Archive | September, 2014

Of mojos and oysters

20 Sep

I said summer was over and looks like I’m about to prove it. I’ve not been into sewing much recently. I keep trying to push myself to do it but I just can’t be bothered.I was super in to knitting for a while- I spent my whole summer just knitting and finished about 5 projects- but now I can’t even be bothered to do that.

My latest thing is being in the kitchen. Cooking, baking, generally making a mess- I want to spend every waking minute in the kitchen mixing stuff together and seeing what happens. I enjoy all of my hobbies but I go through phases where I just prefer one over the other and I don’t want to do the others. It’s like a force that takes over and I just have to do that thing- in this case, cooking.

I feel like motivation plays a big part in creativity. Sure, I can force myself to sit upstairs and sew a dress or two, my technical knowledge hasn’t left me, but they just won’t be as good as they could be without the creative energy that comes with being motivated, pumped, excited about the thing you’re about to create from your own bare hands. And so I’ve just left it. Lord knows I need more clothes now Winter’s rolling in but I don’t see the point in wasting perfectly good fabric if I won’t enjoy it. Luckily, I did knit up a storm so whilst I’m still in cooking mode I still have projects I haven’t shared with you! Today I’ve got something very different to the usual Makesphere fodder. I stated that this blog would be 90% dresses and cardigans, 9% shoes and 1% other junk. Today we’ve reached the other junk.


It’s a shawl! Never in my life had I considered knitting or even owning a shawl. I see patterns for them all the time on Ravelry but I just could never understand the reasoning behind it- why not just wear a cardigan?

It’s not the same! A shawl is like a nice warm hug which you can also wear over a cardigan by the way so no need to choose! DSCF5255

This is the Oyster Shawl which I spotted in a Testing group on Ravelry. The same as sewing pattern testing, knitting designers often ask people to test their knitting patterns and who better than the people most likely to buy it? Ravelers! I really wanted to test the pattern but the deadline was quite tight anyway and considering I’d never knitted a shawl before nor such complicated lace I opted to be notified when the pattern was available to the general public.

That was a good choice. Not that I would say there’s anything particularly difficult about the pattern but you have to pay such close attention that I ripped back the lace section twice. Usually I’m a lazy knitter and if I screw up I say screw it but what are supposed to look like circles ended up being wonky triangles so I bit the bullet and did it again. It got much easier the second time round because I had an idea of where I was going and why I was doing certain things. Counting got easier because I could see which stitch it was supposed to sit on top of. I can’t even remember now why I had to rip back a second time but I can tell you that that lace section is nigh on perfect now!


I used DROPS 4ply Alpaca yarn and my goodness it’s soft. I now want to knit everything in Alpaca. It was like a cloud in my hands whilst working with it and wearing it is like a giant bear hug. Or, I suppose, Alpaca hug. This shawl went all over Wales with me on holiday. Here it is at Pembroke castle 1910646_10153129026938942_4424746271433518175_n

Even better than that- this shawl is versatile. On days where a shawl isn’t appropriate it doubles up as a scarf- a super duper warm scarf which is making me reconsider knitting scarves too. (Something I never wanted to do because straight lines are so boring yo) It can also become an excellent sun shade when you didn’t know you were visiting the beach 997062_10153129037888942_1189293751520132966_n


Tania Dress

12 Sep

Aaaaaaahhhh! It’s Friday. I’ve just finished a whole week at my new job and I got to come home early. Life is sweeeeeeeet!

And also stressful. New job=stress. But we’ll stick with life being sweet.

Today’s post brings what seems to be the last of my summer makes.

I hadn’t planned it that way- I didn’t think ‘it’s officially Autumn now, no more bright florals’; naturally my crafting seems to have taken me in a different print and colour direction but we’re going out on an absolute sizzler I tell thee.


Just look how summery it is! Sleeveless, bright yellow and florals to boot. You can’t get more August than that.

‘But doesn’t all that skirt get blown up in the August breeze?’




It’s blooming shorts! Well, culottes to be precise.

Yup, these are the Tania culottes from Megan Nielsen, slightly modified from the original of course.

I don’t know about you, and possibly this is TMI, but sweaty thighs are just gross. I do not like the feel of them touching each other and shorts look atrocious on me. Thus far I’ve had to suffer through the summers with leggings or tights on. The first time I met my Brother in Law’s new girlfriend I was wearing tights- it was the second hottest day of the year. * I’m pretty sure she thought I was a mentalist.

So I thought and I thought. And then I remembered that I had a skirt/short thing at Brownies. Now what was that called? Ah yes, culottes. And didn’t Megan Nielsen release a culottes pattern? Yes she did. Available for PDF download? Fantastic. Get on it instantly.

Of course, my first pair of culottes were an absolute disaster. The fabric choice was awful- far too drapey and it made me look like I was wearing a sack.

I had another go with a gorgeous cotton lawn (which was the right amount of drapiness by the way if you’re looking to make these) but I only had 1 metre of 42″ wide fabric and couldn’t get them out long enough. Sure, they’re technically wearable but I don’t like showing off my underbutt.

3rd attempt, no wearable pair of culottes and I decided to make a dress instead.

And thank goodness it paid off.


So twirly!!

I lengthened these quite a bit. Not only am I not a fan of the underbutt, I don’t like have my thighs out on show either so I added about 6 inches to the length. I thought about adding length at the top of the waist too, to account for the waistband which I’d taken out but when it came to cutting I completely forgot. Luckily, the fabric had quite a bit of give to it so I didn’t look like Miley Cyrus for too long


The whole thing went together really quickly. The culottes have just 4 pieces that are nearly identical, which I sewed to a bodice of Simplicity 1803 which I’ve made so many times now that it’s a really quick make.

The fabric is this gorgeous rayon I got from a company on Amazon called IndianBeautifulArt

I don’t work for them, this isn’t an affiliate link or anything like that, I’m just always very happy to share when I’m pleased with something.

The quality of the fabric is brilliant, the price is decent and, considering it’s shipping from India, the shipping is incredible. It came in 4 days over the weekend, from India!!

The patterns can be a bit hit and miss so there’s not always something on there that I like but quite frankly that’s a good thing or else I’d be broke!

Hemming this thing was a pain in the arse. I wanted to wear it that evening to a work’s dinner but the sensible me decided it would be a good idea to let it hang since the hem’s on the bias. I mean, it was a good idea- I had to chop a load of fabric off- but still, I like instant gratification!

Despite that, I’m definitely going to make more. This particular version hasn’t got pockets, but I’m going to add them to future makes and it will be the most practical dress in the Universe.

Oh, and I know I said this was an end of summer dress but look what I discovered


Turns out it looks fab with tights too. Win win.

*Not factual information but all days feel hot when you’re wearing tights in the summer.

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter

Sybil Q knits

going wherever yarn goes...

knit the hell out

More obsessed with each passing stitch.

The Sew Convert

This is my blessed life. Family. Sewing. Travel. A simple blog by a sewing convert.

Sew Busy Lizzy

she sews by the seashore...

Tanit-Isis Sews

because my fingers itch...

male pattern boldness

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

A Makeup & Beauty Blog - Lipglossiping

One girl's rants, reviews and ramblings on eclectic cosmetic discoveries and high-street hunting.

Handmade Jane

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

Rittles and Bittles

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

Frocks & Frou Frou

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

The Dressmaking Diaries

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

Vixen Vintage

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

Tilly and the Buttons

A blog about sewing, knitting and whatever else comes to mind

Did You Make That?

Leading UK sewing blog where we believe creativity is contagious