Friday, 28 April 2017

Finally Finished V8974 - In Red Waffle

I have finally defeated the v8974 pattern by Vogue. I'm not gonna say what I nicknamed this dress but it starts with "B" and ends in "itch". I made my first toile a little while ago and that one was huge, so I sized down the pattern and well it was still too bloody big. Now it could be my fault I used the last of my red waffle from FCfabricstudios. Now its not an overly stretchy fabric but it does have a certain "bounce?" shall we say?

Anyway long story short I took a grand total of four inches out of the back and now it fits exactly like it should! #winning.

But the reason I persevered is because that bodice is the bomb diggity. I love the v neckline, the centre front seam and the those slanted darts are so beautiful. But as I said its a [Insert naughty word] to fit.

So details!

- I swapped out their Aline skirt for a circle skirt, I liked the a-line on everyone else but on me it just looked meh.

-I added a centre back seam because I hate side zips, and thank god I did because otherwise I have no idea how I would of made it fit me!

- Took loads of length off the straps. In fact the straps are meant to be inserted in between the bodice and the facing but mine are just stitched to the inside because I had to alter them so many times.

- Went down to a size 12. My first toile was in a 14 and it was too big so I sized down. I'm going to make this again in a 12 and see if I still have the same issues. If I don't I'll size down again to a 10.

Fabric wise I've already said I used this red waffle from FCfabricstudios. I love this fabric so much it just looks expensive! In fact I like it so much this dress is now the main contender for the wedding I;m going to in September.

The zip was from one of the £1 grab bags from abakhans. Its sewn in pretty well but would benefit from a good press.

I hemmed the whole thing by hand after letting it hang for a week. And then I celebrated finally finishing ti with a big ol glass of wine.  

All in all I love it. It was definitely a challenge for me. Whilst the construction wasn't too difficult the fitting was an absolute brute and made me want to sob hysterically on more than one occasion. Anyway if you want to have your own fitting nightmare and possible crying fit you can find the pattern here for £15.00.

In other news:

- I've got a new iron! My old one just decided not to turn on one day so I went out and brought another. I'm actually pretty pleased because I HATED that iron and it stupid non stick plate that stuck to bloody everything! So YAY!

Much Love



Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Me Made May Pledge

Its that time of year again, dust off your selfie sticks me made may is upon us! [LOL you don't actually need a selfie stick but it makes it a hell of a lot easier to take full outfit pictures if you have one. Mine was £1 from Tesco but if you know anyone under the age of 20 they probably have one you can borrow!] 

'I, Frankie Baldwin of & knitwitsowls on instagram, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '17. I endeavour to wear at least one me made thing everyday and to try and wear as many different items as possible each day for the duration of May 2017 Including both knitted and sewn items'

So that's the plan, I'm hoping to wear at least 1 me made item everyday and to try and get lots of variety in so some of the things lurking at the back of my wardrobe get some attention! Blogging wise I'll be trying to take daily instagram outfits and I'll be doing a weekly "style diary" type thing on the blog! and then at the end I'll review everything I've discovered!

And me made may marks 1 year of me wearing glasses! It was actually during Me made may last year that I got a brutal eye infection and had to have an emergency trip to the opticians where they told me I had damaged the surface of my eye! Now my eyes all better, no more damage but I'm still wearing my glasses because I think I actually like them now!!!

So happy glasses anniversary to me!!

Anyways if you want to read my posts from last year you can find them here;

Much Love 



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Monday, 24 April 2017

Marshmallow Blanket

Me and Lil man just had an argument about whether we should listen to Johnny Cash or the Beach Boys on the record player....... He only ever wants the beach boys. I swear if that kid doesn't come back with someone called Barbra Ann I'm gonna eat my hat. 

But on the plus side I did finished this blanket this week. Yes its another baby blanket and yes its another diagonal one. Because if it ain't broke don't fix it!

As it goes I hated knitting this. I remembered about ten rows in that I HATE knitting with fluffy wool. It sheds, its slips its just a big ol pain in the bum. I did preserve though. Mainly because I wasn't 100% happy with the blanket in my latest hamper so I needed to replace it. 

As it goes this one ended up a bit wonky but I think that's just the stretch in the wool [bloody fluffy wool] and hopefully it'll go down after a few washes. And lets face it new babies are gross and tend to vom/poop on everything so it should get a lot of washes!

I knitted the whole thing up on my prym ergonomic knitting needles and I think they helped with the whole I HATE FLUFFY WOOL thing! Especially the hooks on the end to stop stitches dropping off!

