Thursday, 26 March 2015

The end of the New Year sewing resolution

My New Year's sewing resolution appears to be slowly but surely crumbling.... I was doing pretty well at using my sewing time to get on with my quilt and have managed to make quite a few squares.  But I don't think I can only work on the quilt any more. 

I'm being tempted away by 3 projects....

The first one goes back to one of the things I was doing last year, which is going through things that I've made in the past and figuring out why I don't wear them and then what I'm going to do about them.

So, may I introduce a faux suede jacket I made:

Why don't I wear it?  Because I don't like the way it looks... it's too boxy and unflattering.

 The back and side views aren't much better. 

In its defence it does look like the picture on the pattern (Butterick 5269).  I made view A, size 10 but with in-seam pockets rather than patch pockets.  I bought the pattern in Glasgow, so that must date this make as being when I was at University in the mid-90s.

So, what's my plan?  I'm going to (mostly) take it apart and try to make a motorcycle jacket instead.  I have the Burda Silk Motorcycle jacket pattern and am hoping I have enough fabric from taking the jacket apart and from the little bit of leftovers I've found to be able to make it.  The pattern's printed out and taped together, the size chosen and east calculated, so next steps are adding the seam allowance and taking apart from horrible boxy jacket.

The second sewing project I'm being tempted away by is to make a phone belt pocket. I want a way to carry my phone without wearing out the pockets of my jeans and also when I wear something without pockets so I have somewhere to carry it without always needing to take a bag. 

 Phone Belt Pocket Pattern or hipster bag or fanny pack sewing pattern

I've found this pattern which looks interesting, so I'd like to give it a whirl. 

And thirdly I'm planning on entering the Simplicity star sewist blogger challenge.  Looks like fun and you get a free pattern. 

Poor quilt will never get finished at this rate!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

More spiral hats and a bit of sockage

I've been a bit of a slacker blogger of late - my excuse is that working on bigger projects doesn't make much blogging fodder, and I'm not one to just waffle on and ruminate about this and that for the sake of it.

Last week we took the kids and my sister-in-law skiing in Saas Fee.  The kids did their first week of ski school, which they really enjoyed.  David and his sister zoomed over the mountains as much as he was able.  I don't ski (I've tried and failed and am not quite ready to try again yet), so apart from being chalet maid I sat in the sun and knit.  The weather was great, and at times I had to go inside to knit.  I did some of my City & Guild course and also knit a couple more spiral hats.

I knit these exactly the same as the previous ones - the blue one is for my Mum for Christmas and the beige one for Aunty Alwyn.  I think I'm going to knit a couple more - one for my SIL and I guess I should knit one for myself too.

I've also been knitting a pair of socks, and finished the first sock while we were away.  They're Kai Mei by Cookie A.  The yarn I'm using is Merisock Hand Painted by Punta Yarns.  As you can see from above it still needs blocking as they're a pretty freaky shape at the moment. 

But they do fit.  I love the way the lace work curls across the foot.  This is the first pattern I've knit from Cookie A's sock innovation book, even though I've had the book for ages.  I'll definitely be knitting some more.

I'm now on the look out for some cotton-rich sock yarn - I'd like to knit some little socks to go inside ballet flats but I'm sure normal wool-rich sock yarn will be far too warm.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

week 6

Week 6 (last week) is a bit of a funny week around here, and has been for a few years now.  David goes away with work every week 6 and I'm left with the kids, which is not normally a problem but week 6 at the moment also happens to be their half term and I think we'd go mad if it was just the 3 of us without school to go to or anyone else.  Luckily my parents are very understanding and come to us for week 6.  Last week we did lots of train trips (it being Switzerland and the trains being super efficient) and saw lots of things including: the Swiss Transport Museum in Luzern; the Tinguely museum in Basel; Solothurn; Interlaken; the Kambly biscuit factory...  We had a couple of days off while some new shelves were being delivered, but generally had lots of fun.

Of course all this jollying around on trains meant that there wasn't a whole lot of crafting going on.  I managed to do a few swatches of various increase and decrease related knitting for the city and guilds course.  But sadly, no quilt progress has been made. 

The tiger fabric for Rory's tiger costume arrived with my parents much to his excitement - I managed to get it off him so I could pre-wash and cut it out and have managed to make a start on it.

Looking good so far - the fabric is fleece found in my parent's local fabric shop and I'm following the pattern for the lion in the book Cute and Easy Costumes for Kids by Emma Hardy - I'll make a couple of changes to make it a tiger rather than a lion, but I think with this fabric I can't really go wrong.

