Summer Again!

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I’m happy to have the summer holidays roll around again, I love having the boys home and now that we’re somewhere new we have a lot of new places to explore! I also have a huge mental list of all the sewing, knitting, crochet, cross stitch etc. projects that I would like to get done before September, totally impossible unless I never do anything except make stuff but it’s nice to have the time to work on things and not feel guilty that I should be doing my research (I work extra hours during term time so I can take the holidays off with the boys).

I got off to a good start finishing up my Lady Kina cardigan that I have been working on whilst doing research reading. I hate just sitting there waiting to find something to underline or to take notes on so I have a simple knitting project on my desk all the time. It has to be garter or stocking stitch, even ribbing is too distracting as I can’t count and read at the same time! I used 12 balls of Rowan Cotton Jeans for this which I bought from Kemps, I don’t know if this colourway was in the 99p a ball batch that I bought (I have 2 more colourways in my stash) or in the first reduced batch but it wasn’t very expensive that’s for sure. The colourway is called Sailcloth, but it’s more trees and wood to me.

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It’s very simply knit from the top down, the yoke is the hardest bit as there are a ton of stitches, but once you’re past that and have taken the sleeves off it’s easy going. The button is from my stash, it’s a bit of wood which I think goes really well with this and it was nice to finally be able to use it! I used all the yarn I had for this, I had to unpick the cast off and one row as I ran out of yarn 16 stitches from finishing which was a bit annoying, and with it being knit all in one piece there weren’t any leftover bits to finish off with! I really like this cardigan, the colours are lovely and it’s got a nice weight to it so I’m looking forward to wearing it.

I also finished up a Poolside Tote from the Noodlehead pattern. I’ve been waiting for this one to come out as I wanted a nice big bag for our summer days out. I always end up carrying everything we might need; drinks, suntan lotion, rain coats, jumpers, sticks and pinecones the boys pick up, maps, brochures, camera, lunch etc etc etc! I used some Essex Linen and the remainder of the tree print I bought to back the first Siblings Together quilt I made. I had to do a seam down the middle of the lining pieces as I only had long strips of fabric but I don’t think it’s that noticeable.

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I’ve had these metal zips for ages and hardly ever use them (I got a ton from someone clearing out their stash) so it was nice to see them on something. I used duck cloth in the middle of the handles to make them a little bit more substantial, but I think they’re actually a bit too thick now so I probably should have used two layers of interfacing instead. The bag holds its shape from the stiff interfacing, and I used a thinner one on the lining too, but it doesn’t stand up on its own. This was a pretty easy pattern to follow, a lot of prep though and lots of basting stitches to pick out at the end, but beyond that it was fun to make.

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I added a zipped inside pocket as I like to know that my purse is nice and safe and hidden away rather than floating around in the bag. If I’ve zipped it in the pocket I can feel it from the outside and don’t do the ‘purse panic’ over and over again! This bag is a great size, we won’t use it for swimming as I don’t like swimming so the boys go with their Dad, but for days out it is great and we used it earlier this week for one such day. It’ll also be great for shopping days as there’s tons of space to stick purchases in, I had a small bathroom peddle bin in this bag while we looked at a few more shops!

The sewing room is now finished and all the fabric and yarn is put away, I will try and remember to take pictures soon. I discovered that it wasn’t my imagination, I am running low on cottons and I really need to find somewhere with good prices and nice prints for a re-stock! There aren’t any fabric shops around here that I’ve found though so I will have to keep searching and hope one turns up.

Now Here, Not There

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This was what my dining room looked like as it became a storage room when I was packing up the old house, literally a small path was left to the front door by the time I was done! The move went well, despite the movers getting lost on the way to the house, and we’re now all settled in the new place. I think I might have set a record by unpacking the entire place in 6 days, goodness knows it took me most of the next week to recover from it!

The final room to get done was the sewing room which looked like this at the start

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It took a bit of furniture shuffling and moving bits about but I finally got it into a useable state and it’s now much nicer and waiting for me to spend a lot of time in it.

