Wednesday, 16 December 2015

What to buy a crafty person for Christmas.

So as my title says this post is a good idea of what you can buy a crafty person (okay probably just me really) in this last run up to Christmas.
Because I'm a dork I'm making it ALPHABETICAL BECAUSE I CAN!
(please note I didn't take any of these pictures, I googled things and copied URL's)

*ahem*

A - Applique scissors. Also known as duck billed scissors these babies make trimming the edges of applique a doddle.
B - Buttons. You really can't go wrong with buying people buttons. Spot some cute buttons in a shop, buy them, scour etsy for vintage buttons or a button tin, I mean sure a Quality Street tin works just as well but let's face it we always want more tins to put our buttons in.



C - Chocolate. We need something to keep our strength up while we are sewing/knitting.

D - Dylon. Can't stand listening to your resident sewer complain about how they can't find cotton lawn in a shade of pale lemon, well now you can throw dye at them and hope they don't turn the cat a funny colour.

E - Embroidery thread. So it might just be me but I love embroidery threads and have big plans of adding my own designs to patchwork quilts and other things I can hold down long enough to sew on.
F - Fabric money - Can we say kaching! This can be in the form of a gift voucher, cold hard cash or a surprise trip to a favourite fabric store, either way a sure fire way to get Christmas kisses.

G - Gutterman's thread. This stuff is the bomb and also a tad pricey. So buying the sewer in your life a pack of these babies will make you the best person EVER! 


H - Home alone. No not the movie. One of the things I see most often on blogs is a wish for people to sod off and leave the sewer to sew. Knitters want to knit in peace. Take the kids or yourself if you don't have kids and give the crafty person a good three hours of peace and quiet.


I - Interfacing. Seriously we go through this stuff very quickly. I prefer iron on in thin and medium, I've not had a need for any thicker. Go with a few meters of both and bobs your uncle.

J - Jewellery. There's a tonne of great sewing or knitting related jewellery out there and very few women can say no to something shiny (if they hate jewelry please ignore this item). 

K - Knitting patterns. If your knitter keeps them organised it won't be too difficult to figure out what's missing. Same goes for knitting books, check out Amazon and look for something recently published, chances are you'll find a few gems your knitter will truly love.


L - Lint roller. Maybe a little weird a gift and definitely a stocking stuffer but these things are so great for picking up loose hairs, stray threads all those things that can make a finished product look less than pristine.


M - Money. Okay so I've said money before but there are often things we would love to own that people just don't see as gifts. When your own money goes to food, bills and gin money you often go without the little things you really want. So money in the form of a voucher is really a thoughtful gift.


N - Needles. Whether it be fancy knitting needles, a pack of 100 sewing machine needles or a case to put needles in all needle related gifts are gratefully received.

O - Overlocker. Also known as a serger this machine is the bees knees when it comes to finishing items and sewing knit fabrics. A rather expensive gift this is probably not going to be a good surprise gift because your sewer will want to choose their machine. Trust me on this.


P - Patterns! I can't stress this enough, we love hoarding patterns. Chances are you won't know where to start so it's best to ask your sewer for a list of patterns they have been wanting. Or if you feel lucky try ebay and etsy and search for vintage patterns.

Q - Quilts. I enjoy sewing and knitting whilst sat in front of the TV, in winter this gets quite nippy so a lovely quilt in my favourite colours will go down a treat.




R - Rotary cutter and extra blades. Great for cutting fabric these will always be a welcome gift.


S - Sewing box. I constantly run out of places to put all my sewing bits and bobs, I have two sewing boxes but it's really not enough. Another box would be lovely thanks.


T - Tea. Not a fan of coffee I love a good brew, well I am English after all. Tea related gifts are always welcome! Especially if they're sewing and or cat related too. 


U - Unusual yarn. Shut up I'm totally not running out of ideas. Etsy has some pretty yarns in funky colours, a great gift in my eyes.


V - Vacations for sewing. Seriously you can go on a sewing holiday. Google it and click buy. Send to me. Or ya know your sewing enthusiast (who I bet would love for me to come along as well).

