Addicted to Boxy Pouches | A Finish and a Fabric Giveaway {Sewing}

Friday, 29 August 2014

I am hooked, I cannot stop making boxy pouches, I can see my life full of boxy pouches. OK, maybe this is a tad OTT, but I do love them (now) - making them as well as using them. I have already plans to make more than these two, a bit fancier, so stay tune. 

These are the two matching ones I have made. One for bigger projects (the whole of Nord and an extra skein fits in it) and one for smaller project, currently holding my le challenge project. One was made last Friday and the other one this Friday (in a couple of hours - hourray for quick projects!). And this may explain why the smaller one (this week's finish) looks a bit less.. flat (?) than the oversized one. Yeah, to learning as you go along. 

So the smaller one follows to the letter the Kelbysews tutorial, except the interfacing which is heavier than the one recommended, and it works really well for me (except that apparently I bought a sew-on one rather than an iron-on one - making it just a bit harder). 

I chose a matching vintage sheet for the interlining - I received it as part of the vintage sheet FQ swap organised by Mary Emmens. It was probably the fabric that is the least vintage. 

The oversized one follows the same tutorial - but with different dimensions. I sort of made it up as I went along. It started by cutting two panels of fabric and interlining rather than one panel (same dimensions of that one panel), and cutting squares 2' 3/4 when making the box seams. 

I was very keen to get these finished before the weekend as we are off to a wedding tomorrow, and I really wanted nice pouches to travel with and to keep everything tidy. And a matching set of boxy pouches was just the ticket, and let's face it it is great to have a finish - feels like something was accomplished. 

So onto my giveaway people! You still have time to enter my knitting pattern giveaway (open until next Wednesday). But this is a fabric giveaway - an environmentally friendly fabric. After reading my review of the Ecofabrics store, Vishruti offered for one of you my lovely readers to win one yard of organic cotton fabric dyed naturally with plant/vegetable dyes from her shop. How nice is that! Just fill the Rafflecopter and good luck! 

The giveaway is open to all my readers, finishing on 15th September

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Settler Shawl | A finish and a GIVEAWAY {Knitting}

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Here it is.. My kidney bean Settler shawl. If you are following me on IG, you know that it was blocked twice (forgot one repeat, oops), and that I kept on cursing the weather as I could not take any picture outside. So I came back home yesterday, and although it was raining in London, it was sunny once I was home. That was it, time to take pictures of the shawl. 

It is really difficult to actually capture the colour - it is even more gorgeous in real life. I have one more skein left and I cannot wait to knit a beanie hat, and maybe mittens (let's face it summer is over here in Britain - so may as well embrace the colder months). 

Libby released her pattern yesterday - congrats to her! This is really a beautiful modern shawl, and that can be worn many ways. I am much more of a scarf person, so this is a great addition to my wardrobe. When she asked me to test a shawl, I was worried about the shape of it, but I should not have been worried! 

Pattern: Settler Shawl by Truly Myrtle Designs
Yarn: Artesano Definition Sock yarn in kidney bean (one skein) 
Needles: 4mm
Modifications: None but it may be worth noting that my gauge was totally off, and it still the required length (in case you gauge for shawl...)

And now for the giveaway, Libby is generously offering a pattern to one lucky reader!
You have 3 chances to enter the giveaway:

1. This giveaway is open to my followers only - old and new. 
Let me know how you follow my blog in the comment box.
2.Follow me on twitter, and tweet about the giveaway - and mention @noaslibellule
3. Follow me on Instagram (natmadeinhome) and post the shawl picture and come back to leave me a third comment

The giveaway ends Wednesday 3 September at 5pm (UK time). Please, please, please leave me a way to contact you if you are a no-reply blogger Good luck!

The finishing the fruits tart | A recipe {Baking}

Monday, 25 August 2014

Happy Summer bank holiday (for those in England and Wales)! It is raining here, so today I am going to show you a recipe (which is written more like guidelines really) that I used whilst on holiday. Nothing like remembering sunshine when it is grey outside. 

We were given a lot of fruits when we were on holiday, which is great of course, but at the same time there are so many fruits two adults and a toddler can eat in the space of 5 days right, especially if these are already on the ripe side. So this 'recipe' was a way to avoid having to waste food and make something yummy with them. 

I have already made two versions of this tart. One on holiday (the red tart version) and a version at home only with apples (the yellow-ish version). And both were a hit. 

Not only was I lucky enough to have enough fruits given to us but also there was a ready-made roll of puff pastry, so I had everything. 

So you will need: 
  • enough fruits to make a compote (in the red version I used cherries, plums and apples, in the yellow version only apples)
  • keep enough fruits looking their best for the top of the tart (happens to be a couple of apples in both instances)
  • salted butter (I like the real French version using sel de guerande that you can find in the UK too, but it should work with normal salted butter)
  • vanilla extract
  • sugar
  • double cream
  • roll of ready-made pastry

You need to make a compote first (I tend to make it a bit in advance until I have time to make the tart). The way I make it is put all the fruits in the saucepan, with a little bit of water, and some vanilla extract - and leave it to cook. 

