Archive | February, 2013

A Stripey Number

20 Feb

Brrrrrrr, it’s freezing.

That would explain my lack of posts. No, the power didn’t go out, unexcitingly. No, what happens is I get home from work, take off my boots, run up stairs, go to the toilet and put on my pyjamas, including socks, slippers, 2 tshirts, a woollen number and a scarf. Ain’t nobody changing and posing in this weather!

However, I have been sewing like crazy! Oh, and knitting too! My first item


I love this thing! It’s so warm and soft and snuggly and colourful! However I don’t think it deserves its own post as it’s only stocking stitch.

So onto the other thing.

I have been told that the way to get a good photo is with natural light



So I was doomed from the outset really. That’s probably why my face was so miserable in this photo and I had to go Joker-stylee on my ass



Seriously, I looked like my cat just died or something. Now I genuinely am miserable, you know why?

It’s freaking sunny, dude! What’s that about?!

Anyway, this is another Sew U Home Stretch compilation and my first time working with stripes!

The stripe-matching on the skirt went a little iffy around the waist, nothing major just not perfectly straight. But, it’s easily coverable with a belt and since there’s gathers that sort of cover it up a bit as well I’m not too fussed.

However, check out the strip-matching on that arm guy!



Just FYI it didn’t go wacko at the top, that’s just gravity pulling the cuff down. Pretty awesome matching for my first time right?!

I tried taking this photo outside too but posing on the street for the first photo was bad enough, without trying to get a shot of my armpit.

Like the Floral Knit it’s so great to just pull on and lounge around the house in which is doubly great because it’s half term people!!! Holidays and lots of sewing for me 😀 I have two dresses sitting on the mannequin waiting to be finished- one needs a zip inserting and one needs a hem. God I hate hems….



Come rain or shine, ’tis bargain-hunting time.

6 Feb

Aren’t Nans just the best?

If you haven’t guessed already, I’m quite a bargain hunter. If I can get something for half the price elsewhere I’d rather wait a few days to get it than pay for the convenience of having it right now.  Money is time people!

My Nan taught me my bargain-hunting ways- I can clearly remember days of rummaging through jumble sales in search of still-packaged bed sheets (or clean at least, we’re not too fussy,) for quilting and cries of ‘3 black sacks full for a tenner!’ Which I’m grateful for now as a lot of those bed sheets have now been passed down to me 😀

Getting back on topic: aren’t Nans the best? Mine is currently making my wedding invitations which I’m mahoosively grateful for (oh yeah I’m getting married in July!) She also gives me what she likes to call ‘Red Cross Parcels’. In said parcels are things like pasta, tins of beans, packets of biscuits etc and a wild card. This wild card can be the ultimate fail (granny pants from a granny anyone?) or a gem. And this time she came up with a proper gem:


That’s £2.99 mofos! I know you’re thinking most books that are reduced to £2.99 are a piece of crap but this one totally isn’t! I won’t post loads of pictures of the inside incase of copyright or something but look at this


People, that is an umbrella quilt! Why have I not seen an umbrella quilt before?! Why isn’t everyone making umbrella quilts?!

I don’t usually make quilts- I made one as a gift and made myself one once but I don’t have many people I could gift them to and I don’t have space to have a gazillion quilts lying around, but I will make space for an umbrella one!


Look how cute they are!

I’m going to change it slightly- I’m much more a fan of polka dots than stripes so my blocks will consist of various coloured polka dots and solid colour with a patterned umbrella on top.

If you’re thinking: ‘I didn’t sign up for this shit. You said this would be a blog about dresses and cardigans. In fact, you specifically said if I wasn’t interested in dresses and cardigans not to continue reading because that’s all you’d post about’ then fear not. I have a couple of items up my sleeve 😉 (Or not, as the sleeves still need to be attached.)

Oops, Simplicity 1803

2 Feb

Hands up, who knew this would happen?


I couldn’t help it. I was sewing a pet bed and kept glancing over at the pattern. It literally called to me *make me, make me* I had to obey its wishes.

I have to apologise,readers. It’s minus a gazillion and I ain’t taking those boots off for nobody!

The fabric is that beautiful jacquard I picked up at Walthamstow for £2 a metre. I bought 4 metres and I reckon I’ve still got about 2-2.5m left! (Any ideas what to make with the leftovers? Jacket? Skirt? Another dress?)

The more I worked with it the more I realised this as an upholstery fabric. A cheap upholstery fabric, which is why it was thin for the style, but thick for dress fabric. As such, I couldn’t do the gathers as the pattern suggested so I went with pleats. I actually really like it with pleats and the thickness of the fabric holds the structure but still looks drapey. Perfect!


It was a pain in the arse to work with though. As upholstery fabric tends to, this shit went everywhere. EVERYWHERE!!! I keep finding little black threads appearing from nowhere (including in my pants?!)

And it attracts everything too. So black threads were coming off the fabric and sticking to the fabric. Oh it was horrible.

The pattern tried to convince me I was a size 20. No,no,no my friend. I’ve heard of your ways 1803, you won’t trick me into self-pity. I cut the 18 for my boobs (because nobody likes flat boob!) and then brought in the waist.

Raspberry pockets!


Oh yeah, I moved the pockets. Who wants pockets on the front of a dress?! Crazy!

I love, love, love this dress. Have I finished sewing my pet stuff? No. Do I regret it? No. Now I can sew the pet stuff in my beautiful new dress (and then get the scraps and threads stuck to me…) Oh well!

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter

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