Thursday, 19 July 2018

Abakhans Fill A Bag Sale -Thoughts and Fabric Haul Video

Hey folks! How we all doing? I've got two more days of shipping lil man off to school and then its 6 weeks of lie ins so I'm feeling pretty chipper! 

I'm also feeling chipper because I have 32 [I think] pieces of fabric in my dining room and the sun has been shining so I have plenty of opportunities to pre-wash.

So basically on 7th of July I got up at half six in the morning so I'd have enough time to get ready , walk the dog and feed lil man breakfast before heading out to abakhans.

We'd already decided that waiting in line was not fun so decided to get there early. However as it turned out the heat meant that the queues were a lot shorter so we needn't have gotten up early. 

That said getting there early did mean that when we got into the sale room my dad managed to bag the only chair which was pretty useful for when my mum got tired. 

Oh yeah I should have mentioned we went en force!!!! There was a plan of attack from camp knitwits! I went, my momma went, my dad went, my sister went and lil man came too!!! 


As you can see I took the opportunity to have a group selfie. 

It was laid out the same as last time to be honest so there's not much I can say about that. But their were some highlights!

- Lil man shifting through fabric and saying "mummy do you like this?" FYI Mummy did not love everything he picked out..... But he did pick out some cute things.
- falling into the box again.......
- Holding lil man over the box so he could reach the bottom of the box.
- A lady telling me she reads my blog! *waves* HEY LADY! it was nice meeting you let me know what your going to make with that roll of faux fur you brought!

Anyways as I said I got a LOT of fabric , far to much to photograph so I've made a video [spoiler alert Polly our dog makes an appearance] and a bag of 50 zips because this girl is always running out of zips..... Or so I thought until I got home and couldn't get them into my zip jar! 

Now I warn you its a LONG one! So I'd suggest making a brew before you start!



Hope you enjoy!

Frankie 

xxx

Friday, 13 July 2018

Red Floral Newlook 6390

After my frankly rubbish first proper version of the Newlook 6390 pattern I did some serious hacking and tweaking of the pattern. 

Mainly taking ease out if the back seam, shortening the straps and taking a wedge out if the front bodice piece.


And now I'm very happy with the fit. Its definitely worth taking the time to make something fit you properly because it makes all the difference in the finished version and how you feel about wearing it. 

This dress has hardly been of my back in this hot weather. Mainly because it's easy to throw on in the morning and the skirt isn't so short that I feel like my fairy is out.


The fabric is the real star if the show. It was sent to me by the craft cotton company and its one of the most beautiful fabrics I have ever seen. Its got a pattern of vivid flowers on it and everything is outlined in gold. 

To say its so fancy it actually makes a great day to day dress and I've had a lot of compliments but it.


The zip was taken from one of Rikki's old hoodies. I love chunky metal zip because they are indestructible. Well at least they are for me I've not had one break yet.

In fact the only real problem with this dress is that its a pain to find a bra to wear with it. As you can see from my nice bra straps in the below picture. 


There are a few pull lines across the back but I'm not sure if that's just wrinkles from wearing the dress all day or if I need to do some more tweaking.


Happily though this seems to be the perfect length for me. Its long enough to make sure I don't flash my bum when I bend over but its not so long that its midi length. 

I hemmed it by machine because I knew it was going to be washed a lot and I didn't want to have to keep fixing the hem.


I actually wore this dress and demonstrated how to make it at abakhans in Hanley. Which was really lovely. I really enjoy doing the demonstrations because I get to talk to lots of different people! 


That said I've done 2 sewing sessions at my sons school, one for year 3 and one for year 5 and they were a whole new level of stressful! Which I know a lot of people would find silly because its not like having a full time job or anything, but it was 32 children each holding a needle and wanting my undivided attention. Which is hugely stressful for someone who doesn't like children and struggles with new things. That said I'm really proud of myself for managing to get them all to do the task and a lot of them really surprised me with how enthusiastic they were. I've got two more sessions to do year 2 and year 4 and lil man has already asked me if I'm going to do it next year!!! 

In other  news: 

Polly went and snuggled with Rikki last night which is a victory! 

And lil mans teacher came out of school yesterday to personally tell me how pleased she is with the improvement in his handwriting ! 

