Hand made frocks and new houses

I just wanted to say a big thank you to all who have commented on the last couple of posts.

I read your comments to Miss B and she was so genuinely touched by the kindness of your words that it filled my heart with joy.  You guys are the best and have done such a Very Good Thing for one small girl.

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I am eternally grateful.

Thanks also for your kind words about the new house.  We’ve been here just over a week and it feels like home.  We have so much more space to breathe, and the proximity to family and the park for walks and play has improved our quality of life no end.

As soon as my trades are available the work begins on making it home.  I need plug sockets and coving (crown moulding) before I can start to decorate.  Some of the decorating will be done by the decorator but I’ll be doing some of it myself.

If I can get the sewing room and office decorated and unpacked, that’s the worst of it done. I also need the sewing room ready so I can get to work on the blinds and curtains we need for each room.   So. Many. Blinds!

This is what the sewing room looks like today!

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The wallpaper is depressing, and we’ve lots of stuff that needs to go to other rooms, but….it’s going to be AWESOME!

Wood floors, view over the front garden and masses of space.  I’ll have a table for my sewing machines, a custom height cutting table and plenty of storage for all my patterns, books, notions and fabric.

Fingers crossed I can get to it fairly quickly once the kids go back to school in September. Until then we are just chillin’ and enjoying usually lovely weather for this part of the world.

 


Home sweet home

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After a years of searching, 2 failed house purchases, and over 4 months of wrangling on this purchase, we are, finally, in our new home.

We have a lot to do, and I’m going to have fun making this place into a wonderful home for our family.

For now…I’ve a million boxes to unpack and an awful lot of cleaning to do!  Not cool, but worth it.

Thanks to everyone for your kind wishes over the past few weeks, and to the grandparents for wrangling two very excited small peeps over the removal weekend.

This quick and blurry snap was taken on Sunday evening whilst we walked the short path from our front door to our favourite park.  If a picture tells a thousand words, this is why we moved.

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Oh….and a separate sewing room 😉


Newlook 6024 – Review

Yet more flamingos for Miss Button.

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A cute summer dress that looks like polka dots from a distance but gives you a happy surprise close up.

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It fastens with a side zip and cute halter neck.  Elastic at the top of the back keeps it snug and modest. And no pattern matching is required!

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Most importantly….it has the twirl factor!

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I was astonished to get Miss B into this dress today.  She’s been really reluctant to wear her handmade clothes recently.  However we finally got to the bottom of it this weekend (thanks Nana!).

A girl at a school party had commented that she looked “awkward” in this dress!

They’re 8 and already the mean girl stuff starts!  It’s horrifying and heartbreaking. She’s already having confidence issues, but this is the second time this particular girl has said something thats knocked her sideways.  Last time it was that Miss B is “fat”. Please feel free to insert your own expletive at this point.  I did!

Sadly the girl’s mother isn’t remotely engaged.  School keeps a tight rein on unpleasantness, but still it sneaks through.

As someone who was bullied hideously at school I’m trying to arm Miss B with the tools to fight this nonsense.  And reminding her how beautiful she is…inside and out, how individuality is to be cherished, and how the people who love her love her for the amazing person she is.  Anyone else’s idiocy doesn’t count in our family.

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Thankfully, she’s got enough personality to bounce back, as these outtakes show.

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This is her “rock chick” pose and face. Often accompanied by air guitar!

These are the Miss B we know and love.

Project details

Pattern:                             Newlook 6204

Pattern cost:                     £2.98  (on half price sale)

Fabric:                               Cotton flamingo print – John Lewis

Fabric cost:                       £10/mtr – I used 1.5 mtr.


Life in a northern town – July 2016, part 2

Today is the first day of the summer holidays.  We’ve had a slow start to the day. The kids are having a water fight in the garden.  We’re still alive at lunchtime.  It bodes well for the rest of the holidays.

Two weeks today, with a bit of luck and nobody playing silly buggers at the last minute, we will be moving house.  Even though we’re having the place professionally packed for us, there still seems so much to do.  I tidied away my sewing machine last night.  I’m not entirely sure if it will come out again in this house, and just how quickly I’ll get it unpacked in the new house.

Number 2 makes me ever so slightly anxious.

But I will have a lovely and spacious sewing room in the new house so it will be worth a little while without sewing.

Won’t it????

I will get some lovely photos of George soon and share them with you.  But till then, this little face will have to do!

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We weren’t planning on getting a new puppy until after the school holidays.

Sometimes it’s good just to throw the plan out of the window!

We had a dance competition for The Boy at the weekend.  Note to self, when travelling over an hour from home to the competition venue at 7am in the morning…it really helps to pack his dance shoes!

Number 9 is Reason 876 why I love The Husband. He drove back home to collect the dance shoes.

The Boy won.  Again.  First place for quickstep and for jive in the 6-7 year old age group.

With his lovely dance partner

With his lovely dance partner for the day.

I may be ever-so-slightly ridiculously proud of him.

His success may have prompted his sister (who is equally talented as a dancer but decidedly more work shy) to up her game.

I’ll leave you with my current favourite pictures of my wee man.  I’ll be beating the girls away with a stick in a few years!

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Summer in the City

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It’s nice to share some sewn stitches for a change.

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How could I resist this adorable London themed fabric?  It’s so very charming.

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How cute is this?  I just love it.

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Fabric constraints meant that I couldn’t pattern match the bodice.  So I fussy cut cute scenes instead. I’m happy with how it works.

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I cut the skirt as one piece to maintain the integrity of the design, and managed to get an almost perfect match on the seam there.

