Saturday, 30 January 2010


In the last 2 afternoons, I managed to pop out these 2 Popover Sundresses. The pattern is by Oliver and S, but was printed in Sew Hip last summer. However you can download the pattern here. More info on their blog and info on how to make it reversible (I didn't).

One in check with rick-rack. I got a bit confused as to when I was meant to put that in, as I was using a woven fabric, I didn't have a right side and wrong side, but basically you insert in once you bring the yoke over to the right side, pop it in and then edge stitch it down! I like the rick rack adding a bit more interest to the dress.

And another using my left over apples and pears fabric that I used for the Heather Ross market bag. I had to cut the back piece from 2 pieces of fabric and sew a seam down the middle.
Again the look is totally different with the darker and bolder colours in this fabric. I do like the boldness of the apples and pears. I've also got a large piece of pink apples fabric by Sandi Henderson (I think the range was called Farmer's Market). I just need to pick up some contrast fabric for the yoke and binding and that will become a dress or 2!
For once my bias binding worked very nicely going around the curves like a dream.
The pattern is very easy to do, and I envisage on making several more of these in other sizes for my 2 nieces for the summer. These 2 are a present for friends we are visiting next week. Their daughter is 18m old. This is an age 2 size I made, just right for the summer.
This is a sewing project I'm really really pleased with. I often seem pleased with children's clothes, much easier than adults for sure. I heartily recommend the pattern.
Hope you're all having a good weekend too.
The only reason I've put * in is because blogger won't recognise my paragraphs!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Advice please?


Can anyone recommend to me a really good how to book on cable knitting? I have loads of sewing books, but only one on knitting, and unfortunately that does not go into cable knitting.

You may have guessed that my hat that I'm trying to knit is not going well : (

Edit ::

I have realised my BIG mistake, I was reading the chart the wrong way round!! Left to right and not the correct right to left. I was too preoccupied with the cable knitting, and forgot to get my chart reading mind into gear!!!

I'm hoping this IS my ONLY mistake, but I need to knit a few more rows to be sure.

I am stupid!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

a tale of 2 (3) hats

As I travelled to work last Friday, on the train, I took my lovely 100% lambswool Howies hat off, that I have worn for a few winters with love, and put it on my lap. Then I got my bag of crochet, and popped that on my lap, and proceeded to ripple along merrily.

The train was busy, so as my station approached, I hastily put the crochet back in the bag, stood up and squeezed my way past a load of commuters, and got off. As I got off, a horrid thought went through my head, "where is my hat?" And I knew. There was no way I had time to get back on the train either. Yes, I put in a call to lost property, but they never reunite you with your belongings.
And at the moment it is still cold out, and my head needs a hat. So the following day I went to town in search of a hat, but none were to be found. So I knew what I needed to do. Knit one for myself.

Of course, as I'm such a procrastinator of projects, I had the perfect quick knit wool in, that I bought, 7 or 8 years ago, waiting for a moment such as this. I also am on ravelry, so I looked up some big knit wool hats and combined a few patterns. I decided to go for this look, the Banana Republic Knock off Hat but my wool was a heavier weight than the one in the pattern, so I tweaked it all to something like this:

Hat #2 was quick and easy enough to sew up, but it's not the most perfect hat. Luckily inspiration wasn't too long to be found. I test drove my new hat to the park. And while there I saw my perfect new hat. It was a pull on woolly hat, but with a criss cross stitch (lattice) over it.

Again Ravelry came to the rescue, as I scoured it for yet another hat pattern. I discovered this, the Koolhass Hat, by Jared Flood, published by Interweave Press. And it looked a very good match, to the hat in the park.

So I purchased some suitable wool, although after a lot of toing and throwing with the woman in the shop, who didn't believe the instructions!

I cast on yesterday, 104 stitches, knitted about 15 rows, this is my first ever, in the round and cable project, realised my cable was out of sync, in half the hat, but fine in the other half? So I unravelled and have recast on today. Which is just as well as I was doing the rib wrong as well!!! I read it as k1, p1, p1 repeat, it's actually k1, p1, p1, k1 repeat, I did think my rib as wrong, but never realised yesterday!!!

