what I make, thrifting and more

Posts tagged ‘sewing’

catching up

Hi readers,

Over the last few days I just could not find the time to blog, too busy with other things – mainly crochet, you will see the results soon.

Blogging often means editing photographs first, for me at least it does. So that is what I did this morning and I had a lot of fun doing so!

Here are some of the results: Son 4 wanted me to take some pictures of him playing the guitar and in his stage outfit…




Last week it was spring holiday for him so he went along to some of the thrift shops that are a bit further away and here are some of my treasures


I fond this lovely dark blue Creation Gabrielle handbag at Goodwill in Kapelle. It’s a leather bag in very good condition and it cost me just 1,50 euro. I just looked the bag up on google and found one for sale for 12,95 so I think I did o.k. here! It is not my preferred style but it is very practical so I guess I’ll use it a lot.

I found another handbag in the shop for Romania in Grijpskerke, it’s a lot older and in terrible condition, the moths have had a great meal of it! It was just 1 euro and I bought it to use the lovely clasp.


Can you see the moth holes in the wool fabric around the clasp?

I hope I will be able to attach new fabric in the same shape.


In the same shop I found this book, a little more expensive than I would like for a book – 3 euro – but in mint condition and something to keep for future generations as it talks about the history of homemaking from the eighteen-hundreds up to the nineteen-eighty’s.

It has lot’s of photographs that bring back childhood memories




We also went to Middelburg and there I found this pretty vase with an etched flower on it


I’m not sure how old it is but it is handblown and I love the shape of it, isn’t it amazing what lovely things you can buy for just a few

euro cents?

Yesterday the weather changed and it was a lovely sunny day just like today with temperatures of around 12 degrees C, so we went for a walk  and halfway sat down to look at the passing traffic and comment on people’s coats and scarfs. We saw quite a variety of styles, some nice, some you could only describe as ‘ strange’ .


This was our view from the bench.

Today is another lovely sunny day, 15 degrees today!  And this afternoon I’m going to the thrift shops in Kapelle with my parents.

I hope you will have a lovely day too.


Hello everyone,

Yesterday was my dad’s 84th birthday. They have a nice venue in the appartment building where they live so all the relatives can come.

My sister and her husband do the catering and my niece is the waitress for the day and that way my parents can enjoy the day without wearing themselves out.

Although it is always nice to see all the relatives that live far away I’m always exhausted after a day like that. I tend to pick up on all the emotions and tensions there may be between everybody and it drains away my energy. so today was a day of recovering from that. Not much was produced, apart from cutting off the sleeves of my cardigan due to a hole appearing in one elbow and making it into a short-sleeved cardigan

Birthday boy chatting with my mum’s sister. Strange things happened with the photographs because of the enormous amount of light coming in from the side.

There was an Easter theme going on

Everyone having a good time

Talking about times past, r.t.l. my mum, auntie, 2 cousins

Rummaging in the attic

Hi there, it’s going to be another unseasonably warm day today, even warmer than yesterday! They promise us it will be nice until the weekend when we will have temperatures that are more normal for March. As it’s so warm already there’s a need for lighter clothes, so yesterday we went upstairs to get our summer clothes out of storage and in the meantime have a little bit of a clear out. Over the winter months a lot of “stuff” had been put up there instead of being thrown away and it was getting a bit too much. So we had a good rummage around and threw a lot of unwanted items away and also found a few forgotten  treasures, like these items that were in a trunk we had from a house clearance. We got rid of the trunk but kept the clothing…

A bridal purse and cap, all hand stitched

And this bridal headdress

I may be wearing it the wrong way around. It was hard to see how to wear it as it was so out of shape, but now I’ve washed it and bended the frame a bit and I think  it should be front to back

There was also this clergy band, also hand made

These lovely Dutch potholders in cross stitch from, I guess, the fifties

Wouldn’t it be nice to use them on Koninginnedag (the Queen’s birthday) and Bevrijdingsdag (when we celebrate the end of WW2 and our freedom)?

And last but certainly not least, this lovely evening dress with a small train, also handmade.

Look at the detail…

The items are all dirty and I will be gently washing them today. I’m not sure what to do with all of them yet. I may keep the smaller items for the bride. The dress is way to small for me to ever be able to wear, even without the weight I’m a broad shouldered person so I would not fit in a small dress like this. If it comes out of the wash looking nice I may decide to put it up for sale, so someone else can wear it.

I also found a box full of tins. These were really lovely I think so I will use them in my workroom.

I also made the peg bag and one extra for son 2 who had requested one for himself out of material I also found in the attic.

Have a lovely day

O dear I’ve started something new!

