Blogger Network #31 – Merchant & Mills Camber Dress

merchant-and-mills-camber-set-dress

Hello March! Time for another Minerva Blogger Network post and this month I’ve made the Merchant & Mills Camber dress in a geometric print linen/cotton fabric. This is the first time I’ve ever used a Merchant & Mills pattern and I was really impressed with it! My finished dress is very wearable and it makes a great addition to my everyday wardrobe.

See more of my Camber dress on the Minerva Crafts blog here!

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‘Mum’ Cushion Embroidery

embroidered-mum-cushion

Hello there! Just a quick post for you this week as I wanted to share the bit of embroidery work I did on this cushion for my mum’s birthday. I bought the cushion in Asda Living (it’s part of their Mother’s Day 2017 collection)  but decided I could improve the design with a few stitches! Using all six strands of embroidery thread, I simply cross stitched over the ‘mum’ in yellow, did a turquoise blue chain stitch either side, a few back stitches in turquoise and plum purple helped to enchance the leaves and stems around the edges, and I also went over the heart at the bottom with a series of long stitches in coral pink. And that’s it! A quick yet effective update. Happy birthday mum!

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Blogger Network #30 – Monochrome Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress

megan-neilsen-sudley-dress

Hello everyone! It’s time for my first Minerva Blogger Network post of the year, and this month I’ve made the Megan Nielsen Sudley dress in a lovely black and white floral viscose. One of my sewing resolutions for 2017 was to be a bit more mindful and intentional with my sewing projects, so I’m aiming to focus on garments that I’ll wear often and/or that match other items I own. With that in mind, click the link below to read more about my make!

Read more about my Sudley dress on the Minerva Crafts blog here!

Grainline Linden Sweatshirt in Liberty Jersey

grainline-linden-in-liberty-print*disclaimer: whilst this is my first post of 2017, I actually made this sweatshirt last year. Do forgive me…

Hello everyone! For today’s post and for my first project of the year, I wanted to quickly show you the Liberty print sweatshirt that I made back in October/November. I haven’t actually worn this since I made it because the cropped sleeves and slightly wider neck make it a bit more Spring-appropriate, but it’s a great garment nonetheless and I wanted to tell you about it!

This is the first time I’ve ever used a Grainline Studios pattern and I have to say, I really liked it. I used the Linden sweatshirt pattern for this make, and it’s printed on really sturdy pattern paper that can easily be used again without fear of ripping. The Linden is one of those patterns that all bloggers seem to have made at some point, and now that I’ve made one I can see why. The pattern is nice and easy to sew up and it’s a very wearable piece of clothing. I can definitely see myself making another!

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The fabric I used for my Grainline Linden is another blogger favourite – the super popular Liberty sweatshirt knit in rich blues and greens that Minerva Crafts had on sale for £14.99/metre last year. Unfortunately, this fabric has now sold out, so you’ll have to enjoy it from afar instead! You could make the Linden with any sort of medium-weight knit fabric though, so keep an eye out for sweatshirt fleece, French terry or thick jersey fabrics. I only needed 1m of fabric in total, but that’s perhaps because Liberty fabrics are generally around 60″ wide. You’ll  probably need around 1.5/2m if you’re using a different type of fabric.

liberty-print-linden-sweatshirt

What do you think of my finished Linden? Have you ever made this pattern? If I was to make it again I think I’d put a bit more work into the fit of the neckline – I think because the fabric is quite thick, it’s made the neck band fairly stiff and it doesn’t sit flat against my body. I also chose to make the neck band in the main fabric, rather than using a contrasting ribbed knit like the pattern suggests, so only I can be held accountable for it not being 100% right!

#2017makenine – What I Plan to Stitch This Year

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a restful and peaceful Christmas break. You may have seen my last post of the year – a round up of everything I made in 2016 – and for my first post of the new year I wanted to hop on the #2017makenine train and show you what I plan to make in the upcoming months. So here we go, and in no particular order:

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Top Row, Left-Right

1. MillaMia Elk Cushion – I bought this cushion kit at the Knitting and Stitching show a couple of years ago, and it’s very nearly finished! I’ve completed the fairisle front and now just need to slave away on the plain back until it’s done.
2. Sew Over It Silk Cami – I received this pattern as a gift, along with some silk bow-print material, so I look forward to it being a simple-yet-useful make for summer.
3. Burda 6849 Shirt – I’ve made a chambray shirt with this pattern before, and I have 2m of Liberty print lawn in my stash that is calling out to be used.

Middle Row, Left-Right
4. Merchant and Mills Camber Dress – A birthday gift, my husband bought me this pattern plus some linen-look geometric fabric with which to make it. A simple shape but a dress I’ll hopefully wear often.
5. Tilly and the Buttons Rosa Shirt Dress I bought this pattern when it came out in 2016 and have a length of aztec, woven chambray that I just hope will be big enough!
6. Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress – my first make of the year for Minerva Crafts, this loose fitted dress will be made in a silky monochrome viscose and should be good for spring.

