Monday, 26 December 2016

Top Six Blog Posts of 2016

Okay so heres my top six most viewed blog posts of 2016. So these are things I've written in 2016 that apparently you guys have loved reading! 

So from Last to first!

This is the dress I made for my lovely little god daughter! Its adorable and I still love it!

So apparently you guys enjoyed my misery at this dress feeling like a disaster! Mainly I hated to colour against my skin and I was all for ditching it, but after some lovely comments this dress is still in my wardrobe but I haven't worn it yet!!! 

I still can't quite believe I knitted a functioning item! 

Haha I love making funny sewing related lists and I'm glad you guys enjoyed this one too!

I'm still dreaming of this dress in different colour ways so If someone wants to hit a girl up with two metres of gingham check that would be awesome! 

Omg I love abakhans so much! I know know there are other fabric shops but this one is closest to me and its just such great value!!!!

And that's its ! your guys favourite posts from 2016! I just hope you enjoy 2017 posts as much!!!

I hope you've all had a wonderful christmas!!!

Much Love


Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!!!!!!

Lots of Love



Friday, 23 December 2016

GBSB Wrap Dress

So this is the second time I've taken these blog photos, can we just appreciate how awful winter is for blog photography? Anyway the plan was to take them in the garden but then lo and behold its starts to rain! So here I am stood against my kitchen door, because apart from the bathroom this is the room with the best light. Actually the light in the bathroom is better but I didn't think you'd all appreciate pictures with my lavvy in. 

Anyway this is the wrap dress from the second great british sewing book. Now because it comes in a pattern pack you do have to trace it so lets all just take a minute to feel thoroughly sorry for poor Frankie having to trace the pieces. That said tracing aside its actually a bit of a whizz to put together.

Its a basic wrap style dress that's made in a knit with medium stretch I got mine from Abakhans and I think its a stretch spandex? Its got a really awesome print on it though which did take a bit of concentration for pattern matching, the skirt and the bodice are individually pattern matched so I'm pretty pleased with that effort. Its pretty tough with this sort of dress because if you do get the wrong print you can end up looking like you've stepped out of your house wearing a dressing gown. Mainly when shopping for this fabric I knew I wanted something that was "DVF" inspired! 

I also had to be careful cutting out so that I didn't stretch the fabric, FYI if your cutting a knit fabric make sure the whole fabric piece is flat [like on the floor] If you cut with it hanging off a table your likely the over stretch the fabric and make your pattern pieces too short. And I just cut it out using my regular scissors, I could have gone for the rotary cutter option but my blades a bit dull and the idea of having to faff about with the matt made me want to cry.

I used my over locker for the majority of the construction and used the instructions as more of a guide than the gospel. For example I set my sleeves in flat just because its far easier to do it like that on an over locker. I used my regular machine with a twin needle for all the top stitching. I'm actually a bit gutted that the black stripe across the back doesn't follow on into the sleeves. But I don't think its super noticeable. 

The pattern also calls for 2.5m of stretch binding, Which naturally I ignored because OMG who has the time for 2.5m of stretch binding? Instead I just finished all the edges on my overlocker, folded them over and top stitched. It looks okay So I'm not sure why the pattern calls for binding? I did wonder if its to minimise stretch but I've had it on all day and so far there's no gaping.

So all in all I'm calling it a grand success, its a pretty quick make and the pattern is kind of spot on [it always really surprises me when the GBSB patterns come up good]. Its really comfy and I love that its an outfit that doesn't require too much effort. That said it is a bit busty as in I think its kind of low cut and you do have to have a seamless bra on underneath because it clings. 

In fact I like it so much I'm already planning another one in a stretch velvet! Because OMGOSH how lush would that be? 

So yeah In other new Its very nearly Christmas!!! I'm super excited I just hope we manage to get everything done in time! We've already had to write up a schedule for the next few days because lots of people want to see lil man and without the schedule all hell breaks loose!

Merry Christmas!!!



Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Flamingo Pattern Hack Dress for Sew Style

So its been a good long while since I posted about being in Sew style , Fashion and home magazine. And I thought it might be a nice idea to show you the rest of the pictures I took that didn't make it into the feature!

