Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Friday, 17 August 2012

A-Line Skirt

I recently made myself an A-line skirt.

I made it using pink corduroy that I found in John Lewis fabric department. When I was in the shop it looked more red than it actually is, at home and in daylight I find it's a fairly dazzling pink! But that's OK.

I'm often asked if I make my own clothes and I wish I could say 'Why yes, all of them!' but sadly, lack of (non wedding dress making, relaxing) time is the issue.

I drafted the pattern myself and made it using the simplest methods I could, as speed is of the essence for me when making anything for myself, otherwise it runs the risk of being consigned to 'a cupboard' and forgotten, not unlike my knitting ;)

I'm 5' nothing, so I often find getting skirts and trousers a trial because:
a) I don't want to take them up.
b) There is often a decorative trim at the hem that, although lovely, I would have to either cut off or unpick somehow and move, and that's not likely to happen.
c) The proportions are slightly off - e.g. the widest part of the skirt is not where my widest part is, and so forth.

So a simple design is the way forward in my book, then embellishment can be added if desired.

I'm thinking of posting a tutorial about how to draft a pattern for an A-line skirt. It's really very easy to make a pattern that actually fits you, and can be used over and over, and adapted. Once you've got the pattern done, it's also fairly easy to make the skirt. If you're interested, do please drop me an email or leave me a comment.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Something red

Here's Dawn. She knew what she wanted and that was a red wedding dress, with some pleats and beading on it!

So I set to and made it for her :)

It was good to make Dawn's dress for her because apart from the pleasure of making it, it was nice to have a change of colour in my studio. Ivory is always lovely for wedding dresses, but this was a gorgeous rich red, which made a change for me and made Dawn happy!

Dawn married her chap on a summer day in Ely (you can see the Cathedral in one of the images above) on one of the days when it wasn't raining, and the vibrant green of the well rained-on grass contrasts really well with her dress colour, I think.

The pictures were taken by photographer John Wolfe, who very kindly sent these to me. You can visit his site here.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Craft Polymath

Do you ever like to think of yourself as having a hobby or skill that really you don't have?

For example, in conversation, you may say 'Well, as a keep fit enthusiast, I prefer free weights to aerobics', when in fact you joined the gym three years ago and have only been five times in as many years, and stopped when you inelegantly flew off the back of the treadmill.....? Or, perhaps you might fancy yourself as a wine connoisseur, because you enjoy drinking a lot of whatever is on offer in the supermarket bargain section? (Not that I'm speaking from experience in either of these cases you understand, but you get my drift?)

I'm like this about knitting. I fancy myself as a knitter. Indeed, I actively enjoy knitting, I was taught at my mother's knee after all. But somehow......I can't get to actually finishing much of anything I start.

The storage areas of my house are home to abandoned yarn - usually with several inches of whatever project it was I started still on the needles, shoved into the discarded skeins.

I think it helps if you are knitting for someone or for something, rather than just because. For myself, there's a limit to how much drawer space I actually have for yet another slightly holey garment* that didn't quite turn out as I'd imagined, but that I can't bring myself to rip-back - because I actually finished it! ;)

My husband is the (un)happy recipient of a few of my knitting 'ideas'. It took me two years to knit him a pair of socks, which turned out to be so huge that they are only suitable for wearing as bed socks in the depths of winter. Probably a stitch tension issue? I decided that the pattern I followed was too complicated for me and chose a simpler one that only used two needles. It's been a further two years and I have got about three quarters of the way through one sock.... Hmm....

He also has had earmarked for him: (i.e. intended as loving gifts for him, and yet somehow......)
i) half a scarf
ii) some yarn that would make a great jumper type thing, as yet unused.

Don't get me wrong, I really do enjoy knitting, but perhaps it's more about the process for me, than the end result. Simple knitting can be very meditative, no?

Since the sock debacle, I've knitted myself half of this cardigan:

It's called Twirl and is a pattern for Rowan by Sarah Hatton. When I started it, I had visions of myself wearing it this summer......

And.......a few weeks back I started this:

Isn't it pretty? I can't get the link to work, but it's called 'Lotus' and is from the Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine, No 45. I can just see myself wearing this in, say........2016.

Wish me luck and watch this space for future updates.

Do you have projects or pastimes you like to pursue just for the journey rather than the end result? I'd love to know about them.

*I think holes are the way to go :)

Next: Back to wedding dress stuff and sewing.