Father Christmas was very generous this year and got me the latest Cath Kidston Sewing Book. I have other Cath Kidston books in the bookcase already, and this one is a similar format. The book comes with a kit using Cath Kidston fabric, and a variety of projects with patterns to photocopy at the back.There are more than 30 simple patterns in the book for a wide range of projects, together with basic techniques explained at the beginning. I started with the kit supplied with the book which was for a pocket sewing kit.The fabric was pre-cut so I didn’t need the pattern which I photocopied from the back. However the fabric was cut incorrectly. As the very lovely bird fabric is directional, the outside panel needed to be cut a certain way so that the bottom pocket was the right way up. This is clearly explained in the instructions, however the manufacturer obviously didn’t read them! It meant that there was a curved edge where there should’ve been a straight edge, and so there was a gap at the edges.I did find some of the instructions a bit vague, but the finished product is nice. It has one zipped pocket, one open pocket and one buttoned pocket. The instructions tell you how to make buttonhole loops but I put in machined buttonholes for speed. The book seems aimed at beginners, but I found I needed some experience to make sense of some of the stages.
What crafty presents did Father Christmas bring you?
Disclaimer: I own this book and I haven’t been asked to review it, or been paid to review it. All opinions are my own, and I have added some links to the normal Amazon site where I bought my copy. They are not affiliate links and I don’t get any money if you click on them.
The VATMOSS fiasco has now come into EU law, and although the UK government has offered some concessions, many producers of digital patterns have simply stopped supplying them.
I had a mini spend up just before the 1st January deadline and picked up a few patterns which I’ll use during the next few months. However one supplier that I’ve used in the past is still supplying downloadable PDF’s at time of writing. Dog Under My Desk designs fabulous, practical bags. Her site is full of free tutorials as well as her PDF pattern shop.When you buy a pattern, you get a PDF to download giving very detailed, illustrated instructions, plus the pattern pieces. I’ve had the Zip and Go Bag pattern for some time now, and I made a Frozen themed bag for youngest Craftyguidelet as well as a more grown up version for a friend’s daughter. Of course, eldest Craftyguidelet wanted a Frozen bag too, so I finally got round to knocking it off of my WIP list.The pattern is very easy to follow, and don’t be scared of the zips. They are a cinch to put in. I do end up talking to myself to triple check which order the pieces go together though. Read three times, measure twice, cut once!
The fabric needs to be cut in a certain way along the grain so it doesn’t stretch which is all dealt with in the instructions. I’m a bit stingy with fabric so I didn’t fussy cut the bag to give a perfect Elsa orientation in the centre of the bag. I knew the girls wouldn’t mind as long as someone’s face appears somewhere. Perhaps next time I’ll get to make one for me, although I don’t think pink is my colour.
Have you got a long list of things to get made this year?
It’s that time again. My annual pilgrimage to Alexandra Palace for the Knitting and Stitching Show. This year I had to go on the Saturday so I could get someone to look after the Craftyguidelets and it was absolutely HEAVING! I’m glad I decided to do most of my shopping on the first trip round, especially the fabric, as I could hardly move later on.The blue fabric is gorgeous Liberty Tana Lawn and will become a blouse, and the other two are the softest knitted fabrics from Eternal Maker and will become pyjamas for the Craftyguidelets. They sent me on a mission to get some fabric for their Elsa dresses but no one was selling any. The nearest I found was a stand that had scraps of turquoise shiny scraps. When I asked if they did bolts of the fabrics as I was making Elsa dresses, the owner looked at me in a puzzled way. I clarified “Elsa, from the Disney film, Frozen”. Complete blank look. I’ve found the only person who has never heard of the film!These ribbons are from Crafty Ribbons. I have some card designs in mind for the tape measure ribbons, and the others made up the multi buy offer. “If I knit fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise” and “Behind every knitter is a huge pile of wool” are two of the great quotes on the knitting one, and “Chocolate: here today, gone today” and “Chocolate…NOT just for breakfast” are on the chocolate one.This is my beading stash. The turquoise and white beads with the spacers are going to make the Craftyguidelets some Elsa jewellery with some snowflake charms I got before (spot the Craftyguidelet theme here!) The others are kits from Spellbound Bead Company. The Christmas tree earrings are a bit of fun for decorations day at school later in the year, the necklace looks stunning and the 3D stars will look great on my Christmas tree.I blame this purchase on @Meanyjar. She taught me crochet back in January and look at these gorgeous colours! OK, I didn’t need much leading astray. The colour selection was made by Attic 24 with Stylecraft for a crochet along later this month. There were another 3 colour palettes but this was my favourite. If the crochet along is too complex for my newbie skills, there are other patterns I can follow on Lucy’s blog. My vision is of me crocheting a beautiful blanket over the colder months in front of the fire. The truth may be lots of YouTube videos and frantic calls to Meanyjar for help!I also did a workshop while I was there. This is my start on a foundation pieced landscaped coaster, and this is the finished version I am aiming for by the tutor Sally Holman.It was great to learn a new technique, and it was nice to have a sit down for an hour without lugging heavy bags around.This knitted pergola was in the entrance hall. The details were stunning.The birds are my favourites, especially the blue tit with the peanuts and the budgies!And this view has been in my top 3 for many years. It used to be on my way home from my Saturday job working for my mum and dad in their bakery, and any excuse to divert to look at this view is worth it.
I have a lot of fabric. I have confessed before to my addiction; I see something, I like it, and I’ll buy a metre or two because “I’ll make something from it” and then never do. This is a photo of my scraps bag which are defined as smaller than a fat quarter but bigger than a 5cm square. I use a lot to make mirrors, tissue holders, and rings amongst other things, but it’s still full to bursting.
I read on Instagram about the #economyblockalong on @sewjustinesew’s feed and spotted an opportunity for a fabric stashbuster, a step up for my current patchwork skills, and a community feel to my crafting should I need support. There is an excellent tutorial on Red Pepper Quilt‘s blog, but I thought I would drag out my Sizzix quilting die’s that I bought some time ago to help me cut the pieces out.
I found 3 dies that gave me a vague approximation of an economy block and made a trial square.
Yes, I know it’s not ironed, and it still needs trimming, but it’s a trial, OK! In a true economy block, the corners of the centre square should touch the centres of the ‘diamond’ square, so I’m going to have to weigh up the convenience of using my dies to cut out rather than doing it the conventional way.
Is anyone else doing the #economyblockalong?
Linking to the Handmade Monday linky party.