Okay so the pattern was burda 6773 and the fabric was from abakhans.

The pattern was for a basic shift dress but I changed things up by adding ties at the sides so I cold clinch the waist. 

Funnily enough my Nan was telling me she made a shift dress like this in nearly the same colour when she was younger. Sadly here's didn't have flamingos on it but its still a funny coincidence. 

I'm super pleased with how it turned out and I think I might try and wear it a bit more next summer. I wasn't convinced that it was really my colour but everyone else seems to think it suits me.

Looking at the pictures I think I prefer the knot at the back so it creates a smoother shape in the front? What do you think? 

In other news

Christmas madness is upon us, we are schedualing people in left right and center this year becasue everyone seems to have crazy rotas and a few people are working over christmas. Even poor rikki is having to go in on boxing day!

Im tired and trying desperately to get the house tidy in time for the big mans arrival on the 25th

Lil man is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED! Whilst last year he understood what was happening this year he REALLY understands [Cue some awkward questions "if Santa brings presents why are you buying that for [insert name here]"


Much Love


P.S call me crazy but this might just be the year I make us a gingerbread house! [and by gingerbread house I mean biscuit house because neither of the boys like ginger]


Monday, 19 December 2016

The Highs of 2016

Okay so this was going to be the Highs and Lows of 2016 but I read every single blog post I've written since January of this year and I only found two real lows? And they are less lows and more learning curves so I've decided to just focus on the highs!!!

- Writing Tutorials, I've absolutely loved working with the craft cotton company writing tutorials and I hope I'll be able to continue doing it in the future.

- Gifting baby quilts! I'm loving my new little tradition of making baby quilts for the new arrivals! And as of last night I've just pieced the top for quilt number 5!

Vintage style party dress! - I don't know what else to say I LOVE THIS DRESS! In fact I might whip it out for Christmas day!

- Finished Miette Cardigan, I am so proud that I actually finished knitting an actual garment for myself. I never thought my knitting would be good enough to make myself an item of clothing! 

Tartan Skirt with full back zip - I am all kinds of sassy in this skirt and its become my feel good outfit. I love wearing it and it receives no end of compliments from other people!!! 

African Wax Print dresses, Okay so I love all of them but this one in particular is my absolute favourite! Now if my local Abakhans fabrics could just get some more of the fabric in stock that would be awesome! 

Gingham Lakeside Pjs - Shall we just refer to this as the project that made me face my fear of bias binding? But in all seriousness I love these jammies and wear them all the time! including on my wedding morning! 

Gingham dress with faux button placket - this was just a project that I immediately fell in love with. Summer or winter you can pretty much guarantee I'll have this dress on! And I'm still envisioning versions in red and blue!!!! 

working with bigger companies! -this year I've had the pleasure of working with abakhans, sew essential and the craft cotton company, this is something I definitely hope I can keep doing! 

Getting married! Well its wouldn't be highs list without my wedding day now would it? There's not much more I can say about it all but it was truly one of the most wonderful days of my life! 

VEGAS BABY! And the final highlight of the year was going to last Vegas! which I seriously loved! FYI I'm planning on doing a how to survive Vegas post at some point! But I think the best part of Vegas was realising I had an awesome holiday wardrobe and that most of it had been made by me. 

Much Love and here's to hoping that 2017 is even better!!!



Saturday, 17 December 2016

Rodney the Reindeer

So its been like a week since my last post, what can I say Christmas guys, Christmas. I literally haven't stopped. But I think we are finally ready and hopefully I'll be able to post more regularly again, at least until actual Christmas hits!

Anyway I actually made this about a week into December and its been sat under my tree ever since. And since then its just been waiting for me to write the post!

Okay so the pattern was free with Love sewing Magazine and much to my disgust it wasn't actually physically included, the instructions were but they actual pattern pieces had to be downloaded and printed off.

I dont want to sound like a drama queen but this really cheesed me off! I mean I get it. save the trees and stuff but when I'm buying a sewing magazine for near on 6 quid I don't expect to have to print off the pattern myself.  

