Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 round up

Wow 2015 was a busy year for making! I think next year will be less busy what with baby on its way. 

I also finished my triangle quilt for baby;

In 2015 I made my first pair of trousers, conquered knitting and fell in love with sewing knits. I also started teaching at Simply Solids and taught a beginners dressmaking class and a Staple dress class. 

It's hard to tell what my biggest wins were as I've spent most of this year wearing whatever fits rather than whatever I like. My favourites have to be the Miette skirt, the Monetas, and obviously the Marienne dress. 

The bigger fails were; my Archer shirt which was too small, the second pair of peg trousers due fabric choice and being too big and the stripe hemlock tee again due to the fabric being too stiff. 

Next year I hope to make a coat (ha! Unlikely with tiny human) and make a decent pair of trousers. Mostly I'll probably be knitting because it requires less brain power!

Unfinished projects: mustard cardigan which I expect will still be knitting in 2028!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Triangle baby quilt

I'm not a quilter by any stretch of the imagination, I lack the finesse and precision you need to make perfect quilts. However like anything practise makes perfect!

I made two quilts last year, an English Paper Piecing one and a simple patchwork squares quilt. Both of them had their flaws but the recipients loved them.

This quilt is better constructed but still not perfect! Despite this I LOVE it.
It's not my style at all, but I saw the sample copy at Simply Solids and fell in love with the colour scheme and knew it would be perfect as a baby quilt. The tutorial for this quilt can be found here.
I used a mixture of Cloud 9 and Art Gallery fabrics for the quilt top, in the same colour way of the original and Architextures extra wide backing fabric.

The last time I made quilts (which funnily enough was exactly a year ago) I found it really dull but I really enjoyed the process of quilting. My poor baby brain couldn't handle making anything more complicated at the moment! I used this tutorial to bind the quilt and this one to work out how much binding I needed because the tutorial wasn't clear (you need 190" of binding fabric at 2.5" wide).

I managed to make the quilt without a walking foot but I promised myself the next time I made a quilt I would treat myself to one, I think it will definitely help with the imperfections in the quilt. Well that, and not basting it together at 37 weeks pregnant on my hands and knees!

 I also purchased a 1/4" foot especially for this quilt which I love. Why do quilters get all the fun gadgets!?

Ta da!

I love it! Flaws and all. I've already got plans to start another quilt this time for me in a faded floral style, using the same fabric as my failed EPP quilt. Looking something like this:

All baby permitting of course!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Lark Tee

When Jen first released the Lark tee I wasn't pushing people over to get hold of a copy, another t-shirt pattern I thought, I already have a few freebies like the hemlock and the plantain.
I've been wearing the hemlocks I've made and I'm just not a fan of the fit, it's too big in the shoulders and I get weird bust wrinkles. I made the plantain into a dress but not a massive fan of that either. Now that bump is growing out of even my baggiest t-shirts a seed was planted...

Then I saw a few cropping up on the blogosphere and I realised that it's actually the perfect t-shirt pattern. There are so many variations, crew neck, v neck, boat neck, then the sleeve options too so it's basically all you'd ever need in a t-shirt pattern.

I also feel like Jen is my spirit animal and can see straight into my head when it comes to wearable basics. We both like a similar fit, fitted at the shoulders and graded out with a little bagginess around the stomach and hips. Super comfy and I'm all about being comfy. It's why I don't own any heels.

Each variation is drafted separately and I painstakingly traced out the boat neck, scoop and v neck variations. Starting at a 2 for the shoulders out to an 8 with a little added length for bump room.
I raided my stash for suitable knit fabrics leaving left a small gap (which then led to a frenzied fabric buying spree) and immediately made up 2 larks.

You can always tell a winner when it's the first thing you pick out of the laundry basket and wear 3 days running (definitely did not do that...).

All the fabric were cheap ones from eBay, but I love buying jersey from eBay, it's dead cheap and I can never tell the difference like I can with other fabric types. Feel free to disagree with me here, I don't think I've owned any expensive jersey!

