Monday 9 December 2013

Giveaway winner!

No random number generator required for this giveaway...

Congratulations Kelly at makesewdo!! And thanks for your lovely comment.

I'll be in touch xx

Friday 29 November 2013

Simplicity Review and Giveaway


November marks a year since I started the old (much maligned) blogeroo. I haven't been able to commit the time to it that I would like, and it's made me think back to why I started it in the first place. The main reasons were to:

Record my makes
My sewing/crocheting/knitting does indeed happen most days, but I hadn't anticipated how hard I find it to write in a (semi-)sensicle way and take photos.

To interact with and meet like-minded people
Reading blogs can be very inspiring, but even more so are sewalongs and meet-ups. There haven't been many meet-ups around these parts but I did venture down to the big London town in the first weekend of August. The Goldhawk Road meet-up, organised by Claire of Sew Incidentally, handily coincided with my birthday.

Photographic evidence courtesy of the lovely Dibs and the Machine.

That's me in the last photo clutching an oh-so-classy plastic bag..concealing my Salme Pleated dress.  What a fab day it was, meeting lots of new to me bloggers. The smile on my face was not just down to my swap spoils but to the lovely people there. 

To get free stuff!
OK I didn't really think this was a possibility. But a few months ago I found an email in my inbox asking if I'd like to run a Simplicity giveaway. Due to the lack of posting activity and the fact none of my blog posts so far had featured Simplicity patterns (though I have sewn with one), I was a bit flabbergasted to say the least. But with the chance to get a free pattern, oh and of course to give one away, I wasn't long to reply hell yes! 

And this is what I picked:

Stretchy pouch waist... the reason I snaffled as much jersey as I could get my hands on in London...Yep, I'm brewing up another bad boy/girl (it's a surprise).

Although Simplicity don't currently produce maternity patterns, they are the umbrella group for New Look and Burda, in the UK at least. I had the pick of Burda maternity patterns but settled on this skirt because it seemed straightforward to sew, and therefore more likely to get made. I'm aware Burda have a bit of a reputation for being short on instructions, and in my particular blobby state of mind, SUPER EASY also seemed a good idea.

Simon Cowell styling only for purposes of showing fit

The skirt takes very little time to make. It consists of two pieces which I could fit on a double fold of a wide piece of fabric. You simply gather the front piece for ruching, sew on a wide strip of elastic on the back piece (not on the I said, blobby state of mind), hem and bob's your uncle. 

The brown jersey is from my local shop The Gold Thimble. I asked for cotton jersey but from its slinkyness I would guess there is a fair bit of viscose in there.  I have a red version almost completed, using cotton lycra from Tissu fabrics, and if it wasn't for the tricksy twin needle skipping stitches I might have had photos of that too. 

I took these photos when I was 20 weeks and thought they made me look massive. You should get an eyeball of me now I'm 26 weeks! The skirt does tend to cling to lumps and bumps (as I guess it should!), but for comfort it's a definite winner.

And so to the giveaway....

Those kind folks at Simplicity very kindly offered not just one but three patterns for me to run a giveaway! And this is what I picked:

Option 1: Simplicity 2451

This is the other Simplicity pattern that I own and had already tried. The cover illustrations are pretty uninspiring but you don't have to look far in blogland for inspiration. I made view D in navy needlecord with plum lining and a Liberty yoke facing no less. Photos? sadly none, and no chance of fitting into it in my present condition! I have tinkered with the idea of making a maternity version with a lycra yoke though.

Option 2: New Look 6104

Hmm, bit summery this one, it's been a while since I chose the patterns. But another pattern that is popular and a great basic. Four Square Walls Blog has some lovely versions from One Week One Pattern.

Option 3: Burda 7020

Ah that's a bit more seasonally appropriate. I've definitely been swung by the leopard print styling on this one, a hang over from Jungle January perhaps. I've no reviews to base this choice on but it's up for grabs if it takes your fancy. 

