Looming adventures in Weaving

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Isn’t this delightful? I bought it at a small craft centre in Weymouth – I fell in love with the cheery mediterranean colours and the sloping hills reminded me so much of the lovely Dorset hills – I snapped it up right away.

I have a lovely friend, who weaves the most amazing cloth but her loom takes up a whole room in her house not to mention the two that take up a double garage! Weaving has therefore always felt a little out of reach until I was wandering round Hobbycraft, with a gift voucher hot in my hand, when I spotted this little loom.

 

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Yes, it is aimed at children… well those six and above, but the size is just right for a wall hanging and I made the concept of weaving much more approachable.

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This is a very simple loom, there are no forward and backward methods to make the weaving simple – but I actually liked the process of weaving the threads round with a needle, rather than a shuttle.

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It is not going to set the world on fire, but I am enjoying experimenting with the wool, playing around. (well it is a child’s loom after all!) I would like to do a little more weaving – there is so much inspiration on Pinterest, fingers crossed I will be able to share something soon.

 

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Foxy Cushions

 

 

While I was in Dorset, visiting the wonderful Becca’s Fabric Larder– I discovered this lovely quilting panel.

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My daughter has a lovely blue sofa so I thought they would make a good present! I machine stitched the one on the left, and hand quilted the one on the right. I have to say that the hand quilting was much more relaxing to do.

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They look so cosy together – she was delighted with them!

A log cabin square

I fell in love with this beautiful blue flower fabric at Beccas Fabric larder in Bridport. We were staying in Dorset for a couple of weeks recouperation. Not one to sit still for long I signed up to the log cabin quilt block class.

I haven’t done much in the way of quilting but I have always admired these blocks and it is always great to learn something new! The wonderful thing about classes is that you can meet other sewers and be inspired by their projects. It was a lovely class everyone was friendly and Becca was a great teacher!

By the end of the morning I had a lovely teapot stand. I edged it with a small crochet fan pattern at home. It’s a wonderful reminder of a delightful holiday.

Autumn Sewing – Kate jersey dress version 4

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It has been a phenomenal summer hasn’t it? Gloriously warm lazy days filled with lovely beach walks with the dog, alfresco dining and wearing anything other than cotton or chiffon feels just too hot! However, the nights are drawing in, September is the beginning of Autumn and the heat won’t last forever!

I headed to the nearby Fabricland in Portsmouth last Sunday – if I am honest, Fabricland is a bit hit and miss, sometimes brimming with lovely fabrics other times I leave without seeing anything inspiring! Thankfully this visit was one of the inspiring ones! I was looking for knits – warmer dresses to see me though the Autumn and into winter.

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I could not resist this beautiful floral print, so reminiscent of summer but in a cosy jersey that was so soft to the touch it would be a delight to wear. It has a lovely weight that hangs nicely.

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I love the butterflies through out the pattern – there was no definable direction to the print, although I detected a slight diagonal. The flowers were not so big that it made pattern cutting difficult. I bought 3m at £4.99 pm which is a bargain!

I decided to use the Kate Jersey Dress pattern again – to be honest with you I have lost my sewing mojo a little lately and I just wanted to get the dress done rather than having to faff around with pattern adaptation. It really peeves me that I have to always do the Full Bust adjustment, so I decided to use the pattern already drafted. Not only that the style really flatters my shape and I feel relatively happy with the finished dress. (Even though I am not really that happy with my weight at the moment!)

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However, the pattern is tricky considering it is for knits. The central panel finishes at a sharp peak, the bodice is also sharply curved… needless to say stretch fabrics and points are not easy to achieve. I think the first time I did this dress I used some contrast fleece fabric that gave it some stability. However I wanted to make this complete in one fabric so had no option. I think the next one I make I will add a fleece backing, the knit is too soft to really define the lovely point – which is a key detail on this pattern.

So I am all ready for Autumn … let’s hope we have an indian summer!

 

 

 

 

Tailor made – dress form

Made to measure dress form neckline

It is quite a process to create a dress form that follows the contours of your body exactly. I have developed a fast and easy method that does not include duct tape or plaster casts.

Made to measure dressform

It is not for the feint hearted, to be faced with your body from the outside, all its lumps and bumps is quite distressing at first. Having been slim and lithe for most of my life, middle age is definitely spreading. However, once that shock is over, it gives an opportunity to really assess the body in terms of what I want to enhance and what I want to hide.

made to measure dress form

The dummy in this picture is not straight on mostly because I feel rather exposed showing this shape, but you get the drift. I do have some lovely fashion fabric to go over the dummy, but I find white is less distracting.

Made to measure arm hole

Having a dress form makes sewing so much easier, you can do alterations without stabbing yourself with pins, and given my sway back, I can ensure that the back sits perfectly.

The whole process took me approximately two days to do, but it is worthwhile… it really is key to getting good fitting garments.

 

Looking for a pincushion? Ask Fred..

sewing items sausage dog pincushion

Oh how I am missing the Great British Sewing Bee… Heather’s lovely little sausage dog pincushion was always sitting next to her sewing machine. When I saw the patten in Love Sewing Magazine I decided to make one of my own

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I had some lovely pink tweed left over from a project I made 6 years ago! As the pattern was for a door stop, I decided to decrease it a little. Everything is so much easier to hand sew – especially when you are working with tiny fiddly pieces like the head gusset and tiny ears.

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I decided to embellish him a little with some lazy daisies and fly stitches along his back.

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He is a very friendly chap!