Wednesday, 11 January 2017

2017 Q1 Finish-A-Long - Proposed Finishes


It has been a while since I have been here but I have not stopped making things (check out my Instagram for what's been going on).

Over the last year I found I was feeling weighed down by all the projects I had to do but kept starting new ones (please tell me it's not just me who does this...).  I wrote a list of all my projects and I want to finish half in each section before I start a new project. After writing I discovered another cross stitch lurking in a bag (a Tatty Teddy with blue flowers) so at the beginning of the year I had 19 WIPs on the go.

There were a couple of quick finishes in the Christmas ornaments....

....and the white baby cardie.  But that leaves 17 projects still on the list.

I noticed that Charm About You is part of the team hosing the 2017 Finish-A-Long. So I have decided to take part. I have been a bit ambitious and want to get 8 (!) projects done this quarter.

First off I have a pair of socks in West Yorkshire Spinners Kingfisher yarn.  Just need to turn the heel and finish off the foot of the second sock.

My baby girl sampler from Bothy Treads just needs the name, date, weight and time added to it and some embellishments and it is done.

Rocky coast cardigan - at the moment this needs a sleeve and a half knitted me the front band. However, it has been sitting in a bag since 2014 and I have a funny feeling I may need a bigger size now.  Need to do some measuring before I decide if I want/need to frog it and if I have enough wool to knit it again.

Cross stitch advent calendar - this was from World of Cross Stitching Magazine last year and I have 9 days to finish before stitching up.

Christmas tree skirt - I really want to get this out of the way.  I have had this extra fabric from my Christmas quilt lying about for ages and decided in December to start a tree skirt. Needless to say it didn't get finished before Christmas.

Typewriter cross stitch from issue 290 of Cross Stitcher Magazine. This has been on the go for a while (2015 I think) and quite far through so hopefully won't take too long. Although I think the problem with it was I was using two skeins of grey for the keyboard and they must have come from different dye lots so I may have some ripping out to do first....

Tatty Teddy kit - just needs the back stitch finished.  I hate the back stitch on these, it's a complete pain. Which probably explains why it says that the rest of the stitching was finished in 2005.....

Lastly my RICO cushion kit I was given for Christmas. This stitches up quite quick but we will see how far I get....

Right that is a long list so I had better get off the computer and get started..... speak to you soon x

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Simplicity Star Sewist Contest - Flamingo dress

So way back in March I signed up for Simplicity's Star Sewist challenge.  I decided to enter the dress making category and was kindly given a copy of  the NewLook shift dress 6145 to get creative with.

I would like to say that I got really creative and made lots of fantastic alterations and adaptations to the dress....... Yeah well what can I say, life has been getting in the way of all things crafty over the last few months and I only got started yesterday.  Oops!

Never the less, while it is unlikely to win any prizes (the standard and creativity out there is amazing, just check out #simplicitybloggerchallenge on twitter), I am really pleased with my finished dress.

I wanted something to get me in the mood for summer and this turquoise flamingo print cotton fabric, which I picked up from my local Remnant Kings, fitted the bill perfectly.  It was lovely to sew with as well.

My only alteration I made to the pattern was to add in a set of in seam pockets -  I do love a dress with pockets! (Note to self: don't shove your hands right in pockets when taking photos - it distorts the dress!!).  I also used bias binding on the hem to keep as much of the length as possible.

In terms of sizing, the pattern has quite a bit of ease in it so I cut a 14 for the bust and graded to an 18 at the hips.  Think I may go back and take it in slightly at the waist but for the moment I am really pleased with my flamingo dress.

Good luck to everyone who entered and thanks to Simplicity for hosting this challenge.

See you soon x

P.S. I love to chat so feel free to leave a comment!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

A t-shirt and a lesson in patience!

Ok so this post has been half written all week! A dose of the cold and the inability to look at a screen for longer than 5 minutes without my eyes streaming like crazy, meant I didn't want to look at a PC once I got home from work. Anyway.......

Last weekend we escaped the mess of the flat back to my parents house.  I had bought the March issue of Sew Magazine through the week and decided that I wanted to make the t-shirt and kimono from the free New Look pattern 6217.  

Keen to do some machine sewing at the weekend I toddled off to Remnant Kings during my Friday lunch wander for some fabric.  I decided to just go for fabrics I liked rather than trying to get fabrics that matched as the likelihood of me wearing the two together is slim.  They were only £2.99 per meter, 100% viscous and the tropical flower print can be found here . 

I didn't get to the kimono due to an error with pattern placement when cutting (story for another day) but really pleased with how the t-shirt turned out.  Excuse the lighting in the photos, it was getting late on Sunday and it was blooming freezing so I didn't want to venture far from the front door!!!

I was really keen to get back to sewing clothes and have something completed in one go. Unfortunately I ended up losing my patience with this top!