Much love 

Frankie 

Xxx

Saturday, 7 July 2018

A Kimono for Chelsey

It was our next door neighbour Chelsey's birthday last week . 

Luckily for me we wanted a kimono cardigan for her holiday and also luckily for me she didn't find one when she went shopping.


I used the simple sew kimono wrap dress pattern to make it. I've made this once before and I love my version. And I figured seen as me and Chels are about the same size then I could use the same cut pattern pieces as I normally use. (I've seen her in it and yay it fits!!!!!)


Construction wise its really really simple just the shoulder and side seams both of which I sewed on my over locker. 

Then I sewed round all the edges with my overlocker so I'd have something firm to turn over for the hems. I always tend to do this with fine fabrics because it gives a really neat finish and a really small hem.

The whole thing probably didn't take more than an hour to sew. In fact the cutting out probably took the most time because the fabric was so darn shifty. I didn't trust my dining room table not to make the fabric stretch and hang funny so I moved the coffee table and the rug and cut it out on the living room floor. 


I added one of my labels to the back because,e I thought it might be a nice touch. As it goes it actually tricked overtone into thinking it was from a real shop!!! 

Which I'm taking as a win because I guess it means my sewing looks super professional! Lol! 

Anyways it went down really well and I think she liked it! 

In other news : 

Polly is still settling in, so far she likes me and Marcus. She likes Rikki most of the time unless he makes any sudden movements or raises his arms above his head (which leads me to believe that a man used to hurt her, she also won't walk near men and cowers away from them which backs my theory up)

It's bloody hot! I've been enjoying to chance to wear my summer dresses gut the rest of the time I've just been lazing around trying not to sweat.

I went to the abakhans fill a bag sale this morning!!! It was awesome and I got lots of fabric (I'll do a separate post on those). It was a bit stressful though, Rikki was on nights so I was terrified that Polly was going to bark and wake him up!!! And I had to take Marcus with me which meant I was worried about loosing him. Luckily my mum dad and sister came with me so they did a lot of the Marcus watching whilst I did a lot of the burrowing for fabric. 

And he did some choosing of fabrics of his own!! Fabrics for me of. Purse but I let him pick s few things and he actually said he had fun so that's a win!

Much love

Frankie 

Xxxx

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Deramores Knitted Unicorn Kit - Review

I love unicorns. They might just be my favourite animal ever. First person to say they are not real gets a smack in the chops.

So when Deramores asked me if I'd like to review their Luna the unicorn knitting kit I jumped at the chance because what could possibly be better than knitting your very own unicorn?


Knitting wise it was really quick to knit up. I'm a fairly slow knitter and I don't have the best concentration span but I found the pattern easy to follow and that it made the shapes I needed it to make very quickly. 

The pattern only uses two stitches so I didn't even need to ring my Nan to help me out reading the pattern. 

I'd definitely say that an advanced beginner could manage to make one up with minimal help from the internet/youtube.


The wool included is the anti pilling Deramores studio DK. It says on the label that its acrylic but it does not feel like cheap and nasty acrylic wool in any shape or form. Its very soft and lovely to use and I'm really tempted to pick up some balls for some baby knitting. 

You get 3 balls of wool in the kit. Each weighing 100g and its more than enough for making the unicorn. [Plus it also comes in a pink colour way!!] In fact Ihave a theory that you could make a second unicorn if you reversed the colours! [Good and Evil unicorns anyone?]

There is a few options for buying the pattern and kit. You can opt for the pattern only for £1.99 , which just means a digital copy of the pattern is sent to you or you can just buy the wool and pattern for £10.99. Or you can get the whole kit pattern, wool and stuffing for £12.99. 

I know a lot of people are not a fan of the whole "digital pattern" thing and for sewing I completely agreed because its just too much of a faff. However for knitting I don't actually mind it. For one its kinder on the environment than a paper pattern and secondly I always tend to save it to my tablet which means I'm less likely to misplace it. Plus because its on your emails there is no chance of you loosing it and never being able to find it again. Or you can just print it off as soon as it arrives in your inbox!



