A new knitting pattern and a giveaway!

 

Saxifraga is a warm and cosy hat knit in aran weight yarn with a simple geometric motif created in colour work. the hat gradually changes from colour A at the brim to B at the top.

This is my newest knit creation and the pattern is available to buy now on Ravelry!!

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Knit in aredblue-saxifraga soft drapy alpaca it creates the perfect slouchy beanie or in a tougher yarn it will make a thicker cosy hat to keep the wind out on the coldest of winter days!

I was searching for the perfect colourwork hat for some beautiful aran yarn I bought from Town End alpacas and just couldn’t find one that I loved so I designed one myself. I really love geometric designs and so decided to focus on triangles and diamonds in the colourwork motif.

It is quite easy knitting and only requires knowledge of:
long tail cast on
ribbing
colourwork
decreases

The hat is one size only and will fit an adult

It is knit in aran weight yarn in two different colours (less than 50g of each) on size 3.5 and 4mm circular needles.

I really hope you will love this hat as much as I do. Pictured here are some of the versions I have knit so far. I really love how it works in so many different colourways! From monochrome, to natural to bright reds and blues. So whether subtlety is your thing or you would rather go for brights this pattern will work for you.

 

 

 

saxifraga-giveawauGiveaway

If you cant wait to get knitting I am giving away two copies of this pattern. One is available to my blog followers and the other one is over on instagram (look out for the picture on the left) so why not enter both for twice the chances of winning!

So, for my blog readers to be in with the chance of winning a copy of this pattern all you have to do is follow this blog and leave me a comment below telling me what colourway you would choose for your Saxifraga.

Giveaway is open until 17:00 GMT on Sunday 5th of March. So go and check out all of the test knits over on Ravelry for inspiration for your Saxifraga and let me know what colours you would choose in the comments and follow this blog to be in with the chance to win your own copy of the pattern.

And if you cant wait to find out if you’ve won don’t forget the pattern is available to buy now over on Ravelry!!

Dont forget to also enter over on Instagram for another chance to win!

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Anchor Dress

Anchor DressEarlier this week I showed you my completed Outfit-Along dress and cardigan. For those of you who were paying super close attention you will have noticed I mentioned that it was the second dress I had made using the bodice block from Freehand Fashion. Well, here is the first.  I am really pleased with this make and it was so close to being a perfect fit that I made another straight away for the outfit along..

I decided to make a dress for my holiday which was a couple of months ago now. I had this nautical themed fabric with anchors on it so it was perfect for watching my partner compete in the 3-peaks yacht race yacht race. Also, the race was being filmed for tv so I wanted to be wearing something extra special just in case I was caught on camera!

side

So as I said, I created the bodice block using Chinelo Bally’s book and fitted it by making a toile in white polycotton. Once I had the fitting just right I cut out the bodice in my fashion fabric and attached it to the lining.

bodice

AS I was making this dress way back in June I couldnt help but be influenced by seeing all the great makes over on the monthly stitch for Indie Pattern month. That definitely got me in the mood for sewing and whilst I didn’t have time to contribute anything myself I decided to get into the spirit of the ‘hack it’ competition and use the skirt from one of my favourite indie pattern designers and used the skirt from theLilou dress in love at first stitch by Tilly Walnes. I took about 10cm off the length to allow me to squeeze it out of the fabric (I only had 2.5 m).

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I really enjoyed making the skirt – look at all those pleats. I think fabric manipulation such as pleats and gathers is definitely one of my favourite aspects of sewing!

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I would have quite liked to put in an invisible zip but couldn’t find a red one long enough so opted for a centred zip instead. I think it actually fits in quite well with the dress.

back

 



The details:

Pattern: Bodice block and Lilou skirt from Love at First Stitch

Fabric: Anchor print polycotton (I think it was from Abakhan a while back)

Notions: Gutermann thread, red zip

anchor dress

I love this dress and now I have a well-fitted bodice block can see myself making lots more dresses in this style. I really like the fit and flare look but have never had many clothes like it before because of all the fit issues with ready-to-wear stuff.
anchor selfie

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on Instagram

oh and I almost forgot…the obligatory twirling photo!

twirl

OAL2016 is complete!

