Tag Archives: finished projects 2012

Heskin trousers – FO 18/2012

As these trousers are as black as coal, and Lancashire is historically a mining community as well as a textile one, it’s appropriate that these trousers are named for a local pit.  As I once worked at Heskin Hall…it’s the obvious choice.

So, here are the Heskin trousers:

They are the same pattern as the Almost Perfect Trousers but I narrowed the leg a smidge and like them even more for that.


In fact…I think I’ve now nailed this pattern!  I don’t think I’m going to get a better fit than this.  Having looked at some of the high end RTW out there, I’d go so far as to say that mine hold their own.

These are stretch lightweight wool and just so comfortable.

And although they are just the simplest pair of black trousers ever made, I love them.  They are a really great wardrobe basic.  And they make me happy!

The small print:

Pattern:         McCalls 5239 – £0 as pattern previously used.

Fabric:           Wool/lycra mix from Washable Fabric on Preston market.

Notions:         Thread, zip and hook fastener from stash. £0.

Total cost:      £10

PS – The top is last years Monsoon.  I had to take it in by 4″ because I’ve lost weight since I bought it.  

I’m not complaining! 🙂




Giverny -FO 17/2012

There seemed to be no other appropriate name for this dress than Giverny.

The fabric so reminded me of Monet’s garden that the dress pretty much named itself.

And despite the pattern being a royal pain in the derrière, I really rather like the dress:

I scooped the neckline a little lower on this one than on the original cafe crème version:

The straps are also thinner.  And contrary to what you see in this picture, the neckline is even…it’s just the way I’m standing.

So although you won’t be seeing M5042 on this blog any time soon, I think the Giverny dress is a suitable swansong.

The small print:

Pattern:          McCalls 5042

Fabric:            Liberty 100% cotton – gift from Himmelbjerget…thank you.

Lining:            Polyester habotai from Abakan

Notions:         Thread from stash.  Zip from Abakan.

Total cost:      £3.40 (About the cost of a coffee light frappucino!)


Anthracite – FO 16/2012Anthracite – FO 16/2012

I always said I’d never knit socks again.

Yeah…how’s that working out for you, Evie?

I blame The Husband…of course.

He loves hand knitted socks.

And Liz and Lara Croft for indulging him with beautiful handknitted birthday socks.

What’s a girl to do?

Knit socks for her man, of course!

Yarn : Design Line by Kaffe Fassett for Regia

Colourway : Anthracite

Pattern : Regia’s basic sock pattern

He’s already eyeing up other colours.  I see more socks in my future (and his!).

And just to clarify…The Husband doesn’t normally wander around with his jeans rolled up in this unfortunate manner.

I made him do it for the camera!

Pincushion – FO 15/2012

A few hexies that didn’t make it to the quilt pile.

An evening’s sewing and a little stuffing.

A perfect pincushion.

The skinny jeans – FO 14/2012

The jeans are finally finished and I love them.

They have all the attributes of RTW jeans.

A jeans button.


Miles of perfect topstitching.

A coin pocket.

Beautiful belt loops.

And a non-stretch waistband  fitted to very stretchy denim!

Result:  fabulous skinny jeans that look amazing and fit like a glove everywhere else, BUT have a waistband that won’t fit me for about another 5lbs!

Insert your own expletive here! 

I did!

I’m kicking myself because this is a rookie error and I know better.  I should have fitted the waistband to my waist and then sewn it to the jeans.

But I didn’t.

Because I’m an eejit.

If you do decide to make yourself some jeans (or a skirt…or some trousers…) don’t be like me…do the waistband the right way round!

But I am NOT despondent because I am back in the weight loss saddle and it won’t take too long to lose the requisite amount.

And then I’ll wear these jeans with pride.

And take photos to share.

Because I. MADE. JEANS.

And they are amazing!

Café crème dress – McCalls 5042 – FO 13/2012

There’s nowhere near as much sewing going on Chez Stitches as I would like, but I have finally finished my first outing with this pattern:

I had plenty of fabric left over from the café crème Sorbetto, so used it to make the round necked version without the waist ties:

I have to say first up that I found this pattern to be less than satisfactory.  The bodice pieces were different lengths and the skirt was a very odd shape.  Although to be fair to the skirt pieces, I am a bear of very little waist so that could be something to do with it.

