Sunday, 24 February 2013

Getting bigger and Bigger and BIGGER! 9 - 16 week collage

This is my inspiration to make more maternity clothes, quick!!

(I also have done a web tutorial on Picasa, I love it!)



Sunday, 17 February 2013

Kindle Fire HD Cover *Finished Sewing Object*

I got a lovely Christmas present this year from Q of a Kindle Fire HD, I love it as I can read all the books that I have been meaning to quickly as handily, except it’s a beast of technology with a touch screen, HD vision, Dolby sound... blah blah blah. Basically, it needs looking after when I am carrying it around in my handbag- with the aim of doing a little impromptu reading wherever and whenever I can.

I recently have been devouring the blog of ‘Skulls and Ponies’. It’s a wonderful blog and her taste in fabrics, hobbies and d├ęcor is not a million miles away from my taste (actually, it’s probably about 3 doors down the road, in terms of analogies). So I followed her Kindle Cover tutorial and made my own!

Changes from Kindle Keyboard 3g to Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Keyboard pattern pieces are:

2  17 x 22cm pieces 
and 1 17 x 8cm piece.

Kindle Fire HD pieces require:

2 18.5 x 22cm pieces
and 1 18.5 x 8cm piece

I just went with the flow of how I was feeling, so I went for the primary colours with this make. I also love the main 'Red Sparrow' fabric, I am an addict for nature, so this fabric sung to me! The yellow thread accentuates the sporadic yellow flying sparrow in the pattern, I think...

Fabric used:

Red Sparrow from Backstitch. I bought this in a Rainbow Charm Pack they do of 10 fabrics @ £29 for the bundle, but can be bought singularly @ £12/metre. £1.00 worth used in my project.

Blue and white Polka dot from an eBay bargain @ €2/metre. 60p-worth used.

Natural wood button, Ragmarket bargain @ 50p

Yellow thread, eBay job lot deals €3 for 10 spools, so 30p for this yellow thread. 3p’s worth used here.

Velcro. 5p worth. Needs stitching but adhesive Velcro is an UTTER disaster.

Wadding was £3/metre. Used 40p-worth

Total spend: £2.58


In comparison to selling their Kindle Fire HD cases at around £30, I have saved a fortune and have a unique piece AND keeping up with my Seamless Pledge lifestyle choice.

You may or may not have seen that in 2009, The Guardian reviewed and created a list of 1000 books that in their group of panel member’s opinions- everyone should read. The list is called ‘1000 novels everyone must read: the definitive list’.

Containing seven categories:
  • ·         Love
  • ·         Crime
  • ·         Comedy
  • ·         Family and Self
  • ·         State of the Nation,
  • ·         Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • ·         War and Travel 

Being an excessively indecisive person I thought it would be a bit different to read randomly pick books from this list. At the moment, I’m working my way through ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen, I can’t believe it- but I had never got around to reading this book. So I have quickly devoured this one, which is free on, and nearly ready to pick the next book to give a go. To boot, I must admit to not reading many sci-fi books in my time as I most often preoccupied with classic old fiction or (on the opposite end of the scale) scientific books, but textbook type… natural history, astronomy, biographies of the ‘greats’ like Einstein etc. So this will be interesting, I may unearth a Terry Pratchett affinity or a penchant for John Wyndham… who knows?!

My next book to read will be.... Double Indemnity by James M Cain, it's a crime, folks!

I love to have physical books in my house; however, I find that textbooks are what I love to have. Cooking books, natural history, nursing, medical and of course… craft books. I am increasingly getting busier and busier, I don’t reread fiction books as a rule and give them away to someone else if I have particularly enjoyed it… my message when they want to return the book is ‘pass it on to someone else’. So from now on, fiction books can go on my Kindle and my beloved textbooks can be on the living room shelf!

If anyone would like my list of books, just send me an email: and I’ll email it over to you. I just use a number generator app on my iPhone that you can download for free from appstores, just pick the one that you like the look of, as there are lots!



PS. There are actually 998 books, I don't why.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Bundana begins...Crochet and "Crochet Unravelled' by Claire Bojczuk mini review

To add to my cacophony of textile crafts that I have newly showed an interest in, I have some purchases that are brilliant!

After doing the obligatory research via and nearly spending a small fortune on books to learn how to ruddy crochet, I found this (quite frankly) pamphlet-book with nothing but good reviews and under £5. So I purchased and I must say I am thrilled. Simplicity and clarity is what is going on in this book; you need to learn this, then this and then this... then you can crochet. No mysticism, not filler- just the facts. 
I do love to have a book or fifty on my book shelves, but this is actually perfect for a UTTER novice like me. 

