Today my daughter and I trekked off to Kings College London to visit Yarnporium. We had been looking forward to this ever since my sister mentioned she would be volunteering at it. 

Here she is in her fantastic volunteers shirt having just finished an 8 hour shift!

We went round all the stalls and there was so much lovely yarn to touch/fondle and quite a lot of it made it into my bag to come home (after being paid for, obviously!). 

One of my favourite indie dyers, Easy Knits, was there with their beautiful vibrant yarn. 

There was a stall selling Blue Heron yarn which has to be the most luxurious, sparkly yarn I have ever seen! It was £48 a skein, which was a little to expensive for an impulse purchase. I will have to do some careful project planning and saving before purchasing some.

I don’t think this photo does it justice, but looks how much it twinkles!

There were stalls selling other things as well, including buttons. I picked up 2 sets to go on shirts.

There were also plenty of notions. I found these really cute darning needle and stitch marker sets. 

All in all it was a fantastic afternoon out, now I have yarn to make hats and gloves – which is perfect as the weather has definitely started to get a lot colder. When the lighting is better (it’s dark out at the moment) then I will take some pictures of my purchases. But for now I’m off to go and wind some yarn into a ball to start making a hat!

Patterned Skirt

I’m in the process of updating my work wardrobe ready for the start of term. I’ve been buying a few pieces, but also making some myself. I’ve almost finished the ‘Anderson Blouse’, I just need to redo the bottom hem as I’m not happy with the way it turned out. 

I’ve had a pattern from Burda for a panelled stretchy skirt for a while, so I thought it about time to start making it. 

I had this textured black jersey in my stash. I thought it would work well with the panels. 

Annoyingly Burda patterns that you print yourself require all the seam and hem allowances to be added. Fortunately I had a little sewing guage that makes this so much easier.

I also had to get out my other sewing machine (which I got at a car boot sale for £6). It does a lovely zigzag stitch, but it is a little fiddly to set up. These are the controls for setting the zigzag.

It was really easy to refurbish and now works like a dream. I keep thinking I should get a more modern machine, so I have a choice of straight or zigzag (without having to change machines!). 

After cutting out all the pieces for the skirt, I did a test sew to check the zigzag worked ok on the fabric. Fortunately I had lots of spare fabric. 

It worked perfectly, so now I need to start sewing together the numerous panels. 

Summer Cardigan Knitting

I’ve taken a break from sewing, mainly because I got a little obsessed with finishing the body in my Paulie Cardigan. After what seems like months of knitting stockinette, I’ve finally finished the body. 

It is in desperate need of blocking, but that will have to wait until the arms and button band are complete. I love the thin blue stripes, but I’ve got a lot of ends to weave in….

Now to start on the arms.

The Anderson Blouse Pt5

Work on the Anderson blouse continues (I’m sure you’re getting bored of these posts!). The sleeves are made, but completing the flat felled seam inside the sleeve was very tricky. 

On the first attempt I managed to catch part of the sleeve, so had to unpick and try again. The first sleeve is now attached to the body.

I went to the local market to pick up some buttons for the cuffs. As they were so cheap (15p each), I chose an ivory coloured pair and a black pair, so I could try and them out against the fabric. 

I think I am leaning towards the ivory button. 

Sewing is going to have to wait for a bit, the sewing machine is away so I can tidy my flat as I have my parents visiting for dinner tonight. So enough blogging, off to wheel out the vacuum (there are bits of thread everywhere!). 

The Anderson Blouse Pt4

While my daughter was at her friends house, I managed to get some more work done on the Anderson Blouse. After unpicking the shoulder seams more than once, I managed to get them lined up in such a way so I could create the flat felled seam. I tried on the blouse shell (sleeves come next), and it fits really well. 

My daughter returned home late in the evening bearing cupcakes:

Apparently they are ‘accidentally gluten free, and taste a bit like rice’, I shall try one later!

I’ve been making homemade lemonade this week, and was going to write up the adapted recipe I used for this blog. But the weather was grey and over cast for most of the day, so I’ve been struggling to take a good picture to finish off the post – hopefully tomorrow…..


The Anderson Blouse Pt3

Today I thought I would try out some seams on the fabric, especially as I wanted to encase the raw edges of the fabric as it frays very badly. Fortunately Sew Over It were very generous with their fabric estimations, so I had plenty of spare fabric after cutting out my pattern pieces  

As my sewing machine can only do a straight stitch, I tried out a French Seam and a Flat Felled Seam

When I compared the finished straight seams I definitely preferred the flat felled seam. It lies completely flat, and was slightly easier to do (no juggling with seam allowance mathematics). Although the French seam looked neater on the outside, I didn’t like the feel of it on the inside, plus I knew I would have to cope with a gathered seam and a set in sleeve and they are more difficult with a French seam.  

I then decided to test the flat felled seam in both a set in sleeve shape and a gathered straight edge. 

The flat felled seam worked well, but I need to be more careful when sewing so I don’t catch any of the fabric in the seam. 

So now I have tested everything I can think of, it’s time to take the plunge and sew the actual blouse!

The Anderson Blouse Pt2

While my daughter had a friend round (the teenagers spent most of the day eating me out of house and home and watching anime), I traced my Anderson Blouse pattern. Ironed the fabric (it’s one that wrinkles if you just look at it wrong), pinned out my pattern pieces and cut them out. 

Then I read the first instruction from Sew Over It.

Hmm, this could be tricky. As you may already know, I sew on a vintage 1920s Singer hand crank sewing machine. 

This lovely sewing machine can only do a straight stitch, and only forwards. You have to physically change the direction of the fabric to go in the other direction. 

I think I am going to try and sew 10mm from the edge of a test bit of fabric to see if that works as stay stitching. 

Slightly related, if you are thinking of trying a Sew Over It pattern, I can report that the instructions are very clear (with photographic diagrams).