Sunday, 14 January 2018

Pattern Cutting and Garment Construction - Week 1

I've begun the year bravely, and started an evening course!  It's at my local technology college and is called Clothes Design - Pattern Cutting and Garment Construction.

I tried to sign up to this course years ago, but on the day I was supposed to start it was cancelled due to lack of interest.  I looked for it a few times afterwards, but it was never running.  I stumbled upon it by accident this time, I hadn't really been thinking about clothes making lately.  However, I'm not sure how often it actually runs, after my last experience, so I had a bit of a feeling of "it's now or never!" - possibly a bit dramatic, as I'm sure there would be plenty of courses I could sign up for at various places over the years to come!

With the wedding coming up, I did wonder whether it was a good idea to have another thing on my plate, but it's only 2 hours one night a week, for 10 weeks.  I think there will be a bit of work to do at home too, but that's surely manageable.  We shall see!

My Goals
What I hope to achieve from this course is more knowledge and skills with regards to sewing clothes.  I am especially interested in the fitting aspect of the sewing - making garments fit my body shape.  I want to have skills that I can use in the future to make my own clothes that actually fit me well - rather than trying to find clothes in the shops which never seem to look right.  In this way, I might be able to design and make my own garments, or know how to alter existing patterns to fit me better.

You can read in a post from 2014 how much trouble I had trying to make a simple top fit me!  It's funny reading that now - so many changes since then...  The pictures show my old hallway with brown carpet and granny wallpaper, before it was decorated.  More importantly, that post references my ex-boyfriend... and I'm now getting married to someone else!  Funny old life!

Anyway, on to my first lesson which I completed this week.  We sewed some seam samples... (these are just using scraps of calico, so are a bit scrappy)...

Open Seam

A selection of seam samples - open seam, welt seam, felled seam.  Click to find out more!
Back
A selection of seam samples - open seam, welt seam, felled seam.  Click to find out more!
Front

I've sewn many open seams before, so this wasn't tricky.  However, I've never overlocked the edges - this was my first time using an overlocker.  They create such a neat professional finish, but went so much faster than I expected!  The first press on the peddle created this...

A selection of seam samples - open seam, welt seam, felled seam.  Click to find out more!

... it just flew away from me!  And it cuts as it goes, so there is no unpicking and correcting it!  I started again with that sample, which was the welt seam...

Welt Seam

A selection of seam samples - open seam, welt seam, felled seam.  Click to find out more!
Back

For this seam, instead of pressing the two ends open (as with the first seam) you overlock them together and press them to the side.  You then top stitch over to keep it secured to the side.

A selection of seam samples - open seam, welt seam, felled seam.  Click to find out more!

If I was doing this again properly I'd probably top stitch nearer to the overlocked edge - or maybe have less of a seam allowance when I sewed the initial seam line.  Apparently it's up to you where you top stitch, depending on what you are making and your personal preference.

Felled (or Flat) Seam

A selection of seam samples - open seam, welt seam, felled seam.  Click to find out more!
Back

For this seam, when you sew your two pieces of fabric together initially, you have one edge poking out more than the other, rather than lining them up evenly.  You then fold the longer piece over the shorter piece, enclosing the raw edge of the shorter piece.  You then fold it all over to one side, enclosing the raw edge of the longer piece.  Then you top stitch this down with a stitch close to the edge of the folded flap.  (This is probably better explained elsewhere online!!)

A selection of seam samples - open seam, welt seam, felled seam.  Click to find out more!
Front

I think this could be more neat and even - but I suppose it's ok for a first attempt.  If the fabric wasn't so see-through it probably would look better too!

Altering the Volume of a Sleeve
We also started work on how to alter the volume of a sleeve.  We took some sleeve blocks and traced them onto pattern paper.  We then had to mark the elbow line and split the upper arm section - above that line - into four pieces, flaring them out.  We stuck this to another piece of pattern paper, and rounded off the pattern lines at the top, where they had been fanned out.  We didn't get much time to do anything more than that - so I'm not sure whether we'll be continuing that next week or not.

New Things
- Sewing a welt seam
- Sewing a felled seam
- Overlocking
- Seeing/using a sleeve block

Considering that this was the first lesson and we also had to do the usual induction type things, I thought we covered quite a bit.

Homework
The aim is to complete the course with a finished shirt or blouse.  We should be thinking about what we'd like that to look like, and gathering inspiration before the next lesson.  The teacher wants us to all end up with an garment that we will actually want to wear, so she is quite flexible about what we make - it could be a dress - but would like it to have a collar and sleeves, so that we are challenging ourselves and learning some technical skills.  That sounds good to me!  Although, I'm not sure what I want to make... I've no idea!  Better get researching, I suppose...




