Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Stripe Coco Dress

I've never thought of myself as a sheep, but here I am posting about my striped coco dress....

Okay so pretty much every single sewing blogger in the entire world has made a striped coco dress. Mainly because if you can pick up the right fabric you can honest to god look like you've just walked off the pages of the Boden catalogue.

And I'd like to say I'm really different but I've been reading a new book about Coco Chanel and I think I've been underestimating how chic a little striped dress could be. I mean its ridiculously simple put on dress, put on shoes....done. I've pretty much worn this with all my shoes and it never fails to look cute. Its the easiest outfit ever. Which is a huge plus for someone who hates getting dressed in the morning.

So anyway! Stop waffling Frankie give us the details! Okay so the fabric is one from Abakhans from one of the precut bins marked poly knit. Now I had a massive amateur moment and didnt check the whole length so I stupidly though that the line running vertical to the stripes was just a flaw from the end of the bolt! I WAS WRONG! These little devils showed up every 40cm or so. Which meant I had to faff about with my cutting out. First I tried placing my pattern pieces so their would only be horizontal stripes but the pattern pieces were too big. So then I considered have vertical stripes with the odd horizontal one...... Yeah I know thank god I scrapped that idea. Then I was like Oh Frankie you dumbo just used the single stripe as the centre fold for your pattern pieces. I know yeah I feel like it should not have took me so long to reach that conclusion!   

So in the end I have a line down the front and the back and you know what I quite like it! So my polyknit fabric did win out in the end! By the way it was £7.19 for the fabric and I have enough left for a jumper or something! 

The main seams were sewn on my over locker and I just did all my hemming on my standard machine. I am a bit gutted though, I was too lazy to faff about putting in my twin needle so I just used the over lock stitch on my machine and its not quite the finish I'd have liked. I used the same stitch for my coco hoodie hack and that look good but I think it was the wrong stitch for this. Anyway Ill live with it because the idea of unpicking it all makes me want to cry but lesson learned, use twin needle!

There's not really much I can say Its a super simple pattern that sews up really quick and this is my third one [and so far my favourite]  Its lovely and snug [not quite as snug as my fleece version but snug enough] and as I've already said its so easy to throw on in the morning! 

So yeah a grand success!

Much Love



Sunday, 15 January 2017

My First Ever Crochet Project!

I've done it guys I've actually cracked it! I have mastered the art of crochet! Well I say the art... I can manage a granny square! BUT COME ON GUYS! That's a pretty big deal! Especially for someone who's been struggling for as long as me!

It all started when I unwrapped a Christmas present from my mum and dad, they had gotten me a book on easy crochet. Mainly because when she had a flick through she said the instructions were pretty clear. My first thought was "dear god" how dare they buy me a book on a craft I CANNOT DO! Those swines! Then however, I manned up and thought well why not give this another shot! And guys I did It! I conquered! I mean I only conquered a small amount, if I was an evil dictator it would probably be the equivalent of the Vatican [FYI that is the smallest country in the world , I am so ready for university challenge!]  

Anyways naturally as soon as I had gotten to a place where I felt comfortable with a hook in my hand! [my house is currently littered with my many attempts!] I decided to start a big project! Because why not run before you can walk? I decided to make a blanket!

I know right a blanket, I've never even made a big knitted blanket! but in my defence I'm finding crochet very relaxing and I'm really enjoying how easy it is to pick up and put down as well as the fact its using all of my odds and sods of wool.

Although I am a bit worried I might run out at some point. I've made a desperate plea to Nan for scraps and she says shes going to have a look for me!

So here is the plan: the idea is that the pink ones are multi coloured granny squares of five rounds, the blue ones are five round granny squares of only two colours, the purple are ten round ones in multiple colours and the light green and dark green are 15/20 round ones of multiple colours! 

Then they will be arranged according to my picture in a sort of whimsical scrappy fashion to hopefully create a scrappy patchwork granny square quilt!

So far I've completed all 23 of my five round multi coloured squares and my large twenty round one! So I'm well on my way to snuggly goodness! 

Colour wise I'm working with a lot of dregs from my drawers I'm trying to keep to colour palette, to blues, greens, purples, blacks and white. And so far I am loving how its looking! In fact it might be one of my favourite colour pulls yet!

