A Coco for the weekend

For a while now I’ve dreamed of making a stripey Coco, probably ever since I made the first one waaaayyy over a year ago and now I finally have it!

I love how quickly this pattern comes together, it took me longer to match up the stripes than it did to make the dress which is always a win. Well maybe not the stripe matching ,that was almost a win but they match in the important places!

I decided to do a contrast binding to finish the neckline and it really helped me not stretch the neckline which I had an issue with last time I sewed this pattern. I have sewn with knit fabric a couple of times since then and that’s probably helped too.

I shortened the dress a bit as the stripes are so wide I felt it looked better with a bit of the length loped off . This time round I also added the sleeve cuffs and the patch pockets, I bloody love it!

This is a double whammy  of a me-made post as you’ve also got my Colour Affection scarf in there too! Although I love it now it took me over 6 months to knit it, I was mostly knitting it between calls at work but still it took an age. I’m very glad I persevered though as it has kept me warm and cosy though all this weird weather we’re having !

So there you have! Here’s to a lovely long weekend friends, which for once I’m not working for most of it. Hope you all have a super time filled with some sewing related fun!

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Braided Cable Cowl

Well friends the sun is shining, I’m listening to Ray Charles and the balcony door is open so this is probably not the most weather appropriate post but what you gonna do? Drink more coffee and  write about the braided cowl I knitted for my friend’s birthday last month!

I spotted this lovely little number on the Purl Soho Instagram feed and I thought a present for a super friend would be a good excuse to get my knit on! I used completely different yarn and needles  from the pattern not just because I’m a knitting rebel but also because there was quite a narrow time limit involved so I had to take whatever the delights of the John Lewis haberdashery could offer. The results aren’t too shabby, I used Rowan’s Big Wool and 10 mm needles. It’s bigger than the original and I think a less chunky knit might make the cables slightly more defined but it still looks good.

It just so happens that I managed to guess my friends favorite colour which was most definitely a win. Speaking of wins, this was for the friend that convinced me to buy that most awesome flamingo fabric. She’s a keeper and most deserving of knitted gifting!

So there you have it! I would definitely recommend this pattern if you want some cable practice and an interesting, quick knit.

I’m working on my first knitted garment and it’s very nearly finished so hopefully I’ll be able to share it with you soon. It’s gonna make me look like and ice-cream and it’s going to be great!

Come on heatwave, don’t you know I’ve got a flamingo picnic to go to!

Well folks I don’t know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods but here spring keeps almost happening but then winter steps in and kicks spring to the curb for another week. In protest I made a Tilly and the Buttons Picnic Blanket Skirt in the most tropical fabric I could find.

I have made one of these skirts before but never blogged it, it’s super easy but I still messed up on the waist measurement and had to fudge it. Don’t ask how, I think because it’s the only thing you have to concentrate on my brain freaks out and does a mental fart resulting in waistband errors. Never mind, it’s fixed and it’s totally my most favourite thing. Ever. Who doesn’t love a flamingo?

I have a lot to thank Tilly for actually, though she doesn’t know, it was her blog that inspired me to start sewing again. I had a bit of a sewing burnt-out after uni but it’s always such a treat looking at her blog and the Picnic Blanket Skirt is such a lovely tutorial, it’s as close to instant sewing gratification as you can get.

We had to take these pictures inside as the weather, as we all know is misbehaving, but with the help of an artfully placed sheet and my super boyfriend we got there in the end! He now has his own website, should you wish to check it out click here.

I got this fabric on a trip to Brighton last month, it was such a beautiful, fun day to celebrate a friend’s birthday and obviously there was some fabric shopping  sneaked in. Fabric Land is all kinds of amazeballs, as is the Brighton Sewing Centre, there are more shops but those were the only two we made it to. My friend convinced me I needed this fabric in my life and boy was she right! Cat you are awesome!

So there you have it folks, all we need now is some actual spring weather so we can all go on some picnics! I’m going to leave you with a picture of me busting a move mid picture because, well why not?

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Pushing forward towards spring

It hasn’t been such a funtime in these parts for the past few weeks , apart from the usual February doldrums I have been harassed by all manner of lurgies and I’ve felt like a snot monster most of the time, attractive I know. But hopefully the worst is over and we are indeed hurtling towards spring.

Despite all the snot induced woe I have been doing quite a bit of selfless making in the form of some presents for some very dear friends, the first of which I bring you today.

In issue 49 of Mollie Makes there is a very cut embroidery pattern for a very rare hare which I decided to turn into a cushion for my wonderful friend Iris. It was her 30th so I wanted to make her something really special and after quite a lot of swearing and some help from my lovely boyfriend I’m really pleased with the results.

I had  trouble sewing the central piece to the border but I got there in the end, there’s probably an easier way to do it ,rather than the convoluted way I was trying but I got there in the end. The next one will be easier I’m sure.

The cushion inside was made with fabric scraps and is surprisingly soft and it’s such a great way to recycle them. I’ve been desperate to try it out for a while and I’d highly recommend using some of your scraps up this way. Makes me feel better anyway, there were at least two toiles used in the stuffing of this cushion!

For now there will be a bit of selfish sewing squeezed in to the next few weeks before the next birthday!!

Wardrobe Architect 2015

Over on the Colette blog they’re re-starting the wardrobe architect challenge for 2015, that is if any of you folks didn’t know already. I remember reading about the process last year and thinking what a good idea it was but not being nearly prepared enough to start. So here we are a year later and I’m still nowhere near organised but  I’m going to give it a bash anyway!

There are many reasons why I wanted to do this, to push myself to sew more and to learn new skills but then main reason is that I never really think of my projects as a whole. It’s normally ‘oh that looks nice, yes it’s a party dress but I always need party dresses’ but never really what’s actually missing from my wardrobe.  I will still be sewing party dresses, obviously, but I’m planning a more practical approach to my sewing and my wardrobe.

One of the steps is to define your core style and this is something which has always clashed in my mind. My mental picture of my core style is always slightly more elegant and refined than what actually happens when I leave the house. So this is the perfect opportunity for them to meet in the middle somewhere and for once be harmonious. Well that’s the plan.

The way I would describe my personal style at the moment is fun, bright, floral and a little bit retro – I would like to change things up and push forward in a new direction as I’m now in a new decade but most importantly I want to keep it bright and fun. How we dress is how we express ourselves to the world and I’d like to make that expression even bolder and sewing my own clothes makes me incredibly proud of what I’m wearing.

I’m beginning to research shapes and styles and have taken a few pictures of the patterns I want to start with. I would like to add to what I already have, buy selectively and actually draft my own as I fear my patterning cutting brain is dying a slow death from under-use and neglect.

So here’s the start for your perusal and I’ll be working on a lot more in the coming weeks!

African Flower Blanket

I spent this Christmas in London with my boyfriend’s family visiting from Poland and it was great. I drank too much vodka with his Dad and his Mum showed me how to crochet. What more could you want from the holidays?!

I had begun to teach myself through videos on YouTube but had only mastered the basic granny square, which was ok but I wanted more! In last month’s Mollie Makes magazine there was a beautiful  African Flower blanket designed by the lovely Messyla and it was love at first sight. So with the help of my boyfriend’s Mum, I am now well on the way, she figured it out by just looking at the pictures – that’s some serious skills.

The goal has been set to finish the blanket by the end of February, that’s probably quite a feat but I am determined. I have set myself a target of one and a half squares a day which is kinda happening. So fingers crossed and watch this space!

Here are the squares so far…