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I’m not sure that this project is exciting enough to warrant a blog post, but he ho- I’ve been a neglectful blogger of late. The following project came about as a result of my frustration with having to constantly lug my laundry basket up and down stairs. Invariably it ends up dumped in my tiny kitchen, where I would have to shift it around constantly in order to negotiate my way about the room. Given that I am notoriously slow when it comes to fixing problems, I have persevered with my awkward laundry basket for a good 5 years! It only dawned on me recently, that an easily transportable laundry bag would be the answer to my wash day prayers.

The thought of traipsing around the shops in search of the laundry bag of my dreams didn’t fill me with much enthusiasm. So I decided instead to raid my fabric stash, and a quick search of the web  led me to a lovely free pattern for a draw string bag on the Selvedge website-  perfect!

It was really easy to construct, and I was done in a couple of hours, if that. I purchased some lovely sturdy cotton cord to act as a drawstring, and hey presto- one pretty and functional laundry bag! Bring on wash day.

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Following the completion of the Anna Tunic I was feeling inspired to crack on with more items for the Summer wardrobe! This is the dress I promised myself I would make using the seersucker fabric I bought in Harrogate. It’s a version of the Simplicity 2591. I’m also keen on the cap sleeve variation, but thought that a tad ambitious, particularly as I wasn’t confident I’d gone for the correct sizing. I quite possibly spent hours debating what size to make. To further complicate things, I’m not a standard dress size, so it wasn’t a case of debating one size, but 2- one for the bodice and one for the skirt. Simplicity seem to build in a *ridiculous* amount of ease into their finished garments- which I had guessed before starting, but has now been confirmed.

I’m over the moon with the bodice. This was my first ever attempt at creating darts, and it has resulted in a perfectly fitting bodice- which I could easily re-use and attach to other skirts if I was feeling ambitious! However, I’m less than happy with the skirt 😦 I opted for the size 12 skirt, but with hindsight would definitely have gone 1 size, if not 2 smaller. With off the peg skirts, I’m a size 10 waist, but the Simplicity measurements had me at a 14- just crazy! Anyway, what I’ve found is that the finished skirt is just too full at the front. The gathering in the centre causes the fabric to hang in a big pleat, which looks really odd. I’ve tried pressing it in a way to alleviate this, but to no avail. I’m determined to wear it though, so will just have to live with it I guess!

Oh, and I’ve been paranoid that it looks like a nurse’s uniform. somebody please tell me it doesn’t. Even if it does.

And apologies for the lack of full length photos, I really struggle with self-photography!

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Perhaps I was prompted by the lovely Spring weather we’ve been experiencing over the last week, but a couple of days ago I dug out the following project, which had been languishing incomplete in my spare room since last Summer!

The pattern is an Amy Butler design, from her midwest modern range. I hit on it last year, when searching for mini dress patterns. The standard pattern is for a tunic, but I was working to the mini dress version, which hangs just a bit longer- though not much on me, I must admit! Definitely one to be worn over leggings or jeans 🙂

I decided against using fabric from the Amy Butler range, instead using a very lightweight cotton print I picked up at Abakhans in Manchester. I find it’s really important to have a feel for how the fabric will drape when making clothes, and think I would always hesitate to buy online- even though the choice is so much wider. The dress is lined with muslin, so this deals with the slight transparency of the exterior fabric whilst detracting little from the drape. I really like the button up yoke at the back of the dress. I opted for wooden buttons, and I think they work well against the fabric.

Overall, this project was fairly straightforward. Assembling the yoke was the most complicated part of the process (and inevitably that’s where the gap in the project occurred!), but aside from that I had little problems. I had read about other peoples experiences of using the pattern, and it was highlighted that the armholes could be a touch on the tight side. For this reason, I decided to adjust the armholes by 1/2″ , and it seems to have worked really well- so am glad I took heed of this advice!

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I really have left it rather a long time to mention this, but I feel it’s not too late to tell you about the Knitting and Stitching Show which I attended in Harrogate back in November. Sadly, my crafting partner in crime was too poorly to make the trip, so I had to brave my first K&S outing on my own. Despite having been warned, I was pretty overwhelmed by the size of the event, and never really found my bearings! I was focusing primarily on shopping, so hadn’t booked on to any of the workshops available throughout the day. However, I did enjoy wandering around the many exhibits. I was particularly taken with the textile work of Rosie James, and the ‘Knitted Lives‘ exhibit, where 40 older women from Newcastle had worked with artists to tell their life stories through knitting.

I’m not sure I was supposed to be photographing the exhibits (oops), so instead I will post here some pics of the goodies I acquired on the day. These will certainly keep me busy in 2010!

The above is a selection of beautiful fat quarters from Euro Japan Links, which will be just perfect for small craft prjects.

Yet more yummy fabric! The large spotty one is a heavy canvas, which I’ve earmarked for making a tote bag or 2. Hiding at the back is a stripy blue seersucker fabric. I’ve been looking for a suitable fabric to make one of these dresses for some time, and I think this one fits the bill 🙂

And last, but my no means least, the yarn! L-R: Malabrigo sock yarn in Aguas, a gorgeously soft Debonaire (50% baby alpaca, 50% extrafine merino) in Aloof, and an artist’s Palette Smoothie sock yarn in a lovely green/purple colourway.

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Not a pair of socks

Thats right…I have finally branched out! Albeit only to a shrug (the smallest, chunkiest version I could locate)…. but the imortant thing is that it isn’t a sock, mitten, hat or scarf 🙂 I used this straightforward pattern Anthropologie inspired capelet, and a Rowan chunky yarn in Wild Berry, which I think was a good choice for the autumn. I only had juuuust enough yarn to complete this. Probably could have done with being a couple of rows longer, but I think I just about got away with it. In the first of these photos, you can see how I’ve pinned it with a brooch at the opening, it’s a lovely little one I picked up from a vintage fair recently 🙂

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A blog is born.

How exciting!

Have been toying with the idea of joining the craft blogosphere for quite some time now. Am hoping this will help streamline my online craft activities, whilst also acting as a motivator to keep on knitting and stitching. Only time will tell! Still a relative newbie to all things craft, I’ll be tentatively sharing the fruits of my needles (so to speak!), as well as highlighting the work which inspires me daily. Hoorah!

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