Wednesday, 27 May 2015

a summer skirt that makes me smile

so I  will not go on about my absence. I have been up to my usual, sewing, knitting, gardening and work.


The socks I am knitting seem to be going on for ever. Only four more inches and they are finished, I call them the free socks as they are leftovers from previous makes.
Dressmaking wise I have had a few waders, they rock my confidence, hopefully I can salvage the fabric. Today I am wearing a simple straight skirt self drafted using the skirt piece from a shift pattern. This is patchwork fabric and though it is light and airy, it creases terribly. I cut the front into three panels and added pockets, which worked out well. I'm pleased with the pattern matching


!



My computer has died so I m struggling with a tablet and blogging is limited. My son looked at my tablet as I was having trouble using blogger.  It turned out the comment section was locked. It has now been corrected and I ve since had some comments. Thank you for welcoming  me back.





Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Meet my Bernina 1008


Well she arrived and here she is.  Lets just take a  pause and soak up this moment before I open the box, because I know I will never be here again owning a brand new sewing machine, a precious moment.


It is a Bernina 1008.  Not unsimilar to my previous machine  1020 that I was told needed stripping back and rebuilding again (after a disastrous repair experience) I chose this model solely because it was the nearest to that machine which I loved, and I could use all the accessories that I already had.

The machine is  a lower spec machine to my 1020 and when I first started testing it out, I couldn't help but compare it.  There are less fancy stitches,   no half speed option, no knee lifter,no tacking stitch and no auto bobbin wind.   If I'm honest (without sounding ungrateful) I was a tad disappointed.  I thought It would always be in the shadow of my beloved 1020.

But there is good news.   When I got sewing properly with it all thoughts of the 1020 disappeared, its all about how it handles when you are sewing with it, it felt good like I hoped it would. I can control the foot pedal so it can go really slow.  The fancy stitches, well I only used a few, and I'm sure I will get used to the bobbin winding. The machine sews like a dream.


I like heavy metal machines not plastic ones.  I'm not into fancy stitches but techniques.  I just want a good buttonhole and a reliable machine (touch wood) that purrs like a kitten, and if that is what you like you will love the Bernina 1008.

I shall call her Lucky wish is how I feel.  Now to plan some sewing.

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Waiting for a Delivery

 


Im expecting a special delivery today.  Im so excited (so excited that I'm blogging about it before it arrives!)
I know this bundle of joy will bring so much happiness to No.23, and we will have some great times together. 
So when she's settled in I will post about her tomorrow.   
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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Vibrant orange Vogue 8750


Its been a while since I posted a project here.  Ive had a lot of problems with the old Bernina.  Sadly after 2 trips to be repaired (the second to try and sort out the mess that the first repair-man made) I have had to accept there is just too much work to be done. The Bernina technician said "It's repairable, but it needs stripping back and rebuilding" which  of course would have cost too much. So out has come the old Janome, and I'm getting used to it again.  It will do the basics and I can sew again, until I can afford a new Bernina.

I picked up a remnant of  vibrant  orange thick wool upholstery material, with a slight boucle texture.   Not a colour I usually wear, but I thought I could get away with it if I wore it away from my face.
I instantly fell in love with the energy in the colour and of course the price £2.00. There was just a metre with a flaw running down the middle hence the price.  There had to be something I could make with it.

The orange is so cheerful just right for the English winters and the "January Blues" (something I don't actually suffer from, but many do).  I struggled for two evenings with my patterns juggling them around, and folding the fabric in different ways. I finally worked out a way I could  squeeze Vogue 8750 making version A.
  V8750, Misses' SkirtLine Art


I've made this skirt 3 times now, my first piece posted here. I wasn't happy with the result of it first time, poor fabric choice not enough weight to it. I've since made it in a thicker wool fabric and it worked well.   The thicker fabric definitely shows off the style and top stitching details, I've even mastered the dreaded curves.
I really love this pattern and the finish skirt  and I now find it  easy to make  and it somehow reminds me of 60's retro feel with the curves in it. I'm sure I shall make more.
    

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Sunday, 19 January 2014

Knitting Project Bag



Well sadly I didn't get the job. There were 3 other people  being interviewed, it seemed to go well, but obviously not well enough! You see I have a record where every job I have had an interview for I have been fortunate to be offered the job. Now that bubble has burst. I have to say I was gutted. A for my record being broken and B for not securing the job. I would have enjoyed it, but it wasn't to be. Never mind Onward  and Upward.  