I had cut out a straight 16 as that corresponded best to my bust measurement and I figured that 4" ease would mean I would not have to grade the pattern.   However, once I got the shoulder seams done I started to panic that I had made a mistake and that it would not fit round the tum!

This resulted in me getting frustrated and instead of trusting myself I rushed the seaming of the sides and one of the arm holes figuring 'what does it matter its going to be too tight anyway'.  You don't notice it but I have a feeling it will unravel in the wash..... I tried tidying the seams after the fact but that just resulted in me putting a hole in one of the side seams (ahhhhh).  Quickly sorted but highlights how frustrated I was.

When trying it on it also looked like it was going to be way too big at the neck line.  It turned out ok when I put the button loop and button on but it is still wider than I normally wear.

My first ever hand made button loop - quite chuffed with that!

Overall I am actually really pleased with how it has turned out.  Slightly disappointed in myself for getting frustrated and not finishing the seams properly,  It is unlikely that it will hold up very well in the wash but we will see.  It is a nice quick easy top and I can see myself making another one.  Maybe take a bit more care and attention next time!

See you soon x

P.S. I love to chat so feel free to leave a comment!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

A collapsed ceiling and some crochet

We have had a bit of an odd February.  At the beginning of the month we came home to find that our upstairs neighbours had flooded their bathroom which caused our bathroom ceiling to collapse!  Not fun and a whole lot of mess.

This resulted in us being out of the flat for three weeks and living in a Premier Inn while they got round to clearing all the debris (insurance companies don't seem to move fast!).  

To entertain myself I decided to try and learn crochet.  It is something that I have never been able to master and I spent quite some time reading over online tutorials and youtube videos.  Eventually I managed to figure it out using this really good tutorial from Bella Coco.  It still took around two hours to make my first granny square mind you!

It also took me a while to get my tension right!

I had bought a couple of balls of Siddar Snuggly DK  John Lewis on a whim and could not figure out what to do with them.  I decided to just make a granny square, alternating the colours every two rounds and see what happened.

I ended up with a square which was around 18" square.  I hummed and hawed about buying more to make it into a baby blanket but decided I could not be bothered and that a cushion would be a quicker make.

Another google and I had a couple of ideas as to how to make my big granny square into a cushion.  I eventually settled on this tutorial by Bunny Mummy which meant I didn't have to crochet a back!  (See told you I was being lazy!) I purchased some lovely snuggly white fleece and made a very simple envelope back.  I then whip stitched the crochet square onto the cushion cover, inserted the pillow form and that was it!  

Its something I could imagine cuddling into when not feeling great but I think it is destined to be a gift for my Gran.  A granny square for my granny - quite apt really!

See you all soon x

P.S.  I love to chat so feel free to leave a comment

Friday, 30 January 2015

A "woosh" quilt!

I thought I would share another one of my Christmas makes which I am really pleased with.

I started this lone star quilt back in June 2013 (so not as bad as the dog cross stitch!) with the intention of it being a Christmas gift for my Aunt (other side of the family this time).

In the run up to the 2012 London Olympics I made my Aunt some bunting to hang in her garden.  She was going to quite a lot of the games so it seemed only right that her garden was properly attired! 

I decided that it would be nice to try and make a quilt for her with some of the remaining fabric and some other bits and pieces from my stash.  Its always handy to have a blanket to throw over your legs when sitting in summer evenings when it starts to get a bit chilly!

I spotted this Scrappy Lone Star Quilt by Better off Thread and thought it would be perfect.  Especially since i was working with scraps of fabric.  I also liked how she had positioned it off center.  The piecing and the cutting of the main star went really quickly and I finished that off in a day. 

I then had to wait on the backing fabric for the quilt top arriving.  Even though it was here quick the individual pieces sat in a drawer until I picked it back up in November 2014 and decided that it was definitely going to be done for Christmas 2014!

Now I'm not going to lie.  I found piecing the triangles onto the background awful.  For some reason I just could not figure out the correct way to get it all sewn together.  This was not due to the tutorial but more just to me having a bit of a daft day!  I did eventually get it all attached.

Needless to say there was much swearing when I was unpicking!  Eventually it got to the point of squaring the star up and adding the rest of the background.  Now I normally do all my trimming on the floor so I can step back and take a look at what I am doing (and there is load of room!).  For some reason I didn't this time and we had a wee accident.......!

Thankfully it was very easy to solve and quickly mended!

My Aunt had recently purchased a 1970s VW campervan so I got this rather cool fabric for the back.  Think it works well with the colours in the front and is a bit of fun (which quilts should be!). I decided to quilt it with variegated thread rather than picking a blue or red to blend in/stand out with the front/back  and i was really pleased with the results (although don't actually have an up close shot....).

I decided to stitch in the ditch round the main seams of the pieced star (you can see that in the photo above) then mirror the outline of the piecing in the quilting.  I think it looks like the star is going "woosh" across the quilt like one of those animations you get in powerpoint(!) and that is how it got its name.

