Monday, 18 March 2019

Sewing with my Sister

This weekend I headed over to my big sister's for - you guessed it - a sewing weekend!

After a morning mooch around town on the Saturday, we settled down to some serious sewing. Vicki was working on a sparkle punch quilt top, which she has been chipping away at for a while. I continued with my shirt dress - a project I have been chipping away at for a much shorter time.

I finished off the collar and then spent some time attaching the sleeves. I had to use a set of stitches which meant I could pull them and shorten the size of the shoulder. However, this meant there was some folds in the material. Once I realised this couldn't be avoided (it was on the pictures in the pattern), the sleeves went in more more easily.

Then, my favourite part. Sewing up the sleeves and the sides of the shirt dress. It's such a satisfying and simple step!

We then paused on Saturday evening to watch some movies whilst I cross-stitched and Vicki crocheted.

On Sunday, we resumed our stitching! I made button tabs for the sleeves, finished sleeves and added buttons to these. I then hemmed the shirt dress.

All that is left now are the buttons! And what cute buttons they are...

I was so pleased, I took some shots of the shirt dress next to the toile I made - such a difference!

Vicki also managed to finish her quilt top. A successful weekend all around.

Monday, 11 March 2019

A Lot of Learning

As you may have seen in my previous post, I have started working on a shirt dress. I am following a pattern by Tilly and the Buttons - the Rosa shirt dress. This must be the slowest progressing shirt dress ever!

It hasn't been without issues; attaching the yoke took time and several attempts (husband actually had to turn lights off around me at my request to make me stop and go to bed). I made too large a snip towards the pivot which ripped a bit. This fabric is much lighter than the fabric I used for my toile. There is a very small fold at the yoke point, which mostly looks deliberate. Annoyingly, I have beautifully neat top-stitching below it, which is slightly marred by the fold. Ah well! (Top-stitching not pictured here):

My next fiasco - after adding interfacing to my button stand, I realised that the pattern had ripped and my button stand was too short. So more time was lost re-cutting and re-interfacing. My lovely friend who lives around the corner then popped round to help me understand a pattern step to put the button stand together properly.

Understandably, approaching the collar has been a little stressful. After the issues above (and a couple of others), attempting a collar has felt utterly terrifying. I have taken it very slowly, and as of this evening it is now attached! So I have walked away before I do seam trimming and neatening - just in case!

This shirt dress may actually get finished this year!...

...I have now proceeded to touch wood, cross fingers and do several anti-jinx dances, just in case!

Sunday, 24 February 2019

February WIPocalypse check in

I've now set a phone alarm to try and make sure my check-ins are a little more timely than my first one! I can' believe we're already at the end of February - it has flown by. So now it is time for my second WIPocalypse check in.

The WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings and the aim is to share (and ideally complete) projects we wish to finish before the End of the World.

This month's question is What do you listen to while stitching?
This tends to fluxuate but I either have TV shows or films on in the background; these tend to be things like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Grey's Anatomy etc. Otherwise I have audiobooks playing. Generally these are books I know well, such as Harry Potter or the Belgariad.
It totally depends on my mood, but it will always be something I know well, as otherwise I will sit and watch/listen too intently and not do any stitching!

This month, I have had my cross-stitching bug renewed, so have spent a lot of time working on my Disney cross-stitch. I also hit a year of working on it already!

I also started to cut out and sew a shirt dress. I made a toile a little while ago, so now it's time to brave making the actual thing. It's the most fitted piece of clothing I will have made and it's a little terrifying! 

I started it during my sewing day I have in the holidays with Hannah, who lives around the corner from me. I aim to finish it in the next week or so, so watch this space! I did spend a lot of time crawling around cutting out, so didn't actually sew too much. I then got annoyed by doing some zig-zagging and the material bunching up. I think I've fixed that problem - hopefully!

Friday, 22 February 2019

IHSW February

I actually managed to take part this month - and had even planned to do so!
For those that don't know, International Hermit and Stitch Weekend happens the third weekend of every month, both in blog and Facebook world. It is a chance to sit and stitch, from Friday to Sunday if possible.

The lovely Jo hosts a link-up here.

This weekend I was really in the mood to work on my Disney cross-stitch. Over the course of the weekend, I hit my one year point; one year since starting this piece! Hopefully it will take less than 4 years; my current record for a Disney cross-stitch this size.

I usually stitch from the centre out, picking the colours that are most common in certain areas. I'm finding that this piece has lots of bitty colours, so have changed my technique. I am now working through each colour in the order they appear on the thread cards. 6 colours in and I am getting a little impatient, as I seem to have found a lot of colours that don't have a lot of threads or stitches.

But progress is being made. Can you spot the three characters forming on this page?

Darren also found a great light that is now in my corner of the room - perfect for sewing and reading. I'm looking forward to trying it out this evening! It does have a remote control which he currently has in his possession however, and he's having a lot of fun trying it out!

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

January WIPocalypse

My first check in for the WIPocalypse, and it's a few days late! The usual excuse of work taking over life I'm afraid!

The WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings and the aim is to share (and ideally complete) projects we wish to finish before the End of the World.

