2020…

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!)

My Caramel Cardigan
Soldotna
Fuss free baby Cardigan (free pattern on Ravelry)
My 2nd Sunday Cardigan by Petiteknit

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:

And now I’m dreaming of a Sally garden with my own willow… Some day!

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 ūüėĀ

This was attached to the frame just a few days ago!

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.

Grey and pink skirt

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.

Mccalls 7575

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 yearūüėā

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.

Cheers to 2021ūü•ā

Burda Summer dress.113/02/2020

This used to be a sewing blog! But the last few posts have covered everything but sewing…..so back to normal programming for a minute ūüėĀ.

This dress has been in the making for almost two months.. Not because it’s difficult, I just lost interest in sewing for a while!

Burda 113/02/2020

I plan to finish it in the next few weeks by sewing in small bursts. I cut it from a medium weight cotton that has a small bit of stretch.

I don’t often make toiles, since Burda patterns fit pretty well. What I do is add some extra fabric to the seams, I also need extra at the shoulder slope because mine are very square, and extra length at the waist, to allow for being long waisted.

Cut with extra fabric at the shoulders, side seams and waist
I mark where the stitching line should be – using marker or by snipping the fabric

I don’t usually follow the instructions – instead I make it up in such a way that alterations will be easier at a later date…especially if I need to let it out or take it in. For this dress the bodice left and right are lined then the skirt fronts are lined.

Everything tacked together for a try on…

Inside the front bodice

The front bodice meets the side front at an angle. In order to keep the corner crisp, its a good idea to only stitch on the sewing line and not right to the edge:

Sew the lining seams the same way before going right sides together
I didn’t sew the very top – so that I could pin the shoulders to fit.
Inside view

I’m happy enough with the fit, so I’ll cut off the excess and get it tidied up.

It closes with two buttons and instead of buttonholes, there are gaps in the waist seam. A clever detail that I’ll show up close next time.

In other news the Great British Sewing Bee is back on tv since Wednesday. I only watched a few minutes, I’ve recorded it so will have a proper look tomorrow, they were making wrap skirts, refashioning shirts (it bothered me that the shirts they were given to refashion looked like new!) and sewing tea dresses.

I always have some knitting on the go and can’t sit down to watch tv without it – right now I’m working on this Caramel squishiness:

Hope all is well wherever you are, sl√°n for now xc

Simply Sewing Magazine – Adele dress

I think I’ve found my favourite fabric to sew and wear – viscose ! (Or Rayon depending on where in the globe you are). I bought this fabric for ‚ā¨3 a metre, total bargain so I jumped into sewing it before it got lost on a shelf.

This is the Adele dress from Simply Sewing Magazine.

I love seeing the growing selection of sewing magazines in Irish newsagents. There were almost no dedicated sewing magazines to be found in Ireland when I was a teenager. I used to buy my Burda magazines by subscription direct from Germany. Otherwise I had to wait for a big shopping trip to Cork or Dublin City to buy vogue or simplicity envelope patterns.

A couple of UK magazines, (anyone remember ‘Me’ magazine?) would include a sewing pattern as part of a craft pullout but the instructions were bare bones.

When ‘Me’ went out of print, ‘Prima’ magazine was the only one with a pattern – although oddly they stopped including a pull out pattern just as sewing got popular again! The current Prima magazines have you phone up to order the pattern, which is too much hassle when you want a quick fix!

Anyway, not to wander off too much…I’ve picked up a few of the new magazines and am gradually working my way through them. In all honesty there’s not much reading in them, a lot of sewing basics are repeatedly covered along with the usual blogger features and pages of adds.

So back to the Adele dress : I made it in viscose and instead of binding the neckline, I lined the top with some black viscose cut from an old maxi skirt. I didn’t line the skirt because I think it’s easier just to have a few slips in neutral colours. Saves time on making up and also on washing/drying.

I usually wear an 8/10 in rtw so cut a size 10. But when I tried it on halfway through it was a bit tight on the waist, so I added two small oval shapes to the side seams. The busy pattern of the fabric means they’re not even noticeable.

Side seam inserts & mismatched thread!

Other than that, it flew together and I’ve worn it loads. The folds in the skirt hang nicely in the viscose -I might try it out in a slightly heavier fabric like a crepe or double knit as it’s the kind of shape I love to wear and the wide sleeves work well with a layer underneath.

So that’s the sc√©al here, til next time..happy sewing!

Lisette B6168 Red dress

I have yet to get some pictures of my new¬†culottes, so in the meantime I’m sharing some details from a dress I’ve been making.¬† It’s a Lisette dress from Butterick –¬†B6168.

There is a detailed sew-along on the Lisette site, but¬†their version is unlined.¬†¬†So because I’m lining my dress, some pictures might be helpful for anyone who wants to add a lining.

 

b6168 lisette

 

My main fabric is a red linen-look cotton, I bought it locally as the end of a roll.¬†Minerva Crafts looks to have something similar for sale ¬†(I’ve sent for¬†a sample¬†and,¬†if it is the same fabric, I might buy some for a light summer top)¬†.¬†¬† It is quite lightweight, so I am lining it with a lightweight cotton that I had lying around.

 

Lisette B6168

There are centre front pleats which could make lining it bulky, so the front bodice panels are actually underlined ( both fabric are tacked together and then treated as one piece). The pleats are then folded and held in place with pins or tacking stitches. I made a quick muslin of the bodice and it fit well – so if you’re above a b-cup, you would most likely need to alter the pattern first!

 

The centre front facing is being attached below:

 

bod1

 

Here’s how the inside right bodice looks:

bod2

 

The front tab is caught in the stitching of the facing on the right side . The facing is understitched as far as possible:

bod3

 

 

The tab is then caught onto the left bodice when sewing the other facing on:

bod4

 

 

Here is how it looks from the inside ,after the fronts were overlapped and the waist band pieces have been attached:    bod8

 

I am working on it in small chunks of time in between other work and it is coming together nicely.

I’ve¬†also cast on a new knitting project!!! I’m determined to have some new knits ready in plenty¬†of time for next¬†winter.¬†¬†All the fantastic entries from SWAP 2015 must have inspired me to start planning my projects ahead of time!!

P.S …..Check out this years winner Kate¬†who blogs at¬†Fabrickated¬†