I didn't have any trouble with the actual knitting of the pattern however I did have a bit of difficulty when it came to making it up. Mine seems to have ended up with a VERY long neck [Almost giraffe standards]. I've had a look on line and no one else seems to have had this problem so I think I'm just going to assume that I can't read a knitting pattern properly and leave it at that. 

And another small change I made was to use my usual method of attaching the hair instead of the one they suggested. To be completely honest I had got half way through the head before I read the instructions and realised my method was different to theirs! 

Also my method of attaching the hair makes it quite robust when the unicorn is being played with. This type of hair can withstand gentle brushing and plaiting which is very important to little girls [and big ones] when they are playing. 


For the eyes you can buy plastic eyes from their website but I chose to use some small black buttons that had a shank on the end. I think they worked out fairly nicely and they saved me having to wait for a delivery. 

All in all I really enjoyed knitting up the unicorn and I especially enjoyed how simple the pattern was and how great the end result was. I typically make knitted toys that look a bit demonic so it was a nice change to make something that actually looked quite cute!

As far as the kit goes I do think its good value as all of the wool and stuffing is included. However its not the sort of kit I would buy as a gift because it doesn't include "everything" you need you make it up [knitting needles etc]. The lack of knitting needles didn't really bother me though because it uses a fairly standard size and I have them coming out of my ears! [probably from all the knitting kits I've brought over the years]

Although I wouldn't buy the kit as a gift I would buy the kit again so I could make one up as a gift. In fact If I get a move on I might make one of these for my niece for her birthday. She likes unicorns nearly as much as I do.

So all in all I think this was a very successful make I can see a few more of these in my future.

much love

Frankie

xxx

disclaimer - Although deramores sent me this kit to review for free all the knitting and thoughts are my own. 



Thursday, 28 June 2018

The Gingham Dress - Newlook 6390

This is my first version of new look 6390 and I'm gone level with you, its not great.

But I'm showing it anyway because let's be honest everyone makes a toile that's slightly less than wearable every now and again don't they.


Its not too bad from the front. There's some pretty dodgy pattern placement (those gingham squares can be a right Royal pain in the booty) but other than that its not to bad. 

The neckline gapes a bit so I've altered the pattern pieces to remove a wedge from the neckline and I took a bit out of the back seam, and the straps are too long so I've shortened that pattern piece too however its still not a great fit........


The back is where the problem is. Its really really gaping at the top. I'm not sure if I need to take some more out of the back seam or if I stretched the neckline out too much but ether way I think its going to end up being put in the alteration pile


And it does deserve to be altered because this cute could this dress be if it fit properly? The large check gingham is from abakhans and comes in loads of different colours, I think I want pink next.

I especially like the waistband. But to be completely honest it was a short cut for me. I knew that their was no way I'd be able to pattern match the squares so I thought it would be much easier to just cut it on the bias. 

Which does make the waist band more prone to stretching so to make sure this didn't happen I made sure to interface the back of the waistband pieces straight away. It worked really well and i can happily report no stretching.


Currently this is my favourite dress pattern. Before this I made two button up the front ones ( Here and here) which oddly, didn't have any fitting issues. But since this version I made two more which will be up on the blog soon.

And luckily they both fit really nicely.

In other news:

- I'll man has earache, well at least he did I'm kind of praying that its gone now.......because there is nothing worse than watching your baby in pain.

- Polly is still settling in, she's not eating or drinking much still, but she walks nicely on the lead and today she gave me a really big hand lick. Which according to google means that she really likes me so yay!!! 

- I've also photographed a few makes today and I've gotten back into the swing of sewing against and have some projects that I'm really excited about!!!

Much love 

Frankie 

Xxx


Monday, 25 June 2018

Polly's New Blanket - Learning to Sew Patchwork Curves

Life's pretty good at the moment.
I'm pretty much on top of the housework, I'm hitting 10,000 steps a day and I have a new dog. 


Anyway I've decided that this year would be all about learning new skills and learning to piece curves for patchwork. I've had a subscription to love patchwork and quilting magazine for a few years now (thanks by the way Netty and Keith) 


Luckily the magazine come with free templates etc so I used those to draw straight onto the fabric. It saved a lot of time and meant I didn't have to spend a hour on the Internet trying to find a decent template. 