You then need to add sugar to taste as well as salted butter (about 10/15g I would say). You have to try the compote as you go long to know whether you like it or not. 

For the tart, blind bake the puff pastry your usual way. Once it is out of the oven, add the compote and the fruits (sliced) you kept on the side. 

But what really makes this tart, is the sort of glazing I add on top (it is adapted from a Brittany recipe called 'caramel sale'). It is made with 25g of sugar, 40g salted butter, and 5cl of double cream. In a pan, melt the sugar at low heat, and add preheated double cream. Then add the butter and stir quickly to make a creamy mixture. Pour over the tart. And in the oven until you see the fruits on top going brown (about 20 minutes at 180 C). 

Et voila! I must admit this is clearly a pregnant thing for me - it totally fixes any sugar craving I may have. I cannot eat a lot of it in one go, which is probably a good thing too. However Mr MiH loves it too, and so did everyone who has tasted it - so maybe not just a pregnant thing after all. Let me know if you get to try it! 


Thursday, 21 August 2014

And it is time for a second sale on the blog. I really hope you will be inspired by it. I have tried to have something for everyone - crochet, knitting and quilting. So I am hoping this is going to appeal to a few people. I did mention it last time, but we are a smoke free, pet free home. Also everything that I sell is barely used (the balls of yarn are still in their original packaging, and the books have only been opened a few times). 

The prices exclude postage, but I am happy to ship internationally. I will let you know how much it will be beforehand and make sure you are ok with it. Of course it is a better deal if you are based in the UK. 

Let me know in your comment box which item you want and your PayPal address. 

First to comment on an item, first to get it!  I will try to ship as quickly as possible. 

Just a note that the yarn is actually discontinued now, although you can still find it online. 

There are still a couple of skeins left from the first sale as well.  

Happy shopping everyone!

The Big Tidy Up | WIP {Sewing and Knitting}

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

This is my second go at making myself a boxy pouch - a few years after my first go.. And there is a very good reason for that wait, the first attempt was really bad, did not look boxy whatsoever, everything that could go wrong probably did go wrong with that project, except that I never found out where exactly. But I still think that boxy pouches are the best way to organise knitting WIPs, especially small ones like a certain shawl.  

Sooooo I decided to have another go - and this time it would be made properly. I would read the instructions, I know essential but I am not that good at that, maybe do some basting to make sure I am happy before sewing with the machine - and basically turning a quick project into a really long one.

I found a tutorial by Kelly who blogs at KelbySews that I really liked - there are so many out there - but this one seemed to make sense (and have enough pictures for my photographic brain). I had the fabric and the zipper in my stash - result! 

I love this sashiko-effect fabric (bought here on Etsy ages ago), and the lining is some leftover fabric from the Highbury and Islington baby quilt. I cannot believe how well the two fabrics go together.

So far so good - I have oversized the pouch a bit, so it may not look like what you expect when it is finished - but hopefully still look like a boxy pouch. 

As you will have seen, I am still knitting Settler (the test knit for Libby), and I have also got a new magazine about natural living - Taproot - which has also knitting patterns (by no other than Carrie Bostick Hoge), recipes and experience of natural living. Each issue has also a theme, if you don't want to subscribe. 

Check out other WIP projets over a
t WIP Wednesday and Small Things today. 

FINALLY I wanted to let you know that I will host my second sale of yarn and quilting books tomorrow on the blog (you can see a sneak peek on IG). This time I will sell a few balls of the same yarn, so you can get a bigger project out of a purchase. Be sure to check it out!

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Maternity Wear # 2 - The EcoFabrics Top and a Discount Code | A Finish {Dressmaking}

Friday, 15 August 2014

These pictures were nearly never taken - this is our last shoot before we had to fly out of Brittany (ie a couple of hours before the flight was actually due to take off), but I am so happy we took the time to take the pictures. Of course on the blog, it is about the top and the fabric I chose, but I do love that picture with Baby MiH, showing his addiction to the sand, and me thinking, please please don't eat it.

Going back to this new pregnancy top... I have actually already made a top out this pattern (from a Japanese book, in French but honestly it is all about the pictures) - and in fact I took pictures of it back in Brittany whilst pregnant with Baby MiH - can you see why I was so keen to take pictures out there. 

I knew it was a great fit for pregnancy wear, but this time I wanted to have a much lighter fabric than Essex linen (this year's summer has been much hotter). 

Let's start by the minor modification for pregnancy wear. Although the pattern (cut in my normal size M) fitted me until I was 5/6 months pregnant without any changes the first time round (and I am a little bit smaller this time), I decided to add some fabric at the gathering stage at the front, in a similar way as with the Tova. I added 2 inches to the pattern (4 inches in total). I reckon I probably added another 2 months for pregnancy wear and it can still be worn as an oversized blouse when I am no longer pregnant. 

