Monday, 21 August 2017

My Minerva Crafts Lucky Dip Bag Review!

Just in case you missed it I recently reviewed minerva crafts lucky dip bags for their blog and you can read it here! 

The fabric came in my lucky dip bag and the pattern is my dress hack of the Cami top from the 3rd GBSB book! 

Much Love



Disclaimer - whilst the lucky bag was provided for free all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Knitted Diagonal Blanket - Yarn by Craft Cotton Company

Its always nice to have a lil stash of blankets ready to go and this one is just so simple to knit up!

I used three different colours of wool by the craft cotton company. They actually picked out the colours for me and I;m glad they did because I would have gone for something more babyish like pale pink and white but I actually love how modern the grey and blue look with the white. It give the blanket a longer life for more use and as every mother knows dark colours are 10000% better for hiding stains! 

The wool is acrylic which means it can stand up to the battering that all baby items take in the washing machine. I mean seriously all I seemed to do when Lil man was lil was wash puke stains out of things people had lovingly knitted for him.

Construction wise its so simple!

You cast on 3 stitches

Then you knit 200 rows and increase 1 stitch at the end of every row. [or you can just go on until you get the size you like. But 200 rows makes a 1 metre square blanket]

Then you knit another 200 rows but this time you decrease one stitch at the end of every row until you have 3 stitches left then you cast off. 

For the colour changes you just knit two rows in each colour. 

Then as an optional extra you can add a cute crochet trim!

[I used 2 100g ball of each colour so six balls in total]

I knitted mine up on size 4mm prym ergonomic knitting needles, and it honestly felt like it took forever but I did a lot of it whilst watching t.v and just generally relaxing. The wool was really nice to knit with and I had no issues with it splitting or fraying. I did have to keep cutting it and re tying it on though because I was getting the three colours tangled up!

I used garter stitch because it means I don't have to concentrate so hard and I like the texture but it would also look really cute in moss stitch!

Now typically I put these into a draw ready for the next baby that's born BUT I'm squirrelling this one away into our airing cupboard so Its ready for them we get a dog! Now we're not getting one just yet but I'm definitely wearing Rikki down! We don't have a wedding to save for anymore so he can;t use that as an excuse and I've been making a really big effort to keep the house tidy. All of which has been noticed! So fingers crossed maybe next year I'll have a little bundle of fur to destroy the house! 

Much Love


disclaimer - whilst the wool for this project was provided for free all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

#ettaquiltproject - Square in a Square Block

So here's the latest installment of the #ettaquiltproject. 

Now my Grandma had this labeled as an "all american star" [Luckily she had labeled all of her templates which made this project a bunch easier, it also showed me where my big sister gets her organisational skills from!] But looking on the internet I could only see one example that looked this this under the title of "all american star" [Lets all just give a minutes thanks to the google gods who put all of the knowledge of the world at our finger tips!] 

Anyway after struggling to find a template for you guys to use, I asked on a Facebook quilting group what they thought this might be called and the general consensus seemed to be that its actually called a square in a square quilt block! althought the 

Because I still thought it was called a all american star when I made this up I thought it was only fitting to go for the good old red white and blue! The red plaid is from the lady at the car boot and the blue is an off cut from one of my Aunty Shelias table cloths. 

You can find a template here!  [the template has one less square than I used but if your good at maths you could probably sort that out]

History wise I couldn't find much information apart from it's generally featured in lots of quilts to add interest to patterns, and that its sort of a go to block in a quilters arsenal! I also saw mentioned that it can look really cool when alternated with a basic nice patch for a simple quilt that looks really cool!

And speaking of cool!

How AWESOME is my sister doing with this! Shes just finished her first block and I couldn't be more proud of her! I also love that shes used tartan to commemorate our Scottish born Grandma!

Shes also just picked out the fabric for her shoo fly block!

Much Love



Monday, 14 August 2017

The Purple Jackie O Dress

I feel like every time I re read the pink suit I end up making something very Jackie O inspired! And its one of my favourite books so I re read it a lot [Rikki thinks this is bizarre by the way! He says why would you re read something you've already read because you know how it ends? In fact he doesn't even re watch films unless they happen to be on and theirs nothing else on!]  So yeah that's where the idea for this dress came from and it paired nicely with me actually needing some sensible grown up clothes in my wardrobe as well as novelty print dresses!

Isn't that purple bright? I literally don't think I have ever made anything this bright in a plain colour before! The fabric was from the lady at the carboot and well I'm not 100% what it is? Its definitely a type of knit but it has no stretch. Its not a woven, which I could tell from the fabric structure. It has a goods amount of "bounce" and it was very difficult to press in fact the whole thing had to be done on the lowest setting under a pressing cloth [LOL I don't have a pressing cloth I just use a clean hankie!] 

It also hated my machine, It kept getting jammed and I had to use my walking foot in the end!  

I only had about a metre and a half of fabric which is why I did the pencil skirt option rather than my favourite box pleat version.

The pattern is..... Do I even need to say it or have we seen it so many times its second nature? The whole thing is from the second GBSB book, But I added a waistband because the pattern is far more empire than it looks on the model [I'm still not sure how they managed this? The sample picture and the actual pattern are completely different!]

