Monday, December 31, 2012

Week Fifty

I finished my daughter's 'Christmas Dress'. A simple Burda sleeveless pattern (as I posted last week) with the front pleats. I decided against using the buttons she had purchased, they wouldn't show up on the fabric. Instead I dug in the notions box and found some red and white striped ribbon and a little rosette for embellishment. Red bias binding for the neckline but I got impaitent and just did a simple stitched hem for the armholes.

Her doll got a Christmas dress too.
I made up the pattern (such as it is) myself a while ago. Just a very wide front piece and two back pieces with a dart/pleat at the centre front.
I overlocked all the raw edges and then machine stitched braid over the neck and armholes. One of my daughter's special christmassy bells buttons at the waist.

Then we made a very quick improvement on her denim jacket. Like garments before, she wouldn't wear this because it was too "boyish". We bought a handful of iron on badges.
Flowers, butterflies and a Tinkerbelle. Of course the doll's jacket was included.

Here's the original.

Here are the finished jackets. I think this is just a start, I'm hoping that now she feels 'ownership' of this jacket she will be more adventurous.
This will be grown out of next year, the next jacket I might be able to encourage her into fabric painting.

I finished the silk jersey "Water Splash" dress for myself. I think it might be my favourite. The fabric drapes wonderfully. I missed a close up.

I have made good progress on the Love Tattoo cross stitch. This photograph shows it almost at 50%.
It is missing five plain rows at the bottom (which I'm leaving until last) and a little bit of infil at the side banner.

This coming week I hope to have the lettering and the whole banner complete.

Only a little knitting and not much to show. When I'm back in the city next week, I will have more knitting focus.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Week Forty Nine

Its Christmas week so only a very quick post. I'm still away from home.

The last two days I have made a lot of progress on Love Tattoo. It is really coming together. Taking it off the stand (although I kept the rectangular frame) has made all the difference.

Here it is. I have done a few more flames, the bottom of the heart and a chunk of background beige.

There are two other cross stitch cushion kits here too.

The spaniel puppies one belongs to my daughter. It is progressing very slowly as she is only seven. But she is enjoying it.

When we went shopping I tried to encourage her into the flower and bird cushion kit, which I thought would look cute with her bedroom colours. But she was transfixed by the puppies and so we went with the other cushion.

In the Morris and Sons sale I went back and bought the one I liked. She's thrilled that I will do this one for her quickly (after Love Tattoo). We might be able to sit together stitching!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Week Forty Eight - Another update

I'm posting to motivate myself. This Emily Peacock cross stitch kit has been on its frame for a long time. More than a year, maybe two! Surely not more???

This is the summer holiday I'm going to make progress on it and by announcing it on my blog, I might find some additional motivation!

Here is the design. Its called Love Tattoo and it will become a cushion.
Here is my progress so far. Its on its frame but I am contemplating taking it off the frame to make it more convenient if I want to sit in other rooms of the house.

Any words of motivation gratefully received!

Week Forty Eight - Update

I have collected the photographs for one more project.

A Knitting Bag.

Materials and Process
I started with Zweigart linen, bought at Morris and Sons which has a nice even grain for cross stitch.
I used anchor thread in a mustard colour for the flower motif. The chart for this came from my favourite book Made in France.

I used a pair of Rowan bamboo bag handles (I bought several sets when they were discontined a few years ago) and I chose from a few stashed Saffron Craig printed cottons for the lining.

Here's a close up of the finished embroidery. I did run short after the first skein. Unfortutely there is a dyelot change between that and the subsequent thread. I'm accepting this as evidence of hand made!

Hers's a view of the reverse embroidery. I knew this would be concealed by the lining but I still tried to keep it reasonably neat.

A view of the bag in construction, inside out. I applied fusible interfacing to the sides to support the bag a little more. (The linen had a lot of drape)

The view right side out with the lining inside but not fixed. Two pleats either side of the embroidery.

Then I folded the fronts over the handles, and hand sewed them down.

Finally I giftwrapped in a box with gold tissue and tied with gold ribbon.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Week Forty Eight

First week of school holidays.

Kissing Hearts Dress
The navy and white Kissing Hearts dress, which I will wear with a narrow belt.
The belt isn't shown here because I was out of the city when I took the photograph.

Here it is full length. I will still wear it without a belt on a very hot day.

Feathered Army dress
This dress is also finished and goes well with its pale leather belt.

Only one more dress still to finish from my previous weeks cutting session. The silk jersey Water Splash.

Baby Cardigan
I finally finished the baby gift cardigan. (Ravelry link) I found the plastic buttons in stash and secured them with strong DMC stranded cotton. The pattern is Boy-O-Boy from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders.

