Sunday, 30 November 2014

Raindrops keep falling on my head ...

I had plans of making something other than a Delphine-skirt, but I came across this adorable rain drop fabric from Eurokangas which looked so appropriate for autumn that I couldn't resist (even though it's nearly winter here in the land of finn). The raindrops look a bit like dots which probably explains why I was drawn to it...
 
Rain drops 


Cutting Delphine n:o 2


I've worn my black Delphine a lot and I really like, but I occasionally wish it had lined it as the twill keeps clinging to my tights and riding up. It's still very wearable, but it did make me think about lining this one. Also Tilly posted an excellent tutorial on how to add lining to the Delphine skirt  on her blog a few months back. But being lazy I eventually decided against lining it, the fabric is some kind of stretch cotton so I'm hoping it won't ride up as much as the twill, it definitely has more drape than the twill.

The project came together fairly quickly. Luckily I'd marked the sway back adjustment I did last time on the pattern so no fiddling abouts with that. Hurrah. I had a bit trouble with the zipper, the top wouldn't sit right for some reason, maybe I left too room much there or something, after re-stitching a few times it's better, but not quite as neat as I would like it to be.

I hand-stitched the waist cause I figured it would look neater if there wasn't a black thread going through the white drops which is what would have happened had I used the machine. I need a bit more practice on stiching in the ditch with a machine...

The nearly invisible zipper


The Rainy Day Delphine and jazz hands



Despite the slight problems with the zipper I'm pleased with this project. I'm sure I'll get loads of wear out of this and those are the best projects, don't you think? Over&out for now dear readers.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Dot mad knitting

Autumn is here and there's more than a hint of colder weather to come in the air so it's time to dig out the knitting needles and start making socks! (I will attempt to make some epic fair isle Cthulhu mittens at some point, but I wanted something easier to begin with.)

I found this rather yummy purple yarn a while back, which I of course added to my stash. It's Novita's Seitsemän veljestä and I think the colour is one their seasonal ones. I was toying with the idea of some sort of fair isle pattern,  but then I realised I don't have dotty woollen socks, so that was pretty muched sorted. I know you're all wondering how is that even possible? Believe me I'm stunned too.  After the realisation I took out a notebook and dotted down a few pattern suggestions.

My professional (ahem) pattern  (and the first version underneath) 


OK, maybe calling that a pattern is a bit too much. It's mainly a few scribbles on paper, but it helped me figure out the spacing and how big the dots should be. I was going to make the dot bigger to begin with, but it didn't look right so I went for option no 2. The needles  I'm using are 3 1/2 (european, I know the sizing different in the UK and US) and I have 48 stitches divided onto 4 needles. 

Sock no 1 in the making 



The first sock is coming along nicely as you can see. I think I'm going to make a few more rows befor starting with the heel. I'm going to continue with the dots in the front and maybe purple toes, but we'll see how they turn out. I'll post photos of the finished product once I get there.  Ovet&out now dear readers. 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Love at first stitch - Delphine skirt

I got my copy of  Love at first stitch by Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons way back in May, but only just got around finishing the first project from it. I have to confess that I started the Delphine skirt almost straight away and got quite far with it and then I just stopped. The almost finished skirt sat on my dress form for most of the summer waiting to be hemmed. I blame my lack of sewing mojo (I should share the project that destroyed it), but it's finally done now and I'm really pleased with the result.

The book really is as awesome as the reviews say. There are 8 different projects in the book, each adds new skills to your repertoire, you can see all the projects at Tilly's blog. They are lovely, aren't they? I want to make all the projects from the book. As mentioned above my first project from the book was the Delphine skirt which is a simple yet stylish a-line skirt. Surprisingly enough I have a few black skirts in my wardrobe already, but some of them have started looking drab so this seemed like the perfect solution. The skirt is also long enough that I can wear it to work which is always good.

