Thursday, 19 January 2012

Ravelry Inspiration

Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I had been introduced to Ravelry. For those of you who are not familiar with the wonders of Rvaelry, it is an online sewing and crochet community where you can share details of your makes, find patterns, yarn, and just generally spend an awful lot of time browsing at all the fantastic things people have knitted! I have been so inspired and i am so excited to get knitting. I wanted to share with you a few of my favourite inspirations.

I have mentioned my minor obsession with all things owl-related many times, so what could be more perfect for me than this sweater. It has OWLS on it. OWLS!!! And buttons for eyes! So cute. I love the way that the patterns is subtle, but still visible. This pattern can be purchased for a very small sum from this website. I cannot wait to make this top, although i think it may be something to work up to!

Combining moss stitch and knitted flowers, both of which i love, these baby girl dresses are just too cute. The pattern is very kindly available for free from Stitch me Softly. I have recently discovered this blog and there are a whole range of lovely patterns, recipes and tutorials to be found - do go and have a peek!

The third pattern i would like to share with you is the St James sweater, by Tonya of the shizknit. It's so very Mad Men! You may recognise this sweater as the one blogged about recently by Tasia the Sewaholic (yep she knits too!). You can see Tasia's version here. I was drawn to this as it is promised to be a relatively easy beginner knit...i have been dying to expand my knitting repertoire from snoods and baby cardigans for some time and this seems like the ideal first garment. I am very excited to get started on this. I ordered my wool this morning...after much deliberation i settled on Cascade 220 in charcoal grey. I choose a solid colour so i can mix and match it with all my printed skirts - see, I'm learning!

Have a look at more of my favourite finds on my Ravelry page here. Have you been inspired lately? What are you planning to make next?

K xx

Sunday, 15 January 2012

FO: Pendrell Blouse

This weekend I finished my very first Pendrell Blouse. I was really pleased with the muslin I made last week, and did not need to make any adjustments before going ahead with my fashion fabric - I think this is the first time I have made a muslin which has fit perfectly! This is probably linked to the semi-fitted nature of the Pendrell Blouse, but I'm certainly not complaining.

Please ignore my slightly strange facial expression....I braved the cold (as did my semi-willing boyfriend who was the photographer!) in an attempt to get some pictures in a half-decent light...this was the best of the bunch and i wasn't about to go back for a second attempt!

I realised when trying to style this blouse that I have very few bottom-half garments that go with the print. The fabric for this blouse was chosen some time ago, and although i love the print, it goes with hardly anything else in my wardrobe. If only I had read the section on "A Thoughtful Plan" in the Colette Sewing Handbook beforehand! This is something I am going to work on this year - making garments which I can mix and match with other items in my wardrobe. It makes so much sense, and yet I always get sidetracked by a pretty print. Luckily, a Crescent Skirt in a solid is on my (very long) to-make list, which will perfectly compliment this blouse :)

Back to the details...Tasia of Sewaholic Patterns always takes time to ensure that the inside of the finished garments are as neat and tidy as the outside, which I love. I am especially proud of the wrong side of my Pendrell Blouse.

I have used French seams for the shoulders and finished the princess seams with a zig-zag stitch. Hopefully you can just about see these details in the pictures! I found this blouse a dream to sew up, and am already planning more versions in solid colours.

In other news, I am very excited to be featured on Craft Corner's "Best of the Web" this week, along with some other great bloggers including Ohhh LuLu. If you are not familiar with this site, do pop over and have a peak for some super crafty tips.

I have also been dabbling with social media and other online communities in the last few weeks. You may have already seen my post about Ravelry (KraftyKat20) but i have also signed up to Twitter (@akraftykat) and Pintrest (akraftykat). I must admit that Pintrest is a totally new one for me, so i haven't done much with it yet, but i am excited by the concept of having all my favourite ideas and inspirations in one place!

How do you use social media to inspire/organise/share your crafting? I would be really interested to hear your thoughts on this.

Hope you are all having a very crafty weekend!

K xx

Sunday, 8 January 2012

A Pendrell, a Snood and a Pussy Cat

So this weekend I have a few things to share with you. The first is my third snood (see the other two here). Previously I made a snug snood and then a much longer snood...well this one fits slap bang in the middle as a medium sized snood! I think this may be my favourite size yet - it wraps round twice and fits nice and snugly round my neck.

