GBSB Live part one

Last Sunday I was lucky enough to be able to go to the Great British Sewing Bee Live at Excel. I had awonderful day and it was a much needed break from the madness of the last few months. This was my first time visiting the Excel Centre and I am impressed at how easy it was to get to. There were a lot of firsts on the day,,as well as my first time at Excel, I decided to try the Emirates Cable car, what n experience. The views over London were inspiring and I enjoyed it.. I did get a little startled now and then when I looked around and saw a FAB member decal on the window
I bought a show guide which is something I don’t normally do for these things, it was at first glance expensive at £8 , but it came with a free bag and lots of articles, so was more like a magazine. I flicked through and found out where all the freebies were. More of them in the next post. My first stop was the Liberty clothing display from the Fashion and Textile museum. I had seen this previously at the museum but it was good to see all those beautiful prints up close again..

I decided to go up and down each row of stands so that I didn’t miss anything. At the show was a fashion show sponsored by Vogue patterns that showcased some of the dressmaking patterns available, both from their brands and the independents. I saw the 11:30 showing and was so pleased I did. There were some lovely clothes shown and it was here that I first saw my PERFECT pattern for me. It was love at first sight. The pattern is form independent pattern designer The Avid Seamstress. The pattern is an Aline/swing dress with pockets and best of all a raglan sleeve. the pattern is called the Raglan Dress and this will be another great stash buster. She also had a childs version of the pattern which I also purchased. Evalyn will be getting lots of these. For Evalyns I have traced off her size ready to use the pink stretch denim i bought years ago. a nice applique dinosaur should complete it. Despite destashing I did succumb to buying some fabric. more on that in the next post.

The show wasn’t as big as I expected but it did mean I could see everything at a leisurely pace. another plus point was all the independent stands. one of the stands I visited was Sew n Beads the website does not do it justice. There were lots ofnlovely items there , one thing I particularly liked was that she had lots of items made up you could buy but there was also the option to buy the same items in kit form. I bought two lovely kits there. Of course I plan on making more of the same with my stash and the pattern!

I bought some nice cards and an interesting pattern from the Leicestershire Craft Collective . The cards are for me to look at , not necessarily send but the pattern I am a little disappointed in. I specifically asked if this could be adapted for a younger child and they said full instructions to adjust for all sizes were in there. They weren’t. It does say how to adapt it but not the way she made it sound. It will still be a great stash buster but for adults  and downsizing I will need to do some more work.

More to follow at a later date 

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Working on a PHD or two

In this case my PHD stands for Projects Half Done! I still have a number of sewing projects to be done but I am working slowly but surely on the vibrant sweater by Marie Wallin’s from an issue of Vogue Knitting. I only have the body to knit and am aiming to knit a minimum of two rounds per week. Cosy by Kim Hargeaves is going well and I only have the front to knit. This years Mystery Blanket by Debbie Abrahams has made progress but I started to get a little bored so I have shelved this for the moment and have decided not to knit next years even though I know I will regret it at some point. Although I still have a number of projects on the go I have decided to cast on a pair of socks so that I can knit them at work. That has to be mindless knitting.
The gorgeous Liberty Alice In Wonderland fabric has been made in to a summer dress/tunic ( well some of it ), unfortunately the to do list from my previous list is unchanged. I also have to sew some bunting for my cousins gorgeous son Jacob Oliver . I also need to sew some for my adorable grandaughter,
The craft culling is going well although I am getting into my card making again so I need to be careful I don’t splash out on card stuff. I really need a good day so I can pull out everything from the workshop and sort out my notions.
When my grandson was born I made him some taggies which he never used. They just never appealed to him, his younger sister on the other hand cannot sleep with out one. She only likes one of them, it is in a Rowan fabric nd it is the fabric that she likes. Luckily I still had some of the fabric so for her birthday I made another 5. One for each grandparents house and car and a spare phew