This weekend it has been so wet here.  But I decided to pop into town and do a bit of shopping.  I managed to come home with a fat quarter of fabric and pondered what to do with it.  So today I made this
A project bag to store my knitting.  Its ideal as I tend to knit small objects, i.e. socks, gloves, hats, which I carry around with me in my  bag.

I simply lined it with some available  fabric. I didnt put anything in between the two layers, as I wanted to keep it light and soft.

Now I am a big fan of  circular and sets of 4 knitting, in fact it could be responsible for re kindling my love of knitting.  I love the Knit Pro range (I may have told you this before)  So with the remainder of the fabric I was able to make an organiser to store all my new needles




I love the concept, even if it is all a little fussy.  But Im not wearing it so it doesnt really matter. It was a great way to us the vintage panel squares. Ideally I would have used another colour fabric with it, but white is all I had.  Its also quite compact when folded up.

Ive so enjoyed knitting and crocheting with the cold nights these last few months.  Thankfully the nights are slowly getting lighter, I love to observe how light its becoming on a daily basis, and how later in the day I am closing the curtains on an evening. Roll on 
lighter and warmer days.

I have to confess I havent been inspired to dressmake, I keep looking at the patterns but nothing has excited me, until I spotted this dress pattern in Vogues Spring collection  Vogue 1381.    Im smitten, so in love with it.  I cannot wait for them to stock it in the UK so I can get my discount from my magazine subsciption. Talking of which,  just take a look at what is on the front of my magazine which was delivered this Saturday 


Just look at that quilting/stitching detail isnt it heavenly. I did say I was in love with it.
I cant wait



Sunday, 5 January 2014

A New haircut

  Yesterday I went to the hairdressers and had a haircut, my hair has been in such a mess its also been falling out in handfuls, which has been worrying and also embarrassing, leaving a trail behind me. It got so bad the children threatened to buy me a hairnet.  Ive been told it was the stress from when I was rushed into hospital, anyway its settled down now and hopefully it will grow back.  As a result my  haircut looks completely different a lot wispier.  Thankfully I had a good mop of hair to begin with and it should grow back. 
Apart from needing a good trim  the other reason I needed a haircut is because I am going to a job interview on Tuesday.  Before Christmas I applied for an admin job, the position was inundated with applications, so they asked 8 people to come and do a word/excel test, I was asked to come and do one.  I was so nervous as I havent used Excel since 2000 when I did a short course, so I tried to brush up on You tube.  I arrived early for my interview, the interviewees were late back from lunch.  Then the computer wouldnt work.  It was a diddy laptop with windows xp.  I had half an hour for my test, yet I could have done with half an hour just to familiarise myself  with the computer.  They kindly gave me  an extra 5  minutes because of the slow start.  In the middle of my test the next applicant arrived, which I found very off putting.  I came away convinced I had made a complete mess of it all, thinking I should have done it all differently.  As I didnt hear from them I assumed I hadnt got an interview.  But a few days later than anticipated I received an email asking me to attend a panel interview, so I must have done something right, not sure what though.  Now what do I wear for an interview?



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Thursday, 2 January 2014

A good start


What a productive couple of days I have had. Its amazing what affect a New Year can have on my spirits.  I have finally  finished the hitchhiker scarf. I realised looking at my blog that I started it on 1st December, so I set myself a challenge to finish it before the end of the year, which I did.   Its very warm and I like it, though you wouldnt think it looking at the serious expression on my face!




Ive also started crocheting a  blanket.  I took advantage of the Drops Alpaca sale with 25% off, and topped up my stash of alpaca.
Love this wool, Love the colours, yummy. 
Im doing this pattern and these are my colours. A bright centre, light middle section, just using one colour (wasnt sure how that would work) and the blue/grey outer. Its a nice pattern, but I am finding it awkward joining the pieces as you go, its handling the weight of the blanket as I work it pulls on my crochet hook.



 Ive started already, thought I would make up a small group to see if the colours worked etc. Im happy with it, but its going to be along time in the making.    
 Ive worked out to make a blanket the size I want, I will need 11 more of these blocks of 24 squares, equalling  288 squares. 1 block like the above a month to finish in time for next Christmas, thats quite a commitment, hope I can achieve it.  Ive been doing my sums to find out if Ive enough wool, as I wast using the same ply wool as the pattern. Its so complicated working out the amount, there must be easy way. Its the main blue that I am most bothered about, I need to have all the same dyelots.  Ive weighed what Ivd used and I think I will need another 2 balls.