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There is still a bit to be done as you can see from the stack of Ikea bags holding my fabric stash. I need an Ikea trip for a set of metal shelves and a new wheel for my chair which the movers lost somewhere along the way. They also managed to go back with the glass shelves for the china cabinet which is going to hold my yarn. My goal is to try to work my yarn stash down to where it all fits in just that cabinet and I can get rid of the striped chest of drawers, it’s going to take a while but I am ready for the challenge!

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Hopefully within a fortnight I can show you it all done, if they ever send the shelves which I’ve rung them three times about now and keep being promised will be sent right away. I’m not sure all the fabric will fit on one set of shelves but that’s all I have room for at the moment, so maybe that’s a fabric stash challenge, to get it all on the shelves!

I have managed to make something already in the room whilst balancing on the chair so it didn’t tip over. Another Scout T-shirt, this time using up a synthetic stretch fabric that I made a dress from a few years back. I used FOE on the neckline of this and it went on first time without me having to rip any parts out to re-do them, I hope that’s a sign that the sewing in this room will be easy and good!

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I have another t-shirt cut out and ready to go and I need to get my do. Good Stitches blocks for this month done as well now that I can find the fabric for them! I also pulled out several pieces of fabric and a stack of patterns while I was sorting things that I’d like to try to match up at some point, although tops are a priority at the moment as my t-shirt drawer needs a bit of an update.

I knew that the old house had a lot of things that bugged me but I didn’t realise quite how much it really pissed me off constantly; it was very damp, too small, the windows were rubbish, the kitchen had been designed by a man who didn’t cook, the sewing room was stupidly tiny, the carpets were rubbish, there was no garden and generally I was just ready to be out of there. The relief of living in a house without any of those problems and plenty of kitchen cupboards and counter space alone is amazing and I just feel so much better for being away from there. Hopefully things will go well for us here, I’m already worrying about snow in the winter as we’re down a very small hilly road, but it’s worth it for the views, the new places to run and a house that already feels like home.

Siblings Together Bee Quilt

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We’re moving later today, I finished the last bit of cleaning and sealing of boxes just before midnight and the movers arrive in 7 hours time so I had better try and get some sleep whilst listening to the not so dulcet tones of Lorenzo wailing in the room I’ve shut him in!

Before I go silent, until Broadband reaches our new house, I wanted to direct you to Lily’s Quilts where the post about my Siblings Together Quilt can be found.

See you when I see you!

A Fit of Finishing

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We move in just under 2 weeks, no boxes yet to start packing so it’s a little stressful and worrying but I will have to get it done, it has to be! At the moment the boys are enthused about it all and very happy to help with cleaning, I’ve never seen anyone as happy to wash skirting boards as they were earlier, hopefully it will last!

I realised that I would be dismantling my sewing room right from the get go as I’m not taking the chest of drawers the patterns are in (it fell apart, was fixed and is now falling apart again) and to get it out I have to take the table down and move other various bits out-of-the-way. That means no sewing after probably Thursday here and goodness knows how long it will be before I have time to put it all back together at the other end. Cue a bout of finishing up everything I can before then!

I finished off the Siblings Together quilt. A post about that will go up on a different blog but I will let you know when it will appear. I also did two small bag projects for my Mother, they didn’t take too long and it means I don’t have to take them with me and have them hanging about waiting to be handed back!

After that lot I moved onto getting the Bee blocks for May done. This is the last month of Siblings Together, I can’t believe it’s been an entire year, it seems to have flown by. This is my final block for that.

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Ages ago I signed up for the do. Good Stitches quilting bee which is an international bee made up of different groups in different areas/countries. Each chapter of the bee decides which charities they will be giving to. The English bee had an opening so I was asked if I still wanted to join. We make the blocks for this out of our own stashes in the design the Quilter of the month asks for. This month it was economy blocks which I’d never made before. I really enjoyed doing these and I’m thinking about doing a cushion from them (a whole quilt would be really hard work as there’s lots of trimming and the blocks are only 5″ square when done!). We were asked for purples, turquoise and greys for a teenager and this is what I came up with from my scrap basket.

