Friday, 24 October 2014

The Innocent Smoothie Big Knit Campaign

Hey guys!

Today I thought I'd take the opportunity to talk a little about the Innocent Smoothie Big Knit Campaign, and why it's a good idea to get involved.

The first Big Knit took place back in 2003, when Innocent began to ask people of all ages around the country if they would like to make little knitted hats to put on the top of the Innocent smoothie bottles. For each bottle sold, a 25p donation was made to Age UK and since then the campaign has reached epic proportions, with over 4 million hats knitted and £1.5 million raised. With the money donated by Innocent each year, hot water bottles, blankets and cooked meals can be provided for thousands of elderly people all around the UK. The charity Age UK also organises knitting groups which give people a real chance to socialise and make friends.

In the UK, over 24,000 people die each year because of the cold weather, with the elderly being the highest risk group. With help from the knitters of Britain, enough money can be raised to limit this number and make sure that help is given to those struggling so they don't have to die needlessly.

Together, we can use our knitting skills to raise money and awareness for Age UK, and help our grandparents stay warm this winter - so let's get started!

Here are the hats I have knitted so far:

I know, they're all green! I stupidly left the majority of my knitting things at home, so green is the only colour available to me, but I guess it's the thought that counts :) I also made two rainbow hats using multi-coloured wool at the university Craft Club on Tuesday, along with a red, orange and yellow striped one which I thought looks a little like a sunset.

They are so easy and satisfyingly quick to knit! I can go from casting on to a finished sewn up hat in about twenty minutes, and it's really good fun being able to make something that you know is going to such a worthwhile cause.

So, if knitting's your thing, please keep the Big Knit in mind and please do have a go at making your own little smoothie hat! They need to have been sent off to Innocent by December 12th (address here) but that still leaves plenty of time.

For more information on the Big Knit, click here, or take a look at the amazing knitting patterns for you to try your hand at - look at this cute watermelon one!

Thank you so much for reading, and happy knitting!

Beth x

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Love at First Stitch, One Make a Month: September, the Margot Pyjamas

Firstly I'd like to start with a massive apology for how late this documentation is! I do faithfully promise that the planning of this make did begin in September, so I hope it's still eligible for the challenge. My sewing output has slowed down massively in the last month which I'm not too pleased about, but it can't be helped. Uni is a big adjustment! 

I am pleased to announce though that I am FINALLY round to posting my September installment of the Love at First Stitch challenge, the Margot Pyjamas. 

I used a pale blue flannel for these pyjamas which, though plain, is sooo soft. I can't imagine I'd be cold in these come winter, they are incredibly warm and snuggly! I also thought I'd use a floral ribbon for the drawstring instead of a matching flannel one to liven them up a little bit, and I think it adds a nice feature. 

For my first trouser shaped project, I think these could have gone a lot worse, so I'm really happy with them. I did struggle a little on the crotch, but after studying a pair of my ready to wear pyjamas and Tilly's helpful instructions, I soon found my way. 

I'm sure that these will see a lot of wear in the coming cold months, especially here in Wales. I also hope to pick up my productivity levels and have just finished cutting out the pattern pieces for my October Love at First Stitch challenge, the Mimi Blouse, so hopefully it shouldn't take too long before it makes an appearance on the blog! 

Thank you very much for reading as always, and I hope that wherever you are you're having a lovely week. 

Beth x

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Starry Night


Ever get given a piece of advice that you ignore then wish you'd heeded? 

I found this gorgeous starry fabric at the market back at home when I visited for my birthday, and immediately thought that it would be perfect for a dress. It's navy - one of my signature colours - and so gorgeous. However, when I asked if I could have two metres of it, the stallholder seemed confused. On realising I meant to make a dress, she looked a little doubtful. 

'It is Christmas fabric, you know? Are you sure it should be a dress?' 

I did know it was Christmas fabric, but I still thought it was pretty and I couldn't see what the problem was, so I went ahead and bought it. 

Ah, so that's the problem. 

It took me four rounds of photos to get to this stage, and it still looks fairly awful. This is my fourth Anna dress, from By Hand London, but even the brilliance of my favourite pattern does nothing to help with the fabric issue. 

I assumed the little golden stars would stay just that - little and golden. But they reflect the light strangely, almost merging together to make me look like I'm shimmering. It's odd, and I really don't think I like it. 

I've asked the girls in my building their opinion, and they all seemed to like it, so I came to two possible conclusions - either the light in my room is at fault for the odd reflection, and it would look fine if I was just wearing it out and about (they saw it in the kitchen where there is more natural light), or it looks fine when off the body, which is how the girls saw it, but not when I'm wearing it. 

Hmm...opinions please! Would you wear a shimmery fabric like this? Do you think it looks ok, or should I just give up and turn it into Christmas cushions instead? 

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

Thank you as always, 

Beth x

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Lisette 1419

Hey guys!

After taking a few weeks time out from sewing whilst I settled into uni, I'm pleased to report that I'm finally back on track and have finished my first version of Lisette 1419. 

I used a medium weight cotton fabric that I picked up from Abakhan a while back for something ridiculously cheap like £2 a metre. Bargain! The collar is simply cut from a fat quarter of plain white cotton. Don't you just love Peter Pan collars?

I followed the pattern pretty much exactly, aside from changing the skirt pleats to gathers, which I prefer. This dress is so perfect for the transitional autumn-winter period; it goes well with all my cardigans, has sleeves, and can fit my petticoat underneath as an extra layer. 

I must admit, I'm thrilled to have settled down into a new project after such a long break from sewing. This dress is such a good addition to my handmade wardrobe, I'm sure I'll be wearing it long into the autumn. 

In other news, I celebrated my nineteenth birthday on Saturday and got an overlocker! After about an hour of unsuccessfully trying to thread it correctly, I gave up and left it at home - I'll have another attempt the next time I go for a weekend visit. Any tips? 

And finally, I feel like I should apologise, to myself as much as you guys, for the delay in blogging September's Love at First Stitch make, the Margot Pyjamas. I was doing really nicely with sticking to the schedule I set for myself when the competition was first announced, but with everything that's been going on around here recently, I've fallen a little behind. So for that, I'm really sorry, but please bear with me and know that I aim to document the finished make very soon. 

As always, thank you for reading, and have a great week, wherever you are :) 

Beth x