Love at first stitch and pattern pieces



I enjoyed making the skirt, it was fairly straight-forward and the instructions are so well illustrated that. I had to do a slight sway-back adjustment to the waistline, but that was simple enough and fits better now.  I just wish I would have noticed it before inserting the zipper rather than after, but then what would a project without spending some time with the seam ripper be? The invisible zipper was surprisingly easy to set (both times), we like.  I also ended up taking in the side seams in a bit cause the skirt looked a bit too wide when finished, but it still has the 60s style playfulness.

Black Delphine skirt and channeling Tilly



I'm definitely going to make another Delphine, probably a dotty one, I just need to a find the right fabric first. If you've seen any please point them in my direction, ta. I am very tempted to order the crazy hipster deer dotty fabric Tilly used, but I'm not sure that would be too weird/stalkerish. Anyhow I'm off to plan my next project, there is a good chance that it will be something from Tilly's book...Over&out for now dear readers.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

+5 stitches (and not the right kind) and -1 DIY skills

I had Monday off and I had big plans of getting loads of DIY done around the house. I was going to paint the kitchen walls, finally spray painting the ironing board legs I talked about back in Feb, change the curtains and do a bit of cleaning. I got to a good start before disaster struck.

I managed the first coat of paint in the kitchen and I thought I would spray paint the ironing board legs while waiting it to dry. Before I could start spraying I had to remove the two remaining plastic cap from the legs. The ironing board is pretty old so the caps were stuck and wouldn't come of with the help of screw driver so I thought it would be a good idea to cut them off with a carpet knife...a few second later I had the first cap off and the second almost there and a two inch gash on my left wrist/arm. I had to go and have it stitched at A&E and they're not the kind of stitches you're used to seeing in a sewing blog.

Offending plastic caps and the knife


Stitches (or rather just the plaster, the stitches would have too gruesome)


Surprisingly enough I didn't do much after I got home as it turns out I get rather queasy when seeing blood. It's day six after the cut and the arm/wrist isn't too bad. The area around the stitches is bruised and a bit sore if it touches anything but it doesn't throb or anything. I'm having the stitches out tomorrow which is pretty good.

I managed to spray paint the ironing board on Wednesday and then I left it to dry for a few days. It said it'll take seven days to dry on the can but that it would be touch dry after half an hour, go figure. Anyhow I finally managed to put the ironing board back together today and it does look pretty in pink.

Spray painting


Finished ironing board



I do think the ironing board looks much better than it used to, but I'm not entirely sure it was worth the hassle. Though I suppose the stitches are quite street-cred ... Anyhow lesson for today is beware of carpet knives dear readers! Over&out for now.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Tea party in Wonderland

I turned 30 a few months back (no crisis yet) and I had a loosely Alice in Wonderland themed garden party in July. Twas much fun and some of my favourite people where there and we had scones and tea and Pimms in a tea pot.  My amazing and very crafty friends made me the best and themed related presents ever which I must share with you. 

Pink Flamingo (or a crane in disguise) 



Mad Hatter's Hat


This fits me! So there is a good change I will end up walking around with this on my head. 
This Way, That Way, Wrong Way..? 


This was part of the party decorations and functional as some of the guests hadn't been to my rents' place where I had the party before. The sign was made my lovely parents, they were an awesome help with everything. Quite a lot of the decorations came from Ikea. Their Historisk range has pictures of tea pots, Victorian shoes and hats which we're perfect for the party. I also got black and white stripey fabric from there which I turned into table cloths, which is about the only sewing I've done in a while.  Unfortunately I didn't have my camera (or my phone) with me at the party. Twas a bit of a ohmigod I'm not going to have everything done in time mad rushing kinda day so I left at home which means there aren't very many pictures of the party or decorations, but here's a few ... 

Party Decorations 




And Martat (my sewing and crafting best gals) had been spying my blog (*waves*) and they got me the Disaster Design's Overnight Bag I'd been drooling over for ages. Thanks gals, I heart it. It is as cute in real life as it is in pictures and it's the perfect size for my travels. It's been tried and tested already. 