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I hope they’re ok, and I can’t wait to see what June will bring from this bee.

I’ve wanted some new t-shirts so I pulled out the Scout pattern and some knit I got from Boyes and whipped up this one which I really love.

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I was pretty happy with the matching of the stripes too, although towards the bottom they go out of synch.

I am almost done with a woven synthetic version of this pattern too. I just need to put the sleeves in but have discovered that I am going to have to gather them which is going to be a real pain as I’m doing french seams with a really slippery fabric, so I put it aside for a little bit and will hopefully get up the enthusiasm to finish it off soon, otherwise it’ll travel in a box sleeveless!

Piggle needed new pyjamas, Jim will be fine with the ones he has for another summer. When I was digging around in the stash for fabric for the Scouts I found some really bright orange knit that I don’t think any of us would wear out of the house! It also had some sun damage to it and faded patches but for pyjamas it was just fine so I pulled out the tracing from Kwik Sew Sewing for Children in his size and got to work.

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I bought four colours of striped knit a few years back and have never gotten around to using them so it was nice to see them on something rather than in the basket. I also found the owl appliqué in my stash and stuck it on the front to stop it being so plain. Piggle wasn’t sure about the fabric when he first saw it but is happy with the pyjamas and wore them last night.

A while back I pulled out the last metre and a half pieces of cotton I’d bought for pyjamas. Piggle is now at the size where he really needs 2 metres or yards so I ended up doing short sleeves on these. For some reason I didn’t ever trace the 7-year-old size of Kwik Sew 1556 for Jim so I just added length to the 6-year-old size as these are pretty baggy pyjamas anyway. I gave him an extra two inches on the trousers and the shirt (last year he had an extra inch on just the shirt as he’s got a long body) and he should have some growing room in these.

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I did these in a couple of hours sewing both pairs at the same time, nice brainless sewing. I now need to replenish my stash of pyjama fabric as I’m pretty much out for summer and winter. I think I will do knit pyjamas for winter for them as I seem to have quite a bit of that, low priced good quality flannel is so hard to come by over here and the high shipping rates from the States have cut off my usual supply.

So, besides the shirt if I finish it that’s it from this address sewing-wise, I will have to knit, crochet and cross stitch for my crafting fix until I get sorted in the new place! It feels nice to have completed these things and crossed a few things off my list and I’ll have to get my sewing room in some sort of working order so I can do the June bee block.

I won’t have Broadband right away when I move (the broadband and mobile reception where I’m going seems akin to living in a cave under the sea rather than modern day Britain) so I don’t know how long it will be until I can check in again if I don’t before we go. Hopefully it won’t be the months like it was when we moved here!

Spring Greens

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Green is my favourite colour, so I obviously tend to lean towards it when buying fabric and yarn. I don’t usually finish so many green things in a row as I have done recently though, maybe it’s the season!

First up is Hitchhiker, again by Martina Behm. Apparently the answer to the universe using Yarntopia Treasures 100% bamboo is 45 rather than 42, or maybe that’s just the answer of someone whose favourite numbers are those with 5′s in them and who hates to waste yarn!

008006The colourway is called Desert Locust and I just kept knitting until I couldn’t do another repeat. Again, no blocking as it won’t make a difference or stick with 100% bamboo.

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I finished up a few bits in the sewing room and decided to get another thing off the piles of crap waiting so I made another cushion. According to Ravelry I started the Babette Blanket in 2010 which explains why the bag was so dusty when I found it behind my sofa last month! I realised at that point that I was never going to finish it and when I saw that what I had done was the perfect size for a cushion I blocked it and ordered the filler to go in it.

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The colours on this are so wrong, it’s much brighter and limey and the dark green on the back is a forest green. I did a french seam with my walking foot to make sure it was well attached and so I didn’t have to turn over the edges on all four sides of the backing pieces! I love the way this turned out and I’m so glad it’s something rather than another annoying bag taking up space.

