Saturday, 31 May 2014

Bank Holiday in Henley on Thames

I want to share just a few photos from a lovely couple of days spent in Henley on Thames celebrating my Aunt and Uncle's Golden Wedding Anniversary. The celebration was planned months ago, and in my darkest days of being ill, this is what I was aiming for. No-one expected me to be well enough to attend - I think I surprised myself!

We stayed in a very well recommended Bed & Breakfast called The Paddock, Henley which was exceptional. Our room had a fully adjustable bed (just like hospital!, no better) and a whirlpool bath which we all had a go in! The breakfast was to die for!

The celebration was held on a paddle steamer moored in Henley, called New Orleans. The sun, which had been absent all weekend, shone for the party, and we all assembled on the deck with a jazz band playing.

We sailed along the Thames to Sonning and back, in awe of the wonderful houses lining the river front. 

Mrs Jones x

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Kitty Cat Craft Round Up

Now and again, you may see pictures of my wonderful Maine Coon, Atticus, popping up here. I have a very soft spot for cats and here are some of my favourite cat related crafts.

Cosy Cat Coaster by Honeybee Cloths

How sweet are these kitties? Hop on over to Honeybee Cloths for a free pattern (she also sells a kit with everything included to make these). Do be sure to have a good old browse of those fantastic fabrics while you are over there!

Cat Lady Embroidery Patterns by The Pink Samurai

The Pink Samurai has created this set of Crazy Cat Lady embroidery patterns (for personal use only) that are so cute! If you love these, you will love her other cat-centric DIY posts too.

DIY Cat Toe Shoes by Scathingly Brilliant, featured at Kittenhood

I am dying (diying) to have a go at this project, I am just waiting for the right pair of shoes (kitten heels?)! 

Cat Plantpot by Brudiy

Anna from BruDiy has a brilliant eye for style and detail with this cat planters made from soft drink bottles. I have fallen in love with her beautiful crochet bears (see her shop for details).

Please note: all images belong to the original blog owners - see links for details.

Love Mrs Jones x

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Book Review: Great British Sewing Bee - Sew Your Own Wardrobe by Tessa Eveleigh

This book accompanies the hugely popular, second series of the BBC's Great British Sewing Bee which was extended as the sewing bug takes hold in the UK.  The format of the book is as the TV programme focussed on Fabric, Fit and Finish with projects for each category.

The Fabric section looks at sewing with different types of fabric, for example, silk, wool, etc., with sewing patterns and fabric masterclass(es) for that particular fabric. I love this feature because although I am inordinately confident with sewing safe as houses cotton, I haven't the first clue about sewing with silk.

Knowing how to Fit a garment to one's own bodily idiosyncracies is key. It is the difference between something you have made and something you will want to wear again and again. I love the guide to how to measure yourself and need a copy of this for my sewing room wall. 

The Finish section regards the polishing of a garment, for example, knowing how to sew a French seam, and tackles some of the trickier techniques such as applique and piping.

All of these sections have projects in a variety of difficulty ratings, so there is nothing to stop you heading straight to the Finish section and trying something there.

There are some super patterns included in the book. My favourites are the Draped Top which took me about an hour to sew (coming soon), the Full Skirted Dress and the 1930s blouse. The instructions and accompanying full colour diagrams are really clear and concise and easy to follow.

I am so pleased that there is an accompanying pattern pack with this book, although you will still need tracing paper to trace these off. I wish that this book had been published when I first began garment sewing, because there are so many good patterns and techniques, and is suitable for sewers of all abilities.

The Great British Sewing Bee: Sew Your Own Wardrobe is available with the pattern pack for just £12 on Amazon (affiliate link).

Love Mrs Jones x

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Sewn: New Look 6803 Tunic - from Madmen to Mini

Way back in March (before illness), this tunic was going to be my entry in Julia Bobbin's Mad Men Challenge. It was a Trudy Campbell dress :

Follow Emma's board Trudy on Pinterest.

However, after pinning the pattern out, I fell ill and the Mad Men Challenge came and went without my entry! But, I was determined to finish it despite in the early stages of being ill, just cutting out the pocket pieces was tiring, and I made very slow progress. I spent way too long thinking about whether to use a contrasting fabric for the top, but luckily chanced upon a table runner which I bought for a couple of euros in France last Summer which was the perfect fabric for the contrast, n'est ce pas?

