Free Pattern: Andalusian Boot Cuffs

I have some exciting news!

If you liked the look of my boot cuffs that I made in my previous post you will be delighted to hear that the pattern is now available to download for FREE on here on Ravelry!

I would love any feedback anyone has on this pattern as it is my first attempt at publishing and I’m sure there will be some mistakes. I have tried to keep it simple though and as I explained in my last post the boot cuffs are a simple make and are knitted flat.

Perhaps you could make them as a mothers day gift (UK mothers day is on the 12th March in case you were wondering!)

I hope you enjoy this pattern.

H.

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Boot Cuffs

With a few basic knitting projects under my belt I recently decided it was time to challenge myself and get inventive!

I have a beautiful pair of leather boots but they are just a little too big around my calf so I decided to make a boot cuff. If you dont know what a boot cuff is just head over to Pinterest and you will find literally hundreds of patterns. However, I decided not to follow any of them! Mostly because they were either completely plain or involved fancy cabling – something which I have not yet attempted. Instead I decided I would create my own. I have decided on quite a simple stitch pattern with some ribbing at the top and bottom. I worked them flat as I thought it would be nice to use slightly bigger needles (which I dont yet have in circulars or double pointers) to make the boot cuffs stretchier and more forgiving if I accidentally made them too small!

I am really happy with the finished boot cuffs and I think they go great with my boots! What do you think?

Boot cuffs

Boot cuffs

Getting social!

I’ve eventually set up a Facebook page so now you can get me on all of you’re favourite social networks:

Facebook Facebook,

Twitter Twitter,

Pinterest Pinterest,

Etsy Etsy (Although there’s nothing on there…yet),

ravelry  Ravelry,

Bloglovin Bloglovin,

Email and good old fashion email!

I’m also on Google plus although I won’t really be using that very much as I do not really like the feel of it and find it a bit clunky, but if you find that’s the best way to get in touch the. Feel free just don’t be offended if it takes me a few days to respond as I won’t be checking it too often!

Book Review: Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking

This book is fantastic! I’m talking about the book written by the great british sewing bee contestant Tilly Walnes. The title: “Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking” could not better describe how I feel about this book. I feel that right from my first attempt at the very first pattern in the book I had fallen in love with sewing, and it certainly has demystified all of the ideas involved that had previously scared me away.

Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking

Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking

If you are new to sewing and want to begin making your own clothes then I cannot reccommend this book highly enough. There are a number of projects that can be made to suit your own style as the garments themselves are quite plain but can be created in a range of fabrics to your own choice.

The instructions are really simple to follow with basic patterns and instructions for the more advanced sewer to in depth tutorials for the beginner. There are pictures to guide you all the way through and the language used is simple enough for anyone to understand but at the same time technical sewing terms are introduced gradually so as to provide you with a basic understanding should you wish to progress to other (less considerate to the beginner) patterns.

So far I have made the first three clothing items out of the book and feel that my sewing skills have improved vastly thanks to the tutorial and I have three perfectly wearable items, something which I would not have expected before beginning!

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stag and leaf screenprinted design on hshandcrafts

Screen printed tote

Last night I went on a textiles taster course. We were shown the process of screen printing and even got to try it out ourselves.

With only three hours it was a busy evening to get a design drawn, the stencil cut out and the 2-colour design printed but I had loads of fun and now have a cute tote bag with my own design printed on it!

I started out with the idea of a stag silhouette but when I saw some of the tutors portfolio with multiple prints layered up I decided to try something similar so incorporated some leaves and layered them on top.

I am pretty pleased with the outcome, I just wish the blue  would have shown up a bit brighter to emphasize the stag.

Screen-printed tote bag with stag and leaf design

Screen-printed tote bag with stag and leaf design

screen printed stag and leaves design

screen printed stag and leaves design

myspace styke photo in my upcycled top from old jeans

Alteration Challenge

I feel that I am probably a little bit too excited that the Great British Sewing Bee has returned to our screens. In preparation for tomorrows episode I decided to give it a go myself by taking up last weeks alteration challenge. On the show the contestants were each given a denim shirt and asked to create something new out of it.

Well, I didn’t have an old denim shirt lying around but what I did have was an old pair of skinny jeans

old skinny jeans

So those would have to do.

Now all I needed to do was decide what I was going to turn them into, after a while searching pinterest and none of the hundreds of upcycling projects appealing to me I decided to come up with my own plan. I found a top of mine that has a nice shape to it and decided to use that as a pattern template.

Now it was time to begin…and in true GBSB style – start the clock! Oh yes, I was taking this seriously if they have to do it under pressure in the sewing room then so do I!