I added selfmade bias binding to the neckline and armholes.  It’s a treatment I really love.

The lining, which you can just about see in this picture, is an old cotton sheet given to me by Ma SIL.  It’s super soft and just perfect for this dress.  And because the lining was free the whole dress, including the cost of the pattern and notions, came in at about £15!  Bargain.

Needless to say, because of the problems I had with the pattern, this dress took far longer to complete that it should have done, but it’s a very wearable muslin, nonetheless.

I do need to tweak this bodice some more.  I think a little more shaping of the princess seams under the bust to remove the little bit of bagginess, and another 1″ or so on the bodice length to drop the waistline a bit.  I’ve already dropped the neckline an 1″ from the original pattern but think it would stand at least another 1″…possibly 2″.

I will be making this again because it’s such a cute dress and very easy to wear.  Not too dressy for the school run but smart enough for outings too.  I’m wearing it with ancient Clarks sandals here that I love, but have also just bought some cream flats and a cream cardigan to go with the dress.  Flats are so much more appropriate to my everyday life!

Next up a pair of jeans.


I must be crazy!

Ella – FO 12/2012

The pattern is Ella from Kim Hargreaves.

I knitted it in Wollmeise laceweight.

I’ve got to get better at saving ball bands ‘cos I have not other idea than that!

All I know is that this is the perfect sweater for lounging around the house in.

Cosy but not bulky.

Great with leggings and flats.

A fabulous colour.

This sweater makes me happy.

 I may just make this sweater again…with just a normal cast on edge…and enough yarn for full length sleeves.

I had just enough yarn…but I’m also now in love with knitting laceweight.

Little Lemon Lady – upcycled t-shirt and Made By Ma! sweater – FOs 10 & 11/2012

Button has two new additions to her wardrobe…both in lovely shades of lemon.

First up is a t-shirt I upcycled from one of Ma SIL’s t-shirts.

I cut the body and sleeves of this t-shirt utilising the existing hems.  I reattached the neck band to the neckline using a fancy stitch on my normal machine.  I constructed the t-shirt with a zig-zag stitch so although I have an overlocker and a coverstitch machine, I only used my ordinary machine to make this, which makes it accessible to everyone.

The pattern was drafted by me using one of Button’s existing RTW t-shirts.

It’s a simple but effective make and I have another 4 or 5 of these ready to go.

I’d be happy to do a tutorial on this if anyone is interested.  It would be easy to use the same technique to upcycle a man’s t-shirt for a woman as well.

To go with this new t-shirt, Button also has a lovely new cable sweater knitted by Ma.

The yarn is a cotton slub 4 ply that my lovely friend Liz gave us.

The pattern is from MillaMia’s book ‘The Close Knit Gang’.

Image courtesy of http://www.millamia.com/home.php

It’s the first pattern we’ve knit from this book and I don’t think it will be the last.  I’m keen to knit the cover jacket and there are several other garments that I’d love for both of the kids.  They are classic and wearable, not remotely twee and with an urban sophistication that I love.  They are the kind of things you’d pay an arm and a leg for in an upscale London boutique (if you’ve nothing better to do with your money and no crafty skills, that is!).

I this this colour looks fabulous on Button and this is a perfect duo for playdates when the weather is a bit unpredictable…as it has a tendancy to be in this part of the world.

Thankfully, she really adores both garments.  Phew!

Top and cardi – Newlook 6838/Simplicity 2560/Newlook 6922 – FOs 8 & 9/2012

Happy Sunday!

I hope you’ve had a lovely day.  The sun has been shining here and I managed a little bit of time in the sewing loft today. My main objective to be to carry out a few tweaks to the top and cardigan I made from the silk/viscose jersey I bought in London just before Christmas.