And, finally, a jumper I started in December, worked on furiously and then abandoned until recently when I worked on it furiously again! This is Gathering Stripes by Veera Välimäki using Sirdar Calico from Kemps. This is so very me right now, stripes, grey and green, I just adore it.

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This is such a well written and easy to follow pattern and using one of my favourite yarns in the round it was a joy to knit. I was sure I needed buttons and didn’t have anything right in my box and then I found these which I think work quite well.

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I added a few inches to the length as I like jumpers to hit my hip bones and cover my ‘mummy tummy’ completely. I got right to that last bit before I realised that I didn’t have the right size circular for the hem so I had to wait for that to arrive before I could finish. I love the hems, the just add something and the were very easy to stitch down t00.

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Just like me to finish a jumper right when the weather is warming up, but there you go, I’m sure it will get a lot of wear when I can!

Next up is lots of quilting, I’ve got one pin basted waiting to be started and two after that sitting in line!

 

Bits and Bobs and Bees

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So, I’ve been getting on with a few things, making decisions, sorting stuff out and placing a few orders for things I need to finish projects.

After thinking that a good crochet hook for the animal head cushions would be expensive, as it is an 8mm, I discovered that I could get one for £2.70 on Ebay including postage, so I ordered one. Annoyingly I received a 6mm hook today, but they are sending the right one and I get to keep the wrong one which is nice as I don’t have on in that size already, so I guess the mess up is a win for me!

I pulled out the Christmas quilt and started ripping out the quilting, I did about a third of it before I wanted to poke myself in the head with the seam ripper so I’ll return to it periodically until I’m done. I did find a piece of batting in my stash big enough for it so I will swap out the poly one and go with the cotton instead once I’m really to quilt it again.

I also pulled out the top of the Scrap Vomit quilt and decided that it was longer than I wanted it to be. It hung over the end of my bed, and as all our beds have foot boards it just looked a bit silly really. So I removed a row, but not wanting to waste 5 blocks that I’d slaved over I made a quick cushion out of four of them.

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I literally just sewed them together, didn’t bother quilting them or adding any batting. I found a pretty much matching pink invisible zip in my basket so I put that on one end and then stuffed in a spare pillow from my cupboard and called it done.

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I’m not sure how long it will withstand the boys without having been quilted, but at least I get some benefit from my work and it didn’t cost me anything! Also, the couch is getting a tiny bit full of cushions anyway.

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When we move the sofabed will be in the living room too so the cushions can be spread about a little bit and it will become easier to actually use the sofa!

Speaking of cushions, I have blocked the crochet not-blanket, picked fabric for the backing and ordered the cushion inner so I will get on with that one soon too.

I also finally blocked my Vintage Fremont shawl. This one is totally Roo’s fault, her blog often sends me off adding things to my extremely long Ravelry queue, buying indie sewing patterns or casting on for things and within 2 days of seeing her finished shawl I’d made one for myself, it just sat about for a few weeks waiting for blocking.

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I am really glad that I took the time to block this as it grew quite a bit and the holes opened up wonderfully, plus the points along the edge seem to be holding their shape which makes me very happy!

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I used Yarntopia Treasures Soft Cotton in Jade (odd name as it’s not actually green). I didn’t have as much yardage as the pattern called for and I cut it extremely close, breath holdingly close, I managed to finish it, but just barely!

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This was a really fast knit, literally a weekend, and the best kind of knit as it was interesting but not taxing, combine that with the pretty yarn I enjoyed every moment of it.

And finally, today I caught up with my Siblings Together bee blocks. I finally made the block for my month which was February! Now that this is done I can figure out the layout, then get on with the sashing and border.

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The Bee is being sponsored by Moda and this fabric is from the Color Me Happy collection.

And this month’s block was good practice for the St Louis 16 patch quilt that I have fabric set aside for.

