Monday, 21 November 2016

Pulled Thread Hoop

On Friday, I knocked something else off my Finish-Along list and considering it's been on my list since Q3 2015, it didn't take long to finish.  Less than an hour, in fact *hangs head*

Here's how it looked at the start of the quarter (it's item four on my list), when it was going to be turned into a pin cushion:
Pulled thread

I decided that I didn't really need another pin cushion where I had to be careful of where I'm putting pins.  In the end, I decided to stretch it in a hoop so it could be hung on my sewing room wall.

I found a strip of turquoise solid that was almost but not quite wide enough to go behind it, so I pieced another bit on with a quarter inch seam and then top stitched it to make sure it would tolerate the stretching required.  I then stretched it over the hoop and secured the back. You can just make out some of the seam at the bottom of the hoop:
I've got the backing layer for the pulled thread stretched over the hoop and secured, just the evenweave to do now. I was about 1" short on the width on this beautiful turquoise (not sure which brand it is but it's not Kona or Bella it's much finer than t

I then did the same with the pulled thread work (after giving it a quick press), but used a pale pink thread to secure it so I could easily see which thread to pull when tightening it:
Finished! I used a different colour thread for the evenweave layer to make it easier to spot which thread I was tightening. This is my fourth finish this quarter, I wonder which will be next to leave the list? #2016fal #ridiculouslylongFALlist #ridiculous

And here's the finished hoop, hanging out with the sweet peas (yes, I still have sweet peas hanging on through the frost!):
This is the front of my pulled thread hoop (you can see the back a couple of posts back), I'm so pleased I managed to use that turquoise plain behind it (if you zoom in, you can just see it peeking through the evenweave) as it's just the right shade. This

I'm really pleased with how this worked out, and it's nice to be able to finally say it's finished!  When the time comes, I'll be linking up with the Finish-Along:
2016 FAL

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a cup of tea and a nap calling my name.  And several penguins clamouring for attention and wanting to be made into a cushion front, would you like to see?
Thirty-six penguins #contrarytoexpectationsitturnsoutIdidntmakeanextraone #Christmascushionalong

Or maybe they should be jumbled up so the cushion has no right way up?  Let me know what you think!
Thirty-six (jumbled) penguins

Eddie's come to stay for a couple of days, and Archie thought he'd try out the cage for size.  Eddie didn't want him getting any ideas:
No, I won't shuffle back, I didn't ask you to come in here with me to show me round, please get out.  Or stay there, because you make a very good head rest.

And Eddie can't quite believe what a relaxed attitude we have to teatime:
Too early for tea
Archie: I'm telling you, it's not time for tea yet.
Eddie: It must be!  I'm famished!  Honestly, my stomach thinks my throat's been cut!
Archie: Too early,  I've heard that many times before and I know the signs.
Eddie: No, I don't believe you.  If we sit here for long enough and look appealing enough, she'll give in.
Archie: (sighs) She won't.

Thanks for popping in!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Kate Dress - The Pinafore Version

Earlier in the year, I bought some lovely navy floral needlecord from a local fabric shop for about £6 a metre and from the outset it was destined to be a pinafore.  At that point, I hadn't even finished the toile of the Kate dress (pattern by Sew Me Something) but I already knew that it was going to be a pattern that I would make and make again, with variations to make different dresses but with the same basic pattern.

Once I'd made my toile (see it here) and established the changes I needed to make to the basic pattern to get the fit right, I traced it again (I'm a big fan of keeping the original pattern intact and tracing onto tissue paper - it's a bit of a faff, but I find it works for me) and altered it so that it became a pinafore.  Essentially, I lengthened the arm hole so that it came quite a bit lower, narrowed the shoulder a little at both the outside and inside edges, and created a softly curved v neck instead of the round neck.  I also drafted the facings.

This is the first time I've made a sleeveless dress, but my good friend B steered me in the right direction and I'm pleased to say it's finished!  I've shown lots of progress photos along the way, but bear with me while I put them here, for future reference!

At the start of this quarter, when I added it to my Q4 FAL list (item 28), it looked like this:

I made the pockets, but rather than having gathers across like the toile version, I put an inverted pleat in instead:

I stitched the side seams on both the dress and the facing, and then attached the facing to the dress:
Facings attached, ready to grade seams and clip curves. That's a job for a less tired day, though.

I then clipped the curves, graded the facing seams, pressed them and understitched, before joining the outside shoulder seams by machine and the inside ones by hand.

Then there was just the hem to do:
Just the hem to go and my pinafore version of the @sewmesomething Kate dress will be ready to wear. That won't be today, though!