The theme for this check-in is What SALs are you participating in this year?
Unfortunatley, I don't have a fun answer! I'm not taking part in any (unless you count this one!) I struggle to find time for crafting at points, and tend to just have one of each type of craft I do on the go, so SALs don't quite fit with that plan - unless they are stash busting/project busting ones! This WIPocalypse SAL is great for that, and I really look forward to working towards a few of my goals.

In my WIPocalypse attempt to finish some projects before the End of the World, I have made a small step in the right direction!

I finished an outfit for the crochet doll I am working on - I love how colourful it is! I almost did blue trousers (like jeans), but I decided bright was better. The doll appears to look very joyful in her colourful clothes too.

I also started working on her next outfit - it's rather fluffy!

Not quite crafting, but I did also bake some lemon muffins for the husbands birthday this past week - they distracted from crafting but were oh so tasty!

Monday, 7 January 2019

FnwF January 2019

For the first time in a long time I finally remember the first Friday of the month was Friday Night With Friends! This is hosted by the lovely Cheryll, and takes place, funnily enough, on the first Friday of each month.
Click here to read a little more about it and catch up with what everyone did.

As usual for me, my Friday night extended into Saturday. I am working on the clothes for a crochet doll, which will be a gift for my friend's children. I am hoping it will be gifted soon! But I do keep having more ideas of outfits to make, or variations of outfits.

On Friday night itself, I finished a 'raincoat' for the doll. This involved adding sleeves. I also made a 'rainhat'. The black band was added on Saturday. I really love how the hat turned out!

On Saturday, I started work on a jumper. I got derailed slightly as I pulled the wool out of my bag...

...but once it was sorted (a couple of hours later), I could get on and crochet. It's not quite finished, and I think the wool may be a little chunky so the jumper won't quite fit under the coat, but it can go with another outfit! The wool is too fun not to include!

My crocheting on Saturday got side tracked by another project. Darren's parents bought us a fire pit for Christmas (he had been wanting one most of last year!). Cue a quick trip to a hardware store, and a little bit of building.

And then my mad husband sat outside in winter by the fire. I don't feel like it was giving off enough heat to be worth it but he was happy. So happy he was out there on Sunday too!

I hope you all had a lovely FnwF!

Sunday, 6 January 2019

WIPocalypse 2019 - Start

Well I've finally caved and joined in! After over a year of reading lots of you joining in with the WIPocalypse, I decided to join in!

For those that don't know, very briefly the WIPocalypse is a stitch-a-long. From my research, it originally began in 2012, and played upon the joke that the world would end in 2012. The aim is just to work through your project(s) and make progress on them - to prevent the end of the world. Haha.

Hopefully the image I have put in will link back to the info page *crosses fingers*

As this is the first post of the year, I need to introduce myself and my goals/projects. So here it goes.

I'm Bethan, 28 years old and I live in Cambridge with my husband. I teach Science (mainly Biology) to 11-18 year olds; so at some points of the year I go very quiet in blog world as teaching takes over weekends and evenings. Well the workload does anyway! There can be the occasional moan about how much I have to do, but usually I just go quiet when busy.

I love to cross-stitch, quilt, crochet, and am also branching out into sewing clothes. My mum sewed a lot as I grew up, and so did my big sister. I do tend to blame my big sister for most of my crafting - she taught me how to quilt and links me to lots of lovely fabric and crafts! I do think we're as bad as each other now though.

I have a really bad habit of buying lots of projects to do, but never quite finishing them all. I buy them faster than I complete them! I have picked a few as goals for this WIPocalypse, but I'm sure more will be added depending on need or inspiration.

The first is a Disney cross-stitch I am working on. It is based on artwork by Thomas Kinkade. The last one I did took 5 years to complete (eek). This one I'm 9 months in on. I'm not aiming to finish it, but I am aiming to make a big enough dent in it. For those who have seen earlier posts, I'm hoping I make enough of a dent for you to work out which one I'm working on!

The second is a very long running project. I have been 'making' a crochet doll and clothes for my friend's daughter for about 3 and a half years. I have been doing it for so long that the doll will now be for both her daughter and her son (whoops). But I only properly started crocheting it last year, hence the 'making' earlier. I intend to get this finished in the next month or so. As long as I stop deciding on more clothes to make!

The third is another in progress project. I have been making a Tilly and the Buttons Rosa shirt dress. The toile is all made, so I can now go ahead and make the dress properly out of the intended fabric! ('Scuse the mess in the background!)

Then we move onto projects not yet started! These will be a little quicker:

  • A TATB Joni dress out of marvelous rainbow stretch fabric
  • A Beauty and the Beast lap quilt
  • A Peter Pan fleece backed quilt (can't seem to find any pictures of the material)
  • A baby quilt for a work colleague (new to the list already!)
  • A lap quilt (that I remembered I wanted to do whilst typing this post)
  • A crochet jumper for myself (all the wool is ready to go!)

I'm hoping to at least clear parts of these projects and not get too distracted by others! 

Sewing with my Sister

This weekend I headed over to my big sister's for - you guessed it - a sewing weekend! After a morning mooch around town on the Saturd...