Its is soft and squishy though. Like snuggling a baby kitten!

Much Love


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Saturday, 22 April 2017

Inspirational Signs!

I like Inspirational quotes. They make me feel warm and fuzzy inside and this week when lil man was having one of his "I'm bored!!!!!" moments I decided to let him help me so some messy painting using my posh watercolours. Naturally it only kept him occupied for ten minutes till he declared that also boring.

I had an ulterior motive though, I'd seen some really cute inspirational posters on etsy and knew I could make my own. 

Basically we chucked some paint down on drawing paper. Waited what felt like ten years for them to dry. Then I perused pinterest searching for nice quotes which I wrote in pencil and tehn went over in either sharpie or fine liner. Depending on the font I'd used!  

Not all who wander are lost - J RR Tolkien 

This is one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite books!

Enjoy Today

I think I need to remember to enjoy the little things in life more. I seem to spend a lot of time stressing and not much time relaxing. Especially when life is so good right now!

Shine like the Stars

This is so cheesy it makes me cringe a bit. Like in our GCSE leaving assembly where the head teacher was all like reach for the moon you just might land on a star? *cringes*

The best is yet to come

For a long time the future scared the bejeezus out of me but now I can't wait to see whats around the corner!

I can & I will

I had a lot of people give me side eye when I told them I was pregnant at 18. I mean "OMG your life is OVER! Do you need me to drive you....ya know to sort it out??" Yep I actually had someone offer to drive me for an abortion.... after I told them I was pregnant and showed them a scan picture. At the time I was fuming but now it makes me laugh because although my life took a different route it doesn't mean it was a bad one. In fact I like this road it pretty darn tidy and without popping out a kid at the ripe old age of 19 I would never have thought to start a blog or take up sewing again, or become addicted to all things crafty!

Much Love



P.S Please don't be too outraged my my friend suggesting I have an abortion when I told people I was pregnant I got of lot of obnoxious comments thrown in my direction! 

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

DIY Embroidered skirt

Anyone who's been within three feet of a shop recently might have noticed the huge trend for embroidery on clothes at the moment.

Now technically I don't "follow" the most recent trends. However I do love a bit of embroidery so it would be rude not too. I briefly considered making a little denim skirt and embroidering that but as luck would have it Rikki's Nan was getting rid of two button front skirts and offered them to me.

Well that was one job saved, next I just needed to decide what to embroider. This is actually my second attempt, my first attempt was a much more densely embroidered design in reds. It didn't complement to colour of the skirt and the idea of having that amount of embroidery focusing everyone's attention on one of my hips didn't exactly fill me with good feelings. Plus the embroidery had made the skirt all puckered up and nasty looking.

Naturally instead of giving up I spent an hour and a half unpicking all of my hard work and started again. This time I opted for pinks for the rose because it worked better with the blue and decided just to embroider the outline. 

Its a lot more of a subtle effect which I'm hoping means I won't be put off wearing it even after the trend is dead and buried. Luckily the skirt was a good fit out of the bag I just took an inch off the length [short legs]. Looking at these pictures its a bit snug but LOL Easter! 

I definitely prefer this to my first attempt. I used two strands of embroidery and a simple back stitch. I didn't use a hoop instead I just kept things taught using my hands.

So yeah I actually kind of love it and on the plus side no one else has one like this! 

In other news!

We are halfway through our second week of half term, we have no car and lil man has a cough..... Its great.......... [He made me drag the playdough box downstairs yesterday, spent five minutes playing with it and declared himself bored]

We still have a house full of Easter eggs and its far too tempting!

I cannot wait to be able to sew properly again! I've already said to Rikki the first chance I get I'm having a good long session!

I ran down the road in my pj's this week after the bin men. To add more detail, my pj's are a camisole and "french?" knickers? and I heard the bin lorry but thought I hadn't put the bin out [we have fortnightly bin collections so if you miss it you end up with a months worth of rubbish to get rid of!] Anyway as it goes Rikki had already put it out when he left for work, which the bin men took great delight in telling me! #mortified 

Much Love 


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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Threadcount 1607 Shirtdress Review - Vlog

Its been so long since my latest video but here's my review of the threadcount 1607 shirtdress that came free with love sewing magazine! 

Hope you enjoy it!!!

Much Love



Sunday, 16 April 2017

My Sewing Bad Habits

We've just done our Easter egg hunt, I have a belly full of chocolate and I'm catching up with Project Runway whilst the boys watch the football. So life is pretty darn good!

