Improvers class! 

My latest crochet project has been another fairly simple pattern, this time a hat. I have to tell you I’m pretty addicted to crochet right now and can hardly finish a project without starting something new! Mind you I want helped this week when I was gifted a whole stash of yarn.

Anyhow, back to the hat. It was a fairly simple crochet in the round pattern. I still find the getting started and first couple of rounds the hardest and, in this pattern, I had to combine stitches to make the trim. The pattern was from a magazine that must be published in America as it referred to double crochet as single, but with a glossary at the back of the magazine that wasn’t too difficult to decode. 

This was my first project using a bigger hook (5mm) and that also helped. I still have issues with keeping on track of the correct number of stitches, but got better as the hat developed. I added an extra couple of rounds for a slightly lower brim, but I wouldn’t do that again. I used some cotton rich Aran yarn that I bought in the Hobbycraft sale. I used some of the yarn to make a pair of dish cloths.

 I have enough yarn left to make another hat. What do you think? 

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In the dog house

After a year of procrastinating I finally got around to making a new dog bed. It was never going to be hard as the fabric for the top was already cut; I bought a set of pre-cut cut rectangles form Skye Batiks almost two years ago! 

I spent yesterday afternoon hand stitching several old cushions together then seeing them inside a good strong lining fabric to make up the cushioning for the bed. I then set to work measuring and cutting out fabric for a removable cover. Today all I had to do was south it together. 

Ta dah! 

Not sure the dog is completely sold on it yet. 

Learning something new

Over the Christmas period this year I finally got around to learning how to crochet. It all started when I visited the stitching and hobbycraft show at the NEC Birmingham back in November. I got very excited by and bought ‘Edwards Crochet Imaginarium’ by Kerry Lord

What I loved about the book was the split pages meaning you can mix and match body parts to create something truly exciting. That is if you can crochet! 

And so I started to learn the basics. Through a mixture of a crochet magazine, the ubiquitous YouTube and helpful hints from the ladies at Ewe Time (a drop in yarn group hosted by the Handspinner Having Fun in Broadford on Skye) I began to get my head around the stitches. 

I began at the beginning of December and have gradually improved throughout the project. I would say by the final leg I was starting to feel as though I knew what I was doing. Up until that point I found it difficult to count stitches accurately and would lose count completely if I had to unpick (which was quite frequently). You’ll notice that each body part is a different size. Like I  said before, with this pattern you can make unique creations! 

That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! 

Ride ’em cowboy! 

I have finally finished my V2960 vintage pattern and I’m ready to share. 

  
What an incredible learning curve it’s been. 

When the theme for our end of season party was announced as ‘Country and Western’ I knew immediately that I wanted to get hold of this fabric and make myself a dress. Deciding on the pattern took a bit longer. I love the 50’s look and was already in possession of the net under-skirt but I was looking for a pattern that had a hint of cowgirl. I found Vogue V2960 just about right. 

I say just about because the pattern has a button front that I’m not a fan of, so cue my first ever pattern hack. 

  
It’s been a while since I made a dress, what with moving house and life, so I really enjoyed preparing the pattern pieces, marking the stitching lines and getting everything ready. I decided to make a muslin to check fit as the fabric was quite expensive now that I’m a part time worker so I didn’t want to waste any. In actual fact the bodice hardly needed any adjustment but I was so focused on that that I failed to spot a more fundamental error that had bigger consequences later. 

  
I went ahead with the bodice, using up old scraps to make the facing. I had a bit of trouble getting the facing to fit accurately – another clue to my niggling issue that I failed to take heed of. 

Next I tackled the skirt. It was clear that the vintage 50’s pattern needed WAY more fabric than I had so, another first, I drafted my own patern pieces to make the biggest circumference I could round the bottom of the dress. I managed to get six lengths from my remaining fabric so did the maths and made a six panelled skirt that fitted the waist size of the bodice. Success. 

But this is where my earlier mistakes came back to bite me on the bum. When I tried the dress on there was a massive issue with the fit on the arm holes. It appeared I had attached the back pieces of my bodice to the wrong sides! 

After several days ignoring the problem and mulling it over I decided there was no option but to unpick the whole thing and change them round. So that’s what I did. I learnt that unpicking isn’t as awful as you expect and it actually only took one afternoon to unpick and re stitch the entire dress. 

  
I took my time hand stitching the bodice together around the shoulders and, although I’m not the worlds neatest hand stitcher, I’m pretty pleased with the finish. 

   
I traced the original issue back to an incorrect marking on my muslin, so of course the fit now needed some adjustment which I took care of when reinserting the zip. After adding a hook and eye and hemming the skirt it’s finally ready. 

   
   
It’s far from perfect but I thought I’d share for all the other intermediate sewers like me out there. I am always inspired and in awe of other sewing bloggers, but occasionally a little intimidated. 

I hope you like it. I’m certainly looking forward to wearing it later in the year. 

Overwhelmed by possibility

At last! After 2 months I have unpacked my sewing machine. And not only that, all of my sewing notions that were packed away way back in August when we initially moved house. I have set up my sewing space and reorganised my bits and pieces. 

So now what? 

I’ve spent so long thinking about what to sew, reading magazines and blogs and preparing for this moment that now it has arrived I’m overwhelmed by it all. I keep finding other things to do to avoid getting started and committing to one project. I’ve even made a list, but it still doesn’t tell me where to begin. 

Any ideas?  

    

where would you start?

 

Oh my! 

I’m sitting here on a January afternoon just seeing where my mood takes me and I find myself in WordPress looking at others blogs and dreaming about the day I can unpack all my sewing equipment and start sewing again. Imagine my surprise to look at my own blog and realise that it’s been over 200 days since I last blogged! (That’s not quite true, I have been blogging on another site about my house move, but that’s another story!)

I’m not one given to planning or resolutions, but here goes: I’m going to try and blog a sewing themed entry here at least once a month during 2016. In theory I have the time – I’m not working at present and still in the throes of moving to the Highlands. And once I’ve unpacked, I’ve certainly got the motivation! 

That’s it then. See you February! 

Recycling Scuppered 

I was recently gifted a rather splendid and expensive curtains to make use of the fabric. It’s not the kind of colour my hubby or I wear but we thought it would be great to use for a first ever attempt at a men’s jacket. 

Burda 6872 duly purchased, pattern pieces all cut (sending me into a panic of apprehension about the ensuing project) and so to disassembling said curtains. 

 
It seems as though the dog has other ideas. Tonight’s sewing is scuppered! 

 

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