Monday, 13 February 2017

All (Sunday) Set

One of my favourite sewing magazines (and the only one that I buy every month without fail) is Simply Sewing. It's up there as one of my favourites as I feel it is filled with about 75% of things I would potentially like to make, where as magazines I've looked at previously were more like 30%.  I have found that now I am *slightly* better at sewing, and can sort of grasp a pattern, that more magazines contain more things I would like to make, but none the less Simply Sewing remains one of my favourites.

Now if you're a regular reader of Simply Sewing, you'll know that a couple of issues ago, the pattern that came with it was a Cotton + Chalk one called "The Sunday Set". It looks a little something like this...

I liked the look of the pinafore dress, so I figured what the hell, I'd give it a shot. I'd gotten the fabric for it when I went to Goldhawk a few weeks ago, so I just wanted to crack on. What I failed to take notice of at the time was that little key in the bottom left that tells you how difficult the pattern is, and in this case, it's pretty darn difficult.

I started this dress about  2 weeks ago, and was getting on pretty well with it. Everything was running smoothly until I got to the instructions for the pockets. I still don't really get how the instructions for the pockets worked, as from what I could work out, they basically told you to sew the pockets shut, but implied they would still magically work afterwards. I could see this was going to be a confusion, so I abandoned the pockets and cracked on with the next few stages after that, including making the pinafore section which looked like this.

I'm aware the pocket isn't 100% straight, but in the end I decided to leave it as is for a quirky handmade element (or I was too lazy to change it, you can pick which).

Anyway, after a whole evening and then a whole afternoon on it, I finally finished the thing (including figuring out the damn pockets). I took this picture before I hemmed the bottom and pressed the whole thing, but I was just so pleased! I'm also mildly (aka completely and utterly) obsessed with the fact I have a dress with pockets, because lets be honest, dresses with pockets are the best thing EVER.

It's not the best picture in the world, but hopefully I'll get a better one in the next few days and be able to share that as well.

I was really pleased to be able to use some buttons from my button supply as well. These beauties were from my other half's Nana's sewing box, which I will be raiding for more buttons in the future hopefully!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Knit Knit

Many moons ago, or so it feels now, I was writing about how my friend was expecting her second child, so I had started knitting a baby blanket for the child, but was having to wait to find out the gender.

Well, we had confirmation in September that she was expecting a beautiful bouncing boy. So blue wool was a must I decided!

The little bundle of joy arrived on 23rd January, a very happy and healthy boy! And I got to meet him just over a week later.

So I thought I'd share 2 quick pics with you all... firstly, the blanket:

The wool I chose was one that was like a gradient colour, and would mean that it would give like a dip dye effect on a bigger piece, but as I was only doing small squares, it resulted in this cool gradient instead. I was really pleased with how it turned out in the end. There was a total of 36 squares that went into this one. You'd think my knitting skills would be a bit faster by now, but nope. Each square was 20x40 stitches, and took me on average 45 minutes per square to do. This rate was improved slightly by the consumption of prosecco I discovered though!

The second picture I wanted to share was a picture of me cuddling the cutie-pie. Definitely not getting broody here. Nope. Not at all.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Draw the Curtains

One of my friends recently text me saying "So, random question, but can you make curtains?"... She was pregnant with her second child at the time, and having found out she was having a boy, she was on the hunt for unisex curtains as she already had a little girl, and they were going to have to share a room for a while.

She sent me through a couple of pictures of ones that she liked, and quickly established that all she could find ready made was patterned, and she wanted plain. I explained that I hadn't made curtains before but I knew the principles and if it was plain fabric she wanted, I was happy to give it a go...

And here's the final result.

I was so pleased with them, and learnt a lot whilst I was doing it that I can take into account for the next time I make curtains, but all in all, it was a success I believe.

I guess it's a case of watch this space for more curtains! Along with a few other projects I have in the works....

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Taking a Trip Down Goldhawk Road

I have come to a new conclusion as to where my favourite place may be. Bearing in mind this does change semi-regularly depending on my mood and what I want out of my "favourite" place, but this is in the top 5 at least!

Where is the wonderful place, I hear you ask? Well, it's Goldhawk Road. Any keen fabric shopper will know (or should know) about this place. It's a truly magical place where all your fabric dreams can come true.

My sewing buddy and I went there this past Saturday to have a little mooch around and buy fabric for her to use for her business, and for me to top up my stash/find fabric for a couple of specific projects I want to do.

I've decided that during February I'm going to try and have 2 (non-consecutive) weeks of no spending. I won't buy anything at all. I haven't decided which 2 weeks these will be, but when I get there, I am most certainly going to be using sewing to fill up that time I would have been spending money, and therefore that obviously meant that I needed to buy fabric in advance to keep me busy.

Anyway, I digress slightly. I wanted to tell you, and show you, the fabrics I got on this trip. We spent a good 3 hours up one side of the road and back the other way. We would have easily spent longer, had it not been for the heavy bags of fabric we were lugging around by the end wearing us both out - next time we go I'm opting for a pull along suitcase I reckon!