This is going to take a while this hat. It might even be summer before I can wear it, who knows? But if it works out, I'll be very proud of my new achievement.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Ascending Wings

Nothing better than when a package comes, weeks before it's expected! And it only cost $1.44 to post (unlike other US based sellers, who ramp up the prices!)

Inside is something I got from this NY based jewellery designer.

Inside a lovely necklace, of 3 wooden wings, on a silver chain.

And finally on, me!!!!
I'm very pleased indeed.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Diet, what diet?!

I am supposed to be avoiding chocolate, cake, too much dairy etc just to try and lose a bit of weight.

But my sporty husband loves dessert, so on Friday, I decided to make Mimi's Apple Cake, from this book, as our weekend treat. It was a teeny bit healthy, with the apples!!! Plus I had all the ingriedients in (apart from a lemon for its zest), so I made it! I had to imagine it with the slight zing of a lemon, but everyone seemed to like it as by the close of Friday it was over half gone and by Saturday it was totally finished!!! I'm pleased to say the 3 men in my life had the vast majority of it!

Sunday, 10 January 2010


Meet Vlad our snowman we built in a local wood. Although the snow isn't very deep, here in town, it was more than sufficient a few miles north, on higher ground.

After a lovely walk, admiring the other worldliness of a snow ridden wood, we had a vicious snowball fight, instigated by my husband, then we built Vlad.

He's like no other snowman I've every seen before!!! He's there to ward off evil spirits from the wood!!

But it did all look so fairytale like in the snow, I have to say.

I'm hoping Vlad will raise a smile with the dog walkers who frequent the wood.

I came home and made a lovely minestrone soup for everyone (which obviously the children refused to eat!!! Far too healthy with all the fresh vegetables in it!) that warmed us all up again!

Hope you're having fun in the white stuff!!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Rest of my Books

I also received another book on quilting. Material Obsession by 2 Australians, Kathy Doughty & Sarah Fielke. They also have their own shop in Australia.

Here are a few pages from the book. I think these quilts lean more towards the traditional, than say Denyse Schmidts book. I prefer more contemporary quilts.

I would consider going a quilt like this, but it's the colour way that doesn't work for me here.

Again, in different fabrics, I think I might like this.

This style of quilt is probably my least favourite. However, i can see the skill and craftsmanship in a work such as this.

This quilt design for me could work well, but in totally different colours and fabrics. (Is anyone seeing a theme here?!!!?)

This is a possibility (again, different colours and fabrics!).

I like this quilt the best of all in the book. To me it's intense in the best way possible. Lime green and pink is very nice.

Although this is a lovely book, really good photos and descriptions and instructions of every quilt in the book, it isn't really for me. I definitely prefer more simplistic quilts than the ones in this book. However, they are clearly 2 very talented women, and if you prefer more traditional designs, star shape quilts etc this will probably be to your taste.

I also got Sew by the UK's own Cath Kidston! This book is quite a bargain, as you get the fabric and supplies to make the bag on the front cover. This book has loads of patterns in it.
Many for the more humdrum things you need and have around your house e.g. the hot-water bottle cover, clothes hangers, oven gloves, a few tote bags, a quilt or 2 and so on.

I could do with a new shower cap, but I think it's probably cheaper to buy one in Boots! I don't own waterproof fabric.

This is very pretty and feminine, it definitely has that old fashioned charm, but then, a hot water bottle, in a way, is old fashioned, so I think that works well!!!

