Every night IS craft night in 2015

…but that doesn’t mean that every craft night ends in success.

I have had to abandon TWO hat projects. One as I was getting to the shaping as I just couldn’t get the decreases right. I’d gone ‘off piste’ with the pattern I was using, which is something I am very bad for. I must STOP doing that! It’s only a black ribbed bobble hat for goodness sakes. I will be starting again and following the pattern the whole way through this time.

The second hat is an attempt to use up some beautiful purple wool, to crochet myself a lovely hat. However, I followed this pattern to the letter, but it’s just plain ugly. It was really pouffy. So I undid, and redid the hat, with less, er, hat. Well, less rounds and therefore less decreasing. But still, it was hideous. As the boyfriend described it ‘You’ve made a non waterproof shower cap’. NOT the look I as going for!

All I want is a nice hat and matching scarf that don’t make me look like a crazy person. So far, so not good.

In other ‘making’ news, I have been ambitiously reupholstering a chair with the boyfriend. I thoroughly enjoyed ripping out all of the staples. It was very satisfying! I have create a ‘mock up’ of the covers, which we got to fit, and am now in the process of making the  real covers fit. It’s going less well, but with a bit of elbow grease and a couple of alterations, all will be well.

I also attended my first craft night with a colleague of the boyfriend, and we embroidered! One of us (not me this time) stitched her embroidery to her leg, which was entertaining. I got a fair way through, and the finished work of art will be exhibited here soon. Promise.

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Dress making

I am finally posting this, two weeks late, eek. I miss the days of having nothing to do aside from sitting already! It was only 10 days ago, but they feel like a distant memory. Anyway, here’s what I wrote on New Years eve:

I am thoroughly enjoying my festive time off. I’ve spent the past few days feasting on chocolate, mints and whatever else the family packed into the amazing picnic basket of joy. The boyfriend had to return to work on the 27th so didn’t get to spend much time with the family, so they made sure he could eat himself happy in our little flat instead. My mother created an entire picnic basket full of treats – all from M&S no less! His ma went one step further and actually gave him some leftovers of food she’d actually cooked. (My mum has somehow managed to get out of cooking at Christmas for the past few years by going to something known as ‘Church’. My sister and I now cook, which makes it a much more relaxing day for everyone) So anyway, most of that food is gone, and with the boy at work all day, I have loads of time to sit and eat. And look at sewing blogs….

I’ve also made the most of this glorious time alone by getting on with some of the projects I’ve started in 2014. The main one being, the dress.

It’s new years eve, and I believe my only resolution this year was to make a dress. And my goodness, I’ve done it.

It’s taken me a number of months to get it finished, but it’s finally complete! It took a lot of patience, and brain power and many wrong turns along the way: I sewed the in backwards and the front inside out at one point, and the neck line is somehow way too high… but the point is, I’ve made it and I am very proud. For a first attempt I’m glad that it even exists.

I couldn’t get any good pics of me in said dress what with the boyfriend being at work and the nights setting in so early, meaning there’s nowhere light to take a good shot, so you’ll have to make do with this as proof:

My first dress

My first dress

In 2015 I will set my sights and standards higher. For both dress making and photograph taking.

I’ve learned a lot from this dress. Using a sewing machine isn’t that scary. Straight lines are hard to do, but achievable. How to get a hem straight, and how to persevere and really got to know the unpicker!

Tutorials I’ve used along the way have included:

Inserting a zip http://www.sewalongs.com/dahlia/install-dahlia-zipper and http://lladybird.com/2014/01/28/invisible-zippers-my-method/

Next time, I’ll be brave and use the zipper foot on the sewing machine.

How to get a level hem:

http://www.coletterie.com/tutorials-tips-tricks/how-to-get-a-level-hem

I have come up with a lot of questions for the sewing tutor when I return to the dress making class, so I can learn even more on my next project. The plan is to make the shirt dress, but I may become sensible and do another beginner pattern first, just to make sure I’ve got the basics down.

So there it is. My 2014 was officially a success.

In 2015, I will blog about stuff more promptly, preferably in the same year in which the events happened!

Sewing box: official sewer

Look what my Mother got me for Christmas

sewingboxgifts

My very own sewing box! This makes me feel like a real sewer.

The crochet book also came from her, the ‘As time goes by’ box set is from the boyfriend. It was on TV recently and I love it. Lionel and Jean are the cutest couple in the world, and I see a lot of myself in them (mainly the need for frequent naps and cups of tea. Ah, comedy about love in old age, pure joy).

Back to the sewing box though. I spent a wonderful morning sorting out my sewing kit and arranging it neatly inside. I may get even less sewing/ knitting/ crocheting done now though as I’ll just be gazing at the pretty purple pattern…

sewingboxpattern

And, bonus for the boyfriend, he now knows where the super magnetic ‘pen’ is so that if he spies any pins on the floor, he can pick them up with ease and just poke them them into the top of the box. I only realised this week that it’s extendible, and it’s almost as long as my leg, look:

magicenaslongasmyleg magicpenwithpins

I love all of the amazing implements you can buy to make your sewing better. All sorts of different pins and needles, the extendable pin finder, and the rotary cutter and I even have a quilters quarter. And the most exciting thing is that I know what to do with all of them now!