Finally Finished – Chunky Cardi

WordPress tells me that it has been 3 months since my last post….! The weeks have flown by, with only a little making going on. I’ve been sidetracked by a college course that I threw myself into last September. The timing seemed right (or at least as right as it will ever be!) but it has been all-consuming. It’s a Business I.T  course which is a complete change from my original Art & Design qualification.  Lately the more time I spend in front of a computer doing assignments, the more I want to run and grab some paint or fabric or wool and start making!

Since I last posted, I did manage to find my needles and finish my Chunky Cardigan …..



So far it has only been worn a couple of times.  It’s cosy, but it feels like the neckline needs a bit more height, or a collar maybe.  I made the sleeves extra long as always, to cover my freakishly long arms! I’ve noticed my long-sleeved tees wear out at the cuffs from my constant tugging at them, so I always make sure to add extra length to any tops.



Extra-long sleeves are my favourite ! 


As far as my knitting goes, I’ve only just started to get a good idea of what I should be making for myself.  I prefer looser styles, and although I have avoided knitting with light weight yarns, I think I would get more wear out of lighter knits that could be layered up. So that’s what I’m going to focus on if I ever get time to knit again!

Oh and I have been sewing too….college interviews showed up a gap in my wardrobe. I was able to quickly make a wrap Burda top, which I will post as soon as I find the Burda Magazine I used….Yep things are a bit scattered round here thanks to my brain reaching full capacity:)



Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone,  I hope your 2016 is off to a good start.  My year is off to a very slow start, I spent the first week mostly sleeping as I had the flu. In a positive light, maybe I’m just getting any illness out of the way early!

Being confined to bed, I thought it would be a good time to work on any unfinished knitting – like this cardigan I started in August:



The safety pins are holding it together so I could try it on!


It’s a chunky knit, made with 10mm needles and Byzantum Double chunky yarn. The pattern is from an old Woman’s Weekly Magazine:




The reason it sat unfinished for so long, was that I thought I’d lost the pattern. It turns out that I had put it away safely inside a large book on knitting….and then forgot completely! But now I’ve lost the needles I was using……ffs!  So while I try to remember which safe place they’re hiding in, I started an embroidery…….




Yep it’s a cut-up shirt…..times are tough!

It’s ages since I hand embroidered anything, but I have a ton of embroidery transfers from old magazines (this elephant must be twenty years old!)

So that’s my New Year off to a thrifty start, I look forward to seeing what everyone else makes this year. xx

Quick Christmas Gifts to make



It’s late enough in December that any notion I had of sewing or knitting great gifts can be forgotten! With that in my mind I’ve been looking for some fast and effective handmade gift ideas.

I’ve been collecting old coffee tins with the plan to eventually do something with them. These covered tins are a great way to use up interesting fabric leftovers.


What you need:

  • Fabric Scraps
  • Washed Tins
  • Glue gun (or craft glue)
  • optional – interfacing and sharp knife


I began by interfacing the pink fabric as it was a little light and cutting a rectangle slightly larger than the surface of the tin.

I pressed the bottom edge and one side edge with an iron. Then wrapped it around the tin and glued the bottom edge in place :




After gluing the back seam and the top edge, I cut off the extra fabric using a sharp blade



For the floral and the green tin, I folded top and bottom edges of the fabric before gluing in place:

And there you have it – a  quick and easy Gift !

Ps.- if you’d like to make some quick Christmas star decorations, have a look at the ones I made last year

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Cardboard Star Decorations


Vogue 1316 – A dress made from jeans

So here it is …. Vogue 1316 – the dress I made from old jeans.  It has been worn twice already and,thanks to the small amount of stretch in the denim, it’s very comfortable.


Vogue 1316 – Made from old jeans!

I really enjoyed making this, despite the large amount of pattern pieces.  I don’t buy many patterns any more – after more than a few years sewing, I’ve got a pretty big collection of Burda Magazines, and a few boxes worth of paper patterns. After a while you start to see that the pattern companies rarely offer something new.  Added to that is the fact that Vogue patterns are not the cheapest around… but this one was worth every penny for the complexity of the design.

The panels were a great opportunity to use scraps and oddly shaped pieces of fabric cut from jeans.  The bands at the underbust wrap around to the back panels in a very interesting shape.  (Although my panel matching could be better here!)

Vogue dress side view

Side view


I hadn’t intended to line it, but in the end it was the quickest solution, as it saved me having to bind or face the edges.  The lining makes it more comfortable and less likely to cling to tights in the winter too!

I had to alter the panel at the upper back – there was a bit of gaping. It was the only part that I found difficult as I had to get help with pinning, so it held up finishing the dress for a while.


I took a little from the upper centre back and some from the back yoke panels, and it now sits nicely on my upper back. (Although the only photo of the back is obscured by my hair, so you’ll need to take my word for it!)

 I used a regular centred zipper, because I didn’t have an invisible one and I really wanted to get it finished in time for a meetup with some friends!

It seems like it took forever to make, but that’s just because I made it in little bursts as and when I found time!  Hopefully I’ll be able make some time for sewing when I get a break over Christmas, I’ve been eyeing a few new fabrics as a Christmas present to myself!


Vogue 1316

Simplicity top 2599 – And an alternative way to sew a neck-facing.


Simplicity top

The dress on the above left  wasn’t being worn for a couple of reasons….. the plain fabric at the top was almost see-through and just looked odd no matter what I wore.   Having such a pale colour next to my face didn’t do me any favours either!

But, because I really like the colourful print, I took out Simplicity 2599:

simplicity 2599

I’ve used this pattern three times before – and all versions were made from the refashion pile. This one was also made from an old dress.

It’s a great woven t-shirt pattern to have on hand.  It comes with different cup sizes and various frills, (none of which I’ve never used). I like that it has bust shaping but is loosely fitted at the waist.



The back of the top is a light sweat-shirting fabric that has a little give to it, making it easy to put on without an opening at the back neck.

I finished the neckline with a facing that was attached a little differently to the pattern directions.  Firstly, I attached just the front neck facing to the front, right sides together, trimmed, flipped it to the inside and pressed it.



Then I stitched the front to the back, at the shoulder seams ( not pictured) , This caught the front facing onto the shoulders.

With the inside front facing me , I pinned the back neck facing across the back neck and over onto the shoulder seams (sandwiching the front facing at the shoulders again)



Here is a close up showing how I then stitched it in place:



Before trimming and turning it through.  Below is a close up of the inside at the shoulder seam.  Sewing it this way keeps the facing secure at the shoulder line, and its a change from the usual order of sewing.  Keep in mind that the shoulder seams are all pressed towards the back, so this only works on fabric that isn’t too bulky.


Inside neckline


I topstitched across the back neck with a stretchy machine stitch:


Back neckline


The armholes are finished with strips of bias-cut lining fabric,  and the armholes are topstitched.









Lastly the side seams and hem are sewn, and then it’s ready to wear !