Sunday, 19 February 2017

Tartan Toddlers

Soooo, today I would like  to share with you a customer request I got before Christmas, which I enjoyed making, and it seems my customer really liked:

The order was for 2 red tartan Pippa dresses and a matching waistcoat.

They are made from red polyviscose tartan and some gold buttons from Duttons for Buttons in Ilkley (which has quite possibly the most miserable sales assistants I have ever seen in a haberdashery, but I keep going back for the large (expensive) button selection), with some red satin lining and some gold ribbon to finish.

I paid some attention to pattern matching on the waistcoat, but other than that there really isn't much to say about construction of these that I haven't said in previous posts here and here, but I just really liked the finished result and the feedback I got from my customer was lovely:

"Absolutely beautiful dresses and waistcoat. The attention to detail was amazing: lined, gorgeous gold trim and beautiful buttons. I ordered these for a special Christmas train day and we received many compliments all day about how lovely the girls looked. Thank you so much!"

It really made my day to read that feedback. 

I think the only thing I did that was new/different was the slider for the waistcoat.  I couldn't find gold ones, which had been my preferred, so had to get silver ones, which did not go with the rest of the waistcoat AT ALL.  The solution - paint it red with nail varnish!  I think it worked a treat.  I did a couple of coats to make sure it looked its best, but definitely a tip for future coordination.

Sorry for the short post - we are now in the middle of Panto and my time is no longer my own - studying hasn't been done for weeks, sewing for myself is something I can't remember and I'm pretty sure I'm about to have  another nervous breakdown as a result of exhaustion, but it will all be over soon, and I can't wait!

I'll be back with some more makes then.

Happy Crafting!


Saturday, 11 February 2017

Halloween Hack

Soooo, as easy as the eldest niece's Halloween costume was, as I could basically do as I wished, the youngest niece's request was a lot more exact . . . 

When she said she wanted to be a ghost, I thought aha!  I can do this!  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  I'll just cut two eye holes in a sheet and voila, we will have a ghost.

Oh, how naive I was . . .

One must remember that one's youngest niece, although generally quiet, is very exacting when she wants something.  In this case, it was a white lace one shoulder ghost dress.

clever auntie remembered to
attach some ribbon for hanging up

OooooooooooKay I said, as I couldn't really convince her on the sheet idea, and set about looking for a kids one shoulder dress pattern that would fit her.  She generally wears an age 12-13 and it is really very extremely difficult to find dresses in this age range, or a one-shoulder one anyway.  

I hunted for weeks.  In the end, I decided to go with an adult pattern and do an SBA.  I still struggled to find a pattern!!!  In the end, I decided to hack New Look 6262 which I had in my stash.  It already had a v-neck, so I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to just cut one shoulder off and have a one shoulder dress.  To do this, I traced the pattern piece in  the correct size and then flipped it over and traced again so that I had one complete bodice piece that would not need cutting on the fold as the original pattern had.  I then drew a line from the neck side of the shoulder seam to the top of the armscye on the other side of the bodice.  I did this for the front and back bodice pieces.

I used some pleated white lace I got on sale from White Tree Fabrics, and I underlined this with white polycotton from my stash.  I then treated as one layer.

Rather than add any shaping in the form of darts to the dress, I made an elastic channel at the waist seam by turning the seam up and stitching and inserted some elastic.  This gave the shape I was looking for.  I also inserted an invisible zip in one side seam, just in case the elastic didn't provide enough give to get it on and off.

As I had underlined the fabric, I didn't want to add a further lining or draft a facing, so instead I used some white satin bias  binding along the next line and armholes to hide the raw edges.

And that was my white lace one shouldered ghost dress finished.

The only alteration I had to make after trying on was to take it up a bit at the shoulder, which I did by hand while Evie had it on.  I figures that way it would be easy to take back down should she wish to wear it in future years.

She seemed to like it at least.

I'm now dreading next Halloween's order...

Happy Crafting!


the weido decided to
add horns for some reason . . . .
She also had a broken foot at this
 point, the boot is evident here

Saturday, 4 February 2017

The Socks of Doom

Soooo, by the time I finished these socks, I thought I had been knitting these forever.  In fact, I had been knitting them since I finished up my flamingo cushion way back in May.   I finally got them finished about 10 days before Christmas.

