2013 Hits ……. and Misses

Lots of craft bloggers are reviewing their year with the hits and misses, here’s mine.
2013 has been one of my most productive years for a long time, there has been…
3 pairs of PJ bottoms
2 blouses
2 dresses
2 skirts
2 shirts
1 t-shirt
1 pair of boys trousers
4 pairs of socks
1 upcycled adults skirt into a girls dress

18 projects in total, 1.5 a month.

THE HITS
The top hits are the two dresses.
Butterick B5600 and the Kitschy Coo girl skater dress. The denim Butterick dress has had a lot of wear over the summer and is really comfortable. I’m sure there’ll be another version next year.  As for the girl skater dress it is one of her favourites.

Kitschy Coo girl skater dress

Kitschy Coo girl skater dress

The Burdastyle 7136 denim shirt was also a success. I wasn’t expecting it to turn out so well but I love it.

Burdastyle 7136 denim shirt

Burdastyle 7136 denim shirt

I’ve also re-discovered knitting, just socks so far and I was really pleased with my first pair.

First ever pair of socks.....

First ever pair of socks…..

And finally I got over the fear of sewing with knits and made up the Maria of Denmark Kimono Tee which gave me the confidence to make up the skater dress.

THE MISSES
It’s not finished, not sure it’ll ever be finished so the Sewaholic Robson Trench will have to be put down as a miss. It’s not past saving, I put a lot of work into those bound button holes so in the new year I will take another look.

Sewaholic Robson Trench Coat

Sewaholic Robson Trench Coat

Overall not bad really!
See you in 2014

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Fluormania Socks In Progress And Measuring Feet For Socks

Socks for my six year old in the Regia 4ply fluormania are coming on well.

in progress (1620 x 2160)

I picked up the wool in my local wool haberdashery shop. I hadn’t paid much attention to their sock yarn offering thinking they didn’t have many but looking again there was a good selection with prices not much different to on-line and without the P&P.

When I first saw this ball of wool I thought it was horrendous and even after paying was saying to my daughter “are you sure you like this ….” How wrong I was, I love the colours especially the red going into the orange.

These are going to be knee length and to make sure these are a pair I need to start the second sock just where the orange starts going into the red.

The top starts 16 rows of 1×1 rib then the leg and instep are 2×2 rib with stocking stitch for the base of the sole and toe.

Measuring Feet for Socks
For her size foot I am knitting on 52 stitches. The first sock pattern I used from Viridian Yarns had the formula for working out how many stitches you need.
Measure around the ball of the foot in centimetres, multiply by 2.8 then take the nearest number divisible by 4.

e.g. ball of foot measured 17cm X by 2.8 = 49
I could have cast on 48 stitches but as I like to ensure my children’s clothes last as long as possible I went up to 52. Then obviously you just knit the lengths you want for the foot and ankle.

One sock is finished but the 2nd is on hold as I decided to knit a pair for my dad as a Christmas present. I started last Saturday and I’m now 2 inches into the second one, with 4 evenings of knitting time left I think I may just get them done.

This will probably be the last post of 2013, thank you for reading and a very merry Christmas!

Bound Buttonhole Tutorial – an easy how to!

Bound buttonholes can give your garments a really professional finish and are quite easy to get the hang of. I’m putting two into the waistband of a denim skirt.

When I first tried making a bound buttonhole I found the patch method worked best for me. I first tried these out when I started the Sewaholic Robson Trench Coat ( I will finish it one day……)

To start with measure your button diameter. I tend to add a couple of millimetres extra.

Apply iron on interfacing over the position of the button hole. Mark the length of your button hole and draw a line 3mm above and 3mm below (depending on the size of your button this can be wider), mark the ends of the button hole so you now have an oblong.

button hole position marked out

button hole position marked out

Cut an oblong fabric patch; make sure it is plenty big enough; any excess will get trimmed away at the end.

Sew the patch on, place it underneath with right side to right side. Use a small stitch starting in the middle of long side, not in a corner. When stitching the short sides count the stitches on the first one and do the same number on the second side to ensure that the width at each end is exactly the same. It’s a good idea to use the hand wheel to take this slowly.

stitched oblong and then cut buttonhole

stitched oblong and then cut buttonhole

Cut through the centre of the button hole stopping short of the ends and then carefully cut into the corners.

Pull the fabric through and press; you should have a good shaped oblong.

front and back after patch pulled through and pressed

front and back after patch pulled through and pressed

Starting with one side fold up the fabric to half the width of the opening, then do the same with the other side so that the fabric meets in the middle. When you are happy with how it looks give it a press.  To keep the fabric folds secure hand stitch in the ditch.

folding in the flaps and stitching in the ditch

folding in the flaps and stitching in the ditch

Fold the sides of the button hole back to show the fabric triangle, machine stitch across carefully, slightly pulling the folded fabric underneath.

stitching the triangle at both ends

stitching the triangle at both ends

Cut away the excess fabric of the patch around the button hole.

P1040199

To finish you also need a matching hole in your facing. Follow the same steps up to pulling the fabric patch through and pressing. Finish by stitching across the triangles as before and if you like, edge stitch around the opening. Finally catch stitch the facing opening to the front buttonhole to keep them together.

finished front and back

Cable Pattern Socks – and spot the mistake…..

As my first pair of socks was looking a bit plain and simple I felt I needed to try something new. After the success of the ribbed pair I decided on rib with a bit of cable.

cable socks (1669 x 1452)

So back to LOVE KNITTING for some wool. I fell for a 10% off offer but it was still more expensive than the other sock yarns I had bought. Then when it arrived I realised it needed size 3.25 needles rather than the 2.5 I had used on the previous two pairs so I needed to buy more needles.

I like the colour but it’s not quite a vivid as it was on-line which was a little bit disappointing. Looking back at the site I’m beginning to think I didn’t order what I thought or I was sent the wrong one. They are actually a lot more pinker than the photo shows. Here’s what I think I got.

cable socks 2 (1368 x 1824)

I didn’t use a pattern I just worked it out myself. I had learnt that the number of stitches you use must be divisible by 4. I was using a circumference of 56 stitches. To work out the rib and cable pattern I drew up a grid split numbered 1 – 28 for half the sock.

knit chart

I started off with a cuff of 1 x 1 rib for 12 rows. Initially I didn’t like the feel of the bigger needles after using the slimmer 2.5 size but I got used to it and with a bigger stitch the sock grew faster.

Spot the mistake.

left foot 3 ribs between cables, right foot 1 rib between cables

left foot 3 ribs between cables, right foot 1 rib between cables

The first sock knitted had 3 rows of ribbing between the two cables on the instep of the sock, the second only has one. It wasn’t until I was nearly at the end of the foot on the second sock that I noticed. I now realise it is the second sock that’s wrong. What must have happened is that when I started knitting the pattern after the cuff ribbing I’ve started on the wrong needle. Doh! But looking at them I think I prefer the sock with the mistake. And I was so proud of my chart!

Overall I’m a bit disappointed with the yarn. The colour is nice but not what I thought it was going to be. I think I prefer the smaller stitch and tension of the Regia 4ply.

It’s going to be socks for the children next. We took a trip to the local wool shop and despite me trying to suggest lovely subtle colours the 6 year old chose this. I’m going to need my sunglasses to knit!

flouro wool (1368 x 1824)