Tag Archives: finished projects 2014

The socks of love

If anything in this world proves that I love my hubby (other than his dream Sunday dinner of roast chicken followed by sticky toffee pudding) it is these socks.

argyle socks

Seriously!  Argyle socks.

argyle socks

Knitted flat and seamed.

argyle socks

Learning to mattress stitch…still a way to go!

With the single stitch diamonds added in after in duplicate stitch (Swiss darning).

Just a smidge too big for me...sigh!

Just a smidge too big for me…sigh!

What kind of crazy is that, if not crazy in love?  I do love you, baby!

FYI…the pattern is taken from Country Weekend Socks and the yarn is Drops Fabel.

Simplicity 1606 – review

Simplicity 1606-1

It’s scandalous that it’s about a year since I received this pattern.  This review is well overdue!

I’ve spoken about the alterations that I made to the pattern, and can only reiterate that I really, really like this design and would definitely recommend it and suspect I’ll be making this one again! I can’t comment about the instructions, because I didn’t follow them.

I know…that’s no help to anyone!

The fabric, whilst lovely to look at, was a pig to sew.  Shifty, stretchy, just generally a nuisance and a right royal PITA.  It’s also pilling a little after just a couple of wears. Which is a pain and makes me glad this is a dress that I’m not planning to wear every day.

Even so…and taking into account the creasiness of this because it’s linen…I think this dress is definitely worth the hassle.

simplicity 1606-1-1

Although I’ve gained a significant amount of weight this year* this dress reminds me of the me that wore the Giverny dress.  That, my friends is a very good thing indeed.

Simplicity 1606-1-3

We had such a laugh taking these photos. The Husband and I were on our way to our favourite local Italian bistro for a romantic dinner a deux, and stopped en route at this picturesque archway, which is, in fact the entrance to a not particularly picturesque nursing home.

It is, however, on the main road through the village and caused much amusement and amazement on the part of passing motorists, as I posed by the wall and The Husband stood in the middle of the road, snapping shots like a veritable David Bailey.

I didn’t care…I was in the company of my gorgeous hubby, in a pretty frock, en route for a glass of wine and a bowl of lobster ravioli.

Simplicity 1606-1-4

That’s enough to make any girl smile!

*thank you very much, medication. I’m glad to see the back of you now.  And hopefully my toes in the not too distant future!

Aislinn – the finished garment and a giveaway!

At last…my Aislinn is finished and ready to be worn.  It seems to have been a very long journey since I decided to knit this cardigan.


But my timing is uncharacteristically perfect.  Over the last week the weather has started to hint at Autumn and yesterday, as we headed to the park for the last time before school starts again tomorrow, it was cool enough to wear her and snatch a few photos.


I’ll admit to not liking a single one of these photos, but even so I think these photos show what a beautiful cardigan this is and, more importantly, how well it fits.  You’ll find my review about the knitting/fitting process here.


The yarn is Rown Tweed and whilst it is very pretty and very soft (although it has a whisper of scratchiness that means I’ll always wear this over a sleeve), I’m slightly wishful that I’d picked a crisper yarn with better stitch definition.

Aislin_harebell_pigtailStill…I’ve worn this a couple of times over the last week and each time someone has commented on how lovely it is.  It’s a dream to wear…as you’d imagine from a garment that actually fits…and is perfect to throw on as a jacket replacement when playing in the park.  I do love it!

I can’t wait to make my next CustomFit garment.  I’m not sure what it will be…I’ve lots of knitting and sewing ideas in my head at the moment.  But I’m off to Yarndale at the end of the month so you know I’ll be buying some yarn there!

In the meantime, Amy and her lovely team have very kindly offered one lucky reader the chance to give CustomFit a try for themselves.  Just enter below and keep your fingers crossed!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Pleated Playsuit with Cattitude


Pleated playsuit catitude-1We’re one week into the summer school holidays and revelling in the complete lack of commitments to anyone but ourselves.  Leisurely mornings give way to afternoons in the park or playing in the garden or visiting with grandparents.

Obviously crafty pursuits aren’t my priority, but even so, I managed to whip up this little playsuit for Button, which is the perfect outfit for the hot weather we’ve been having here of late.

