It’s been a while, so here’s some sewing at last!… I made myself a bag, and it started with a piece of textured fabric that I made about 2 yrs ago.
I added texture to some plain grey cotton canvas that I bought at IKEA. A few lines of pin tucks, sewn down in opposite directions. Which I then made into a pocket, and this became the centre panel for my bag.
Bags are one of my favourite things to make because they can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. I like to plan how the bag will be used, so that I know which pocket will hold my phone, and I wanted to fit my lunch in the centre bag and have room for my flask or water bottle.
I took a pattern from a shop bought bag, after trying out the panel for size:
I wrapped some fabric around the bag and traced off a pattern.
The canvas has a very tight weave which was difficult to sew, and impossible to get even topstitching. So I stopped trying and improvised instead:!
The components ready to be joined and straps attached:
I also changed the silver zipper pull at the front, as the zips were salvaged from a child’s backpack and had GAA embossed on them 😂(Gaelic Athletics Association)
Picture heavy post to follow! ….. I’ve been on a steep learning curve with my knitting machine, and it’s all starting to click. I can cast on and do various things like ribbing or fairisle swatches without having to take out the manual every time!
The machine knit community had a month where we converted a hand knit pattern to machine and I used a pattern from Amy Milller, it has a fitted sleeve and a slight flare to the shape.
My handknit version from a few years ago is below, I didn’t go with the longer hem this time.
I was able to match the stitch gauge of the pattern but had to make some calculations for the row gauge. Which wasn’t too difficult. First I counted the rows between increases, worked out how many cm it should measure and then figured out how many machine rows would give me the same cm measurement.
I made the back and used it to check my calculations. Then I made some mockup designs on my phone for the front intarsia:
I didn’t draw a chart for the design as it was simple angled lines. I took note of the rows where I would begin and end, and then hoped for the best.
Intarsia on my knit master uses a special carriage, the yarn is laid across the open needles by hand and the carriage passed across as you hold the yarn underneath to give it tension.
I then joined the pieces at the shoulders:
Without changing the construction of the handknit pattern, I was able to short row the sleevecap straight into the armhole.
With a machine, all the stitches are placed onto the needles, then the outer needles are held in a non-working position until they are needed.
After that I was able to rehang the sides and knit one loosely tensioned row to seam them. Followed by casting off.
I wasn’t confident in hems or ribbing yet so the roll neckline was finished with some loosely knitted rows of stockinette.
Happy New year everyone!! I hope it has started off well. 2020 was the strangest year, and I’ve been going through my photos to remind myself that there were lots of positives mixed in with all the negatives.
I realised that I’ve never looked back at a full year of making before. So I thought it might be interesting to share what I made in 2020, as I didn’t get to show everything on this blog.
Knitting wise I made less than I thought – just 5 handknits. I did cast on other projects, but they were all taken off the needles after a few rows…. I think I just found it hard to settle on anything this year.
My Caramel Cardigan is my favourite, and has been worn almost every week since I made it. I really think it was worth the time it took to figure it out, without using a pattern, and I’d like to try doing something similar this year (and maybe even writing out the pattern this time!)
I’d also like to make another Sunday Cardigan, it’s a shape that really suits me and works up quickly too.
I had wanted to try more crafts this year like embroidery, painting, or weaving. The May Bank Holiday weekend threw some weaving material my way, when my husband was clearing the garden and I used the flexible brambles to make a basket:
It dried out nicely and while it’s not as strong as a willow basket, it held its shape perfectly.
That led to me signing up for a one day, (group of 4) willow basketry course in August when restrictions had been lifted. (I had attended one of these classes a few years ago).
This time I came home with a very sturdy willow basket:
I tried out some embroidery/applique on a RTW tee shirt:
I also tried needlepunch for the first time. I bought an Amy Oxford punch needle that works with dk/aran weight wool, so that I could use up my leftover Yarn:
This isn’t my original design, I saw a beautiful painting and free handed a drawing onto hessian, which I then filled in with yarn. It is now brightening up a wall on my house 😁
I was surprised by how little sewing I had done. I think outside of my day job, I spent alot more time outdoors, hiking, cycling or swimming depending on what restrictions were in place.
My Burda Dress, which is now Navy… I’ll update with a photo soon.
My grey and pink skirt was quickly followed by another version in a striped denim, it just need buttonholes to be done!
I also made a shirt around the same time from a fabric swap. It’s Mccalls M7575.
I took a copy of a sweatshirt I owned and made it in a navy floral scuba, which I gave to my Mother for Christmas and she loved it. It reminded me that I’d like to make more things as gifts, especially for my Mother as she is always chuffed to have something I made. (A cross-stitch Xmas wall hanging that I made in 1992, was hanging by the tree again this year😂
And finally the most recent item I’ve sewn: this is McCalls M7694 and as soon as my silver snaps arrive it will be properly finished!
I hope it’s brought some inspiration, or even a distraction for now.
I hope all is well in your part of the world… Things are OK for now, but alot can happen in a few weeks and I’m wondering when life will feel predictable again.. I know it never really is! But there would be a comfort in knowing plans could be made and friends could be gathered….. in the meantime we find a distraction….
I’m trying to get as many ‘last’ swims in before the weather changes drastically… Each one gets savoured in case it is the actual last, but maybe I’ll be able to brace the cold for another while!
Otherwise I spend alot of time thinking about making, but not enough time actually making (for myself at least)…
Some things I’m enjoying making – like this teeny tiny Cardigan for a baby gift:
Its the fuss free baby Cardigan (pattern available on Ravelry).
Other items I dread sewing.. (why did I agree to alter a dress?)… I forget how little sewing time there is and then regret using it up doing sewing that’s not for me! 🤣 (update: the dress is done, and gratefully received… and I’ve reminded myself how to say no, and to stop worrying about causing offence😆).
I also have a new finished object that’s almost ready to share, it’s a Punch needle picture that I started in March, using leftover yarn. I just need to get a frame to pin it onto, and I can hang it up.
Other than that I hope to get some sewing cut out and some more knitting cast on, in the hope that it’ll kick start my motivation again!
My green dress needs one more pocket to be stitched and it’ll be finished, but I keep putting it to one side!
In the meantime, while I wait in the car for the rain to stop….. I thought I’d show off this appliqué top!
It started out as a plain top:
There were one or two tiny marks that wouldn’t come out in the wash, so I decide to use some colourful scraps of fabric to jazz it up a bit.
I have lots of embroidery transfers that are years old (maybe 20+!), from a time when I bought an embroidery magazine every fortnite that had a kit attached. (Such a mis-spent youth 😂)!
I cut out flower shapes that interested me and strategically placed them to cover any marks and then ironed the design in place.
I then used the transfer to cut out the coloured shapes – those pieces of fabric had bondaweb ironed to the reverse.
The coloured shapes were then ironed in place using the transfer lines as a guide to placement.
Once that was done, I used a mixture of machine and then hand embroidery stitches to hold the pieces in place, using running, chain and buttonhole stitches. It was finished over a few nights in front of the TV, a really nice relaxing project that didn’t turn out too badly! I love the colours together.
In other sewing related news, I thought this might be of interest:
On one of our walks at the beach, I stopped to photograph the lobster pots that were lined up on the Quay, when we noticed some creative stitching:
These pot’s were made from repurposed drums that had net stitched around a cut-out opening! So clever!
That’s it for now, I hope all is well wherever you’re reading this from. The rain has changed to a foggy blanket, but I’m keeping hopeful that’ll well get a few more days of summer before August ends!