Tag Archives: finished projects 2015

The Hexie Quilt – finally finished

Happy New Year to one and all.  I do hope your Christmas was lovely.  We had a very, very quiet and quite slothful time for which we are all feeling the benefit.

I’ve a couple of things still unshared but I thought I’d start the year with a bang and show you the finished hexie quilt.

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This shows half of the quilt as it’s draped over the garden gate.  I had to grab some quick pictures in-between downpours because the quilt was destined to become Ma & Pa SIL’s Christmas gift.

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The long-arm quilting was done by The Quilt Cabin at Hebden Bridge and she’s done a marvellous job of it, as you can see here.

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Sadly, Elaine has had her shop devastated by the Christmas floods in Hebden Bridge, as have many, many other stores.  She’s currently only trading online whilst the cleanup continues.  I do hope she and her fellow shopkeepers are open for business again soon. We’ll definitely be supporting them!

This was my first experience of having a quilt professionally quilted, and whilst it wasn’t cheap, it was money well spent.  So much so that when the shop is open again I’m getting Elaine to redo my Double Wedding Ring quilt which needs re-backing.

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The backing for this quilt is a plain cream cotton…a slightly tea stained colour that complements the multiple colours of the front perfectly and highlights the quilting stitches even more. Taking advice from Elaine, we colour matched the quilting thread to the backing.  I think it was a great choice.

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Whilst this isn’t the most glamorous shot ever it gives you a better view of the whole of the quilt (albeit draped over an overgrown hedge and blowing in the wind, 3 minutes before the rain returned!).  It’s what I would class as a good sized sofa quilt…perfect for wrapping round shoulders on a chilly evening, or a small child who’s feeling a little under the weather, or draping over a grandpa having an afternoon nap.  I’m also pretty sure it will be used by one child or the other for dragging a sibling up and down Nana’s hallway whilst shrieking like banshees!

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I’d be lying if I said that we didn’t contemplate keeping this quilt.  It took an age to sew all those 1″ hexies and the finished result is better than I’d ever hoped for.  It’s deliciously cosy and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it’s turned out.  Not bad for a first attempt at English Paper Piecing!

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But…it’s gone to a very good home.

And I can always start another one for us to keep………..


Blue socks

Well, that’s an imaginative title!

Blue socks 3And the iPhone pictures continue.

But these socks have been finished for a while and I thought I’d share them before he wears them out!

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As usual this is my standard Regia sock pattern and a mystery Regia yarn that I have no idea of the colourway.

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So, all in all, a useless post…but another cosy pair of socks.


Langston Blue

When I bought the yarn for my Harbour Island cardigan, I chose the yarn before the pattern and so, as you do, purchased way too much.  With small folk in the house this is never a burden, so I had a quick look through Ravelry and realised that the Langston pattern was perfect.

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I have knitted this little cardi before and was thrilled with both the knitting of it and the end result, so it was a no brainer to cast on it again.

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This time I decided to knit it in plain stocking stitch without the cables.  I wanted a quick and easy knit that I could work on whilst watching a movie.

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The cardi had it’s debut outing on a girls night out to our new fave Italian restaurant, La Corte in Leyland.  Leyland isn’t renowned for much other than it’s automotive history, and certainly not for it’s nightlife, but La Corte is a welcome addition to the town.  And a great use of the long defunct old police station/court house.  If you’re in the area I highly recommend a visit!

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Button was given the choice of where she’d like to go and this was it.  Although the cardi was still missing it’s buttons at this point, it was the perfect topper for a cool but sunny summer’s evening.

This is super little pattern and I highly recommend it.


BurdaStyle 130 – blue silk prom gown

Despite  the unusual 30+ degree heat here last week I managed to get the silk prom dress sewn in plenty of time and delivered on Saturday morning to a very happy neighbour.  She popped round last night on the way to her prom to let me snap a couple of quick photos.

Katie_Prom_1She looked stunning, and I received a lovely message from her this morning telling me how happy she was with the dress and that it was much admired by her friends.  Phew!

As I mentioned in my last post the pattern is BurdaStyle 12/2011 #130 and I made it in silk crepe backed satin in Royal Blue from Beckford Silk.  I sewed the dress with the matte crepe side of the silk as the right side of the fabric.  We both agreed it gave the dress a more elegant look.

As usual the instructions from the Burda pattern were ‘interesting’ and so I made some of the construction up as I went along!

As the silk is very lightweight I wanted to put as little weight as possible in the seams so I finished them with a ‘stitch and pink’ edging.  French seams would have been beautiful but ran the risk of being simply too bulky and heavy.  As this is an occasion dress that won’t get a great deal of wear, I’m not concerned about the seam finish not holding up to wear and tear.

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The above photo shows the inside of the armhole which is gently held in place with herringbone stitch which catches just a couple of threads of the main fabric to hold it in place and is virtually invisible when you look at the finished dress.