Related image

I've pretty much perfected the bodice on this now, but back in the day before I tweaked it I cut a size 12 and my measurements are 36" - 27" - 38". 

The waistband is about 3 inches fit and I just cut it to the same length as my bodice. 

The zip is a bit jacked up. I'm not sure if It needs an iron or if it just needs ripping out and the zip seam interfacing to give it more structure? Its just come through the wash so I think I'll try a good press first. The zip itself came out a £1 mixed bag from abakhans. It has a little "p" at the top which is weird? I;m not sure where it's from? I did ask Rikki to cut off the middle bit and make it an "f" but he said something about tools and structures and it not being possible so I guess the "p" will have to stand for "princess"!.

The waistband is lined and the neck and arms are faced. I line the waistband by cutting two waistbands and then constructing the dress normally including inserting the zip. Then I take the second waistband, turn down a 1.5cm seam allowance and press, then pink on top of the actual waistband and hand stitch into place all the way around. There is probably a better way of doing it but that's how I do it! 

Its not too bad I suppose, Its just a bit bubbly above my bum area.

Here's a cheeky shot of my label inside, I put it on the inside waistband which makes it difficult to show people but does mean it won't flip out. You can also see the slip stitched waistband lining. The only other finishing I did was pinking the princess seams which I always do because I think it makes the curve sit nicer. 

I also pinked the facings, I always have to cut them down loads! I'm not sure why the pattern has them drafted so wide? Maybe your suppose to do a double turned hem on them? But who has time for that?

All in all I kind of like it? Its a bit of a variation away from my usual style, although to be honest I'm not 100% what my style is? Sometimes I'm punky sometimes I'm prissy! And at thew ripe of age of 24 I am wondering if I should have an actual style? But then I think to myself the best part of getting dressed every day is DRESSING UP! So I'll probably just keep wearing a crazy mix of clothes until I;m sat in my nursing home teaching my grandchildren all the good curse words. Oh yes I plan on being that kind of Grandma!  

In other news! 

- I've still not been sewing much what with both Rikki and lil man being off but I have nearly finished my new winter scarf so hopefully I'll be blogging that soon. 

- And I have an idea for a crochet jumper that I am itching to get started on! 

- We've also been talking about when we might be able to next go camping, mainly were trying to work out if there is anything else we need [a chair for lil man and some wellies for me!] And how we can save room in the car i.e convince Marcus he doesn't need to take all TEN of his bedtime teddies and pack the contents of the picnic basket into another box! I also have plans to sew a lil windbreak for our stove, just something to keep the wind away from the flame and to keep lil man away from it!

Much Love




Friday, 11 August 2017

Simplicity K1418 - A Project Runway Pattern in Gingham!

There's a tent drying in my kitchen. Its currently strung across a clothes horse the ironing board and some is on the floor. We didn't think we'd put it away wet but after reading a few camping blogs it became apparent that it needed to go away bone dry! And I'm not sure I trust putting it on the washing line. My kitchen floor is now also covered in mud!

Anyway this make started with this pattern Simplicity K1418 which is a pattern that's inspired by project runway. Now I'll start by saying I am a HUGE project runway fan! And I ain't never seen them make anything this simple in all of the times I've watched it. 

This particular pattern was brought form our local carboot for £1 and although I'm pretty sure it was originally a freebie in a magazine that's still pretty reasonable for a sewing pattern. 

It comes with a few different views including some sort of lace up back thing. But I decided to go for the off the shoulder version which is view b. I measured as a size 14 but knowing that simplicity patterns come with a metric tonne of ease I decided to cut a size 12.

The fabric I used is a rose and hubble cotton gingham from Minerva fabrics. You can see their wide selection of ginghams here! I am a sucker for a gingham dress I think this one is number four maybe?  And I definitely want to make others! 

One change I did make was to sway the side zip for a center back zip. I hate side zips and it was a pretty easy change! I even think it looks a bit better? Or I could just think that because I like things to be symmetrical? Although the first zip I put in this was far too short and I got a bit *ahem* stuck, and this was being made when lil man was still at school and we were running dangerously close to school pickup time so things got a bit dicey to say the least. In the end I escaped by ripping out the back seam.

Construction wise the skirt is box pleated with a slight a-line so you get the flare but the whole thing doesn't blow up at every opportunity. 

The bodice is a princess seamed, with long waist darts in the back bodice. The little cap sleeves are set inbetween the bodice and the facing and have come concealed elastic to keep them up. [Although I think I may still need to reduce the length of mine by 1.5cm or so.

Here you can see the elastic in its casing, I had to slip stitch mine to the sleeves to get a clean finish [the pattern doesn't call for the slip stitching but I'm not sure how'd you'd make the sleeves look tidy without it?]. I really liked the facing method for keeping everything tidy on the inside.

Instruction wise things are a bit unclear. There's so many variations in one pattern that I got quite muddled at some points and wasn't sure what I should be doing! None of this was helped by my reluctance to read instructions anyway. 

I was pretty proud of this make so naturally I added a label! 