Although I am right handed, it was a nice addition for the writer (Claire Bojczuk) to have the addition of clear instructions for left and right-handed crochet techniques. 

I also bought my crochet hooks from eBay for €4, they are lovely and multi-coloured... very aesthetically pleasing for a multi-coloured type of gal!

Finally, from a previously failed knitting magazine subscription nearly 4 years ago... I have a nice yarn collection! I have  carried all this wool around with me for the last 4 years as I have moved 4 or 5 times in that time! Now, I can put all this to good use and get some function out of, what has become, my sewing room staple... a linen basket full of wool! 

Love having it now!

So, as I digress and progress from just sewing clothes to thinking about making things that are beautiful and handmade for my life, crochet seems to be fitting in quite nicely to where I would like to take my 'maker' attitude and willingness. Currently I am dreaming about a rainbow coloured playmat quilt, vividly showing the spectrum with all its glory. There is something about the spectrum that I just simply adore to see. 

Something like this from 'a quilt is nice' 

I plan to use triple layers of bamboo wadding and make it a visually pleasing (for me and the baby) play mat.



Sunday, 10 February 2013

Megan Nielson 'Ruched T-Shirt'-Chanel Stripes *Maternity Make*

Here is the second instalment of my #PregnancyPledge; in a terribly optimistic move to emulate the look of Chanel, which I adore... I thought that I would attempt a nice long sleeve number with the quintessentially ‘Chanel’ trademark of blue and white stripes. Admittedly, the fabric is inverse colours in terms of the original style- but I am still delighted with the clear and simple print of the stripes.

Bump ready ruching

Front has ruching and the stripes (almost) meet 

I used a jersey that I picked up from eBay for about €3/m and used about 1.2m. I've got lots left to make something else, maybe a vertical striped top or maybe even slip dress to go over my swimming costume, bump and vulnerable skin after a dip in the Sicilian Sea in what is our final indulgence of fun in June. As you may be aware, my ultimate plan with this #PregnancyPledge is to make a decent, bespoke and unique maternity wardrobe for my pregnancy that will take me well into summer 2013, where little one will be born mid-August. Consequently, our little holiday to Sicily in June may be our last for a while, so I want it to be nice.

So here is my second item of clothing for the collection... Megan Nielson's 'Ruched T-Shirt'. 

I was quickly able to cut out the pieces for the top, there are 3 patterns pieces to cut, which are either cut on the fold like the front and back pieces or cut away from the fold line, but two pieces to be cut- which are the sleeves. 

The construction was very easy; they giving nature of the jersey meant that the sewing of the sleeves was no hard task to complete. the 'ruching' was a doddle and the seams are a dream to match.

The only change I made to the original pattern was to add a bias-tape neckline, rather than the printed method of folding and sewing. I think this addition makes the piece look a lot classier, I think so anyway. Moreover, this is the best bias-taping I have ever done- only taken me a year, but I have mastered it.

So here are the obligatory pictures of me wearing the top, I am delighted with it and I love the buttons around my neckline. Again, I love the idea of adding a little detail here and there to, otherwise, mundane clothes.

I will make this again. I am going to try and be a bit more frugal with my purchasing of fabric. I think I bought way too much of this fabric, unnecessary really. I am particularly interested in penny-pinching right now, so splurging out on nearly a metre extra of fabric is uncomfortably wasteful. However, I plan to make a few more of these tops and plan to get this cutting layout down to the minimum and work out how much fabric I actually need. Of course, no fabric will ever go to waste. I shall always find a way to utilise scraps. Nevertheless, I think it would be a pleasant addition to my wardrobe to have two more tops rather than one more, just because I have now worked out cutting plans better!

In all honesty, I think that the sleeves are too tight for my ex-kayaking arms. Although I fit into the top and will more than likely carry on fitting into the top... I think that the fit could be a little looser to make the arms feel a little more comfy.

Cost: €4.50 fabric
Time taken: 4 hours
Make again: Yes!

I think I will probably make a longer but sleeveless version in this navy stripe and plain black. Very helpful I think for summer and chillaxing. 

Next patterns are: 'Tova' from Wiksten. It's a fabulously simple and relaxed shirt. Love the idea of it AND they deliver in PDF format to your email address. Perfect. THEN the Burda Ruched Maternity Skirt which was kindly gifted to me from Kat G from the fabulous blog All the whimsical things



Friday, 8 February 2013

*Knitted* A Hat for the 'Winter Set'

Just a quick blog entry to show you the hat that I have made for bambino! 

