Saturday, 28 March 2015

FREE Crochet dress Tutorial

I normally say Hooray when I make something but the recipient wouldn't wear it! Little M said, "It makes my tummy look like a square shape,"... whatever that is supposed to mean.

I looked around ravelry for a dress top pattern but they all used too much yarn. I had 2 skeins of Louisa Harding Jesse left over from my cardigan and it needed using up. I don't like stash collecting, it clutters up my basket. 

I even bought the fabric specially to finish it off and match the yarn from Textile Express in Oswestry. 

So you guessed it, I made one up as I went along in two evenings and managed to scribble down a 'recipe' just in case you have yarn or a small girl crying out for a summer dress.

4mm Hook
Cotton DK 2x50g skeins(approx 180m)
UK terms used
Size shown is for a 6 year old
Make your own size adjustments

Foundation chain: Chain 49 loosely

Row 1: Ch1, miss a chain, dc to end of the row

Row 2: Ch3, treble to end (48)

Row 3: Repeat row 2

Row 4: Repeat row 2 (lengthen your bodice here if required)

Row 5: Shape armhole. SS3, ch3, treble to the end leaving 3 stitches unworked. 

Row 6: Ch3, treble to the end.

Row 7: Repeat row 6

Row 8: Ch3, tr2tog, treble to last 2 stitches, tr2tog.

Row 9: Ch3, treble to end.

Row 10: Neckline shaping. Ch3, treble 12, 1htr, 1dc, ss centre front until there are 14 stitches remaining, 1dc, 1htr, treble 12.

Row 11: Ch3, treble 12. Turn

Row 12: Ch3, treble 12, turn

Rows 13-18: ch3, tr12. Fasten off

Rejoin yarn to the other shoulder using a standing treble (if you can) or using 3ch. treble 11. Turn. Repeat rows to match the other shoulder (should be six rows of trebles)Fasten off

Repeat this whole section for the back. You can make the back deeper by adding more rows before the neckline shaping.

Add your favourite flower, scallop edge, picot edge on the armholes and neckline,thread ribbon through the empire line etc. etc. Then a gorgeous gathered fabric cotton or viscose to finish the bottom.

Her older sister was hanging around in the background ready to snaffle a new dress like a panther. Luckily, I had made a deep hem for letting down later so I made it longer and she loved it.

Hey presto! Do link back if you make one, I would love to see more ideas.

Thanks for spending your precious time with me. Jo xx

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Hooray! vintage dress 1968

My Minerva make this month has been my most successful vintage pattern make yet. It is a pattern that is size 16 for a 36" bust(please!). It was easy to fit by simply altering the back darts for my sway back and chopping the length because I am short. The rest was cut and sewn to the seam allowances so I will definitely be making this pattern again.

The fabric is a lightweight linen with a tulle ribbon sewn on. It is a stunning fabric before you even cut it. It's £6.99 a metre and I used two metres.

I seem to have a pattern placement there that mimics my intestines!
I used the fabric to my best advantage. I loved that ribbon but it looked a bit like it could be scratchy over time so I cut the sleeves using the wide un-ribboned-selvedge edge. It made the sleeve cuffs really smooth especially on my underarm. I did the same on the hem to stop it rubbing away at my tights. You don't know you are going to do these things until you see and feel the fabric but it is always good to have an open mind and be ready to adapt.

I think the Hepburn collar is such a stylish cut.

This is how the body shape is formed. There is a bust dart, and side front darts finished with faux pocket details. Circa 1968. Cool.

It is lined and is one of the most comfortable dresses I have made. I wore it to work and had lots of compliments including "Where did you get that dress from?" I swoon over that sort of comment, it means it doesn't look handmade and I must be improving.

Thanks Minerva.

Another make towards my Vintage Pledge 2015 with Stitching Odyssey


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

More sunshine please

I have been playing around with some crochet techniques for my next run of classes. There was a request to learn to cable but I am not so sure I could pass it on and people would feel successful so I came upon this chain loop cable stitch.

I used cotton scraps to make a sunglasses case for the car. I do much more driving around now with my job and last week I could hardly see out of the scratched ones I found under the seat!

The stitch is so easy but effective. You Dc5, then chain 8, then dc 5, then chain 8, then dc 5. Turn the work and dc all the way back again keeping 15 stitches. When you do the loop row again you thread the loops through each other (you know like children do with loom bands) and this cable pattern appears. It is genuinely exciting.

At the top of each piece I did a straight bit of double crochet only to fold over and insert a 'flexi-frame'. Yes folks, that is what they are called if you are searching the internet for one.