W - Weaving loom. It doesn't have to fill a room there are plenty of lap looms that are just as good for learning to weave.


X - Okay I admit, I've got nothing, so lets keep moving and if you can think of something let me know!

Y - Yarn winder. This is something that is definitely on my wish list, buying yarn is all well and good but it often comes in not so easy to deal with skeins that need to be wound into a nice ball. Except doing that by hand is a ball ache. Pun totally intended. This handy device makes everything better and there's less swearing in the house, yay!


Z - At this stage it's safe to say I'm tired and running low on ideas. Zombies are always unpopular at Christmas time, they try to attack guests and as much of an animal lover as I am giving me my own zoo wouldn't be the best idea.

Anyway, hope my list helps someone this year. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

xoxo

Pam
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xoxo

Pam

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

I bought an overlocker!

Hey guys long time no blog, working really took it out of me!

I got paid from my temp job (sadly over now but it was fun while it lasted) and I decided to treat myself to an overlocker. I've been wanting one for ages now and while I had money I bit the bullet and pressed buy!

I first however called sewing machines direct to ask if they included threads with it, they do, so I ordered online and just got the confirmation it will be delivered tomorrow!

So what did I buy?

I decided to spend a leeetle bit more money and bought a higher end overlocker the Brother 3034D.

Isn't it precious! A bouncing baby boy!

£239 pounds of my hard earned money later and I regret nothing! Normally when I make a large purchase I dither, I panic and I wonder if I'm doing the right thing. NOT THIS TIME BABY! (Sorry, not sorry, for shouting)

I'm giddy with joy, I can't wait to sew knits without swearing like a sailor on shore leave. I can't wait for neat hems and seams and did I mention knits! 

I love my walking foot but let's face it it's slow and changing the foot is annoying and I tried using a twin needle and nearly threw the machine out of the window in frustration. 

I'm currently watching youtube videos on threading the beast and magical things that overlockers can do. 

I also have some clothes to show you...um, probably this weekend as Cal has a job that keeps him away during daylight hours (damn you daylight savings!) and I keep forgetting to take pictures. So yeah this saturday I'll have stuff to show, yay! 

Anyway I'm going to leave you gorgeous people with this question, what do you sew on your overlocker?

xoxo

Pam

Friday, 14 August 2015

I knit socks, why, because screw you that's why.

I knit my first pair of socks.

I'm feeling particularly proud of myself. Excuse me if my smug starts to show.


I used acrylic yarn. Sock yarn can be hella expensive and I didn't want to pay through the nose and then discover sock knitting is boring.

It's not by the way, it's totally addictive! I cast on a second pair yesterday. Again in acrylic but my sock yarn hasn't arrived yet.


This pair was from a free pattern called Beginner Worsted-Weight Socks for Magic Loop, Toe-Up or Top-Down It was a totally easy pattern and the author of said pattern has a load of videos on her website to help you along if you get stuck. Perfect for beginners. I did a different cast on because I'm a rebel, I used a Turkish cast on from this YouTube tutorial
Why did I choose a different cast on? I'm a derp and the magic cast on was coming out wonky because the top stitches are backwards so the instructions tell you to knit into the back...of course my brain chose that moment to be all "what the fuck man, this is looking wonky" and I refused to register what I'd read. It wasn't until after I'd finished the socks I figured out what that meant. 



My second pair are coming along nicely and I used Judy's Magic Cast on for the toes and it's pretty funky and fun to do.

Same yarn different colour. I'm going to try a different bind off too, mainly because my wool needle has vanished and it's hard to do the suggested bind off without a needle. So unless I can find it soon I'm trying a stretchy bind off I've found through the magic of Google.

So this is me signing off with a quick question to all you sock knitters, what's your favourite cast on and bind off?

Friday, 24 July 2015

A very merry unbirthday to me!

Wow, I'm still alive I promise. Life has been a bit iffy lately, Cal's Granddad passed away and I had many a job interview (still no job) and I've not been feeling mentally very brilliant lately.

I've been sewing and knitting but either nothing is finished or it's finished and I don't like the quality enough to share. I know I should, it's all part and parcel of the learning process but I'm still kind of embarrassed by my less than stellar work.

