Saturday, 13 June 2015

daisy, daisy....

Daisy snood
Although 2015 is mostly the year of the handmade clothes, I snuck this one in over the winter and spring. This is a Thimble version of Whistlebare Yarns Daisy Scarf or Snood and I HIGHLY recommend it. The yarn choices are so delicious that it is very hard to choose just one colour. In fact I couldn't - I chose this one which is Yeavering Bell 4 ply and another one in silver.

I just noticed the descriptionOur very best selling pattern.  So so pretty.  This pattern is knitted in the round and is not for beginners.' Too true! There are 2 pattern variations.

My head must have been in beginners lace (scrim net) mode when I started it because on my first go there wasn't a single daisy in sight, just big holes. I soon realised the best thing to do was actually follow the pattern so I unravelled it and started again. eventually I figured it all out. It was this bit that initially foxed me: * K1, slip next 5 sts purl- wise dropping extra loops, insert LHN through the back of the 5 sts, then (p1, k1, p1, k1, p1 wrapping yarn twice for each stitch) into all 5 loops together* rep from * to * Basically there was a lot of knitting into a single stitch.

Once the penny dropped it was all systems go. I still don't know if I actually mastered the pattern but am happy with the end result. I wear it as a snood, but it could be worn as a shawl or scarf.
Hedley in Yeavering Bell 4 ply 

Daisy detail

Sunday, 7 June 2015

spotty spring dress

New Look 6723 spotty dress
It's official. 2015 is the year of the home-made wardrobe.

At the cutting stage I have developed a habit of cutting a pattern out in 2 different fabrics. The idea is that as well as being more efficient, practice makes perfect.

I actually cut the pieces for this dress in December 2012 as it is the same pattern as the party frock I made in that frustrating easy-fraying Satin back Dupion. So ok, cutting a fabric 2 and a half years before making up the dress is not all that efficient.

New Look 6723 party version Dec 2012
I did a much better job the second time and am mostly very happy with the final piece.

Back detail (needs an iron)
 Things that make me happy about this dress:

  • The colour
  • The spots
  • The shape and fit of the back 
  • The front...when wearing a cardigan 
  • The very neat zip
  • The vintage buckle:

Things that I would like to improve on:

  • Like the party frock version, this thin belt irritates me even though I love the buckle. The belt is supposed to cover the seam dividing the bodice and skirt but it rides higher, on the top of my hips. Now that might be because I lengthened the bodice....but I think a WIDE belt might be better and I might just rectify that.
  • I am not at all happy about the neck, which gapes. It was worse than this before I reshaped the neckline (lowered it). The New Look pattern envelope shows a very neat Hepburnesque lady in black but she has quite a different figure and I am not sure my dress will ever hang the same. I think I will mostly be wearing a cardigan over this, which is a shame as it covers my nice neat zip.
It is after all only my 4th ever home made dress (dress 1 went so badly wrong it ended up in the bin before I finished it; dress 2 was a beautiful fabric and I did finish it...but that was before I realised I have a long body so it was a bad fit, plus I was in such a rush I didn't finish any of the it ended up in the bin; dress 3 was the party frock - it hangs abandoned in my wardrobe waiting for another chance....)

I am sure when I get more proficient at this I will understand what to do to avoid gaping but right now I am puzzled. It fit so well on Hedley. 

Monday, 1 June 2015

Sog-gy (Sister of Groom) jacket and matching bag

Linen jacket: Simplicity K2938
The last of the wedding posts and hopefully the first in a series of homemade clothes, this being the hobby I am getting most carried away with in 2015.

This jacket came to life because I had a lovely pink People Tree dress for my brother's wedding, was in shock at the cost and poor quality of the flimsiest of organza shrugs in the shops (sewing has given me an appreciation for how much time and skill things take to make), had a stash of grey linen (bought for a trouser project that would never have worked), and had a week to go.

People Tree dress

Luckily I also had a stash of free patterns and chose Simplicity K2938 because..well it looked simple.

This was really a very easy pattern with raglan sleeves. In fact it was so straightforward I made it a bit trickier. Firstly I decided to add contrasting pink piping to the jacket edge. As luck would have it, my favourite sewing shop Just Sew had the perfect linen effect pink fabric in stock (same place I had bought the grey linen last year).

My favourite touch was to put the same contrasting pink inside the arm pleat. This was very pleasing. I used Hong Kong seams on the inside and this was even more pleasing for two reasons- to have a neat inside finish and to be able to name the seam finishing technique.

Pink contrasting fabric for sleeve pleat
Inner pleat with contrasting fabric, finished with Hong Kong seams

I used the same pink fabric to make the buttonhole loop and made a covered button with the grey.

Finally, I lined it in pink (fabric also from Just Sew - they have loads of colours in stock).

inside lining
Once the jacket was finished it became really obvious that I needed a bag. With loads of fabric leftover I used one of my favourite Manocia bags as a template. I lined it with the same pink lining and used the contrasting pink from the jacket for the inner handles, button and flap. 
On reflection, I think the machine embroidery on the flap was a bit of overkill! It was meant to match the hand-embroidered waistband of the dress but I didn't quite manage to pull it off. Plus, it is wonky and that draws my eye, which is a shame. 
I drew the line at home-made shoes.

Bag details
This is an action shot. After far too many Prosecco's I am afraid my face was as pink as the dress.