Grainline Scout Woven Tee 1

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded Grainline Studio’s Scout Woven Tee pattern because I wanted some relatively plain tops which are quick to sew up and I don’t have the confidence to try to sew with jersey just yet.

I cut out the size 2 as that was the closest one to my bust measurement. In the end, I took the side seams in by 1 inch instead of 1/2 inch (I think). I used French seams on the side seams to make it all a bit neater, and zig-zagged all the other seams (just the sleeve seams).

The fabric is something I bought as a remnant from Rolls and Rems on Holloway Road. I say it was a remnant, but there’s about 4 metres and it was £6. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but it’s got a slight stretch and a really nice drape. You will definitely be seeing it again on here!

There isn’t much to say about the construction, it’s really quick to put together – there are only 5 pieces.

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As you can see, the tee is a little big across my back (as all things are) so I thought about cutting a smaller size for the back piece, but I’ve already made this twice more and didn’t bother to make the change – it’s not like it’s very fitted, so I figure it’s fine to have quite a lot of ease!

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As I said I’ve already made 2 more of these, and I’m sure they won’t be the last! I am definitely a fan of Grainline Studios, so I think I might give a couple of the other patterns a go, like the Archer Shirt or the Moss Skirt.

GBSB Cook’s Apron

So last week was one of my best friend’s birthday and I decided to make her the cook’s apron from the Great British Sewing Bee Book.

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I made her an apron because she makes the most amazing cakes out of anyone I actually know! Behold (cue gratuitous photos of beautiful cakes):

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She even made the cakes for her boyfriend’s sister’s wedding:

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Amazing, right?

So I figured the only thing I could do would be to buy fabric with cakes on!

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The top of the apron is lined, but due to me being an idiot and misreading my list of how much fabric I needed and therefore buying too much, I lined it with the same fabric. Which is a good job because I downloaded the pattern ages ago and it turns out they mislabelled the lining and the bib pattern pieces as each other, so it didn’t make sense. I had sewed on the waist band before I was totally confident that it was wrong. Thankfully it was easy to fix. I’ve checked and they have now corrected the pattern as far as I can see (without sticking all the pieces together again). They did make one other mistake in the pattern:

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Heh, ‘coks’. I know it shouldn’t, but this made me giggle every time I looked at it! Lamentably, they have also fixed this now.

There isn’t really much to say about the pattern or construction – it’s pretty straight forward. It doesn’t need fitting, so just cut it out and away you go.

I used some really nice soft cotton from the same shop in Goldhawk Road as I got the cake fabric from for the straps and ties and I got some blue spotty bias binding. I quite like how it all matches without being too matchy-matchy.

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The only thing I would change, would be to get softer bias binding. This stuff was a bit thick, so it made the ruffle at the bottom a bit stiff.

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This might be the neatest top stitching I’ve ever done, btw!

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And the finished article:

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Miette Cardigan

I finally finished my Miette Cardigan, which according to Ravely, I cast on on March 12th! I finished it a couple of weeks ago, but still, that’s basically 6 months! I actually knitted the vast majority of it in the first month or so, but somewhere I just got stuck, or bored, or something and stopped knitting it. I have a theory that it was the sleeves that did for me, because I knitted them with DPNs instead of a circular needle and it brought back painful memories of knitting socks...no more socks please! And apparently no more knitting in the round with DPNs. My next cardigan which I’ve already cast on has raglan sleeves which are seamed underneath, so I’ll see if I finish that one quicker!

But back to my Miette. I used Sirdar Supersoft Aran wool which is 100% acrylic, which was fine to knit with but it’s very hot! I’ve tried wearing it a couple of times this Summer, but I’ve spent the whole time taking it on and off. After my next knit, which is also acrylic, I think I’m going to invest in better yarn because what’s the point of spending all that time knitting something which is no better quality than some cheapo thing  I could buy in Primark? The yarn is red, but it looks really pink in the photos!

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I’m wearing it with my first dress. I added 10 rows onto the length in the middle, where the pattern says to add rows if you want to. I felt like in the pattern photos it was just a bit too short for me, but actually it probably would have been fine at the original length and not too cropped, because I’m such a short-arse!

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As you can see, I also made the sleeves longer. They’re 3/4 length in the pattern, but I have a cardi that has short sleeves and in the Autumn/Winter it just makes my wrists cold and since I live in Britain, it’s cold more than it’s hot! I added in 30 rows before the decrease rows. I think the sleeves are a bit wide for my ideal fit, but since it was my first try, I’m pretty pleased.

