Every night IS craft night…

Now that I have a dedicated craft room!

OK, it’s a spare bedroom, but it has ample space for my sewing machine to live and all of my sewing and knitting books to be arranged on the shelves. Hurray! There are some perks to becoming a home owner. The perks don’t cancel out the fear of the house falling down, but it makes it all worth while. And I have a view of horses in the field from my sewing room window. Lovely.

Tonight I have just finished making a toile of V8766 and learning about fit with Lynda Maynard’s ‘Sew the perfect fit’ on Craftsy. Lynda makes everything feel quite straight forward and do-able. I think I’ve even identified the first set of issues with my toile and am not afraid to put them right.

v8766  back view

You can’t see from the pic, but the sleeves are too wide at the shoulder and need bringing in, and there is a bit of drag on my ass, so more fabric is required there. The bust points are a tad high, so I will be taking them down a smidgeon. I can’t tell if it’s bad pinning (my assistant is not an enthusiastic assistant) or if there is way too much fabric on the side seams. I will take the dress home to mother and see if she can assist.

So there we have it, new home, new dress attempt. Once I’ve figured out my fit issues, I will return to the beloved Emery and make the dress of my dreams. Oh yes I will!

Emery dress

Here we are, the pattern I have been reading about for so long, and finally got round to ordering.

It’s so exciting! And yet potentially frustrating, but I’m working on channelling that into ‘joy of learning’. I went to the shop last weekend and bought myself some tracing paper and a tracing wheel, so that I could make myself a nice copy of the pattern and make many, as it seems to be a pattern which I could make loads of, once I’ve figured out the fit.

I traced and cut out my pattern pieces on Saturday, whizzed them together yesterday, and have been ‘fitting’ today. I say ‘fitting’, but it’s quite hard to fit with the only person available to pin me into the dress is my dearly beloved. Hater of pins, hater of potentially pinning my skin! Still, he made a good start at learning to pin me in, and only made the back of the dress look partially like a crumpled piece of paper:


Emery back 1

It’s very tight at the waist, which I suppose is making the rest of the back scrunch up: I should have graded the waist out to fit the larger size of the bottom half. Hopefully if that’s sorted it will be less bunched up. And also that my lessons in pinning with be remembered tomorrow…

Here it is from the front:


OK, well the fit isn’t a million miles off. The bust darts are too long by an inch, so I have now taken them out and re drawn them ready for testing tomorrow.

There is a large seam allowance, so I’m wondering if I could take that out and see if that makes a difference to the waist and back sagging? Who knows, let’s find out.

I will add in a sleeve tomorrow too. This will be my first sleeve insertion, so that should be fun!

Zipperdy da ba dy do!

I have conquered my fear of zips, and (almost) successfully inserted a zip. I consulted the little guide on my sewing machine, I changed to the correct foot, and away I sewed!

zippy 1

I have looked upon many zip-insertion tutorials, but in the end I used this one from craftsy, as it was the first to appear on google this arvo:


And it worked just fine, for a test run skirt.

Yes, the zip doesn’t do up that smoothly,  because I skipped over the ironing of the zippy teeth, but when I actually intend to make a wearable skirt then I will follow that step.

Here’s the skirt (unhemmed):

skirt 2

Come summer I could quite happily wear it on a sun-shiney day, once re-zipped and shortened. Not sure how short I’ll take it, probably just above the knee. But for today, I am happy to have learned to insert a zip, gathered a waist, and stitched in the ditch. Hurray!

Sock knitting

I had just realised that I’d made a huge error with my cable knit jumper and had to give it up. I wanted to keep knitting, but didn’t want to take on another big project, so I went to the mothership for some knitting inspiration.

Ma and I had a rummage through the under the stairs cupboard/ wool depository and (amongst many other things) found that she’d started to make some socks with some incredibly jazzy yarn.

We also discovered a few half knitted hats, gloves, and this almost finished cardigan:


All it has missing is the buttons, and who needs buttons anyway?

It’s made of some chenille type multi coloured wool which is both hideous and wonderful at he same time. It’s nice and warm so I wore it to work a few times, and it’s a regular house cardi when my other big jumper’s in the wash. Win!

