Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Knitting Progress

Hey guys, I finished the body of my cardigan! 

The final steps are the sleeves and body edging, both of which I'm unsure of so it will definitely be a learning curve for me.  I'm looking forward to getting going though, spurred on by the fact that it really is beginning to take on a proper cardigan appearance! 

There is also a lovely knitting shop here, just a five minute walk away from my halls. I called in the other day and picked up three balls of a lovely green double knitting yarn, and have already started another cardigan. I've just separated off the sleeves and am beginning to work my way down the body. 

I know it seems silly to have two knitting projects on at the same time, but I am actually enjoying having them at different stages. If I want a tricker project, I'll start work trying to learn how to knit the sleeves to my mustard cardigan, and if I'm im the mood for something a little less challenging, I can simply carry on with the body of the green cardigan. 

In the instructions for this project, it says to use a magic loop method for the sleeves. I know this involves the use of a circular needle, but the tutorials I've read online make this method seem no less mind boggling to me - any tips would be most welcome. 

And finally, I've joined the university Craft and Sewing Society! The first meeting is tonight for a taster session and I'm really looking forward to it. When I signed up, I was asked if I'd made the dress I was wearing (my Strawberry Anna), and asked to teach a class! I've never had the opportunity to teach others how to get to grips with the basics of garment sewing, but I would really like to have a go and give others the chance to get as much joy out of sewing that I do. 

I hope you all have a lovely crafty week, and thank you very much for reading, 

Beth x

Saturday, 20 September 2014


Guuuuys! I moved into uni! 

Wow, the last couple of days have been seriously hectic. Last minute shopping, packing and then worrying I'd forgotten something important, but yesterday was finally the day I officially moved in. It's so exciting! I was really nervous about starting, as I have not exactly been blessed with the skills of socialising, but I settled in right away and have already met another girl who sews! 

Wanna take a peek at my room? Sure! 

The wicker basket in the bottom right of the top photo is my fabric stash! All the lovely fabric I'd ordered before I moved thankfully arrived on time, so I have a stash for the first time ever! I can't wait to get started on the projects I have in mind. 

On the bottom photo, you can clearly see my sewing machine in the big blue bag on top of my bookshelf, underneath which is my sewing books and pattern box! Further along the bookshelf is also my sewing box, fabric scraps box and my knitting. Apparently there is a wool shop here so I've brought all my knitting needles! I've also put up some bunting that I found at a vintage fair, which I think brightens up the room a little :) 

It's a big change moving to uni, but I'm one night in and enjoying it so far. Fresher's week starts tomorrow so I'll be picking my modules, completing the registration process and picking up my student card! 

I hope you're all having a good weekend :) 

Beth x

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Recent Acquisitions

Bonjour dear readers!

I hope your week has been more productive than mine on the crafting front. I've had to put sewing on the back burner for a while, as on Monday I packed the car up with all my possessions, ready to be taken to university on Saturday! Yes, I am very excited, but so nervous too - I just hope everything goes ok!  So, with my sewing machine in the car, there's been very little craftiness going on around here, aside from making some progress on my cardigan. However, to make up for the frustrating lack of productivity, I've had a total splurge on fabric and sewing supplies, ready to get making my autumn/winter wardrobe once I get to uni. Want to see? Of course you do!

Two metres of lovely black cotton corduroy, which I'm going to be making a pencil skirt and dungaree dress from. If everything goes to plan, the skirt should also feature some beautiful vintage buttons I picked up from a fair a while back.

A metre of polka dot crepe de chine, for making a Pendrell Blouse from Sewaholic Patterns. I ordered this pattern in their recent sale along with the Hollyburn Skirt, Renfrew Top and a pink tape measure! I hope the blouse will become a real wardrobe staple over winter with my jeans and pencil skirts.

A metre of beautiful navy and white striped jersey fabric to make a long sleeved Renfrew in preparation for layering up in colder weather!

A metre of gorgeous burgundy and black striped ponte de roma, which I'm certain is destined to be a funnel neck, three quarter length sleeve Coco top, from Tilly and the Buttons.

Learn to Sew with Lauren! I know I'm not exactly a beginner sewer anymore, but following the blog hop launched in celebration of this new book, I could see there were some fantastic patterns included that I had to have, so into the shopping basket it went!

(photos above sourced from Ebay)

Guiltily, this is actually only half the new fabric I've acquired recently! It's been packed away into the car so unfortunately I don't have any photos, but I feel like I need to confess I picked up a metre and a half of what is, in my opinion, the most buttery soft floral cotton lawn ever at my local market on Tuesday, and I also paid a trip to Abakhan last week and came away with about four metres of purple and white butterfly printed cotton, two metres of bordered cotton lawn and two metres of burgundy cotton voile. If I didn't have a stash before, I do now!

And finally, I'm thrilled to be able to announce that I finally have my own rotary cutter and self healing cutting mat! I've been wanting these for ages but have only just got around to buying them - hopefully they'll make cutting all the drapey fabric I've just ordered a little easier. Ooh, and I also ordered a spool rack, as my sewing box is currently overflowing with half full reels of thread, so I thought it would be nice if they got a proper place to live.