New Look 6803 view C

Pattern Description
Tunic dress with cap sleeves and contrast trim

I am a UK size 8-10, but I used the smallest size, US 10, even though I knew it would be too big - I wanted a loose fit for this tunic. However, size was still an issue across the top half of my body, and I had to insert some pintucks in order to lose some fabric. 

The length of the tunic looked really frumpy on the packet, and I am only 5' 2", so shortened the pattern when I cut it out. Then I made the mistake of lopping off more when it was almost complete, and ended up with this, too mini, tunic. 

Yikes, my legs are too skinny here!
This was a really easy pattern and the instructions were so clear. Putting in a pocket was a first for me and it was so easy to do!

 Fabric Used
Coral Linen Look Cotton fabric from Minerva Crafts. This fabric has a barkcloth like texture to it and is so easy to sew with.

Table Runner from Casa which you are not going to tell anyone about, are you?!

I inserted a nice clean French seam in the centre back (another first for me). I have already mentioned the pintucks which were inserted from the neckline. For modesty's sake, I also handstitched the lower end of the V in the tunic.

To combat the mini length, I added in a ruffle hem which I really like. It transforms it into a pretty, feminine dress, which I will be happy to wear all summer.

Sew it Again?
Yes, happily. I would like to try it with a band of the same contrasting fabric on the skirt.

I am really happy with the finished article, which was a bit of a happy accident really - it just shows the perils of sewing when you are not well!

Love Mrs Jones x

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Me Made May 2014: Day 18

Following on from the Relax and Recuperate, my husband put my new  Garden Swing Seat (affiliate link) up for me today. I am always drawn to a swing seat, and with this one, you can switch it into a stable garden bed too! 

And, you get your own little drink holder and tray as well - the possibilities are endless (apart from putting a chocolate covered biscuit on it when it is hot (like I did)!

Even though, I have almost finished sewing a tunic dress, I still need to get my Summer gear out!

Necklace: Handmade 
Jeans: Next
Quilt: Handmade

Love Mrs Jones x

Saturday, 17 May 2014

May Folksy Lust List: Repair and Relax...

For now, I am patiently trying to let my body repair itself gradually and attempting to relax. This is not something I am very good at, because as soon as I start to feel a little better, I try to launch back into normal life. Breathe deep!

May Lust List: Repair and Relax

May Lust List: Repair and Relax by mrsjonesjewel featuring drinkware

I have indulged myself in a garden swing seat (sadly, the one above was out of my price range! All other items are listed on Folksy!

Love Mrs Jones x

Friday, 16 May 2014

Me Made May 14: 16th May 2014

In my head, I am still in March, which is why I am still wearing tights in this gorgeous weather! I'll try and get my legs out next time. Linking up with Me Made May 2014.

Shirt: Monsoon
Shoes: Clarks

Love Mrs Jones x

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Me Made May 14: 15th May 2014

My Me Made May pledge:
1, Emma Jones of,
sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May-14. I endeavour
to wear at least my handmade clothes three times a week during May 2014.

As you already know, my first two weeks were in hospital wearing not so fashionable hospital gowns, so I have started late.

Pyjama trousers: Handmade, tutorial here
Vest top: Next

Love Mrs Jones x

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Le Challenge- Nature

I have just been able to squeeze in an entry to this month's Le Challenge - I came out of hospital for the third time in two months on Monday. I am pretty desperate to get back to normal, and crafting is getting back to normal for me. Before I was into hospital this time, I was planning on doing some printing for this month's challenge, but I just haven't had the time or energy to commit to it.

My eldest son, Albert started his GCSEs on Friday, so I have made him a four leafed clover good luck card. He is a lovely bright boy, but he has found it very stressful without me and revising for his exams too.

My Sissix Big Shot gave me four perfect heart shaped leaves (not sure what I used to do before My Big Shot!). I added a few stitches with embroidery thread for the paler ring that you get on clover.

I once found a four leaf clover when I was a child, on holiday in Austria, and kept it for years. Unfortunately, I think I may have left it in the attic of my old house.

Join in with next month's Le Challenge, by clicking on the link to the right. You can also see all the other entries this month. A new theme goes up on the 15 th of each month.

Mrs Jones xx