I’d never really considered making socks, but thought it was about time I have sock making a try. My slipper socks for the house had worn thorugh and it was a few months until I got a new pair for Christmas, so I had nothing to loose by giving it a try. Not that I  haven’t made socks before, oh no. I am well used to making teeny tiny Christmas socks, or ‘stockings’ if you will. Pattern can be found here I also once filled one with a tiny animal, knitted from this lovely pattern. Mine never end up looking like animals more like aliens. But they’re still ever so cute! Anyway, back to the sock in hand, or should I say ‘foot’?

So, we found mum’s half finished sock, and despite the fact she gave up on the pattern (she couldn’t remember why), she reckoned that it would be a good place for me to start with socks. On reflection, I think she was secretly trying to sabotage by knitting again!

I started knitting in October, and was thoroughly enjoying myself, knitting backwards and forwards in insanely bright colours. I got to the ‘divide for heel’ bit, where she gave up, and got confused. I think this is what may have occurred with ma, but it might be that she was blinded by the glaring oranges and pinks. I did not give up though,  I merely tool a break for some festive making. Garlands and donkeys and so on. And a applying for and accepting job offers,  hurray!

So, I have got past the confusion and have just spent a lovely evening turning the heel and am now about to start the instep. I was beginning to think that my knitting pattern is much more clever than I am, and it assumes that I know what it’s talking about when it says ‘with rs facing, rejoin yarn to instep puck up and knit 12 St evenly along side edge of heel…” but on second reading, it just expects me to slowly read all of the instructions before going ahead and throwing the knitting across the room. If knitting has taught me one thing, it’s the importance of careful reading!

I also had to put the sock on to really understand what it’s getting at. Looking at the sock flat it looks like I’ve made a massive error. However, I compared my sock to my xmas gift ones and I think I understand…



All I have to do now is finish the toe and sew it up, and I’ll have one sock. Hurray for holidays!


So, I never did make my ’30 in 30′ list, but I did not stop creating. Oh No. I did not complete my jumper either. I got to the arm hole shaping on the second attempt and discovered that somehow I’d managed to cast on the wrong number of stitches at the very beginning. So it all got destroyed, again.

I will not let this phase me, oh no. I am going to knit a jumper in 2016. I will. Or possibly a cardigan. And it’s going to be in light pink or flecked red. Maybe I will surprise myself and make both.

In the last part of 2015 I had plenty to keep me going: I 80’s-ed up a little black dress (Ok so I just made a bow out of some bright pink velour, but it worked!)

80s bow

I also made myself an apron, and not just any apron, a maid’s apron for a ‘Rocky Horror Show’ outfit. It took mere less than an hour and I am very impressed with myself. Note that both costumes revolved around the LBD and crimped hair.

rocky pinny

I did have some knitting success with this little donkey, which I made for a craft night Secret Santa:

little donkey

And I also crocheted some bunting for my Book Group Secret Santa

festive bunting

It is hung on my friend’s book shelf underneath the bunting I made her last year as I had some finishing touches to do before gifting. Nothing saying Secret Santa like last minute crafting!

And finally, the quilt really is in the final stages…

quilt dec 2015

All top squares and the front panel are complete. I have four more days off work so if I am feeling less gross tomorrow (post Christmas cold, bleurgh) I will get the top finished and on to backing, woo!

Rough sewing plans for 2016 are: Sew a dress. Any dress! But preferably the Christine Haynes Emery dress, which every other person in the whole world has made and looks wonderful wearing.

And knit a jumper. And stop making small knitted animals because all I really want is a nice dress and a jumper!!!

Adventures in wool

Now that I’m getting more confident in knitting (well, I’m not doing too badly at present….) I thought I’d get and learn some more about it.

I just tend to keep using the DK wool I have as it’s relatively cheap and easy to work with. But with my grand designs on knitting up my own personal wardrobe, I am beginning to think that I should perhaps branch out a bit. Although I don’t want to start spending a fortune on wools I’m not going to use. I have a lot of wool to use already. But I have plans for that. Autumn 2015 is all about stash busting!


So this is here for my future reference. Happy blog scrapbook!