Christmas in August?

August is here, the sun is shining, and the craft room is getting full.

The quillow is steadily being hand basted (people keep telling me that I could have it sent away to be quilted, but what would the point in that be?! Maybe in the future when I have some spare pennies, and don’t fancy hours and hours of hand stitching. It is a challenge.)

The cardigan is still making me scared, which is very silly.

I have multiple items in the craft room to complete. Story of my life.

What I did make recently was some festive bunting, because who doesn’t love a it of Christmas in summer right? I went along to Tea & Tents, a Women’s Institute festival near Nottingham recently. There was a competition to decorate your campsite, so we went with Christmas. Yeay! There were gaudy decorations, a santa outfit and even Secret Santa. I made some little Santa bunting, because I had no clue what to purchase for the Secret Santa.

So here he is enjoying my fireplace and log basket:

santa on fire

and the back

candy canes

See that bronze horse? We found him down the back of the chimney when we were giving the fireplace a clean. That was a pleasant surprise during a very dirty job!

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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!