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Two fat quarters make 2 blocks, nice and simple!

I have pulled out the jumper that needs sleeves and have been working on that, although the cat having shed all over it isn’t make it much fun. I’m also almost done with another small shawl so that will be something else off my list. Making progress a little at a time and it feels good!

Hope you are all having a great Easter holiday and getting to spend time doing what you love!

Cargo Duffle Take 2 and Socks

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I’ve been slowly ‘de-cluttering’ for about a year now; donating books to the library, getting rid of furniture that I don’t love and don’t want to give space to any more, parting with hand-made clothes that I just don’t wear and generally trying to pare down what I have so that it’s things I like and want rather than stuff that’s been around for a while that I don’t even look at. Of course, the house I’ve found to move into is actually bigger than this one so I probably didn’t need to be quite as harsh on the getting rid of stuff, but it feels nice to free myself of some of the weight that possessions feel like sometimes.

Of course, my crafty things have also been subjected to this mindset and I’ve gotten rid of knitting needles, patterns, yarn etc. as I’ve come across things I don’t feel I will use or just don’t like any more. I will sort my fabric when I pack it as there’s no room to do that with the furniture in the room and I still need to find time to list all the vintage patterns that I cleared out over a year ago that are still sitting in bags on the landing, maybe I’ll work on that this summer.

I have been thinking about the projects I have on the go and things that I started with great enthusiasm and then threw aside when the next fun thing came along and I appear to have started my ‘finish everything the hell up’ routine much earlier in the year than I normally do. I have two cardigans and a jumper on the needles along with a lace stole that I’ve not touched in a very long time that I would like to finish sometime soon. I moved the sofa and cleared out behind it and under it the other week and found a crochet blanket that I haven’t worked on or wanted to work on in what must be 3 years. I discovered that I had actually sewn together the blocks I’d finished and that square is the right size for a cushion cover so I’m going to block it and put a back on it and call it a FO, the rest of the yarn returned to my stash for future projects.

In my sewing room I have 3 quilts that need finishing. The first is my Christmas quilt which I started quilting at the end of November and it all went wrong. I now need to unpick about 30 rows of straight line stitching and then pin baste it again and try quilting once more as the backing shifted on the poly batting I picked to use. I’m thinking I may need to spray baste it too so that it doesn’t move again though as that batting is really slidy, or I might just yank the poly batting out and stick in some cotton instead as almost 6 months later I’m still really pissed off with the batting, I’ve never had this issue with cotton batting. I have backing fabric for my Scrap Vomit quilt now and need to check if I have enough batting then that can go together too. Also needing to be done is my Siblings Together Bee quilt which I got all the blocks for in February, it’s all there and just needs for me to sash it and then quilt and bind it. There are also other bits still sitting around from the piles I showed you a few months back and I’d like to get some more of that done too so I don’t lose bits in the move.

I got a EPP book for Christmas and inspired by it I dove into my scrap basket and started sewing stars, feeling slightly guilty that my Hexy MF was sitting there untouched while I worked on something new. A few weeks back I put away the stars and pulled out the flowers, finally finishing up all 72 of them, and got a nice hole in my thumb from sticking the needle into it repeatedly…

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I then started sewing them together, and this is how far I am into it:

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I’m going to keep working on this and hopefully it will get done in the next month or so. I need to decide on fabric to go behind the flowers on the quilt  and buy it (I have the backing fabric already) and figure out how I’m going to shape it as I don’t want to do the stalks and leaves at the top and bottom like the pattern calls for, I’m thinking some sort of Tetris like effect with some flowers falling away from the bottom, if that makes sense!

I also have my Woodland Sampler to finish off. Why did I work so hard on it and keep up to date until November and then drop the whole thing and not touch it since?? Near that stashed under a chair is the yarn for three animal head cushions that I want to crochet, I got the pattern at the Knitting and Stitching Show and the yarn soon after, crocheted about half a face and then put it down. I hate the crochet hook I bought so maybe if I invest in a better one that doesn’t hurt my hand so much I can get those done too. See what I mean, stuff every damn where!