Disaster Design's Needle & Thread overnight bag



We've had a heatwave in Finland for the past month so I've been lazy with everything crafty, but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things soon. I have a few unfinished and almost finished projects so watch this space! 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Hooked on crochet

I wanted a portable summer project as I'm planning on spending some time at the summer house and taking the sewing machine and all related things is too much hassle. I was thinking of knitting some socks and maybe mittens, but then I found this amazing crochet book "Virkkuri" by Molla Mills and now I'm hooked.

The book has beautifully illustrated crochet instructions which came handy as it's been a while since I've picked up a hook. The patterns range from beginner to advance and there's patterns for summer bags and rugs and several chic black&white patterns for us who are colour challenged ,D

Virkkuri book 


Monochrome crochet




You may be able to tell from the pics that the book I have is in Finnish, but good news dear readers, the book has just been published in English as well. It's called the "Modern Crochet: crochet accessories and projects for your home".  Molla Mills the talented lady behind the book also has her own website which is both in Finnish and English so go and have a look. Molla has also written a follow-up book called Virkkuri 2: muotoja ja pintoja which also looks pretty good from a brief browse, it has a few dotty patterns so I'm sold.

Armed and dangerous..? 


So now I'm armed with a hook and some black and white yarn and instructions. The yarn I have is Novita's Huvila available almost everywhere in Finland. I'm planning on making the stripy summer bag but I suspect it wouldn't finish it until next summer. I'm also somewhat tempted with the clutch pattern that so we'll see what I come up with. I'll keep you posted on this one dear readers! 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Maintenance update ...

Hello dear readers,

I thought I would let you know that I'm going to be doing some "maintenance" on the blog so don't be alarmed if some of the photos disappear or anything else looks a bit funny. It should only be temporary and everything should be back up and running soon. 

Ta-ra for now. 

Monday, 5 May 2014

CocoDots

I've made another Coco and this time with dots. I finished making this  a few weeks back, but only got around blogging about it now. I've already worn it loads (and unfortunately this shows). I'm in love with the Coco pattern and I totally recommend it to everyone. It's so quick and easy to make and it's so wearable which is the most important part. And it doesn't hurt that I've had a few compliments while wearing  the black Coco I made in March.
CocoDots

 
I've not tried "colour blocking" before but luckily Tilly posted an excellent tutorial about this a few weeks ago. Though I should have read it properlu and not just skimmed as I ended up cutting the top block a bit too high, so easily done especially when the fabric is lying on the floor and you're trying to decide what the right proportions should be, but other than that colour blocking is dead-easy. This might be a good way to introduce some colour to my wardrobe. Maybe a turquoise and black Coco dress next.. ?

My first slight niggle with the this top is that the bottom of polka dot fabric is light grey and black rather than black and white, but as the grey is so light it almost looks like a washed-out white. The colourway was mentioned on Girl Charlee's website, but I was just looking at the pic and saw dots. But I think I can live with it and I'm not sure people will notice unless I mention it. My 2nd niggle is that the the polka dot fabric fluffs like no man's business. This is what fabric looks like after one gentle wash, sigh. Any ideas what to do about the fluffing?

Fluff anyone..?  



I'm currently midway through making a dress at the moment, makes a change from all the tops, doesn't it dear readers? 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Meet the Sassy Librarian.

And I'm not only talking about Christine Haynes's blouse, but me as well. I got a new job as an information specialist (or librarian) starting beginning of May. How exciting is that?  Well I'm superduper excited and that's all that counts. This new of a new jobs motivated me to finally finish the Sassy Librarian Blouse that has been sitting in my UFO pile for a while.
Sassy Librarians 


Shhhhh...


I purchased Christine Haynes's Sassy Librarian Blouse course from Crafsy when it was half-price sometime before Christmas. (I've ordered the fast-track fitting course by Jo Mahon on there as well, but haven't got around watching the classes yet. I probably should soon, better fit would be lovely).