Piecing them together was more tricky than I expected. Obviously I piece a lot of curves for dressmaking but this was a whole new kettle of fish. I used about four pins per quarter circle and swore a lot. 


Fabrics wise everything was from my stash , there's a right mixture if bits and pieces in their including some of my favourite fabrics . Living with boys I tend to use a lot of dark colours so I really enjoyed making this pink explosion for Polly. 

Quilting wise I kept it simple and just did some straight lines , I was going to do free motion quilting but I couldn't get the bloody tension to work properly and after I'd unpicked some of it once I wasn't going to risk doing the whole thing just to have to undo it if I hated it.

Luckily because its a teeny weeny quilt it didn't take very long to quilt at all. In fact I did all the quilting in the adverts of love island. 


Naturally I couldn't get a nice picture of Polly sat on the blanket , I tried bribing her with treats but it didn't really help. To be honest most of the pictures were of her bum and then of course their was the one of her pooping........ 

So yeah this is the best I could do. Polly spends a lot of time in her basket as its her "safe place" and normally she doesn't look as happy as this but see just been for a walk so she was living her best life. 

That or she was thirsty? We are still having trouble getting her to realise that the water and food bowl is just for her. 

I finally have access to a tablet! My tablet went squiffy last week but luckily my kind neighbour Chelsey had a tablet she didn't use so I'm using that. So far I love it its HUGE so I can actually use the screen to type rather than having to plug in my keyboard! So cheers Chelsey love you!!! 

In other news! 

Lil man has his voice back!! 

Much love 

Frankie 

Xxx


Friday, 22 June 2018

Check Trousers - Newlook 6421

I have no idea if I love these or hate these. Typically I;m not a trouser girl and if I am its jeans. But I wanted a pair of check trousers. I didn't know what kind so I asked instagram whether I should go for flares or a skinny leg pattern. 

The general consensus was that I'd look like a member of  the bay city rollers if I went with flares and most people liked the idea of trousers better. 


The pattern I used was Newlook 6421. Its a fairly simple pattern, front and back trouser pieces and a waistband. I opted to swap the side zip for a back one because I hate side zips but other than that I stuck to the instructions. Oh apart from swapping the darts for little tucks. The wool I used was quite bulky so I thought a gentle tuck would be better than a dart because if you have a dart you also have the excess fabric behind it. 


The pattern matching is not 100% especially on the back. I know I should have cut out the pieces flat and flipped them over to make it perfect but I just couldn't be bother. Especially for a pair of trousers that might not get a lot of wear. 


I do like the way my bum looks in them though. I basted up the side seams to try and get the right fit and I think I did okay. I do wish I had tapered them more at the ends though. 


This is my major gripe with them though. The way I placed the pattern basically makes a little triangle over my "goods". I cannot believe I didn't think about where I placed that part. I was concentrating so much on trying to match the pattern on the side seams that the crotch didn't even cross my mind. 

In future I'll make sure the crotch is always the first thing I think about.............. 


But the big question is are they wearable or do I need to wander round shielding my crotch? 

If you saw me in the street would you be like "HEY EVERYONE LOOK AT THE GIRL WITH THE WEIRD TRIANGLE ON HER CROTCH!!!!"  Or would you just think my trousers were cool?


The sewing inside is neatly finished. It does occur to me that I should start showing you the inside of my makes but its just such a faff, its hard enough finding ten minutes to actually take the pictures with decent lighting.  


You let me know what you think of the trousers, are they suitable for out and about wear or should I just stick to wearing them to mooch about the house in? [by the way, I'm not sure heels are the way to go with them but my black ballet flats are currently in the bin!]

In other news! 

-Polly is still settling in nicely, we've been on a few walks and I think she'd eating and drinking better. I am realising how few bins their are in the local area and I tell you , walking around with a little bag of poop is not the one. 

- Lil man has lost his voice. He's quite well in himself [no fever , not sleepy] but he has a bit of a cough and he voice is gone. So if anyone has any remedies on how to get his voice back please let me know. He has his school play next week and he's worried he won't be able to say his lines. 

- I've got a mountain of projects to photograph......

Much Love 

Frankie 

xxx