The thing I didn’t really twig with the pattern, was that having added rows to the length, I had to fiddle with the button bands to get them to be ribbed. I initially just knitted them as the pattern said and they looked like this:

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This was another point where I stalled – I was just going to say f**k it, and leave them looking like this, but I just couldn’t do it so eventually frogged both button bands and worked out the rib rows with the extra 10 stitches added in (6 at the bottom and 4 at the top). I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out in the end:

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(Excuse the weird, unflattering angle, this is the best shot to show the ribbing on the button bands)

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The fit is quite loose across the back, which isn’t a surprise – as I’ve mentioned before I’m really narrow across the back. I don’t have the skill as a knitter to make fit adjustments to make it smaller across the back, so I’m just accepting it as it is!

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I didn’t realise until looking at these pictures that the bottom doesn’t quite line up, what a shame! This photo also shows that it’s a bit big across the bust/ under my arms. I think this is because I have small boobs and Andi Satterlund who wrote the pattern, has a much more impressive rack! This was my first time actually blocking anything, so if anyone has any tips how I can use blocking to try to fix some of the fit issues, they would be gratefully received 🙂

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I really like the lacy details on the pattern, and I would definitely recommend it as a first clothes-knitting project. I’m not the best knitter, but I managed it….even if it did take me bloody ages!

Elisalex Number 1

So, I’ve conversely posted about the second By Hand London Elisalex Dress I made first because the first one was always meant as a wearable muslin, so I did all the steps, including the lining and fitting a zip to check the fit and also to finish both dresses, to have…..2 dresses! I finally finished the first one the other night, when I sewed the lining down on the inside. I (obvs) made all the same changes to this one as I made in the second dress. The only difference is that the fabric for this dress was super cheap, very synthetic stuff from one of the cheapo shops in Walthamstow so I underlined the skirt as well as the bodice, because it was pretty much see-through. I don’t know what this stuff is, but it melted when I put the iron on it, on not a very high heat! I bought it thinking I would make a floaty top, like Tilly and the Buttons’s Mathilde Blouse or something, but even by the time I got home I had fallen out of love with it. Having said that, I do actually quite like it as a dress (even if I am falling back into my old ways of wearing mainly blue!).

But enough rambling, here are some photos:

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It looks really long in this photo (it must be the angle), but it actually hits me on the knee, like the other one.

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Again, not perfect from the back (plus you can see the top of the zip sticking out because I took the photos before it was totally finished). I sewed in this zip about 5 times and actually put more ease back into it as it was so tight, in order to get it looking nice at the back, that I couldn’t take a deep breath!

Here’s a close up of the fabric – it’s got some grey in it, so I used this grey zip from my stash. Handy!

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Here’s the inside – I used some white cotton I had lying around, which my mum added to the last time I visited. I love how neat a lined garment looks from the inside! So pleasing, even if no-one really gets to see it when you’re wearing it!

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I learned to crochet!

Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable day hanging out with my 2 best friends. And I got to learn to crochet at the same time! My sister tried to teach me to crochet a couple of years ago – she is amazing at it, having made us this blanket:

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The squares look like this close up:

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I still have the granny square she taught me to make but this was the sum total of my crocheting career:

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I think this might be the same as the squares she made, but I’m not 100% sure – any crochet experts tell me for sure?

Anyway, back to yesterday. We did a course run by Crafty Baba, a group of people based in Suffolk who teach knitting, sewing and crochet. Our teacher was the lovely Cybèle De Jong, who knows one of my friends so it felt really relaxed and friendly, just sitting in her living room eating cake, drinking tea and chatting. Oh, and learning to crochet.

We started off with the basics – a chain, double stitches, triple stitches, then a fancy box thing stitch, and then my personal favourite, the shell stitch. It took me a while to get the hang of how to hold the work and the wool and the hook and stuff (so I kept laughing at myself for being so rubbish!), but I made this:

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I think you’ll agree, this is pretty amazing…….or not. But it was just to practise all the stitches and things, so it doesn’t have to look pretty.

My friend Fran, who organised for us to do this course, already knows how to crochet so when we went back to her house for lunch and more tea, she taught us how to do a granny square and I made this:

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You can’t really tell here, but I changed wools and everything! (The middle bit is a multicoloured crafting cotton with white in and the outside bit is a plain white cotton).

Then when I got home, I found that my sister had written down the instructions to make the square she taught me, so I made one of those (to make sure I could still remember all the stitches after a whole day!):

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I haven’t done the last step, so I think this looks a bit different from the yellow one at the top. My sister gave me the spare wool from the blanket and since all of my cushion covers I made 10 years ago are totally falling apart, I fancy crocheting some granny squares to make cushion covers to match the blanket, which lives on our sofa. I might try to find other simple granny squares so it’s not all too matchy-matchy. I can safely say I’m hooked (I had to – sorry, not sorry) on crochet!