Archive | January, 2014

Pattern Post! And decisions, decisions.

23 Jan

I love getting post. Some people are all down on it because of bills. Whatevs. I’ve got that direct debited so no misery for me- all post is good post in my world!

Especially today’s post. Eeeeeeeeeee!!!

This beautifully-wrapped parcel arrived from Patterns From The Past as part of the prize I won in the Stitcher’s Dream give-away (yes I think I’ll have to link that post for the next few months!)

Three lovely patterns: (which are photographed the wrong way and apparently very stubborn as they won’t rotate. grr.)

This gorgeous coat dress.

I’ve lusted over a coat dress ever since I can remember and found the perfect pattern but it was $65. $65!!! I very nearly bought it but luckily for my wallet somebody bought it before me and then I found this beauty. The skirt isn’t as full as the other one and the buttons come down into the skirt in this pattern but I can work on that 😉


I’m not particularly in love with it but I had like an extra $3 or something to spend with my voucher so I just chucked it in. You know I make the most of everything 😉

This I could probably do something with

This I’m not so sure

It’s like a peplum gone wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.

Finally, I ordered this.

Which I love.  I love that style of blouse so just having that pattern would be enough but the fact it COMES WITH A MATCHING SKIRT OMG.

I mean technically, that’s a dress. I know that. I could just make a dress. But why do that when I can make it INFINITELY COOLER by making matching separates and then whipping my skirt off to show everybody? Huh?

I’ve seen some that include matching shorts too but they were in sizes way too small for any natural human being so I’ll find another shorts pattern for that and then I’ll be the coolest person in the entire galaxy for having matching shorts, skirt and shirt. Hah.

Also in Pattern Post news I have received the Georgia dress from By Hand London (another giveaway winning. Thanks to Fabric Godmother for that 😀 )  and also the Clara Dress from Dragonfly Fabrics.

Unfortunately, I haven’t actually made a single thing.

Well, that’s a lie, obviously. I made my Miette skirt which will be blogged about very soon, but apart from that….

I just can’t decide!! I keep thinking yes, I’m definitely going to make that pattern from that material and then…

What if it’s the wrong thing? What if I could’ve made something better?

I need to snap out of it or I’ll have nothing to wear! (Also a lie.)


True Bargain Hunter

10 Jan

Anyone ever played the Lego games? Instead of True Jedi or True Believer I have now accumulated enough points to be a True Bargain Hunter.

I mean there’s the £52 overlocker for a start, the massive fabric hauls from Walthamstow, other general bargains and now this: a knitting machine.


This is hands down the best £11 I’ve ever invested. Yes, that’s right £11!!!!!!!!

The knitting machine and I were meant to be. I found it on preloved but it was located in Southampton. I emailed the seller to ask if they could post it to me but luckily, preloved shows your location and it turned out his daughter lives in the next town. Even better than that, he was coming down the following week to see her!

So this evening I made the 5 mile trip to collect the thing- the man was so lovely. It was him and not his wife who had done all the knitting would you believe! Apparently he made loads of jumpers for his children (a fact which was corroborated by his daughter whilst I was there!) and clothes for his wife (who also vouched for him) and spent ages talking me through all the bits as he knew I was a beginner. Honestly, I kind of want him to be my Grandad!

Anyway, enough talking about my new Grandpuppy; I obviously tried this out as soon as I got home. It was a little bit tricky getting my head round all the new terms but definitely manageable.


The handy device that does all my work for me:


My knitting in the machine


And out!


Seeing that square come out the bottom of that machine was an awesome feeling! I screwed up a few times at first (obviously) and nothing was coming out so when you finally start seeing this block appearing… it was close to the feeling on my wedding day, serious.

Ok, the more observant among you will have noticed there’s a couple of holes and one of the corners is slightly rounded. In fact, I could have sorted the holes out as the instructions (oh yeah, this thing came with instructions!) include how to pick up dropped stitches and I did have a quick go but for a test square I kind of couldn’t be bothered. The corner is rounded because I screwed up the casting off and kept forgetting to carry the yarn over, but I reckon by the end (the left hand side) I got the hang of it. I reckon it’s probably better than my first hand-knitted square though and I know why I dropped the stitches so it won’t happen again! (I hope: it almost definitely will.)

How awesome is this yarn by the way? I bought it a while ago because it looked fucking awesome (a good judgement call if you ask me) but had no use for it. Socks. This knitting machine does socks you know….

My goals for 2014 might have to be revised- 2 cardigans is nothing now!

Happy New Year to you and me!

2 Jan

It has now been 1 whole year since I started this blog. Imagine that, a whole year! So Happy Birthday to Makesphere and a Happy New Year to you all!

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas (yes I’m saying Christmas, I’ll say it any time of the year, I’m not afraid. I’m like Harry Potter; I’ll say Voldemort. Voldemort, Voldemort, VOLDEMORT. Christmas. Ha!)

And I hope you all had fun seeing in the New Year. If you didn’t do anything and simply went to bed then I hope you had fun with that too. I can’t say I blame you- I never really got why we celebrate it reaching midnight like it does 364/5 other days of the year but I’ll use it as an excuse to see my friends and family and have a bit of fun.

I’m setting myself some goals this year. Not resolutions as such, just things to aim towards but I won’t get too pissed at myself if I don’t reach them.