The pattern is Elegance & Elephant’s Pleated Playsuit…a free pattern that you’d happily pay good money for.

Pleated playsuit cover

I love Heidi’s patterns, as you know, and this one is no exception. There are some adorable details:

:: elastic waist for comfort and faux piped pocketsPleated playsuit catitude-1-1

:: cute leg cuffsPleated playsuit catitude-1-2

:: shoulder tiesPleated playsuit catitude-1-3

:: inverted pleat on the front bodicePleated playsuit catitude-1-4This is one of those fabulously satisfying makes that is super simple to sew, but looks very expensive when you’ve finished.

The fabric is Lizzie House’s Cattitude which Button had loved so much when I made the Geranium dress, but this time in an almost acid chartreuse bought on sale from John Lewis.  I’d been browsing there a couple of weeks ago with no intention of purchasing fabric, but as soon as I saw this I snaffled the last metre or so with glee.

Pleated playsuit catitude-1-5

I’m so glad I did.  I just adore this little playsuit and have at least two more planned. It’s comfy, cute and modest.

Pleated playsuit catitude-1-6

What more could you ask for?


Compagnie M. Mara Blog Tour – Mara goes to Paris

When Marte announced a secret summer blog action over at Compagnie M. I didn’t have to think twice before adding my name to the list.

When I found out that the subject of our secret mission was to be the Mara Blouse, I was thrilled.


You can see my Paris inspired Mara blouse, head on over to the Mara blog now and check it out…then head on back to find out how you can win some super prizes.

Mara 8-1

Discount code:

If you’d like to make your own version of the Mara blouse, Marte is generously offering a 10% discount on the pattern from now until 17th August 2014.  Just pop over to her shop and use the code MARA-ACTION.


Once you’ve bought your pattern, why not enter your Mara in the sewalong.  There are some great prizes to be won…check them out here!  The closing date for the sewalong is 17th August 2014.

Mara 7

A note about the fabric:

Whilst we are now right at the beginning of the summer holidays, when very little in the way of sewing will take place, I wanted to be prepared for the raft of family events and parties that will take place in the autumn.  With that in mind I created a season appropriate party outfit for Button that will be equally at home at a family lunch or a school friends bash at a play centre.

My fabric choice was a complete antidote the the raft of Pepto Bismol and Acid Barbie Pink that my little miss has been choosing at every opportunity recently.  I completely pulled rank on this…I’m sewing it…I get to choose the fabric.  Total Mummy Brat moment and I’m not sorry! 😉

The Eiffel Tower fabric is from Oh Sew Crafty on eBay, and the spot from Dunelm.


I received a complimentary copy of the Mara pattern in return for my participation in the Blog Tour.  As always, all opinions are entirely my own.


Minty fresh tank top

When I first met The Husband I was living in Surrey and working in London. At the weekends (or during the week if he could swing a meeting locally) he would drive the 280-ish miles to visit (and the same home again on a Sunday night).

On the Saturday we’d do fun things…oftentimes involving taking the 25 minute train journey into London and ‘doing’ a museum or some shopping, or a long and boozy lunch.

Berwick street

And, now and again, quelle surprise, we’d find ourselves on Berwick Street and he would happily traipse in and out of fabric shops and treat me to a metre or many of lovely fabric.

One such purchase was some incredibly soft and drapey pale spearmint coloured linen.  It’s buttery texture is divine and it’s just opaque enough to maintain your modesty whilst you stay cool.  It was £20 a metre 8 years ago.  Not cheap.

And it’s sat in my stash for 8 years because I couldn’t decide what to sew with it.

Which is, quite frankly, a crazy waste of beautiful fabric.

With the new found (Wardrobe Architect motivated) spirit of sewing up or shipping out my stash fabric, it was time to bit the bullet on this an actually make something from this lovely linen, and I wanted something that I would get a great deal of wear out of over the summer months.  A dress would be lovely, but wouldn’t get the wear, so I decided on a simple tank top.

