Projects!

I have been blogging lots – but not here – and now the mood strikes me to write about the projects I’ve got planned and underway creatively. My other blog is about my trials and tribulations with ulcerative colitis, a disease I was diagnosed with at the end of 2012. I’ve been writing about my food experiments related to that. However, being off sick for three weeks finally reignited the creating bug as I started to get stronger.

I also bought a sewing machine last week! A lovely Janome 7025 from John Lewis. I originally went in to test out the Janome 2070R which is on special offer at the moment and seemed like a bargain. However, after after talking to the advisor about the difference between that one and the next level up, I quickly realised that what I really want is a machine that can handle pretty much anything. What’s the point otherwise? I might as well stick with my JL Mini (cute and effective as it is). As soon as I touched the 7025 I was sold. Solid, purring, sews like a dream. Luscious! I got even more excited over and bought it some extra feet (from Amazon… I confess… But they are £5 or less on there, instead of £13 for Janome feet…). I got feet for rolled hems, bias binding, concealed zips and (exciting) pintucks. I cannot wait to get dressmaking!

So here’s what I’m working on!

Dad’s scarf

I have been making this for over a year now… Ridiculous! Obviously not constantly but still. It’s going to be gorgeous though. The yarn is Drops Merino Extra Fine in light and dark grey.
I do wish I’d used a thicker yarn! But the ribbed cabling will look amazing when it’s blocked. I’ve made quite a crucial error though. Because it was so long between starting it and picking it up again, I think I am a ball short the way I’ve done the blocks of colour. Need to search through my stash but hopefully I can get another if not. Colour matching won’t matter because the end of the scarf is one whole ball.

Here’s what it looks like so far.

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Sorry about the dreadful picture – I’m writing this in the hospital waiting room!

The details

  • Single rib cable, with a 14 row repeat from an ancient jumper pattern
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    Quilt

    Ah, this is a beauty! No pictures at the moment – it’s folded up and hidden away from M who I think might hate it. He can’t hate it once it’s finished though…!
    It’s made from beautiful scraps of upholstery fabric that my mum salvaged from a sample book. I used this idea from quilter Cassandra Ellis that I read about in the Guardian. Basically instead of perfect squares or other shapes, you sew patches of varying sizes into strips and then sew those together. That was quick! My quilt is single bed size so perfect for the sofa at the moment – and then in use forever I hope! I am edging it all round with a beautiful navy blue fabric, it’s interlined with a fleeced thermal curtain lining and I’ve used navy curtain lining for the back. This is where it got expensive. Obviously the scraps were free, but I needed a metre of the blue edging fabric at £18/m, 2.1m of the thermal lining at £4.50/m and 1.9m of the navy at £4.95. £36ish. Yikes. This is why happens when you shop at John Lewis. Normally I would never pay that, and would scour every shop on Goldhawk Road until I found the right thing. But, being ill, I didn’t have that luxury and I really wanted to get it started. Am I glad I did, too. I was at mum and dad’s for two and a half weeks convalescing (er, yes, aware of the irony that I’m now back in hospital…) and Mum’s logic in how to put this together was very much needed! It was her vision too – I couldn’t see how the different fabrics would look good together but she’s brilliant at that colour and placement stuff. Thank you, Mum!! It’s gorgeous already – so heavy and luxurious. Can’t wait to get out of here and finish it!

    Dresses in my head

    I’ve got a bit obsessed with blog reading in the last few days…! I need to add the wonderful women I’ve found to my blogroll on here so I don’t forget to keep checking back. And work out how to use a blog reader other than WordPress on my phone because loads of them are Blogger sites.

    Two patterns I really want to try are Peony by Colette and Darling Ranges by Megan Nielsen. I’ve found out that they’re both available from Ray Stitch around the corner from me in Islington. It’s a beautiful shop but too expensive for me to have ever actually bought anything there. These patterns are quite steep at £13 each but don’t I deserve a present?! First stop when I get out of here (closely followed by a fringe trim because my hair is now OUT OF CONTROL).
    Um, I may have also bought myself a present this morning. I read some reviews of Colette’s Sewing Book and at £10.87 for the book and five patterns… Well, it would be foolish not to! What really sold it was the promise that it will teach me how to alter patterns for my shape. The necessity of this was coming through loud and clear in all the blogs I was reading. My favourite blog by the way (and where I read about Peony and Darling Ranges) is Idle Fancy. I’d happened across this last year and then forgotten about it. It’s a beauty. Mary’s style and writing is fab and her musings on each project invaluable. But she seems to have stopped blogging! Nooo!

    Lastly, when researching pintucks I found this pic on Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing . Swoon. So gorgeous. One for the future.

    Ok, I’ve been banging on for long enough. More to follow when I’ve actually made something!

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