Saturday, 29 September 2012

After a quick chunky knit?

Oh my word! If you're looking for a quick chunky knit for winter, look no further my friends! You may remember seeing the first few rows of my recently started Sirdar Raglan Jacket in my last post, but since then it's grown unbelievably fast, despite me being a slow knitter.

In just a couple of evenings in front of the telly (watching the likes of Boardwalk Empire, Sons of Anarchy and so on) I've finished the entire back. I can't believe that I might actually be wearing this cosy baby this winter!


The pattern has been really easy so far – some double moss stitch, followed by a few knit rows and finished off with stocking stitch.


And in case you're tempted, here's a close-up of the pattern and yarn. I'm using Sirdar's Raglan Jacket pattern - it recommends using Big Bamboo, but I've gone with Denim Ultra which is a similar weight/type of yarn.


Have you got any tried and tested quick knitting projects?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Stash busting - things just got serious!

Friends, the only way forward for me in terms of Autumn/Winter stitching plans, is stash busting. I’ve complained before that my ridiculous accumulation of stitching ‘stuff’ is suffocating me and it’s still true. I walk into the spare room and I panic, not knowing what to look at or work on next. I’m embarrassed frankly, especially complaining that I have too much when a sickening amount of people in this world have so little.

So to maintain my sanity and some dignity I must bust that stash and I’m only allowing myself to purchase extra necessities like lining, interfacing, muslin material and the like. Traditionally I don’t ‘do’ plans, but I will fail without one and failure is not an option. Sorry to sound so dramatic, but reality has really hit home that I spend much faster than I can make. 

Anyway, here’s my broad vision for the following months – my approach is to take things nice and slowly, to enjoy the process and to produce quality results.

October will be dedicated to Colette's Anise sewalong - I'm both excited and scared to attempt my first ever jacket, but I'm hoping to achieve a Chanel-esque feel to it with my chosen fabric. It's been in my stash since the Minoru days and despite seeing some wonderful Minorus out there, I've finally accepted that the style just isn't me.

I've had a Macaron muslin cut out for weeks and I haven't sewn it up yet, so in the name of finishing what I start, a Macaron's in order. I received the beautiful teal cotton in a swap with Little Red Squirrel and I've had the seersucker in my stash since this hideous make back in 2010!


I keep saying I want to make more lovely dresses, so I must get round to making a Cambie or two. I'd like to make the A-line version in my heavier darker floral print and the gathered version in a beautiful cotton lawn that I won in one of Shivani's generous giveaways.


I struggle with skirts, it's no secret. Finding styles that suit my body shape is a real challenge, but I found my Vivat Veritas Scalloped Waist Skirt to be super flattering and I can't believe I haven't made more of them. I think this red gabardine I've had for over a year will be perfect for this project!
I have a fair amount of viscose and other drapey materials that would make pretty blouses. And as luck would have it, I've also amassed an incredible amount of pretty blouse patterns too!
I've decided cowl-neck Renfrews are not for me, but I love and wear my other three versions to death. So I happily snapped up this flamingo-print jersey to make another fun version, possibly with a V-neck and 3/4 length sleeves.


The make I'm most excited about will combine a vintage pattern with some vintage fabric. I have plenty of vintage fabric in my stash and I'm always too scared to use it, but this is far too pretty to be kept on a shelf. It would be amazing to have this done for the Christmas season, but I'm not going to rush this make as it's far too precious.

Oh, and of course there are also the three knitting projects I'm working on at the moment too. I'd love to get the chunky cardigan and double moss stitch scarf done first in time for the cold weather. Then I'll pick my 1940s jumper up in time for spring I think. 

So...erm...I think that's plenty to be getting on with, don't you? I'm sad that I'll probably have to sit out some of the many awesome sewalongs happening - like Karen's ApronalongGertie's Coat sewalongLauren's Thurlow sewalong and a Deer and Doe sewalong from paunnet - but I must stay strong! The beauty of sewalongs is that you can always visit them at a later date I guess.

Are any of you in a similar stash position, or are you far more sensible with your buying?

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Baby blanket – Handmade Jane stylee

Just a quick post to reflect a quick project today. When I saw Handmade Jane's baby blanket tutorial last week, I just knew I had to make one! And luckily, I had a beautiful baby girl to make one for. I'm convinced though that baby or no baby, I would have made a blanket anyway...too cute not to!


I made a few small changes of my own. I made my blanket a little more affordable by altering the dimensions to 29 x 34 inches and I stitched around the finished blanket twice instead of once. After these photos were taken I also stitched all the way around my label after my boyfriend pointed out potential health hazards to the baby...who would've known!?!


I loved Jane's tutorial so much and the sweet result it produced, that I've invested in some beautiful prints in the hope of making some extra cash for Christmas. I got them from the sale section of The Village Haberdashery and M is for make.


I also wanted to say a quick thanks to all of you who responded to my knitting question in my last post. Thanks to you guys, I'm making some good progress now.

And finally, as you can see, I've made a few changes to my blog's design. I'll be adding some more pages soon too, but if you spot anything dodgy going on in the meantime, please do let me know!  

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Quick knitting question please

I'm really hoping the knitting experts out there can help me with a question. The answer is probably really obvious, but even though I've almost been knitting for a year now...I'm still trying to figure out how exactly to interpret patterns!

