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 😁

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 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.

Cheers to 2021🥂

Bits and pieces..

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….

The best distraction is a bracing swim in open water…!

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😆).

My cardi is getting lots of wear!

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.

Fluffy detail of the Punch needle picture!

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!

Pj sewing , sewing for dolls & Saving time & fabric!

Hi there! I hope 2019 has gotten off to a good start. I’ve enjoyed seeing everyones sewing and knitting plans for 2019, but I know better than to declare any plans of my own, because I’ll never stick to them!

St.Brigid’s cross

Because its the 1st of Feb, a fair few school children will get to try weaving today, and will arrive home with battered and squished rushes/reeds made into crosses. It’s ‘Lá ‘le Bríd’ , first day of spring. It was traditionally a time when you’d leave a small item of clothing outside overnight for St.Bridget to bless. We did it as kids, but not anymore, and probably just as well – judging by how far the swing set got blown across the garden last night! We’d probably have found our scarves scattered around the parish !

Hopefully it’ll inspire some kids to carry on with weaving and maybe knitting and sewing too…!

Speaking of kids (+sewing), I had a lovely morning in November with one of ours and her friends. We made skirts for their dolls. They loved using the sewing machine and the simple gathered rectangle was a good beginner project for 9 yr olds.

Then in December I made a last minute effort to get some jammies and dressing gowns made for Christmas presents.

Flannel pyjamas

The pj top had a boxy shape with straight side seams, so I eliminated the side seams by pinning the pattern pieces together.

Pinning back and front at side seam

Then traced as one pattern piece.

This also meant I didn’t have to match stripes at the sides when sewing.

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The pj ends side seams were also gotten rid of, and I narrowed the legs a little so I could fit everything.

I cut out a section of the pattern for the grainline so that I could easily see the fabric lines, and cut each leg separately to get the stripes evenly matched.

Then a quick stitch up and they were done over two evenings. I bought the fabric in Guineys and it was only about 3 euro per metre. Well worth making these because the tall recipient can never buy pyjamas that are long enough in the legs! A second pair has been requested so they should probably go on the 2019 to-do list !

The dressing gowns were made from pink fleece and a New Look pattern 6170. I embroidered a unicorn crown onto the backs using my Pfaff creative 2144.

New Look 6170

That machine is about 12 yrs old and still working fantastically. I used the embroidery unit alot when I first bought it. But the last few years not so much, because I can only transfer the designs using a really old desktop that runs windows 98!

I also changed the pattern a little to make the facing cut on instead of a separate piece. This cuts down on extra bulk at the seams.

Facing cut as one with the front.

The collar is unlined to reduce bulk, I overlocker and turned the edges.

So there ya go, some of what I’ve been making! I also just finished knitting a child’s cardigan and a hat for myself, so will share those soon. Slán go fóill ☺

Ps..the hat I knitted was a free pattern from Kelbourne Woolens, they’ll be releasing more as part of their ‘Year of Hats’.

Burdastyle Cape Jacket 105 03/2018 (part2)

More details on my Burdastyle Cape Jacket … Part one is here

The photo below shows the sleeve inserted between the front and side front panel and has the side back panel attached.

I realised at this point that it might be easier to line the side panels before attaching the sleeves. Just for the sake of having less fabric pieces to wrangle with at the machine.

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I mentioned in my last post that the sleeve pleats looked bulky, so I removed the sleeve and trimmed the pleats from the inside.

Then I lined the side / underarm panels before re-attaching the sleeves.  Underarm curves sewn right sides together:

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Curves clipped, turned right side out, pressed and then understitched:

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I also stitched the centre back seam on the main fabric and had cut the back lining on a fold with an added pleat at the back neck.

I joined the sleeve at the back by sandwiching it between the back panel and side panel.  First laying out the back (right side up), then the sleeve (right side down), then the side panels (right side down).

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Notice how the side back panel does not reach up to the back neckline – there is a notch on the back panel for lining this up.

Then to add to any confusion you might have…(hopefully I’m making sense!)… I placed the back lining right side down and stitched through all layers – but only for about 1/3 of the way down. See below:

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The reason being I wanted the fabric and lining to hang free from each other below this point for comfort and for ease of hemming later.

You can see in the photo below that I kept the lining and fabric separate when sewing the rest of the seam.

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I repeated this process with the other side, except I didn’t catch the back lining piece until later as it would have been too awkward.

Here it is inside-out on my dressform.

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I closed the lining seam after this photo. I pinned from the right side and the reached inside to pull through the top part to machine sew .

 

I took a break to assemble the neck facing . I have a fabric in mind to make a dress or skirt to wear with this jacket. So I used a bias-cut strip of that fabric to finish the facing edges: (it also matches the lining!)

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Phew….nearly there … I love this type of jigsaw puzzle!

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.

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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.

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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!

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Vogue 1316