Anyway our printer is broken so I waited patiently until we were driving past currys and "oh why don't we have a look?" and "oh that's a good deal on a printer"..................... Just to clarify we did not buy a new printer so I could print of a sewing pattern [or at least that's what I told Rikki when this was sat on the paper tray less than three minutes after he'd set it up.]

So yeah I printed it off and taped it together [yet another pet peev] and then I cut it out.

The fabrics is a mixed bag, the white and red snowflake print is from the craft cotton company, the bells are vintage from my grandmas stash and the tartan is a scrap from this skirt. The bell on the nose wasn't part of the pattern but I added it because the nose was kind of a funky shape and it kind of looked like a horse. In fact the whole pattern wasn't quite as cute as I expected, the nose is pretty long and the legs felt super clunky. But I'm pretty sure its just me and my sucky toy making skills rather than the actual pattern.

I'm also still not sure why he has a neckerchief? I mean its cute but hes not a cowboy?

The antlers however are awesome, I love them so much and they luckily do make this look like a reindeer! 

Anyway as much as its not as cute as the one in the magazine I do still love it!!!  

In other news , all of the Christmas wrapping is done [and I got a Chinese for my trouble] and now we are just gearing up for our influx of Christmas visitors.

Lil man has finished school and had an awesome last two weeks with his nativity and school trips and none uniforms days! And I've been trying to teach him what a lie in is.................. So far he doesn't quite get it.................

The house is Christmased to max which is nice although its not leaving me a lot of time for sewing and other things!

I've also made two pretty awesome clothing items but lo and behold our spare room as chocker with presents so I can't take pictures yet! [here's a giggle for you, we are using Rikkis present sorting system this year which he proudly showed me last week whilst telling em how brilliant it is compared to my old system..... the difference........ he put our presents on a different side of the room!..... I mean seriously he just switched which sides the presents were on...............] 

Anyway much love! 

And if I don't get chance to say it closer to the time I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that Santa leaved you lots of lovely sewing goodies in your stocking!!!!

Frankie xxxx

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Lace Knit Beret

There's 15 sleeps until Christmas guys! can we say excited? Hands up if you haven't finished wrapping!? Hands up if you haven't finished buying?! Hands up if you haven't written a single Christmas card?????????????? My hand is firmly up for all of these!

Yeah I really need to sort myself out because we all know I've had time for sewing and knitting.....

Anyway! This beret mainly came about because I'm getting thoroughly sick of my old hand knit hat [If you read that blog please forgive my hideous spelling errors! if I were a proper blogger I'd go and fix all the spelling errors in my old posts but LOL! I'd rather be sewing!] 

Anyway the wool for this was a Aran that I got from a shop in Hanley market. In the shop I thought it was Raspberry which had me getting my prince on and singing raspberry beret. And then I got it home and its more of a purple pink rather than Raspberry.

The pattern was from a copy of a Lets knit bookazine, which I had off Rikkis Nan and I'm pretty sure she had it off Aunty Mary. Its a pretty simple pattern even though its lace work and I actually reached the point where I memorised the pattern! 

And yeah its a hat I just sat and followed the pattern like a good little egg [I find it highly amusing that when I sew I throw caution to the wind and do it my way but that when I knit I follow the pattern to the letter!!!!]

In other news, 

I'm exhausted I'm not quite sure what happened but I'm so tired its unreal!

I'm on season four of lost and I'm hooked its just sooo freaking bizarre! I am however on a time limit to finish watching it because we are switching from sky to virgin in January!

And that it really!

Much Love


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Top Tips For Learning to Sew

Okay so I thought it might be nice to put together a list of top tips for learning to sew in case any beginners stumble upon my blog! [and feel free to add your own tips in the comments!]

1. Get yourself a sewing machine - Or even better borrow one from a friend or family member. That way if it turns out you hate sewing then you haven't forked your hard earned cash out. However if you do decided to buy make sure you do your research and see if you can try before you buy.

2. Find yourself a sewing book - I recommend "Love at first stitch" by Tilly and the buttons Its go some very simple projects in it and it covers everything from zips to buttonholes in great detail. Its very hand holdy but I think that's what you need when your learning a new skill! Just be sure to try something a bit harder when you've finished it.

