12 months 12 projects: June (just!) update

Oh my giddy aunt, where on earth has the year gone? This blog is over 1 year old now, and I am so glad that I have started it as I am most certainly doing a lot more creating than I was doing before. All I ever dreamed of when I was younger was being a fashion designer, and while I’m not actually designing or making dresses (yet), I am mastering some of the arts of sewing and crafting, and it’s making me very happy (and sometime frustrated) indeed. I’ve also met some lovely crafty people along the way, and it makes me supremely happy to go to craft night, to drink wine, to chat about making things, and to actually make some things. It also makes my Gran and other older relatives happy that I am crafting, as they can give me their old bits and bobs they no longer use, and also share their wisdom with me – I am so lucky!

Gran sent me a sewing magazine this week, ‘Sew’ magazine, and it was wonderful. I love Pinterest, but there’s something so joyous about having a limited amount of pictures to look at, and words of wisdom to concentrate on, instead of being distracted by all the other potential pretty things on the world wide web. It even came with a free pattern – and the shirt looks remarkably similar to one I owned at uni. I really miss that shirt and would love to have one similar back in my wardrobe. It’s my 30th Birthday soon, and I feel that perhaps a magazine subscription might be a very practical thing to ask for, along with some vouchers for fabrics/ sewing classes.

So, with August soon approaching, and my self imposed deadline for my 12 months projects, I am having a serious look at what I can achieve by then.

Honestly, I think I will be able to complete 50% of the list, for varying reasons.

1. Make my own Quillow

This is SO happening. I can’t even remember where my passion for quilts suddenly came from back in 2013, but it has only kept on growing in that time. I am quilt obsessed. And obviously, I started with potentially the hardest quilt to make, and, as the boyfriend keeps suggesting ‘why don’t you just make something simple for your first quilt?’. No, easy would be TOO easy for me.

I am 5 blocks in, and can reasonably make a block in 2 evenings (cutting one night, sewing the next), so once I’ve done that, I will need to baste. Which will take time. A day off project methinks.

Here’s my post about the Quillow of joy.

2. Knit a cushion cover

Currently on hold, as I have a lot of wool and little desire to buy more, so need to find a pattern I like.

May change to ‘crochet a cushion cover’.

3. Knit a hat based on a TV character

COMPLETE FEB 2015 – Tyrese’s hat. It kinda honours his memory now though, sob.

4. Crochet baby booties

Have the wool, have the pattern, need to do. A good project for being on trains too. Very doable – what’s putting me off is the fact that they’re for someone else, so I feel pressure to do them perfectly. However, the person who preggers doesn’t know I’m making them, and I’m sure she’d be touched by the sentiment rather than judging the quality. I hope.

5. Sew some PJ’s

Sooooo close to being done. I did NOT follow the rule of ‘Measure twice, cut once’. I measured too big, cut a few times, and now things are a little wonky.

6. Crochet a blanket out of Granny squares 

Getting there. Wool delivery imminent. Good train travelling project. Will be done.

7. Knit a dinosaur

I finally have the wool I require to complete this. The dino now has a body and I am going to get him finished this week. Yes I am!

8. Sew a pencil skirt

Would be a good one to complete on a day off, OR if I go back to sewing school soon. I’m starting to think ahead to autumn and this would be great in a purle/ or green tartan. I do love an autumnal outfit.

9. Sew a Dress

Pattern in hand, need to choose fabric and make this at sewing school as I don’t trust myself to get it right by myself. BOOK ANNUAL LEAVE to go to classes!

10. Knit a  jumper

I am stupid and have lost the pattern. Will re-find and re-start. Unlikely to be complete by August, but will remain on the list.

11. Make a mini quilt featuring ‘flying geese’

Mmmmm, not sure about this one. Will probably give it a go once I’ve finished my quillow as it should be relatively straightforward and will be a good stash-buster. OR can incorporate into the quillow if there are enough scraps.

12.Make something cosy with hexagons

All I need to do is print off some more hexies at work. Will put template in bag tonight and photocopy 100’s tomorrow. NO MORE EXCUSES!

Do normal people shout at themselves to get things done?

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12 months 12 projects: Update

I’ve finally had a moment of clarity and realised that I can’t get all of my 12 projects complete by August, because it’s just not realistic for me. So I’ve had a good think, and have come up with this list of things which seems perfectly do-able to me:

1. Make my own Quillow

Here’s my post about the Quillow of joy.

2. Knit a cushion cover

3. Knit a hat based on a TV character

COMPLETE FEB 2015 – Tyrese’s hat. It kinda honours his memory now though, sob.

4. Crochet baby booties

5. Sew some PJ’s

6. Crochet a blanket out of Granny squares 

7. Knit a dinosaur

8. Sew a pencil skirt

9. Sew a Dress

10. Knit a  jumper

11. Make a mini quilt featuring ‘flying geese’

12.Make something cosy with hexagons

So there we have it, a new list.

 

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!

12 months 12 projects: Dress making

I started the dress making course in June. It was meant to be a 5 week course around sewing a skirt, but everyone in the class really wanted to make dresses. We were warned that it was unlikely that we’d get that far in  weeks, but we were OK with that.

I chose a butterick pattern, and have, predictably, lost the packet with the image of the dress on it. However, I’ve just done a quick google, and here it is

Butterick B6016 dress

The pattern is Butterick B6016

http://butterick.mccall.com/b6016-products-47991.php?page_id=147

I loved the class. It was so relaxing. It’s rare that I stop to concentrate on just one thing for any length of time. I like that you have to be quite accurate and patient, and have to take the time to measure and press things. And I was well aware of how much I’d have to unpick and re stitch things. All part of the process.

So, I had my 5 lessons, and by the end of this I had one fitted bodice with a lining complete. Whoop!

Then I did nothing…..until this weekend. 5 months later, and I very nearly have a whole dress!

I got it out last night and sewed the skirt panels together, skipping over pockets but making sure that the pleats were correct. I was very proud, and then this evening I attached the bodice to the dress. Oh it was coming on wonderfully.

And then I held it up in the bright lights of the kitchen. And I realised that I’d sewn half of my skirt on the wrong way round. Eek. It was going to happen. The fabric is dark navy and it’s quite hard to tell the front from the back. So I have spent this evening unpicking my wonderful evening’s work. And decided that I shouldn’t sew in the dark until I have a bright lamp to help me see what I am doing!

So, while it may not look like I’m much further on than I was 5 months ago, the fact that I was really really close to finishing (just the zip and hemming left to do!) means I am confident that I can finish this dress off next weekend and will be able to say that I’ve achieved my New Year’s resolution for 2014: make a dress. Yipee!!!

And then I can safely go out and purchase the amazing shirt dress pattern I desire (below), and get cracking in January. Whoop whoop!

MCcalls shirt dress

The dress is McCall’s pattern M6696

http://www.jaycotts.co.uk/products/m6696#.VHuREDGsXz-

And I have just come across this lady’s fine blog in which she is sewing many shirt dresses this autumn. Yeay! I particularly love the brown polka dot one here. I had a lovely version of this from H&M for my graduation ball. Almost 10 years ago. Wow. I feel old.