Check out my sewing projects here.


Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!



Sunday, 7 January 2018

Extreme Knitting!

Rob is very good at present buying, and one of my Christmas gifts was a massive ball of unspun merino.  I was so surprised, as I didn't think he even knew about such yarn!

Make gorgeous squishy hand knitting with epic extreme unspun merino wool!

He bought this epic extreme yarn.  I'd not heard of this company - I don't know how he found them, or even thought of this as a present!

I couldn't wait to get started...

Make gorgeous squishy hand knitting with epic extreme unspun merino wool!

I found a youtube tutorial online for hand-knitting - it's so easy!  You don't use needles or anything, just pull up the loops and leave them as you work, as you can see above.

I used 7 stitches across, and just kept knitting until the yarn was finished...

Make gorgeous squishy hand knitting with epic extreme unspun merino wool!

You can see my knees here, to give an idea of scale.

It's so squishy and soft and snuggly - I love it!

I'm not sure what to do with it now, though.  I'm thinking a big chunky cushion, which would mean...

1) I'd need to buy another ball for the back (this one was 500g) - perhaps a different colour like bright pink might be fun!  I could then have the cushion either way round, depending on my mood.

2) Or I could make a fabric cushion cover and sew the chunky knit to the front.  I'm not quite sure how I'd sew it on, though, any tips??

Let me know what you guys think - which option do you think would be best?  And what do you think of my extreme knit square so far?!



Check out my completed knited items here.  There aren't many, but I'm hoping to change that this year - I'm working on a beautiful knitted shawl that you can see the start of in this post!



Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!


Monday, 1 January 2018

Creation Consolidation - 2017!

Happy New Year!

I like to do a post at the end of each year (or beginning of the next) to gather together all my crafty creations of the year in one place... so here it is for 2017.

2017 was very exciting for me, as Rob and I got engaged!!  The wedding is planned for May this year which is coming very quickly... eeeeek!!!

This post is about the craft, though, so I'll move on (but I just had to mention it!)

I've only included finished items here (there are lots of works still in progress) - click on the titles or the pictures to be taken to the blog posts for more information...


crochet finger sloth


sew a zip pouch


crochet easter eggs


crochet daisy easter eggs


v-stitch crochet baby blanket


crochet eggs


chunky crochet hanging pouch


crochet pineapple


message in a bottle bridesmaid proposal


hello sunshine crochet squares


christmas wreath


crochet spiral christmas decoration


crochet poo emoji

I didn't get that much finished this year - I think wedding planning has taken up a big chunk of my thoughts and energy!  I also spent a lot of time on my colourful crochet blocks - hopefully I'll get that blanket finished this year.  There is also the baby blanket that is just awaiting a border.  So I guess I've done more than this post suggests - not that it matters, who's counting?!

If you are interested, here are my consolidation posts from previous years:

2013
2014
2015
2016


I didn't do a round-up for years before that, but you can see other finished items at the below links:



Here's to a happy creative 2018 for us all!



Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!

Friday, 29 December 2017

Making Felt Balls

I got a lovely Christmas present from my friend, Anna... a kit to make felt balls!

I nearly bought some pre-made ones off Etsy at some point fairly recently, as I think they're so cute and colourful.  I didn't end up buying them, though - I'd been doing a lot of spending and didn't think I could warrant any more.

So, I was very happy to have the chance to make my own, which is much more fun and satisfying!

Make your own gorgeous colourful felt balls!

I just love those colours!

I started off with just these nine balls, to try the method out and see how it went, as I'd never done any kind of felting before.  These involve a bit of needle-felting to form the round shape, and wet-felting to get it into a more stable felted ball.

Make your own gorgeous colourful felt balls!

I think I've done them right - it's hard to know, really!  One of each colour is a bit smaller than the other two.  The rest are pretty much the same size - give or take.  The three at the front of the above photo are the smaller ones - not that you can tell really as they are closest to the camera.

I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with them right now - but I like them grouped in threes, one of each colour - maybe a little bag charm / zip-pull something-or-other... we shall see!

Make your own gorgeous colourful felt balls!

Here you can see the un-spun merino wool that is used to form the felt balls - amazing how one turns into the other!

There is a green colour in the kit too, but I've not used that yet.  I'll make some green balls in my next session.  I'm looking forward to making more... a decorative string of felt balls would be good!

