Be Bold

I recently discovered Ellie and Mac patterns via this blog post. How lovely is this Be Bold top by Margarita on the Ross?? Gorgeous fabric choice!! The pattern was on sale so I thought I’d give it a go.

Be Bold is an off shoulder blouse/dress pattern for woven fabric. There are various sleeve lengths, body lengths and optional additions of a ruffle and/or a sash.

My first attempt was using fabric I repurposed from an old skirt. It was a dirndl with an elastic waistband. There was quite a bit of fabric once I took the waistband off. Its a pretty rose print so a summer top seemed perfect. I had to do the cropped version just due to the length of the fabric.

The top was so quick to make. I added ties to act as straps and Ive since elasticated the hem.

Its pretty but I havent found the perfect outfit for it yet.

My second attempt was much more successful.

Such a pretty fabric!

I did the tunic length this time and elbow length sleeves again. The top can be worn on or off the shoulder and the fabric drapes beautifully . Thanks to my “first draft” version this was a hassle free make with no issues at all. I’ve already worn it half a dozen times.

I really love Ellie and Macs patterns. Ive bought several others already. They are affordable and easy to follow . Like Patterns for Pirates, they have a variety of body types showcasing each pattern and come in a good range of sizes.

I can definitely see myself making this again in future!

In Other News

🍇The sewing room has had a little makeover and I now have a lot more space. Excuse the mess, I am not a tidy sewist! #sorrynotsorry

🍓I’ve been listening to many episodes of Love to Sew . Its an excellent sewing podcast presented by the wonderful Helen (of Helens Closet) and Caroline, founder of Blackbird Fabrics.

🍉 I actually bought plain fabric in my last haul. I know!! I’m shocked too😂. Watch this space to see what comes of it 🤗

Until next time

Happy Sewing/ Yarning /Living/Loving❤

Summer’s Here!

Its been utterly glorious (bar the odd rainy day) for the past month🌞🌞🌞. Rain or shine though, either is good for a day of sewing.

I’ve got a few new bits to show you. Firstly I re-made the Classic Mens Tshirt for A in a better quality fabric. It turned out great! It fits and has survived several washes. I learned a few lessons from the last one too (add extra length for one!)

How nice is that green space dye?!? We’ll just call the other one a practice tshirt eh?

Second I finally used my lovely blue stretch crushed velvet. I had dreams of making a sweatshirt out of this but didnt have enough of it. So instead I made P4P’s Cross My Heart cami. I just opted for the basic version with a v back, and without any extra decorative straps. This was because I’ve never worked with this kind of fabric before and I didnt have a surplus. I think it turned out pretty well.

Its a teeny bit too big so I might grade between two sizes next time. But it still looks nice on.

Lastly I’ve just finished my first Cocoon Cardigan. Another P4P pattern which I’ve had my eye on for a while. I chose the tunic length with 3/4 sleeves and patch pockets.

This has been a little adventure. It all went perfectly until I came to hem the sleeves. I let the iron get far too hot and melted the end of the sleeve. Cue me cutting 2 1/4 inches off each sleeve and adding cuffs to get the length back! Now cuffs are on option in this pattern but I didn’t have enough fabric to make the size required 😣 I basically made them as big as the scrap fabric would allow and hoped for the best. I’m more than happy!!

Saved!! The sleeves sit exactly where I always yank my cardi sleeves up to! And check those pockets!!

I’ve also discovered the overlock stitch on my machine. The seams on this cardi looked so messy because of the number of fabric layers but not now….

I’m definitely converted!!

Finally I went fabric shopping today. Here’s a taster….

You might spy a familiar fabric there, I couldnt resist buying some more 😉

Til next time

Happy Crafting ❤❤❤

❤New Machine!❤

So this month I finally got a new sewing machine.

I went with the Brother Fs40, a very reasonably priced computerized model. It’s so quiet and quick. I love it!

The first project I did with it was just a little alteration. This sheer top has a crossover neckline and an under bust tie. The top has always felt slightly too small and as it stood the tie was sitting across my bust instead of under it.

I unpicked the shoulder seams and added two fabric panels. It was surprisingly easy and the top fits great now. I think it looks really good and you can’t really tell its been altered.

About a month or so ago I treated myself to a couple of P4P patterns and here’s one of them. The Boundless Knit Dress. I’ve used a lovely tropical print jersey which drapes beautifully.

It was relatively easy to make. The pattern calls for you to line the bodice which removes the need for any hemming or banding on the neckline. However I didn’t have any fabric for this so I opted to make a bound neckband. I used a tutorial from Melly Sews and it turned out perfectly! I am so happy with this dress. I can see its going to get a lot of wear this summer!

Ps How cute would the bodice look as a crop top?!? 😍

Upcycle Project

A little rescue project. I’ve had this dress for many years and even at my slimmest it was slightly too small. But that skirt material 😍😍 . I couldn’t bear to part with it. So now i have a fab new skirt!

I unpicked the skirt from the bodice then created a new waistband. I’ve been salvaging buttons, elastic and zips from any old clothes I throw out. So I used some elastic from a bleach stained pair of harem pants.

