Thursday, 10 October 2019

And Continuing the Rainbow Theme...

One of my best friends is expecting a baby, which means only one thing - time for a baby quilt!

This one was easy to pick fabric for - I had been eyeing up the Lewis & Irene Whatever the Weather set since it was previewed, and it is just perfect. It is so bright and colourful, and has lovely images. I couldn't decide which colours to get though - I wanted them all! Luckily, Wool Warehouse had sets of charm packs (5 inch squares) with Bumbleberry fabric too (not quite plain, but a nice mixer - again from Lewis & Irene).

I ended up buying 3 charm packs as Darren really likes the design. I just need to work out what to do with his set!

Quilt designing took a bit of time. I really need to design before I buy material - it's more of a challenge to make the amount fit the design. I ended up with a HST design. Not sure how, as I really find it challenging to make them look good, and I want this quilt to be amazing. Ah well. Glutton for punishment! I was aiming for pales and brights/darks, but it has only worked in some places.

Cutting out went well; although it took a while! I had around 80 or so squares to halve! But look how beautiful the fabric is:

And this is what the quilt will look like (hopefully!):

Saturday, 7 September 2019

A Rainbow Finish

Straight off the back of finishing the pattern weights, I launched straight into a new project. This time it was the Joni dress from the book Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons. The fabric had been bought with this project in mind about a year ago from The Village Haberdashery.

My sewing day with Hannah was spent tracing a pattern and cutting out material - it always takes much more time than you would think!

I had to source some clear elastic for the pattern. I ended up going into the city centre after work on the hottest Thursday in July - Cambridge turned out to be the hottest place in the country that day. Yay to me for sensible shopping decisions! But I wanted to buy the elastic rather than ordering it and waiting. I didn't end up sewing until a couple of days later, as it was just too hot!

I ended up sewing the dress across two nights. The elastic was a bit tricky, as I had to unpick it and sew some fresh elastic. I just hadn't given enough space between the sewing and the edge of the elastic in a few places, and wanted to make sure it was good enough.

The next challenge was the twist. Which seems a lot more technical than it is I think. My staystitching could be hidden better, but the twist worked out really well.

The longest job was the hem - the skirt had a lot of hem to do! But it was very satisfying as it was the last sewing part of the job!

I had set myself a deadline on the Monday to have the dress finished by the Friday, as me and the sisters were going to see Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat in London. I actually made the deadline! The show was amazing, and the dress was very appropriate!

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

WIPocalypse August

Even though it is late, I have actually managed to post this time!

WIPocalypse is a SAL hosted by Measi's Musings. The idea is to stitch projects you would like to complete by the end of the world.

The past month, I have been actually making a dent in my own WIPocalypse list:

The crochet doll with dress up clothes is nearing completion. I have 3 outfits left to make! But I am quite proud of my latest, which is supposed to be a Hogwarts school uniform - I had to make up the pattern for the robe!

I have actually given myself a final deadline for this; the end of October. This is when the recipients gain a sibling, and I thought it would be nice for them to have this whilst the new baby gets a lot of attention.

I also stitched my Joni dress! There is a post to follow about this, but I am so happy with this finish (just a sneak peek for now):

Each month, Measi posts a question to answer. This month's is:

What do you have on your stitching bucket list?

I have two. The biggest is completing my Disney cross-stitch collection and getting them FFO. I currently have one complete and am part way through number 2. There are 3 waiting for me to start them. The Beauty and the Beast one took me 5 years. I am hoping to reduce the time, but I'm already half way through year 2 on the second one and it has been neglected for a while. Ah well!

The second are some lovely yellow cord dungarees. I am aiming to loose a bit of weight first before making these, but I think they will be my biggest sewing challenge. There will be a lot of fitting and pattern adapting required I feel!

Sunday, 18 August 2019

I've Got My Sew-Jo Back

I am really on a roll with sewing at the moment! The day after finishing my trousers, I was straight onto my next project.

This time, a birthday gift for my friend Hannah. I had sourced a pattern weight pattern online, but the triangles started as 3 inches on each side, so obviously got smaller as they were sewed together. This felt a bit too small. I sized the pattern up to 4 inches each side, and created a pattern template for it.

I then started a little production line: mark the material, cut, press, sew, turn inside out. I then filled each one and sewed them up at the same time. I also used the final hand sew as a chance to try out our new little folding table by the reading chair in the bedroom. Pretty chuffed with both the table and the weights!

Online suggestions were to fill the weights with rice. As Hannah has two children under 8 and another on the way, I was wary about rice as it may escape. So I filled them with dried cannelloni beans. Much larger but still a good weight, and hopefully less chance of escaping.