While my parents were here I also finally managed to get Rory to wear the stripy tank top I knitted for him ages ago.

I think it looks great on him. 

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Goal accountability

I thought I would try to keep myself accountable to my crafting goals on my blog. 

They are: 
  • City and Guilds knitwear design course;
  • Quilt;
  • Try not to get sidetracked into doing anything else crafty.
 So far I'm doing fine.  I've been plugging away at the samples for  the C&G course: 

These are all to do with increases and decreases.

And I've sewn a few squares for the quilt:

I've also managed not to start anything else - although I think I'm about to change that as I'm going to make a tiger costume for Rory.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Module 2 finish up and a manicure

This week, so far has been about finishing up Module 2 of my City and Guilds course I'm doing.  And yesterday - hoorah...

It got boxed up and set on its merry way to England, hopefully to arrive in about a week's time.

To celebrate finishing this module I decided to do a little bit of sewing before I start the next module.  For Christmas Frances got a nail painting kit from my parents - lots of bottles of nail varnish and stickers and gems and bits.  She is chuffed to bits with it, but it came in a cardboard box, which wasn't very useful or pretty for keeping it in long term.  

Enter me, with some pink fabric, a bit of interfacing, a zip and this pattern.

And hey presto a manicure wallet.  Pretty?  I bought the outer fabric in a shop in Helsinki before we left and the inner fabric comes from my parent's local fabric shop.

It's got lots of spaces for her bottles and the zippered pocket for all the other bits and pieces.  She was very chuffed with it and I'm happy that we get rid of the horrible box.

The pattern was easy to follow, as you can see I went for the Velcro option rather than the snaps.  It took me an afternoon to make (not including cutting out, which I did a couple of days ago) and would have taken less time, but I put one of the pieces of Velcro in the wrong place and then managed to put the same piece of Velcro in the right place, but with the sticking together bit facing inwards. Doh.

Rory wanted to know what I'd made for him - so I guess I'd better come up with a plan.  Maybe some sort of car or Lego mat thing?

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

spiral hats and goals for the year

This last Christmas my knitting was a few pairs of socks and also some spiral hats.  D asked for a new hat for Christmas, and once I'd finished one I thought I should make a couple more for the kids too. 

Here they are all modelling them together (I love F's pose!).  R looks sad, but it's not because of the hat (honest).

And of course once Grandma saw the hats she requested one too....

They're all knitted using the three-spiral hat pattern by EZ from the opinionated knitter.  D's is knit pretty much as written so it's quite large and sloppy.  The others I scaled down a bit, so cast on 34 stitches and altered the rest of the pattern accordingly.  I used some Bravo Big by Schachenmayr original for all of them.

They're all ravelled here.... D's, F's, R's and Grandma's

So, this year I have made some crafting goals - basically I'm going to try to make some progress on some large projects that have been hanging around for a while. 

First, I'm restarting my City and Guilds in Knitwear design that I started before F was born and then put on hold when we moved back to Helsinki and I was expecting R.  Now they're both at kindergarten some of the time I have time to start that again.  I'm trying to get the module I was working on when I quit back in 2010 finished by the end of January.

Secondly, I'm going to try to make a leap forward in the queen-size quilt I've been working on forever (well since 2000).  It's coming along nicely but I want to prioritise it so that I can get it finished.

So, they're my big goals - there's some other stuff I'd like to make - but I'm going to try to prioritise those two for now.

Thursday, 18 December 2014


I said I'd make Frances another dress - I was going to make one from a pink spotty fabric I have with a nod towards being a Flamenco style dress - so ruffles and more ruffles and twirly.  Before I started figuring out what I was actually going to do I made the new curtains for the kids' bedroom.  There was a bit left over of the fabric and Frances decided that she would like a dress made from that.

I used the Absolutely A-line dress from the book of the same name.

I think Frances was hoping that she would be completely camouflaged against her curtains and was quite disappointed when she looked at the photos and found that we could actually see her.  She's still pretty well camouflaged though!

I was just about to sew the side seams when Frances announced that she'd like a bow on the back.

So, voila, a bow on the back.  I used a tutorial I pinned from pattern revolution, which I think has worked out well.

Here's a close up of the bow.  I stitched into place at the top, centre of the actual bow as it is quite heavy and was lolling about a bit.

I added a contrast facing, for a bit of fun.

I think the birds are all being pretty well behaved - they went to kindergarten with her today, so lets hope they haven't been flying around the school and annoying everyone.