The neckline facing and hem were hand-stitched in place, this time with teeny tiny slip stitches.  I wanted them to look almost invisible from the outside…I think I succeeded.

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When Katie collected the dress on Saturday morning it looked less than stellar on the hanger.

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But…we’d had three fittings and I was confident that all would be well once the dress had been to the dry cleaners for a professional press.

I was right!

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Being ultra critical there’s still a little wrinkling on the seams, but only us in the know will notice that and, let’s be honest, all eyes were on Katie, not the seams!

And, of course, the demure front of the dress hides a daring secret at the back…

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I lengthened the neck tie, which threads through a casing at the neckline of the front bodice, to nearly 3 metres long to get this dramatic effect.

Katie_Prom_8If you’d asked me a week ago I’d have had choice words to say about this gown, but today, seeing the result and that beautiful, happy smile, I can safely say it was worth every single stitch.


Simplicity 1660 – two new tops for me!

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Finally, finally, I’ve done some sewing for me.  The sewjo has been on the missing list for far too long where I’m concerned, but last week it returned with a vengeance.

I’d been toying with buying the Sutton Blouse pattern from True Bias

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when I remembered I had this pattern already in my stash.
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Saving pennies wasn’t the only consideration; the sizing of the Simplicity pattern meant that I could get straight to sewing with minimal fuss.  Aside from the time taken to tape the Sutton PDF together, I’d also have needed to do some grading as I fall outside their size range at the moment.

It was a complete no brainer!

I’ve made them both up using the hemline of version B and the sleeves of version A without the cuffs.

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The first version is made up in a poly georgette from Abakhan that I bought ages ago from their oddments bin. I swear I didn’t pay more than £5 for this. In fact £2.50 is lurking in my head.  I really must get better at recording this stuff. It was a beast to sew with…a very slippery customer…but is lovely to wear and the perfect fabric for this top.

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S1660 is a really easy sew and, for once, I did things right and checked my measurements against the finished measurements and cut my size accordingly.  The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to add 2″ to the length.  The neckline is a bit closer on me than the diagram, so I shaved 1/2″ off the neckline on the second version.  I think I need to shave at least another 1/2″ off future iterations as you’ll see.

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The back has this cute overlapping v-neck and slight gathering into the yoke.   The sleeves are cut as one with the body.

This is such a quick sew.  Even with the fiddly fabric this was sewn in an afternoon.

Which was why I quickly cut out a second version from a fabric I’ve had in my stash for For. Ever! Christmas 2012 to be precise!

Simplicity_1660_5This is Art Gallery Voile in Praline Honey and it’s buttery soft and delightfully lightweight.

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It’s a wonderful fabric to sew with, but be warned it creases almost as much as linen!

These pictures show how fabric choice influences how a pattern turns out.  The poly georgette is one of the recommended fabrics on the pattern envelope.  The voile is possibly just a wee bit structured for this blouse, but I still think it’s quite successful.

Simplicity_1660_7It’s not as fluid over the bust, but it’s more noticeable on the photos than in real life. I’d also remove the shirt tail hem at the back if I made this up in cotton again.

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Summer tops are scarce in my wardrobe at the moment so both of these tops are in very heavy rotation until my next project is done.  I’ve got Butterick 6024 cut out and ready to sew.

B6024But, rest assured, you’ll be seeing S1660 again in the not too distant future!


Fledgling Featherweight in Rowan Fine Lace

Who in their right mind knits a cardigan for a 7 year old in Rowan Lace Weight?

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Well, I’ve never claimed to be in my right mind!

And to give credit where it’s due, I took Button yarn shopping at John Lewis and this was the only yarn she would give the time of day to.

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I love a girl who knows her mind.  Expect, of course, when her mind is telling her that 7.30pm is too soon to go to bed.  Then we’ll beg to differ!

But back to the knitting.  Fledgling is the small person’s version of Hannah Fettig’s much loved Featherweight cardigan. I loathed knitting every single stitch of it! It’s laceweight knit on 4mm needles and is a slippery, pesky, tiresome knit.

But look at it!  It’s worth every hateful stitch.

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It’s the perfect throw on topper for cooler spring days.

It goes with most of her wardrobe (if we ignore the One Direction and girly superhero stuff…which I usually do (sorry Nana!) but Button beelines to, and who am I to argue?).

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And it passes the Button wearability test.  Which is always the most important one.

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I must, at this point, insert the caveat that this hatefulness is purely subjective because I loathe and detest knitting laceweight on (relatively) big needles.  The pattern itself is delightful.  So much so that this is my second time out with this pattern.  The first incarnation, in white, was a foolish project born of hope triumphing over experience. And common sense. It didn’t last long enough to be photographed before being destroyed by a large and immoveable stain of unknown origin.