To win, please leave a comment with your pick of one of the three patterns. Leave an email address if you don't have a blog, or if your email address isn't on your blog. You have until midnight GMT sunday 8th december. Good Luck! 

Thanks again to Simplicity for the Giveaway.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Back into production mode

Pre summer I was getting a bit of a knit on and quite enjoying it. But with twins due in the family I needed to return to the craft that I'm quick and comfortable with. To the warm embrace of crocheted blankets. 

And then it was summer and there was actual heat. 

Its been a bit of a slow process. 

The gender of the babies wasn't known when the wool was ordered so I tried to pick a gender neutral pallette for both. I started with the squares (Little Tin Bird's Elmer squares) which whizzed up in no time but wanted a change of scene for the second blanket so returned to Lucy's Granny Stripe pattern. The yarn was gorgeous, Drops Baby Merino. Brilliant value and a brilliant colour range (I can highly recommend the company I ordered from, Wool Warehouse, I ran out of yarn after the first blanket so ordered twice and on both occasions they were really speedy with their delivery and a bonus free gift both times too!).

The blankets were begun in June, the month the babies arrived, and were presented a few days ago. They are not huge in size, suitable for the pram, but seemed to take forever, I blame the 4 ply. Besides, they're a bit warm for summer use so I justify the delay with the excuse they are much more suited to autumn. (Oh and maybe you can guess from the borders that the cute recipients were a perfect boy and girl!)

So after a lazy summer, within the last two weeks I have managed to make a cowl, a hat, sew up some knitted mittens and make progress with my daughter's knitted cardigan. And today I even finished sewing a top... I'll save that for another post though when the Glasgow gloom lifts long enough for photos.


Thursday 4 July 2013

Who cares that it's summer

In a bid to get my blogging kick-started, I have attempted to ride on the coat-tails of other bloggers and their inspiring ideas. So far this year I have:

1  Joined in with Jungle January
2 Signed up with a Sewlution
3 Pledged to be part of Me Made May
4 Took part in Kestral's Spring Sewing Swop

And you know what? I've managed to do them all, including completing my Sewlution, even before the year was half way through.

But have I managed to blog about any of it?

Hmm, not so much.

So in remedy to that I present my Spring Sewing Swop in... eh, hum... Summer!

I was partnered with the very sweet Debbie of Minnado's House. I didn't know of Debbie's blog before the swop but I'm very happy to have discovered this lovely creative lady (even if it does cause me shame that she can be so productive with 3 bouncing beans and I have a lowly 1).

Debbie had a bit of a challenge on her hands to pick items that she thought I would like with the whole 10 posts I have managed. But she did oh so well.

A hand-drawn card. And a box of surprises. Better than christmas!

Each item cleverly wrapped in word-search paper, highlighted with TITS! Oh wait its sewing terminology. So clever!

And here's the goodies. 

Beautiful crochet trim, I'm seeking the right project to do this justice but my initial thoughts are to use it as straps on a dress/top/pj's. It's lovely, and there's loads, about 3 metres of it.

Funky leopard print bias binding. She knows I'm an animal print convert.

Totally cool Parisian themed cotton fabric. Such lovely quality. I need to find the right project for this. I would love to eke out a summer pj set from it. 

Toffee and sea salt chocolate... you bet your ass that baby is demolished (and sitting on my ass).

And probably my favourite bit.. a funky 1970's skirt patten. Look at those pockets on view 1, how cool are they! Though I just love the waistband and the styling of view 3. 

Thank you Debbie! And thanks to Kerry for organising.

Tuesday 30 April 2013

Me Made May 2013 and a Goodbye

May marks the one year anniversary that I unwrapped and threaded my sewing machine for the very first time. It was a beginners sewing course with Jennie Loof that I expected would get me on the road to sewing curtains and maybe a few cushions. I had no idea then that I would be thrown head first into the world of self-made clothing and to ditch shopping on the high street altogether...ok not altogether, I have bought three new items of clothing in the last year, but still a radical alteration on my consumerism.