On the sewing front Ive shortened a pair of trousers, for a friend, that had been sitting around since before Christmas.  One of those projects the longer you leave it the more you dont want to do it. I also altered the 2 garments I wasnt happy with from my 2013 makes (pictures to follow)  So yes a good start to 2014.  Now I need a portable knitting project to carry around in my handbag something simple and small.  I must pop over to Ravelry.  
Cheerio   
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Sunday, 29 December 2013

2013 Recap

Well I hope you have all had a good Christmas, and now we are fast approaching the New Year.  When I look back over the year at my blog ,  Ive had some creative hits and misses.  its interesting to see what has become part of my everyday wardrobe and whats got buried to the bottom of my drawers. So here is recap at what has worked and what didnt for 2013

FIRST - THE MISSES
MAY Still havent altered this dress yet.  Feel like a granny in this one.



MARCH   I  wear this dress on hot days, when Im pottering around, not for anywhere special.  Its so cool being 100% cotton.  I wouldn't  make this  pattern again though, the little cardi has hardly been worn also.


Its funny, I love white especially in the summer and when I started making this top I was convinced I would get loads of wear from it, but I have only worn this blouse once. Its not that I dont like its just the cotton  is quite firm, (it was a sheet I used)  its hard to wear anything over it.  I think the answer is to shorten the sleeves, to make it more wearable.
Now  my SUCCESSES



  Such an intricate pattern but Ive had such a lot of wear from this dress, will make this again.


JULY   Quilt for my daughter she loves this and its getting lots of use, which makes it all worthwhile
AUGUST I love this skirt, fabric does all the work so just a simple straight skirt pattern.  Cant wait to wear it again.


SEPTEMBER  These tops are so easy to wear and go with such a lot of things in my wardrobe




DECEMBER Christmas socks.  The Family love them (wish I could knit quicker, started making them in May)
TOTAL MAKES 17 items
3 pairs of hand knitted socks
1 bag and 1 Bag liner
1 hat
1 pair of men's trousers
2 tops
1 blouse
3 skirts
3 dresses
1 patchwork quilt. 

And one wadder that I wont mention.


Ive double checked, but I could have sworn Ive made more, but I havent. I was incapacitated after my spell in hospital, but that was only a short while.  Looking at the list, I would like to make  more in 2014.

Im pleased to say I like and wear most of the things Ive made, which is alot better than making loads of things and only wearing a few.   How about you, have you had a good creative year?
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Sunday, 1 December 2013

Fuzzy Socks

Hello all, the 1st December here at No. 23 means Christmas advent decorations.  So the calendar is up and a few the other decorations adorn the room for the countdown to Christmas

Santa's waiting patiently  to make his journey down the chimney

The advent candle's waiting to be lit...
But as I look outside, the sun is out and the sky is blue, all is calm its a beautiful day. 
   

Looking outside Its hard to imagine we are approaching Christmas and Milly is running around the garden like a spring lamb


Now I couldnt have achieved these photos with my old camera, Milly is a fast mover.

The fire was lit and  DH and myself  made homemade bread. For a change my mixture was spot on, the bread was soft and fluffy, however  DHs mixture didnt turn out as good. Normally he makes excellent bread. I ordered some presents on the internet, and a did abit of knitting.
The Christmas bed socks for DD are completed. Oh how I wish there was a way you could all touch these lovely socks, they truly are incredibly soft and fuzzy. The wool was bought in a local charity shop, vintage Jaegar Angora Spun.
The pattern which is on Ravelry had a lacy panel but I couldnt see it because of the pile, so I left them plain. I didnt find this pattern easy to follow, too little information, I do like it when a pattern states how many stitches you should have left after decreasing,  just minor points like that, that were omitted.


So onto the scarf. After knitting such soft wool this sock wool feels like rope, I assure you it isnt. It is a great little pattern easy to knit. Im so enjoying knitting this scarf, its so different, and the colours in the wool are not disappointing me. Ive completed 15 points, the pattern says I should be able to make 40 with my 100gms.  I had to go onto 3.25mm needles as my tension was too tight, it will be interesting to see how many I get from my ball.

 As the day closes, the candle is lit,  and the knitting beckons.  



Hope you had an enjoyable Sunday

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