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This kid cracks me up! She was freezing and boogying to keep warm!

This version is holding up to the trials of small peeps.  It’s been worn several times and is still intact. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll won’t have to knit this again until she grows out of it!

Zoolander has nothing on this girl!  Nothing at all!

Zoolander has nothing on this girl! Nothing at all!

A girl can hope.  Right?


CustomFit Harbour Island Cardigan

My love affair with Amy Herzog’s CustomFit continues. Although today was a tad too warm for photographing cardigans, I really wanted to grab some snaps so I could share this with you.

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The pattern is Amy Herzog’s Harbour Island knit in Patons Diploma Gold DK in the Navy colour-way.

I absolutely love this cardigan.  I cannot tell you how much.  It’s the perfect cardi for throwing on with a pair of jeans to do the school run when it’s too cold for just a t-shirt and too warm for a jacket.

And once again it fits perfectly at the bust and shoulders so even when unbuttoned it doesn’t slip off.

Harbour_Island_5Fastened you can see how brilliantly it fits.  To be fair the sleeves could be a little tighter but that’s because I opted for the relaxed fit option and a snugger sleeve is a personal preference.  I don’t notice it when I’m wearing it…I only notice how comfy I am!

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I like the 2×2 rib and the Vandyke Check Pattern Stitch on the cuffs and hem.  Both are really easy to do.  Both of them were frogged back time and again because I didn’t pay attention!

Why is it that the easiest stitch patterns are the ones that give me the most grief?

Needless to say this has been worn time and again since I finished it a couple of weeks ago (again with the wonderful seaming assistance of my friend Liz.  I swear she employs pixies to help her.  Her seams are a thing of beauty.)

I would absolutely recommend this pattern, and of course, CustomFit.  I was thinking of casting another of these on in a different colour, but then, when digging out the links for this post I saw Drumlin, which is just about The Perfect Cardigan as far as I’m concerned.

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I can see me knitting this in 4-ply/fingering in All. The. Colours.  So I’d better get cracking with the socks and cardigan for the Mr/cardigan for Button that are already in the queue and then I can get this on the needles for myself!


Continuous zip…the unsung hero of home sewn soft furnishing

For quite a while now I’ve been longing for some enormous cushions for our sofas. The kind you can all snuggle into on movie night.  Which can be thrown on the floor for small peeps to lie on.  Which make a comfy place for you to rest your head for a quiet nap.  Our 20″ cushions really weren’t cutting it, so when I saw the 26″ Inner cushion pad at Ikea, I snapped up 4 of them without hesitation.

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I’d also been struggling to find some fabric which would co-ordinate with the existing curtains, was tough enough to stand up to family life, but which wasn’t so expensive that I’d have hissy fits every time a child went within 500 yards of it.  Ikea came to the rescue with their Lenda fabric @ £4 a metre.

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So far so good.  At this point I’d only spent £28 on the cushion pads and 3 metres of fabric. I just needed thread and zips.  But 26 ” zips retail at about £2.70 more or less. That’s £10.80 for the 4 zips…about 40% of the cost of the pads and fabric.  I’m sorry…I’m not falling for that.

Enter the old soft-furnishers favourite secret….continuous zip.

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You buy it off the roll in metres.  It’s about a £1.00 a metre.

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The little packs of sliders are about £1.30. They are really easy to attach…this video shows it very clearly.

So thanks to our good friend the continuous zip, I kept the cost down to about £8.50 per cushion and now we can squish on the sofas to our hearts content.

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Result!  Now I really must do something about the covers on those smaller cushions. 😉


Little Geranium dress in Liberty Tana Lawn

When I bought the fabric for Button’s recent blouse I was hopeful that I’d have enough for a little gift for Alice (who-isn’t-a-cat, but that seems a bit redundant these days) who was expecting a little gift of her own.

Tilda in her dress

Oh, she’s so lovely.  My heart melts.  What better way to welcome her than with a teeny tiny dress?

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Of course the pattern is Rae’s Little Geranium Dress which is available for free in size 0 – 3 months.  If you haven’t already fallen for this wonderful pattern (at which point I’m scratching my head and wondering if I should call a medic!) then this is a great way to test it out so you can realise the error of your ways!

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This version is lined with white cotton lawn, to keep it soft against little skin.

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Simple red buttons on the back.

A perfect gift for any little girl…especially one so adorable!


Tropical Socks

Grab your sunglasses, folks.  These are mighty bright socks!

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They positively glow!

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Madness!

The stripes matching is as good as I could get…the dye isn’t completely regular as you knit through the ball, but they’re as near as damn it and I’m ok with that.

The pattern is my go-to Regia pattern and the yarn is Rico Design Superba Poems in colourway 002.

There’s not much more to say about these socks other than “shield your eyes!”  So I’ll leave you with one last shot of my husbands manly legs.

Steady, ladies!

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