Monday, 20 October 2014

Ditto roses

Here are two dresses which I've made using the same fabric in two different colourways.  I love this print and have got it in another two colours as well, although I haven't made them up yet.  I bought these two from Ditto Fabrics in Brighton - a lovely shop in the North Laine area with lots of gems and well worth a visit.  As is Brighton of course - I love it.

The first one is an Elisalex which came together very quickly since I've made quite a few of these now.  Not much to say about it other than I love it! 

Lime green roses Elisalex
The second one is from a vintage Simplicity pattern, although I've cut the skirt 8" shorter.

I love the cover art on this, the finished dress not so much sadly.  I feel a bit meh about it although I can't quite put my finger on why - I'll give this some thought!  It's been nearly finished for ages and has been sitting waiting for me to hem it for weeks.  I've finally got around to it though, and so now it's finished.

Turquoise roses dress
 I think I'll put it away for the winter now and maybe the passage of time will endear it to me more.  I hope so!  And now I have another dress to hem...

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Away with the Pink Fairies and Moody Blues

Having just blogged about baby knits which I've made quite recently I thought it was high time I blogged about two cardigans for me which I made earlier in the year.  The first (the blue one) I made during February and March and the second (the pink one) I started immediately afterwards and finished on June 1st.

I'd decided that I needed a blue cardigan and couldn't find a pattern that ticked all the boxes in my head, so made this one up.  I knew the finished length that I wanted, knitted a tension square with the wool I wanted to use (Drops Baby Merino), and then went in search of a lace pattern to use.  I have two of the Barbara Walker treasuries - they are great books although it's a shame the patterns aren't charted.  Anyway, I decided I liked the look of the Palm Leaf Lace which is in the second book, did some sums and away I went with the knitting.

I used the pattern on the left

This cardigan featured in one of my me-made-May outfits here and has been really useful. 

The second cardigan also featured during me-made-May as a wip which I was intending to finish during May - was only a day late!  This came about because I decided I wanted a pink cardigan and found the perfect yarn on Fyberspates' stand at Unravel in February this year.  Having now got a formula for knitting cardigans for me out of 4 ply wool, I did the same with this one as with the blue one - I went off in search of a lace insert and  I found the one I wanted to use when I was leafing through my vintage knitting patterns. 

Shell pink cardigan and flamingolex dress

The knitting was pretty straightforward and I really like the finished article and have worn it a fair bit since it goes with quite a few of my me-made dresses (and rtw ones as well actually).

Just writing this post has given me itchy fingers to start knitting another cardigan for me so I'm off now to get out my swift and winder and find a pattern. :-)

Monday, 13 October 2014

Baby knits

The sewing has slowed down a bit at the moment, particularly since the weather turned autumnal.  But I have been doing some knitting.  This first cardigan I actually made in the summer and it was too big when my grandson was born, but fits him now.  I used a vintage pattern - one of several my mother gave me when I was a new mum, but omitted the flowers which meant I had to put the shaping at the side seams since it was part of the flower design (and I knitted this cardigan with the flowers for my daughter so there was a bit of deja vu knitting this).

Do you have to take my photo right now?
The next item is a jumper, which I also knitted for my daughter, but in pink and purple stripes, and is from a Debbie Bliss baby knits book which I bought when she was a baby.  The pattern has stripes of equal width but I decided to do a Breton inspired version instead.  Looks like there is still some growing room in this one!

And the third one is from a pattern booklet that was free with a magazine, and is supposed to be 0-6 months size.  When I knitted the sleeves I thought they looked a bit short so added a bit of length to them, and here it is on my grandson aged precisely 9 weeks.  I don't think he'll be wearing this for long! 

These last two were knitted with Drops Baby Merino yarn which is lovely and soft and nice to knit with - although not so nice if you need to unpick and then reknit - it's quite splitty.  This is a minor niggle though and won't stop me from using it again.

I've got another stripey jumper on the go now which is ideal TV knitting and should be finished soon.  And then it will be time to knit something for me.  Cardigan or dress though?  Or both?...  And I have some sewing to finish too.  And I recently bought more fabric.  Just aren't enough hours in the day - anyone have a timeturner I could borrow?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

SewBrum meet up

Last Saturday I went to Birmingham for a sewing meet-up organised by Charlotte of English girl at home.  This was the first time I'd participated in one of these events and I really enjoyed it.

