Sunday, 27 July 2014

Lace knitted top

This is my next knitting project.  After several basic projects to get my confidence back I am feeling the need for something a bit more challenging and this certainly will be. I have never knit a top down pattern and have had mixed experiences in using circular needles.  The yarn will also be a challenge.

The yarn is a Rowan fine lace, so this is unlikely to be a quick project.  Having only used chunky or double knitting wool for the past couple of years this is going to be very different.

  I brought the yarn while on holiday in Cornwall.  Visiting St Ives for the day we took the shuttle bus from the car park to the town centre and at the town bus stop there was a small shopping arcade with some interesting shops.  At the back there was a lovely little wool shop called The House of Bartlett which had an impressive range of wool and very helpful shop assistant.  One advantage of using such fine wool is that it takes only 3 x 50 gram balls to make.  The yarn cost £7.50 per ball, total cost £22.50.  

Luckily I had taken pics of a few patterns and the yarn requirements and stored them on my phone just in case I stumbled on such a shop.

The pattern is from the big booking of knitting by Dorling Kindersley (DK) Ltd.  with over 100 patterns it was a bargain from The Works at  £9.99.  

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Success my first pair of trousers

I'm really pleased with how easy these came together.  

My mum had already made the pattern up for me and sorted a lot of the fit issues out.  So this was a straight forward make using Butterick B5614 pattern.  The trousers have a side lapped zip.  

The only additional alterations I made were to add non roll elastic to the waist to eliminate any potential gap at the back and add patch pockets to the front - pockets are a must for walking the dog.

 This is my July make a garment a month challenge.

It's difficult to show the detail but below is over exposed to show one of the two top stitched front patch pockets

Sunday, 13 July 2014

July Make

This month I am going to have a go at making cropped trousers using Butterick B5614.  I have never made trousers before - dresses are more my thing - but I felt the need for a change.

I was given the fabric by my mum as a present.  I'm not sure what it is but it has a bit of stretch in it.  

Along with the fabric my mum also made up the pattern for me and gave me a pair of trousers and the amended pattern.   So thanks to my mum this should be a fairly straight forward project.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

July dress finished

Here is my second version of vogue pattern v8828.  My Make a Garment a Month July challenge.

In case you wondering - the black shadow behind me is Tia.  My dog is never far away from me.  Particularly at the mo as she has been feeling poorly lately but I'm glad to say she is now on the mend.

This version is using a printed cotton from my stash with Bremsilk lining.  The cotton was brought a few years ago from Barry's Fabrics Superstore in Birmingham for a very reasonable £4 per meter (I used 2.25 meters). The lining at £10 per metre (I used 2 meters) and thread from Watson and Thornton, Shrewsbury and the bias binding fron Hobbycraft at Bridgmere and the invisible zip from my local Dunelm store. In total the cost was approx £35.

Building on version one I extended the shoulders, added contrasting piping to the neck and armholes and made the skirt less tapered so there was no need to have the skirt back opening.

On the plus side - I like the Bremsilk lining it makes the dress feel light, it slips on and feels special on.  I also like the print and colour of the cotton and the contrast piping.  Although Mr S and my daughter have suggested a bigger print may looked better.

Areas for improvement - , The cotton creases and it may be better to use a crepe fabric that has a bit of stretch and drape for a future version.  I like having the tops of my arms covered but to get rid of the creases around the arms I will have to make a set in sleeve pattern rather than simply just extending the shoulder and drawing down to the side seam.  A fabric with stretch may also have helped.

In addition to the armholes the back is showing drag lines at the bodice sides and the zip.  I think the drag likes at the side are related to the extended shoulder design which could be fixed by having set in sleeves.  I will try pressing the area around the zip better but suspect that as this area has quite a lot of curve it may be better to use a fabric with some stretch or drape or consider having a side zip.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

June knit finished

This my second easy knit top using pattern Sirdar 9290 and it was even easier and quicker to knit than the v neck 3/4 sleeve version - taking only 2 weeks to complete.

