Sunday, 7 February 2016

Double Fen

Fen Dress by Fancy Tiger Crafts

I had to have this pattern as soon as a I saw it, I loved the casual look of it and that it would be lovely in many different fabrics.

The first one sadly is only wearable with a T shirt under it as the neckline is too wide, having said that I have worn it quite a lot, it's comfy and easy to wear and at this time of year a T shirt is no bad thing.

I did follow the pattern to the letter including the dropped hem the back, it was so easy to put together (especially if you read the pattern carefully) I like the pocket detail and the soft gathers at the front and back are good on me. It doesn't look very good on the hanger though. I know I should model them but I'm settled on the sofa watching the rugby. 

This is the second one, both the pattern and this linen cotton blend fabric are from Backstitch. This time I closed up the neck by redrafting the pattern at the neckline. I made the straight hem option as I wasn't really happy with the dropped hem. I'm very happy with this one. The gathers could have been a bit more even and I'm thinking that next time I'll make the skirt a little wider and put some pleats in the front between the pockets.

Love these pockets. Also added three little buttons as an embellishment on the neck. If I remember correctly these came on a dress label from White Stuff. 
I think I'll get lots of wear out of this one, so much so that I'm knitting a cardigan to go with it. It's almost done.

One of the most exciting things about this second Fen dress is that I used my newly purchased Juki overlocker to finish the seams. Yay!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

First Dyeing of the New Year

And first blog post, I really want to get back into the habit of doing this as it's such a great reminder of things I have done and how I did them. Hence the dyeing. These are new dyes for me from Doodlestop. The main reason for using them is that they can be used in the kitchen with utensils from the kitchen, most importantly, my microwave.

My usual method requires a large pot on the stove that is only used for dyeing, a nuisance and time consuming. I had been wanting to use the microwave for ages and with these dyes I could.

The purple is Superwash Merino, nylon and cashmere. The red is the same as the purple but a high twist so the yarn is denser. The blue is Superwash blue faced leicester and donegal neps. All the dye solutions were 1.25ml with 125ml of water. I then added dye in 10ml amounts to water and put the yarn in. The purple was 10ml blue and 20 ml red. I'm not really happy with it but dyeing is all about experimentation.
 I have quite a lot of sock yarn for dyeing so more playing on the horizon.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Dottie Angel Dress

I had been waiting for this pattern for ages. I saw examples of the dress on Pinterest and knew I wanted to make one. Fortunately Tif from Dottie Angel was able to publish her pattern through Simplicity Patterns, it is pattern 1080. The number of pictures on Pinterest of this dress is growing by the day.

I found this lovely check linen on Hitchin Market for only £5 per metre, it creases like mad but feels and hangs beautifully and I think works really well for this dress. The bias trim and the pockets were some lawn I bought at a sewing show earlier in the year. 

From my measurements I went for medium, unfortunately it did come up rather wide across the shoulders so I had to do some jiggery pokery with pleats front and back at the neckline. I was a bit disappointed, not enough not to wear though. It is the comfiest dress I own. I also lowered the tucks by about 2 inches as on other reviews I had read this was the advice for those of us with an ample bosom. I'm glad I did as that adjustment worked well for me. 

All in all a success as I am wearing it and I do love it. I have today made a toile using an old duvet of the dress in a size small with the tucks lowered, but not as far as on this one. I'm glad I have as the small is definitely the best size for me. I have some lovely fabric I bought in Brugges to make another one. 

This dress is part of a homemade wardrobe project. The Twigs and Willows cardigan by Alana Dakos is almost done, back, fronts and sleeves started using Drops Lima ,my go to yarn for cardi's. It's soft, warm durable and comes in a range of lovely colours. Not in this picture is the yarn for a crescent shaped scarf, shawl thing which hopefully will complete the outfit. It's a light grey silvery colour.  

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Ripples, Ripples, Everywhere.

I love this blanket, the colours, the feel of it and the making of it. The rhythm of the hooking was calming and meditative. The pattern is Lucy's of Attic24 as are the colour choices from a pack put together by Wool Warehouse for Attic24.

Crocheting the border was a joy, I chose my favourite colours from the blanket, it finishes if off beautifully.