SABLE

I have reached the point where I believe (according to the boxes in the shed and Ravelry) I have SABLE. For those not in the know SABLE stands for: Stash Approaching Beyond Life Expectancy. There are only so many lace weight shawls I will be knitting. I have been semi ruthless with the yarn and am going to choose certain yarns to keep and destash. All Rowan Wool Cotton, Wool Cotton 4ply , Cotton Glace and Felted Tweed will stay. Oh nearly forget the pure wool worsted is a definite keeper. All the Cashsoft and Cashcotton will go. I am undecided about the Handknit Cotton  and the Denim as I know I have a few blankets I want to knit, which is a bit of a laugh as I have only knitted one square of this year mystery blanket and still have last years to finish. I am working it out on meterage. I would rather sell off my mainstream yarns with the exception of those mentioned and keep the yarns from independent dyers and spinners. In my stash there is so much lace and 4ply yarn for shawls in the most amazing fibres that I picked up at various yarn shows including the marvellous I Knit shows and Knit Nation. I do not know why I have so much Rowan Kidsilk Haze in all it’s formations. Actually that’s a lie. I do know why I have so much I can’t resist it’s colours especially when it’s reduced. Fair enough however I am not a fan of knitting with it. Go figure. I have decided I am allowed to keep one nine litre box of KSH incase I get a change of heart. Even with the indie dyers I am looking hard at the colourways and if it’s not really my colour I am going to lose it.

I probably have SABLE for fabric too but fabric can be used quicker and this year I aim to sew lots of tops and dresses for myself. I have some gorgeous fabric, Liberty’s, Laura Ashley, Rose and Hubble, Some is vintage, some is …ahem, new. I have some fabric I don’t particularly like so will be using these to test new patterns so that if it doesn’t work out I won’t have wasted any fabric and of it does it saved me money buying more fabric for a toile. Wish me luck and watch this space

2013 Decorations

Here are some of the decorations I made for family and friends for christmas 2013. Every year I have some tags made with Christmas 2013 by Jennifer S. Obviously I change the year but I sew these on to presents I make for the holidays
I decided to add some crochet trim to the bell
The hearts are made with Liberty fabric , felt and trimmed with beads and vintage lace that was made in England.
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Busy , busy, busy

It’s been a busy few months. One might even use the word hectic.
I’ve done lots of crafting, been on a mini holiday, caught up with friends and family and lots of work.
There’s also been lots of time spent with my wonderful grandson who is becoming even more of a character.
Sewing seems to have the main craft over the last few months although I still got lots of knitting done.
Although I have made lots from my stash I have made a few bits for work which I used new fabric for. I made some project bags from the gorgeous Rowan laminate. My favourite is the blue one which is an Amy Butler Alchemy design,there is a matching cotton fabric so I used this to line my project bag. It’s not like standard oilcloth it is much softer and as it is designed for sewing it goes through the machine easily and is soft. I really enjoyed making them the only problem was that I ended up buying some to make presents with.

I also made a cover for my Filofax. As much as I am fairly tech savvy I still prefer a paper diary. I used all my odd bits of fabric to create a patchwork piece of fabric big enough to make the cover. It was a very random pieces of patchwork no two bits were the same. I them experiment with my machine and embroidered various stitches randomly over the fabric. Before I did the embroidery I appliqued a tulip from Amanda Addisona

I normally think too much about the placement of pieces so this free form patchwork was a nice change.

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I am going to be a nanna

I have some amazing news, well it’s amazing for me. My daughter is expecting our first grandchild in late April/early May next year. Yes she was the other family member I spoke of previously. I have lots of knitting and sewing planned and aim to make complete outfits. I will knit a cardigan and sew two or three outfits to be worn with it. My daughter told me when she was 6 weeks when she came round with “food poisoning” to be looked after by mum. I put her to bed and ironically for the first time in two weeks didn’t ask her if she was pregnant. As well as being excited with the prospect of becoming Nanna Jen I am so very pleased for her and her husband. I really want to get stuck in and get the baby bits started but I must concentrate on Christmas gifts first. Although I have been buying some fabric for the baby as I  will be making the cot bumper , quilt and play mat, as well a few bibs

I have recently come back from holiday where I managed to finish Fetching and do some more on a girls comforter. THe A-Z 2011 is going quite well and I stand a good chance of finishing it. Pictures will follow shortly