Waterfall Raglan Dress and Top

I managed to send off both my giveaway packages this week, thanks to everyone who took part on Instagram. I made this patchwork pouch out of a stack of my favourite Anna Maria Horner prints using the In Color Order Lined Drawstring Bag tutorial . It took a bit of time as I haven’t done any patchwork in a long time but I really enjoyed the process and love the result.

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I used a pink and red striped Tula Pink print for the top of the bag which I think complements the colours nicely. I hope its new owner enjoys using it, and I’m thinking of making another one for myself.

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I’ve been meaning to share this top for a little while, its the Waterfall Raglan by Chalk and Notch patterns. I made both the top and dress versions for my daughter.

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I used a beautiful Art Gallery Fabrics knit for this. The fabric is from the Fleet and Flourish collection  by Maureen Cracknell and is called Swifting Flora Fond.

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I cut a size 5 for my daughter and it fits her well with some room to grow (she is just over 4 but quite tall).

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The loose style of the top looks great over trousers. She doesn’t have many tops at the moment so I am planning to make a few more using this pattern.

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I made the dress using a jersey which is overlaid with a cream corded lace which I bought from Simply Fabrics in Brixton.

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At first I thought the fabric would be fine to use as it has a jersey base but when I did the stretch test I found that it only had about 20% stretch due to the lace which is bonded on to the jersey. When I initially sewed the sleeves they were a bit tight so I unpicked and sewed them again using a 1/4 inch seam instead, which gave a bit of extra room.

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I also  used a thinner fabric to make the facing for the neckline and turned that inwards which made the neckhole a bit bigger. waterfall3

It’s a great dress for twirling in and the fabric makes it special. I also bought some velvet as I have seen some beautiful velvet versions online too.

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Fleur and Dot Dress

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A quick post about my daughter’s birthday dress! I’ve been making quicker than I can blog recently so I’m going to post a few projects with less waffle. This is made using the Fleur and Dot Peter Pan Collar dress pattern (it’s not quite finished in the above photo!).

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I bought this gorgeous fabric as soon as it came out last year. It’s from the Lavish fabric range by Katarina Roccella. It also comes in a beautiful white and pink colourway. I made a small change to the finishing of the cuffs as I wasn’t happy with having the overlocked edge showing, so I turned the edges over twice for a neater edge instead.

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I cut a size 5 and my daughter just turned 4. She is tall for her age so although it’s a little bit big now I’m happy she’ll get some decent wear out of it. The pattern was straightforward with only a few pieces to cut (bodice, collar, sleeves). The measurements were provided for the skirt. I was a bit unhappy about the very small age ranges provided for a not inexpensive pattern. This was a preschool pattern which came with sizes 4,5 and 6. Infant size and Youth are available separately. I don’t plan to repurchase the Youth size but will probably look for a similar pattern with a wider age range.

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I finally bought a tool for adding the popper fasteners which is a huge improvement to hammering them in with the little plastic tool that’s provided. I did put the buttons in the wrong way round at first though! Luckily my husband was on hand to get them out but I don’t recommend doing this!

Altogether it was a fairly quick sew. I learned a few new skills and am less intimidated by press studs!

Makelight Course Review

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Despite a nasty bout of flu, I’ve had a good start to the year. I signed up to the Makelight ‘Beautify your Instagram’ course on impulse, with the idea of improving my photos and connecting with other makers. I didn’t have any real expectations otherwise, but have noticed a huge improvement in the quality of my images, because I’m thinking so much more about my lighting, composition and colours. I have always been drawn to bright colours, (think Rice Denmark ) but this hasn’t always come across in my photos, as I would not pay much attention to lighting and the background or composition. I found the Insights report provided very useful in focussing my attention on choosing colours I love. This can be challenging, as I do enjoy being spontaneous on social media and having to think about lighting for example, means that I can’t just post snaps of what I’m making at night!  Being patient has its rewards though, as I’m really pleased with how my photography is improving.

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One thing that has really surprised me is that I have been able to use objects I already have at home as props. I had always thought I’d need to go out and buy lots of new things for this purpose, but it turns out that I have plenty of bright and pretty things to use already. I also like having glimpses of work in progress in some of my pictures. I have also got to ‘meet’ many other people on the course, some of whom are very inspiring. qodqjwr2wh3rvfzunvq8Emily and Stef have created a friendly and eclectic community of businesses and makers and I was amazed to find myself in a Facebook group of 300+ members!  The Live Q&A sessions were extremely valuable as Emily answered individual questions on all kinds of issues – branding, lighting, equipment, styling, sojmetimes for nearly two hours. The amount of time given was much more generous than I had expected, and the Instagram feedback session (where individual feeds were reviewed) was particularly helpful, even though I wasn’t lucky enough to have been chosen.

