A New Knitting Bag

 It is only during the colder months of the year that my thoughts turn to knitting. I  have a hankering for some lovely, cosy hand-knitted scarves and snoods. I am currently working on two projects. The first is an Advocado Green Alpaca yarn  worked in double Moss stitch and the second a Bright Mustard yarn worked in Blackberry stitch. I will post pictures once they are completed. But, I digress, the point of this post is that I have been carrying my knitting around the house in a brown paper bag which has been deteriorating rapidly. I thought to myself – a bag specifically for my knitting is what I need. I had already stitched out an embroidery design in Redwork (bought from www.emblibrary.com) that was simply perfect for the project. Today I gathered together some remnants of fabric from my stash and below is the finished result. The bag measures approximately 15 ins wide x 16.5 ins deep. It has carrying handles and I have incorporate a special long narrow pocket into which I can slip my knitting needles. The brown paper carrier bag is no more!

knitting bag

Reindeer Portrait Silhouette Cushion Cover

I don’t know from where the original design came but I fell in love with this applique design several years ago when the Reindeer motif was just becoming popular. I made a cushion cover and it was immediately snapped up by a regular customer of my website trading company. Since then, each year I think about making another cushion just for me. Finally, I have got around to making a new cover using 100% cotton fabric for the applique on a 100% a natural-coloured linen background. The applique is applied using Heat & Bond Lite and then stitched with a narrow zig-zag in Dark Forest Green thread. The reverse has some more of the cotton print as a border on the button closure which I think just finishes off the cover nicely. The cover is rectangular in shape and approximate measurements are 13.5″ wide x 15.5″ high.  The pad is slightly larger than this to ensure a plump, well-filled cushion.

portrait reindeer silhouette front   portrait reindeer silhouette reverse

Catherine Wheel Christmas Decoration

This week at the Monday morning Sewing Workshop held in Franklins, Salisbury we made a Christmas decoration. I am not sure of its “offical” name but I call it a Catherine Wheel. You start with two  3.5 ” circles  which are stitched right sides together all the way around taking a 1/4″ seam. Make a small slit in one side and turn through right sides out. Press. Mark the centre point on both sides of the circle.  Stuff lightly with polyester toy filling, not too much stuffing at the centre. Close the slit and prepare the “wings”. You need 16 x 3.5″ squares  of Christmas-theme prints. Fold in half diagonally  and in half again so that you end up with a triangle that is 4 thicknesses. Press well. With double thread start by anchoring at the centre point of the padded circle. Catch the corner of one of your triangles and pull into the centre, take the thread through to the other side and catch the opposite point of the “wing”. Work your way around the pad until all 16 triangles have been stitched. Attach a loop of ribbon to both centres as the hanger and finish with a button each side. Both the ribbon loop and the button can be attached using a hot glue gun asby this time you may find it very difficult to stitch through all the thicknesses of the wings and the centre pad.

 catherine wheel step by step            catherine wheel christmas decoration 1

Little Angel Applique Cushion

I am not quite sure of the source for the Little Angel Applique that I used for this cushion cover but I  think it makes an effective centrepiece for the project. The centre panel is bordered with a “flange border” with mitred corners and the reverse has a button closure for which I used some delightful Reindeer printed buttons. You will be seeing more of these buttons as I bought a bag of 100!  The cover measures 14″ square and the polyester-filled pad is 15″ square.

applique angelapplique angel reverse

Redwork Cushion Cover

Dressmaking has been temporarily postponed whilst I endeavour to get some Christmas-themed projects completed. I set up the embroidery mode on my Brother 4000D sewing machine and spent a day stitching several embroideries. The first was a Redwork countryside scene from www.emblibrary.com which I have inset into the front of a calico cushion cover. The embroidered panel is outlined with narrow Red ric-rac and the reverse has a button closure also in red. The cover measures 14″ square and thepolyester-filled cushion pad is 15″.

redwork calico cushion   redwork calico cushion reverse

Swedish-inspired Dress

Having rescued the correct draft of the Prima pattern I plan to proceed with making up the  Navy Blue Ponte Jersey that I bought from Fabricland in Salisbury. As inspired by an advertisement for www.gudrunsjoden.com I  will have some machine embroidery  on the sleeve hems and at the neckline of  this simple shift style. I will include some bust and body shaping darts but exclude the large pockets at hip level as otherwise the dress could make me look heavier than I really am.