Sewing goals:

This year I want to really increase my handmade wardrobe. Word’s starting to get out that I can make my own clothes so it’s really disappointing when someone says “I love your dress, did you make it?” and I have to hang my head in shame and very quietly mumble “no”. I’m not going to chuck out my shop bought clothes because that would be a huge waste (and I’m a clothes hoarder. What?) but I would like to increase the percentage of homemade vs crapmade (i.e. in a shop)

That’s kind of a vague goal, so let’s add some numbers to it:

1. I’m going to make 3 skirts this year… 

That’s not even a challenge. I have these completely planned out in my handy new sketchbook. 1 Kelly skirt, black, purple or denim, and 2 Miette skirts in red and black.

… and wear them often.

That’s the challenge. I actually own a few skirts but don’t wear them often because I don’t own enough top halves. Which leads me on to…

2. Make at least 2 tops/blouses/shirts 

I made one top once, and hated it. I tried to draft my own from a dress pattern but I don’t wear them often enough to really know what I’m doing. It would be like if an alien came to Earth and you told him to make a women’s top. He’d be like what the eff is that?!

I mean I do know what a top is, I am from Earth, but…

it was recognisable as a top but also recognisably handmade so I chucked it.

3. Make 10 dresses

Easy peasy I reckon. I’ve got 3 planned already, one of which I’m going to start on in just a moment. What could hold me back is lack of finances (never, I’ll starve before I give up fabric) or being consumed in all my other projects.

4. Finish my wedding quilt.

I don’t think I mentioned this but we had all our guests sign a fabric square as a guestbook which I have pieced together and am halfway through quilting. But I decided to hand quilt it and it’s taking FOREVER. We got married in July so yeah, forever. I hope to get it done by this July but if I finish it at all this year I’ll be happy.

5. Make something for Mark

Gah. This is easily my hardest goal. I have no experience in men’s sewing whatsoever. I find men’s clothes terribly boring too- it’s all shirts and trousers *yawn*

He started a new job which requires him to wear a suit so we went shirt shopping and it was so stressful. I thought buying a shirt would be easy, but no. Let’s just say he’s come away with a complex about having a fat neck and now asks me how thick I think the neck is of EVERY SINGLE MAN WE SEE. I might make him a shirt. I might wimp out and do something easy like a t-shirt or a light jumper. It’ll be very difficult to get inspiration to strike involving men’s clothing.

Knitting & Crochet Goals

So many WIPs…..

1. Finish them.

The WIPs I mean, not the aforementioned alien attack on Earth. I have a zig zag crochet blanket, Mark’s jumper (and this could very neatly accomplish two goals if I cheat a little) and an owl jumper. This is considerably less than the last time I posted about my WIPs so a medal for me please.

2. Reknit Hetty’s sleeves.

I know. I’m literally crying inside. Constantly. I knit Hetty up all nice and lovely but the sleeves are too small and too short. Guys, you know how much I hate knitting sleeves. Reknitting is 10 times worse. No, 100000000 times worse. *sob*

3. Sort out Chuck

I committed a knitter’s sin. I bought different lot numbers.

It’s the worst thing ever. I only needed about 20 yards to finish my sleeve (fucking sleeves, I hate them so much!) and I had absolutely no idea what the number was and anyway, I purchased the yarn like a year before so it wouldn’t have mattered much if I did know it. The jumper is cream- how many shades of cream can you really get?

Oh the naivety. It looks absolutely terrible. I have to do something about it. My solution thus far has been to dye it. I think if I dye it it’ll all kind of blend together and look ok. But the yarn is part acrylic, bugger. I looked up dying acrylic yarn and some people have managed it apparently but that’s about as far as I got.

4. Knit 2 cardigans

Planned. Hiro which I’ve started (I’m so sorry WIP God) and Miette. 2 cardigans doesn’t sound like a lot but I probably only  knit for a few hours a week and I have a ton of WIPs to finish!

5. Knit a pair of socks. 

Also planned. And technically started- I did a few rows because I bought some really awesome yarn that I wanted to see how it knit up so I’m not counting it as a WIP. Nope, definitely not.

Life goals

Please feel free to skip if you’re only interested in sewing/knitting. I wouldn’t blame you at all- just good for me to keep it all here and look back on. And maybe someone’s interested, somewhere.

1. Lose some weight

I’m not miserable about my body. Some days I get really pissed that I can’t just wear ‘normal’ clothes but this is happening less frequently now I make my own. My problem actually isn’t so much being overweight but my shape. I have a massive arse, I know I do, and it doesn’t fit into anything! My boobs are rather… booby too and also don’t fit. To get things to fit in RTW clothing I have to get big sizes and then it flaps about at my waist which is rather irritating. Now I make my own I can get them to fit better but I still would like to be smaller. I know it won’t change my shape but I’m a cheapskate and being thinner means less fabric. Also, it would mean I’d feel more confident to try some different styles out which is always exciting.

2. Get a better job

Or better yet, start working for myself. I’m getting sick of my job- nothing in particular and it’s nothing against the place I work at but it’s just not for me anymore. You might know that I teach flute lessons part time. I would love for that to become a full time thing. Mark’s got his new job so I want to get a new job and live like proper grown ups. (Except I just said ‘he’s got one so I want one’ exactly how a 5 year old would say…)

3. Blog more! 

Last year (ewww, 2013 is so last year now!) was hectic. Excuses, excuses I know, but I did get married and that takes a lot of bloody work!  Apparently I wrote 28 posts last year. This year I’m going to aim for 40. Now I’ve written it down I’m thinking ‘shit, 40’s like nearly one a week. I can’t do that.’ Well suck it up bitch- some people are writing like one a day so pull your finger out. Or camera out, as that is my main problem. With all these goals it shouldn’t be too hard to find 40 things to blog about.

Here’s 1, so only 39 more to go!

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter

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