Friday, 29 May 2015

Jacobite Shirt dress

I really love the McCall's shirt dress pattern 6696.  I have made it once before but that was in a floaty cotton lawn.  This time I have made it in a gorgeous chambray.

The Pattern

I have always loved Scotland and now that I am fortunate enough to actually live here I don't feel the slightest bit silly to still want to wear thistles or tartan in some way!  This fabric is called Botany and I love the swirling leaves, stems and thistles travelling every which way all over the fabric.
How great is this photo angle?!  No idea how this
happened, but I like it!
The pattern calls for the waistband, button band and collar stand to be hand stitched down on the inside but I decided to topstitch these instead and am quite happy with the way it looks.

The back has a yoke across the shoulders and a gathered billowing section that appeals to me for both the ease of movement and for the appearance of a narrower waist!
Here it is from the front without the belt.  I probably won't wear it with a belt myself.

The Fit

When making clothes for myself I often just go for the largest size and hope for the best.  I think really I could have made this a bit smaller.  I can easily pinch out 2 inches at the waist with my hand and the shoulder looks like it is slipping down my arm.  Also, there seems to be too much fabric from my underarm to my bust which could be removed using larger darts.  I did loose a stone (14 pounds) between planning, cutting and sewing this dress whilst trying the whole30 eating plan, and I made absolutely no attempts to fit this dress to myself at all.  I just made it straight from the envelope.

Next time I make this dress I shall try a size smaller and really make sure I am happy with the bodice and bust before continuing.
But I will most definitely still wear this dress, flaws and all!

The Fabric

The fabric is a fawn, light khaki colour with a solid black print on top.  It washed really well and didn't fade at all!  It is a design by Alison Glass as part of her Ex Libris fabric collection.  As soon as I saw it I ordered it straight away!  It comes in a choice of three colourways too.  I saw a beautiful table runner made on Instagram by Jamie Naughton using the blue colourway but she had embellished it with a rainbow of moths, also from an Alison Glass Ex Libris print.  I am seriously tempted to add some of these to my dress too!
And so, despite some fit issues, I really love this dress and am so pleased to finally be able to wear it!  It will get it's debut next weekend for our wedding anniversary. And maybe with the belt!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Results of my Own little Craft It Forward project

At the end of last year I was lucky enough to receive a beautiful handmade bag from Fiona at Celtic Thistle Stitches because she was doing a little Craft-It-Forward project and I happened to be one of the first commenters.  So recently I also offered to make three crafty things for the first three people to comment on my blog post, and now that Fiona and Jen  have received their gifts from me, (hopefully Kirstin receives hers soon?) I want to share what I made!
These are pincushions with hanging pockets and a loop to hold onto a bucket for collecting threads and trimmings.  I got the idea from Lynz when she made a very snazzy one for her own craft room, and I'm so grateful that she linked to the instructions - a great tutorial from Elizabeth Hartman.  The pin cushion is weighted down with rice and has a felt strip down the middle for sewing needles.  It is attached to a hanging pocket that can sit next to your sewing machine or on your armchair.  There is a loop to attach the threads bucket, but if you aren't using it then the loop tucks in to one of the pockets.

Fiona loves Tula Pink fabric as well as lime green, so this will be hers:
Fabric: Tula Pink, V&Co.

Kirstin loves bold colours, feminine Ulyana and knitting, so this will be hers:
Fabric: Katarina Roccella

Jen lives by the beach and looking at her blog seems to favour aqua colours, so this is hers:
Fabric: Katerina Roccella

It was really nice to look at these creative lady's blogs and decide what colours and fabrics they might like.  I enjoyed thinking about something crafty and useful that people who sew may like to have too.

Now I can't wait to see each of these blogger's Craft-It-Forward projects!
Feel free to follow them and sign up when they post their own C-I-F!
Fiona blogs at Bendigo Lioness
Kirstin blogs at Sew Classic
Jen blogs at Quilter in the Closet

Monday, 4 May 2015

Baa-ble Hat

To promote Shetland Wool week Donna Smith has designed a free knitting pattern for download.  As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to give this a go, as I love sheep and especially these little black faced sheep which I get to see quite a lot where I live in Perthshire, Scotland.

I have only ever knit one other hat using this stranded colour work technique, and I am happily surprised that once I had the needles in my hand it all came back to me and I hadn't forgotten anything!


I used a short length circular needle for the entire hat, but when I got close to the crown and there weren't many stitches left I used the 'magic loop' technique where I just pull some of the needle cord through any gap in the stitches to make the knitting into a triangle shape.

I also keep the main colour I am using for each row in my right hand and knit as normal, and the additional feature colour I keep on the left side.  When I enter my right needle into the left to start a stitch I simply loop the yarn over from the strand on my left.  When it comes to a gap of more than 5 or 6 sttiches all I did was pick up the ball of yarn from my left side and take it under and over the looping strand on my right side.  (I should have taken a video I guess).
Here is what the inside ends up looking like:

Perfect for Scottish weather, as it almost acts as two layers!  I used the recommended yarn and colours, and bought it directly from Jamieson's of Shetland.  But there are already so many other gorgeous Baa-ble hats to be seen in an array of colours using the hashtag #baable on social media.

This will be the first pom pom I have ever worn!  And I don't feel one bit silly, instead wearing it makes me feel proud of my ability to make such a fun pattern with such beautiful wool.
Bird's eye view

Gamboling sheep in all their glory, front and back.

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