Wednesday, 15 October 2014

upcycled jumper cushion cover.



Hello blog, I've been away again - this time back to the UK for a bit of blighty time.  The weather was surprisingly good, and apart from a bit of a luggage diversion (3 bags decided they wanted to be a day late and one bag decided it wanted to go for a holiday on its own for a few days to Rhodes) we had a great time.

I'm now waiting for my birthday present to arrive - we bought it in the UK and are having it shipped back - it's meant to be delivered today so I'm very excited. 

While we were away I did a bit of knitting.

I finished off some socks that are going to be a Christmas present for David.

 They're the waffle rib socks from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks book.  I was gifted the yarn by my friend Quinn when she moved back to the US and I can't remember what it is, but it's pretty nice.  (Ravelled here).

I also knitted this flamingo for Frances - my Mum had got all the yarn etc together and then gone off the idea of knitting it, so I took over.    






It was a pretty simple knit although my row gauge was off so I add a few more rows to the neck and wings.  It has a bouncy ball in its bum, although the kids haven't figured this out yet! (only a matter of time).  (Ravelled here)

Since we've been back I've been working on refashioning an upcycled cushion cover.  An old jumper of David's was being relegated so I thought I'd turn it into a cushion cover - the first version involved chopping off its sleeves and filling in the neck area - I wasn't particularly pleased with my effort.  While we were in the UK I picked up a copy of Sew Magazine in it was a pattern for a patchwork cushion cover (it also has a pattern for a flamingo, but that's for the future).  So I've now cut David's jumper up further and turned it into a jumper patchwork cushion cover:

 
It was originally grey and black horizontal stripes with the brighter blue as ribbing around the bottom.  I decided to cut the main part of the jumper up so that some of the pieces have the stripes running horizontally and others vertically.  I like the effect - especially with the addition of the bright blue ribbing running across.  It's backed with some half cut up black sheet that happened to be just the right size to make an envelope opening in the back using the existing hem.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

wearing what I make - vogue 1965

I haven't done a trawl through my me made wardrobe for a while, so here's another one:


I made this dress years ago (I won't tell you how many) and did have a phase of wearing it.  It's view A from this pattern:
Which is Vogue 1965 by Marc Jacobs.  The pattern calls for a knit two way stretch knit - but I used a woven cotton as I remember finding the fabric and loving the colours - celadon green is one of my favourite colours - especially to wear, as is the right shade of red and this fabric combined both.  I made a hidden bra inside using some green knit fabric I had.
So - why don't I wear it now... not really sure.  I don't think it looks too bad, although I think it makes me look very apple shaped in this photo - maybe if my fitness regime that I've started is successful I'll feel better about wearing it next summer. 


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Laila and Lottie

A couple of things to show today on my show and tell blog:

First are a pair of socks I've knitted for my MIL for Christmas - they're Laila's socks from Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush.  Raveled here.  This is the second time I've knitted them, the first pair were for me.  I really like the design and how simple, yet effective the colourwork is.

Next is the Lottie Blouse that came with the 2nd editions of Love Sewing magazine - I saw this pattern and bought the magazine over the internet specifically for it.

I bought the fabric in Spain at the same time as the fabric I used for Frances' dress - it was in the remnant bin - it's a light cotton which I thought would make a nice top (everyone else thought it would make a nice skirt or dress).

I think the pussy bow is quite nice and feminine - I was a little worried I would look like I should be part of a 60s typing pool, but I like it. 

It is a very simple pattern - a couple of darts in the front and very simple sleeves.  I cut a straight size 10 and it fits fine.  The opening at the front (hidden for the most part by the bow) is quite large, but allows it to easily get on and off without needing a button or zip. 


And the back is just plain - sorry about the wrinkles... I wasn't particularly happy with the photos my husband took of me wearing it, so Flissy Anne wore it after me.

What I'm particularly pleased about is the inside...
The instructions called for the collar to be sewn into a tube and then attached, which would leave a raw edge at the back of the neck - this seemed unnecessary so I attached the collar like a normal collar, which is a lot neater.