Thanks for a great present, Anna!


Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Crochet Poo Emoji

A little bit of fun for this latest make!  It was a Christmas present for my little nephew... we celebrated our family Christmas yesterday, so he's received it already...


A cute funny crochet poo emoji!

I used this pattern from Amidorable Crochet, for the poo emoji.  I chose to sew on my felt shapes instead of gluing them, and used little black buttons for the eyes.

He's a cheery little poo and he'd like to wish you all a...



Merry Christmas!




Check out my completed crochet items here.



Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Crochet Peek-a-Boo Baby Blanket - Borderless

Hello!

I am pleased to report that I have finished my Peek-a-Boo baby blanket... well, kind of!  (See more about the blanket pattern here.)

Crochet Peek-a-Boo baby blanket - a cute and easy pattern to make!

This is for a pregnant friend from work.  She doesn't know if she's having a boy or a girl, so I thought that this colour would be lovely for both.  It's the colour that Sandra (the pattern designer) used to make hers... and I just loved it!

Crochet Peek-a-Boo baby blanket - a cute and easy pattern to make!

So, this is kind of finished... until March when the baby is due.  Whether the baby is a boy or a girl will affect what border I choose to do, in what colours.  If it's a girl, I will be picking the pinks that Sandra used on hers.  It's just such a pretty combination with this aqua-ish colour.  If it's a boy, I'm not sure yet.  I'm thinking maybe white and a soft grey.

Crochet Peek-a-Boo baby blanket - a cute and easy pattern to make!

I will be sure to report back with pictures once this is finished.  I can't wait to see it with a border!

Crochet Peek-a-Boo baby blanket - a cute and easy pattern to make!

I just love this pattern - I'm glad I've finally had a reason to make it!

Details

Pattern: Peek-a-Boo Blanket by Sandra Paul - Size: Small Baby Blanket
Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly in Choo Choo Train x 5 balls
Hook: 5mm (I'm a tight crocheter - pattern calls for 4mm)
Measurements: 68cm x 83cm (smaller than the measurements in the pattern due to my tight tension - I really need to loosen up!)



Check out my completed crochet items here.



Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!



Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Crochet Christmas Spiral Decorations

At the weekend, I whipped up a couple of these cute sparkly decorations for the tree...

Looking for a quick and easy cute crochet Christmas decoration?  These crochet spirals are just the thing - click to find out more!

I've done another one since I've taken that picture.  That's it for now - three on the tree will do - maybe I'll make more next year!

Looking for a quick and easy cute crochet Christmas decoration?  These crochet spirals are just the thing - click to find out more!

The pattern was from ATERGCrochet here.  I veered from the pattern and did more stitches on the outside row - instead of one sc in each stitch, I did 1 sc, 2 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc... and so on.  I think because my silver thread was thinner than the rest of the DK I used, it was pulling too much when I just did one in each stitch.

Looking for a quick and easy cute crochet Christmas decoration?  These crochet spirals are just the thing - click to find out more!

It was a very satisfying little crochet project, a great easy to follow pattern, and I love them on the tree!

Looking for a quick and easy cute crochet Christmas decoration?  These crochet spirals are just the thing - click to find out more!

Nice and Christmassy!!



Check out my completed crochet items here.


Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!



Saturday, 9 December 2017

A Christmas Wreath

Hello!  Well, as the title suggests, this post is about a Christmas wreath.  Last night I made my first ever wreath.  I went with a friend to a wreath making evening at a gorgeous little florist called Rabbit and the Rose.  We were taught how to make one, provided with all the bits needed, as well as some festive snacks and mulled wine - lovely!


A handmade festive Christmas wreath.

(That's my spotty pink fluffy dressing gown reflected in the letterbox!)


A handmade festive Christmas wreath.

I'm really pleased with it, considering it's my first attempt.  It came out better than I thought it would.  It's not perfect, by any means, but I like it... especially that bow!


A handmade festive Christmas wreath.

I think this could become a new Christmas tradition!


A handmade festive Christmas wreath.

What do you think?  Have you ever made a wreath - I can recommend giving it a go!





Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Hand-Dyed Yarn and a Kind Gift!

I've been online friends with Sam of Betsy Makes for years.  I've recently tried to purchase one of her lovely project bags, but never managed it in time, as they get snapped up in minutes!

I decided to order one of her hand-dyed yarn skeins instead this week, when I missed out on the last batch of project bags.  I can't resist bluey-turquoisey colours, so this one had to be mine!