I did manage to make Piggle his Cargo Tote bag that he’s been asking about ever since I finished Jim’s. He chose the Bungle Jungle fabric that I had left over from the quilt I made his cousin and I added a zip from stash, some Essex Linen and buttons, again from stash. I even used up almost all the scraps of batting I had from previous projects so besides the duck cloth that I bought specifically for the bag this was all already paid for!

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This went together easily again, although I did mess up attaching the bottom panels on the sides by getting carried away and quilting them before trying to sew them on so I ended up doing a french seam which was fun with so many layers! I didn’t take a picture of the binding inside as it’s a bit messy, but it’s done with the coordinating polka dot from the fabric collection.

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We’re both really pleased with it and it suits his personality at the moment perfectly. It’s nice when something is wanted and then appreciated when it’s done, especially something like a bag that takes a lot of sewing time, much of it tedious quilting!

Another project out of the way is this pair of bamboo socks using Wendy Happy. Just my standard 72 stitch socks on 2.25mm needles. I worked on these while I was doing my research reading as I find it hard to sit still when I don’t need to take notes on every part of a book.

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You can never have too many pairs of soft bamboo socks, especially bright pink ones!

So, that’s where my head is with my crafting at the moment, clearing the decks and finishing things off, hopefully I can stick to it. I’ve just given myself a few days to work on a project that wasn’t on the list but I have put that back in its box now and will try not to go back to it until some of these other things are done!

Catching Up Again

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I’m just going to throw out everything I’ve made recently in one post and then try to keep things a little more up to date from now on!

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This is the dress that was cut out probably last summer and sat there forever. It’s the Reglise dress and it was really nice to sew, even though I made things harder for myself by using a really slippery synthetic (from Abakhan) rather than the cotton called for by the pattern.

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This went together really easily once I got on with it and I will use this pattern again for sure, although I’ll try it with a cotton next time to see how that looks.

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I didn’t make any changes to the pattern except for adding pockets from another pattern as most of my cardigans that I would wear with this don’t have pockets for my phone and car keys which are the minimum I carry with me on the school run. The pockets worked out really well, I just wish I could find the rest of the pattern that the pocket pattern piece came from as it was an expensive one, it’s in that tiny room somewhere…

The only part of this dress I’m not sure about is using bias binding on the hem. I’ve said before, I’m sure, how English bias binding is very stiff compared to the stuff you can buy in the States (and maybe France). I found some synthetic binding and used that instead hoping that it would give it a softer edge but it’s still a little bit sticky out for my liking.

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I think next time I might hem it, or maybe make sure I have enough fabric to make binding and see if that solves my problems with it.

I had an amusing moment of stupidity when making this. I wasn’t sure if it was going to fit (it does, but I’ve not added elastic to the waistband as it doesn’t need it on me) so I tried on the waistband after I’d made it. Of course it was then a real contortion to try to get it off as it wasn’t connected to anything else and for a few minutes I thought I was going to have to cut it off and make another one, but I finally got myself out of it, lesson learnt!

Next up was the March Siblings Together Bee Block.

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I have been knitting quite a bit recently too. I made two shawls in quick succession, the first one hasn’t been blocked yet so I will show you that when I get around to that bit but this is the second one.

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The pattern is called Brickless by Martina Behm whose patterns I’ve used before and always enjoy. The yarn is Yarntopia Treasures 100% cotton in Seashells.

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I decided that I wanted some new t-shirts as I’m bored with mine so I pulled out some patterns and fabric and made two in one day the other weekend. First up was the Plantain T-shirt that everyone and their sister has already made.

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This fabric came from Abakhan and I have it in another 3 colours, plus enough of this colour to make a short sleeve t-shirt from it in the future. It’s a lot more see-through than I thought it would be, I’m hoping the darker colours are better as I have to wear a tank top under this. The pattern went together really nicely, my only change was to add an inch to the length as I like my t-shirts a little longer than the current trend. I’m happy with the result so no doubt I will make a few more versions (minus the elbow patches which I also left off this one as they’re not my thing).