Inspirations:-

   gudrunsjoden     gudrunsjoden_2     gudrunsjoden_3

I just love gudrunsjoden clothing and by using them as inspiration I can have a very personal and unique wardrobe for the coming season.

Purple Jersey Prima Dress 50 II

As promised, this dress, after a great deal of fitting finessing, is now completed. Having used the wrong version of the pattern, the dress was initially way toooooo big with bust darts finishing approximately 2 inches above my personal bust point ! I have taken in the sides by approximately 2″ per side it is now a much better fit than at the original first fitting, when I nearly gave up on the whole project. The fabric, bought online through eBay, was sold as Ponte Jersey and in my ignorance I was expecting it to be a little heavier and a bit more substantial, consequently the dress does not have quite the drape I was hoping for.  (Lesson learned – when using a new fabric/fibre, best to check out the fabric for real rather than online photographs and descriptions). The hem of the sleeves and bias frill is top-stitched with a twin needle, a new procedure for me. As shown in the 3rd photo in order to reduce bulk I used a remnant of purple pin-spot cotton for the neckline facings .  I show the dress both with and without the animal print snood. Whilst I have the machine threaded up with Purple thread I will make another snood/infinity scarf with the leftovers of the Purple jersey to provide yet another styling option.

01     02

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Leopard Print Snood/Infinity Scarf

I love wearing scarves and have noticed that lately there are a lot of “snoods”  or Infinity Scarves about. They appear to be the “on trend” accessory. I have downloaded some knitting patterns which I plan to make during the winter months but in the meantime thought I would have a go at sewing a version to wear with the vast number of Autumn-coloured cardigans and sweaters that I have. I checked out online and through trial and error came up with a pattern which uses a piece of fabric approximately 37″ x 25″ (includes 1/2″ seam allowances all around). For this project I used a fabulous animal print “sueded” finish jersey fabric bought from Fabricland in Salisbury. I stitched the centre back seam (25″ ) to make a circle of fabric  and then folded in half lengthwise to make a circle  36″ circumference by 12.5″ deep. I tucked in the seam allowances on the raw edge and machine top stitched. At the centre back I made 3 tucks to reduce the amount of fabric sitting at the back of my neck. I have been delighted with the finished result which goes, not only with the Autumn-coloured cardigans and sweaters but also adds a stunning finish to the purple jersey dress discussed in the previous post.

leopard print snood    LEOPARD PRINT SNOOD 2

leopard print snood 3

The three tucks at centre back

Purple Jersey Prima Dress no 50.

 Sewing has taken rather a back seat whilst I have been recovering but at the same time I just can’t keep away from the machine! I  have been working on yet another version of the Prima Dress (no 50) using a Light Purple Ponte Jersey. It took a while to completely re-thread the Juki overlocker with Purple thread and yet another session just to cut out the dress. Unfortunately at first fitting stage I discovered that  I had used a drafted version of the pattern made when I was a “little” larger size than I am now! Having taken in over 1″ at each side seam and re-sewn the bust darts twice (!) this has not been the simple straightforward project that I originally planned. Still I will get there. Hopefully once all the refinements and adjustments have been  completed plus the dress has had the final press it will be worn in conjunction with …. the Leopard Print Snood. Please see the next post.

Polly Patchwork II

At last, Polly is finished. This project has taken much longer than usual as I have to pace myself and not sit for too long in one position whilst my total knee replacement continues to mend. I made the quilted patchwork jacket using 2″ squares in Autumnal colours but when I dressed Polly in the jacket, I realised that the colours did not co-ordinate well with the dress. Those that know me will also know that I do like to have clothing co-ordinated!  So – I made another dress. For the main fabric I cut up one of my husband’s old shirts and used one of my existing doll dress patterns. This has a lined bodice and long gathered sleeves with cuffs that are set in “on the flat” before stitching the side and sleeve seams all in one. This time I had allowed sufficient overlap at the back bodice to work a 3- buttons and buttonholes fastening. I also made a detachable collar in Bright Yellow felt with a pinked edge. I have completed a Red flannel waist petticoat, Brown and Orange felt hat and Burgundy felt bag which is decorated with 3 heart-shaped buttons. I am pleased with the resulting doll who now sits next to Dolly the Dachsund pin dog in my Sewing Room.

polly patchwork doll