Fabric shopping in Birmingham city centre had been arranged for the morning, however having been there recently I decided to give this a miss and went instead to The Cotton Patch which was only a couple of miles down the road from the afternoon part of the meet-up at Guthrie and Ghani and was somewhere I'd never visited before.  It's a shop aimed at quilters rather than dressmakers, but that didn't stop me!  I bought three dress lengths of  fabric which the sales assistant cut using a rotary cutter and self healing mat rather than scissors.  Oh my goodness.  So quick!!  I was won over and bought a cutter and mat to take home with me - this will save me quite a bit of time when I have my marathon cutting out sessions I think.  I also bought a flexible ruler and a measuring gauge whilst I was in gadget-buying mode. 

Rotary cutter, self-healing mat, flexible ruler and a measuring gauge
The three fabrics I picked out were a lovely sunflower print, a helenium print and a leafy batik print.  The first two can wait until next year to be sewn up because they're a bit too summery for me to think of sewing with them now, but the third one - on the right in the picture below - I intend to make up quite soon.  I love this combination of colours and I'm looking forward to turning this into a dress.

Sunflowers, heleniums and leafy looking print
I had a very enjoyable time browsing around The Cotton Patch, there was a tempting selection of fabrics in there, the staff were friendly and I imagine if I were a quilter it would probably be able to supply everything I need.  But I'm not, nor ever likely to be.

Then it was time to go to Moseley for the meet-up.  Guthrie & Ghani is a lovely shop and I had time to have a browse around before everyone started to arrive from their city centre shopping. There were lots of people - some of whom I'd met before, some who I recognised from their blogs but most were new faces and I spent a very enjoyable time sitting drinking tea and chatting to several of them - I even discovered that I share a birthday with one of them!  It was lovely to be in a room full of people who were so enthusiastic about sewing.

There was tea (which was very welcome) and cakes and a raffle with some great prizes, and after that a pattern and fabric swap.  I took three pieces of fabric and one pattern with me and came home with one piece of fabric and three patterns (must remember to add them to my pattern page - now done).  I was so engrossed in the chatting - and a little bit of shopping - that I completely failed to take any photos of the day at all.  However, Charlotte has already blogged about the day and others who were less forgetful with their cameras than I was have too.

This is the fabric which I got in the swap - there's about three quarters of a metre which is enough for me to make a straight skirt.  It's a stretchy cotton and I really like the colours and vintagey look of the print.
These are the patterns - I'll almost certainly lengthen the skirt pattern on the left, the dress pattern in the middle I've hummed and ha'd about buying before so I think it was meant to come home with me, and the artwork on the vintage pattern on the right caught my eye.

Finally this is the fabric I bought - a Japanese double gauze which was a bit spendy but I'd seen it online and coveted it and it was even more beautiful in reality.  This photo doesn't do it justice - the background colour is a beautiful deep teal.  I love it.

All too soon it was time to go - I could happily have stayed longer and chatted to more people the time seemed to go so fast.  Roll on the next meet-up!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Kaffe Fassett exhibition

Kaffe Fassett exhibition entrance

I visited this exhibition in Bath the weekend before last and OMG... the colour. everywhere. on. everything!! 

The tree outside the exhibition hall had been yarnbombed

 There was a riot of colour right in front of me as I walked into the exhibition


 Even the floors had been decorated

 There were quilts - this one looked as though it was emanating  light, but it was entirely down to the fabric choices, there wasn't a light shining on it - I checked!

 And vegetable crockery


and cushions (not a very good photo - flash wasn't permitted and this came out rather dark so I've had to edit it - not very well it seems!)

There were beads, bottles and buttons

One way to use the button stash ;-)

Inside the main part of the museum was a lovely box of knitted and crocheted flowers

Carved statues in the folk art exhibition

and a prophecy which caught my eye...

I loved it - and now want to completely redecorate the entire house although realistically that probably isn't going to happen anytime soon.

The exhibition was held in the American Museum and is on until the beginning of November.