I went to my mum’s house with the intention of making a pattern from an old dress I have of hers (which is at risk of disintegrating as it’s been worn so many times!) but I ended up nabbing one of her most recent charity shop pattern purchases and cutting out the pieces to make a dress! Continue reading
No completed achievements to show this month as I clink on with a couple of larger projects, but I fancied sharing some photo updates of my progress:
Crochet by Day
I’m a lunch crocheter at the moment – well, a broomstick crocheter anyway – and am currently working on a birthday present during my lunch hours. The wool is called Senses by Stylecraft, and it’s been lovely to work with.
Phill has noticed that it does look like I’m knitting a camouflage to avoid returning to work through!
Knit by Night
My “at home” project is a knit a jumper with one ball mission. Phill bought it for me from the local wool shop and it’s been partially complete for 1 or 2 years (I lose track). I went wrong on the sleeves by misreading the pattern and had to undo a huge chunk so I am back on sleeve #1!
I’m quite determined to complete the above mentioned projects before I begin this one, but I got this kit from my friend for my birthday, and I’m very keen to begin it!
One of my goals is to use up my stash for smaller items and gifts before purchase more fabric. For a friend’s Christmas gift, I followed this aim and found some fabrics to use.
Following a guide from Love Sewing Magazine (issue 01), I cut 4 rectangles of cotton fabric, two in each fabric choice, and then stitched them together to create a loop scarf.
One issue with using the stash is finding two fabrics which work well together. Although the purpose of the scarf is to have the option of two different looks, I didn’t want the fabric choices to clash too badly if you could see them both.
This was a nice simple pattern to follow and I am quite surprised at how warm a scarf made from dress cotton fabric can be!
It’s nice to pause and reflect back over the year before looking forward to the new year, so here are my highlights and lessons from 2016:
- Ceramic buttons!
I don’t have any plans to continue ceramics at the moment, but a highlight for me has been making ceramic buttons! So far, I have only used one (which may be part of the reason I have decided to leave ceramics for the moment from my stream of hobbies) but I have plans in the new year to use more of them.
- Free machine embroidery
Free machine embroidery has increased the use of my sewing machine greatly. Since taking a 10 week workshop at the beginning of the year, I’ve struggled to stop! I find it very fun and an easy way to personalise makes without the use of an expensive embroidery machine!
- Man Engine Stitch
Following on from my discovery of free machine embroidery comes my most focused project using the method – The Man Engine stitched. It took a day – from editing a photo on the computer which I took in St Austell – to stitching the design onto calico.
I hadn’t really used instagram until this year and I have found it a great way to connect with other crafters and keep up to date with designers and artists.
- Poppy Playsuit (by Sew Over it)
The Poppy Playsuit is my favourite make of the year garment wise (just a shame that the UK isn’t ideal weather-wise for it!)
- Upcycled pouffee
The new cover for the inherited pouffee makes me smile!
- Baby showers mobile (from Chloe Owens All Sewn Up)
Probably the longest and probably the most complicated make of the year! However, it does look nice now it’s finished (and I should have started it much earlier than I did)
- Upcycled t shirt cushions
Another Christmas gift make to be shortlisted are the t shirt cushions. They came out much better than expected and it has been great to get them out of my stash!
- Sewing with knit fabrics
The main points I learnt were to use stay tape to stop seams stretching too much and to use a walking foot.
- Starting presents much earlier!
I did learn this lesson a long time ago, but I still struggle to adjust my working pattern accordingly! A couple of years ago, I made everyone’s gifts well in time for Christmas. It hasn’t happened again, but it will be something I strive towards in 2017. While I always argue that I need the deadline looming to be motivated, I am going to try new methods to get that motivation working much earlier to make it less stressful!
- Don’t always follow patterns blindly
I had trouble making the baby showers mobile by Chloe Owens as the fabric glue made it too hard to attach the flowers at the end. In the end, I had to adapt the pattern anyway.
Just a quick post to reflect on some of the makes I have made this year for Christmas! There are a few which have been good or challenging which I wanted to share.
The upcycled t shirt cushions
My dad suggested that his old Hard Rock cafe tshirts should be transformed into cushions about two years ago but I wasn’t convinced and didn’t do it until this month. They have come out much better than I expected! I was worried that they were too faded, but I simply cut out the designs and appliqued them onto calico and created envelope cushions!
The 1940s tapestry bag and purse
This is another gift which had been on my mind for years but I had never got round to creating. However, I finally created it this year, even having time to create the matching purse (from Making Vintage Bags).
I wasn’t intending on making a hare bag this year, but when I clapped eyes on the fabric, I had to make something with it for one of Phill’s relatives who loves hares. I followed a free pattern online but I was a bit disappointed with the depth of the bag, which I would have preferred to have been a bit deeper, but I added a magnetic clasp to it to make it more like a shoulder bag. I did find a preferred tote bag pattern but I don’t have a photo of it yet so will write about it another time.
Oscar glasses case
This personalised glasses case was fun to make as well to add to my grandad’s collection of Schnauzer based gifts over the years.
Baby Showers Mobile
My biggest challenge was making this mobile for my niece! I gave my sister the choice of patterns for a baby mobile, and halfway through making this mobile I felt a bit of regret at doing that! However, it was a great challenge and pushed me much further than the other choices (and it looks much more impressive too)! I adapted the pattern from Chloe Owens (All Sewn Up) to what I had available, using Christmas tree decorations for the raindrops instead of jewellery chain. Glittery sequins were attached to the butterflies, which make light bounce off it.
I could not follow the pattern precisely as I could not get a needle through the fabric flowers when assembling as the fabric glue made it too hard. Instead, the embroidery floss was attached securely either side of the flowers.
I greatly underestimated the many stages to this mobile! I would recommend starting far in advance to ensure you make this in time to avoid the last minute stresses of making gifts! Fortunately, my mum helped ensure the clouds were sewn securely and to help with the final construction stage.