Once I'd established that it was hanging level (and therefore didn't need someone else to pin it for me), I turned up and pressed a 3/8" seam before turning up another 5/8" (so 1" in total) and stitched from the inside using the edge foot to keep me straight.

And here's how it looks on (I'm not good at selfies, as you can see!):
It's an appalling photo*, but my pinafore hack of the @sewmesomething #Katedress in needlecord is finished! (I need to either line the next one or get a longer petticoat as the hem creeps up my tights when I walk, which is a bit irritating. I wonder wheth

The only thing I need to do is get a longer petticoat, as there's about a 5" gap between the hem of those I have and the hem of the pinafore and it means the cord likes to walk up my (woolly) tights, which is a bit irritating.

I have some more needlecord to make another one, I just need to decide whether to keep the neckline the same or go for a rounder shape.  Decisions, decisions!

I'll be linking up with the Finish-Along when the time comes:
2016 FAL

After making him pose for a photo in the lashing rain last week, I was surprised when Archie agreed to another outdoor photo shoot:
You were right, I do need to practise my ruggedly handsome poses in different places.  It's a pity they can't see the sea behind me for the fret/cloud, but you can't have everything.
This pose is also known as 'where are they going and do they have biscuits about their person'

Thanks for popping in!  I know I've been appalling at replying to comments, I promise to try harder!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Sunday Summary Of An Odd Week...

...but I don't know why it's been an odd week so I'm going to blame the clocks going back!  I also don't feel like I've got anything done, so let's see what I can pull out of the hat, eh?

I reached a couple of milestones on the blue and white quilt's hand quilting.  Here's Mini Archie helping me celebrate the first one:

This is #widn, @two_wednesdays! Mini Archie and I are having a wee celebration because I've just hit the three-quarters point on these stars! (Archie is upstairs in bed and so is missing out on getting to try my thimbles for size.) Tagging @lilysquilts, @
Three quarters of the way there!!!

And here's Archie wondering whether he'll get his tea before I reach the next milestone:

I'm sure it's teatime.  Tell me it's teatime.  
A while later, after Archie's tea, I hit the milestone!
And that makes one hundred! 'Just' twenty-seven to go, but I'm not starting them tonight, I'm swapping to my #Christmascushionalong hexies. Joining @charmaboutyou for the #saturdaynightcraftalong #handquilting
One hundred stars quilted!  (Just 27 to go!)

I've even bought the binding fabric, as I had a discount code for Simply Solids and wanted to use it before it ran out.  It arrived yesterday and I think it's going to work well:
Binding for the blue and white quilt, from Simply Solids.

I'm now aiming to get it finished for either Christmas, or Mam's birthday in early January.  I was doing two stars a day during October, but dropped to one a day from 1st November so I can get some other sewing done, particularly the two Christmas cushions I want to make (and a table runner from the leftovers) and I'm also going to start quilting my Christmas quilt again, once the Christmas fairy visits with some Christmas feeling...  (It's too early!!)

I have managed to spend some time piecing the polar bear hexagons for my first Christmas cushion and it currently looks like this:
I'm making progress with my first Christmas cushion!
In need of a good press

I seem to have either miscounted the hexagons (I had enough a couple of nights ago!) or I've lost one, so I need to cut another to go above that red snowflake in the top right corner.  It might be stuck to the blue and white quilt, I'll have to spread it out and check!

I've finished the facing on my needlecord pinafore version of the Kate dress by Sew Me Something (the pinafore version is my own alteration to the pattern, not one available with the pattern) and joined the shoulders, so I just have the hem to do and I can wear it:
Just the hem to go and my pinafore version of the @sewmesomething Kate dress will be ready to wear. That won't be today, though!

And I finally managed to re-pot my bulb pots!  I emptied them all out (couldn't remember what was in each one) and then separated them and re-potted them in fresh compost.  For the past few years, I've had layered pots, but this year I couldn't see the crocus flowers for the tulip leaves so decided to go for single pots instead.  The problem is that my bulb identification is not as good as it could be so somewhere along the line I've 'lost' about 25 dwarf iris bulbs, I wonder what I put them in with?!  I managed to identify the tulips, crocus and grape hyacinths, but I suspect the dwarf iris and dwarf daffodils are all mixed up together.  Still, it'll add interest in the spring...

That's the layered pots emptied and the used compost scattered as mulch on the raised beds. Time for a pot of tea and a biscuit before I tackle the sorting. I'm going back to single layer pots as I think they're easier for me to manage. #gardenersofinstag

Someone asked if Archie ever looked happy in photos, so we had a go this morning.  Turns out it's hard to look happy when it's hoying down and bozo is pratting about behind you, so he settled for a wink:
*sigh* There's always someone trying to photobomb...

Thanks for popping in!

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