Friday, 27 July 2012

That's A Wrap

I have finished my wrap dress just in time for some Summery weather! Am going out tonight and think that this will be just perfect - fresh and pretty, think I'll even curl my hair for the occasion.

It was a pretty easy pattern really. The only thing I would do differently is use a light weight interfacing instead of the medium one I used, and I think the interfacing should be cut without including the seam allowance, as this made the neck band a wee bit tricky to press and it could make it look puckered around the curve.  But I persevered and it worked well anyway!
One other thing is the neckline. It's fine if you spend all day standing straight and tall, but if you want to sip a coffee or sit down and chat with a friend, you might find they get to know a whole new you! It is too low and too gaping really, so whilst you are hand-sewing on the two hook & eyes, put one at the neckline too. 
A close up of the front shoulder gathered detail.
This is where I added the extra hook & eye.

If it happened to be a breezy day, and the top wrap opening flew open, the underneath wrap does cover up quite a bit, just in case. But if you were worried, the belt is not attached, so you could always tie it so that the weight of the belt ties helped to hold down the front overlap in case it was a windy day.
Demonstrating effects of a possible breeze.

Demonstrating effects of a possible gale.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

My New Dress

I have had this lovely pattern for a while now and she's been sitting on the shelf, all alone, without her soul-mate fabric.
But she has at last come off the shelf and has met Ms. Right! Amy Butler's wind flower!
Don't you think they make a lovely pair? I'm hoping for a "happily ever after."

Friday, 20 July 2012

A Wedding

Friends of ours have six children ( I know!!! ) and so money can be a bit tight, so when their eldest daughter announced her engagement, I was happy to say Yes and help them out with the photos on her big day.
Let me say that I am NOT a photographer at all, but I do love weddings. It was really very trusting of them to give such a huge responsibility to an amateur like me, so I wanted to do the photos justice.
My camera confidence is at it's very lowest with the dull interior lights and unfortunately it rained the whole day so the photos had to be taken inside (apart from 10 minutes of light drizzle when we dashed outside for a few portraits of the bride and groom). But I tried my best and have spent the last two week's worth of free time going over them using the magical Adobe Photoshop.
So here are a few of my favourites.

Which one do you like best?

Sunday, 15 July 2012

In My Garden

Karen mentioned a piece of my stitching work on her blog this weekend! How exciting for me, as a newbie to blogging! Some lovely ladies ( Joanne and Abby) commented on my mysterious WIP (work in progress) and said such kind things too. It's so encouraging to get complimentary feedback.
So thought I had better help out any guessing people who might pop over to my blog page for some clues about my WIP:
The quilt is based on Annie's design from Hatched and Patched. I've changed a few of the pictures, but not many.
The individual patches have been hand appliqued and then pieced together with patchwork strips using the machine.
This square is 20" x 20".
This 20" x 20" square will be placed to the right of the first one.

This 20" x 20" square goes to the right of the above square to form the top row of my hand appliqued quilt.
This is my most recent one - can you spot where the WIP mystery photo from Karen's blog comes from?

psst! - it's a pear tree in a diamond.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Sally Shirt Dress

I have finally finished my Sally Shirt Dress from Serendipity patterns! 
Kay looks great wearing the dress on the front of the pattern, and even though I am not as slim or petite as her, I think it looks good on a bigger lady too. This is the first time I have ever dared to wear horizontals, but hopefully the chevron will be WOW enough and nobody will notice the wide expanse of fabric. 
I didn't add the fabric trim on the hem or sleeves because I couldn't get green fabric to match.
I have written a review onto the Pattern Review website if you're interested.

I really like it, and am happy with the pattern and with the fabric. I think I will use this pattern again.
What fabric would you suggest for me for next time?

P.S. It is supposed to be summer, so the summer flowers and grasses are all trying their best, but it is still raining!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Sally Shirt Dress

In the pattern for this dress, Kay gives a good tip for easing in the sleeves, she suggests putting the sleeve fabric closest to the machine's feed dogs whilst having the material for the body of the dress on top. This is to allow in a bit of 'ease' to the dress.
I wish I had read this tip before I sewed the two front panels of the dress, as the bottom piece (the facing) is stiffer and doesn't move about, whereas the top piece did move a wee bit, and as you can see in this photo, bubbled up a bit, you can even see I have already unpicked my stitching and am having to re-do it because of the wave of fabric in front.

At least I've learnt a new idea for next time!

Friday, 6 July 2012

In My Garden BOM

I have started teaching myself how to do applique by hand. I saw this lovely quilt pattern from Hatched and Patched called In My Garden and knew it was the perfect challenge for me to tackle a new skill.
Anni sends out one pattern each month, and then I use the photos to try to colour match the fabrics from my scraps collection. Her quilt design is based on her feelings about her garden, and uses personal images that reflect her garden from growing up until now. I hope she doesn't mind, but I have already decided to imitate her and have slightly altered a few of her pictures so that My quilt will reflect my love of my garden here in Scotland.

Here's my first ever attempts at needle-turn hand applique AND I LOVE IT!

This is block #1. I changed her bird design into a chicken, because I was looking forward to getting chickens at the time! I also changed the flowers in the top diamond shape into snowdrop shapes, as that was a flower in the garden at the time.
This is the starting patches for block #2. The only thing I changed here was the shape of the butterfly wings - I wanted them a bit rounder looking.

What is your prefered way to applique?

Monday, 2 July 2012


Saw a lovely quilt in the Moda Bake Shop called Wild Rose Postage Stamp Quilt that looked like something I might be able to try myself. A friend is having a baby, so it's a perfect opportunity to begin a new crafty skill. Patchwork seems like such a good idea!
So I sent my dear friend some links to Moda's lovely range of fabrics, and she chose a Sandy Gervais collection.
So I layed out the fabric strips from Left dark reds fading into pinks then pales and heading to the right with the dark aqua shades.

Then I cut each 2.5" strip into 2.5" squares and mixed them around into 4x4 grids, as you can see keeping the darker ones to the left and interspersing a few pale and pink in amongst them. I quite enjoyed this process - it was fun trying to keep it looking jumbled but balanced.

I sewed them into rows of four squares, then sewed 4 of these strips together to form a 4x4 square, pressing each and every sewn line as I went.

All done! 

Then I aded a pale border, wadding, backing and binding and tried to quilt it together on my basic machine! Voila!

What do you think of my first ever attempt at a patchwork quilt?
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