I also cut a size bigger for the sleeves, because the pattern seems to fit skinny arms only. I cut the sleeves in L, and added another 1 cm when cutting the fabric. 

The fabric, well let me tell you, I am very excited about this. My readers will know that I am trying to find fabrics/craft supplies that are ethical and environmental-friendly - and this is my first find. I had been looking for a while on the net, and then thought of Etsy - and this is where you will end up on the Eco Fabric Store run by Vishruti, which stores organic, naturally dyed fabrics.

And it is quite hard to find fabric prints that I like, and fit with my sustainability aspirations, that I wanted to know about more about Vishruti and her shop, and share it on the blog so that if you buy her fabric, you too will feel part of the Eco Fabric Store story. 

Hi Vishruti, how long have you been interested in environmental friendly processes in the dyeing of fabric?

Since my teens, I have always been interested in Eco, Organic, Recycled, Earth-Friendly ways of living. It is something that was a part of my lifestyle even before I knew it. My businesses too always reflect the same sentiment and values.

Tell me more about the Eco Fabric Store and its values. 

The Eco Fabric Store was born recently on March 21, 2014, and is based in Mumbai in India. However I have another 3 other shops on Etsy , so technically I am an Etsy shop seller since February 2009. You can only find me on Etsy at the moment, but I am planning to build my independant website as well. 

All my fabrics are Eco Friendly and Earth friendly. The yarns are natural and are hundred percent biodegradable. We also offer a variety of fabrics made from Eco and Earth friendly fibers such as Organic Cotton, Bamboo, Hemp, Soyabean Protein, Banana and Ahimsa Silk. 

I used to have my own organic cotton garmenting and manufacturing unit which was certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) . However I closed my unit because of my marriage and moving to another city, but kept very good contacts and friendships with the certified mills I used to work with and all the fabrics that I am selling on Etsy are from those certified mills only. I work with local communities, and all her products are a representation of local communities, paying fair wages and generating local employment. These are stringent tests that they have to pass to gain the certification.

What dyeing process do you use?

The naturally dyeing process is a GOTS Approved Natural Dyeing (also referred as Vegetable dyeing, Herbal Dyeing). We have developed the expertise to dye/print with flowers, roots, fruits, etc.  like turmeric, onion, myraballams, madder, kesu flowers, dhavadi flowers, natural indigo etc. This not only prevents water pollution due to replacement of petrochemical dyes with vegetable dyes/natural dyes,but also imparts medicinal value to cloth as many herbs used for dyeing are having high medicinal value. Also, this is not a newfound process, it was a common practice in ancient India. Historically done by hand and on small scale.

Do you design the pattern? 

Yes, being a designer, I also design fabric patterns. I also take personal or custom orders from clients who like to create a range or produce a custom line for themselves only. I also have a little block printing space where I create fabrics prints using unique OOAK wooden blocks for myself and my family. 

What can we expect to find in your shop? 

Hopefully there will be more designs available each season, and very soon trimmings. However working with nature needs me to work according to its moods ! For instance the rainy season doesn't allow the natural dyes to dry soon. There is also high humidity issues which causes certain pigments to coagulate which is why certain colours cannot be prepared in certain seasons. For updates, you should like her Facebook page

And because Vishruti is such a nice person, you can use the discount code: MADEINHOME10 to get 10% off any purchase in her shop.

As for me, I cannot wait to get started on other projects using the other fabrics I bought in her shop. I am also really tempted by her new tribal print, and I have noticed that she has posted an amazing dark red version of it. 

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Settler | Testing { Knitting}

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

It feels like I have not been knitting for a while - I was not feeling it for some reason. I have started Nord again whilst on holiday and suddenly I wondered how I could have lost my knitting mojo (the heat maybe?). And now I cannot stop knitting, hopefully that means that some projects will get finished (finally) and also that I will be able to start on baby projects (a little more than 3 months to go, and nothing is ready!)

And of course this is not an old project that needs finishing, nor a baby project. I am again testing for Libby (I tested Skeppe last year) and in the process made a decision regarding this beautiful yarn originally meant to be the Follow your Arrow KAL. I decided to frog and keep the yarn for the right project. And this is it - a shawl that will be worn more like a scarf, more my style. 

Although the patterns calls for a fingering yarn, which this is, my gauge is actually totally off - and there is not a lot I can do about it. I am still carrying on with this yarn, hoping to have a good go at blocking the shawl and make it grow, and end up with the right length. Fingers crossed. 

This project is a destash one, no new yarn bought, although I was tempted.

But I was reading about self-sufficiency in Extracurricular magazine, following Melody's WIP post, and I have now read mine cover to cover - I even made my husband read an article. It is a great start to understand how people interpret sustainability and how they include it in their lives. Totally inspiring. 

I will be linking up to Small Things today. 

Also check out le challenge today for a discount code at Mary Emmens vintage shop and a chance to enter her giveaway - this month's theme is ERA! 

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