Hello readers

I’ve been trying to avoid it but the inevitable has happened; the latest issue of ‘Let’s Knit’ was in the mail and I have started on a new project…

I had promised myself not to start anything new until my UFO’s were finished but hey who can resist a pattern with their name on it? 🙂

Looking for the yarn for this project I came across a bag I made this winter out of a bikini top

Yesterday afternoon the doggies and me were out enjoying the nice weather for a while

Looking out on to the street, hoping for a dog to pass so she can bark it off

sun worshipping Sholo loves lounging in the sun at my feet or…

even better still: in the sun in my lap

Yesterday I also started on my wish list so here’s the rest of it, some pretty pictures of yarn, I just love these colours

















I leave you with a post about recycling book pages I found on Karboojeh’s blog

Inspiration: Ideas for recycling vintage book pages

Vegetables and thrifting


It was supposed to rain this morning but it seems the wind has blown most of the rain clouds away already. I’m hoping it will be dry and sunny later today because I want to go out for a walk with Binti. I’m still exercising everyday and I’m now up to 20 repeats and slowly nearing the end of stage 1 of the program, but not this morning. Yesterday I did some planting and I’m still suffering from backache because of it so I’ll do walking instead.

I also hope to finish another cross stitch picture my mum made a while ago, just a few more back-stitches to do

Yesterday we went to a flea market in Hansweert and we bought a glass coffee table for son 2 for just 5 euro’s

It has the shape of the one in the left picture (sorry forgot to take a picture) and the legs of the one in the right picture.

Instead of the legs he plans to use a Chevrolet car engine.

I also found this milk jug to replace mine that had a chip, 50 euro cents

And Hubby wanted these hose connectors (2 euro’s)

On the way back we went to the Dorcas shop to buy these shoes for son 2  for 4 euro’s

A new basket for the cutlery, also 50 euro cents

This will get a fabric liner later

When we got home it was time for lunch and in the afternoon I had to plant my vegetables I had also bought that morning

5 cabbage turnips, 10 lettuce plants and 10 endive plants

My veggy patch is almost full now, just a few herb plants will go in later and maybe something small along one of the sides.

It is still a bit too cold for some of the plants to go unprotected so a frame for a polytunnel was put up


a bit of plastic for a temporary cover. We will be going to son 1’s workplace later this week and buy some polytunnel-plastic designed for the purpose.

I also mowed the lawn. No we do not have a lawn in our yard, but this is how son 2 calls the hair on his head 🙂

And I made an insert into the neckline of a new t-shirt he bought online the other day, which was way to low-cut.

I cut the front out of an older grey t-shirt and put it inside the new one

problem solved

The girls are out!


Today is another sunny but slightly chilly morning. The hens have all had their wingfeathers clipped (for anyone who is wondering: no there was no blood or cutting of bones involved as some seem to think when you speak of clipping wings) Hubby likes it a lot when they walk around him in the garden when he’s working there, but we don’t want the girls to go over the fence into the neighbour’s garden or worse into the street so they have to have their wings clipped. Our Leghorn doesn’t like it one bit, she does not want to be held, although she will sit on your hand like a parrot

The Sussex hens just love the attention, they would sit in your lap if you gave them the chance…

Now they are ready to do some gardening for me…

They are much faster at removing the grass from inbetween the stones

They are also very good at loosening the soil to get it ready for planting, although they make a big mess of it on the paving while they’re at it.

Work is being done on the new roof for their home, more of that later. I’ve been busy sorting out sewing yarns and mending clothes and my men’s-shirt-blouse is ready

I’ve also glued the broken lid of  my penbox. I seem to have a “thing” for boxes and tins. It is something old and nice looking to collect and the fact that they are always useful to keep small objects in is a good excuse to buy more of them. But actually it is a bit of an addiction so I now try to be more selective in what I buy. But boy do they come in handy in my ADD household where everything small gets mislaid never to be found again. This way I can at least keep my own belongings safe! But there is still a problem…you just don’t stick a label on such pretty boxes, so I seem to be forever opening boxes and tins when I want something but can’t remember which one it’s in. Any suggestions anyone? 🙂

This one has a lovely lid I think with a little mother of pearl inlay in the middle. I think I bought it on Koninginnedag (our Queen’s birthday) last year.

I’ve also been looking through a few drawers of crafting material, books and patterns and such and did a big cull. One pile to go in the attic for later use. One pile to sell on the internet and one pile to throw away. My drawers look nice and organized now, but there is one downside: I have found some more embroidery kits to finish so my UFO basket is filling up again.

Sewing machine adventure

Hi, it’s a glorious sunny morning and I’m ready to tell you about my sewing machine adventure…

If you have a computer sewing machine like I have, you are not to open the machine any further than the manual says you can. If your machine is new and still has warranty on it : do not open it for you will loose your warranty. If you have no patience or if you have no technical skills : do not try to do as I did! You might damage your machine, bits could easily break off and you may never be able to put it back together again, or you could damage the electronics and it won’t work again.

But if like me you have a secondhand sewing machine with no warranty in place and no money for costly maintenance at a repair shop, be brave and have a go!

This is what I did with my brother super ace 3:

These are the materials I used: the screwdrivers that came with my sewing machine for the bits you’re allowed to unscrew and two regular screwdrivers for the bits they don’t want you to touch 😉 ; a very fine knitting needle to pick out lint and threads in difficult-to-reach places; tweezers for dropped lint/dust and dropped screws and putting screws back in place where it’s hard to reach with fingers; a paintbrush to pick up dust  and finaly sewing machine oil.

