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


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.

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 


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?