I've been struggling lately with getting things to fit. I'm learning from books and blogs and websites but it feels like an uphill struggle. I'll get there but right now it just means I'm producing stuff that isn't as good as I'd like it to be.

Anyway, Wednesday I went into London as an early birthday treat. I'm 30 on Sunday but if anyone asks I'm 21 okay? Okay. I went to Walthamstow Market and sadly The Man Outside Sainsburys wasn't there, however the shops were still there so I got some decent bargains.


The whole fabric haul. It seems I went for a colour theme. Please ignore the mess in the background, housekeeping is not my strong point at the moment.


Satins and cottons, two meters of the first two and four meters of the last two. I plan on making blouses and dresses.


Stretchy lace over shiny turquoise, no idea other than that but it looks gorgeous. I plan on making a pencil skirt with this. The last two are jersey knits in teal and black. I need some t-shirts that actually fit over the ladies and cover my tummy, not that my tummy is huge or anything...well unless I've eaten too much and then I look pregnant with twins (I'm not pregnant with anything, I just love food...perhaps a little too much ;).



The last purchase of the day was in Camden Market after we spent two hours looking for a ring for my friends birthday (unfortunately didn't find it, sorry Diana) I wandered into a vintage clothing store and spotted this, originally £18 it was half price so £9 handed over and it was mine all mine! People have recommended this book and it's something I've been thinking about getting eventually. Birthday money from Dad funded my spending spree and a second lot of birthday money from Mum and Mike funded a second spree which will be shown off once it shows up.

Obviously I can't say whether I've had a great birthday but one of my best friends is visiting so barring a natural disaster I can definitely say that so far my 30th birthday has been great!

Oh and Cal paid for train fare and food and drinks in London as my gift and I had an amazing day, got food in Soho, wandered for miles and had drinks with really nice people in a pub just outside of Camden. 


It's not my most flattering photo but I met Flynn Rider in the Disney Store on Oxford Street, we bonded and good times were had by all and yes that is my Discworld dress, it kept me cool on what was a warm muggy day and even survived the fires of hell that is the London Underground.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

xoxo

Pam


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

There was not a lot that could be done to make Morpork a worse place. A direct hit by a meteorite, for example, would count as gentrification.

Hola people of the world!

I am back with a whole new dress and in the interests of keeping it all in the open I used a remote to take my pictures so don't blame Cal for the drop in quality...unless you like them more at which point, you're welcome!

Anyways I made this dress for Easter and I've worn it a couple of times since and only just got around to taking pictures.
I used New Look 6184 which I got free with Sew Home and Style magazine.

I chose the bodice from view C and then added a drndl skirt as I didn't have enough fabric for the skirt pattern and I didn't want a form fitting skirt. How many times did I say skirt in that sentence, wow.



The bodice is designed with pleats so I didn't need to do a FBA though I am apparently tiny of back and had to take maybe three or more inches off the back at the top so it didn't gape. I think the back was designed with Quasimodo in mind. 

I bought the fabric on ebay, I wanted cherry blossom print fabric and it was only after I bought it that I realised it was curtain fabric. I did a quick Google and found it was 100% linen. After that no fucks were given.  

I bought the fabric the day Sir Terry Pratchett died, he's been my hero for a long time, my entire adult life and most of my teens. I knew that being ill he would die eventually but I wasn't prepared when he did, I'm not ashamed to admit I cried. Then I bought this fabric and the Discworld dress was born.


I shortened the bodice and could have done with shortening it a tad more, the belt sits at my natural waist which is slightly above where the bodice and skirt meet.

The linen wrinkles horrendously but that's what linen does so I'm not too fussed at how awkward it is. It feels comfortable to wear and I've worn it in warm weather and felt comfortable, a win win situation in my eyes.


I didn't bother pattern matching but for a most part it looks pretty good. I like a slightly looser bodice and the wrinkles on the left hand side are because I'm stood with my hip jutting out, I never could stand up straight. 


Instead of attaching a facing I cut corners and used bias tape instead. It worked well and I have no regrets, linen frays a lot. A LOT. So anything that cut back on fraying linen was a good idea. The pattern called for bias tape around the arm holes.