Having been quite busy in the month with work and family commitments, I wasn’t able to go through every lesson or Live Q&A, so I’m very glad to be able to access those and the workbooks after the course finished. I’m sure I will be referring back to the lessons and continuing to build on the skills I’ve learned. The main benefit to me is that it has reawakened my love of photography and finding beauty in things around me – this is something I took great pleasure in a few years ago but had put aside for a while. I would really recommend this course to anyone who wants to develop their social media in a meaningful and enjoyable way.

The Makelight ‘Photography for Makers’ Course is due to start shortly or you can try the taster course for free.  Follow me on Instagram here .

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Handmade Baby

The blog was on the blink for a few months due to the general apathy of late pregnancy. I did manage to muster up the energy to sew and knit some pretty things for the baby, so here they all are:

 

The Sewing:

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Here’s our little Rosie wrapped up in her Anna Maria Horner voile receiving blanket. The reverse is made with cozy  flannel in the yellow diamond mine print from Folksy flannels, and the bias tape is made with pink voile. The headband is made using this tutorial. I made several more as gifts for family members with baby girls, they are really cute!

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The shoes were made with a Joy Folie pattern and I embellished them using a silk scarf from a charity shop (for the flowers), some beautiful organza ribbon from this shop on Ebay, and green felt for the leaves. The fabric is from a piece of Ikat silk handwoven fabric I bought from Uzbekistan on Ebay and the lining is felt. I also made a smaller pair in grey which need to be finished before she grows out of them!

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These flannels were made for my sister, but I made 8 of these for myself, and they are incredibly useful! The reverse is bamboo fleece and very soft and absorbent. They also wash very well and are made with all my favourite prints from a variety of designers.  It’s handy to have enough to keep one in each room as they’re always needed!

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The Itty Bitty baby dress – I sized this up slightly by enlarging the pieces on the photocopier, it still only just fit at 3 days old! Sadly she didn’t wear it again, but it was a very easy and satisfying project so I will probably make her another one in a bigger size soon. I think the main problem was that the sides were too narrow, so increasing the width by an inch on the bodice piece would probably have made it fit for longer.

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The Ice cream dress using an Oliver + S pattern. This is made with Nani Iro double gauze and is very light and soft. Again, the pattern is straightforward, but this is sized quite large (its a 6-12m size). I hemmed about 2 inches up after finishing it as it seemed very long.

The Knitting:

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The piece de resistance – a Purl Super Easy Baby Blanket made with Dream in Color Classy and Malabrigo Rios – very soft and cozy, and BRIGHT! I knew the acres of garter stitch would take forever, so I started it 6 months before she was due, and finished 2 weeks before she was born.

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December baby booties  in a peach angora blend fabric. I think I’m allergic to angora as it made me sneeze a lot, but the finished product is fluffy and very sweet!

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Newborn baby hat – she wore this in the hospital and it still fits now (she’s 4 weeks old). Its made with Rowan Purelife Organic cotton DK.  I don’t enjoy working with cotton but this was quite soft.

There are a few more projects to show but this is already a mammoth post so I’ll save those for later. I’m now enjoying doing some selfish knitting for a change 🙂

Ipad Case

I managed to make a case for my Ipad 2 at last – I will be travelling abroad next week and wanted something sturdy and convincingly protective. I found this excellent tutorial on One Shabby Chick and after some initial fabric choice struggles set to work in the wee hours. It took a good 3 hours or so from start to finish.

The fabric is Echino Camera in Turquoise which I bought last year  from the excellent Eternal Maker, with the lining in Anna Maria Horner Loulouthi framed in Citron. In the background you can see the reverse of my Little Folks lap quilt.

I had to undo the lining and trim the excess wadding as it was quite thick and a bit of a snug fit for my Ipad (admittedly with Smart Cover and back protective cover on). But after doing this it fits in beautifully. I used two layers of batting for the outside (the second layer didn’t go right to the edges) to make the quilting more apparent which probably meant I should have left out the wadding on the lining.