I also french seamed all my seams - including my armholes (which I'd never done before), so the inside looks much more professional.

All in all a simple, satisfying make. 





Monday, 1 September 2014

Winning dress.

Just before we left to go on holiday I won a competition!  I love all the giveaways on the sewing blogs, and enter quite a few - and apparently if you enter enough eventually you will win something.  I won a copy of the First Day Dress pattern by Dana Made It.  Now, although I enter quite a few competitions, I don't enter for anything I don't think I would actually use.  I thought this pattern was very cute and I could see Frances wearing it. 

While we were away on holiday I got my Mother-in-Law to take me to a fabric shop in Granada - I bought a couple of pieces of fabric, one of which with Frances in mind.

It's a nice, light cotton with a border print, which is just her colours. 


I was originally hoping to make Frances the version of the dress with a circle skirt as she would love a twirly skirt, but because of the border print I decided it would be better to utilise that.  So, I cut it on the cross grain and positioned the bodice pieces so that the print on the dress flows from small to large as you get to the hem.  The skirt part I cut as a rectangle 2 1/2 times the length of the bottom of the bodice and gathered it.  I lined the bodice with some leftover sheeting, but left the skirt unlined.  I also added the cap sleeves as I think they're very cute. 

And the verdict? 
She loves it.

Now to find some fabric to make her a version with the circle skirt.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

boxer shorts

While getting back into sewing I've decided to make a really concerted effort to make things that are needed, rather than things that are just pretty or fun to make (there's a place for these, but at the moment practicality and usefulness is uppermost in my mind.  

I was going to make some boxer shorts for David for Fathers Day (back in June) - but my sewing machine was AWOL and so it never happened.  The kids did though buy him a boxer shorts sewing pattern (lucky him!).

After extensive research they bought him Kwik Sew pattern 1672 they bought this one as it has a one piece back.  (read: no annoying seam up your bum.) 

I've made 5 pairs of view A so far all from stash material - I started off with the medium size - the first pair (below) is made from an old cot duvet cover and are a bit tight around the waist.  I sewed all the seams as French seams.
The second pair are made from some black sheeting that I had around as a remnant after making a duvet cover a while back.  I continued with the medium size, but cut the elastic as a size large and this now seems to be OK.

The third and fifth pair are made from some checked cotton that I had left over from making David some PJs a few years back - I think I should be able to make him at least one more pair from this fabric. 


And the fourth pair are for me as PJ shorts:  I cut a size small and did the medium elastic - which fits nicely.  I also tried to make a PJ top using McCalls 3247 view A.  The pattern was already cut out in a size that is now too small for me, and I had to improvise the back as I didn't want it tying together like in the original pattern.  I thought I was doing OK, but when I had finished it was huge around the bust.  I'm not quite sure what I've done, and I'll give it another go at some point.  In the meantime I just nipped the excess at the sides and sewed down to the horizontal join.  They're only PJs so they're perfectly wearable like that.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Daddy Totoro

A knit I made at the end of June to compliment the rest of the Totoro family:  

May I introduce O Totoro, or Daddy Totoro as called by the kids.  I knit him using the free Chu Totoro pattern, but with bigger needles and thicker yarn to make him a bit bigger.  I also added some whiskers and a mouth.




Raveled here.  There's not a huge amount to say about the pattern - it's quite a fiddly knit, which makes it interesting for such a small knit, and the overall result is quite satisfying - and using yarn that was in my stash makes it doubly satisfying.  I was hoping the O Totoro pattern that is said to be under construction would have been released before I felt the need to complete the Totoro family as I've liked how they're written, but not to worry I think this looks fine. 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Octonauts masks

These are a couple of masks I made up for the kids a while ago from scraps of fabric and some thickish interfacing I had lying around.  For anyone not in the know they are Tweak and Kwazii from the Octonauts.


They were pretty simple to do - I used this tutorial from annkelle.com and copied some printable Octonauts masks from Etsy for the shape.

I'm pretty pleased with them - the kids were for a bit (as kids of 3 and 4 are).  The interfacing in the Tweak mask isn't quite as thick so it wrinkles a bit between the eyes.