Tuesday, 25 November 2014


It's been really tense around here.... well, not really... I've been knitting some socks for my Mum for Christmas and was convinced about half way through that I was going to run out of yarn for them.  I chose the pattern because it looked interesting and also so I could reduce the amount of stash I have and when I thought I was going to run out I was pretty gutted.  I even "phoned" a friend and there's some emergency yarn winging its way from Finland to here.  In the end I didn't need it, so my plans for stash reduction have only been partially successful, but I'm sure I can find a plan for the extra yarn when it arrives. 

Anyway, here are the socks:
I really like them -  I love how the colours dither (hence the name of the pattern) and I can see some other versions in the future.  I think they're quite a unisex pattern, so I can see some blues and blacks and greens going well together for David.

They're ravelled here.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

JJ blouse finished.

I little while ago (back in April!) I blogged that I had started the JJ blouse using some of the fabric I bought in Vietnam.  After my old sewing machine playing silly buggers, this is now the first piece of clothing made fully on my new machine :-)  I'm really enjoying sewing on it.  Anyway, back to my JJ blouse.  I had originally thought of doing some pin tucks on either side of the centre front instead of the ruffles that are on the original pattern, but then changed my mind and decided to leave it completely plain as the fabric is quite busy.

I cut a size 36 bust grading to a 38 around the waist.  A lot of people have complained about the pattern directions - they were a bit confusing, but with the help of this tutorial and looking up how to do a continuous bound cuff opening in my trusty sewing book it went together fine and fits well. 

The only changes to the pattern I made apart from the obvious omission of the ruffles is that I put 6 buttons down the front rather than the 4 the pattern said, I also didn't do the belt ties. 

I did do French seams everywhere.  I love French seams and how finished and professional the inside looks with them.  I don't want a serger as I love French seams so much.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

mermaid costume

I've been sewing this mermaid outfit recently for F.  When we were in Vietnam earlier in the year she found this sparkly pink Lycra material on a stall in the fabric market we visited and its been destined to be a tail ever since. 

 It's basically a tube skirt with some pieced together shapes to make the flippers.  I also got some pink net and sewed that inside the flippers to give them a bit more dimensionality - it's quite long as she wanted to be able to lie around and have her feet covered, but then she's able to hitch it up and be able to walk around.

She needed a top to preserve her modesty so I picked up some plain t-shirts and attached another bit of the Lycra to it and sewed it into the side seams of the t-shirt.  I also gathered the centre so that it looked like a bikini top.  

And here's both of them getting ready to go to a Halloween party.  R's going to need a new costume soon as he's had the dinosaur one now for a couple of years.  I'm thinking of a lion next.

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.