Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Bekah Learns to Sew (Part 2)

And so the story continues... a girl with a dream of patchwork jeans, attempting to face the big scary sewing machine... part one to this story was pretty dramatic - brace yourselves for part two!


Aren't those colours pretty? Yesterday afternoon was declared sewing time - tunes were on, had some trusty snacks on hand (because Jelly Beans make everything better!)


Everything was pinned into place, and off I went! :-D Sewing the strips onto the foundation fabric proved to not be that difficult (remembering to iron in between seams)... especially since everything was pinned within an inch of it's life - the pile of pins after half a seam to prove it...


After sewing, pressing, and squaring up, I ended up with two rather lovely cuffs for my jeans, and ended the day very happy with what I had managed to accomplish :-)


The drama all began this morning... I woke up feeling very positive, thinking I had but 4 little seams to go, and then I would be done! Little did I know...

I joined each cuff in the round, and then began to pin it to the jean leg... but alas, disaster! It was too small! I knew it would be a tight fit (the rotary cutter, ruler and I were not very good friends - I had to battle them all the way through!), but not as much as this... I just knew I would end up with puckers and so many issues, that I decided that there was only one solution - add more fabric! Out came the seam ripper, and they once again reverted to how they were in the above photo... I figured out what size piece I needed (including seam allowances), and cut it out using a template I made. I was so stressed out with the rotary cutter and ruler by this point that doing it the old fashioned way seemed to be my only hope...

The additions...


I only realised after I joined them that lime green may not be the most co-ordinating of fabrics, but left them, thinking they were a quirky reminder of all the work put into these cuffs!

It was only now that I could truly enjoy the feeling of having 4 seams to go! I joined them in the round, pressed them into place, and sewed them to the jeans... 3 years after first starting to piece the cuffs, I am quite pleased with them!


And because I like to make more work for myself, I also did a bit of hand-stitching around the top of the cuffs and the pockets...


As much as this project has been stressful, and taken a few years to truly complete, I am quite pleased with the result, and have learnt a few things about myself too:

- Whereas hand-piecing makes me feel like I am in a Jane Austen novel, I feel more like something from a Stephen King novel when machine sewing!
- Never have I ever talked to myself (or my project) more than when working on this - "Please work, please work, please work!"
- I think I better leave sewing to my mom... yarn and I have a better relationship than I do with fabric!

Hope you've enjoyed reading about my sewing adventures!


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Little Knits...

In my previous post, I mentioned that I had been working on another few bits and pieces for charity...

First are these Innocent Smoothie Hats for their Big Knit... I know I'm far too late for this year's campaign, but I'm sure they will run it again, so I'm thinking I've just got a super head start for next time!!


They are so quick to knit, so adorable, and quite addictive! I never realised how fun pompoms were to make until I did these!


Also on the needles are a few ADAPT triangles... I was sent some pastel yarns, so I am thinking they will be split between the triangles and some preemie knits for the local hospital.


It has been mostly charity knitting recently... not much for myself. I'm finding charity knits are smaller and so easier to work on in between other things - they are portable too, which is a bonus!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

WIP: Charity Blanket

Between assignment deadlines and having a horrendous cold, I haven't had the chance to work on all that much recently - just a few bits and pieces for charity. Some of which I will post in a few days, but first I wanted to show you that there has been progress on the blanket!

It had started to be put together in this post, and now it looks like this!



I've not been putting many together, but I have been churning out the coloured centres, and they are all finished... I just love the colours!



Aren't they pretty?


Another afternoon of Netflix and joining these squares and I should make good progress :-)

What have you been working on?

Friday, 6 March 2015

Friday Link Love

Happy Friday!
Seems like I've not stopped moving all week - this weekend is my last busy one before work deadlines, after that things should hopefully slow down to a nicer pace.
I've still managed to find some cool links for you though!

I love this room - so beautiful.

We can solve everything with a bit of knitted love.

You know I'm a fan of charity knitting - this project is a little different, but still for a good cause!

Looking forward to this book - I'm still a kid at heart!

Big Knitting.

Are you getting a lot of snow at the moment? Here's what you could do with it.

This video is mesmerizing - so cool!

Finally, why don't you treat yourselves to these cookies? I made some last week and they were great!

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Replacement Hat...



