Monday, 18 August 2014

Craft: Fabric Strawberries

The Summer is nearly at an end - on the one hand, I feel that it has lasted forever, on the other I am just not ready for everything that Autumn signifies. Am I ready for Albert's GCSE results next Thursday and his impending move to college, or for the return of Fred to Year 8? At the end of this week, I am taking redundancy from a job which I have been in for just over twenty years. I feel like I am just about to take a step into the abyss. 


So, it's no wonder that I want to cling on to Summer a little longer - on to the last vestiges of what I know as safe and secure. My escapism is my craft and sewing, and I have been playing with fabric to make these cute strawberries.


Love Mrs Jones x

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

My French Holiday Journal 2014

Last week, I was in sunny France, staying in a gorgeous gite (for details, click here) in the Mayenne district. Here are some extracts from my travel journal:

Saturday 2nd August 2014
After an early arrival in France (6:45 am), we set off from Ouistreham on our journey to Laval, stopping at a wonderful town, Domfront, perched high on the crest of a hill. The approach to Domfront is very impressive with the medieval town dominating the landscape over the bocage


Our second stop was at Jublains which is a little village on the site of an old Roman town where you can wander around the remains of a fortress, amphitheatre, temple and baths. The museum is well worth a visit and has a great interactive display which my boys loved.


Sunday 3rd August 2014
Even though it wasn't a long drive to our gite yesterday, we decided to take it easy with a local day out to the town of Laval and some time chilling at home. The gite is in a wonderful location and the owners are so friendly. We have two sheep and two donkeys in the adjoining field as well as a small fishing lake. There is nothing nicer than lying on the deck with a glass of wine and watching the lizards darting around. It is rural bliss! 


Monday 4th August 2014
A long, tortuous journey to the Zoo de la Fleche, after following just about every tractor in the area, but it was worth even the €80 family entrance fee just to see the polar bear, the hippos and the white tigers! 


Tuesday 5th August 2014

We hired a Bateau Electrique at Chateau Gontier this morning, with strict instructions (en Francais) on which arches to steer the boat through. Nothing quite like messing about on the river and spotting potential holiday homes along the way!


Wednesday 6th August 2014
I somehow got roped into going on the High Ropes which were local to Laval, because my 16 year old didn't want to go on by himself!! But, as usual, I did enjoy it - although (luckily) there are no photos because my husband took my other son off to play football. It is always an exhilarating activity even though every muscle in my body ached for days after!

Thursday 7th August 2014
France is brilliant for Velo-Rail, which is like a cart which has been adapted to cycle on old railway lines. We went to our nearest one at St Loup de Gast which although is relatively short, has an amazing section over a viaduct. 

Friday 8th August 2014
Our final day in France, and we were looking forward to seeing some old friends in the afternoon who live in Holland but were holidaying nearby. We had a great tour of the local Chateau in Laval in the morning by a local guide for just €2 each.


Hope you are having a good summer too.

Love Mrs Jones x

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Sewn: Self Drafted Summer Top

I made a version of this top last year when I first started dressmaking, and it has been hidden in a drawer since then because it was basically unwearable. My stitching back then wasn't all that great and it looked awful. But I found it and love the fabric so much that I thought it deserved a second chance.



So, I adjusted the neckline, adding in a little pleat and button, and re-drafted the back neckline too as it was just wrong!

 I am loving this top with my jean shorts this summer - nice and cool.

Love Mrs Jones x

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Summer Reading 2014

I am shortly off on my holidays to La Belle France, and this year I think I may have over planned my summer reading with four books  - one of which is not going to fit in my suitcase in a million years!! So, I am leaving The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt for the second week of my holidays when I am back home and don't have to lug a large hardback around with me!


I am intrigued by Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones sequel, Mad About the Boy, and hope this will put me in a great holiday mood without too much thought required. I only hope it doesn't ruin Bridget for me.

I have already begun Hari Kunzru's The Impressionist - the opening chapter of his first novel is so interesting that you can't help but want to read more. 

Finally, The Luminaries, the 2013 Man Booker prize winner is by Eleanor Catton and it has been on my to read list since it was shortlisted. 

So, what are you reading this summer?

Love
Mrs Jones x



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


http://i1060.photobucket.com/albums/t453/madebymrsjones/511693bb4cb96f7edcd59b9636e726e7_zps2aaada1a.jpg

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