Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Retro Kitchen Apron

I have yet to meet a crafter who doesn't have a ridiculously huge stash of fabrics, I was no different but I have been on a decluttering mission and I made a deal with myself to only buy more fabric once I have used up my old stash - this is forcing me to think differently about what I already own (and why I bought it in the first place)

Fredrika Fabric - Our Handmade Home

I bought this fabric about 6 years ago, I can't remember what (if anything) I had in mind at the time but either way it never amounted to anything.

I cook all our meals from scratch and I am frequently splattered with tomato sauces and curries - inevitably just before the doorbell rings and our guests arrive... I always have to rush to get changed before we eat.

Fredrika Fabric - Our Handmade Home

Previous aprons have been... well... ugly and were 'decluttered' years ago. I wanted something extra pretty that I won't mind wearing over my more 'dressed up' clothes and looks funky with regular everyday jeans and T too.

It is a super-cute design, I adjusted this pattern a little to suit my preferred style. It is very narrow at the front - if you are making the same pattern check it is wide enough before cutting - I wish I had.

Fredrika Fabric Retro Apron  - Our Handmade Home

The fabric is quite heavy duty but it sits nicely. I made it fully lined in the coordinating blue fabric because I wanted the apron to look professional - It hangs on show in the kitchen and I have enough family and friends who would inspect it for quality. (You know who you are!)

My 9YO Small acted as director and photographer for the fashion show hence the 'soft focus' (Hair and make-up dept were clearly on their tea-break)

Modeling the Retro Apron  - Our Handmade Home

The Nitty Gritty:
  • The fabric is Fredrika by IKEA they still stock it in the UK, the lining and straps are made from a coordinating plain blue IKEA fabric that I can't find on the website but any similar weight fabric would do.
  • The pattern is available for free from Joann - I omitted the ruffle along the bottom and turned the neck band into a simple loop.
  • I do all my sewing on Nefertiti, my 92 year old treadle singer sewing machine. I have an electric machine too, but the last time I got her out was to dust and oil her... 2 years ago.
  • I was listening to some of the beautiful romantic lamentations of Richard Hawley while sewing in the late evenings. You need a bit of a crooner when sewing don't you think?

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Tinkering Behind The Scenes

In the coming weeks we'll be conducting a big re-design on this blog.

option #1

We'll be getting a new layout, a new banner and most excitingly, we'll be moving over to our own .com Woot!! Don't worry, we won't loose each other in the flit, that is why I am doing so much behind the scenes, so it all goes smoothly front-of-house.

option #2

I've done bits and pieces of blog-design work in the past and I love playing around with fonts, colours and button designs. It is soooo tricky settling on a design I am fully confident of and I've had second thoughts many times. It would be easier to get someone else to do the designing... just because I'm so indecisive and want to tweak it all the time. Then there is the coding, I'm a bit rusty and I continue to surprise myself when clickable elements work and it all comes together in the end.

Option #3

The trickiest thing is doing so much of the design work with a bouncy toddler on my lap, demanding I draw Elmo with his crayons. He just can't stay away from his Mama when she is tinkering in the office. This is one of the joys of open plan living.

Taken with the web-cam while typing this post.
I will admit, I cannot code with Teeny near by... for code I must have my eyes glued to the computer screen and a cup of hot tea near by... must...concentrate... can't... look... away.

I'm excited that I have got to this stage and a bit nervous about the big change over.

Which of the banner designs would you go for???
My final design still needs some tweaks but I wonder if you'll pick the same as me.

option #1
option #2

option #3

 Leave your choice in the comments below, I always love feedback.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

It's A Trap!... A Trapped Nerve.

A couple of weeks ago I was working very hard finishing Teeny's room.

I was working hard - plastering, sanding and painting. I started at 6pm, and finished just after midnight for 3 days in a row, working flat out, no breaks. This was the last big push to get that room finished.

plaster on shoes - Our Handmade Home
I got marginally more plaster on the walls than I got on my shoes

I was working so hard that I didn't notice I was giving myself RSI... I felt the pain but I am stubborn and I kept going. It took a few of days of pain before fingers began to go numb, 2 weeks of carrying on like normal; carrying a toddler, hanging out washing, hoovering, changing nappies, flying kites, dropping lots of stuff... finally a yoga session which pushed me over the edge.

Then it really hit me, painkillers were having no effect, no position was comfortable and I eventually passed out from the incredible pain. (I was sitting in bed, at 3am, so it could have been worse) I saw a doctor and was given a cocktail of strong painkillers - which knocked me out, and I slept for practically 3 days.

It was somewhat embarrassing to tell them that I had been plastering and painting until past midnight, after a full day with a lively toddler, and home-school.

Physiotherapy for a trapped nerve - Our Handmade Home

I'm now undergoing a course of physiotherapy (I'm still on the painkillers) and all from pushing myself too far for just a few days. I have been diagnosed with a trapped nerve in my neck, and probably ligament damage in my right elbow.

I've only just started typing again, more than a month after I injured myself.

So a note to all those other lunatic avid DIYers out there - and to remind myself in future - here are the lessons I have learned from this, one of my most spectacularly idiotic mistakes.

  1. It's not a crime to take a break.
  2. It's not weak to stop when you feel pain.
  3. It's not ditzy to change to an easier job when you feel stiff and sore.
  4. It's not clever to dose yourself up on painkillers and caffeine to mask either pain or fatigue.

5. You are not invincible ! 
Darn it!!

PS. The room is not finished.
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