Bottom Row, Left-Right
7. Simplicity 1563 PyjamasThe second of my Minerva Crafts makes, I plan to make a pair of cosy, brushed cotton pyjama trousers with a matching jersey t-shirt.
8. New Look 6449 Shirt Dress
Another shirt dress and more chambray! And my final upcoming Minerva project, this time in a timeless charcoal chambray that will match with anything.
9. M&S Safari Crochet Kit – 
A fun Christmas present from my sister, this year I hope to learn how to crochet and make these cute zoo animals.

What are your plans for the new year? Are you making as many shirts/dresses as I am? Let me know in the comments!

 

Sewing in 2016 – My Year in Review

As the year comes to a close, I like to take a look back on all the projects that I’ve made over the past 12 months and showcase them in one satisfying visual. In 2016 I accomplished and blogged about 17 completed projects – that’s an average of 1.4 items per month, including 13 dressmaking/sewing projects, 3 craft projects and a knitted bobble hat. I’ve also used a variety of pattern makers: I can see Tilly and the Buttons, By Hand London, McCalls, Simplicity and New Look in the gallery here. And this doesn’t take into account the handful of things that I’ve made and not blogged about, or not quite finished, so perhaps that total is nearer 25 than 17.

2016-in-review

So what have I learnt this year?

  • I now take longer on my projects than I did in 2015. Last year, I completed 27 projects – that’s 11 more than 2016! This is partly because I don’t seem to have as much free time as I used to (hello house improvements), but also because the projects I’m choosing are often that bit more complicated, and so take more time and care to complete.
  • Blue and red are my colours. I think I knew this already, but seeing it laid out in one handy photo grid definitely confirms my colour palette for future projects! Knowing what does (and doesn’t) suit me makes choosing fabrics and patterns much, much easier.
  • I love a good Christmas craft. This isn’t news either, but Christmas projects did make up 1/4 of my total for this year…
  • Knitting takes me forever. I knitted my bobble hat over the course of a weekend because it was made with chunky yarn, and I parked myself in front of the TV for hours, but that Millamia fairisle cushion I wanted to get done by Christmas? Well, let’s just say it’s taking longer than expected.
  • Moving into 2017, I need to make use of what I already have. I uploaded 94 fabrics from my stash to the Cora app (!!!), and have numerous sewing patterns and books on my shelves that I’ve been wanting to use for ages, as well as various WIPs. 2017 will be the year this happens.
  • I need to spend more time working on the fit. Every single garment I make has some sort of fitting issue… as time goes on and I make more and more things, the issues have become fewer and less significant, but I still have trouble understanding the shape of my shoulders, back, waist etc. I really need to study this harder!
  • I also need to sew what makes me happy. No more jumping on bandwagons or sewing to tight deadlines, as this only causes me unnecessary stress or leaves me with piles of to-do’s that I know will never get done. Sewing is my hobby and my escape, and I need to sew for me and not because I ‘have to’.

So how was your 2016? Did you complete more or fewer projects than me? And what are your goals for the new year? I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas period and have enjoyed reading my posts over the past 12 months. I really do appreciate your attention, comments and support – so thank you, and happy new year!

I Knitted a Woolly Hat! + Free Knitting Pattern

free-bobble-hat-knitting-patternA few weeks ago, Let’s Knit magazine Tweeted a link to this free bobble hat knitting pattern for newbie knitters. I’ve done a bit of knitting here and there, but I’d still class myself as a beginner, so when I saw this pattern I knew it was something I’d be able to accomplish! So I downloaded and printed it straight away, and off I went…

The knitting pattern is for a simple, ribbed knit hat with a pompom on the top. The only stitches you need to know are knit (k), purl (p), knit/purl two together (k2tog/p2tog), and ‘slip one, knit one, pass slip stitch over’ (skpo). That last stitch is a lot easier than it sounds, and the pattern gives you a step-by-step instruction of how to do it too (very helpful). You’ll also need 5mm and 6mm needles, plus one 100g ball of chunky yarn – I used a ball of Deramores Vintage chunky in ‘Rose’ that I’ve had sat in my stash for a while (it’s 50% merino wool so incredibly soft and cosy), but any colour/brand would work just the same.lets-knit-bobble-hat-pattern

I knitted this hat over the course of a weekend – I think I might’ve done 3 hours on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. I didn’t have a single problem following the pattern – after you’ve cast on 90 stitches for the women’s variant, you simply knit/purl in a ribbed pattern until you get to the top where the shaping happens. You then sew up the seam and make a pompom to attach to the top. Easy!

If you’re new to knitting (or aren’t very confident) then this is a great pattern to start with. It’s easy to follow, quick to make and is something that you’d actually want to wear when it’s finished. It’s also a great last-minute, handmade Christmas gift idea! I love my new hat and can’t wait to wear it when the cold weather comes around! Even if I do look a bit like a tea cosy  🙂

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