Finally I pulled out my favourite Scout T-shirt pattern and came across a piece of fabric, can’t remember the technical term for it, edge print, selvedge print? Anyway, I’ve had it at least 7 years if not longer and it was time for it to go out into the world as a garment. There was only about a yard of it so it took some inventive cutting but I got there and am really happy with the result.

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I used fold over elastic for the neckline and luckily the flowers are just low enough that there aren’t any bulls eyes to worry about! It’s quite a thick knit, don’t know what it’s made of either tencel or synthetic with cotton but I think it will be really comfortable to wear. I added my usual extra length to it and it fits really well. I’m planning more Scouts as I had to throw out the white one with pink flowers because I’d worn the poor thing to death. I have a synthetic that I’d love to use as the drape will be great but I need to make sure I’m nice and relaxed as french seams on slippy fabric are going to be a challenge, but it will need them!

So, that’s that, up to date! I’m currently working on a duffle bag for Piggle which I hope to finish this weekend and I’ve also been FINALLY working on my Hexy MF quilt which has sat and sat and sat forever. In a week I’ve sewn up almost all of the remaining flowers so this weekend I can lay it out and then start sewing them to each other.

Also, just because life isn’t busy enough, we’re going to be moving sometime after the middle of May. The house is having some work done to it so the dates aren’t set which means we don’t have a contract and I can’t pay the deposit yet but I’m told it’s ours so I have to stop worrying so much about it and just get on with what I can get done without a move date. I have two schools to arrange this time plus the usual packing etc and a neurotic cat (plus two other slightly less neurotic cats and an Autistic child and his brother) to somehow get there but hopefully it will all be ok in the end and a huge bonus is that I get a much bigger sewing room where I can have shelves to put my fabric on so I can actually see it again which will be lovely!

Lagging

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I just don’t seem to be able to get it together to do a blog post very often at the moment, and my sewing has been really lethargic and slow so there’s not much really to show, but still…

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This is Viajante which I made using 2 skeins of custom dyed tencel from Yarntopia Treasures. I wanted something plainish and comfortable to sling around my neck and this big trumpet like tube solved that requirement.

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There are tons of different ways to wear this and I’ve worn it quite a lot since I finished it in February. The knitting itself was very easy and mindless once it gets joined into the round, I kept it on my lap whilst doing reading for my research and worked on it whenever I didn’t need to be taking notes.

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I love the variegation in the greys in it, subtle but it stops it from being plain silver. I didn’t block this in the end as it’s pretty damn big and also shawls tend to get scrunched up anyway which means a lot of the blocking gets lost along the way.

I’m either late making these for the boys or very early, you decide.

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It’s the same tutorial I used for the ones I made my sister and her family but this time I used up strips of fabric that came in a box of scraps I bought. I had only intended to make one but then I discovered that there was quite a lot of fabric once I’d sewn all the strips together so I did one for each of them. The letters were supposed to be from the same fabric but in different colours, I always forget that you have to cut an S backwards if you’re sticking it on with heat and bond type products and there wasn’t enough to cut a second one so that S is actually pieced together, but hopefully not too noticeable from a distance. I probably won’t find out if they actually like them until we get them out in December as they weren’t that interested in stockings in February, can’t blame them really but it was another project off my list!

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And finally for today, another pile taken care of and item ticked off my list. This is a cushion cover made from the leftover scraps of my flannel log cabin quilt. I sewed a lot more scraps together for the binding than I needed and didn’t want to throw/give the whole lot away especially as I like the fabric so much.

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There wasn’t a lot of planning for this cushion cover. I sewed the strips together and then I thought ‘I wonder what it’d look like if I cut it into triangles and mixed it up a bit then added sashing in an X’ so that’s what I did and I like the way it came out!