I started working on the blouse mid-January, and it didn't take long to put togeher.  I only finished just now as me and the button hole function on my sewing machine had some different ideas of placement ... but I got there in the end, so hurrah!

I was bit worried about the fit somewhere along the way, but it looks ok now that it's finished. I did take the back in by an inch as most patterns then to be too wide for me and I will probably take the shoulders in a bit when I make this next, which I'm sure I will.

Christine's tutorials are a pleasure to watch and they have some helpful pointers. I picked up some useful tips about pivoting corners (marking, marking and marking!)  and hemming (which is usually my least fave thing). Shame buttons holes weren't on the list of things I learnt. As you can see the spacing of the buttons holes isn't quite even, but I'm going to let that go for now and just be happy that I finished this.

A surprisingly neatly pivoted corner on the collar


Slightly wonky buttons 


I also managed to do some stash busting with this project as I found some black cotton lying around and the leopard print material is a leftover from my Beignet that I made in 2013 so this must mean that I get to buy new fabric, right? ,D

Over&out for now dear readers.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Ohhh pants!

And this time that doesn't stand for things going wrong, but actual undies, knickers, pants. I'm not entirely sure that I've found my new favourite project, but making pants is excellent for stash busting. And there are so many amazing resource on making lingerie out there that is leaves your head spinning. Handmade Jane has written a lovely round up of the available patterns and then a funny follow-up about things didn't quite work out for her. I did symphatize with her latter post while I was sewing and unpicking and sewing again.

But onto some details, I downloaded the So Zo's underwear pattern which she's kindly made available free on blog.  And I also bought Ohhh Lulu's  Grace panties as I wanted something a bit girlier. I'm usually not a fan of PDF patterns (too many bits to stick together) but with only four sheet to tape together these weren't too bad.

It's not hugely surprising that I had various different dotty material lying in my stash so it was finally time to start using them up. You may recognise some fabric from other projects. I didn't have any pretty elastic in my stash and neither did Neppinappi where I got my black if not somewhat boring picot elastic from. I suppose if I make pants in the future I'll have to order some online, suggestions welcome dear readers!

I was a bit worried about sewing the elastic on, but this tutorial by Novita from Very Purple Person -blog made it less scary.  Despite the tutorial I still managed to sew the elastic wrong, but it only meant I had to re-sew close to the edge rather than unpick it. I think I would have cried if I'd had to unpick elastic, it was bad enough having to do some unpicking on jersey after I accidentally sewed the crotch onto the side (don't ask).

After some time with my BFF the unpicker and some time worrying about skipped stiches on my Singer 160 (until I realised I should use the three point zig-zag instead of the regular one, dur) I finally finished the pants and here they are:

 Dotty pants


 Picot lace and three point zigzag


I've not worn the pants yet, so I'm not sure how comfy they are, but they turned out better than I hoped even if they are HUGE. I'm not sure they are worth the effort, but I'm glad I've tried making some and I can now tick it off my sewing list. I think the pants might be easier to make tghe 2nd time around so I might make some more in the future and I might even try making high waisted ones, Ohhh Lulu has some purdee patterns for those as well.  

So have you made undies dear readers?  If so what patterns did you use?

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Je suis Coco ...

Tilly released her third pattern the Coco a few weeks back and I didn't need much convincing to order it. The pattern is a lovely knit top&dress with a version that has a lovely funnel neck which has a 60s vibe to it. The pattern fills a gap in my pattern stash, it's nice and casual something I can wear every day. 

My pattern arrived in the post last week with the cutest compliments card hand-signed from Tilly. Which is such a lovely touch, not to mention that the card is awesome. It's going on my sewing room wall!

Tilly's compliments card 


The packaging and the instructions also deserve a mention, they are absolutely adorable. Polka dots on the over and beautiful colour pictures so I'm sold.