You can just see the V neck version here. The jersey for this one is lighter and so I wear the other one a lot more. I love the fact that they still cover my 35 week baby bump!

Just to reiterate: I love the Lark tee!

One last getaway

We recently found ourselves with a week off together and nothing planned so we decided to go on a little break, the last one before baby arrives.

We stayed in this gorgeous cottage just outside York. 

This isn't far from home for us but being 30 weeks pregnant at the time I couldn't stand to be sat in the car for long!

As well as shopping and eating glorious desserts we also visited Aysgarth Falls. 
Which was beautiful but a steep walk back and probably not the best idea in my condition! 

It was such a good few days away and I absolutely loved it! I can't wait until we can take baby on these breaks away. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Leibster award

Shauni from magnificent-thread@blogspot.co.uk tagged me for a Leibster award!
For someone who literally feels like she's talking to herself when blogging it was a lovely surprise. 
The idea of the Liebster is that you nominate blogs with under 200 followers and share a few fun facts about yourself. 

So here it goes:

1: I can't leave a project unfinished and move onto the next, it would never get finished and so I always work on one thing at once!

2: I've been a psychology teacher for the past 5 years and enjoy it immensely

3: I recently taught two dressmaking classes at Simply solids and absolutely loved them! I guess I'm destined to always be a teacher in some way 

4: I love dogs, cats not so much 

5: I don't drink and my only vice is Coca Cola (or Pepsi I'm not fussy)

6: We're currently saving for a wee little cottage in Yorkshire and then we can get a puppy

7: I taught myself to sew, crochet and knit all using the Internet!

8: My parents and baby sister live in Canada, they moved over 8 years ago but I didn't go as I was in university at the time

9: I go through phases of being obsessed by things, currently it's mustard cardigans and striped clothes 


I nominate Helen over at https://justsewtherapeutic.wordpress.com/ and Rach at rachagainstthesewingmachine@blogspot.co.uk 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My plaid obsession

As soon as Autumn begins and the leaves start changing colour my brain immediately kick starts my plaid (or tartan) obsession. Somehow it feels wrong to wear it unless it's Autumn/winter and so I get to pick out all my old favourites from my wardrobe. 

Since Autumn began I've already made 2 plaid dresses and planning some plaid pyjamas for Gary and a shirt dress (that's for me if you hadn't guessed!).

 Please ignore the mess!!

The pattern is Tessuti's lily dress with short sleeves and no pockets. 
It was a super speedy make as the neckline is bias bound and I just zipped it through my overlocker. For the life of me I cannot remember where the fabric is from!

No pattern matching to see here!
I added the waist gathers which are inspired by a Cabbages and Roses dress that I absolutely love but couldn't justify buying. I love that this dress can accommodate bump but will also be fab for the next plaid urge I get. 

The next dress is another one inspired by C&R and is a rub off of a black watch tartan dress I own from them. 
It's basically a bodice block with no darts to make it shapeless with a long gathered skirt. 

This is my "you're taking the picture from the wrong angle" face. Derp. 

31 weeks! 
The fabric for this dress came from Fabric Godmother from my recent fabric splurge. 

And this is my Autumn/winter uniform. Some kind of dress with leggings and my favourite ever pair of boots which will be reheeled/soled forever!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Current obsessions

I'm currently OBSESSED with the idea of making a coat. Unfortunately I have no idea what size I'm going to be when baby comes and so I'm just going to have to obsessively pin pictures. 

My favourites are the following:

This Cabbages and Roses coat is absolutely gorgeous and not too tricky (hopefully) to make! 
I've even found a pattern thanks to Pinterest which is Jamie Christina's Abbey coat pattern. 

For this coat I've found some gorgeous camel wool coating on eBay for £7 (!!!) but currently no pattern. Having said that I haven't been looking properly. 

