Monday, 21 May 2018

Bridesmaid Dress

I made this post a few weeks ago, and some how forgot to post it. We have all gone a bit wedding mad here in the UK, so it seems like the right time.

I read a very interesting post on Sum of Their Stoires, about sewing with vintage patterns. One of the patterns looked familiar to me, so I had a look through the old patterns I have in my sewing box. I was mistaken, as it was not quite the same pattern, but clearly from the same series. 

And since my sister and I have been sorting through the family photos, I thought you might like to see me in the bridesmaid dress. I was bridesmaid for my cousin. I also still have the dress hung up in a wardrobe, and my daughter wore it for a while when she was the right size. 

I think I might be giving away the fact that I am a bit of a hoarder!

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Spring Flowers - Daisy Baby Shoes

I love daisies - such an unassuming little flower but so pretty. I have made daisy shoes before, but looking at the flower really carefully, I realized that by using daisy stitch I was not really reproducing how the flower actually looks. 

So with the shoes above I have used a simple circle of stitches, which I think is closer to the real flower. I love the greyish wool, which I think looks like a stone wall. I was going to knit another pair from it, but don't have quite enough. Annoying!

The pattern is my Baby Bee Shoe pattern, and these shoes are also heading for my Etsy Shop. I still have to make some little drawstring bag for them, and am definitely GOING TO DO IT TODAY. (I am shouting at myself.)

Just a reminder that my Ginx Woolly Linx party for May is now running. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Double Dutch

Last week a raveller from Canada, Cat Beattie, posted some pictures of a Dutch Pencil Case that she had made from one of my patterns. She made it for her father-in-law, who is about to make a trip to Amsterdam. Hasn't she done a great job. I love seeing my patterns made up. This is one of my free ones. It has been downloaded 90 times, but this is the first time I have seen it made up by someone who isn't me. Here is a link to the pattern - Dutch Pencil Case.

Cat really kindly said I could post her pictures, and in our chat we have found we have quite a lot in common - black cats, knitting, love of nature ... I do love how crafting (and the internet) brings people together. Perhaps international relations should just be left to us crafters.  (I do hope my next paragraph is not going to ruin this.)

In trying to think of a title for this post I typed in "expressions containing the word Dutch". What a lot of them there are! "Double Dutch", "Dutch courage", "to go Dutch", "a Dutch uncle", and a few others that I had not heard, "take Dutch leave", "a Dutch wife", and "a Dutch agreement". I found a site which explains some of these, if you haven't heard them before. So it led me to wonder if these expressions are peculiarly English or are they known in other parts of the world. As I know quite a few Dutch people look at my blog, I wonder if you have any expressions about the English? I would love to hear if you use any colloquial expressions, the more unusual the better, but not any that would cause offense ...

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for May. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Spring Flowers - Apple Blossom Baby Shoes

So many Spring flowers seem to be appearing. I love this season, but you have to make the most of it, as with some of the flowers they are here for a week or two and then they are gone. So I have been out with my camera, and then using the ideas for some inspiration for embroidery on some new baby shoes for my shop.

These shoes were inspired by Apple Blossom, but also by this lovely blue wool that I found in my stash. I love it when wool changes shade, and for these I was careful to get the colour change to match in both shoes. The pattern is my Baby Bee Shoe pattern. It is a fairly easy knit, but I love to make them individual with a bit of embroidery. These shoes are heading for my Etsy Shop, although first I will make a little drawstring bag for them. I have some more flower-inspired shoes and photographs on the way.

Just a reminder that my Ginx Woolly Linx party for May is now running. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Ginx Woolly Linx Party May

Welcome to the May Ginx Woolly Linx Party. How quickly the months seem to come around. Thank you if you joined in last month. I really enjoyed looking at all your projects, and visiting your blogs. I feel like the party is settling down a bit, so there are some regular contributors, which is really nice.

My featured projects from April are Alexandra of EyeLoveKnots super slouchy beret. I love this style of hat, it is just perfect.

Tonna of Sew Crafty Crochet made an incredible cactus plant pillow. She picked just the right wools that at first I thought it really was a cactus.

Julie of Sum of Their Stories posted a tutorial on how to make your granny squares into a pencil case. Great idea, and I love the bright colours she has used. I think I may give this a go.

And finally Sandra of Hakelfieber made a little red devil, to mark that this was her 666th post on her blog. She may be a little devil, but she is also very cute.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Floral Skirt (or a lesson in getting on with things)

Some time last year I think I was looking round the shops with my daughter, and when we saw lots of nice long floral skirts, I did my usual trick of saying "But I could so easily make one of those for you". This time we actually got as far as getting a pattern, and some material, thread and zip. (A little side grumble here, but why are sewing patterns quite so expensive! It does quite often put me off.)

But I ashamed to say I got as far as cutting out and sewing the side seams, and then I just sort of stopped. I am sure other people do this. You know the knitting project started with enthusiasm, and then found a year later stuffed behind an arm chair. Not even sure why I stopped - something to do with dark nights, and the bulb blowing on my sewing machine.  Still haven't sorted that out ....

But I resolved to take up the skirt again this holiday, and realised that there was not much left to do. Just put the zip in, waistband on, hem, and I would be done. I got as far as the waistband, but the problem is that since I cut it out last year, she has grown and it didn't fit on the waist.

So I decided not to give up, but to do some alterations. The skirt should be quite long, but she was very insistent that she didn't want it very long. "Make it like that, and I won't ever wear it!" Good to know your own mind, I suppose. So I decided the best way to make the waist bigger was to take a strip off the top. So waistband and zip were removed, a whole section taken off. Zip resewn in further down the side seam. But alas, I then found I had gone a bit too far, and it was going to be too loose. So proper measurements were done, and two darts added to the back. 

Finally we are there. I think we are both very pleased with the result. I am thinking I might sew something for myself next. Expect to see it in 2019 ...

Thursday, 26 April 2018

A Stitch in Time - Part Two

Here is the second part of my visit to see A Stitch in Time Exhibition at Ham House. You can look here if you want to see the first three garments.

What I forgot to say last time was that one of the things that most appealled to me about this programme was that everything was handstitched. When I did my City and Guild Fashion course I had one wonderful teacher, who admitted that she hated handstitching. She would show us ways to do almost everything using a machine - right down to sewing on buttons. But I am the opposite, I actually like doing a bit of handwork. (I think it is why I picked to sew a smocked blouse, and do some hand beadwork by hand on my African skirt. It is perhaps why I knit small items with quite a bit of sewing up, part of the process that a know lots of knitters loathe.)

Anyway I have slightly wandered off topic. Back to the exhibition.

This first one was probably my favourite of the garments, but my photo does not seem to have captured it well. The painting is of Dido Belle, the 18th-century daughter of an enslaved African woman who was brought up at Kenwood House in London.

The next garment is the only one where the inspiration does not start with a painting, but Amber visits the tomb of the Edward the Black Prince in Canterbury Cathedral. She also gets to look at the garment, called a jupon, which is kept under wraps now, but was hung on display in the cathedral for many year.

The final garment is this chemise dress of Marie Antoinette. This dress caused a scandal at the time the of the portrait, as it was not accepted for a queen to be seen in a garment made of such light cotton/muslin. I have also photographed the corsets, worn under the dress.

Just a reminder that although we are getting near the end of the month you can still join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for April. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.