For the zip I did a lapped zip because that's my favourite method. The pattern calls for an invisible zip because its going into a side seam. 

Here you can see the check properly, its a really small gingham in sort of an apple green colourway? I don't normally do green but I don't think this looks too bad. And one of the mums at football said I looked really nice so that was cool.

There's a few changes I need to make to the pattern to make it perfect! 

-reduce the width of the cap sleeve
- take an inch out of the length of the bodice
- try and remove some excess from the front bodice where there is some gaping. I'm not sure if this is down to the straps though? it sits perfectly flat when I stand put if I lean forward it gapes?

Al in all I think its a really lovely summer dress, although it does need a strapless bra underneath which sort of limits its wearability [is that a word? I'm sure its a word?]

Much Love



Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Camping Catastrophes! and some fun too!

I've not posted for nearly a week! Have you missed me?

Well this is what my view looked like recently! Yep we ventured to Wales for a few days to take lil man on his first ever camping trip !  However it wasn't without its problems! In fact the whole trip seemed to be a bit cursed!

- the first time we tried to go Rikki was struck down with a migraine and spent the day in bed
- Then when we did decide to go we had to brake sharply [because the driver in front was a moron] and lil man got hit in the head by the wooden games compendium flying across the car!
- then when we had gotten to the campsite and pitched up we decided to take a walk along the beach and lo and behold my phone fell out of my handbag at some point and is now a the bottom of the deep blue! I hadn't even noticed it was missing! I had been thinking about how wonderful and relaxed I was feeling paddling my feet in the waves, and then lil man was bringing me shells and I thought ooh I might instagram this and oops wheres my phone? So I'm now phone less until I sort a replacement #prayforfrankie

But luckily the rest of the trip went really well until Rikki broke the bottle of milk on the doorstep when we got home [insert pun about crying over spilt milk here]

We visited Harlech Castle which was nice especially for lil man because its very similar to what it would have looked like back in the day! 

I wore my as yet unblogged days by the sea dress to visit the castle and for a walk on the beach! [i also realised I need to shorten the bodice by an inch!

An I even managed to finish our tent carpet just in the nick of time so we could use it!!

The stars and hexagons are english paper pieced and then appliqued on, and the loops are bias binding sewn down! The backing is some sort of lovely thick fleece back jersey stuff that my friend Helen gave me! I'm not sure how you would describe it but its lovely and thick for stepping on in the morning especially when its cold! 

Lil man even made up a game with the colours in the star! I'm not sure I quite understood the rules but he enjoyed himself so that's a win!

Here it is in situ in our very messy tent! 

Its held in place by four pieces of ribbon that tie onto the actual groundsheet! 

So yeah a fairly practical make that saved us about £40 on a tent carpet!

some other highlights include!

- lil man jumping over waves and just generally having the best time in the sea!
- Rikki trying to find me the best sea shells on the beach to take home!
- Ice creams!
- Fish and chips by the sea!
- Playing with my new camping stove kettle and toasting rack!
- Having the coolest camping neighbours! 1, they had a dog! 2. the man was doing a cross stitch! 3. they had a kid with them about lil mans age! and 4. The lady and her daughter did quilting!!!! which meant I got to talk about quilts! and SEWING!
- Seeing everyone bundled up under things I had made! We took 8 blankets with us! all made by me and it was so nice seeing the boys snuggled under them!

Much Love


P.S needless to say I cant wait to go again!!! 

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Cami Top from a Pillow Case

Sometimes the sewing works and sometimes it doesn't. Yes this is a nice enough cami top but for some bizarre reason it turned out HUGE! compared to the other times I've used this pattern.

The pattern is the cami top from the 3rd GBSB book, but without the ruffle because well putting a ruffle on my boobs would just be overkill.  

Its the back that seams big? maybe I should put a little box pleat in or something? In this picture I have the back of my bra pulled right the way down so you don't see it. So maybe that means the strapos are whats too long? [do you like my tan lines? I took these pictures the day after I got sunburnt which was ages ago! safe to say I'm now back to my milky white colouring]

That said if I don't alter it I'm sure I'll still use it for layering under tops and if all else fails I'll just wear it to bed.

Construction wise it took no time at all to cut out or sew. It was however sat on my chair for about a week after cut out waiting to be sewn because new shiny projects kept distracting me! 

The fabric is an old pillowcase and came from my Aunty Shelia and Uncle Gordon's house. There was only one otherwise I might have tried to make a little pj set. I love the delicate flowers and the lightweight fabric. I'm gonna guess that its vintage? 

It looks 100% better tucked in!

Their wasn't quite enough fabric to cut the facings as well so they have been done from a plain white fabric. 

All in all its a really nice make and its always nice to make some more practical items that will get lots of wear. Especially when the weather turns colder and I'm looking for an extra layer to keep me toasty. The only issue is its a little bit on the sheer side so I have to be careful how I wear it.

In other news, 

The summer holidays are going okay I'm not ready to kill lil man just yet......

We are still playing lots of games and trying to get outside whenever the weather lets us. We have high hopes for a big bike ride but I'm not sure how realistic that is!

Much Love