list of unfinished projects gets the more annoying I find it.

Added to this I seem, at times, to have a propensity to accumulate unfinished creations.

So over the last few days I have cut out three pairs of shorts. One pair is nearly done, one half sewn up and the other still in pieces. Added to this I have traced off the pattern and cut out half a dress, I have four bags almost ready to go into my etsy shop, a further dress that just needs the finishing to be done and three different sets of cushions also to go into my etsy shop, once finished...

You get the picture?

In addition I have half edited the DVD of our family ski holiday, half planted up the adult vegetable garden and nearly decided on the colour to paint the salon once the new curtains are completely finished...

All this and we are forecast rain this afternoon which should mean I start at the top of the list and tick each project off as I finish it. But somehow I am not in the mood so little boy and I are going to make a cake and then watch Oui Oui on loop!!

Tomorrow is la Fête du Travail here and weather permitting (as usual on a bank holiday, having had sunshine all week, the forecast is gloomy) we have a choice, for our Saturday outing, of Fête des Fleurs in Entrechaux or a vide grenier in Vaison.

I'll keep you posted - maybe I could get some stuff to start some new projects!!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Stripes and pockets

You might remember that I had cut out some linen trousers over the weekend. Well, yesterday afternoon I put them together and here you are:

Overall I'm quite pleased with them, particularly when you consider that they took me very little time to make. There are two patch pockets on the back and, as I said in my earlier post, a drawstring waist. I am now on the hunt for some white linen and maybe some navy to make a couple of other pairs as they are good staple wardrobe items for the summer. Next time though I am going to add some pockets at the side as I have spent all day unconsciously searching for them.

I have also finally got round to finishing my stripy t-shirt. I based it loosely on a basic t-shirt that I already had but added a larger self fabric band around the neckline and also added slightly gathered sleeves that start just off the shoulder. I will try and get a better photo - and maybe one without the slightly menacing hosepipe in the background!!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Veg, veg cream

We got the gardening bug this weekend. We swept and tidied, pruned and hacked and dug and dug. Then we planted and planted some more and a little more and then sat back, ate ice creams and felt smug!

What is it about gardening that makes one feel so righteous? I mean I can spend any number of hours doing housework or tiding out cupboards and the end result is similar - a slightly clearer, tidier, cleaner area but somehow doing it inside leaves me cold and somewhat dissatisfied, as though I should have managed to do more - clean more rooms, tidy more cupboards. Wheras outside, no matter how much of the garden still looks abominable, I can sit back and admire the area I have transformed and feel proud.

Maybe it's just that housework isn't for me.......and I suspect that some would say that they could have told me that years ago!

Anyway, I digress. This year we decided to create two vegetable areas. One now belongs to the kids and the other is a truly adult domain (which probably means that the little people will refuse to water it and will aim for that area as soon as their feet go anywhere near a ball!). The girls chose their plants and then drew up a plan of where they wanted to plant them.
We then dug the plot over a couple of times, added compost and some new bought earth (that didn't have lots of stones in it!) and created a path to be used for tending to and watering the plants. Little boy is still learning that you should only walk on the path (much to the girl' s annoyance) but so far he has only trampled on two lettuce - with me doing to diving scoop ups to save the basil and the courgette plants!

We have so far planted 15 lettuce, 6 tomatoes (2 cherry and 4 "normal") a courgette plant, 2 small pepper plants and a large red pepper plant, a raspberry plant and 6 strawberry plants. Having planted all the lettuce together I suspect it means that we will have a glut of salad in a few weeks (assuming little boy's clod hopping feet don't get them first) but when it is 2 euros for 15 plants it seems a little churlish to ask for fewer.

There was much excitement this morning as the girls are "sure" that the tomatoes have grown. For the moment 6 little stern eyes are keeping weeds at bay and I'm fairly certain that the strawberry plants are suffering from an excess of water - being closest to the tap they seem to get watered every ten minutes. I also have no doubt that this excessive attention will wane but if nothing else we had a great weekend and I'm still on the high of the righteousness!!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Summer loving

Today was the day.
First proper meal outside (other than picnicking and snacks)
and the summer cushions came out.

I will now admit that the photo above was taken last summer. I would have taken one today to prove that the said cushions have indeed come out of hibernation but as our drive is currently a builder's yard the back drop wouldn't have looked quite so idyllic.

I might take a photo of the "bobcat" to show you one day soon. Little boy thinks it is fantastic.

Talking of little boy here are the shorts that I made for him this week. The first pair is in "gris chine' linen. I topstitched in red and added a red false tie at the front.

The second pair are in a pale blue chambray (thanks Popsie!) and I topstitched in dark yellow. Little boy particularly likes the pockets.