I knew I wanted a breezy and long line silhouette, a curvy hemline and some tiny tucks across the front, but couldn’t find a pattern that cut the mustard.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been banging on about making my own patterns, so, I did.


I used Simplicity 1886 as a block, traced a copy so I could scribble, cut and tape to my hearts content, and in very little time, had a pattern that I absolutely love.

green linen top 1

I made the following alterations:

:: added 1/2″ to each side seam allowance to give me a loose silhouette

:: dropped the neckline by about 1″ (ish) and scooped the neckline front and back to make it wider

:: added 2″ to the front of the blouse and 3″ to the back

:: shaped the sides to give a shirt tail effect

green linen shirt tails

:: replaced the neckline facing with a self made bias binding facing

green linen bias bound neckline

:: armholes also have a bias bound facing

:: added 6 x 1/4″ pintucks to the front of the bodice

green linen pintucks

It sounds like a lot when you write it down, but it didn’t take very long at all to do, and now I have a top that as soon as I’ve worn it, goes into the wash so I can wear it again as soon as possible.

green linen top

I adore this top and only want to make a couple of teeny tiny changes for the next one.

:: raise the front neckline by about 1/2″.  Because the top is so breezy, the neckline can be a bit precarious when I lean forwards…not cool at the school gate!

:: the darts are a bit hinky.  The fabric hides a multitude of sins, but I need to bring the bust point back a little, possibly only 1/4″, just to avoid them hitting at the wrong point and ending up, well, pointy!

:: The side seams sit slightly towards the back of centre…again you can’t really see it but I’m aware of it.  Moving them forwards just 1/2″ will solve that problem.

Very minor changes that will make the next top pretty much perfect.  Now I just need to decide what I’ll put in place of the pintucks for a different look! 😉

PS…yes…those are my red Lotta’s.  They get as much, if not more, wear than this top.

PPS…and yes, my blue one’s are here too.  😀

Red Denim Spring Showers Jacket

Today we spent a happy couple of hours at the local park so I took the opportunity to grab a few photos of Miss Button in her new Spring Showers Jacket.

Red Spring Showers-1

She wasn’t really in the mood, so these aren’t the best photos ever…but they still show you just how cute she looks in this.

Red Spring Showers-1-1

The fabric is some lovely heavy red denim that Jane kindly picked up for me from the Goldhawk Road.  It had been earmarked for a skirt for me (check out Jane’s fabulous Delphine skirt from Tilly’s new book) but Button really loved it and I’m a sucker for those baby blues…so here it is in her jacket!

Spring Showers Jacket-1-1

You can see from the turned back cuffs in the pics above that the sleeves are lined with standard acetate lining, purely to make this jacket easier to slip on and off over the lovely hand knit sweaters that Ma keeps us supplied with.  The hood and body of the jacket are lined in this beautiful cotton poplin from The Buttonhole in Chorley.

I also added a pop of the print to the pockets.


I cut the size 6 and it’s come up really big on her. Even over an Aran weight sweater.

Spring Showers Jacket-1

I should have tried Boy’s on her first, but obviously didn’t.  This is more to do with her being a little dot of a thing rather than any issue with the sizing of the pattern.

Mea Culpa!

At least she’ll get plenty of wear out of it.

And, of course there is plenty of lovely topstitching.

Spring Showers Jacket-1-3

As with Boy’s version I’m really pleased with this jacket and can’t recommend the pattern enough.  Every time we go out in these coats we get lovely compliments.  Always a sign of a successful make, I think.

Now, though, it’s time to make something for me! Hurrah!

Have a great weekend.  I’ll be spending tomorrow fitting a toile.  I’ve a works dinner on Thursday and nothing to wear, so I need to see if I can throw a dress together in time. Thankfully the kids are back at school on Monday and I’m only working Monday and Tuesday, so it’s not out-with the realms of possibility.

We shall see!






A blue Geranium for Button

Blue Geranium 1I know I promised the red Spring Showers jacket next, but I finished this little Geranium dress the other day and the weather today was perfect for taking pictures.

Add to that a visit to the park to meet up with Amanda and Lily, and, well, I couldn’t resist.

Blue Geranium 2Although Button is 6, she’s really rather petite, so I cut the size 5 and added an inch to the length.