It was May that I started to read the inspiring world of sewing blogs. Reading the Me Made May posts for the first time.

And so this year I have made my own pledge ...
Just in the nick of time, for my first MMM..'I, Katy of I, of the needle, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to sew two new items and wear handmade items on at least two days each week for the duration of May 2013'

I haven't many items to choose from, my sewing productivity is variable to say the least. But I'll use the pledge as a motivator  to photograph the garments that I have made this year. And focus my sewing for the items I could do with in my wardrobe over the coming know summery things when I eventually feel brave enough to ditch my vest. Which in Glasgow is a window of about a fortnight. 

So with any luck I'll be peeking my face back into the blogosphere. Life has been kind of getting in the way around here. 

And today, we received the news that my husband has lost his dearly loved Grandpa. A marvel of a man, a Professor of anatomy, who had an intimidating intelligence but was never short of a warm smile and a hug and who appreciated the silly side of life.  He lived to the age of 97, living independently with his marvelous mind intact till the end. You'll be missed, Granpa.  

Tuesday 26 March 2013


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From Jungle January to Mad March (yes it's snowing again). February kind of just got lost there. This is just a quick one to claim my blog on Bloglovin.

Blog posts have been planned. Normal service will be resumed. (Below par) quality is the aim, not quantity.

See you soon x

Friday 25 January 2013

Jungle January!

The fabulous Pretty Grievances blog has managed to bring out my love of animal print again. Who knew. I'm a shy and retiring wallflower don't you know. 

Sure I've dabbled in the past... 

...But it hasn't always been a happy partnership....See that murderous look I'm getting from my husband? The one that is a little bit American Psycho (with facial hair). OK yes he's smiling but he's really eyeing up the tiger as fresh meat. He likes to destroy all that is animal print. He nearly succeeded with the other dalliance I had. A cotton 3/4 sleeve cardi, a leopard print beaut that would go with everything, a true beige and black neutral. Well add maroon jeans into a wash (his maroon jeans I should add, the maroon and I were never friends but this meant war) and you get a PINK tinged number and the love was never there again (for the cardi, I'm not callous enough to divorce for a washing malfunction...just).

So yes, animal print has been known but it wasn't at the forefront of my mind when I was planning my sewing year. But then BOOM, Anne threw a party and I wanted to join in.

ooh armpit baubles
I decided fairly early on I'd be playing it safe and would limit my dabbling to a simple top, or possibly a skirt, but if this dabbling was to be of ernest then I would not fall short on quality of material. I scouted my usual stomping grounds for the fabric in question, but it seems good quality animal print is not a common occurrence, certainly not in my region of the world. I stumbled across Tissu fabrics, who had the widest range of animal print on the interwebs, they even have their own category, and fortunately also feature reviews, very helpful indeed. I took a gamble on 1m of modestly priced cotton jersey leopard print and was surprised to find it beautifully soft and drapey, this was exactly what I was looking for.

The Salme Kimono sleeve top was intended as a muslin, but I think the style would be a tad too loose-fitting in jersey even if I went down a size. So instead I went for MariaDenmark's kimono sleeve top (got to love those kimono sleeves!), a pattern designed with jersey in mind.

This being the third item of clothing I've ever sewn, jersey may seem a tad ambitious. But I don't know, maybe the spirit of the jungle told to me to be bold!

caught in the act of posing (animal print killer was busy sniffing out his next prey)

The pattern was a real delight. The neck seams were finished with self-fabric ribbing. I even dared to use a twin needle for the hems. I cut between a size XS and S. I'd be tempted to repeat again using XS. But hell yes I'll be making more of these. 

And dear Jungle, you sure have got your claws in me now....

back away from the washing basket darling. And pass my cigarette holder