How to patch leggings -part two

Since the popularity of my previous leggings post I’ve used another technique which has become more useful as my girls have grown as you can lengthen the leggings at the same time as getting rid of the hole.

As mentioned before it is important to use material with the same amount of stretch as the leggings. You can test this be holding the two fabrics together and pulling, if they both stretch about the same amount that is great. A more technical way is by working out the percentage stretch, place the fabric next to a ruler, grab it and the ruler at zero and then take the fabric at 10cm or inches and pull. the measurement that it stretches to can then be compared or even converted into % stretch (if it stretches to 11cm or inches (keep to the same scale) that is 10% stretch 12 is 20%….15 is 50% and onwards). The wonderful thrifty stitcher has a link to a pdf you can download to keep it simple.

Heres my first mini video showing the stretchy thing. This example goes from 10cm resting to 13cm therefore it  has 30% stretch…..

 

Anyway onwards, note the direction of stretch some fabrics have a two way stretch and others 4 way, you really need the stretchiest part to go around the leg rather than down the leg as this is where it will be needed the most. Although bear in mind the knee could do with 4 way stretch to be most comfy.

 

Instead of patching the hole I’ve cut the legging right off above the hole and again below the hole then used a piece from another pair or of similar weight jersey to sew back in. I have an overlocker which makes this job mega easy but it would also work on a normal machine using a stretch stitch or even by hand with a stretchy stitch such as a catch stitch (clear tutorial for this here).

You can also experiment with non symmetrical leggings, I like this look, one of my girls was less keen oh they would not stand still for photos so I had to sneak them whilst they were washing up.

Im afraid all my photos of these leggings are old as my girls are no longer making loads of holes in their knees, those day are sadly over.  As you can see by this photo those first leggings didn’t last long before she made new holes and her legs grew again…

Hope this is useful to you, enjoy and have fun….

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New Year Resolutions

I had resolved not to make any and due to quite a turbulent year I was going to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other, trusting God and seeing where we got too.

However the desire to get back to blogging hasn’t left me so Im going to try and get it done. I have a real fear about this, when I first blogged it was a little “private” fun place. (private in that I told no one about it) then finances were stretched and I was getting a few followers so I tried to think about monetising it. Thats when the fear set in. Suddenly my comfortable private place needed to become more public and the time I spent on it needed to have value.

Blogging became more and more intermittent, My posts were never good enough for me, my photos never professional or well lit enough. My projects blurgghh. Rich set a .com site up for me with the intention of adding a shop to sell my makes, I never felt good enough to get to this.

Rich and I struggle to “monetise” anything, we would rather give things away. I know that doesn’t make for much worldly sense, but it has made for heavenly sense for us. Whenever we even try to sell something on eBay it tends not to work. We are great at conversations like “you would like to give us £20?” “well hey just take it for £10”, or more often “…£0 and just enjoy it” !! I know. I think its just the way we are made and we are trying to stop fighting it. (btw does anyone want a Hornby Toy Story Train set?). Yes we have been taken advantage of, but at the end of the day we still have food on the table and a roof over our heads so thats their loss.

Having said that we have been so blessed by things given to us and I hope blessed others with things we have given. We have had cars, furniture, computers, toys, clothes…. pass through our hands and into our hands. We never seam to go without and generally have abundantly more than we need. Financially it rarely adds up but practically somehow it does.

Anyway I digress…It is on my heart to do this blog thing so I’m gonna do it, spurred on by God and Bonnie Gray . If you want inspiration and encouragement check out her advent podcasts they have really been speaking to my soul. Her books are on my wish list too.

Happy New Year. xxxxxx

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Lerryn School Run 10th January 2018

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Feeling Blessed

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I’m sat here bathed in sunshine on the beach in February. In front if me are a bunch of mermaids giggling and enchanting pirates.  Which they then defeat (of course).

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Behind me are a bunch of lads building fires in camo.
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And to the side if me is my faithful dog waiting patiently for me to throw the stick she’s hidden for me to find.
2015-02-17 15.12.54  Can you see her.Felling blessed

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Cold and Flu Miracle?

Back in the autumn I made some Elder Rob, using elderberries picked from our woods and Pamela Michaels recipe from her book Edible Wild Plants & Herbs: A Compendium of Recipes and Remedies

I made this because I love elderflower sooo much I thought it was time to try the berries. Beware tho’ although they are edible raw the react with some people and make them quite sick. We discovered this the hard way.
They are fine once they are cooked though.

I chose this particular recipe because everything I have made from this book has been amazing. The elderflower drink is like summer in a glass and the blackberry sorbet is just wow.

I made the elder rob with high hopes of deliciousness. It says “a soothing bedtime drink…..a refreshing summer drink…the sweet authentic flavour of the wild berries transforms a good quality commercial ice cream into a very good dish…..”

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I made it, bottled it then I tried it Blurgghhh was the only word I had for it. The other thing it said was “Many old books give Elder Rob as a remedy for coughs, colds and site throats”. So I thought I would keep it just in case.