Size wise I'm aiming for 1 metre square! each patch is just about 10cm and there's ten per row so hopefully my maths works out and my tension stays the same throughout!

In other news THERE WAS SNOW! Yerp we had snow it was all very exciting especially seen as we live on a hill! Nothing quite like watching people struggle on hills in winter! And Lil man had the day off school! I'm not 100% why? the snow wasn't particularly heavy and they had already texted at 6.30am to say it was still on but lo and behold at 7.30 [after I had already gotten us dressed!!!!!] they texted again to say it was cancelled! Leaving me at home with no milk delivery! no bread and one small child! Luckily my mum and dad braved the roads to come and visit us and brought bread! 

anyways I think that's about it! We've got little mans birthday coming up next week so I;m sure preparing for that will keep me busy!

Much Love



Friday, 13 January 2017

1950's style Cotton and Chalk Denim Trousers/Dungaree Mashup

That's quite the beast of a title isn't it? But it does exactly what it says on the tin! 

So in a nutshell! [a rather large nutshell] This is my interpretation of the Sunday set dungaree trousers, by cotton and chalk. Now I've already made the dress from this [you can see it here] But after I really wanted to give the trouser option ago! 

So the pattern, I did make a few changes, for starters the pattern calls for gathers at the front and back but I just couldn't get on board with that because they might make my hips look poofy. And I am not about poofy hips. So I changed the gathers to a simple pleat on either side which I think is a lot more flattering and less bulky. 

Secondly the pattern calls for a centre back zip and whilst I'm not opposed to a centre back zip in trousers It felt kind of wrong to do it in a pair of denim dungarees so I did a complete hack! Basically I decided instead of trying to do a fly front because OMG I am not ready for that level of stress again.[And would it look weird with the bib?]  I went for two side tab closures, with buttons and button holes I thought they might give a nice vintage sort of feel which is what I was going for.

anyway here's a brief [and pretty terrible description of how I calculated the front and back waistband. 

- Measure Waist
-Mine was 28inches, so divide that by 2
28 ÷ 2 =14
- add seam allowance and ease [roughly 1.5inch]
-15.5 inches = front waistband

-back waistband 
-half of waist measurement [14] + seam allowance and ease [1.5] + 4inch for overlap
14+1.5+4=19.5inches=back waistband

I also added a small zip [recycled from 2x old pairs of jeans into the side seams of the trousers, this has two uses, 1. it looks bad-ass and 2. it means you can get in and out of them with having a split in the side seam and potentially showing your pants! Or some squishy fleshy bits. 

And as you may have gathered from the picture above I made another pretty big change! I made the bib detachable again. Just because it gives the item a lot more styling freedom! I did it the same way as I did my delphine mashup.  

All the buttons are from my stash but the ones on the side tabs and the ones on the bib don't match. I don't think its a huge issue though?

I also did all my top stitching in a golden coloured thread which means they look a bit like ready to wear! I was going to do flat felled seams down the sides but I couldn't work out how to do them and incorporate the zips so I just top stitched up the edge of each seam. 

I love the mock jeans feel that these have and the slightly 50's vibe, definitely feel like I should be digging for victory and stuff! I even like the turn ups at the bottom! Wanna know a secret these are not even hemmed, not even stitched I literally just folded them over! How lazy am I! [giggles]

Here's what they look like without the bib, Its a shame you can;t see more of the detail but this denim was such a monkey to photograph! 
The fabric incidentally was a wedding gift from my mum and dad! And I have a sneaking suspicion it came from abakhans! 

This is me doing my best Rosie the riveter impression....... Anyway I adore this make, I don't think I'd make it again but if I did I think I would make a few more improvements:

1. place button holes further on the ends of tabs [they flap around a bit, I'm wondering if a press stud at the end may help?]
2. Use thicker interfacing!
3. I really wanted the add side seam pockets and I miss that they are not their, but I just don't think I could work it out! That said I think some bum pockets would work really nicely!

But even in spite of it flaws I still love it! And its quite might to have a pair of denim trousers with a slightly different shape!

Much Love



Thursday, 12 January 2017

Wooly Projects You Tube Video

Here's my latest You tube effort!! Its all about whats I've been knitting and dare I say crocheting!!! 