As you can see from the first shot he started the day in the grey linen pair but after a chocolate ice cream he is now wearing the second pair.....

which brings me neatly on to summer dressing and children and , in particular, girls. What is it that makes it obligatory to change outfits every half hour ? As I write this we have not yet had lunch and yet we are on at least our 7th outfit of the day...!

As I don't (yet) have nearly enough clothes to compete with the girls in the outfit changing challenge I spent a quick hour this afternoon cutting out some wide leg summer trousers for myself in the rest of the grey linen. I again used my Japanese sewing book for the basis of the pattern but am going to opt for a drawstring waist rather than elastic as, in my opinion, there is an age past which elastic waisted trousers (unless for sport) are a firm no no.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Keepie uppie anyone?

So, the great short and shirt sew for little boy had to go on hold this morning. Thursday is the day that I teach English to the 5 and 6 year olds in big girl's class and as we were going to embark on parts of the body today I decided that I needed to make 14 little bean bags for them to place on the different parts of their bodies whilst they learnt the english for them.....

in fact mostly what they learnt is that they are not very good at keepie uppie.......!! I should have known better!

After lunch I made two pairs of little boy shorts - pictures to follow as my camera battery has just died!

As promised though a picture of my new blouse (frilly stripy one has been getting lots of wear and today I have worn black and white spot one - even though I say it myself I am very chuffed with both of them!).

This most recent blouse is based on a pattern from my new Japanese sewing book (more to come on that) and I used a linen/cotton mix fabric which doesn't show up too brilliantly here but I will take some better photos tomorrow to show you.

And to end, I finally got round to finishing this dress for big girl

and a close up of the fabric.

Good night!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Blossom and bloomers

We had gorgeous weather again today so we packed up rucksacks with snacks and water and headed up the valley to tire little legs and look at the blossom.

Unfortunately when we got back I looked at the forecast - rain for the next 4 days!

Despite France meteo's predictions I put away all the winter clothes and shoes to make space for summer stuff and then realised that little boy hasn't really got any summer stuff - that takes care of tomorrow then and probably means that instead of making myself yet another spring/summer blouse I should have been making him some shorts and shirts...

Oh well, pictures of my new blouse to come tomorrow.

In the meantime a peak at a couple of things made for a baby girl to be born mid-June....

kimono top in strawberry print cotton - and matching bloomers

Monday, 19 April 2010

Sweat Shop

have you heard about sweat shop?......the new "couture café" that has opened in Paris is akin to a cyber café but instead of paying for time on the internet you can pay for time at a sewing machine. 6 euros an hour will get you access to a Singer sewing machine where you can create, transform and recycle... see for more details.

Coffee, cake and a new dress anyone??

Re-live the 70's

If you are a Guardian reader you may know that in the Life & Style section there is a series entitled Buy of the Day where Kate Carter "recommends a little something to brighten up every day of the week".

Today it is shower gel. But last Wednesday it was this dress kit from Clothkits.

Now if you are a proper 70's child and wore dungarees, stripy t-shirts and copious amounts of ric rac in your formative years you may have heard of Clothkits. It was a mail order business that sold clothing kits that did away with paper patterns - the cutting lines were already printed onto the fabric making it simple to create dresses, skirts and, of course, dungarees.

Clothkits was relaunched in 2008 and you can still buy the clothing kits but it also sells, amongst other things, bag and cushion kits, haberdashery items and fabric.

So waiting for me on my return from the Alps was this little lot:

plain cottons in orange, turquoise and purple; a patterned blue, purple and white; and a pink with orange dots.....all to be transformed into dresses, shirts and shorts which the gorgeous sunshine, which was also here on our return, requires.

You may have also noticed the turquoise trim at the top of the picture - here is a close up:

This is to adorn a cushion that will be part of the new children's/baby range for my etsy shop.

I'd better get sewing....

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Sun, Snow and Ski

Enjoying a great week in the Alps en famille with (some) blue skies, (some) sunshine and lots of skiing...........

I'll be back in creative mode next week!

Friday, 9 April 2010

F is for

Friday - the day I forgot to post because

we were too busy doing the other Fs

Frolicking in the sunshine

eating Fraises (the first of the season from Carpentras)

and, last but definitely not least, admiring my Fantastic new shoes!

(please excuse the mud on the soles and heels - it was sunny yesterday but the garden is still like a mud bath...)

Thursday, 8 April 2010

and one more rainy afternoon...

Yet another day with no sunshine to model the spring/summer collection of twirly skirts and dresses so we resorted to making flapjacks and jam tarts. It is truly amazing how far and wide thirty little sticky fingers can go!