3. Get some fabric, don't spend a fortune but get something you actually like, look at what the pattern recommendations. Also remember you don't have to go to a fabric shop although it is fun!!!! you can also use fun bedding sets as fabric! and its super cheap too!

4. Read the pattern instructions one before you start sewing! That way you can google anything you don't understand!

5. Make sure you measure yourself properly! In fact try and get someone else to measure you, remember not to breathe in and don't focus on the numbers on the tape measure! When you sew for yourself the only size you are is SASSY!

6. Take your time, double check everything! Your cutting out, Your pinning! Where your going to be sewing. Then when you finally sit down at your machine go SLOWLY.  

7. Keep checking the fit. It's perfectly acceptable to sit and sew in your pants you know [just be sure to draw your curtains.

8. Be prepared to unpick, everyone makes mistakes!

9. Make sewing friends, whether you join a local group or just follow some people in instagram or join a Facebook group, these people can offer you advice and help you venture into the world of sewing!

Anyway I hope the beginners out there found it helpful! 

and if you have your own tips I;d love to read them!

Much Love



Monday, 5 December 2016

Easy Diagonal Baby Blanket

I loves a easy baby blanket and this one is an absolute breeze to knit. You can ritz it up by using posh stitches are you can keep it simple like I have and use garter stitch!

You can be fancy and buy some lush chunky wool or you can be thrifty like I have and use odds and sods from your knitting basket doubled up!

And in all seriousness if you find yourself in a tight spot you can bust one of these out with like a day of solid knitting!!!! 

Anyway here's a brief tutorial on how to make this blanket.

Garter Stitch Diagonal Baby Blanket

*Use 6mm needles
*Use chunky wool or two strands of regular wool

*Cast on 3 stitches
*Work each row in garter stitch increasing 1 stitch at the end of each row
*Continue knitting in this manner until one of the shorter edges of the blanket is the width you would like your blanket to be
*Now decrease 1 stitch at the end of every row until only three remain.
*Cast off
*optional* crochet a border

In other news! Boy was it freezing this morning! I honestly felt like my toes might drop off! 
I am however wearing a pretty snazzy new make in the hopes of photographing it later so that cheered me up!
And I posted a new video this week of what I'm planning on making in December! 

Obviously though I've not included Christmas presents because that would ruin the surprise!!!!

Much Love



Saturday, 3 December 2016

Finished November Makes!

Here's my Youtube video for my finished November makes!

Sorry if there's some distortion! I don't get it on my phone but on the laptop I do and I'm working on trying to fix it!



Much Love



Thursday, 1 December 2016

Coco Dress Hoodie Hack

I love a pattern hack as you may of gathered and I really love a stash busting pattern hack! 

Okay so the pattern is the Tilly and the buttons coco dress pattern but the short top version, with the long sleeves and the cuffs [but not turned up] and then for some extra jazzyness I added a hood by copying the one off my dressing gown and a pocket I copied off one of Rikkis hoodies.  

Now due to this being a stash busting project I had to do some colour blocking because I didn't have a enough of one fabric. So the body and the bottom of the sleeves and the trim around the hood are all done in a poly knit that I found in a bargain bin at abakhans .

And then the cuffs, the pocket and the hood + the hood extension [because guess who cut their hood too small!] are done in a marl grey ponte de roma from Minerva Crafts . I also used the marl grey to make the tops of the sleeves because I didn't have enough of the poly knit to do the whole sleeve. Funnily enough this ended up being one of my favourite features and I'll definitely be doing it again. 

It took about 2 1/2 hours to make from cutting out the finishing. I Sewed all of the seams on my over locker including stetting in the sleeves and adding the cuffs. I used my regular machine for all the top stitching on the pocket and the hems.

All in all I love how it turned out, Its slim fitting enough to wear under my coat for the school run but warm enough to keep me toasty!

I love the kangaroo pocket at the front, Its not exactly functional but I think it add a ready to wear feel to it and I've been using it to carry my phone around in!