I do apologise for the over-indulgent post, I just had to share my recent finds with you all - to get rid of the guilt associated with collecting so much lovely fabric if nothing else! We've all been there... right? Now I just can't wait to get stuck into all my planned projects :)

Thank you so much for reading - the next time we speak I'll be at university! Have a fabulous week and I'll see you all soon,

Beth x

Saturday, 13 September 2014

OWOP 2014: The Anna Dress

As many of you are probably already aware, One Week One Pattern has been taking place this week, and I opted to go for wearing my three versions of the By Hand London Anna Dress. Seven days of wearing our most tried and tested pattern sounded like an excellent idea to me, and the challenge has been one I really enjoyed - though I must admit I'm glad to be able to put on my beloved dungarees again this morning instead! 

Here is my documentation of the week: 

Day 1: Strawberry Anna
Worn simply with navy tights as I didn't leave the house on this day! (Doctor Who DVD marathon anyone?) 

Day 2: Rosebud Anna 
Worn with my pink cardigan, tights and ballet flats for a walk into town and seeing my boyfriend for lunch. 

Day 3: Strawberry Anna 
Worn with tights (has anyone else noticed the subtle temperature change allowing tights to be worn again?) and my vintage Liberty neck-scarf. 

Day 4: Cloud 9 Blossom Festival Anna
I think this is probably my favourite documentation picture of the week - I just adore the bright print of this beautiful bordered fabric. Worn with tights and my red cardigan for a walk into town to find the best bag making fabric ever! 

The best bag making fabric EVER! 

Day 5: Rosebud Anna
Another lazy day at home means this was simply worn with navy tights. Yes, I have gotten through an awful lot of DVDs this week (but a lot of knitting progress has been made too!) 

Day 6: Cloud 9 Blossom Festival Anna
Getting bored of these pictures yet?! I have to confess I did get a little bored of taking them - but this dress more than makes up for it, I love it so! 

Day 7: Strawberry Anna
Worn with tights and my red cardigan, this dress saw the most number of wears this week at three. Aaaaand woop! That's it, challenge completed! 

What I Learnt from the OWOP Experience: 

One Week, One Pattern was a challenge that really appealed to me, as I love the idea of celebrating those patterns we hold so dear to us, used time and time again. What I did realise during the challenge, was that although in some ways a dress may be seen as an easier option to go for than a separate, as it is more or less a whole outfit just on its own, more variation from day to day could probably be found by choosing a pattern that creates just one half of an outfit, like a blouse or skirt. 

However, despite this, I found the challenge to be an exciting one, trying to find different ways to style my outfit each day so they didn't look too similar, and after a whole week of wearing nothing but the Anna Dress, there is now absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is simply the BEST DRESS PATTERN IN THE UNIVERSE! It's so stylish, comfortable and easy to wear - I could sew up ten of these and still not get bored. For now though, I have a lot of other winter sewing projects on the brain, including a corduroy dungaree dress...mmm. 

Thank you for reading if you made it through this far, and if you participated in OWOP 2014, I hope you had as much fun as I did! I can't wait for the next one, and thank you so much to Jane from Handmade Jane (link to her lovely blog can be found in the sidebar to the right) for hosting. 

Beth x

Thursday, 11 September 2014

What's on my Knitting Needles

Hey, happy Thursday you guys!

Today I am really excited to reveal the beginnings of my first proper knitting project - the Mama Vertebrae cardigan by Kelly Brooker (my Ravelry notes here). I started work on this about three weeks ago, around mid August, and have just finished the increases on the main body and separated off the sleeves. I'm thrilled at how much progress I've been able to make by myself - once my grandma had explained how to knit into the front and back of a stitch to increase, I was absolutely fine! 

I chose a 4 ply yarn for this project in a lovely mustard colour that I picked up two skeins of from my local Abakhan. I know that progress will be slower than if I'd have chosen something chunkier, but I really wanted a cardigan that would be suitable for all seasons, not just colder weather. I'm so happy with how it is looking so far! 

I aim to have the body and sleeves finished by the time Christmas rolls round - I think this is an achievable goal, and it means my grandma can show me how to work the body edging over the holidays, as this is the last step in the instructions I envisage having difficulty with. 

Overall, I'm really pleased with the look of the cardigan so far, and can't wait to get it finished so I can wear it over the winter months! 

Happy crafting as always :) 

Beth x

Friday, 5 September 2014

OWOP! 2014

Hey guys, who's ready for One Week, One Pattern?!

As many of you will already know, OWOP first came into being a few years ago after Tilly had the genius idea to pay homage to her favourite skirt pattern by wearing all her different versions throughout a week, and this year the challenge is being hosted by Handmade Jane over on her lovely blog. If you want more information, click on the picture over on the right hand side to find out how you can go about participating!

The pattern I've chosen to wear each day, starting tomorrow and running through to Friday next week, is the Anna Dress from By Hand London. I may have only made my first version of this dress a week ago, but it really was love at the first try-on. Now whenever I look at my wardrobe, I glance over at all my other dresses and think, 'Well, yes, you're nice and all, but you're just not an Anna.' Have you ever had a pattern crush this bad?

It took me less than five hours to whip up my second version, and I'm currently in the middle of making a third! Both of these will be revealed to you next week when I document how I got on with the challenge. I hope I can include enough variation in the outfits to not make it look like I'm wearing exactly the same thing every day (which I more or less will be!).

If you are taking part in OWOP I wish you the best of luck and can't wait to see how you get on!

Happy sewing,

Beth x