The weights were given to Hannah for her birthday, and in were quickly put to use for our traditional holiday Wednesday sewing day. Look how bright they look!

I borrowed them to weigh down my jersey for my next project - more to follow on that. Hannah spent the sewing day making some shoes for her new arrival; they are so cute!

And the weights have also gone down well with her children - they are being used as building blocks as well as pattern weights currently!

Saturday, 10 August 2019

A Finish!

At the start of July, I became really determined to finish my Simplicity trousers. My toile had been tweaked at my course, and the pattern was adjusted accordingly.

I had a sewing day at a local sewing shop called Backstitch with my friend Jo. There was a group of us that hired out table space and just sewed from about 10 til 5 (with a bit of lunch in the middle!). It was a bit of a squeeze around the sewing table, and we had to take turns cutting - especially as I had some very big trouser legs to cut out!

It was, however, very productive. Jo put together a cardigan for her daughter and most of a dress for her daughter, and started on a matching cardigan for herself. Me being me, I totally forgot to take pictures of what she made!

I got most of my trousers sewn together; just the waistband, some shortening and the buttons were left to go.

The waistband then caused me nightmares. Or, more accurately, the button stand caused me nightmares. I managed to sew the part the buttons went on wrong, so fastening my trousers would have left a chunk of them stuck out! But I didn't have any spare material to make the waistband the right length. Cue a bit of a bodge - sewing a small amount of pink onto the end of the existing waistband so it was long enough for the button stand to be in the right position.

After that, it was plain sailing. I shortened the trousers and added the turn-ups, which made the trousers hang so much better. Adding the buttons was easy peasy, courtesy of my sewing machine!

I'm not too sure about them, unfortunately. The waist is bigger than on the toile, and the legs are soooo wide. I know they are supposed to be but I'm not 100% sure they suit me. I'm going to spend some time with my other sewing friend, Hannah, who is going to help me alter them so I'm happier with them.

But, the main thing is that I have finished my first ever pair of trousers! And I am eager to make more; just not quite so wide!

Saturday, 3 August 2019

A Quick Stash-Busting Gift

A friend of ours has bought her first home recently, and invited us to her housewarming with a weeks notice. Me being me, I decided to make her a housewarming gift. Unusually for me, I did not buy any materials for it - and I would have had no choice as I started work on the gift the night before the housewarming!

The design guru - aka Darren - helped me with layout. I wanted to keep the big flowers and have it coordinating yet not completely matching.

I also decided that I should do some free motion quilting. My first flower seemed a little wonky as I had missed drawing a petal somehow, but I am so proud of my second flower! And proud of my free motion in general.

My lovely elephant material from the baby quilt came in handy as backing; you may recognise the binding too. It turns out our friend loves elephants, so it worked out well to use that fabric!

We also picked up a mug for her, as it seemed odd to provide mug rugs and no mug to go with them! Darren rustled up some welsh cakes for her, and we had a lovely time at her new place.

Oh, and during the sewing process I got slightly distracted by my growing thread collection. I'm starting to get a satisfying range of colours!

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Baby Quilt Number....I Lost Track

It wouldn't be me if I didn't make at least one baby quilt in a year!

This one was for a colleague in the school I worked in (weird to say in past tense!). It took me ages to find material I loved for it - and I managed to find it on Ebay Australia. Of course, I then just had to have that material and nothing else would do. Luckily, shipping wasn't too much and it arrived speedily!

I hadn't done the maths on the amount of material I needed properly, so had to buy more material to fill some spaces. I think the teal is so gorgeous - the pictures don't do it justice!

This quilt annoyed me as the front felt like such a bodge. I also had to use some of the yellow material for blocks in the quilt, rather than just using it for binding. However, once I had cut it all up into the disappearing nine patch pieces it started to annoy me much less. I carefully sewed all the pieces to make sure any with writing were the right way up - and, for once, they all managed to stay that way!

There was a tiny bit of unpicking as I started off sewing using clothes seam allowances rather than quilting seam allowances. Luckily I realised after two blocks!

I am so chuffed with the backing. It really fits with my clashing yet coordinating signature!

And, an added bonus. It was ready at 11pm the night before it was being gifted. No very late night sewing. No sneaking sewing into work. No handing it over late! The recipient (or his dad anyway) was very chuffed with it. Yet another quilt gifted before the baby is even born; I do much better than my big sister in that regard - tee hee!

And Continuing the Rainbow Theme...

One of my best friends is expecting a baby, which means only one thing - time for a baby quilt! This one was easy to pick fabric for - I h...