All I need now is a cold snap so that I can snuggle under it.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Gardens, Yorkshire and Little Miss

It's been nearly a month since I last posted on my blog. Not because I haven't had anything to say but because I've been struggling with posting photos onto blogger using my mac. Finally I think I've solved the problem by putting a copy onto the desktop and taking it from there, I'm about to try it.

Success, isn't this lovely? We went to Grow London a couple of weeks ago and saw this garden, it was full, colour coordinated and cottagy, gorgeous. Definitely something to try. Grow London was in a marquee on Hampstead Heath, it was interesting as there were not so many gardens, infact only a couple inside the marquee, but there were lots of stands including The Stripes Company I bought a hat, their stand was so colourful. Deck chair fabric for deckchairs and other things.

This was a garden we passed walking through Kilburn in North Yorkshire, this is the village where the Mouseman has his shop. This garden was just lovely, so cleverly planting next to this little beck.

This is a view of the garden at Millgate House in Richmond, the garden is RHS affiliated and rightly so. It's just crammed with roses, hostas, penstemens, honeysuckle, clematis. The thing that strikes you is how full it is and how scented it is, we visited in the day and the smell of the roses was lovely, but I should imagine at dusk the scent would be incredible.

Just two of the beautiful roses in the garden, Millgate House is also a B&B, the pictures of the interior of the house look gorgeous, must stay there one day.

Finally I'm really happy with the way this turned out. The pattern was straight forward, I bodged from a pattern for Little Miss Sunshine. It took longer to sew together and to stuff than to knit. Someone on Ravelry has done a Little Miss Princess, might do that one next, it's pink. It was an extra, late birthday present for Marnie.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Washi the Fourth!

This is the fourth one of these I have made. This pattern is great. I have made three dresses and one top. This one uses some Liberty fabric that I was given for Christmas and it works so well. I decided to make patch pockets instead of the inseam ones in the pattern, the neckline is faced and the sleeves are bound with bias tape on the inside.

Not a very good picture of me in the dress, but at least it gives an idea. The pattern suggests using shirring elastic in 6 rows at the back, on this one I made a casing which I sewed to the outside back and threaded knicker elastic through it and caught it in the side seams to the correct stretch for me. It worked fine. (Sorry that is a really clumsy sentence)

Here is a close up of the bodice with the lace at the neck. I tried machining it on at first but it pulled the lace too tight, I tried again and by gathering it a little and hand stitching it on it was fine.

This one uses Cath Kidston fabric that I got in the sale. I made the dress without any modifications except for the addition of a full bodice lining.  This gives a garment with thin fabric structure and body, it feels really nice to wear.

This was the first one I made. I used a linen cotton mix fabric and a contrast floral for the facing. The dress was exactly as the pattern. I saw one made up at Backstitch near Cambridge using a contrast for the facing, I loved it and had to have a go.

More liberty fabric, this time from the Fent Shop in Skipton, good value in the sale. This one is shorter to wear with jeans or leggings and no cap sleeves. It still has the inseam pockets though.

I have worn all of them many times except for the most recent. A great pattern.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

A Tale of Two Blankets

I don't really know how I've ended up working on two blankets, especially as it is now the end of May, so early summer. As they get bigger, I get hotter, not good for a woman of a certain age.

This one is my ripple blanket as per Lucy from Attic24 I've used her Cosy pack of yarn from Wool Warehouse it's Stylecraft Special DK. It's great for this project as it's soft, washable, the colours are perfect and its very cheap. I've just finished the third repeat of the 15 colours and I need to do six to complete it, so half way there.

This one is my sock yarn blanket, as those of you who know me know, I like knitting socks, there is always some left over so I was ending up with a huge bag of bits of sock yarn. I used this pattern by Shelley Lang and set to. I have been knitting this for ages and ages. I'm now trying to be disciplined and knitting at least one square per day, as they only take about 20 minutes that's doable. Hopefully I should be nearly done by Christmas.

Every big project needs a bit project bag. The sock yarn blanket lives in my huge Cath Kidston project bag and my crochet ripple blanket lives in the enormous beach bag I made the other week. Even though these are both getting really big, they remain projects that can be picked up and put down easily as the method for both if very simple, no trawling through the pattern to see where I'm up to and what to do next. With these its just knit another square or crochet another ripple. So off I go to knit another square and crochet another ripple.