I had some black double-knit jersey in my stash (quelle surprise) so I didn't have to go out and buy anything which makes a nice change. I really need to sort out what fabrics I have and and try doing some stash busting, but I have seen the prettiest turquoise cotton linen and some amazing dotty jersey that I NEED ...

Anyhow back to Coco, the top was really quick to put together even with a sewing machine instead of an overlocker. I did use a ballpoint needle and I used the three point zig-zag so my machine wouldn't jump stitches, I learnt my lesson a while back when sewing some knits and the machine kept jumping stitches a lot. The sleeves went in like a dream, but I did end up taking them in a bit as they were a bit too roomy for my liking. I loved doing the side stitches in a one long go, why haven't I done this before? 

Je suis Coco


The funnel neck

 
I'm not entirely sure the funnel neck sits quite as its supposed to, I suspect I may have stretched the neckline while working on it despite trying to stay stitching it. I'm happy with my first attempt of Coco, I think it'll be a wardrobe staple for me. I also see a dotty and stripey version in cards and probably a dress as well. I suspect I'll end up having a wardrobe full to Cocos by the end of the year!

There have been some amazing Cocos popping around on the blogosphere in the last few weeks, have you seen HandMade Jane's version, Lladybird Lauren's version  and Lynne's version?

Over&out for now dear readers.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Cute as a button

I'm not usually huge on jewellery, but I love button earrings and I love matching things so it was about high time I made some. Considering button earrings are the easiest project to make and they don't take long either, it's shameful it's taken me so long. I ordered some coverable buttons from Nappikauppa Punahilkka and used the scrap fabric from previous (and one future) projects. I also used my street cred pink tool kit to bend the button loop to one side before adding to earring posts to the buttons.

Pink tools

Button loops away

Nappikauppa Punahilkka had some coverable buttons with blank backs which would have been perfect for earring making (no hassle with the tools), but since I ordered 50 buttons I thought I might like to make some covered buttons in the future so it made sense to order these rather than the blnks. Covered buttons, pink tools, earring posts and some superglue later:


I really like the tape measure ones, which are your favorite ones dear readers? 

Monday, 17 February 2014

New Look 6000 LDB

Me and my friend Jenni have been making versions of the  New Look 6000 dress as a part of our melkein Marttakerho (see this post for what that means). We were joking that they'll be our Christmas party dresses, but that we'll probably have to have our Christmas party in January to get them done on time. Jenni finished hers in December I almost finished mine in time, but then it went a bit wrong and I only just finished mine in January, but I have worn it a lot since.

We chose the New Look 6000 because it's a lovely, easy to wear dress and it's suitable for beginners, especially if you make it from a double-knit you don't need to worry about zippers. I went for a black jersey (no surprise there) and Jenni chose a lovely purple jersey.

I used my existing pattern, but I did a small sway back alteration and also took the front in a bit so the neckline wouldn't gape. I used Gertie's new book for better sewing to help me with the pattern alterations and I have to say I'm pleased with how they worked out. Jenni didn't have to make any alterations to the patterns, how lucky is that? 

The dresses came together rather quickly even if I did unpick a sleeve (twice). Did I say something about sleeves being easy in an earlier post? I take it all back, having said that out loud must have jinxed myself, dur. 

Anyhow here are a pictures of the finished result modeled by me for a change. Donna is nice, but she doesn't always do justice to my projects (which reminds me I should take pictures of the dotty Peony being worn as it looks a lot better on me than it does on her!)

My casual LBD 

 



You can't really see the details in the pics thanks to the lack of light. I wish the days would already get longer so I'd get better pics. I also need Timo to take more pics for me as selfies really aren't good for as sewing blog. But I'm happy with the dress, it's easy to wear and the material is nice. I might make a separate collar and cuffs for it so I could jazz it up a bit or make another one with pleather cuffs and a collar. I'll also see if I can get Jenni to type up a guest post of her journey with the dress.