Instructions wise they were really clear and easy to follow, there really wasn't anything in this pattern that was difficult. I would definitely recommend it if you're looking for a nice summer dress pattern and don't want to do an FBA, obviously because of my bodacious ladies I can't comment on how it would fit someone less ample of bosom. I just assume you'd have to size down. 


Cal wasn't around to judge so I went full on Vogue. I regret nothing. I also look like a twat doing it but hey ho that's the way the cookie crumbles.


I'm going to leave you with stereotypical Japanese pose. Kawaii desu! (the u is silent, spoken like a true nerd).

Now I'm going to go read the first Terry Pratchett book I ever read, Pyramids. 

xoxo

Pam







Thursday, 7 May 2015

but... worse, Sally could have survived, and gone on living with this horrible scar on her face, and some long, lonely, miserable life...

Yo peeps, wassup? I hope everyone had a relaxing bank holiday and even though the weather wasn't brilliant still had a kick ass time.

Today in Britain is the day of the General Election, this is not a political blog and I don't intend it to become one, I just hope everyone 18 or over used their vote!


As you can see I went out and voted.
Then I took the blog photos. Priorities, I have them.

I made this dress sometime in January...didn't finish it...ripped it apart and shortened the bodice...didn't finish it...finally hemmed it around four weeks ago.

The thing is at first I wasn't sure I liked how the skirt fell. The fabric is quite stiff and the skirt sticks out, something I didn't care for. Then I went to Windsor and needed a suitable dress to wear.

This is me outside the coolest building in Windsor, it's actually that wonky, your eyes do not deceive you.

As you can see I didn't wear tights and though it was a bit breezy out my legs were fine. Okay I confess I'm wearing tights today because I haven't shaved my legs, nobody needs to see that.

The cardigan is the Miette Cardigan by Andi Satterlund.

I did a FBA on the bodice and as I mentioned shortened said bodice by an inch. I think I overdid it on the FBA as it's a bit too baggy but hey it's a learning process. 
I also shortened the skirt, about eight inches maybe? This was off the shortest skirt length too. The pattern is one from 1975 so I assume every woman was eight foot tall back then.

Style 2181, a dress made for giants. DEATH BY SNU SNU!

The next one I make will have a slightly different collar, this is a bit too Saturday Night Fever for my liking.

About the only other change I made was omitting the sleeve cuffs because I didn't have quite enough fabric and also I really couldn't be bothered adding cuffs. It's a simple double rolled hem and it works for me.
As you can see some of the buttons are closer together but I had to add that bottom button or there was awkward gaping. I also re-did that bottom bit a million times and all hyperbole aside I still couldn't get it to look right. Oh well I'm sure I'm the only person who even notices it.

I've worn this dress a few times now and it's really comfy and looks great. I feel I've come a long way in my sewing skills and though I have a lot to learn I'm much more comfortable making changes to patterns to get a better fit. Also that is one neat and beautiful hem.

Still some gaping around the back, Cal says I have a slight sway back so I will adjust for that next time.

Holy carp Pam is wearing make-up! I'm normally too lazy to wear it but today I felt like doing the dress some justice and plus I do love my bright red lipsticks.

So there we are, the dress. It's taken me long enough to sew, finish and blog but I'm proud of how it looks and I know it will get worn a lot.

As for the cardigan like I said this is the Miette cardigan, a free pattern by Andi Satterlund, it's a simple knit and looks great. I used super cheap and nasty yarn to make it as I've never completed a knit before and I'm broke and all. One day I'll knit it up again using super gorgeous yarn but for now this will do. I was seriously impressed by the pattern, it was definitely beginner friendly and it looks really cute. I could have made it a little shorter as I'm short body and long legs but hey, it's another learning curve. Once I have money I will buy more of her patterns as they are all stinking adorable!

Also if you're wondering about my pictures looking different I used an editing technique from Sydney of The Daybook, a super cute fashion blogger with both amazing style and gorgeous hair.

That's all from me, have a great rest of the week and have a fun filled weekend!

xoxo

Pam