Sunday, 24 November 2013

Top Ten Craft Tips in the latest Craftseller Magazine

Are you a regular reader of Craftseller Magazine? I tend to pick one up now and again, but this time I notice it has had a bit of a style overhaul and it looks great! 

I have my eye on making the Chocolate and Salted Caramel Cake and am definitely using the free Christmas craft paper in my Christmas cards. 

And what's more, on page 90, you will see me and my top ten craft tips!

Love Mrs Jones x

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Sewn: Overlap Skirt 08/2013 #130 Burda Pattern Review

From Burda Magazine

Pattern Description
Wrap effect skirt with angled zip.

My usual shop size is an 8 or 10. My measurements suggest I am an 8 (34) for bust and hips, but a 12 (38) for waist. I went for a size 10 (36) though, because I wasn't sure how much ease the pattern allowed, but to make it fit I eventually had to bring in the side seams and increase the darts in the back.

Did it look like the photo
Yes, although the hem of the overlap portion is not in line with the overall hem, which I don't find a problem.

These were super condensed and I had trouble with the placement of the zip as I hadn't traced the placement line! 

I hate tracing off these ridiculous busy sheets, but it was a free pattern. I only had to use my seam ripper once! I really like the fact that the overlap isn't so small that you are at risk of show your all-and-sundries on a windy day. I had trouble finding the right sized separating zip, so had to use a larger one and sew down the excess tape, which doesn't look great, but is not visible when you are wearing it.
Nope, it doesn't show too much leg!

Fabric used
Navy blue 8 whale corduroy from Calico Lane. I love this cord - it is really lovely to wear, but unfortunately picks up all sorts of lint, odd thread, cat hairs etc. 

I omitted the back welt pockets and the side pockets as I didn't think they were necessary, oh and it might be because I have never put a pocket in yet! I didn't want my skirt to be frumpily too long, so only added a little for the hem allowance, so it sits just above the knee.

Sew it again?
There is only room for one overlap skirt in my wardrobe, so probably not. 

Love Mrs Jones x

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Le Challenge: Stripes - corduroy overlap skirt

Le Challenge

November's Le Challenge theme is Stripes. Luckily I had already planned to make a corduroy skirt which I thought would fit perfectly with the theme of stripes.

I can safely say that this was the most challenging bit of dressmaking I have ever done, particularly because the overlap is asymmetrical, and the placement line seemed a little odd.

Here is the model in Burda Magazine rocking the skirt, sweater, hat combo. Sorry to say that I will not be sporting my version in this euro-chic style.

I am not a fan of the trace it off patterns, and this one was particularly crazy.

Here is the finished skirt, badly ironed in haste to get this post done on time. I will do a full pattern review later in the week.

You can purchase the pattern here, from Burda direct.

Don't forget to check out the other Le Challenge entries through the link above.

Mrs Jones x

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Cookies for now, for Christmas, for life

My boys got the munchies today, in one of is those "there's nothing to eat" kind of mood. This is because any treat foods seem to get snaffled up two days after the weekly supermarket shop! I heard that teenage boys cost about £3000 to feed for a year, and I can believe it.

So, we whipped up these quick cookies, even though it meant raiding the two chocolate Smarties penguins which were meant to be stocking fillers, just so there was something in the cookie!

100g each of butter and brown sugar
150g self raising flour
Tablespoon of golden syrup
Topping of your choice, chocolate chips, cherries, nuts etc.

1. Beat the butter and sugar together, then add the golden syrup.

2. Add in the flour. Mix with your hands if easier until it becomes a dough.

3. Preheat the oven to 160 C for a fan oven.

4. Scoop a ball of dough and shape into a ball, place onto a baking sheet and scatter with your topping. You will get roughly 15 servings.

5. Don't press the dough down. Bake for 10-15 minutes until just golden.

I used silver balls on some of the cookies to make them look festive, and because there aren't many mini Smarties to a chocolate penguin!!

I'm not keen on the way that the vibrant colour of the sweets has just blanched when they come out of the oven. 

If you are feeling generous, you could bake some and give them away as a gift. They will only last 4-5 days though.

Love Mrs Jones x

This recipe is based on a BBC Good Food recipe which I am unable to locate online, but is in 101 Cakes & Bakes.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Paper: Holly Dymo Christmas Cards - yes really!

This weekend, I started on making my Christmas cards. It does seem early to do this, but I do need to make a fair few (am I the only one whose Christmas card list gets bigger every year)? I used to make my Christmas cards every year, but haven't done so for two or three years.

I like my Christmas cards to be simple, because, believe me, you will be cussing when you get to the last car if you make it too complicated. Complicated cards need to be start much earlier in the year!

I like to use a small card from Papermania that has a little texture to it. These are A6 and cost around £3 for 10 cards and envelopes.

I have a small stash of patterned papers, from which I chose two contrasting greens and a red card.

This sweet holly paper was left over from the Christmas crackers that I made in 2011! I paired it with a brighter green holly leaf.

Using a one hole punch, I got my lovely red berries.

Looking a bit more festive! Let me at the Dymo...

That's better! Simple is best... and this is all that was required:

Are you making or buying your Christmas cards this year?

Love Mrs Jones x