Blue Geranium 3The fabric is a fairly crisp cotton chambray that I received in the recent box of goodies from Himmelbjerget, lined with white cotton lawn…my go to lining for little dresses as it’s so soft next to the skin.

Blue Geranium top stitchingA little topstitching in white thread added a cute finish and highlights the notch at the neck.

Blue Geranium buttons

Perfectly matched buttons.

I couldn’t be happier with this little dress.  I have more of these planned for this summer.

As an aside, everyone thinks my two are total cherubs…yeah, right!  Here they are with Lily taking selfies for Instagram.

Selfies with Lily-1I despair!

Anyhoo, the weather is forecast to change tomorrow, so I’m hoping to get shots of the red jacket sooner rather than later.

Until then I do hope you’re enjoying your Monday/Bank Holiday/Memorial Day.

Simple socks

I’ve been intending to get The Husband to model these socks but the weekend got away from us, so I’ve photographed these socks sans feet.  It might be for the best 😉 !

3 socks 1From top to bottom the yarn is:

Arauncania Ranco Multy 322

Drops Fabel Uni Colour in Red

Arauncania Ranco Solid  2065

The Drops socks are super soft and the red really is that vibrant.  He loves them.  The Arauncania socks are a more tightly spun yarn and, I suspect, will be more hardwearing.

I used my usual Regia pattern…the one that they give away for free.  It’s a really good, simple, straightforward sock pattern that fit’s himself perfectly.

I’ve also got the heel turning completely cracked.  It’s a thing of beauty:

3 socks 2The Multy yarn comes up with a lovely spiral stripe:

3 socks 3It could be considered quite a bold colour choice for a chap’s sock…but he’s happy and that’s good enough for me.

Amazingly I’m down to one lot of sock yarn in the stash…worryingly it’s for Argyle socks.  I’m plucking up the courage to make a start on them.

In the meantime the needles are occupied with my Aislinn cardigan.  Yep!  I’ve finally cast that on.  I’ll review Amy Herzog’s Custom Fit very soon.



A Geranium with Cattitude

I must be the last person in the sewingverse to make one of Rae’s delightful Geranium dresses.Geranium pattern front

Our little friend Vicky turned 2 last week, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to finally bite the bullet on this pattern.  It’s available in 2 size ranges, 0-5 and 6-12, and I bought the bundle with both sizes as I suspected that a certain Ms Button would have her beady and stylish eye on this once she saw it made up.

The fabric is Cattitude in Cream by Lizzie House, purchased from M is for Make (where it’s listed as Purrfectly Happy).  Look at those little faces!  And their cheeks!  Totally adorable.

Cattitude 3

I was super impressed with M is for Make.  Not only do they have a delightful selection of fabrics, but I placed my order on Tuesday morning and the fabric was in my hot little hands the very next day.  That’s the kind of fabric service we all love, no?

Catitude 1

This is a great pattern too.  The Husband passed comment at how quickly I had made this dress.  It comes together perfectly and very quickly.  The dress is lined in white cotton lawn, which you can just see peeping out of the neckline here, and I added a lining to the skirt and hand stitched the bodice lining in place as I didn’t want a line of stitches showing on the bodice.  Even so it was done and dusted in an afternoon.

Catitude 4

The hard bit was the buttons.  I really wanted to pick out the orange on the cat’s cheeks. They do say the Devil is in the details. Thankfully the button stall on Chorley market is something of a marvel and has a good range of colours.

Catitude 2

I think they’re a really good match.

I really enjoyed sewing this little dress.  As anticipated Ms Button was dropping hints so big they could break your toes, so expect to see some more iterations of this in the very near future.

But first I’ve got her Spring Showers Jacket cut out and ready to sew.

PS…top photographic tip.  Don’t photograph a cream dress against a cream cupboard in bright sunlight as you’re dashing out of the door, already late, and with a small boy throwing the screaming ab-dabs because….well I still don’t know what that was all about.  Anyway, if you do, you’ll get super-washed out photos that even PhotoShop won’t be able to rescue.  See Exhibit A above! Sigh!