Mainly I just love how beautifully it all came together! I'm definitely going to make another one although this time I think I'd like to make one in this striped ponte de roma from girl charlee  but using this aztec print from girl charlee for the accents like the hood and pocket.

Much Love



P.s Happy 1st of December! SANTA'S ON HIS WAY!!!!! 

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Finished Baby Blanket - Blue Ombre

I love it when everything comes together. So often with quilting you can over analyse every step. I spent ages choosing the fabric, then I spent ages choose what pattern to do, then when it was finally sewn up I spent ages procrastinating quilting it.

Typically I use a regular fleece blanket to act as backing and batting for my baby quilts but this time I used a thin fleecy poly knit. The same one that I used for my softest coco! 

for the front I cut pieces of fabric into stripes and then placed them in a tonal order from cream to dark blue. Then I pieced them together in a spiral. Its a really quick way to make a blanket and I think its super cute looking.

All of the fabrics came from my stash and I was very careful to choose ones that would be suitable for a boy or a girl. I know its predominately blue but and my sister says some girls like blue and some of the prints have flowers on which girlies it up a little bit. 

This was also my first time doing decent mitred corners on the binding of this one. Which makes me feel a bit smug because it means my skills are improving! Yay for learning new things! 

Oh and by the way I spiral quilted it because that's my go to quilting technique! I really should learn something new!



Saturday, 26 November 2016

Hobbycraft wooden advent calendar Review.

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Haha no it isn't its still November! Although if you make your own Christmas presents chances are you've been playing Elf for about the past 6 months.
Anyway I LOVE advent calender's! But not just the regular chocolate ones! I like the EXCITING ones! And last year we treated Lil Man to a lego advent calendar because that is basically the most exciting calendar you can buy! FYI don't buy it its absolute rubbish. Seriously it was the most disappointing thing I have ever seen. It was basically pointless.

 So this year I decided to be prepared and buy a solid advent calendar that we could use every year [Actually I wasn't being prepared the original plan was to put the contents of the lego advent calendar into a solid advent calendar with some sweets and stuff........then we realised that opening doors to that would be soul destroying] 

So instead I think we are going to go hunting for some stuff to put in it! which may or may not include lego!

anyway so this is how it turned up from hobbycraft. brown MDF. If you have a rustic Christmas you would probably leave it like this?

So I painted the white parts first, I used two coats of emulsion and two coats of white acrylic paint. I had some serious trouble trying to get even coverage on this thing. 

Next I painted the insides of the doors green which two coats of acrylic. I was going to paint the insides of all the compartments but its just so fiddly I gave it. we're going to use it for 25 days a year I can live without perfectly finished insides.

Next I painted the red parts with red gloss, this part probably took the longest because oh look super fiddly again! I think I did two coats of this and it does give a nice shine!

I free handed all the numbers on the doors using sharpie and scattered them about at random. Or at least I hope they are random.

Okay so the nitty gritty! Its a pretty good kit. Its very fiddly so i wish there was a way to take the doors off or to build it form flat pack or something. 

I like the simple house design it really does leave the door open for lots of imaginative decorating opportunity! like gingerbread house, sparkles, Santa! I kept ours with our red and white colour scheme though as we like to have a very tradition Christmas! 

In fact I think it would be super cute to just give these to your kids to decorate and then they have their own personal one!

Things I'd do differently:

If it was less fiddly id have loved to decorate the inside of each compartment with pretty paper or scrap paper so when the door opens its all beautiful and bright.

I'd have sprayed the whole thing white to begin with [or if hobbbycraft could just made a white version that would be awesome!] about half was through painting I had an "it would have been so much easier to spray paint this" moment. and then maybe I could have finished the insides of those pesky compartments!

I'm still debating a bit of glitter but part of me thinks we have a lot of glitter on our mantle piece at Christmas anyway and I don't want it to be too much.

I am going to add something to the bottom red square wheres there no door though, I'm just not sure what yet, I think I'll raid the Christmas box when we decorate and see if anything jumps out at me! 

So yeah I'm pleased I just wish the whole process had been less painful!!!