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Who doesn’t love the chance to both knit and sew whilst discussing it every step of the way with a group of like-minded crafters? I personally love it and the Outfit-Along has not disappointed. For those who missed my previous post about this and have no idea what I’m talking about it is a challenge to create an outfit in two months. There is a set pattern for both a sewn skirt and knitted top which you can choose to follow along with a series of guided posts from Lladybird and Untangling Knots or go your own way and make something different. This is what I chose to do as I have quite a few skirts and was looking to make a great summer dress. Also, another cardigan was top of my list for knitting so I decided upon the Agatha cardigan and got started.

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I picked up this gorgeous fabric from the knit and stitch show earlier this year and knew the subtle ivory and black print could handle a bright cardigan so chose to go with a red yarn. I used the suggested yarn for the pattern which was Cascade 220 and I actually really loved working with it. It is 100% wool so it’s really warm and will definitely make the cardigan great for the Autumn and Winter (even if it is a little bit much right now!)

 

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The dress is self-drafted. I used the bodice block from Freehand Fashion, a book by Chinelo Bally from Series 2 of the Great British Sewing Bee. This is the second time I have used this bodice block and after a few tweaks it is almost perfect in terms of fit. I also drafted a semi-circle skirt. I am really pleased with it and the fabric is perfect for this kind of skirt. It drapes really well but has some body to show off the fullness.

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Also, I put the biggest pockets known to man into the side seams! Why doesn’t every dress have pockets this huge??

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I really enjoyed taking part in the Outfit-Along and I’m already looking forward to next year. It was a great experience to think about making an entire outfit as so many of my handmade clothes are one-off pieces that I have to mix and match with shop-bought to create a wearable outfit. Perhaps I will consider this more from now on and start thinking about creating a more cohesive wardrobe.

If you want to see more of the outfit along and see all of the other wonderful outfits people have created you should definitely head on over to Ravelry where there is a wonderful forum of delights awaiting you!

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on Instagram or Twitter

How To: Make a new ironing board cover

ironing board cover

Today I have a really quick post for a really quick make. In fact I did everything from cutting the fabric to the photo shoot all within 2 hours!

I decided it was time my ironing board got a makeover. Whilst visiting Ikea last week I discovered their great fabric range and just had to get some. This was the perfect choice for my ironing board. Look at that print!

 

Do It Yourself

What you will need:
  • Fikea fabricabric (Length needs to be the length of your ironing board + 30 cm, width needs to be the width of your ironing board +30 cm)
  • Elastic (length needs to be long enough to fit around your ironing board
  • Safety pin
  • Matching thread
To make this yourself follow these simple instructions:
  1. Trace around the top of your ironing board directly onto the back of the fabric.
  2.  Add 15 cm extra all the way around your ironing board and cut out the fabric
  3. ironingboard2Turn over 1.5 cm or 5/8 in all the way around the edge making small folds in the curved parts so as they lie flat.
  4. Turn the same amount under again, press and pin.
  5. Stitch as close as you can to the first fold to create a channel all the way around the edge. Be sure to leave a small gap of about 3 cm along the long edge.
  6. Attach a safety pin to the end of a long piece of elastic.
  7. Thread the saftey pin through the channel you have created.
  8. Place the cover over your ironing board and smooth out the top
  9. Pull the elastic tight until the cover wont move on your board.
  10. Tie the elastic tight and cut off any excess.

 

It’s such a quick make but can really spruce up your sewing space!

If you enjoyed this make why not try some of my other patterns!