Hooray! a cosy pocket for my sunglasses while learning a new technique. More sunshine please.

Thanks for looking. Jo x

Monday, 23 March 2015

When craft drives you crazy

The winner of the Tilda card giveaway is Pam from A New Life in Wales. Congratulations Pam.

Help! my craft has all gone crazy. So many Works In Progress with many of them teetering on disaster.

A school cardigan for Little M. but the side fronts don't match the back??? Action: frog the back.

Started my man knit for 2015 but can't do the pattern. I started to do a plain stocking stitch instead but measured it against one of his jumpers when he was out last night and it is way too big. Action:frog it.

Writing a pattern and making a crochet top for summer 
but ran out of yarn. So I frogged it and will try a girls top instead.

After reading Mereknits last night it spurred me on to be honest and show the not so good stuff too!

Have you got plenty of WIP's on the go? Any disasters lately?

Jo xxx

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Hooray! Hoodie

I made a sweatshirt hoodie for Big Sis. She has been asking for this pattern for ages then my go-to-jersey online shop kindly sent me some fabric and I got stuck in.

The fabric needed was sweatshirt jersey, which is fleecy on the reverse. I also received fantastic quality single jersey for the hoodie lining along with matching cuffing fabric. I like to buy my fabric from the UK but this German company has such a wide choice of Jersey. Since I have owned an overlocker I have bought a lot more of these stretch fabrics for childrens wear.

The cuffing from this company is amazing; tight knit, firm and in an amazing array of colours. 

She really loves it as you can tell.

Thanks for looking.
Jo x

All views are genuinely my own. I chose the pattern from Ottobre and then selected appropriate fabric to make it. sent me the jersey free of charge. Many thanks.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Crochet necklace

I am on the look out for more crochet class projects and I came across a beautiful button necklace on Ravelry by Alessandra Hayden which is a free download.

This is my version with beads instead of buttons. I still have some of those ceramic greek beads left over and my friend gave me a bag of beads for my birthday.

To use beads instead of buttons, I had to thread the 50 beads required onto the yarn before I started, then pull them up as I needed them. The pattern asks you to insert your hook through the button holes and add as you go but that becomes restrictive in what buttons you can use.

The yarn is Rico crochet number 10 and I used a 2mm hook. I also used a wire beading needle (a brilliant bit of kit)

I like wearing it and I liked making it in one Sunday evening. 
Jo xxxx

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Over Thinking

Sometimes you can over think stuff. I have been hanging on to this last bit of guipure lace from White Tree fabrics. I have been thinking about adding it to a skirt hem, inserting it into the back of a blouse or using it for lace sleeves.

but in all honesty it never seemed to fit any of those ideas. Indeed the dreamed up garment in my head didn't even fit into my wardrobe.

However, my mum suggested, "Why don't you hem it and just make it into a scarf?"

She was soooo right.

A genius she is.

 Thanks for continuing to help me sew (useful) stuff mum.

Happy Mothering Sunday to all mums out there.

Jo xxx

Friday, 13 March 2015

Tilda Giveaway

We all wish we had more time, right? But sometimes we waste time. I waste endless time waiting for photos to upload to my blog posts or waiting for PDF patterns to print out in their multiple pages etc.

This week I did a little cutting out every time I was sat at the computer 'waiting' for it to do it's thing. It felt very productive.

I then had a selection of beautiful Tilda dolls to choose from every time I was 'waiting'. The two sheets were 10p each in a garden centre craft sale where some stock had been a bit damaged (hence no legs on this one!) 

Every download waiting session, I created a card.

Do you like them?

Would you like to choose one? I will send a blank one for you to use - you can choose by using the greeting message as an indicator when you leave a comment. I will draw a winner on the 20th March. Maybe today, Friday the 13th, will be your lucky day?

Summer is here, Enjoy your day, Hip Hip Hurray, With Love or Someone Special. 

Good Luck Everyone. Jo x

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Pyjamas from pyjamas?

Big Sis has grown too tall for her Christmas pyjamas already. How did that happen?? I found some pyjama bottoms from a long time ago which are waaay too big for me... (postnatal I think) 
So I cut pyjamas from pyjamas...

I traced off two pattern pieces from one of my Ottobre children's magazines for the style below.

Then made two pairs of pyjama bottoms on the overlocker in no time. I even used the hem from the old trousers so that I didn't need to hem them.

A snail pair and a zebra pair.

...and she does...
I started tracing at 14:10 and folded them onto her bed at 15:15. I love my overlocker - How could I live without it?

Jo xxx