Welcome to my blog where I share my adventures of trying out different crafts, some with more success than others!

The Trouser Challenge part 1

Good Morning lovely people! The sun is  shining and it’s a lovely day here at UK City Crafter, I hope your day is as bright and breezy as it is here :)

Back in February I was presented with a pair of trousers which were very much past their best, in fact they had a massive rip in them. I was given a challenge to use them to make nice things with and a lot of you kindly gave me some ideas on this post here.

I’ve been very slow on the uptake with this project, partly because I had a few projects on the go and didn’t want to overwhelm myself with WIPs – anyone else feel a sense of panic coming on when your WIP pile gets too big?

Anyhow I have now made a start with a couple of mini makes using the trousers.

Number 1 make is a couple of coasters using sashiko as a decoration.


I gave you a peek of this here :) Ha just noticed I still need to remove some chalk lines from one of them!

Number 2 make is a little purse in the style of this pencil case I made last year. I know a lot of you liked this as much as I did as I see it on Pinterest quite a lot :)


I love this pretty shape and instead of a caravan my little version reminded me of an open umbrella with its arched top so that is what it became!




A bit of embroidery adds the details.



I lined the messy seams so they look pretty when you open the purse up.



And here they are – biggy and littley!

My daughter liked it too and has already bagged it for herself! Looking at it now I can see that the design could easily have been a cup cake – hmm an idea for another time.

That’s the trouser project for the moment but I do intend to do more – some time ;)

Enjoy your day.

Until next time,

Chris x



Doily v’s Mandala

Morning lovely people, how are you today?

I’ve been playing with some crochet ideas this week, actually I’ve been inspired by seeing the current craze for mandalas in a puzzled sort of way. I’ll explain…

Years ago, when I first learnt to crochet I’d make doilies using very fine crochet cotton. I used to turn these out at an alarming rate and I still have some of them stashed away somewhere :) So when crocheted mandalas started popping up I thought – what’s the difference, apart from the obvious one of thicker yarn that is? And I’m still not sure, so if anyone can enlighten me I’d be grateful.

Anyhow, I dug out my old doily patterns and chose one to do but using lovely soft coloured cotton instead of the old fine yarn of before.

This is the result,


As you can see the pattern is very old – an old Woman’s Weekly one if I’m not mistaken!


and while I was hunting for my old patterns I found this one,


handwritten by me many years ago, I remember being asked to work out a pattern from an old doily and this was the result! Trouble is I can’t for the life of me remember what the old doily looked like so I shall try making it up and have a nice surprise (hopefully) when it’s done!

Enjoy your day.

Until next time,

Chris x


Celtic Knots

Do you like Celtic knots? For me there’s something about the way the strands weave in and out of each other which is very appealing.




It’s nice that some have a meaning too.

When I made my Welsh quilted cushions I used traditional Welsh motifs but wove them together in a design which mimicked a Celtic knot.

SAM_3508 SAM_3512

But you know I’ve never sewn any actual Celtic knots, well, not until now that is.

A friend lent me a book and I saw a fairly simple design which caught my eye and after putting it off for AGES I’ve finally got around to doing it!


I was expecting it to be quite hard with all the unders and overs and curves and tight corners. But do you know what? I really enjoyed it :) Perhaps it’s all the appliqué I’ve been doing recently or just that I was ready to tackle something a bit different (or even that the design was one of the easier ones in the book!!)


The most time consuming part was carefully putting all the bias tubes in the right place but once that was done it was just hand stitching it all in place.


So now I’m an expert (!) here are my tips for sewing Celtic knots;

a. Check your unders and overs at least 10 times before sewing/glueing

b. The seam of the bias tube should face away from inward curves and

c. Inside curved edges should be stitched down first (although as Celtic knots weave about and one strip contains inside and outside curves this and part b are both a bit tricky!)

I shall be making this into a cushion cover for a special couple who live in New Zealand, but I promise to take a photo of it before I send it!

Anyone else done any Celtic knot designs? Any favourite designs I could try?

Until next time,

Chris x


Tick tock

Have you ever been concious of a part of your outfit which doesn’t look so good? You know what I mean, you just know that one item is letting everything down and you keep glancing down or trying to cover it up, or wishing you’d had more time that morning to make a better choice.

Well, I know it’s only a little something BUT for the past couple of months (yes I said months) my watch strap has been incredibly shabby, too shabby to even share a picture of!

I think it lasted a couple of months because it’s easily hidden by a sleeve. However, it was getting to the point where I was concerned that it might snap and the watch would get lost. And to make it worse people kept asking me for the time and would recoil in horror when I showed them my watch ( :) )

I did go looking for a new strap but found that the straps were silly prices for even the most boring looking ones. So what’s a girl to do but make one for herself!

I saw this tutorial by Pretty by Hand and had a go.


This gorgeous fabric is from a long retired Laura Ashley dress which has been used in all sorts of projects over the years!

…and Tah dah….! 

You can even work out how long this project took me to do!

So now I know it’s not my watch that’s letting my outfit down! Ask me the time someone, anyone!

Have a great week end.

Until next time,

Chris x


Waxing Lyrical

Welcome to a new week! Mine has started very well with the arrival of my very first blog give away win from  Martina from Sunshine Quilting. Martina made me a sweet little purse in my favourite colour, why not pop over to her blog to see what she’s getting up to?


Not only have I had a lovely start to this week with my little win but I also had a lovely end to last week as I was given the opportunity to try a new to me craft.

I visited a new friend and she gave me a mini lesson on Encaustic art. Has anyone heard of it?

It involves special coloured wax which you melt onto an iron and then, for want of a better word, smear over shiny paper to create a background. Once that’s done you use the iron in different ways to make different effects.

I’m sure any encaustic art artists are cringing at my rather crude explanation, I know there’s a lot more to it than that but  hey, I’m a beginner!

Here are my masterpieces…


I sort of hope you can tell what it is!


A little octopus peeping out!


The background looks like fronds of seaweed waving about, which is what I’d hoped for :)


This is a slice from the original ‘painting’ made into a bookmark.


I sort of hope you can tell what they are?!! Remember this is a basic beginners work – be kind!

Of course, like a lot of crafts this one needs specialist materials so it’s unlikely I shall do any more for a while but it was great fun to try – thanks J :)

So, have any of you tried this?


Until next time,

Chris x

(I am linking this post up to Celtic Thistle Stitches New to you in March)

Snail Trail

Apparently it’s National Crochet Month this month. When I found out I was determined to do some crocheting.

My daughter has a birthday this month and hinted that a crochet snail might be nice to go with her real snail (yuk!)

I searched for a cute snail but didn’t have much luck finding a pattern I liked. So I did what all of us do from time to time and made one up. Although it was not without its problems as the first draft snail kept toppling over but a crafty tweek of the shell sorted that out.



SAM_3902As you can see the real snail was starting to come out of his shell so I popped him back into his tank before he slimed anything!


Happy National crochet month! Anyone else got a crochet project on the go?

Until next time,

Chris x

Pretty Little Bags

Recently I was asked by a friend to make a little bag. A very specific little bag. In fact as close a bag to this one here as possible :)

This is what I came up with.


And I also made this one,


A pretty one and a fun one :)



Until next time,

Chris x


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