I needed to get it all wrapped up for Christmas so here are a few photos I took of the finished article, sorry for the poor light taking decent photos in December in Scotland is tricky!!  I was really pleased with how it turned out and more importantly so was my Aunt!

See you all soon x

P.S.  I love to chat so feel free to leave a comment

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Stalled works in progress!

Sometimes you come across works in progress that are really just projects taking up space in a box, things which you had completely forgotten about and probably would not buy now. 

Well that’s what happened with these two cross stitch kits which, according to the date I had written at the bottom of the paper pattern, I started in 1997!

I found them in a box at my folks along with a load of Country Companions kits, some Disney ones, some fish (no idea why I wanted to make these!) and a whole bunch of random wee kits.  Yup I used to buy a LOT of Cross Stitch kits when I was wee. 
These were supposed to be for a Christmas present for my Aunt with my mum working on one and me on the other. Neither of us got very far.  All we had managed to do before they got shoved in the box was the Jack Russell's nose and a very small amount of the Westies chin!

Despite the 17 year gap from purchase to rediscovery (!) I thought my Aunt would still like them so decided to finish them up, as intended, for Christmas.

To be honest once I got started on them they really did not take long to complete.  The Jack Russell was finished first.

Then the Westie, which was not as bad as feared - off white and grey does not make for exciting stitching!

I think they both turned out great. I also decided to try framing them myself as last time I got things framed I found it to be really expensive. So I got a couple of nice frames out of Debenhams, acid free mount board out of a local art shop, double sided acid free sticky dots and set to work.

Now I know you are supposed to lace the backs but I figure these are unlikely to be removed from their frames and I was being lazy!  The glue dots worked really well and were so much easier to use than traditional double sided sticky tape.

Spot the sticky dots!
I was really pleased with the finished result and she absolutely loved them which is the main thing.

See you all soon  x

P.S. I love to chat so feel free to leave a comment!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A (very) late New Year post!

Happy New Year!  Ok the year is not very new anymore but better late than never right?!

Like most people out there in blog land I have been doing quite a bit of reflection about 2014 and thinking about what 2015 may hold.   Last year was absolutely fab and contained a number of big events (such as getting engaged and married in the same year) along with smaller things like participating in my first OWOP and making clothes that I actually wear outside of the house!  Needless to say quite a lot of my original plans got put to one side.  I also found that I began to get myself all stressed out about rather silly things, including the overwhelming feeling of having too many projects on the go/planned/on the wish list!

This year I am determined to not get myself in a tizz about having too much on (especially for those non essential projects on the to do list)!  I know I am never going to get right to the bottom of the WIP list but (and here is the catch) I am going to make a concerted effort to rid my list of all those thing which I now feel a bit 'meh' about and not feel bad about it!  I can't be the only one with projects on the list or started which were fashionable at the time but the moment has passed.  Going to have a good old clear out of the stash and see what is there - may even share some photos!

I could also do with running down my craft/fabric supplies as well so unless it is a present or I need it to finish a project then I ain't buying till at least June! 

In the mean time I have been doing a lot of fast finishes to start clearing the decks!  Apologies if you are on Instagram as you will have already seen most of these.

More bunting for a work colleague.

A drawstring bag for my nephew to take on his holiday made using this tutorial. Its the same fabric as the drawstring bag (Michael Miller les monieurs en ville blue from the Bead and Button Company) as I bought extra - it was too cute not to!!

Napkins to go with our wedding china.  I did wish we only had 6 place settings rather than 8 when I made these.  I would also make them a bit bigger next time.  I cut out squares of 45cm before hemming this time.

A I-pad mini cover for a friend using fabric I purchased from Remnant Kings on one of my lunchtime wanders.

A helicopter cross stitch - random gift for a friend who said they 'wanted a helicopter'... don't think this is what they had in mind though!

More lavender bags.  I really wanted to finish the rest of the lavender as it was getting in the way so it had to be done. Some were gifted but most kept......!

Some more tissue holders.  How cute is the princess one?!

I have also been progressing my wedding sampler (Love Blossoms by Bothy Threads which I purchased from Sew and So) and the Sew Crafty Sampler from issue 287 of Cross Stitcher Magazine.  These have been good projects for doing while watching the TV and not wanting to create much mess (we have had a lot of guests round recently)!

You will notice from all the photos that there is a distinct lack of clothes being made at the moment.  Like most people the last few months have been heavy on the eating/drinking and light on the exercise.  This means I need to take some new measurements and not really feeling the love for that at the moment! Anyone else get that or is it just me?  Hopefully that feeling will pass soon as I miss the challenge with making clothes.

Right that is enough from me for one day.  I won't be away long this time as I have a few posts about some of my larger Christmas makes lined up.

See you all soon x

P.S. I love to chat so feel free to leave a comment!