Hope you enjoy!

I think I've worked out the distortion issues! But please let me know if its distorted at your end!!

Much Love



Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Knitted Scrump

I no longer advertise my services for making things, I found that constantly trying to sell things that I loved to people who quite frankly new they could get something cheaper from china was quite exhausting and sucked the fun out of making things!  Instead I now only make things for other people as gifts or special requests! I have a few of my old customers who I will never say no to though. People who supported me from the beginning and are just really cracking people! And one of those people is Kelly I've known Kelly for absolute years and she is the legend who ordered the knitted Stitch and the knitted Yoda! [by the way I am considering actually putting these patterns on here at some point so keep your eyes peeled!]

Anyway this time she asked me if I could make "Scrump" from Lilo and Stitch for her fiancee! Scrump for those of you who don't know [and I sure as hell didn't] Its the little handmade doll that Lilo carries around. Now according to Kelly whilst Lilo and Stitch stuff is easy to find at the Disney store scrump is much much harder!

Image result for scrump lilo and stitch

Enter Moi!

Its a very basic garter stitch body and then I knitted a bow and added the face using embroidery threads.

I probably should disclose that Rikki actually picked the wool for this project because I was in the shop umming and ahhing and couldn't decide if it was a close enough colour match. As I said previously I'm considering sharing all of my self drafted knitting patterns for free on here.

Anyways I'm super pleased with how it turned out and Kelly was chuffed to bit with it when she came to pick it up!

Much Love 



Monday, 9 January 2017

Simple Sew Kimono Dress #010

Okay so technically I finished this way before Christmas and I pretty much love it. In fact I wore it to my families Christmas celebrations and I felt pretty darn sassy! [Apart from my mum telling me to put my boobs away, but I'm blaming the slip I had one underneath for that and not the actual dress.....or my boobs!]

Right soooooo! The pattern is Simple Sew and I believe it came free with an issue of Love sewing magazine? I however was given it by my lovely pen friend. You can also buy it here for £10.

Right so the pattern details, its printed on pretty thick tissue paper and the instruction are pretty sparse. I'm tending to find this pretty typical of simple sew patterns to be honest. Yes the instructions are clear enough for a beginner and I love that they don't over crowd their pattern sheets with unnecessary faff but I think if you want a nicer finish then some sewing knowledge is better for their patterns.

Its three pattern pieces, the from the back and the belt. I ignored the belt piece and just cut my own from the edge because it seemed more economical. In fact when I make it again I'm not going to bother with the fabric belt. I've only used the fabric belt for this one once to take these photos most of the time I just wear it with a skinny black belt.

The sleeves are part of the front and back pieces and I think they are called grown on sleeves? I thought that might mean they'd be a bit sticky out but I think having a very drapey fabric really helped with the sleeves and with the cross over style.

The fabric itself was from abakhans and lets just say it was a Christmas present from me to me......... I had gone in with the intention of buying some African wax print cotton to make a Christmas dress but they didn't have any *sobs*.....so I had a little dig through some of the bins and this sort of fell into my shopping bag..... and then brought itself............ Anyway I think its some sort of sheer poly Georgette chiffon thing. And its got an awesome paisley/henna sort of print on it.   

I was glad I found the fabric for this because it feels like I've been looking for the right fabric for it for ages! I was worried if I picked the wrong fabric it might end p looking like one of those dinky bathrobes that desperate housewives wear [I have like 3]. Anyway I think this fabric is definitely the right fit even though its slightly sheer and by slightly I mean I do have to wear a slip underneath.

So construction! The insides are overlocked which really helped with fraying and keeping things tidy and then the sleeves and the entire outer edge has been hemmed on my regular machine. I kept these hems really dinky because of the sheerness of the fabric. I'm pleased with the finish its almost as though it came from a shop!!! 

Okay so whats the verdict. Well Ill be completely honest when I first made it I nearly binned the pattern, it just seemed loose fitting and fugly. But I have this policy were I wear everything I've made for at least one day to get a proper grasp and well at some point I fell in love. I chucked on my slip and a little belt, some nude tights [yes I know its winter but nude tights are my bestie!] and them my thigh high boot and I just felt like the absolute BOMB! I love the hippy vibe, I love that I can just wear it as a cardigan and I love how easy it is to wear! Yes I do wish the overlap at the front was a bit deeper but other than that I actually think its pretty cool! [plus I recently brought a fedora that looks awesome with this!!!!!]