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Thankfully, Miss Button loves it too.

I’ll call that a win!

Project details

Pattern:                             Geranium from Made by Rae

Pattern cost:                     £10 – this is my 5th version, so it’s excellent value for money

Fabric:                               Cotton novelty print from The Buttonhole

Fabric cost:                       £5/mtr (I think).  I used 1 mtr.

 


Fruit pastille socks

If you’re the lady we met on the train to Birmingham, and you’re here to check in on the socks I started, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed today.

Sock knitting has been slowed down by the siren song of an aran weight cardigan for Button, that now only needs….you guessed it….buttons!

And swatching to find a yarn to make up a pattern that calls for Quince & Co…which would need importing and is also way beyond my budget.

But…I do have another, different pair of socks to share with you.

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These have been done for a while and the husband is keen for me to get them photographed so he can have them back to wear.

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I swear I don’t believe the weather will ever be anything else but grey here. The sun broke through for about 30 seconds, but by the time I’d set up the socks and the camera the heavens had opened again. So I’m sucking it up and sharing somewhat gloomy photos.

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But even gloomy photos of socks can be cheery on the greyest of days.  Especially when they bring to mind a roll of fruit pastille sweeties.

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And now I’ve shared I can go back to knitting the anticipated, and very, very jolly socks that I started on the train to Birmingham.

Project details

Yarn:                             Debbie Bliss Realto Sock

Colour:                          2 – Roskilde

Purchased from:          Fabrix, Lancaster

Cost:                               £9.95

Needles:                        2.75mm

Size:                               64 stitch cast on


Flamingo geranium top

The majority of things I’ve made this year (and my productivity isn’t high at the moment) have been woolly socks for my lovely husband.  However I’ve also been sewing for Miss Button, but getting her to pose for pictures has been a whole other ballgame.  8 is the new 14! Small girls are so stroppy!

However, en route to a friend’s party at the weekend, she was in a good enough mood for a quick 5 minutes of photos, despite the overcast and gloomy weather.

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She’s mad for flamingos at the moment so I couldn’t resist this cute and colourful retro Hawaiian flamingo print.  This is yet another geranium top (my fourth time with this fabulous pattern, I think).

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Oh she looks so very, very tired.  Summer holidays can’t come quickly enough!

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I’ll be honest that I made no attempt at pattern matching.  And because of this I managed to squeeze this top out of a metre of fabric.  I had to skimp a bit on the gathering of the skirt.  We’ve reached a tipping point where I need to start buying a bit extra fabric for her. She’s growing so quickly these days.

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Ah….that’s my girl!

As always the Geranium was a quick and simple make that gives great results.  The simple lines really show off the fabric at it’s best.  This is a sweet pattern for little girls and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Project Summary

Pattern:              Geranium from Made By Rae

Pattern Cost:      $10

Fabric:                 Hawaiian-style flamingo print cotton

Fabric Source:   Fabrix, Lancaster

Fabric Cost:        £5.95/mtr


The socks of incredible gaudiness

As the weather isn’t playing ball for pictures of Miss Button in her new mummy-made garments, I took advantage of the grey skies to tone down the incredible gaudiness of these socks.

It worked!  In this picture they look positively subdued!

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This is what they really look like.

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That pink makes your eyes water in bright light!

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We recently had an interesting conversation with Anne at our LYS, & Sew What, about men and colourful socks.  Her experience is that younger men prefer a more sober sock, sticking with plain or only slightly variegated yarns, whilst more mature men love the more colourful, wildly striped yarns.

The husband bucks this trend as he’s hardly an older chap but the more bold the colour combination of the yarn, the more it appeals to him.

Hence, these sunglasses-inducing lovelies.

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There is a small part of me that’s convinced he chooses such combinations as he knows I’ll be knitting as fast as my fingers allow, just to get them off the needles and onto his feet. But he’s such a sweetheart, so that couldn’t possible be the case.

Could it?


Life in a northern town – June 2016

I cannot believe it’s a month since my last post! Life here has been so unbelievably busy that the days are just flying by.  Thankfully it’s all good busy, but it’s busy nonetheless.

The house move is progressing.  Hopefully not much longer now.

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The kids are dancing up a storm so dance classes now take up quite a bit of our time.

I’ve had a very, very big birthday.

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I’ve finished the first year of my accountancy qualifications.  And passed.

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And I’ve been knitting and sewing, but haven’t got a single finished garment photo for you yet.

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I’m hoping to get time to take a breath and get some photos soon.  I’ll try not to take another month to do so!


Lemongrass

I LOVE this sweater.

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I love the colour.  I love the yarn.  I love the pattern.  I love the fit.  I love every. single. thing. about it.

Lemongrass_2The pattern is Lemongrass by Joji Locatelli and it is a complete joy to knit. It’s a beautifully written pattern and I can’t recommend it enough.  I had no project fatigue with this at all.  I’d happily knit it again tomorrow!

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That cable!  Looks complex…is easy enough to knit in front of the TV!

I couldn’t find buttons to match this yarn.  It’s not quite blue and not quite purple. So I stitched up the buttonholes and the sides together.  Problem solved.

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The yarn is Malabrigo Merino Worsted in the colourway Azul Bolita and the pictures do not do it justice at all.  It’s deeply saturated and gently variegated.  It’s soft and squishy and has beautiful drape. It’s a truly joyous yarn.

Be warned…it leaks colour like a mad thing whilst you’re knitting it.  I had blue hands every night I knitted this.

But it’s worth it.

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If only we weren’t heading into summer.  I can’t wait for cooler weather so I can wear this all the time.