Monday, 28 March 2016

a spotty top and some shortening

I told you last time that I was attempting to make another jacket for our next Singers' concert at the end of April. If I say that I know when to stop beating my head against a dead horse, you might get the idea that the jacket has been abandoned. Correct!

Moving swiftly on. I made myself a new top last week and I couldn't be more pleased with it. I used this pattern - New Look 6344. I made view B but at the length of view C.

This is it hanging on a hanger on my wardrobe door.

Douglas offered to take a photo of me in it so I agreed. I do love this top!

I wore the top yesterday and it is sooooooo comfortable. It even sits well at the neck when I wear it with a cardigan. Yay! I already have plans for at least one more ... and probably more than one!

We got a charity bag through our letter box the other day so I dug through my wardrobe looking for things I wanted rid of. As I was digging, I was in two minds about 3 blouses. I liked the blouses well enough but hardly ever wore them because they had long sleeves. So, what does a person who sews do in a case like this? She cuts the sleeves down to short sleeves!

I now have 3 more wearable blouses in my wardrobe and the charity bag did get a few things too so everybody benefits!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

a top, a jacket, blankie plans and books

I was trying to think what I'd been doing all week and, for once, my camera didn't help me! The only photos on there since the finishing of the crocheted hexagon blankie were this top which I made for Debbie last week.

It's made from this pattern - Butterick 5495, view A.

I can't honestly say I enjoyed making it. The fabric was really flimsy - it's a knitted jersey but has very little body to it. The loopy thing at the centre front, whilst not hard to do, didn't look that great to me. It's made by leaving small gaps in one of the seams - ie holes! - and then you put a loop of fabric through said holes and hand-sew it together. Even though I hand-sewed it really carefully, I have visions of my hand-sewing coming apart and Debbie falling out of this top! Crumbs I hope not! Debbie tells me the top is at least 5" too long. I suspected it would be long but I just made it as it was on the pattern so maybe it's meant to be worn by giants?

I have been making myself a jacket which I hope to wear to our next Singers' concert at the end of April but it hasn't been going well. The pattern is the same as the red jacket I made for the Christmas concert.

The pattern is from the 90s and so has dropped shoulders. It actually needs shoulder pads, they stick out so much! I want the shoulders to be not quite so dropped. You'd think it would be a quick thing to do but no. I'm now on my third attempt. If this one doesn't succeed, I will most definitely *not* be attempting a fourth! I will think of something else - or I'll just wear the blouse I've already got!

I've been pondering what my next crochet project will be. I found this pin at the weekend and liked it a lot.

Source: via Anne on Pinterest

It's done in a lovely V-shaped stitch made from the tr2tog (treble2together) stitch. (The pattern calls it DC2tog but that's US crochet terminology.) I don't think I'll be doing it in shades of pink - although I do like it - but it'll probably be a random-whatever-colour-I-grab-next kind of blanket. I might not even do it in a square as you can't use up wee bits of yarn that way. I'm thinking maybe a stripe alternating with a random colour and the black I have left over from the hexi blankie. Lots of plans in my head - I just need to make a start!

I was adding my most recently completed book to my "read in 2016" page and realised that I have just started my 30th book of the year. According to my dairy, we are on day 82. 29 books read in 82 days? And those are all full length books - no short stories! A-ma-zing!

Before anyone asks when I have time to do all that reading, I'll tell you.

• I'm usually awake at least an hour before it's getting up time so I'll read for that hour.
• Then I'll read my book at breakfast time. (Douglas is reading the news on his iPad so it's not like I'm ignoring him!!)
• And at morning snack time.
• And with my cup of tea after lunchtime.
• Then in the afternoon, when I've finished my sewing for the day and before it's time to start making the tea, I'll read my book.
• Then after tea before any programmes that I want to watch on the telly come on, I'll read my book.
• Then, in the evening, if there's nothing on the telly, I'll read my book.
• Then at bedtime, I'll read for at least half an hour if not a whole hour.

So a lot of reading gets done by me in the day. Obviously! 29 books read in 82 days! Wow!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

crocheted hexagon blankie finished!

I finished my crocheted hexagon blankie this afternoon and I couldn't be more chuffed with it.

This is the blankie on my Hague linker getting the last rows linked/joined together.

This is it thrown on to the sewing table ready to get those ends dealt with. Because I'd caught most of them in when I was joining the blankie they could simply be cut off. There were actually very few that needed sewn in. Whoopeee!

This is the back of the blankie. I like how the linked edges have made ridges so that each hexagon now looks almost like a wee saucer!

This is the front of the blankie on the table.

Then I took it down to the living room where the floor made a great place to lay it out. It's interesting to see how those 6 dark purple ones really catch the eye.


Or maybe it's the yellow ones that catch the eye?

