Tag Archives: dress patterns

New designs in Simply Knitting

7 Aug

 

Oh hello there! I’ve been a bit busy of late, hence the tumbleweed blowing across your screen for the last little while.

Here’s why…

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The new issue of Simply Knitting is out this week and I’ve got three patterns in it. Huzzah!

First up is Zest, an ombre cushion, with a flash of colour just for fun.

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It’s knitted in Rowan Big Wool on 10mm needles, so it goes super fast – the whole thing took just a couple of evenings to knit. You start from one corner with just 3 stitches and increase out to the widest point, before decreasing again.

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The back is envelope style, which means no sewing on buttons or any faffing at all really.

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If you want to make the whole thing in one colour it takes less than three balls.

Also in this issue is Play Time, a dress for little girls, modelled by a familiar face, if you’re a ‘regular’ here at Nana Taught Me How…

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I used PeterPan Sweetheart DK, which is machine washable (hurrah!) and super-soft against young sensitive skin.

It’s sized from 9 months to 6 years, and the smallest size is quite a bit shorter than the others so your crawling tot won’t get tangled up in a long skirt.

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I bought dresses for Storm she never got to wear because she was a late walker – crawling and long skirts do NOT mix.

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Thanks to Frances Jago for her sterling knitting, Phil Sowels for the lovely photography of lil’ Storm, and Sarah Clark and Al for helping me wrangle her on the shoot. That lollipop was the only thing keeping her from escaping!

Last, but not least is Happy Days, a cheerful polka dot cardigan with cute picot edgings.

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The magazine has helpfully included a step-by-step tutorial for Fair Isle knitting in case you’re new to it.

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And it’s on the cover. Whoop!

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So, a busy month!

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I’ll have more design news very soon. Ttfn!

Isla dress: New child’s dress pattern in The Knitter

15 Jun

Word up peeps. Just dropping in to say I’ve got a new pattern out this week in issue 46 of The Knitter, whatevs.

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Isla is a kiddo’s dress in Rowan’s lovely new Wool Cotton 4 ply, which is a fantastic yarn for spring/ summer, and most importantly for the Head Laundryperson in your house if you have a nipper, it’s machine washable.

It’s sized from age 2 to 10 and doesn’t take much yarn – even the largest size is 5 balls of the main colour, with tiny amounts for the colourwork.

Storm was kind enough to lend her modelling skills to the shoot…

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With hindsight, I should have added extra length to her ‘sample size’ as she is way taller than an average 3 to 4 year old – so it look super short. But it’s easy to lengthen if, like me, you’re the proud parent of a baby giraffe!

Look, matchy matchy!

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The bottom section is knit in the round and there’s hardly any shaping so it’s a great first Fair Isle project too.

Most exciting for me, this pattern is now available online to buy from The Making Spot, along with some of my old designs. Welcome to the 21st century peeps! Not that I’m saying don’t buy the mag, but, if you want to cast on, like NOW, you can – hurrah!

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More design news coming up really soon…

PS. Thanks to Al, James and Sarah for helping Storm have a great time on the shoot, Frances, for her amazing knitting, and Phil for taking such lovely pix.

Tallulah Pattern Review – the Jubilee Dress

24 May

When I was a stroppy teenager the thought of the Royal Family made me MAD. It’s wonderful to be a lot older and able to embrace my inner hypocrite!

While most of the time I’m still not that keen on our rather odd ‘rulers’ I am enjoying the national spirit that seems to have taken over this summer.

This week I saw the Olympic torch and finished Storm’s Jubilee dress. How terribly patriotic!

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This sweet halterneck was meant to be one of two dresses for her birthday, but it is sweltering at the moment so I just had to give it to her straight away.

Tallulah is dress number 2 in Jenifer Paganelli’s lovely Girls World pattern book  and is a simple breezy sundress. Perfect for a hot summer’s day (although you could always put a little shirt underneath it.

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The fabric is Sweetwater for Moda – Reunion Vanilla Baby’s Bunting and had sold out at Country Threads, when I went back to buy more for the lining.