I just realised i am also modelling my new fringe here...I've actually had it for a while but i think this may be the first photographic evidence! Back to the knitting...I used two 50g balls of a chunky wool and cast on 100 stitches. I knitted the snood in moss stitch (knit one, purl one) using circular needles and just carried on until I was towards the end of the second ball of wool at which point i cast off. Full details on yarn etc can be found on my Ravelry page here. In this picture I have added a felt flower made using Marie from A Sewing Odyssey's excellent tutorial. I stuck a clip on the back so it is detachable.

This week i also made a muslin for the Pendrell Blouse, which was the first pattern from Sewaholic Patterns. I went for View A, which has a single pleated sleeve. I must point out that these sleeves are amazing...when you look at the strangely hexagonal pattern piece you think 'huh?' but it totally makes sense when you come to assemble them.

(Several attempts to get a picture in good light here! I really need to invest in a new camera....!)

I absolutely LOVE how this has turned out. It was my first attempt at princess seams and they are so flattering! I don't think i need to make any changes to the pattern at all, which is a first. This muslin was made out of an old sheet and it isn't obvious from the pictures but it is a bit faded and washed out so sadly not really wearable i public! I kind of wish I'd gone straight for fashion fabric now but I'm to chicken to not make a muslin! My chosen fabric for this is a print, but i really like how it looks here in a solid colour, plus this would give so many more wardrobe options! I have a feeling i will be making many of these. Also, this version is not hemmed and you can see that it it quite long on me...i can just about get away wearing it as a tunic-style top, so I can see that by modifying the pattern slightly it would be quite easy to turn this into a tunic or even a longer dress. In fact, Ashley is in the process of attempting something of the sort. So many options!

The final thing i would like to share with you is a couple of pictures of my new pussy cat, Sally, who we picked up this weekend!

She is a rescue cat and a little bit shy, but she seems to be slowly coming out of her i type this she is hiding under the bed in my sewing room, having just ran away from her own reflection. Bless!

I hope you have all had a lovely and productive weekend :)

K xx

Monday, 2 January 2012

iPad Case

A very very long time ago, i promised my boyfriend that i would make him a case for his iPad. We went fabric shopping together (a first!), he chose some material, and i found a pattern on the internet. However, once i started sewing, the whole thing was a disaster. The fabric he had selected was an absolute nightmare to work with, and frayed like nobodys business, the wadding i had bought was far too thick for purpose making it very difficult to sew, and i found the pattern i had selected slightly confusing - probably because i was trying to do things my way rather than following the instructions like a good girl! I did finish the case, but being the perfectionist i am i was not happy with the result and vowed to start again. However, i was somewhat dispondent after my first attempt, and so it got put right to the bottom of my pile of UFOs.

Fast forward about 6 months via a bit of a re-think....and ta-da!

Rather than try and salvage the mess that was my previous attempt, i decided to abandon the troublesome fabric and start again from scratch. You may recognise the Dougal fabrics from a previous post where i mentioned that my boyfriend had admired these scraps i had picked up, but i wasn't sure what to do with them. This time i chose to use a different pattern, which i purchased from Flossie Teacakes, and by chance the Dougal scraps were the perfect size to use for the front pocket and closure....don't they look great?

I would highly reccomend this pattern. Although listed as a laptop case, it involves some pretty precise measuring and therefore can be used for any size of laptop as well as iPads. Once the measuring is out of the way, it's a dream to sew up. I am sure i shall be making this again. The only trouble i had was completely my fault. My boyfriend uses one of the magnetic iPad covers, and when measuring i didn't think to include this as well. Opps. Consequently the first version did not quite fit. For a while i had nightmares of starting from scratch again, and loosing the Dougal fabrics as i had already trimmed the seam allowences, but luckily with a bit of unpicking and creative use of incredibly small seams, i managed to adjust it enough to fit. Thank goodness!

I hope everyone has enjoyed the Bank Holiday weekend. I still have one more day off before i have to go back to work, so i'm hoping to make a start on my first Pendrell Blouse. The holidays always go so fast!

K xx


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