I quilted it in a triangle pattern for each section and I’m proud of how it looks and that I thought of something a bit more special than stippling or straight lines which are my fallbacks!

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It’s got a simple overlapping back using up more of the white sashing I had left over along with some longer strips of fabric, I didn’t quilt the back at all or even put any batting on it, I can never really see the point with cushions. I finally remembered to order the cushion to go in this so it’ll be joining the rest of my collection sometime this week.

So, that’s it for today, I have one more thing I’ve finished but it needs a better blog post than I have time to write for it right now!

Mojo, Maybe?

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So, it’s been a while. I have had periods of working on specific projects and then I just give up on them and move onto something else, I’ve just not been feeling it at all for some reason but I have decided just to go with it and hope that at some point I get back into making things and enjoying it again.

Saying that, I do have some things to show you that I have finished. This week I’ve been sewing quite a bit while the boys are on half term from school so we’ll see if the forward momentum continues. I have been finding going in my sewing room quite stressful as there is just so much STUFF in there and so many projects that I want to do and the piles of crap everywhere. I’ve decided to try to focus on one thing at a time, whatever it is I feel like sewing and to stop feeling bad that I’m not working on the 47 other things waiting, we’ll see how that goes.

January makes were very slim, I did the Siblings Together block which looked as so:

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I then did a practice block for my Siblings Together quilt which is this month’s. We’re using the Pinwheels in the Park pattern that I made for Piggle with the Rik Rak Rabbits fabric but are making bigger blocks. I pulled some leftovers of the Brrrr fabric that I adore out of my stash and made yet another pillow, with sashing this came to about 20″ square.

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This fabric makes me smile whenever I see it on the sofa. I’m not so sure the white was a great idea in a house with 3 cats and 2 boys, plus my habit of throwing coffee all over the place, but we’ll see how long it lasts I guess.

Just after Christmas I got the idea to make the boys their own travel bags to take to their Dad’s so that they can begin to pack their own things and decide what they want to take in their own bags. Jim loved the map fabric I got from the Knitting and Stitching Show and as I’m not planning on making the Ottoman I bought it for any time soon and I think the other piece I got will be big enough on its own I decided he could have it. I put it together with some natural Essex Linen and used leftover batting and Duck Cloth from The Cotton Patch and finally got around to completing it earlier in the week.

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I decided to use wooden buttons rather than the snaps the pattern calls for as I’ve not had a lot of luck with hammer on snaps and I don’t want to be replacing them over and over again.

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I hate the price of zips, this one cost £5.50 but it does go perfectly with the fabric so I guess it was worth it. I’ve always found it odd that the fabric can often be the cheapest part of a sewing project but when you add the pattern, thread, zips, interfacing, buttons etc the price just goes up and up.  Anyway, it went in really easily following the pattern instructions and I love the way it looks. The top pieces are actually the same piece of the map, Brazil, reversed, Jim and I are a little bit geeky about details like that…

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The bag won’t quite stand up on its own, it’s not that firm, but it does hold its shape nicely and it’s big enough for probably a week’s worth of clothing if you fold it neatly, something Jim has yet to learn to do.

If you’ve seen pictures of this bag around the internet, it’s been made by everyone and their dog I think, you may wonder why mine is a slightly different shape. I couldn’t figure it out without emailing Anna of Noodlehead who designed the bag and asking her where I went wrong and why I had to insert a 9″ section to the bottom of the gusset like this.

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Turns out that I need to read better and not make assumptions about a pattern. I placed the pockets at the bottom of the front piece and then attached the bottom piece to the bottom of that. The pattern actually tells you to put the bottom piece layered on top. I actually prefer my version as I think it’s a shame to use nice fabric and then cover half of it up, so when I make Piggle’s bag (which he’s already picked the fabric for) I will be repeating the same ‘mistake’ but will cut the bottom gusset longer so I don’t have to patch it.

I do have two more finished projects to show you, a shawl that I’ve been working on since September and a quick scrap project, plus we’ll see if I get anything else made over the weekend while the boys are away.