 And this!!! beauty is Alexander Wang, I'm definitely into the idea of making a tartan coat and again it's just finding the right pattern. If I find a pattern for the camel coat then I could adapt it and make something similar to this baby! (All the heart eyes emojis) 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Slow fashion October

After this post a few months ago I've really caught the knitting bug!
I really love learning new skills. I absolutely love dressmaking but with my current changing shape I'm sewing more out of necessity and there are some patterns I'm desperate to try (Alder and Roberts being two that immediately spring to mind) but can't just yet. I'm missing taking on new challenges, as I'm sewing a lot of easy makes, mainly out of jersey!

Being pregnant has kick started my interest in knitting, I've been desperate to make this jumper for at least a year now but needed some small, fast projects to get me from a total basic beginner first.

The first thing I knitted was a tiny baby hat, which still needs the bear ears attaching so is technically unfinished, the second was an obvious choice of a tiny cardigan. The pueripeum cardigan was recommended to me and it's just a brilliant pattern! I absolutely loved knitting it, it really stretched my knitting skills and increased my confidence. It was just the challenge I needed!

I've nearly finished the last sleeve and whilst definitely not perfect it has given me the confidence to try another knitted project, this time for me. This cardigan in a gorgeous mustard yellow. I've been searching for a mustard cardigan for ages and just couldn't find one that was perfect, so I'm going to make my own!
After making my own clothes for two years, it's really hard to get out of that mindset and it may take me 6 months to knit this cardigan but it will be so worth it

I was really good and didn't cast on until I'd finished the baby cardigan. I'm absolutely obsessed with knitting at the moment so I'm hoping it won't take as long as I think! 

Alexandria Peg trousers

Myself and ole Alexandria did not get off to a good start.
I ordered the pattern from Backstitch shop who I HIGHLY recommend for patterns, they have such a wide range, more than most online shops. It arrived the next day, thanks Backstitch!

The first thing that annoyed me - and bear with me here if you already know this - but Named patterns come overlapping on one large pattern sheet. I don't know if they all do, but considering a trouser pattern has 3 pieces plus pockets it seems unnecessary, especially for the high end price of £15.
The second thing was that they don't include seam allowances?! So not only did I have to trace out a few pieces (I rebelled and cut the others out) but I also then had to add seam allowances!
All I hear about Named is how wonderful they are and yet these seem to be very basic expectations of indie patterns, or have I been spoilt?
The THIRD thing was the pattern pieces aren't labelled with how many you need to cut like most indie patterns and you have to refer to the instructions for that.

The instructions also seem quite basic in comparison with other companies. Attaching the pocket bag had me scratching my head for a while but I got there in the end.

Considering all these problems happened before I'd really gotten much sewing done by the time I was in the process of putting them together I hated them. Has anyone else done this?
If I'm ever taken longer than a few sessions to make an item I start to detest it.
I'd pretty much given up on these trousers but then I figured I'd try them on for fit at least....OH MY GOD. They're THE most comfortable pants I've ever worn and that's including leggings!

I think I need to go down a size at the waist, or reduce the amount of elastic used, however this might just be the drape of the fabric.

Despite the problems I had at the beginning, I absolutely love these trousers and I can't wait to wear them once they've been washed!

I've been wearing them all day today and didn't even need to change into comfy clothes when I got home!
As soon as I'd finished these I cut another pair out in a double sided jersey. One side is your typical grey jersey and the black side is like a light fleece material. Super cosy for winter!
I reduced the seam allowance on the waist to try reduce the excess fabric but I didn't want to go down a size in case the was just the drape of the fabric causing the baggies at the front (and having to wear them so low). 

Please excuse the terrible photos, I wanted to see how they looked on!
You can see the front is still baggy and the waistband isn't tight enough. 
Check out the fit at the back though! 

Somehow I managed to cut the front leg off grain and so it twists, which is odd because I distinctly remember measuring the grain line!
I can't decide if these are a total fail or not. The leg does twist but I only make these for the next few weeks at work but I feel they just look like fancy jogging pants!

Oh well you win some, you lose some.