Saturday, 22 February 2014
Sunday, 9 February 2014
At the start of January, the lovely people at Homecrafts UK gave me this salvage yarn in the goody bag from the blogger meetup I went to in Nottingham. Since then I have been watching videos on youtube to try and teach myself how to crochet. I did start learning with the yarn but soon realised it would be easier to practice on 'normal' yarn first while I got used to how to do the stitches and what they should look like. To start with I just wanted to learned the stitches I would need for what I wanted to make and then never crochet again, but the more I practiced the more I enjoyed it and the more relaxing it became.
I tried to follow the shopping bag pattern that came with the yarn but it confused me too much to care about working it out, so I decided to make myself a thread bin to sit next to my machine because at the moment I use whatever I have to hand, normally a plastic bag or a bottle. I also decided to make it easy on myself and make 5 squares of crochet that I could stitch together to make a box using the dishcloth tutorial on one of the videos I had been watching. What I didn't think about though is that the 30 chains I made would be considerably bigger than the 30 chains the lady on the video made with her smaller hook and thinner yarn. I ended up with one very long rectangle and made a circle to go on the bottom of it which my Gran then attached for me. It still needs a lining to make it fit for purpose, but at the moment it is holding the wool my Gran gave me to practice with.
There was some yarn left over which I managed to just squeeze a pen pot out of, which I did in the same way and even attached the bottom myself. They may be a bit wonky but I'm very proud of my first attempt. In fact I was so proud, and enjoyed making them so much, that I might have gone a bit mad and bought these:
Should keep me busy for a while!
Saturday, 8 February 2014
Nearly 7 years ago, my mum bought me a sewing machine for my birthday. I had never sewn before (except a dodgy felt koala cushion in home ec) but was fed up of not being able to find clothes that fitted properly, or that were exactly what I wanted. Rather than easing myself in gently with a tote bag or a-line skirt I went straight for a suit - skirt, jacket, trousers and waistcoat! Obviously it wasn't amazing but I was so proud of myself. That's what set me off with my love of sewing, and I don't think I would have loved it so much if I had started off simple - I like a challenge and I like fitted clothing.
I no longer have three of the pieces (nor do I have any photos of them, something I still regret), but I do have (and wear) the skirt. I often wonder why I've never made another one and when I couldn't face sorting out all the fitting issues for the skirt I had originally planned to make for Blue February, I dug out this pattern.
Rather than doing the centre zip insertion that the pattern gives, I used Sunni's lapped zip tutorial from her Craftsy class and was really impressed with the results - I've been hearing about how you should interface where you are putting your zip but had never done it before, will be doing from now on though.
Now I just have to hope Spring hurries up so I can start wearing it. Is anyone else obsessing over summery makes despite the cold, or is it just me?
Saturday, 1 February 2014
This was my sister's Christmas present and, despite my wonky stitching, I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.
Helen wanted something similar to my Minoru but a bit more 'her' so we settled on the Style Arc Romy Anorak (which I got a free pattern with - makes unselfish sewing so much better!) which we made a few changes to.
I've not used a Style Arc pattern before and was a bit nervous about the one size thing, but the jacket fit Helen really well, all we did was shorten it so it fell at her hips. We also omitted the belt and loops and changed the pockets to zipped ones. The instructions were all written on one side of A4 with no pictures, so that was put to one side (I need pictures!) which was fine, until I put the fly guard on wrong! But that was easily fixed.
The pattern doesn't have a lining and rather than make one, I just used some orange mesh and satin as interlining and, with the exception of the side seams, used flat felled seams to keep the inside neat. The pattern comes with 3/8" seam allowances which I forgot about until I began sewing - if you make this jacket with flat felled seams, remember to increase the seam allowances! That's a mistake I won't be making again!
I even added a little label to it which I had printed at Spoonflower.
The fabric is this polycotton from Penine Outdoors which Helen will be putting to the test next week when she go to Wales. I did test the fabric under the tap but fingers crossed it will hold up in Welsh weather.