I haven't decided if I'll do half hexies for the short ends or not. If I was doing it for a competition - which I most assuredly am not!! - I'd maybe do the halfs (halves??) but this if for us to cuddle under when it's chilly or for Tilly to lie on or for just admiring the colours so I'm thinking maybe I'll just leave it as it is and simply enjoy it.

I am so pleased with the blankie - and even more pleased that I joined it with the Hague linker. I know that, if I was joining it by hand, I probably wouldn't even have all the single hexies joined into rows by now, never mind having it finished. I love it! :o)

Sunday, 13 March 2016

lots of sewing, baking and linking

I didn't think I'd done too much sewing this week but my camera tells me otherwise! I started by making a blouse for Debbie. The pattern is (yet another version of) New Look 6407, view E.

My neighbour asked me the other day if I still did sewing and would I be willing to make her some oven gloves? She had definite ideas on what style she wanted - gauntlet type, small hands, long in the length, definitely with thumbs. Aaargh! The last time I made gauntlet gloves I had terrible problems turning those thumbs!

First of all I made a prototype and let her try it on - she was delighted with the fit. (The thumbs were much better this time!) These are the gloves I made for her. She's so pleased to have "oven gloves that fit me for the first time in my life!"

I had intended making another glove like the prototype but, numpty that I am, I cut the two glove shapes the same way so they're not a pair. Joanna kindly took these off my hands!

I was doing some tidying in the sewing room and found the square in a square block I made a while ago - Feb 2014, to be exact!

I decided to make another one just like it and turned them into a new pincushion.

I also made another pincushion just because I could!

I finished the rainbow steps quilt. I have to say, I *love* it!

The back is plain blue fleece which shows the stepped quilting quite nicely.

Wee Ted wanted in on the act so here he is showing it off.

I spotted a pin on Pinterest the other day for one hour rolls using plain flour.

Source: via Anne on Pinterest

I gave them a go yesterday. Here they are rising before they went into the oven.

And here they are all cooked and delicious. Douglas and I had already sampled one each by the time I got the photo taken.

Boy, they were good. I will *definitely* be making those again.

I finally decided that I had enough crocheted hexagons for my blankie and laid them out on the livingroom floor trying to make a "random" pattern. Douglas helped me and we gathered them into rows for joining.

I must admit, I wasn't looking forward to joining them for a couple of reasons.
Reason 1 - black yarn is not the easiest to use to join things. It's hard to see it!
Reason 2 - laziness. I wanted the blankie joined up now!

That's when I got to thinking about my old Hague Linker which I used years and years ago to join together the knitted things that I'd made on my knitting machines. Douglas got it out of the hall cupboard for me and I set it up wondering if I would remember how to use it. I did! Or at least my hands knew what to do. It was wonderful to use it again!

And, you can weave in all the ends as you're linking so I shouldn't have any ends to sew in - or at least, not many! I got all 12 rows linked together this afternoon - far, far more than I'd have managed to join if I'd been doing them by hand.

Hopefully I'll get the rows joined together this week then I'll have to decide if I'm just going to leave it with the hexagon edges or if I'll make half hexies to fit in. I know "Reason 2 - laziness" might be a factor in that decision! :oD

Monday, 7 March 2016

blue quilt, tartan skirt and the rainbow steps

I finished the blue baby quilt I was making last week and I love it!

The back is a plain blue fleece this time:

To load it into the tartan bee shop, I spread the quilt over a chair and plonked carefully placed a teddy bear on it. It makes the quilt look even better in my opinion - although I might be slightly biased! I've now loaded all four baby quilts in with the help of the same bear. I was very careful to point out that the bear wasn't for sale! LOL

Joanna and I had been having many discussions about me making her another pinafore dress using the Black Watch tartan I had leftover after making my skirt. We eventually decided that it was going to be annoying to both of us if/when the tartan didn't match so we decided to abandon that idea. (Phew!).

We decided instead to make a skirt like mine which I made using a self-made pattern from the "Sew What Skirts" book. Basically, you take your own measurements and draw the skirt pattern for yourself. It sounds easy and, honestly, it is! I already had Joanna's measurements so I set to and made a tartan skirt for her.

I sent it along to her for trying on and am happy to say it fits her perfectly. Yay!

I still have some tartan left but I'll just leave it on the pile until I think of something else to make with it - something that doesn't involve matching the checks on princess or dropped waist seams!

I was playing around the other day drawing out another quilt design. I drew it roughly on a piece of paper first then opened my Photoshop and played around in there and came up with this:

Oh my goodness, I love it! I very quickly chose all the fabrics ...

... cut them to size ...

... and pieced the blocks.

I then laid them on the table in my rainbow steps design. I've photographed it from the side so you'll have to sort of lean your head to the right to see how it'll look. (I can see you leaning your head! LOL)

Now, I'm not claiming this is an original design at all - is anything these days? All I know it I love it and can't wait to see how it all looks when it's finished!