I chose to do the fold over type , mainly because the elastic was a struggle to stretch whilst still sewing in a straight line. It means the skirt is a bit shorter than planned, but I’m still happy with it.

I might even see if i can unravel that bodice!

Weekend Update

I couldn’t resist this lovely remnant piece on my last fabric shopping trip. I love the dusky mauve colour and understated floral print. I figured at the least I could hem it and have a pretty scarf.

I’ve wanted to make my own kimono style cardigan for a while but I wasnt sure this was enough fabric. After watching a few videos I settled on this one by Mighymannie.

My sleeves are a few inches shorter than hers because I just didn’t have the width of fabric. In the end I cut very little off to make my T shape. None the less I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’ve trimmed the sleeves with dusky pink lace.

I’ve also done a little upcycle with an old mens jumper. It’s 70% lambswool so it seemed a shame to throw it away but I found it a little shapeless as a jumper. I just cut straight down the middle and hemmed it. Then I cuffed the sleeves as they’re too long.

Now I have a cosy slouchy cardigan!

It’s got pockets!

I knew when I found this tutorial I had the perfect fabric for it. The Picnic Blanket Skirt by Tilly and the Buttons is a fab no pattern tutorial, you just need your own measurements. It’s given me a few “firsts” including using interfacing and making pockets. Yes ladies its got pockets!

The tutorial is really easy to follow and I’m looking forward to making many more of them.

It’s very full which suits the retro fabric. I may use less fabric next time and plain instead of print, for a more “everyday” kind of skirt. The pockets turned out perfectly and are just the right size.

I am really enjoying working with wovens, I’ve only really used knits so far on clothes. My next project is a classic man’s tshirt though so it’s back to the stretchy fabric!

Here’s some pictures I took during the making of the skirt.

Please excuse the bad lighting in the last picture, its a mirror selfie!

Drum roll please

Latest addition to my wardrobe ❤ Its turned out beautifully and I’m so so pleased.

The pattern is by Straight Stitch Designs and can be found here.

I’ve added 4 inches to the length as it was a little too mini for me. I’ve also deepened the neckline by two inches.

This my first time using woven fabric (on a garment) and the first time I have ever done bias binding.

As you can see from the pictures I didn’t use the crochet inserts (maybe next time).

I cut the two insert pieces vertically for contrast. They go across the shoulders and sleeves.

It looks great on and I’m looking forward to wearing it!

❤❤❤

Sew Sew Sew

I started the new year as I mean to go on..by sewing. This had previously been mainly a yarn based blog but as you all know I also love to sew. Knitting has taken a little bit of a backseat. Although I definitely plan to work through my stash, I may not buy any new yarn for a while (she says, good intentions etc etc)

Last year saw me making cushion covers and my very first garments. This year I want to improve my clothes making skills. I’ve gotten some patterns from the very fabulous Patterns for Pirates (P4P). They are easy to follow, come in a good range of sizes and each garment usually has a few variations. Its like getting 4 patterns in one!

I’ve also been watching videos about how to make patterns from your existing clothes.

To that end, I used a loose jumper I love as a template and have made a loose flowy t-shirt for the summer. How fab is this fabric, I couldn’t resist it.

Next I’ve finished the P4P pencil skirt. Its made from soft stretchy jersey in a lovely shade of purple.

Currently I’ve got this gorgeous fabric on the cutting table

You’ll have to watch this space to see what it becomes!

Knit wise my WIPS include

  • Rose Trellis Cardigan – on hiatus but may return for summer 2018.
  • Granny Square Blanket – made a few new squares over Xmas. Needs to grow to about 4 x its current size to cover my bed.
  • Knit Kit Cat- got a little knit kit for Xmas. Have cast on the body.
  • Rainbow Shawl- with my rainbow lambswool I started a basic garter triangle shawl. Its on hiatus awaiting more yarn.

I’m hoping to return to my Brandywine Falls Shawl which I made 5 years ago. I still have more of the yarn and I’d like to lengthen the shawl. Its one of my favourite ever knits but I found I hardly wear it.

I’m also planning to make more Beehive Hats , in contrast to the above my Beehive is one of my most worn knits. I have two but the purple and grey one is my go to hat. The other one is fab too, it’s in rainbow yarn with sparkles! It’s the most amazing pattern- quick ,easy, no hat head and loads of room for my hair!

Well that’s me for today. I’ll be back with more fabric & yarn shenanigans soon!

Xxx

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

Well hello there lovelies…
So as you know its the end of June already…when did that happen?

World Cup fever has been and gone for me(tip- a pessimist is never disappointed)and Wimbledon is upon us.
The problem with this… is that is severely impacts my knitting. Oh I get a project out alright,  I hold it in my hands…poised…for the duration of the match because I can’t miss a shot!
I do love my tennis. Shame I’m working the whole tournament cos I booked the wrong week off.

So..knitting.
Still working on the heart eyelet wrap..or trying to.

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Its looking great, I’m really loving the yarn. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this already but its just so pretty and soft.