So... let's go:

So first up we have this lurvely grey linen type fabric. It's got a really nice weight to it, and I'm really into the texture on it. I'm planning on using this to make a pinafore/dungaree type dress from a pattern I got a little while ago with Simply Sewing magazine, and I just think this colour will look good layered over all sorts of different coloured tops.

This little beauty I got for a playsuit that I'm going to try and make for my summer holiday this year. I just loved the quirky pattern, and I know I can rest safe in the knowledge that no one else will be wearing the same thing as me at the beach or by the pool with this! I nearly brought this fabric in another colourway as well, but I was trying to be restrained with my shopping!

I got this fabric on a bit of an impulse purchase (totally going against my plan for the day - only buy what for patterns I knew I had and wanted to make). I decided in the end that I'm going to try to make either a pair of casual day shorts, or if they turn out a bit indecent, then, they'll be pj shorts!

I got myself a big old punch of a thick black jersey as I recently managed to rip my favourite pair of legs... I may have eaten too many chocolates this Christmas, shhhh! So I decided that it can't be that hard to make leggings, and I'm going to use the ripped pair to get my pattern from. Hopefully this will turn out to be success story!

There's one last lot of fabric that I got on this trip, but I think I'm going to save it for another post... Not because the fabric itself is anything exciting, but more because it's for a bigger picture, and I think I'll do a post where I focus on the project instead of the fabric I bought.

So, watch this space for a project post!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Christmas Presents

As per usual, this Christmas involved some handmade elements for my in-laws. It's something I thoroughly love to do, and they enjoy receiving; with the added bonus of helping to keep costs down a bit.

This year I didn't make as much as I had done the year before - I found I just didn't have the same amount of time around the job I have been doing this year versus the year before. But I found some time to do a few bits and pieces.

One of the main things I wanted to do was to make all the females their own version of a bag in a bag that I blogged about before. What with the bag laws being different now, it means that if you want a carrier bag, you have to pay 5p for each one. Whilst it's not a lot, it's infuriating to pay repeatedly when you know you have hundreds of the damn things at home and just forgot it. So the bag in a bag seemed like a great idea given it's small enough to throw in your handbag, but big enough to hold a bottle of milk and a few other things.

I stupidly forgot to take pictures of each one that I made though, because I am a fool, let's be honest. Thankfully, I did remember to get some photos of the frames I did for my 2 sister in laws though...

The first of the frames was based on an image I kept seeing online that just made me think of my older sister in law every time I saw it. So I set about finding a typography I liked and practised drawing my feathers to complete this design for her.

I then moved onto my younger sister in law - the one who is a Harry Potter fan like myself... Well it seemed obvious what to do for her...

A golden snitch with an Albus Dumbledore quote. The perfect thing for any Harry Potter geek like me and her both are.

I had great fun creating these, although it did take a couple of attempts both times. I was very pleased with how they came out in the end.

Monday, 2 January 2017

New Year, New Thoughts, New Processes.

Wow, where has time gone?

Last time I wrote it was the middle of October and was in the process of getting creative for Christmas. I didn't make anywhere near as much stuff this year as I did the previous years (well, present wise anyway) and there's been a lot that's happened that kept me away from the computer unfortunately... So, let's play catch up over a couple of posts....

The biggest news of all is that I *finally* got a new sewing machine for my birthday, because quite frankly, I have the best boyfriend. To add the thrill and excitement of this, I also got an overlocker from my parents for the birthday too. So I was super duper happy. The only downside was that the sewing machine was on back order at the time, so I was forced to do the thing that I'm terrible at doing... and be patient.

It finally arrived a few days before Christmas and I had to wait until Boxing day before I actually had any time to myself to set it all up, but I finally did and I'm so in love.

Just look at them both... so beautiful.

They're both Janome, and I requested they were bought from my local retailer called Nimble Thimbles as I'm all for supporting local, and there was little to no difference in price as these were on promotion.

So far, I've only really played with my sewing machine as the overlocker scares me a bit, but I'm so excited to have a play over the coming weeks and getting to know it.

All I can say is to watch this space to see how I get on with them both, and all the things I'm going to create.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Knitting and Stitching Show

As you may have gathered from my last post, I was a wee bit excited about going to the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace last weekend with my friend.

Rightly so, it would seem, as it was AMAZING! I had such a fab day, although I really did have to exercise extreme restraint! I could have happily spent hundred and hundreds of ££££. But I resisted and spent a very respectable £40 in the end - AND that included my food and drinks for the day.

Here's my little haul from the show...

I am SO excited to getting making stuff, and to be honest I did started getting crafty last Sunday when I made a bag in a bag out of the flamingo fabric (another Christmas gift checked off the list!). I'm going to make a bag in a bag out of the labrador fabric hopefully.... The check fabric is going to become a cape for me, the floral fabric was a freebie from my sewing buddy (YAY!) and will probably be *another* kimono or something similar.

I had the absolute best time that day, although I was absolutely shattered by the end. I couldn't even face having a few cheeky cocktails afterwards which is most unlike it!

Anyway, the time is fast approaching where I get absorbed into pretty much constant crafting for Christmas presents, so there is potential that posting may be a bit more sporadic in the run up to the big day. Be sure that in the New Year though I will be posting all my Christmas makes and more!