In one way it is a useful book, as it does have so many patterns in it, a few would probably make quite good presents, but to me there was nothing that stood out as innovative or original. As I haven't got too many sewing books, so many of the patterns I do not have. But I suspect if you are a hoarder of sewing books you may find this repetitive. Everything, of course, is made in Cath Kidston fabrics! (Well that's what it looks like to me!) I think Cath Kidston has a bit of that Marmite thing going for her (you either love her, or hate her), I like her stuff in small doses, I'm not crazy on too much floral. But if you don't have too many sewing books, and want to knock out some homemade gifts, for next Xmas, this could be a useful book to have. Buy it from Amazon, for around £9!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Chic & Simple Sewing Book Review

I also got Chic & Simple Sewing by Christine Haynes. This is a beginner's book, but with really lovely designs, and therefore any sewer might wish for it. It comes with full size tissue patterns (goes from a UK size 6/8 up to a 12/14). There's no over lapping of different designs on the pattern sheets either, making it very easy to use.

I adore this back to school dress, and know I shall be making it very soon. It speaks to my aesthetic, casual, slightly quirky, has a charm to it. I nearly bought a plaid fabric in John Lewis the other day, but I wasn't 100% on it, so left it at the shop!

How elegant does this look. That fabric looks great in the wrap skirt. This wrap skirt looks better than the one in the Heather Ross Book, which I did make. I will be giving it a go too.

This is a sweet dress, one I might attempt in the summer. It just looks the thing for a hot summer's day in a cool fabric. I also like the dress on the front cover, but I do have concerns over the lack of darts, and it looking to gapey and big around my chest area.

I like this dress, but think it would suit a smaller busted person, than myself.

This is a nice baby doll top, which I think I will give a go. I like the casualness of it, but it's smarter and more flattering than a t-shirt, I think.

Here is my version of the A-line skirt from the book. It all went together nicely. I added pockets as I felt my brown cord fabric a little dull. It does have an elasticated waist, but I can live with that, as it was so quick and easy to do. No pfaffing with buttons or zips for once!
As a starter pattern book I think this is great. There are many patterns I will make, so it is great value for money. I think on some of the dresses I will do a toile (for the first time ever!) so I can work out if I need to add darts etc. But that is all part of learning, isn't it?
BTW there is the obligatory Flickr group for it as well!!!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Quilts by Denise Schmidt Book Review

I was lucky enough to be given these books by various members of my family for Xmas.

This book by Denise Schmidt has got me very very excited to make another quilt (especially after the sad news that Amanda Jean of Crazy Moma quilts is quitting her inspirational blog).
The book has 30 projects, 20 of various small items and 10 large quilts. I could have done with the ratio the other way round, or just quilts only. But that is a minor quibble. As the 10 quilts are superb. They are my taste, exactly and I'd happily make any of them.

What a bunch of squares is exactly that, quite straightforward, but beautifully modern with it.

I'm loving Drunk Love 2, and that is definitely on the cards, 3 tones of 1 colour, looks great together.

Big Zig is very cool. I do love my zig zags!

And this Snake Charmer quilt, is what I'll probably be making next for my eldest son. As he would love a quilt for himself.

If you like contemporary quilts then Denise's book may be your thing! Gets a 10/10 from me!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Rustic Fruit Desserts Book Review

I was lucky enough to receive some wonderful books this Christmas, and thought I would share some of them with you.

I received Rustic Fruit Desserts, which looks so delicious, that I cannot wait to start trying the recipes. It is divided into the seasons which is helpful. Some of the fruits we don't get here in the UK (Pluots, anyone?, Huckleberries?) Still I'm sure you can swap other fruits in.

I am going to try Mimi's German Apple Cake first. That sounds like a nice winter dessert. I have bought some frozen berries to use as well.
I did make 2 of the other recipes in the summer, and they were delicious, which is why I wanted the book.
This is a mega trifle!! I'm not a fan of them (as I'm not keen on so much cream and custard) but that does look pretty.
A Rhubarb fool sounds nice on a summer's day. I love the tartness of rhubarb.

I also adore cherries, although my husband does not! I may well be tempted if I have friends over to make that.

I'm pretty excited about trying out the various recipes in this book. I have high hopes!!!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Just a quick, Happy New Year!!

Will be back blogging properly soon!