First step was to cut down the inside leg seam and along the crotch of the jeans to give me the biggest flat pieces of fabric available to work with.

Jeans cut along inside leg and crotch seams

Then I took my top and laid it out on top of the fabric and marked out where the seams needed to be for the front and back pieces. I cut these out leaving a good 3/4 inch seam allowance all round. The fabric wasnt quite long enough to have the front and back pieces as long as the original top – but so what! Crop tops are cool…right?

Use a top as a pattern template
Next I cut off the waistband

So now I had the front and back pieces for my top, I had to decide what to do about sleeves. I decided to use the remaining part of the jean legs. Only problem was they were a bit too narrow. However, in some beautiful coincidence it turns out that they were too narrow by the width of the jeans waistband so off that came and got attached to the side of the leg!

Attach the jeans waistband to the side of the leg

Now I had all the components of my top it was time to begin construction. First of all I began by pinning and sewing the sleeves onto the front of the top, right sides together and sewing with a 5/8inch seam allowance (although this is smaller than I had allowed for based on the original top I thought it best that the top be roomier than the original considering the denim-style fabric)

Pin the sleeve to the front piece         Front piece of top with sleeves attached

I then folded the sleeves over )along the original seam from the side of the leg) and pinned them to the back piece. I attached them with top stitching to keep the feature of the waist band.
Back of top with sleeves attached

Next task was to sew the front and back of the top together at the side seams. Now its beginning to look like a top!
2015-02-10 18.27.45

It was trying on time and guess what it fit! (kind of). THe sleeves were very baggy which I knew they were going to be given the way they looked compared to the original top so I tapered them at the shoulders and cut them both the the same length
sleeve sew from shoulder to edge to form a taper

I then hemmed the sleeves and neckline as well as the bottom. I decided to keep the cropped look as the way in which the jean leg had tapered gave it a nice loped bottom so it wasn’t to short after all.

finished top made from old jeans

Yes I know its a little wonky and the seams don’t quite match on both sides(I bet Patrick and May would have a field day on this one!)but I did it I turned a pair of old jeans into a wearable(ish) top and all in just 2 and a half hours!

and to prove I did wear it here is a terrible (myspace-style) picture as I had nobody to take it for me!
myspace styke photo in my upcycled top from old jeans

2015-02-10 19.22.40

Delphine skirt waistband close-up

Delphine Skirt

After the fantastic success of my starry pajamas I decided to follow it up swiftly with another sewing project before I lost all confidence. This time I wanted to create something that I could wear outside the house.

Say hello to the Delphine skirt. This is another creation from Tilly and the Buttons.

Delphine skirt in burgundy cotton drill

Delphine skirt in burgundy cotton drill

I decided to play it safe and choose one of the suggested material types. So I searched on ebay for “drill” in the fabric section despite not knowing what that meant! I chose this lovely burgundy colour – again opting not to go for a pattern to play it safe.

I enjoyed making this skirt as I felt I had progressed so far from my pajamas but was not overwhelmed by a vast number of new skills needed to complete the task. In fact the only new skills required were interfacing and inserting an invisible zip. I had attempted some interfacing before for a bag, that time I just guessed my way through it using a few internet tutorials but I wasnt really satisfied with the result. However, this time I had specific instructions in my book to follow along with the pattern and in fact it was incredibly simple and I created a stiffened wasteband with only minor difficulty!

The second new skill required for this skirt was a little more daunting, the invisible zip. Once again, the step by step photo tutorial was amazing and this together with the instructions included with my new invisible zipper foot meant that in just over an hour I had a zip on my skirt!

invisible zip

Invisible zip on Delphine skirt

I was so proud of my creation I decided to wear it along to my craft club and tell everybody that I had made it. The response to which was a planned trip to the local fabric shop for me and my fellow crafters to purchase some more fabric so that we can have a sew-a-long and create a garment together!

Double pointed needles

On a spur of the moment visit to a local charity shop I discovered they had received a large collection of knitting needles. They had mostly paired them up with elastic bands and priced each pair individually. Yet there was one elastic band with a bundle of double pointed needles all of different sizes grouped together. I stopped a while and sorted through to see if I could create some sets. In fact there were 4 complete sets from 3mm through to 4.5mm. What a find!

I decided to take the 2 smallest sets and leave the lovely old man in the charity shop with the other 2 to price up again. He was thrilled as what he thought was one item had now become four!

IMG_0022

Now all I have to do is figure out how to knit with double pointed needles.

H.