This is part of the on-going 'Winter Set' that I'm making for little one. 

Next up is a cardigan, my biggest knitting challenge yet! I know it's not a Fair Isle knit jumper in 12 different colours- but these are massive steps for me! Incidentally, I REALLY want to learn how to knit Fair Isle/ Stranded clothing items. I am giving myself 18 months to get there, so lots of time and LOTS of resources available to learn from online.


Another project from the 'Knitty Gritty' book by Aneeta Patel and indeed; another winner! I can't rate this book highly enough- I really feel like my hand is being held with these projects and ideas that she gives in her books. As I have previously mentioned, some projects are just not for me- but I have found that you can miss a few projects if you don't like them and simply carry on with the ones that do tickle your fancy. If you do this, you are learning and applying more than one new technique at a time as the design of the book and projects mean that one project is one new technique and the next project will be the last technique from the previous project plus a new technique.

With the hat, I had already learnt decreasing stitches and now was embracing and developing my 1x1 rib stitch technique and adding a colour. 


Tivoli Tweed Aran #790 Grey 

King Cole Merino Blend DK #926 Petrol

I need to get some more of both as I am still intending on making another cardigan (let's learn crochet for this one) and some mittens. Tempted to make a matching hat for mummy... but one shall resist.... a nice beret with a green trim.... NO!



Thursday, 7 February 2013

Wiksten Tank v1 "70's Curtain" *Finished Object*

The Seamless Pledge and The Pregnancy Pledge are well and truly underway!* 

*Any makes, charity/ thrift shop finds and upcycling will be tweeted using the hashtag #PregnancyPledge on Twitter, if you're interested!

I have finally used this African wax print I, shamefully, picked up last year in April.  The fabric is fabulous and I am trying to 'stash-bust' as I save for this child! It's working; I am getting through a backlog of fabric, wool and trimmings. 

Alas, the more one makes- the more one wants to make (and spend). 

I bought the fabric from The Fabric Godmother, who regularly has beautiful African wax prints in. I love their uniqueness. Every centimetre of the fabric is hand-dyed and really is beautiful. 

So here is the first of many, many pregnancy tops....

 I love this top! Colour-wise, it's a major statement print. I will undoubtedly wear this top with the obligatory leggings/ jeggings and pretty sandals. I think a few wooden accessories will really bring out the modern-ethnic look of the piece. There is loads of space in the front too, ready for the ever-growing bump. Those pattern adjustments did the trick, it's much longer now- but not as long and tapered as the dress version included with this pattern. I hate to even think about wearing leggings with a short top, it simply must come down to the thighs- or I don't want to know! Modesty.


Hidden pocket! For the tokens, loose change, train tickets... this is for my holiday as a 6 month pregnant woman, who knows what little secret treasures I'll need this pocket for then?! Probably some confectionery of some form, no doubt.  I thought I would play around the pocket location on the top. Originally, this was meant to be a breast pocket. I changed it; I don't EVER use a breast pocket when I have them on a piece of clothing. So I decided that a hip pocket would be more useful. Also, with the bold and clear print... I was able to totally match the pocket with the main top- so it's almost a secret pocket.

Bias-bound armholes and neckline. It's a frustratingly small bias strip to guide and sew around these areas! I am slowly getting used to the art of the bias-strip application and use, but it is still the definition of 'finickiness' as far as I am concerned. 

Behold... my first ever french-seam finish. I am very impressed. It really gives the feeling of class, I think anyway. I will use this wonderful technique again, what do I need to a little maths to work out how to apply it to other pieces that I sew...

1/4" + ? = 5/8" 

What is the value of ? and particularly, what is it in metric?!

On that mathematical , I shall leave you to mull this over and help out an over-worked, perpetually-tired, constantly-hungry expectant-mother!

My overall review of the Wiksten Tank is totally positive. Adaptable, easy and quick. I think with the right environment, the right amount of need, the right amount of willingness... it would be very easy to churn out 3 or 4 of these in an afternoon session. Clear instructions and a beautiful stash-buster, I highly recommend this to anyone. I actually prefer it to the very similar 'Sorbetto' from Colette Patterns, its a more wearable and versatile design; tucked in, with leggings, skirts, jeans... you could even wear it on top of a bikini/ swimsuit at the beach in summer. The length is easily adjustable.

Cost: €8 for fabric. Thread from stash (navy)
Time taken: 3 hours
Make again? Yes!!