Pinterest screengrab

Pinterest Inspiration: Chinese New Year

Pinterest inspiration is my place to show you what I’ve been falling in love with recently over on Pinterest. This is one of my favourite place for finding inspiration and I can easily loose a couple of hours pouring through all the beautiful things to make.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year will be celebrated on the 8th of February this year and it will mark the beginning of the year of the monkey. If you want to celebrate Chinese New Year why not try making your own decorations such as these paper lanterns with a tutorial and printable over on Marie’s Pastiche.

 

 

 

Traditionally, red envelopes are given to children with gifts of money in. I found this cute tutorial to make your own from ThriftyJinxy.

 

 

 

You could also, go all out and crochet one of these amigurumi monkeys to mark the occasion. The pattern is by Amigurumi to go adn is really detailed with lots of pictures.

 

I rally love learning about other cultures and traditions and what better way to find out about Chinese new Year than by making all the decorations yourself!

Do you love to get lost in the beautiful world of Pinterest? Leave your user name in the commetns below and I’ll be sure to check out your profile! If you want to see the rest of my pins you can find me here.

buttons for gingham blouse

Gingham Blouse

I recently joined the Monthly stitch a blog where loads of sewers can post there makes. Each month there is a new category and sewers should make something that fits in with that category. This is a great way to focus all those ideas for new sewing projects and decide which one to make first based on what fits best into the category! This month the theme is Check it out!

Gingham Blouse on HsHandcrafts

I don’t own many checked items of clothing not because I don’t like checks but just that I have never really seen anything recently in the shops that I love. In fact I think the only thing I do own is a top in a tartan-like print and I love it so I thought this challenge would be a great opportunity to add some more checked fabrics to my wardrobe. Since I began sewing I have bought very few ready-to-wear garments and have begun to notice that a lot of my clothes are beginning to look quite tired.

In a couple of months time I will be starting an internship and will need some smarter clothes so its about time I started boosting the smarter end of my wardrobe and so I decided to combine the these two ideas of smart clothes and checked fabric and kill 2 birds with one stone by making a gingham blouse!

I wasn’t too sure that gingham was a good choice to begin with as it always reminds me of school dresses and I really wanted to avoid looking like I had bought my blouse from the back-to-school section of the supermarket when I start the internship in September! However, I spotted this particular gingham in black and decided that it was too nice to pass up – and also there are not many school dresses in black are there?

I used the Fashion with fabrics book again and loved the pattern hack for a sheer sleeveless blouse. Although I don’t feel quite comfortable sewing with sheer fabric yet, and I wanted to use my gingham, so I decided to give it a try! I think it worked out quite well, the only thing that i think would have worked better with a sheer fabric would be the gathering at the shoulder as this is a bit to rigid and so kind of puffs out a bit rather than falling nicely. However, this is a minor detail and still looks fine.

I cut out a size 8 from pattern as this was the closest to my measurements. I could probably have done with a little smaller everywhere except the bust but I made a toile from some cheap cotton I had lying around and it didn’t seem too bad.

Perhaps the way the gathering was falling on the toile should have been a bit of a give-away that cotton was not the perfect fabric for this make.

The sewing went fairly smoothly and the body of the blouse made up really quickly (French seams and all!) Next step was to tackle all the new to me parts.

First the bias binding for the arm holes. This seemed to go really well and without too many issues.

Arm holes finished with bias binding

Arm holes finished with bias binding

Next, the collar. This is where it got more tricky. I fused the interfacing to the top collar piece. Sewed this to the bottom collar piece and then turned them the right way an and topstitched around the edge. So far, so good. Next, I had to attach the collar to the body of the blouse. To my horror the collar piece was about 2 inches longer than the neckline of the blouse. Not to be phased by this I thought I would simply cut a section out from the centre back of the collar and stitch it together again. Simple! What could possibly go wrong? Well, in my haste to put my genius to work I went and stitched it back together again wonky – so now the collar has a step at the back of it. Lucky for me I have long hair so nobody will ever see my mistake!

Step in the back of the collar on my gingham blouse

Step in the back of the collar

The final new-to-me step was to create buttonholes and attach the buttons. Not to be tricked into making another mistake I practiced first! Here is my first attempt at a buttonhole ever:

My first ever buttonhole on my gingham blouse

My first ever buttonhole!