Looking at the below instructions, after casting on would you:

a) Just work a total of 37 rows in keeping with the 4-row pattern?

or

b) Work one pattern (4 rows) and then work another 37 rows on top of that? This would mean that you would work 41 rows in total.


If it's just 37 rows in total, does this mean that technically the 'instructions' begin at 'From 1st to 4th row sets patt...' and that it just outlines Rows 1- 4 at the beginning to familiarise you with the pattern?

Please do humour me if I'm asking a stupid question, any advice will be much appreciated!

Are you knitting anything at the moment? As the evenings start to draw in here in the UK, I'm feeling increasingly attracted to my knitting needles and yarn...

Friday, 14 September 2012

Overdue unveiling of Vogue 8728

Back in June I tried to tantalise you with a sneak peek of a new make. It was reproduction vintage Vogue 8728 and at the time I couldn’t have been more in love with it. Since then a couple of issues made me love it slightly less, hence the delayed post.

Firstly, I decided to try out Diet Chef for a couple of months. The food was relatively gross (if you're used to cooking delicious meals from scratch), but it did the trick and I lost over 10lbs which I’ve just about managed to keep off. Although I’m over the moon with the weight-loss, it also means that my dress is now too loose to wear without a belt and not as flatteringly figure-hugging as before. The second issue is the cheap jersey I bought from the Birmingham rag market, which has lost a lot of its vibrancy after a just a couple of washes.


But I’ve decided to embrace this dress for what it is. A comfortable day dress with a slight shabby-chic print! I figured I’ve made worse things before and although my Vogue 8728 isn’t as chic as the versions that originally inspired me (Casey’s and Adey’s), it’s still totally wearable.


The pattern is easy enough to follow and the construction is pretty simple, especially if you use jersey and omit the zip. I love omitting zips! As usual I shortened the bodice pieces by a couple of inches, but my other fitting issues were ridiculous. This pattern has A LOT of ease...does anyone else agree? I’m pretty busty as you may have noticed, but I had to cut out the smallest size on top and then take in even more ease. I know my shoulders are narrow and my waist is small, but I’m not smaller than a size 8 for crying out loud!?! So anyway, there was some tweaking as I went along with this one, but tweaking jersey is never too taxing and is quite forgiving in my opinion.



So anyway, there you have it...my overdue Vogue 8728!

Now I just need to decide what to make next. I have many ideas swimming around in my head, more than a couple of muslins cut out and I’m also very tempted by Gertie’s new coat sewalong! With all these jumbled thoughts, I run the risk of becoming overwhelmed again and freezing up completely. But making and sticking to a plan hasn’t always worked out for me in the past, so it’s a bit of a vicious circle! 

Have any of you got tried and tested techniques for choosing your next make and staying focussed?

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Mrs Depew Vintage giveaway winner announced

Hello friends! I'm back from a lovely week in Torrox, Spain and raring to announce the winner of my first ever sponsored giveaway, courtesy of Mrs Depew Vintage

The random number generator chose Ginny from Buttons and Bobbins, who said:

“I'd have to choose the Underwear and Lingerie e-book, since I'm making so much of it at the minute! I have a few of her patterns already and really love them.”

Congratulations Ginny!!! I'll pass on your email address to Anna, who will get in touch asap. 

A big 'sorry' to the rest of you who entered the giveaway (so many of you!), but luckily Mrs Depew Vintage patterns are very reasonably priced, so hopefully you'll be able to treat yourselves sometime soon! 

And just because I know you're all as nosey as I am, I thought I'd share some of my holiday snaps once again.

We stayed in a gorgeous and peaceful villa off the beaten track...

...surrounded by such beautiful plants and flowers!

In between copious amounts of sun-bathing, we visited some incredible places...

...and I became obsessed with the stunning tiles adorning most buildings. I couldn't help but think what perfect sun-dress fabric some of them would make...hopeless eh!?!

Although the thought of work tomorrow deeply depresses me, I am excited to crack on with some stitching soon and I even have a finished project to show you! I'm also looking forward to catching up with all your blog posts, although I did manage to keep fairly updated whilst away - the wonders of Wi-Fi!

Have you all had a good week / weekend?

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Sponsored giveaway – Mrs Depew Vintage

My friends, I'm leaving you for a whole week! Tomorrow I fly out to Spain to stock up on some elusive Vitamin D in time for the inevitable onset of autumn/winter here in the UK.

Don't worry though, I have a special treat for you before I go - a special treat in the form of my first sponsored giveaway, courtesy of the lovely Anna and her recently launched website Mrs Depew Vintage. You may already know Anna from her wonderful blog, A Few Threads Loose, which you totally need to check out if you haven't yet!

Anyway, Anna is offering one of my lucky readers the chance to win any printable pattern or e-book  your heart desires, from Mrs Depew Vintage. Generous, or what!?!

There are so many stunning items to choose from, I guarantee you will have trouble picking just one!

I recently bought myself this rather chic blouse pattern!


There's also a super cute collection of beachwear...

...a lovely collection of e-books...

...some seriously dreamy lingerie patterns dating as far back as the 1920s...

...and hat patterns to die for, even for the gentleman in your life!

To enter the giveaway just leave a comment below (including your email address), by midnight (GMT) on Saturday 8 September. You don't absolutely have to, but just because I'm nosey and it's fun, feel free to tell me what you'd pick if you won. 

I will announce the random winner on Sunday 9 September...the exact time will depend on if there are any delays to our return flight.

Thanks so much for sponsoring such a generous giveaway Anna!