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I really want several more skeins in several more colours. I don’t have much ‘summer’ yarn really so I’d like to stock up.

In direct contrast to this I’ve realised recently,  as many knitters do, that I have a serious stash problem.
I did well using up my scraps bag on the granny squares but I need to do more.

Therefore I think I will have to do a stashbusting exercise. 
Although this is going to take some planning, it helps that my stash is now in some semblance of order.
More on that story later…

Other Projects

•The navy sweater is in hibernation… for now
• The granny squares I will keep on making as part of the stashbust

Sewing

I’ve done a few no sew tshirt alterations.  I have many awesome promo tshirts from my retail days but they are always mens fit.
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I hate the necklines on most mens tshirts so I’ve been cutting them off for a more feminine fit.
I’ve also made this slightly too big girls one fit better by cutting lines into the back pulling the loops through eachother.
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I fashioned this loose fit vest out of an old skirt.
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I got the method from a Pinterest tutorial, its very loose and I just tie it at the back. It only works with another vest underneath but I do like it.

I’ve made a new Pinterest board for sewing and customization to keep track of all the awesome ideas out there.
Lack of cash has given me this push to make the unwearable…. wearable. I’ve been trying to customise my clothed since I was a kid, I think I’m finally getting good at it! 

March Musings

Its Spriiiiiiiing!

Last week we finally got some sunshine and blue skies after a grey rainy winter. The daffodils are in full bloom and the days feel that little bit warmer.  I’m already imagining all our summer ramblings!

Right now as per the last post I am still “finishing off” – the balaclava is the main thing right now. I’m loving being involved in the project and I’m highly impressed with all the gorgeous garments that have been produced. I believe I’m on the list for another small project for them but its not confirmed yet. There are a lot of members and only on or two wonderful ladies organizing which projects go to who and when they need to be completed. Its a big job and I don’t envy them.

I think a lack of confidence often stops me getting involved in ventures like this, I always worry I will let people down by not finishing on time or not being up to standard.

I do feel like all the knitters working on Tell Them of Us must think I’m super slow at this – its taken quite a while and I’m not finished one yet…there was talk of me doing two! Last years achievements helped to boost me, I can’t believe I did all that in a year! There’s no structured plan for 2014 but I have a few ideas…

Sewing

I’d like to become competent with my machine – last year I learned to thread it but haven’t been back since. The lack of a proper desk probably doesnt help but I bought two sewing books this weekend and I’m raring to make things.
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I’m going to start with cushion covers, I have some fabric and applique ready to make some standard square cushions. One of my new books has a fab pattern for cloud shaped cushions -OH has suggested making them in block colours rather than the florals in the book. There’s some new blue & white cotton for this one.
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Eventually I’d love to be good enough to make my own clothes and like GBSB’s Chinello…I’d love to whip up a dress for a night out instead of trawling the shops.
I’d also like to acquire some better sewing supplies, threads, a new tape measure, shears etc
Speaking of GBSB, how beautiful was Lyndas shawl this week?
Turns out it was made by her daughter from a pattern by Carina Spencer.
Here’s a blog post she did about it Lyndas GBSB Shawl

Crochet

I want to get into tunisian crochet. I’ve watched a tutorial and it seems easy enough. Its like a strange combination of crochet and knitting, its done with a long crochet hook (sometimes with a cable on the end) and unlike crochet the stitches stay on the hook as you work across. Then you go back the other way and work each stitch dropping it off the hook until you are back to just one. I probably havent explained it overly well so here’s a vid

Tunisian Crochet Tutorial

I found it when I was looking for inspiration for my blanket project – I want to make a big Nintendo themed blanket for my bed. Possibly just one image but possibly lots of panels. Tunisian Crochet stitches turn out square so they’re great for working from grid charts.
I was highly I inspired by this blanket from Gege Crochet
Nintendo Blanket
But a quick google image search reveals so many amazing pieces.

I’ll be needing a hook and a yarn that comes in a wide number of shades – I havent decided what kind of fibre yet. I could go for a light bamboo/cotton or a wool based yarn.  Its gonna be a long haul that one though, could go well into 2015.

Knitting

Knitting-wise I want to pick up speed. I’m trying to master continental style, I’ve got the knit stitch down but the purl is still giving me trouble.

I’m determined to have Miriam finished at least in time for Autumn (its only been 3 years or so!) I’m currently midway through picking up the neckband.

At some point I’ll be changing Paige as I really don’t like the fit, I may alter it or I may frog and reclaim the yarn. Its not a shaped sweater but I think thats the problem, its not really a style I normally wear.

I’m still midway through sock number 1 on my Zig Zag Rainbow Socks, the warming weather means I may not feel like going back to these for a bit although they are a great portable project so you never know.

After sorting out my stash I now want to start assigning yarn to projects -its a great way to de-stash as it quickly sorts out what stuff you’re never going to use. Plus it will give me an exciting queue of projects to work on instead of some random ideas floating around in my head!

Well thems the plans but we’ll see how many come to fruition, being creatively organised is not my forte.

I’m like a magpie with shiny things when it comes to new projec…OOH SHINY!

Happy Yarnings! x