Not to bad, even if I do say myself!

Next on went the buttons, no problems there.

Buttons on gingham blouseAnd ta-dah! My blouse was complete! For something that had so many steps in it that I would have to try for the first time I am really pleased with how it turned out, even the collar with its none-matching abck seam looks fine from the front.

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The details:

Pattern:  Sleeveless Sheer blouse hack from The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric

Fabric: Mini check gingham cotton poplin

Notions: Black Gütermann thread, lightweight iron-on interfacing, Red Wooden Round Buttons (1.5cm)

Alterations: None

I think it will become a wardrobe staple. I am really pleased I went for red buttons as I think they make it more fun. Black buttons would have just made it an ordinary everyday blouse, not one that is special to me! It is also, the first step towards my new work-wear wardrobe for when I start my internship in September!

H.

buttons for gingham blouse

Buttons!

I’ve been working on a sewing project recently, the majority of which is almost complete. I have the basic body of a blouse but now I have all the new-to-me things left to do so there’s still time for it to go horribly wrong as I need to add a collar and buttons!

I love button and have a tin full of all sorts of shapes and sizes but I decided for my first project with buttons I should buy some new ones, mainly so that I had a full set that matched. I couldnt decide what buttons to pick as the blouse is black and white I thought I should probably pick some black or white buttons but then I saw these beauties and couldnt resist! They will also be a fun burst of colour on an otherwise quite plain blouse!

buttons for gingham blouse

The material in the background is what I will be making my blouse from. I hope the bright red buttons are not too much!

Unfortunately I wont be finishing the blouse sometime soon as I am going away for the week camping so I will be keeping quiet for a short while, but hopefully there will be plenty of time for relaxing with my knitting!

H.

Colour Combinations

I am sure everyone knows the feeling when you are inspired by a new pattern that you just have to try straight away but cant decide how to make it just right for you. Well sometimes its down to the texture of the fabric or yarn but more often than not I find myself pondering over the colour for so long! There are certain colours I return to time and time again but often I want to try something new but am unsure of how it will fit in with the colours already in my wardrobe.

I decided to create a new pinterest board to keep track of some of my favourite colour combinations so that when I cant decide what colour to do my next project I can just open it up and see what has inspired me before. Also, if I know what I want it to match I can look for colour inspiration with those combinations in!

Do you have a method of choosing what colours to create your next project in or do you always go for the same combinations? I would love to hear any tips!

Just for fun, here are some of my favourites! What are yours?

H.

Red fabric with white stars

Starry Pajamas

I would like to tell you about my first “proper” sewing project. My starry pajamas!

Starry Pajamas

Starry Pajamas

Last year my mum gave me her old sewing machine, which was rather limited in its capabilities with only 2 stitches in its repertoire. However, it was enough for me to try a few things out. I even made a couple of tote bags although the seams are now coming apart where the machine struggled to cope with anything more than 2 layers of fabric.

So in the January sales I bit the bullet and bought myself a shiny new sewing machine. I decided to start out with something simple so I chose to do the pajamas from Tilly and the buttons book “Love at First Stitch”. First of all I need to tell you how amazing this book is. Everything is explained in a simple manner – no sewing jargon required – with beautiful pictures guiding you all the way.

Following the directions in the book I chose my measurements and cut out the pattern in the correct size from my chosen fabric

Red fabric with white stars

Red fabric with white stars

Sewing of the pajamas was pretty simple with straight stitching and then zigzag stitching over the edges to stop any unravelling.

I completed the pajamas with a drawstring mad from a complementary cream ribbon with the text “Handmade with love” printed on.

Ribbon on pajamas

Ribbon on pajamas

 

Hopefully this will be the first of many sewing projects to come. I feel I was perhaps playing it safe with pajamas as I wont be leaving the house in them! However, the other patterns in the book all look so good that I am sure I will be creating more of them soon!

H.