I made a few modifications. I upped the stitch counts to account for my DK gauged yarn, so that I would still have a 3-6 month size. I also picked the sleeve stitches up from the armhole edge and knit down in plain reverse stockinette. I did this so I would get a very neat seam. I though this yarn was hard to get a good finish with, and a ribbed cast off edge would pose particular trouble.

If I had knitted the slip rib downwards, the stitch 'arrows' would have faced the wrong direction. Although I did consider that briefly.

I giftwrapped it in tissue and a white glossy box with this cute cherub print ribbon.

Blue Gingham Sweater
I cast on a new sweater. The yarn is Madelinetosh Merino Light in the colour Blue Gingham. Its the first time for me with this yarn, although I've used their DK version before. I am very impressed with the lustre and stitch definition. Its beautiful.

I am also using my new Knitters Pride interchangebale needles in black (with silver connectors and black cable). Its a limited edition set from Jimmy Beans Wool.
I am a sucker for pretty knitting needles.

Christmas Dress
My young daughter is getting a Christmas dress.
The printed cotton and buttons were bought at a local fabric shop. I meant only to buy some thread but shopping with a small enthusiastic girl often involves extra purchases.

I think it will be a simple, sleeveless dress with the buttons as an embellishment to the front.
Probably my go-to Burda pattern. Its number 9885 and can be seen here. My paper pattern is too small for my daughter now but it is a simple pattern to upsize, especially as I won't be doing sleeves and will just finish the armholes and neckline with bias binding.

Holiday Blog Posting
We are going out of the city for Christmas so I may not be posting next week. However, I will be filling my camera up with images for a bumper post the following week!

I have another project still to add to this weeks blog entry. I will post it later this week.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Week Forty Seven

Last week of school term and the long summer holidays are starting. I am so excited. There will be lots of crafting over the next seven and a half weeks.

This last weekend I sorted out the fabric stash and caught up with a little dress sewing.
 Here are fabrics for four summer dresses. My new years resolution is to put aside the jeans and smarten up my day to day wear.

I have collected the fabrics over the last few months. From the top right hand side there is Natures Choice (viscose elastane), Feathered Army (viscose spandex), Water Fruit Splash (Silk Jersey), Kissing Hearts (viscose elastane)

I cut the same sleeveless shift dress from all four using Vogue 8683. Its a very simple two-piece shift. In a very drapey knit fabric it belts well.

This is the fabric on the top right hand side. its a viscose blend knit from Tessuti called 'Natures Choice'.

I shopped for several narrow leather belts during the week to coordinate with my new dresses. This one is a silver textured with bright buckle.

The other three dresses are just waiting on hand finishing of the hems.

Knitting News
I am still knitting the yellow baby cardigan. it seems strange that such a little thing, in relatively plain stitching should be taking me longer than an adult sweater! But I have been very distracted and small garments require a lot of stop-start and checking. I am on the second sleeve and will be photographing and gift boxing it up this coming week.

I wound some yarn to cast on a new sweater (even though I have lots of knitting in progress). I was distracted by some of the new and pretty Madelinetosh Merino Light which arrived in my post box (Thanks to some Black Friday sale shopping!) More details when I have cast on.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Week Forty Six

This week is the last week of school term and still very busy. I have only a few small things to post.

First up is my son's brown sweater. It is progressing despite him saying he doesn't like brown and wants red. I've knitted three red sweaters for him already. I'm done with red for the time being. He has brown eyes and brown hair. Mummy wants a brown sweater!

The baby cardigan is still on the needles. I have procrastinated longer than it would have taken to finish it. I have been concerned that this soft single yarn looks sloppy in the stitches with my gauge. I thought about going down a needle size to tighten it up, but then I have already added stitches to upsize it, because my gauge is smaller than the pattern is designed for, and I don't want to run short on yarn.
So I am pressing on and hope to finish by the end of the week.

I took a little knitting break and cross stitched some dragon flies on some linen remnants. They will become project bags in the New Year.

The motif comes from this book. I've used it a few times before and its a favourite.

The dark blue linen was a very close weave, so I tried out some dissolving canvas to guide my stitches.
I'm glad this was an experiment because I just pinned the plastic on to start with and merrily stitched away. Next time I will baste the plastic to the linen so keep it securely positioned. My dragonfly slipped slightly and finished crooked on the grain of the fabric.

The plastic canvas dissolved in water in only a few minutes.

I made a cream dragonfly on this pale watery green linen too. My stitching here is not as crisp as it could have been. The grain of the fabric wasn't right for my thread and stitching.

Better photographs will follow when they get sewn into project bags.