Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Cosy feet refashion

I've been a little bit absent over the last couple of weeks, partly because I'm struggling to get decent daylight to take photos in and partly because my sewing machine is out of action (again!)

However in lieu of a new make, I have a Christmas refashion-make to share.  For Christmas all of my family got a pair of slippers in their stockings.

These were all made from old jumpers that my dad had donated to me or bits and pieces that I had in my stash.  However they were a slightly varying success.  The grey ones were the biggest success, they fit my sister perfectly and she loves them.  They were made using this pattern from fibresandtwigs and I would recommend it.  This was the second of the fibresandtwigs patterns that I've used (the first being the mitten one I used here) and I loved both of them.  However for the others I used a third fibresandtwigs pattern which did not work so well the green ones worked fine and were a bit tight for the size that they were meant to be, but the yellow ones which are supposed be the same size came out REALLY small, not quite sure how this happened!  Also I found that this pattern did not run big enough for some of the men in my life and in scaling up the pattern I made some errors which meant that the boys were less content with their gifts than I would have liked.  Totally going with the "it was the thought that counts" ethos with some of these.

The slipper boot pattern will definitely be used again though (hopefully for me this time when my current slippers give up the ghost). Its such a comfy, cosy make but it does use a fair amount of fabric so be warned if you are hoping to eek out some old jumpers.  On the other hand these would work with any fleecy fabric too, so you aren't limited to recycled fabrics, you could mix and match.

I discovered a new product in all of my slipper making: jiffy grip fabric!  Its so cool and the kind of stuff that you get on the bottom of slippers usually.  I really wanted to use this as I think its important that slipping is minimised in slippers (despite the name), I'm enough of klutz anyway and don't need any other reasons to fall over.  It was harder than I thought to find this in the UK but I bought mine here. You can also get super cute little stick-on feet that do the same job, see here.

I hope all of your feet are warm and toasty!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Knitted gifts

I have two knitted Christmas gifts to show off today.  One that I made for my Dad and one that was made for me.

First up is the scarf that I made for my Dad.  This gift was being knitted right up until the last minute (in fact I gave it to him with some of the ends not sewn in yet and had to finish them on our drive into town).  Here it is being modeled really well by my Dad at the lovely Trinity College, Dublin.

The red wool was a lovely merino wool that was a dream to knit with and was so lovely and soft that I wanted to make myself a nest out of it.  The brown wool was really beautiful with cream and red flecks in it (which you can't see in the photos), that I got at a car boot sale but it was a total pain to knit with.  It kept tearing, which became a lot  more annoying as time went on and Christmas approached.  Just FYI, for any of you flying places and needing to finish gifts en route, knitting needles and scissors with blades of less than 6cm are allowed in carry-on luggage, I checked!  I turned up to the airport with a government print out saying this, prepared to argue my case if security tried to take it off me but no one said anything so it was a completely stress free trip and the scarf advanced well on my 1 and a 1/2 hour flight back to the Emerald Isle.

Next up is a gift that was made for me, a lovely red sleeveless jacket/jumper/waistcoat thing (not sure what it should be called but whatever its name, it's great).

I have no idea what wool was used for this and I know the pattern was one of my french mother's own creation but apart from that I have no details. She then spent some time over Christmas teaching me some more knitting tips and how to make cables so that's my new knitting project, a cabled scarf for me!  Watch this space...

Monday, 6 January 2014

New Years resolutions

I know I'm a little bit late to this party but anyone who knows me will confirm that this is totally true to form so please be patient with me.  There are so many resolution and round up posts floating around in the blogging world that I wanted to get on board. I love Gillian from Crafting a rainbow's top 5 idea but I haven't really been sewing long enough to have 5 things in each category so I'm providing a bit of a mish mash.
  • Top 5 Reflections: What did you learn about yourself or sewing this year? 
  • Top 5 Inspirations: What books, people, blogs, trends etc motivated you this year?
 A combination of my top 5 reflections and inspirations:
1) 2013 saw me start my own sewing blog which has been one of my highlights of this year and has motivated me to practice and expand my skills.  I'm really grateful to Katy for encouraging me/badgering me to set it up.

2) Sewing more of my own clothes has made me think about my personal style and what it is I like to wear.  I hope to use this knowledge to make a more wearable but totally me wardrobe.

3) When I love a pattern I am quite happy to repeat it, I have made 4 versions of the lady skater so far, so from now on, I should focus better on what I wear and whether a pattern will really work with my size and shape and be a wearable part of my wardrobe before purchasing!

4) My total lack of comprehension over all things technological is not going to cut it if I want to be a proper part of the sewing community.  I need to work out pinterest, flickr etc.  When I do I know I'll love them and it will give me even more inspiration but I have the fear of the completely unknown at the moment.

5) This feels like a total cop-out but the biggest inspiration has to be all the other wonderful bloggers out there.  So many of you have been an inspiration in one way or another in the last few months and I just want to say thanks to all of you, who are sadly too numerous to name.

  • Top 5 Goals for the New Year
1) Make more!  However there are caveats to this as I want to end up with lovely items that I can wear lots so I am also resolving to but a bit more thought and preparation into the garments that I make so that I end up with fewer frustrating, wasted garments this year.

2) Learn more about fabrics.  I currently don't know all that much about fabrics which can be a challenge, particularly in winter, when I want a fabric that is warm but also has a good amount of drape.  This kind of fits in with my thought and preparation resolve above as picking the correct fabric will make my makes better.

3) Get better at fitting.  All my resolutions so far are connected.  If I make items that fit me well I'm much more likely to wear them.

4) Take part in 'me made May' this year   

5) Become a more adventurous refashioner.  Being environmentally aware is important to me and although I really don't buy many clothes, the fabric consumerism I've been doing in the last few months is not great so I would like to work harder at reusing old items of clothing to create wonderful new garments.

Happy 2014 everyone, I hope your personal and sewing dreams come true this year!