Over&out for now dear readers.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Measuring up my ironing board.

The first item from my this year's sewing list is completed, hurrah! It's probably not the most exciting thing on the list, but my ironing board cover was in a pretty sorry shape and I've been meaning to do something about it for ages, but somehow I didn't get around until now. Finding this amazing tape measure print fabric from Minerva Crafts was obviously the kick start I needed.

So after ordering the fabric I went and had a look at some tutorials ( here and here) and started planning. At this point I realised that my lovely tape measure fabric isn't wide enough. Nooo! But I decided to go ahead and add a seam. I'm hoping it won't interfere with my ironing too much and I did find some ironing board cover tutorials with several seams on them so ... I added some more batting to my ironing board as that was also wearing quite thin and no one likes the diamond shapes ironed onto your newly-made garments, do they?
Refurbished ironing board

 
I'd love to spray paint the legs in a cool colour, but I suspect that will have to wait til the summer. It's too cold outside to try to paint anything at the moment. I'm thinking turquoise for the legs or maybe pink, any colour suggestions dear readers?

And from the leftover fabric from the ironing board cover I made myself a new pin cushion. That's also been on my to do -list for a while now, but I've had this weird sentimental relationship with my old pin cushion, I just couldn't bare to part with it even though I dislike the fabric on it. I suspect this silly sentimentally has something to do with the fact that I made it in school quite a few years ago and that wrist-strap is superhandy. I also hate getting rid of usable things just cause I don't like the look of then. But I have to say I'm tres happy with my new up-dated pretty pin cushion and I used to old one as a "pattern" as I really like the wrist strap on it so it feels like it's still there in spirit ,D

New and old pin cushion

 
Fashionable wrist strap 


That's all for now. Over&out for now dear readers!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Knitting with the Doctor!

I started this knitting project in December with the idea of giving the mittens as Christmas present, but I didn't finish them until now. I didn't want to type posts noting my progress so that it wouldn't ruin the Christmas surprise, but the mittens are now with their new owner so I can finally share the excitement and the frustration of mittens.

I'm now in love with Ravelry.com and that my boyfriend is a massive Doctor Who -fan so imagine the excitement when I found this fantastic pattern for blue police box mittens on Ravelry. Hurrah! And it said suitable for beginners of fair isle knitting which I definately am.

Yarn and needles ready to go 


Yarn was easy enough to find as we have a nice little yarn shop called Pitsi ja Palmikko in town. I used Sandnes Garn Sisu yarn in blue (5937) and gray (1032). It's a bit thicker than the yarn recommended in the pattern, but using slightly smaller needles seemed to keep the size in check. 

I had done a tiny bit of fair isle knitting before, but I not really looked into it properly. And every time I have done fair isle knitting I've made up how to keep the yarns from getting untangled as I went. Needless to say this didn't work with this pattern, so after a few not so even rounds of the pattern and quite a bit of frustration I decided it would be best to look into it. I found this Youtube Video by CottonCloud which was really helpful. I have to confess that I didn't even know there was an English way of knitting and that it is different from the continental way until I watched the video. Luckily there was a video tutorial explaining English knitting so I learnt a new thing!

After I figured out the English and continental ways of knitting fair isle became a lot easier and quicker to do. Though it seemed that my knitting got neater during mitten number two so it ended up being a tad smaller than the first one, nooooo! I could face doing a third mitten so I ended up unravelling a bit of the first one and making it smaller by starting the finger decrease earlier. That also means the pattern isn't identical on both mittens, but I think I can live with that.

The finished mittens


What is the plural for a Tardis? 



I'm pretty pleased with the result and I will try some more fair isle knitting in the future. I also found some amazing  Tardis sock and Dalek mitten  patterns on Ravelry. I may have give these a go as well, but I promised to knit my mother some socks first ...

Timey-wimey and spacey-wacey for now dear readers.