This time I made the round neck short capped sleeves in Patons 100% cotton. The cost was £14.40 for 4 x 100g balls in Jade.  I knit the same size and again omitted the side shaping but I did increase the length by 2 inches.

Using the cotton gave the top a lovely light feel.  It came out much looser fitting than the first version which used yarn with merino wool.  This is fine for what a want - a chill out top for weekends at home and for taking the dog.  

On reflection I prefer the extra length but think that it would of been better to have included the side shaping.

Not surprisingly, from the pictures below you can see the same fit issues that I am having to consider in my sewing.

Forward shoulders, meaning the shoulder seam is too far back.   Too much fabric in the back and more needed in the front shown by the side seams pulling forward.  Full bust causing the front hem to rise up higher than the back (I knit this a size smaller than my chest measurement to get a better fit in the shoulders and armscye). 

Oops looks like I've got branches growing out of my head but it's the only pic of the back.

I was hoping that with knits being stretching I wouldn't need to worry too much about fit but looks like I will have to reconsider if i want to make knits that can be worn for more than just slouching around at home.  I have just enrolled in the Craftsy fit to flatter knit course.  Hopefully this will help me to improve my knitting going forward.

Happy knitting

Friday, 20 June 2014

Refashioned Girls summer dress

Tuesday night I had a brain wave - I remembered I had an old cotton skirt stashed away that would be perfect refashioned into a girl's summer dress.  Just right to go with the cardi made for my grandaughter, Demi's birthday the next day.

Here is the finished dress. 

 This was such a quick, simple refashion, taking only about an hour in total to make -I don't know why I didn't do it before.

If you want to have a go this is how I did it: -

First select an old skirt and measure the length and width and compare it to your child's chest measurement and desired length to make sure you have enough fabric.  - I used a cotton gathered skirt with a crocheted yoke and tie backs. The back had a 1inch elastic waist band.  

Select the section of the skirt front and back you want to use - The skirt I used had been worn many times before and the front waist had become distorted and stretched so I selected the section which was the least stretch out of shape at the waist. 

Measure and mark across the selected section half the chest measurement required plus 1 cm seam allowance (0.5 cm each end) then snip/cut and tear down to the hem.  Where possible I tend to tear fabric  as I find it the easiest and quickest way to ensure that the fabric is on grain.  - On my front piece I cut down to the end of the crocheted yoke section before tearing the fabric down to the hem.  The back yoke was elasticated so I slightly stretched it to half of Demi's chest measurement and then cut through the waistband before tearing the fabric down to the hem.

Serge  back and front pieces with right sides together.

Make and sew ties to the bodice front and back.  If you don't want to make ties you could use ribbon.  I simply cut the tie backs I had taken off the skirt to the required length and seged down the length approx 0.5cm from the finished edge to create a second finished edged and then finished the ends by straight stitching then zigzagging near the edge.

Measure length and if necessary adjust and make a new hem.  I was lucky as I did not need to alter the hem length and left the already finished hem in place.

To finish randomly sews beads to the bodice.

I have shared this post on Sewing Saturday over on the blog.  As always it's interesting to share and see what others are sewing and crafting.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Girls sparkly cardi

Here is the cardi I have just finished for my grand daughter. She is 8 on Wednesday and this will be part of her birthday prezzie.  What girl is not going to like a bit of pink and sparkle.  

It's the yarn that makes this pattern so effective.  It will look great with a party dress or bridesmaid's dress.   I got the pattern and yarn at It only took 3 balls, which cost £11.97 in total. 

I really like this pattern.  It is quick to make up, with very little shaping and only one buttonhole.  A perfect pattern for a beginner to tackle.  I am hoping it will encourage my grand daughter or her mum to have a go and knit their first garment.   

I had intended that this would be put up for Christmas but could not resist including with her birthday prezzie.

I have posted a review on  You can find me there as tracyknitshappy