Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Finally Finished Skirt - New Look 6056

It's finally done, and to be fair, it is an easy pattern that took me far longer to do than it should.

The skirt is a circle skirt, made from two panels cut on the bias and sewn together, with a waistband and zip.  There are no real complex steps to this, however the sheer volume of fabric can be daunting.

My biggest issue was with the lining I decided to add.  The fabric, a lovely blue satin lining fabric from Pennine Fabrics (£1 per meter!) was a bit of a nightmare to work with, being very slippy. The hem that I did is dreadful, but I can live with it for a first real project.

For the skirt, I opted to follow this tutorial from Colletterie, which worked brilliantly and I have a lovely even hem.

I forgot to take a photo of the skirt close up, and will add one when I remember, but I chose to wear it to go to the Graduate Show for the Art School in Aberdeen, where a few of my friends were showing their work.  A few drinks may have been provided, and I found myself having great fun spinning around in my new skirt...

The skirt cost me around £25 to make once all postage is taken into consideration.  The main material was £2.50 a meter from Greens of Blackburn, who unfortunately appear to have stopped trading online.  As I said before, the lining was a steal at £1 per meter, and I really can't rate Pennine Fabrics highly enough.  I needed 200m of Gutermann thread and one zipper.

I got lots of compliments about the skirt, which felt great, there really is something about being able to say that you made it when asked what shop it is from.  What have you made that gets the most comments?

So, next project is a top to go with the skirt, I have some issues with the pattern, so I'll be addressing them as I go along.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

My Grandmother's Sewing Box

I had a wonderful relationship with my maternal (and parternal) grandparents, with so many memories of being with them when I was younger.  My grandma playing the piano and baking with us, my grandad joining in my sister and my make believe games and fort building, not to mention being allowed to make things out of real clay.

When the time came for them to move, and it was necessary to dispose of a huge number of items, my eye fell on something.  It was my grandma's sewing box, nothing fancy, but I had many memories of opening and closing it, as I loved the way it expanded, and of looking in all the tins to see what they had in them.  It's been in my posession ever since, but it is only in the last few months that I have been actively involved with it again.

I still have her old tins for my needles, and some of her very vintage thread.  I am not sure if it is useable for machine stitiching given it's age, but it will never be thrown out.  When I opened the box and had a rummage, I found a half finished pom pom from the 1980's, no doubt made by me.  Remember the days when you had two doughnuts of cardboard and you wrapped wool around them until you couldn't fit any more on, well my grandma had kept one of mine.

I feel that I should keep her notions, threads and buttons, but also know that she would have hated the waste, and loved that I had developed a love of sewing and knitting.  So, when finishing my circle skirt, I took the plunge and used possibly the most vintage hook and eye...what do you think?
Newey Brothers, Newey's Hook & Eyes

Do you have any inherited items for your crafting?

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Attaching my waistband to New Look 6056

So last night I finally got round to progressing my New Look 6056 skirt, which is from their Project Runway collection.

I had already done most of the work, it just needed the waistband attached and hemmed, but as it is a circle skirt, the hem is a little daunting.

The instructions to attach the waistband were clear, although I think I went a bit wrong on sewing the ends which form an overlap tab for a hook and eye, as they look a bit odd and are a bit too narrow.  Still, they will work and for a first attempt I'm happy with it.

The most difficult part involved stitching in the ditch.  This is where you sew in the stitch line of a previous step so that the new stitching is invisible.  This scared me a bit, and I decided to hand crank my machine rath than use the foot pedal so that I would have a little more control.  This was laborious, but worth it for the result.

The first step was to fold over the waistband and press it, making sure that the inside edge was slightly below the original stitching line.  This is very important and I got is wrong in a couple of places so had to rest itch it as the waistband hadn't caught the stitching.

Next, line up your needle with the 'ditch'.

I then hand cranked the machine all along the stitch line, noticing when the needle felt like it was going through too much and checking my alignment.

I'm really pleased with the end result, it looks pretty professional

This is the inside

The outside looks really neat too

Now I just need to hem it and I will have a finished skirt, hopefully by the end of the weekend.

What sewing do you have planned?

Monday, 9 June 2014

Knit Camp 2014 Bobble Hat

I have been busy studying recently, having just had another batch of my accountancy exams, so my sewing machine has unfortunately been relegated to it's bag so that I could use the table.

Still, you can't study all the time, and so I have used this last couple of weeks to get on with the projects included in the Knit Camp 2014 kit I got at Christmas.

My latest project was a two toned hat which was worked flat.  I have never worked with more than one colour, and have also never had to join in another ball of yearn, so this did scare me quite a lot.  Thankfully, the tutorial provided here gave me the method to add in my bright pink yarn easily.

I also needed to add in another ball of yarn as I had just carried on with the ball I started for some mittens, and found a method on YouTube which suggested that in an inconspicuous area, you hold the new and old yarns together and knit (or purl) three stitches with both yarns.  Then you just drop the old yarn and carry on with the new ball.  Once I worked out which way to hold the yarn so that it came from the ball rather than going in the other direction (far more confusing than it should have been) the result was great and very hard to see.

The pattern was designed by Joanne Scrace Aka Not So Granny and gave a great product using easy techniques.  In fact, all that was needed was knit and purl stitches, knit2tog and SSK (a new one for me, but easy once you get the hang of it.) I will be looking out for more of her designs in future.

So, the finished result...
bobble, Knit Camp 2014, Hat

My next knitting project is a big one, a summery shawl in a bamboo tape.  I have never tried lace knitting, and now realise this is much harder than I expected.  Fortunately I'm heading to the Aberdeen S 'n' B group this week, so someone will be able to get me started.

This is my pattern

I have the same colour of yarn as in the picture, can't wait to team it with some of my summer outfits.

Hopefully my next blog will have my finished circle skirt, I just need to join the lining in and add the waistband.  If this weather keeps up, I'll be needing it.

What summer projects do you have planned?