Well just incase happened a couple if weeks ago when it was mini me’s birthday, several of her friends parties and a trip to London (first one for the girls) for Rich’s Ceremony. Mini me started coughing and looking pretty translucent. I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw a pin on elderberry being a cold and flu remedy. I remembered the Blurgghhh drink and thought I’d check it out. I opened it and the bottle popped and smoked like it was alive. It smelt a bit alcoholic, no harm there I thought. I poured about 2 teaspoons into a tumbler and filled it up with water. I swirled it to mix as the rob was a bit thick (I think I must have omitted to strain it). I then told them I’d made them a “special” drink. They quite liked it said it just tasted like sweet water, they didn’t want the dregs at the bottom. Fair enough. Mini me’s cough disappeared overnight. She seamed a bit gluey eyed the next evening so she drank another one. Cold gone!!!!!! And her sister showed no signs of it. I thought this might be a fluke but took some myself when I started feeling a bit dizzy, again I had no more symptoms. It tastes quite nice now, I think the few months brewing have improved the taste.

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Fast forward to the beginning of this week and Rich has gone to bed early, sniffing, sneezing, coughing and with a headache. I encouraged him to try a spoonful, it looks like Nanny McPhee’s medicine from the second film. He hates stuff like this but agreed it wasn’t so bad with a lemonade chaser. He also had a couple of paracetamol, then slept really well and woke up with all symptoms gone bar his headache. That evening his nose and throats started to hurt again so he had another teaspoon full.

All symptoms gone!!!!

I am ready to declare the nanny McPhee gloppy, smoking medicine a success.

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Healthy Warming Winter Food

Tonight I had the most satisfying warming winter tea. I’m on the last day of my diet week. Which I may blog about another day if anyone is interested (over 2stone down woohoo).

The prescribed tea tonight is steak and salad. Now I’m just not a steak girl. So in the past I have substituted it with a homemade burger (usually just the mince squished to a burger shape and grilled). However, this week I had some bolognese to use up so I figured its steak mince plus veggies so what’s the harm.

I’ve also not enjoyed eating so much salad while its been so cold, it’s just wrong. So I’ve roasted up some veg with no oil and had a stir fry in substitution.

The conundrum was what to eat with the bolognese I’m usually a spag Bol girl and couldn’t work out how it would work with salad, I wanted a spag replacement out if veggies. I did a Pinterest search for “bolognese Paleo” , (Wiki definition of Paleo).
There were so many options from spaghetti squash to spiralizing just about any veg. I chose to use some crown prince squash from our vegbox which I had previously roasted (without oil) and frozen for soup.

I shoved it in the oven to warm up while I reheated the bolognese.

It was so delicious and warming. Sadly I wolfed it down before I thought to take a picture. It was even better than spag Bol. I’ve christened it squash bol and written about it on here, mainly so I don’t forget how yummy it was.

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Tights to Hair Bands and Leg Warmers

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Time to sort out the growing pile of tights. Mini me has been having trouble with some of her tights falling down and being annoying. This normally means they are too small for her. I had a look and several pairs were a bit stretched out at the waist and around the behind. Others had holes and others were just simply too short now. I hate throwing anything away. So I took a three pronged attack:

1) Any that would be of use to a smaller child were passed on.

2) Any that were too grubby, were placed in the rag bag. To take to a local school where they raise money per weight of textiles.

3) Hair bands and leg warmers.

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Simply cut them up.

For hair bands,

I cut off any grubby feet, then simply cut strips about an inch wide. Discarding any pieces with holes or marks. Ta dah hair bands that are actually soft and gentle on hair. They have even been used as giant loom bands. But that’s another story. As I was doing this Abi asked if I was cutting them into leg warmers for mini me (they had just had a fight about a crochet pair I made for Abi a few years ago). She was inspired so I had a go.

For leg warmers,
I cut off toes (and feet if they have heels in them). Then cut off the bottom and crotch area. What are you left with?

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Leg warmers.

You could even take these a step further, cut a thumb hole and you have long fingerless gloves.

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No more Grease stains

My first Pinterest post. I got a grease stain right in the middle of my new top. 😦

Grease stain on my new top
I went straight to Pinterest as I knew I had pinned a post on this. When I can get tech savvy enough I will paste the link. It was basically that you rub the stain with chalk. So I duly did (with green chalk because that’s all I could lay my hands on at the time :/).

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I shoved it in a normal wash(40C with a scoop of my washing powder and half a scoop of vanish for good measure).
It looked good when it came out of the machine damp.

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However once it was dry, the stain was still there, less noticeable but slightly green.

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Disappointed but determined to beat the grease. I tried again with more chalk (not green this time) on the inside incase it stained. And rubbed the top with a vanish bar on the outside. I left it the about 24 hours till my next wash (the same as before). As I was loading the machine our lovely lodger arrived with a crisis. She needed her one pair of jeans for the next evening without the grease and curry stains she had just acquired on them. Cue more chalk and vanish. It worked on my top Huzzah …

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… And her jeans, two happy bunnies.

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Superhero Capes

Its birthday season around here which means sewing time. Ive joined Stashbusting sewalong 2015, so its a chance to de-stash and make some pressies. First up are these super hero capes made from a duvet which has been languishing in my fabric draws for a few months since it was gifted to me. Not quite our thing as a duvet but some nice slipperly shiny fabric for childrens dressing up.