It’s an American design, but it really is like it was made for this super-British summer – shame they didn’t do a red colourway too.

Anyway, of course, I didn’t need the extra bit after all. What IS it with pattern allowances? The pattern said 1.1m of fabric and 35cm of lining. I had just 1m of fabric total and was left with plenty over. Eyeroll.

This is a very simple dress, and I really like the shape of it. Like the Mary’s Sash Dress from the same book, the pieces all seemed to fit well, although the front piece was longer than the back so I had to trim that at the end. My only mod was a double seam around the bottom hem and side vents to make it super neat.

After taking her lunch in her paddling pool, Storm retired upstairs to get out of the sun for a little jam session and some pictures.

She recently broke one of my guitar strings from playing too hard. She really gets into it…

THWANG!

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Is it just me, or is this pure Elvis?!

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OK, self indulgence over.

Oh yeah, while I’m here, remember the Ma’am Mat?

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I couldn’t resist. I swear it tastes better. Happy almost Jubilee!

Lovely Easter things

8 Apr

Ooooo, it’s my birthday today. Hurrah! I must confess though, I’m not brilliant at celebrating my ‘big day’. It often falls around Easter, when people are on  holiday or with their families so in recent years I’ve gotten a bit half-hearted when it comes to rallying the troops for a big shin-dig.

Still, I can always enjoy the little things that make a birthday special. This year, its combination with Easter Sunday has meant lots of warnings in advance not to eat ‘too much chocolate’. When did we ever start worrying about that?!

My own indulgences are pretty simple. Some lovely flowers from the fantastico ladies at The Knitter and Simply Knitting (I am very lucky to work with such delightful, generous people)…

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A smidge of Tilda fabric remnant for another pass at Simplicity 2211, which I treated myself to yesterday at  Get Knitted (where we also had lots of delish cakes courtesy of Kat, whose birthday is tomorrow. Happy birthday Kat!).

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Buttons which came with the new issue of Mollie Makes that arrived yesterday. Mollie has great taste, and perfect timing…

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(And they match the fabric uncannily – although my camera seems to be implying otherwise – weird).

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‘Proper’ chocolate from the husband, who knows me too well by now (today is also our sixth wedding anniversary). This has candied orange peel in it. Yum.

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And a gorgeous vintage tin, which I plan to line to use for sewing kit.

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I’ve also had some lovely cards, and a beautiful fig candle from my dear friend Jo. Top work!

You may notice that this doesn’t seem like a lot of ‘stuff’ and that’s how I like it. My big present is, quite amazingly, a new sewing machine, which my lovely family have clubbed together to buy me, and should arrive on Tuesday.

I will be sorry to say goodbye to my old machine, which is pretty much the same age as me, and is starting to look a bit tired (no jokes please). I feel very disloyal getting rid of it, but, while it is perfectly functional as a basic machine, it has a lot of things that don’t work any more, and it also weighs about 50lb.

As well as sharing my birthday with our wedding anniversary, I’m sharing it with a celebration of all things chocolate, which makes it a little easier to keep the small person cheery when I’m being spoilt. I do hope you’re having a lovely time too! Happy Easter!

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Buttons. And a Lisette pattern review (Simplicity 2211)

2 Apr

Do you like buttons? Me, I LOVE me some buttons.

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I am quite restrained when it comes to collecting them. For ages my button collection fitted in an old Altoids tin. There are a few too many now to get in the tin, but I try to keep it reined in.

This week though, was time for a button splurge. After much procrastinating (waaaaaay too much stocking stitch for my liking) I finished my Chickadee cardigan this weekend.

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I’d already lined up some stunning buttons from The Makery Emporium, which has become my go to place for pretty Japanese painted wooden buttons. I bought nine of these large chintzy ones..

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…and also, some tiny ones with tropical looking orange flowers, to decorate a blouse I just finished in time for our mini heatwave.

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The blouse is by Lisette for Simplicity (pattern 2211, view E) and this was a dry run for some Liberty Tana Lawn which was too perfect to risk on a first attempt. It’s just as well I did the dry run – I managed to sew the collar on inside out (duh) and had to cut it off and bodge the neckline.