With one knitting project under my belt, I was feeling brave and foolhardy so decided that I would start knitting socks for one of my family members for xmas.  I wandered along to Eme in Ilkley one Saturday and purchased myself some double-pointed needles and some yarn.  I chose some Kintpro Symphonie needles, mostly because they were pretty, and some West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply in Peacock.  The lovely lady at Eme gave me a couple of Kind Cole basic socks patterns for free and I set off all ready to start becoming sock-maker extraordinaire . . . .

About twenty attempts at starting socks later, I have five finished socks . . .  

My first 12 or so attempts were to make ones using the needles and yarn purchased from Eme.  I had decided that I was making socks for my gran, as she ALWAYS buys socks for me and the rest of the grandchildren for Christmas, so it was about time someone returned the favour.  So, using one the patterns I had been given, I cast on a sock for a medium lady.  I wasn't doing too bad really with this one.  I made a couple of mistakes, but soldiered on, as after I had made about five mistakes, I decided that this was going to be my test sock.  

I got really confused at the heel part and the turning of the heel and the gusset and then at the end of the toe, especially where it said to turn the sock inside out.  Surely that would then mean that I would then have the wrong side of the stocking stitch showing?!?!  Was it a mistake with the pattern I wondered?  Turned out that no, it is not a mistake with the pattern, I simple knit inside out when it comes to socks.  As I was teaching myself this particular technique, no one told me that you are supposed to knit on the outside of your needles - I knit on the inside of my needles, thereby knitting my sock inside out.  Now that I know this, I'm not changing my technique - it works for me and I just have to remember this little fact when I am knitting socks and it tells me to turn it inside out.

Anyway, I finished the sock, with about a gazillion holes in it (only my third project remember!).  I decided then that I didn't like the colour - it would be perfect for a boy sock, but not for my grandma.  So, I unravelled everything that I had done and started again.  This time, I decided that this particular colourway of sock would be for Pappa John, my step-dad,  to keep him warm when he is fishing.  I therefore cast on the largest version and carefully followed the pattern.  

Let me tell you - knitting men's socks takes FOREVER.  But I carefully noted down how many rows I had done for each section as I went along so I could make sure that the second sock was identical.  I think  this sock might have taken me about a month, if not longer to knit before I was ready to cast on the second sock.  I believe I started it three times, as I would go wrong a few rows in and not know how to correct it, but not far enough down the sock to be gung ho and ignore the mistake.

In the meantime, I had ordered some new, brighter, wool for grandma's socks (Rum Paradise Cocktails West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply I believe). and some smaller double pointed needles, as the pattern called for 3mm needles and I had 3.5mm.  This wasn't bothering me for Pappa John's socks.  I just thought that they would knit up bigger, which was fine by me - the bigger the better.  All the better to keep him warm with.

The second sock I think took me about two weeks to knit up - I only had to restart a couple of  times and I was on a roll.  I was so proud when I had finished, until I looked at my first sock and realised that the colours at the toe were off.  I had been so careful to start my sock at exactly the same place in the wool colour pattern as the first one so that they would be identical.  I was soooo confused.  I checked that the heel was the same, that the rib section was the same, then I held it up against the first sock - this second one was shorter!!!!!!  Oh my days!  I had read the wrong line about the foot length - I had read the number I had written down for the heel!!!!!  Bah!  Cursing myself and paddying, I then calmed down and tried the sock on - it was perfect Holly size.  So I now had one Pappa John size sock and one Holly-size knee-length sock.

I must have subconsciously known that I was going to do this . . . I would normally have had to despair that I would never have enough wool left to make another Pappa John sock.  However, I had already ordered an extra ball of Peacock wool just in case I didn't have quite enough wool to finish the second sock.  I always over order because it is better to have too much than not enough.  So, this meant that I could cast on another sock, this time being VERY careful about following the correct number of rows for the correct sections.  I was so happy when I finished this one and everything matched up . . . but I forgot to take photos, so I only have photo of the one sock I put on instagram.

So now I had three socks, but none for my grandma, and time was running out.  So, I decided to go for a shorter sock from a different pattern.  Not much to say about these really, but I did enjoy knitting them more and they did come  together quicker, probably because these were small ladies' socks with a very short leg, unlike Pappa John's socks, plus they are bright and cheery.

I was happy with these when I had finished and remembered to take a photo or two:

And Grandma was wearing them when I saw her on boxing day, so they can't be all that bad.

I think that is about it.  I still haven't done my second Holly sock, but I do think I am slightly addicted to sock knitting, so I will get to it eventually.  Not bad for someone who hardly ever wears socks.  I shall just have to keep knitting them for everyone else. . . . La Famila . . . you have been warned!

Happy Crafting!

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