Once the raspberry jam rumpus had died down I did manage to snatch a couple of hours in front of my sewing machine to make a present for a new little baby girl.

Pink (she's a girl), snuggly (she's newborn) and a heart
(well who doesn't love a little baby girl?).

Baby blanket with bright pink spotty minky on one side and cotton on the other (interlined with fleece for added snugness)

Mini towel/burp cloth for wiping little mouths (with heart appliqué on the towelling side)

All wrapped up and ready to send.

Oh - and how could I forget, the regulation lavender bag - I do live in Provence after all!!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

I spoke too soon.....

the gorgeous warm sunshine we had yesterday disappeared over night and was replaced today with heavy grey rain clouds that have brought us a mixture of drizzle, outright downpours and some hail. Oh the joys of living in Provence.... it is supposed to be sunny here!

No more twirly skirts to share with you, as they are not "r ainwear", but instead a picture of some apricot blossom (taken yesterday, in the sunshine), in the hope that the spring will properly arrive sometime soon.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The sunshine has arrived (for now)

so, obviously, skirts (without tights) were the order of the day.

And, when wearing skirts such as these, twirling is obligatory.....

and, even more obviously, twirling together is more fun...

But not as much fun as posing!!

Here's hoping the sunshine stays .......

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter

I hope your eggs were cosy!!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Blue and White Stripe

As I said yesterday, blue and white is where it is at this spring, apparently. And you only have to flick through a magazine or peruse a shop window to realise that the blue and white stripe is, indeed, everywhere. From your simple breton-like stripe, as in the Top Shop t-shirt shown below to the Speckled Ink dress by Anthropologie in the third image down.


Top Shop

Limited Collection Boat Neck Stripe Tunic

Marks and Spencer

Speckled Ink Dress


Luckily, for those in need of a blue and white stripe injection, the soon-to-be latest listings in my etsy shop are perfect for you.

This is a taster of the originally named 'blue and white stripe range'. The complete range will be listed over the next week or so and will feature totes, shoppers, clutches, purses and my first foray into clothes - the 'navy and white striped tee'.

Small blue and white canvas zippered clutch

Friday, 2 April 2010

Spring blouses

Although the weather has been anything but spring-like over the last few weeks I have been busy preparing my spring wardrobe (as you do!).

I have made two tops using the Sencha pattern from Colette Patterns. The pattern gives three variations for a back fastening top. I made variation A in the black fabric with a small white spot

and variation C in the liberty print.

Then, just as I was finishing the liberty print top, I read that the top "tendance" for Spring 2010 is blue and white stripes and that if you are not wearing ruffles you are nowhere (on the fashionometer).

Luckily, I had a light blue and white striped cotton in my stash and McCalls pattern M5929 leapt to my rescue.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Welcome to 'one rainy afternoon' by zoë

Well, here goes. Instalment one of my blog!

I have been thinking about setting up a blog for a while but, to be honest, I have always been slightly wary of blogs. I always found the thought of sharing my whole life with, potentially, the entire world more than a bit weird and ,in equal measure, couldn't imagine why anyone would want to see what little old me had been up to.

However, having been inspired by some of the blogs I have come across whilst looking for ideas or help on sewing techniques I thought I would give it a go.

My idea is to use this blog as an on line diary or record of my creations. At the moment it is all a bit 'work in progress' but eventually I would like it to show the things I make for my etsy shop, other sewing and design projects and anything else creative that I feel like sharing, in particular some photography.

This weekend I will post some of the things I have made over the last couple of weeks but for now here is a taster of what I am about to list in my etsy shop.....have a good easter weekend!

Blue fabric ruffle and corsage necklace

Pink cotton cushion with large white flower

Dainty white fabric rose necklace on a pale grey satin ribbon

White cotton cushion with large pink flower


If you have had a look here already you will see that I have posted some random things over the last couple of weeks trying to get my head round what kinds of things to post about and how to do it (I have realised that I am seriously un-technical!). Anyway, those were all meant to be practice runs with my first proper post appearing today to introduce things......

This was all planned on the basis that the first post of today would be the introduction, with a couple of further posts over the weekend showcasing some of the things I have made over the last few weeks. All this in time for those of you who received the egg cosies(!) to then have something organised to look at if you chose to stop by.

And then the post office got all too efficient....(I was counting on nothing arriving with you all until Saturday, giving me another couple of days to get all sorted)!!! So now I am behind, the blog has no proper introduction and I haven't even got anything listed on my etsy shop!

Oh well, things will be rectified tonight. I have 10 things to list for sale with many more in the pipeline.....also special offers throughout April, details of which will be posted on my etsy shop announcement tonight, and a giveaway at the end of next week for readers of my blog.