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I unpicked a panel, the one Im least likely to use for the girls, then measured it around the smallest ones back. It was a perfect length, I wrapped it around her and cut the width one and a half times that, to give it some flow.

I hemmed the sides and bottom.

Next, I took some elastic that fitted most of the way along the neckline of the cape when stretched to its full extent. (I wanted to leave a non elasticated segment at the end for fastening). I sewed this on top of the raw edge with a long stitch (5) then folded this over and stitched again to enclose it and to hem the edges.

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I added a rectangle of velcro for fastening, I chose this option beacuse if the cape gets caught or pulled by another child it will undoo rather than pull at the neck. I put the “teeth” edge of the velcro facing out, so it would not catch on the childs clothes.

I also, added initials on to the cape, I stashbusted some other material just to give myself a challenge, felt would have been much easier and neater. Beacuse my fabric was stretchy I sewed about 2 cm in around each edge in a long stitch to stabilise it (I used a contrasting cotton to add interest). Next, I folded the cape into quarters to centrailse the initial and pinned. When I was happy with the palcement I stitched the initial to the cape.

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fold in quaters to centre logo

Ta dah, shiny floaty superhero capes, even suitable for dogs…..

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Every Superhero needs a mask…..

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PS heres our last super hero outfits:

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Incredigirl made from clothes in the cupboard plus badge which was layers of felt cut to resemble the incredibles logo with a safety pin on the back.

Catgirl, cat hat made a few years ago using the pattern from cute and easy Costumes for Kids, which has had loads of use. She also used her “Elsa cape” which is a dyed muslin, with a small pice of elastic tied to two corners (tied to if under pressure it comes undone rather than strangling her).

 

 

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Hello Strangers

Hiya, long time no blog.

We had an adventurous 2014. Heres a potted version of what went down. We have moved out of our lovely van and it has now been sold to a shepherdess.

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It was a bit muddy to drive into her final position so a local farmer lent a hand.

We now live in a house, the journey has been very windy and interesting I may share it with you one day.

We have also worked hard on our Wild Woods with the upshot being that all our blueberries and most of our flowers were eaten by deer, rabbits or two-legged mini beasts. From 300 bushes we didn’t even manage to scrape together 1 punnet to sell. The upshot being that we could no longer afford to rent our Wild Woods and have just finished clearing and saying goodbye.

The grand finale was a new year mega bonfire, den building session and marshmallow munch. I have no photos, we were to busy making the most of it.

So goodbye 2014 with its fun and exciting times, and hello 2015.

Anyhows, what this all means is that I have some time to get back on here. Just to warn you, although I didn’t get much blogging done last year (1 post people!) I did take some photos of things to blog.

Heres the plan….

I have carved out some time each week to dedicate to this corner of the internet.

I am moving over to a shared blog with my lovely and slightly crazy hubby. GuCu

So…. you should get some regular posts, most will be linked from here to there. so if you would like to get to them directly you may like to follow GuCu instead.

Happy 2015 and thanks for your loyalty.

xxx

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DIY Catapult

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These are really simple, frugal and quick to make.

Supplies

Hole punch
Elastic bands. I bought a cheap box from home base, it has smaller and larger bands in a range of colours. I used 8 longer and 24 smaller for each catapult.
Eyelets and eyelet tool.
Leather piece approx. 16cm by 4cm.
Cut leather on grain so non stretchy
One Y shaped stick, try and find one with relatively equal top forks. Cut to size by eye. (The Hand hold part of mine range from 10 cm which fits my hand to 8 cm (for a 5 yr old)this one is also a smaller circumference. Total height from 16-19 cm.

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Method
1. Fold the leather in half widthways. This is to increase the strength. Also I had “fake” leather left over from a car job so I wanted to hide the reverse of the fabric.
2. Punch a hole in the centre of each shorter side.

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3. Add an eyelet to each hole.

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3. Select 4 longer elastic bands, I chose 4 of the same colour. These are going around one of the “prongs” of the Y shaped wood.

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4. Now chose 4 of the smaller bands. These are going half way through the longer bands. Then one end if them goes through the loop of the other end to secure a knot.

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This is how I do it I grab the two ends of the 4 longer bands around my finger then. Feed the 4 shorter bands half way through, with my finger still there so they don’t ping off the wood. Next pass one end of all 4 bands through the loops of the other ends. Sorry I could not work out how to hold the camera and demonstrate this, but here what it looks like when you have done that.

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5. Continue this with two more groups of 4 bands. You won’t need to stick you finger in these and they are not under tension.
6. Repeat for the other side (fork).
7. Now to attach the leather. Take one set of the longer bands off the forked wood and on to a finger. Sorry fuzzy picture can’t do one armed camera, need a tripod.

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8. Now feed the final smaller bands through an eyelet, half way and create the same loop with the chain of bands.
9. Slip the larger bands back on the fork.
10. Repeat with the other side.
11. You are done, time to play.

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Opps I’ve tagged this as boys toys, but honestly my girls are pretty keen on them too.

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