Saturday, 27 September 2014

A little gem on the Edge of Romney Marsh

On impulse today we went to an Aeronautical jumble - the reason we had never been to one before.  It was held at BRENZETT MUSEUM and we found the jumble to be very disappointing, we arrived at one thirty and the stalls (I seriously doubt that there ever 150 of them) that were still there were packing up.  We were charged full price to get in to the jumble but the tickets also allowed entry to the museum and we decided to visit the museum so as not to make it a wasted journey. 
This was worth the drive, only open at weekends between April and October, it was really interesting and somewhere I would be happy to visit again.

  My favourite bits not in any order:-
 the pilot who flipped doodlebugs off course; finding out where the doodlebugs hit in Kent, surprisingly not that many in Thanet; how many doodlebugs
 never made it to the Kent coast;
the home front exhibit;
the personal items, cards, etc; the dambuster bomb; maps of the grass airfields; tales of heroes and bravery. 
 Pretty much all of it.  
It felt as though every turn there was more and more.   

experiences of a WAAF

 Every inch of the museum is full of interest.
wing bent by flipping a doodlebug off course 

the home front


Monday, 22 September 2014


The first item I decided to make from my recent fabric buying frenzy was a pair of trousers from the striped fabric.  This was because I found amongst my sewing stash a zip the right colour and size and a spool of thread in the perfect colour.  As soon as I saw this fabric I knew it had to be trousers.
cutting out the pattern

I used Vogue ADRI pattern 2279 enlarging it slightly to ensure it fitted.  I have used this pattern before making up the jacket and the top but this is the first time I have made the trousers.

sewing a flat seam
As I cut out the pattern pieces I noticed how much the fabric was, already, fraying and realised the best plan was to sew by hand so as to have more control.

 I decided to sew FLAT SEAMS because they give extra strength to a garment, think the seams on jeans. The instructions said a side zip so I marked where that should be before starting. 
  Putting the right sides of the fabric together I sewed the centre front and then the centre back pieces together. Next I joined the inner leg, and then each of the outside leg seams.  After all my seams were completed I top stitched them all.  This felt right to sew these trousers.
 Inserting the zip was next, carefully making sure that all the raw edges were neatly sewn.  
The pattern had darts marked for the waist of the trousers, but as I have already had to 'take in' the dress I finished last month and I hate mending I decided to make an elasticated waist instead.

Unfortunately I did not obey the measure twice cut once rule and my elastic and my elastic was slightly too wide for the waistband and had to be cut to size.  I wouldn't recommend doing this but it was Sunday and I was keen to get the trousers finished .

I sewed a few stitches to hold one end of the elastic in place then being very careful not to sew through the rest of it I finished sewing the waistband down.

The cat decided to 'help' me at this stage by sitting on the sewing on my lap. He has 'helped me' with most of my recent sewing projects.

The legs were quick and easy to measure and hem and the elastic adjusted to fit.  A skirt fastener sewn on the the trousers are finished.

need ironing but that's all

 It has been a very long time since I made anything completely by hand.  When I first started making my own clothes I couldn't afford a sewing machine so to have the clothes I wanted I had to make them by hand.  I had forgotten how  practical hand sewing is, without the worry of a machine you can sew anywhere, anyplace, anytime. 
 Now to see if I have got enough left of three metre length of fabric to make a skirt as well.  my pair of trousers has cost me just £4.00

Thursday, 18 September 2014

ELLINGTON PARK - wood sculptures

  A few month ago when walking through Ellington Park in Ramsgate I saw this beautiful woodcarving.  I am very glad that it hasn't been vandalised and I admire it every time I walk through the park. For a while I didn't know who the sculptor was but a friend found the story in the local paper and from that I found Andrew Stevens website.

 Last Friday some more carvings had just been finished - two owls and a squirrel.  Another tree stump near the main entrance to the park was used for these.  I walked all around them to see every detail.

By Monday morning the wood had been burnt (in a similar way to the soldier) which brings a greater depth to the sculptures.

  To the right of the park as you come in the main entrance a toadstool has been carved.  I was thrilled when I looked closely to find a flight of steps and a fairy door at the top of them.  
The work that THE FRIENDS OF ELLINGTON PARK are doing is fantastic.  They are working so hard to make this park a pleasant place to be. 

The big question now is .....
what is this going to be. 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Carding my fleece

I am becoming fed up of 
moving the fleece I acquired earlier this year out of the way every time I want to do anything .... the time has come to get it carded and stored ready for use. 

I really don't want to card the fleece in the house so a sunny afternoon was perfect. A good decision as I quickly became covered in dust and flecks of wood shavings.

A little of the fleece put onto one of the carders and worked between the two carders, straightening the fibres and removing bits of dirt.

There is a romance connected to spinning, weaving and all things related.  Fairy Tales tell of Princes falling in love with young girls on the wayside spinning and sweeping them off to a life in a palace.  
Nothing like that happened thankfully, those princes seemed a dodgy lot (think Rumpelstiltskin and death threats).  After an hour the cat came and helped by sitting in the basket I was putting the carded wool.
Prior to letting me have this years fleece the owners of this Romney sheep have had to throw the fleeces away so are not used to keeping the fleece clear of dirt.  So, despite washing the fleece when I first got it, there were a lot of bits of wood shavings; twig; and some bits of dried sheep droppings left to remove.  I had done my best not to agitate the fleece to much while washing in but there were a few matted areas.
I spent the whole afternoon carding the fleece without seeming to make a dent, my carders are showing signs of wear, my arms were aching and I have scratches on my hands from the carders and some over-enthusiastic carding.  There are now two bags of carded wool ready for use and all it has cost me is time. I can understand why serious spinners have carding machines this has been really hard work even though it was enjoyable. I am so grateful for being given this fleece and am looking forward to the next stage (and carding the other half of the fleece).