Hand-dyed yarn and a project pouch

I just love it!  I need to find a worthy project for it!

But the fun doesn't end there... Sam so very kindly and generously included a project bag for me!!

Hand-dyed yarn and a project pouch

It was so unexpected and so thoughtful.  What a lovely whimsical design!  Sam really is such a kind person, I'm so grateful!

Hand-dyed yarn and a project pouch

Lucky me - what a great package to receive!





Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!


Sunday, 5 November 2017

A Project Pouch Treat

I've been planning for ages to make myself a project pouch, to hold one of my many ongoing projects.  I just never seemed to get round to actually getting the fabric out and getting to work on one, though.

I decided to have a look on Etsy, and found The Crimson Rabbit Burrow.  I ended up on her blog, having a bit of a read, when I saw these bags from last year.  I just fell in love with the turquoise bag with the Liberty Small Susannah fabric.  This pouch wasn't in Debbie's shop at present, but I got in touch and... lucky me... she was willing to make one for me, and had just enough of the Susannah fabric left!  Why not treat myself, I thought...

Gorgeous Liberty project pouch for storing knitting and crochet work.

It was made and with me in no time, and I'm completely in love with this pouch - it's just perfect!  Look at those gorgeous colours!

Gorgeous Liberty project pouch for storing knitting and crochet work.

I'm using it to hold my knitted shawl project, which is coming along slowly.  I'm meant to keep going until the yarn is finished, but that ball just doesn't seem to be getting any smaller!

What do you think of my gorgeous new pouch?  I'm so happy with it - the customer service and standard of handiwork were excellent.  It arrived wrapped in pretty tissue paper too, like a little present from me to me - I'm so glad to decided to treat myself!




Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!



Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Another Crochet Colour Block

In my flurry of other activities (knitted shawl, crochet baby blanket), I haven't quite forgotten my colour block crochet blanket...

Here is another finished square - it's the penultimate square!

Colourful crochet square for a colour block blanket.

I love this square - it's my new favourite!  If I have enough leftover yarn, I'm thinking a little crocheted pouch in these three colours would look so good.  That zing of the lime green with the pink and purple just looks great (in my humble opinion)!

Colourful crochet square for a colour block blanket.

Just got to finish the final twelfth square, then I can start with the joining colour... exciting!  I just hope my vision works and looks as good in reality as it does in my head.



Check out my completed crochet items here.



Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!




Sunday, 22 October 2017

New Crochet Project - Peek-a-Boo Baby Blanket

I know, I know, I shouldn't be starting a new project!  I've got my knitted shawl on the go, and the longstanding colour block crochet blanket, to name just two works in progress.

But, I have.  Started a new project, that is.  A friend of mine is pregnant and I'm making her a baby blanket!

Make this cute and easy peek-a-boo crochet baby blanket!

The lovely Sandra of Cherry Heart designed this pattern for a magazine and spoke about it in this post in 2014.  I fell for it straight away, but didn't get round to buying the magazine.

Then in 2015 Sandra released the pattern on Ravelry, with extra information on making a bigger sizes.  It's taken me two more years to have a reason to buy and make this, but I didn't forget the gorgeous design!

Now, I've been crocheting for years now, and could work out how to make this without the pattern - it's not a complicated design, which is why it's a great one for beginners.  However, it would have taken time and effort to do the calculations to get the size I was looking for, work out how to position the diamonds, etc.  So, although I COULD have reproduced something similar to this, I thought I'd rather buy Sandra's pattern.  The reasons being:

- I can crack on with the making, without having to spend time working things out, and probably starting over a few times as I worked on the sizing - Sandra has done all this for me!  (And never under-estimate how much time that sort of thing takes!)

- I've been reading Sandra's blog for years, and it's nice to give something back.

- I wouldn't have even thought of this pattern design without her, and I'm even using the same colour she did, so I felt I should buy the pattern really!

Make this cute and easy peek-a-boo crochet baby blanket!

I've been making some progress this weekend, and am really loving seeing the diamonds appearing.

The yarn is extremely difficult to photograph as the colour looks different in each shot!  The first picture of the balls of yarn with the pattern is the most accurate depiction of the colour.

Make this cute and easy peek-a-boo crochet baby blanket!

This picture above is a terrible representation of the colour!  But it shows further progress.  I will attempt to take better pictures when I next post about it - it's so difficult this time of year to get any decent light!

Pattern: Peek-a-Boo Blanket by Sandra Paul
Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly in Choo Choo Train



Check out my completed crochet items here.



Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...