19 January 2013

What would Delia do?

When Claire at Miso Funky got in contact after I wrote about renegade craft fair, and asked if I'd like the 'What would Delia do' kit, I replied in the only way I know how. "Hell yeah!" (ok, technically that's not what I wrote in the email, but it was definitely the response in my head.)


These kits are the perfect introduction to cross stitching. They're small, so you're not overwhelmed by too much fabric, or too many stitches. The kits include everything everything you need - fabric, thread, chart and instructions. The only thing it doesn't include is a hoop (although the instructions say you don't need one, I used one and think it's better for it).


You get plenty of thread in the kit - this is what was left!
The instructions included in the kit are easy to follow. Which is good, because although I'd wanted to try cross stitch for a while I'd never bothered looking into how you do it - I think it's fair to say I was a complete novice! I did separate the thread into 2 strands as instructed, but I think next time I would try it with three or four strands.

I'm pretty proud of this little baby. It's going up on our kitchen wall, so next time I'm in the middle of a culinary meltdown, I can just look up and ask myself...


4 January 2013

In the jar

Although I'm not really one for new years resolutions, I've signed up for Karen's In The Jar 2013 Sewlutions pledge.


Why? Well, for a start I'm far more likely to stick to any craft based resolution/aim/objective than I am to eat less chocolate. But also because it's just the kick up the backside I need.

I did make quite a lot in 2012, although you probably wouldn't believe it reading this blog. Some of the finished items have yet to make it past draft blogpost form, but some are also still in WIP status. (Granny square blanket, I'm looking at you.)

However, I didn't make any clothes last year. Despite picking up a few patterns and having good intentions, I am yet to make the Peony dress, Kasia skirt, or Pendrell blouse. Or the second coffee date dress or V1179. (And we'll not even mention Deer & Doe now that Tilly has pointed out the patterns are now available in English. Mon Dieu!)

Not this year. I have pledged to make at least one wearable item this year. I hope to make more than that, but sometimes life just gets in the way and I don't want to beat myself up over not making a specific number of items of clothing. What I will beat myself up over is not finishing the seams properly so I have to hand wash it. Oh no. That baby has to go in the washing machine. Which also means pre-washing my fabric (my kryptonite - I do it, but probably not enough. I'm sure I've read somewhere that you should pre wash fabrics more than once - do you guys do this?).

So there you have it. Karen's going to check back at the end of the year to see how we all did - I have a feeling 2013's going to be a very productive year for us crafters!

2 January 2013

A present for you, but also for me

After the great christmas jumper escapade of last year (and no, he didn't get the arms this year), this was the only cCristmas present I made this year.

My mum had mentioned that she wanted a knitting bag and as soon as she said it I was sure I'd make it myself.  I've seen a few in the shops, and have a Cath Kidston one myself, but none overwhelmed me so I thought I'd be able to knock one up fairly easily.

But then whilst researching spending hours on Pinterest, I found this pattern from The Sometimes Crafter. I was sold. $9 later and I had the PDF pattern on my hands.

A quick trip to Ikea to pick up some Aida linen (on Flossie Teacakes advice) and a shop at M is for Make later and I was all set.

Amanda Bag

This pattern is a lovely make. It went together really easily, even the zipped pocket. This was my first time inserting a zip like this, and the instructions were extremely easy to follow. And Christina's thought of everything - you can even add a bit of ribbon in the pocket to tie in your scissors so you don't lose them. Perfect!

Amanda Bag

And I love the pockets. When I first saw the picture of the bag, I couldn't work out how they were put together, but again it's very straightforward. There's also a huge amount of space inside for yarn and WIPs (for me, this is where my Cath Kidston one falls down - it's one or the other).

Amanda Bag - pocket detail

One note of caution with fabric choices - it's probably best not to use directional or large prints with this. In fact, I realised a little too late that it would be perfect with Liberty print if budget allows.

I loved this so much I made two of these in two days, and instantly regretted not buying enough fabric for a third for me. The second was supposed to be for a friends 50th birthday, but she requested donations to a charity she previously worked with (she's a better woman than me) so that one's staying with me. I felt a little guilty that I felt so happy she didn't want her present (in the nicest way possible!), but at least I know my time wasn't wasted!

Amanda Bag