For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you'll remember that I have been working on another hat... well, it's finished! :-D

Most of you are probably looking at the photo thinking "I'm sure that's an old photo, we've already seen that hat!" - I can assure you, my dear readers, that it is a new one! This is the fourth time knitting this pattern - the Cafe au Lait Tam - and the third time knitting it in this colour!
The first one was for my friend Steph for her birthday (which I didn't get photos of), and the second was gifted to my grandmother.

I thought that was it for the green hats, but a few weeks ago Steph came to me quite upset... she had lost her hat whilst rushing to an exam. Knowing the stress of an impending exam, and also how much she wore and loved the hat, I decided to make her another one :-)

(Well when a person is a fan of handknits, you can't let them go cold, can you?)

Off to John Lewis I went, and bought 2 balls of the exact same yarn and colour to make another hat - each hat only takes 1 ball, but I wanted to make sure I had enough, just in case!! (As it was there wasn't much - you can see what was left sitting next to the hat in the photo!)
I didn't see any more of this colour after this trip... I have just one ball of this colour now left in my stash to make another replacement hat if need be - I will keep it in my stash, and it will be Steph's ball of yarn. I know that if I use it, that would tempt fate, and so I'm keeping this last ball safe!

Project details HERE.

Are there any patterns that you keep going back to?

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Bekah Learns to Sew (Part 1)

I warn you, this is an epic tale of fabric... and not a lot of sewing... read on at your will.

As many of you know, my Mom is awesome at patchwork, meaning that I have always grown up around fabric and sewing. And yet, try as I might, I've never been able to work a sewing machine without supervision. I find it incredibly intimidating!
I can manage handwork - templates and hand-piecing? Yep, I can do that. Curved piecing? Yep, I managed to figure that one out too. Paper piecing hexagons? Yep, done that too.

Working a sewing machine? Still a mystery to me.

So a few weeks ago, I decided to have a go. "How hard can it be?", I asked myself. After all, I am my mother's daughter, and so must have inherited the natural ability to do it, right?

Umm... not so much.

I'd already had some strips of batik scraps sewn together to make some cuffs for a pair of jeans that were too short, so I decided to carry on with that. I'd decided to make them a bit like crazy-patch, with a foundation underneath, as this would give them the weight they needed. I figured I already had the pieces for the top, I just needed to cut some fabric for the foundation.
I cut out a couple of pieces, the way I thought I should (I had completely forgotten about the internet - I perhaps should have looked it up first...oops!) and ended up with what I thought was the right size and shape - yay!

Then it dawned on me - I'd forgotten to allow enough room for seam allowances! Nooo!!!

Out came the cutting mat and the ruler again, and this time, making sure I made it the right size, I cut out some more fabric. I thought it was perfect this time - I then layed it out on the floor, and... well... I saw that I had ended up with a rectange of fabric with an elbow.
(I have no pictures... I was too busy weilding my rotary cutter, thinking "how can I fix this?")

I must have stared at it for about 10 minutes, and could come up with nothing. Next option? Phone my mother. "Sewing is really hard!", I complained. And of course, in her motherly way, she gave me some sage advice about measuring twice, cutting once, and to remember to line my ruler up. I'm sure it was more technical than this, but I'm not that technically minded, and so can't remember.

So after battling with my little cutting mat and my ruler, I tried again. This time, I ended up with something the right size and less elbow-y.
By this time it was lunchtime, so, throughly exhausted, I left it at this:


Two foundations with two rows of batik scraps each, and then a band of white that will only be visible from the inside of the jeans...
I didn't dare get out the sewing machine. I'll save that adventure for another day! 

Friday, 20 February 2015

Friday Link Love!

Happy Friday! It's been a busy week, and I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend with hopefully lots of tea and knitting!

So what has caught my eye on the internet recently?

Mollie Makes is celebrating their 50th Magazine, and with it has come some great blog posts! They share some creative advice here...

...and I'm hoping to complete this list of things before I'm 50! (I've already done 12 or so! Yay!)

These things to be learnt from knitting made me smile...

Who knew knitting could cause so much panic?

I'm so excited about this book!

Some people's artwork is incredible... I would have never thought do draw on a Starbucks cup!

I think I must be liking advice this week - some more words of wisdom here.

Oh to be out in the outdoors again - hurry up warmer weather!

This photographer's project was interesting - It's amazing what people read on the train.

How craft can change our lives...


Have a wonderful weekend!