So yes I am going to make another one and I think I might take a look at the simple sew patterns to see if there's anything else I like!!!

In other news I had to sit on the naughty step today because I shot Rikki in the face with a nerf gun.......and we have a family rule that your not allowed to shoot people in the face with nerf guns..... and what applies to the smallest member of the family also applies to the biggest ones too!!! [FYI it was a cracking shot right below his eye and I have no regrets!!!!!!!!!!!!] 

Much Love



Saturday, 7 January 2017

Mini Fabric Haul

I have a real struggle with the whole post Christmas post new year thing, Its not that I feel sad I just have no motivation. I kind of juts want to sit in my jammies and binge watch tv series whilst eating chocolates [FYI I've just finished lost and now feel like there's a hole in my soul that no T.V series will ever fill]  
To be honest I've just been letting it run it course, yes I have no motivation to do actual things but I've read two new books that Rikki brought me and I finally bit the bullet and tried crochet again! [But more on that another day] 

Anyway I decided that my fabrics just weren't inspiring me so I went fabric shopping! Now FYI I'm calling this a mini one because I spent less than £50 and it didn't take me all day! I was given money by my mum to go fabric shopping which will be a bigger haul! But this one was to perk me up and give me something to sew up whilst I wait out the last of winter! 

I should probably say this haul comes courtesy or Rikkis Grandad Ron and our friend Steve! 

Anyway I went to abakhans on Friday after dropping lil man off at school, which meant I was completely alone! I took a list and was very vigilant with how much everything was going to cost me! Especially seen as I wouldn't have my mum to pick up any short fall and I only have my Christmas cash on me! Needless to say the staff as always were very helpful! [I feel like I'm rambling.... I'm terrible at writing posts where I've actually spent money after two years of being on a VERY tight budget!] So onto the fabrics!

2.5m of red stretch velvet - £8.40
I'm going to use this to make another GBSB wrap dress because how lush wold a velvet one be? Incidentally lil man helped me pull this out of the dryer after prewashing and I struggled to get it off him, he was all wrapped up in a swath of warm fuzzyness! ADORABLE! but seriously kid get your dirty mitts off my fabric!!! 

Feather/Leaves Poly knit - £4.03 
this was from one of the bins, I'm thinking of using this for some colour blocked raglans! [I have a pattern which is very similar to the Linden sweater but that I was given for free and came from prima magazine! I think its designed for a thinner knit but I think if I cut a size bigger I'll be fine!] 

Red Stripe - 2.5m £3 something per metre
I had this off the roll and now I have no idea if its a polycotton or a cotton. But I did spend ages debeating between the black and the red, The red won because I'm trying to inject some more colour into my wardrobe this year! I'm going to use this the make a [hopefully] wearable toile of a vintage pattern. From what I can remember the bodice has some interesting darts which is why I chose a stripe? That or I'll look like a cheaper version of bananas in pyjamas!

Tie Dye print - some sort of poly thing - £7.33? 
This also came from bin and is destined to be a simple sew wrap dress. I thought it was worth making another because I've had so much wear from the first [as yet unblogged I'll get on that soon!] and its just so versatile! 

Poly Knit Stripe - £7.19 
From one of the cages and destined to be a Coco dress and by destined I mean I cut one out when I go home and I'm wearing it now.......... [Its awesome!]

Tape measure cotton - 2m - £5.94 p metre [I think I got it cheaper because it was on sale!]
I've been eyeing up this print for ever! I mean I love sewing and its got tape measures on it! Could it be more perfect?  Naturally I'm going to make a Lilou dress [Yes I know you think I'm boring but I have a lilou obsession and I am not ashamed!!!!]

Jewel print - poly peachskin?- 3m - £0.75p per metre! [yes your reading that right!!!]
Okay so I'm torn between whether this is the most fabulous fabric I've ever seen or really tacky! but I can't argue with 75p a metre so it came home with me! I think its going to be a long summer dress maybe? If it doesn't look ridiculous!

And thats it!

Wish me happy sewing and lots of motivation!