And then the sleeves turned out to be smaller than the armholes, which made it kind of hard to gather them in, as per the pattern – definitely a grading error as I followed all the seam allowances exactly. Luckily my lovely repro feedsack fabric was 130cm wide, not the standard 115cm, which meant I had a little spare, so I recut a new pair of sleeves two sizes larger and used those.

Voila…

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Shame about the ‘wasted’ fabric. It’ll go into a quilt one day. The blouse only needs a metre of 150cm wide fabric if you fancy making it (a little more if you use quilting width).

I do have some glorious vintage glass buttons, which I bought at the first Knit Nation. They are from L Nichols, a company set up by the daughter of buttonmaker Lionel Nichols to sell off her huge collection of buttons he made in his lifetime. She releases them in collections a couple of times a year. Each set is totally unique and priced accordingly. Ahem.

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Nearly two years on, they still haven’t found their perfect project. They nearly went on the feedsack shirt, but it just wasn’t quite right.

Their time will come…

One hour project: Clothkits apple doorstop

8 Mar

Ooo, hello Clothkits. What a blast from the past!

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As a child I was usually dressed in either:

a) Something my mother had sewn

b) Something my aunt had designed

c) Something from a jumble sale

d) Something from Clothkits, which my mother had sewn

Once my mum made me a dress by tracing a Clothkits pattern onto an old curtain she’d got from a jumble sale for about 15p, thus fulfilling options a), c) and d) all in one garment.

Clothkits died a death in the 80s, but it’s back. BACK! And just as brilliant.

It now has yummy artists like Rob Ryan, Emily Peacock, and Echino Designs (lovely Japanese fabric designer) on board, and has revived some old favourites (I think my brother had this coat) and created some new classics.

Anyway, when I saw their stand at Ally Pally in the autumn I couldn’t resist one of their lovely apple doorstops (minimalism alert – we actually did need a second doorstop in addition to The Squirrel). Especially as they were just £5 (show offer – nice!).

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Of course, the kit has since languished in a cupboard for a few months, but when I finally got it out to make it took me less than an hour from start to finish. Great for a present.

Foolishly I forgot to trace the pieces before I cut them, (the nice lady on the Clothkits stand told me everyone does this) but actually the pattern is very simple – four triangles with the point chopped off, a square for the bottom, and a handle.

And, oooo, that lovely Clothkits babycord. Such great fabric (iron it upside down to avoid squashing it).

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Clothkits, welcome back (OK, I know it’s been a few years). You guys rock!

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Vintage tartan for a steal

30 Nov

I do love a charity shop bargain, but this may just be my find of the year – a length of proper tartan which dates from about 1969 I think, found in pristine condition at St Peter’s Hospice (our local shop are celebrating their 30th anniversary today. Happy birthday lovelies!)

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I’ve seen skirt lengths like this before, but this is the first one I felt compelled to buy, as it was a mere £1.25. Which is an absolute steal for about 1.4m of good quality wool cloth.

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As stated on the nifty hanger label, it includes a leaflet about a making up service for ‘ladies who do not make their own skirts’ (shock horror). You can have a fully lined skirt tailored to your specific measurements, for £2.25. Something tells me that leaflet’s not going to work any more…

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There is also a form to join a sewing club inside. These are making a resurgence these days, which is a marvellous thing.

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I suspect this bit of Old Mcdonald tartan will become a cushion cover rather than a skirt, as it’s not quite enough to make a kilt (as I’d originally hoped) – I wouldn’t be able to get enough pleats out of it. But given that it’s immaculate after 40 years it should last a good while.

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I’ve been a bit obsessed with tartan recently, and have been experimenting with weaving on a small loom – my scarf (below left) is the result, but I’m going to try for something a bit more authentic next time. Och aye, indeed.

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While I was shooting this, Storm managed to crawl under the bed and get herself stuck, so I had to break off to extricate her…

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Stand by tomorrow for the first of lots of lovely festive posts! Yes, it’s nearly time to say the C word!