First you have to take out the bobbin and remove the needle. I suggest that you place everything you take off in chronological order on a table so you will know in which order to put everything back in place once you are done with cleaning and oiling your machine.

Then you have to remove the presser foot

This plate also has to be removed.

This side cover has to be removed as well.

To take the top left cover off where the lightbulb is you have to unscrew this screw in the back.

In order to be able to take the front cover off you have to take this bottom plate off, unscrewing these two screws is enough to slide it off.

To be able to clean the part where you thread your machine, you will have to take the screws off. I could’t find an easy way to remove it completely but turning the wheel will show how to loosen this bit. It has to be removed from behind the square metal plate at the top. You can leave it that way but be careful when moving the wheel later to not get this part stuck and damaged.

The top screw you see me unscrewing has to be loosened a bit to be able to take the front off later.

This bit covers the place where you adjust the pressure, it has to come off before you can take the front away.

Another little screw I couldn’t find at first, there’s a lot of calmly sitting and observing involved if you have never done this before in order to be sure not to damage anything.

At the back of the machine behind the handle was another screw to take away.

At the side where the wheel is located, there is a screw hidden behind a stopper. The side can be taken off now but be careful in doing so because there are plastic clips holding it in place.

Here you can see the belt and motor, you will have to check the belt for wear and tear and replace it if needed (take it with you to the shop if you want to replace it)

Almost ready to take the front off. Before that can happen there are three more screws to unscrew at the bottom of  the machine. This is where you will need your big regular screwdriver to unscrew the torkscrews. This is where they really want to discourage you and sadly I needed a man to use force on these. They were just tóo tight.

Be careful when you take the bottom plate off as it is also attached to the front and back  and has to be ‘wriggled’ loose without damaging the plastic

Now you are finally ready to take the top off. I found this the most difficult bit because there were still two plastic clips holding it firmly in place (see arrows) and they were very hard to get loose without damaging or breaking anything, so please be carefull and take your time to gently apply pressure with your screwdriver to get them to open up.

This is the machine taken apart as far as needed. The top will not come loose from the machine entirely, it will stay attached by the bits where the arrows are in the picture, be carefull not to pull or twist or you will damage the electronic bits of your machine. You can also see the printplates now and they shouldn’t be touched at all.

This is me blowdrying my sewing machine 🙂 In a repair shop they would use compressed air and you could also use canned air like they sell for computers but I think a blowdryer set on cold will work just as good. Once you have blown away most of the dust you can look inside to find the bits that haven’t been blown away and take them out with the brush, knitting needle or tweezers. Also take out the bobbin holder to clean it with your brush and a soft damp cloth. Especially look for dust and threads underneath the place where the bobbin holder sits as that is where I found the most lint and threads stuck on the moving parts. Clean every bit that you think is cleanable with a damp cloth, like the motor. And also clean every bit of cover you have taken off inside and outside and also the bits that are not so easily reached when the machine is put together again.

Once you are sure there is no more dirt in your machine, you are ready to apply oil to all moving metal parts. If you look carefully you will probably see tiny holes in most of these places to put the oil in. Use just 1 drop of oil! There is nothing worse than oiling too much, says hubby who, long long ago, used to have to repair clocks.

Once you have done all this and replaced all parts that were broken you can put the machine back together again. Just put everything back in place in reverse order.

Once everything is back in place you replace the needle with a new one and you are ready for testing the machine. I was very relieved to see all the lights back on !

And it works!

To test the machine I have filled up the scent cushion with lavender and sewn on a ribbon.

A pruned tree!

Goodmorning! When I look out the window I see the birds investigating our willowtree. Finally it has been decided that buying a new blade for our treesaw would be the best thing to do and then it was just 20 minutes before all, yes áll the branches were off!

Now the big branches are waiting to be cut to size for the roof of the chickencoop. Once that’s done it is time for the annual tidying-up of the yard and cleaning the pavement.

Meanwhile I have been busy cross stitching

I needed to finish before lunch, because I was planning to do some mending in the afternoon and

with the sewing machine out I could also put the cushion together. Now it just needs filling up with herbs and a ribbon attached so it can go in the closet.

After doing my pile of mending I thought I’d better clean and oil my sewing machine. I have been sadly neglecting my trusty machine and had never attempted to open it up to clean other than the bit where the bobbin goes. So I went online to search for a tutorial and found this usefull video: sewing machine maintenance

After watching I was confident enough to open up the machine and do some dusting. No oil yet, I will have to buy some today. This morning I will be continuing the cleaning because I haven’t yet managed to open the top and the side where the belt is located. My machine is a Brother super ace 3 and a bit more complicated than the one shown in the video.

I’ve also started clearing up the mess in my workroom in the attic. Unfortunately living with three people with ADD  means that however hard I try to keep it tidy, eventually someone wíll drop stuff in there when they are looking for something in the attic or clearing out junk from their studio (son 3 – KratosHimself – is studying to be a music producer and has made a studio in the bedroom in the attic which is overflowing with musical instruments and lots and lots of records and computer equipment ) To make matters worse hubby decided to ‘help’ me by reorganizing my workroom when I was ill, and now I can’t find anything anymore. So I guess I will be up there a lot this week…



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