Tag Archives: finished projects 2016

Pigeon Toes

Santa was good to me this year and brought me a lovely new point and click camera.

As my big Canon is back from being repaired, but is hiding somewhere in the sewing room, it is very lovely to have a new camera to quickly snap some pictures of outstanding makes from last year.

2016 turned out to be the year I became the patron saint of unselfish sewing and knitting, although, to be honest, I didn’t make very much at all.  14 finished items, 13 of them made it to the blog, only 3 of the blogged items were for me, and only 1 of those is still in the wardrobe.  That’s the Lemongrass sweater.  I just love this sweater so very much!  Cosy, easy to wear, makes you look like you’ve made an effort even when you haven’t!

The Burda sweater has been donated as I just couldn’t get to grips with the scarf neck and even though that was stitched in place I still felt very exposed in anything other than an upright position.

The Burda trousers are donated to Ma.  I’m going to alter them for her as they’re a much better style and fabric for her than me.

The main focus of the year has been socks.  And I’ve another pair to share with you today.

Same old, same old pattern, but just a lovely combination of colours in the stripes.

Very subdued by Hubby’s standards.  Absolutely perfect by mine!  I may have to match that pale grey/blue colour for a sweater for me.  It’s sublime!

Now, if I could just get the wee monkeys to stand still for some photos, I could show you that occasionally I knit something other than socks!

Project details

Pattern:                             Regia 4 ply sock pattern

Pattern cost:                     Free

Yarn:                                 Sirdar Heart & Sole

Colourway:                      Pigeon Toes

Purchased at:                  Black Sheep Wools

Yarn cost:                         £4.99


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.


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?


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.

 


Burda Scarf Sweater

Do you remember this monstrosity?

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This was  BurdaStyle 123 – 11 /2014 before I set to work on it.

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That’s better!

To be honest, though, this sweater has been a disaster from start to finish.

First up, I bought the PDF version of this pattern and it was simply awful to tape together. It had been printed in a batch of other patterns that all seem to be ok, so I’m laying the blame for that firmly at Burda’s door.  It was all over the place and nigh on impossible to get two pages to line up properly.

Having compared my measurement to Burda’s measurement chart, I did a 4cm FBA.  That was fine.  But I ended up having to fiddle with the bust darts to make them point remotely in the right direction. They’re still a bit hinky. And I chopped inches off both the sleeves and the hem. They were crazy long!

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Most importantly I hand-stitched the scarf to the neckline.  It looks so much better this way and resolved the issue I had with the neckline being a bit too wide.

The fabric was bought at the Knitting and Stitching Show last November.  When I opened it at home I was really disappointed to find these circular marks all over it. They look like faded grease stains and don’t follow the grain of the fabric.  Another disaster!  It’s so disappointing because this fabric is so soft and cosy and just the most amazing colour.

In real life they’re less noticeable than in the photos, but it means that this sweater is probably relegated to chill out wear for home.

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My adorable photobombers!

I’m confident that I won’t be making this pattern again in a hurry.  Not only is it fabric hungry because of the scarf, but the way the front pleats adds bulk where I need it least.  I also prefer the scarf as an integral part of the sweater, so all in all this is just too much faff.

However, I’m glad this fabric is out of the stash and in the wardrobe. And whilst the weather is finally warming up here, this will be waiting for me on chilly nights.


Burda 6985 – a very wearable muslin

I’ve made a start on the first of my planned TNT patterns, which is this BurdaStyle slim legged trouser.

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The fabric I used is a 100% polyester crepe from Abakhan.  I’m slowly edging away from polyester, but I’d booked myself onto a Sewing for Fun day at Stitchscape with Celia Banks, and new this was one of the patterns I wanted to work on.

I’d already cut them in a cotton drill but when I’d tacked them together for fitting it was really obvious there was a problem. It turns out the fabric was completely twisted on the grain. So I needed a replacement fabric.  And fast.

It had to be navy and this was it!

Whilst it was a bugger to sew, it drapes really nicely and worked well in a pinch for the sewing class.

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For the purposes of fitting, I cut without pockets or fly zip and did an invisible zip in the back seam. This isn’t my favourite style of trouser but I believe it’s a great way to simplify the pattern and work on the fit.

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Ah…the obligatory derriere shot!

This clearly shows how flat I am at the back.  I’m straight up and down with no waist or hips to speak of.  This is one of the reasons I have such issues with RTW.

But I’m really happy with the fit at the back. I’m not sure I could get it much better than that.

The front is pretty good too.

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All in all I’m quite pleased with these.

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I think with a couple of tweaks they’ll be spot on.  I definitely need to take the waist in at least 1/2″, maybe as much as 1″.

I also think that I need to drop the waistline by about 1/4 – 1/2″.

And I may scoop that front curve just a smidge too.

Finally, I’d like the leg to be slightly slimmer, as the next pair I make will be the 7/8ths length shown on the pattern and I like a more slender leg for that style of trouser.

But…these are a great pair of smart trousers and a very wearable toile!  I’d definitely wear them for formal meetings (although those are few and far between) or, more likely, with a pretty top and my wedding heels (as here) for dinner out with the husband.

Now if only he’d book the table…..


Pairfect socks

 

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You might think that the title of this post slipped by the spellchecker, but no!  These latest socks are knitted in Regia Pairfect yarn, which was a Christmas gift from my lovely friend Linda.

She knows what I like!

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After the travesty that was the poor Herriot Socks, these were an absolute joy to knit. The yarn is robust but not harsh and a good stripe always makes me knit faster.

“Just one more stripe!”

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The yarn is actually designed to give perfectly matched stripes on toe up sock patterns, but these are my trusty Regia sock pattern, which is top down.  I just knitted some blue for the cuff, pulled the yarn through until I hit the stripes, rejoined and knit until I came back to the blue.  There were a couple of more ends to stitch in at the end, but I’m happy to do that.

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You could of course knit these top down and have striped feet, but The Hubby’s preference was for stripy legs and I was happy to oblige.

Although I have another pair of socks on the needles at the moment (of course), I promise the next finished project will be something different.