I wore the outfit yesterday with the almost-perfect-trousers and noticed a few things that needed addressing:

First up the sleeves are too long.  Annoyingly so.  I spent the day shoving them up my arms.

Secondly, I stabilised the hems, neck and armholes with Steam-a-Seam.  Unfortunatly this fabric is so lightweight it’s made them go crispy and really affects the way the garments hang.

Today I redid the sleeve and bottom hem on the cardigan, and the hem on the top and they look much better.  I have no makeup on and Sunday hair so I’m not having photos done…you’ll just have to take my word that they are immensly better.

I know that the S-A-S is affecting the way the neck lies too, but if I redo the neck the shoulders will be all hinky, and I can live with the drape.

So, these are the patterns I used.

Newlook 6838..I used the sleeveless version for this top.

I used the front, back and sleeves from the long sleeved cardigan version.

I replaced the origan collar with a front band inspired by this cardigan.

Overall I think this works but I don’t think this will be my go-to, most favorite top combo.  This is mainly down to the fabric.

I knew when I bought it that it wasn’t my first choice.  I really wanted something more stable and with a bit more weight…more forgiving on the old lumps and bumps, you see.  But I couldn’t find anything in a colour to go with the almost-perfect trousers.  So this was really the only option I had.

I have to tell you that it will be a very.very.VERY.long.time.indeed before I sew again with silk/viscose jersey!

It slips and slides and is generally a bear to work with. But on the plus side it’s soft and warm for cooler spring days.  The Husband commented on how nice the colour looks on me, and Ma and Ma SIL were suprised that I’d made it, not bought it.

So I will wear it.  Especially now the hems hang better. 😉  And I’m keen to try the t-shirt pattern again in a more stable knit.  I think with a few more tweaks this could be a good go-to pattern to make up a pile of t-shirts that are sadly missing from the wardrobe.

And the big plus from this project is that I finally mastered the Coverstitch machine…it’s my new favorite toy! Happy days!

Made by Ma and Little Sweet Peas cardigan – F/O 7/2012

Crikey it’s been busy here this weekend.

I’m getting the urge to completely redecorate the house.  Which is a crazy idea because a) I don’t have the time and b) I don’t have the pennies!

To compensate for this I coerced The Husband into helping me clear out all the crap which had been thrown into the eaves in the sewing loft and was giving me hives because I knew it was there.

We filled the boot of my car with rubbish!

And sent a full knitting machine ensemble over to Ma.  She knows how to use it and will put it to use until the happy day we can rip the loft out and re-fit it properly, with room for all knitterly and sewerly gadgets.

Today I cleaned.

And ironed.

And The Husband food shopped.

And the kids played fishing games at Nana and Grandad’s. And between us Pa SIL and I got us up to date with photos…so here we go!

First up is Button in her new stripy dress

I’m so cute…is anyone watching?
Who you calling minxy?

Beau then got in the act with his new Made by Ma sweater

“Hey! I thought this was my photoshoot! What’s he doing in it?”                                           ” Looking cool, little lady, looking cooooool!”

I have no idea what the yarn is for his sweater.  It’s chunky and it’s black and that’s about the limit of my knowledge.  It was gifted by a friend at my knitting group who was de-stashing (thank you) and it’s too cute on him.  The pattern is a vintage Patons pattern number 4611.

I keep expecting him to pull out a beret and start playing jazz!

And if that’s not enough cuteness for you I’ve also got pictures of Button’s latest cardigan.

I feel like dancing, ooh, dancing, ooh, dance the night away!

I’m being really rubbish here ‘cos again I couldn’t tell you for the life of me what that yarn is.  Its an acrylic/wool mix and super cheap and you can throw it in the washing machine!

The pattern is from the Sirdar Little Sweet Peas book and is design B.

It has some cute frilling at the hip.

I love this.  It’s a good basic cardigan and a quick knit.  I think I’ll make it again soon in some nice yarn.  And add some length because that girl is growing!

We’ve been out playing with friends today and these outfits have been much admired.  I need to make more of those dresses!

And finally… just because I’m a proud mummy and I can…here’s a couple of gratuitous shots of my adorable babies.