Anyway since I've not really had time to sew it's all I've been able to think about! Including my own sewing bad habits! 

1. Putting pins in my mouth

My A level textiles teacher used to scream at me across the room "HEALTH AND SAFETY WHAT IF YOU CHOKE AND DIE?". And some nights went I accidentally swallow one I see her point! I mean what would I do? Phone Rikki at work and be like "oh hey babe, I just swallowed a sewing pin so can you take me a and e? cheers duck"

2. Skipping Interfacing

I have an un-natural hatred of interfacing! It just gets on my nerves, it never sticks to what its meant to and it always sticks to my bloody iron! Plus it never matters how much I buy I never have enough! Instead I've been using thicker upholstery weight fabric instead of interfacing. Ya know cos I;m bad to the bone and stuff! 

3. Not trying on as I go

I suck at trying on as I go! If I'm sewing I just want to sit and sew! Now I try to make myself try on or at least wack it on my mannequin to get a better sense of the fit! I have been stung by finishing something beautifully and then it not fitting though!

4. Not ironing seams

My iron doesn't fit in the dining room where I sew so I have to walk alllll the way to the kitchen.... Yeah I no that is a terrible excuse but in my defence I am getting better at ironing my seams! Now days I just tend to sew a load of seams and then iron them in one job lot! 

5. Not throwing away blunt pins!

This is one I'm really really trying with! Now if its blunt I bin it straight away. Slowly I'm getting to a place where the majority of my pins are fairly decent!

 6. Using scissors with paper

In my defence I don't buy expensive fabric scissors and I do replace them pretty regularly. But its still an awful habit to have especially if I do ever end up with an expensive pair of scissors!  

7. Sewing without pinning

If its a striaght seam I don;t tend to use pins. In fact I remember helping my cousin finish her fancy dress costume [about an hour before she was due out] and I sewed the whole dress without pinning once! Her sister was HORRIFIED! To be honest I probably won't try and improve on this what can I say pins are for the weak! 

8. Not measuring hems

I tend to eyeball my hems when I fold them up and hope for the best! But recently I brought a hem gauge and now I'm hoping to break this bad habit!  

9. Not changing my machine needle

I read recently that you should change your machine needle one for ever 3 bobbins that you wind. OMG I don't change them that often! It tend to be more of a woopsie daisy this one just snapped and nearly blinded me! 

10. Not hoovering afterwards

My poor poor husband! The amount of times he leaves the house covered in threads and bits of fluff is just embarrassing! But when It's 1 in the morning and you've finally decided to pack the machine away sometimes you just cannot be arsed to hoover up as well!  

So yeah I'm a bad bad sewer! 

What sewing bad habits do you have?

Much Love



Friday, 14 April 2017

Knitted Baby Booties

I love half term and being able to spend time with both my boys. But boy does it suck for trying to find time to sew! My knitting however has never been more productive!

These colour blocked baby booties are yet another effort to use up my large wool stash and all of the itty bitty bits! Luckily they knit up pretty quick!

I knitted the whole pattern in garter stitch even though it called for stocking stitch. You can just refer to me as a rebel without a cause from now on!

In knitted the smallest size and have already put them into a gift bag ready for the next baby to be born!

Its a fairly boring project really but I just haven't had time for anything else! Especially sewing!

So far this week we have:

had one night out,
one visit to Burton on Trent to finally crack steering a bike with no stabilisers! Yeah that's right guys Lil man is on two wheels!
one morning of seeing my Nan at my mums
one cinema trip to see Boss Baby
Making easter cakes
one day with Lil man godfather
today which features a mcdonalds date with Grandad for lil man and then seeing another one of his godfathers this afternoon.
tomorrow we have a 1st birthday party
and then Sunday is Easter!
And we still have another week to go!

But as soon as lil man has his first day back at school I'm sitting down for a LONG sewing session!

Much Love



Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The £2.25 Dress

The titles a lie actually. I brought 3m of this fabric for £2.25 but I've only used a metre and a halfish so technically the dress cost even less!

The fabric came from abakhans just after Christmas, when I spent a blissful morning wandering around by myself spending my Christmas money and generally basking in the glory of having 5 minutes to myself! It was on the sale rail for a whopping 75p a metre so I brought 3 with the intention of making a maxi dress for an up and coming wedding in Spain [I actually wish I'd brought more but at the time I couldn't decide if it was really fricking hideous or absolutely fabulous!]Anyway lo and behold they changed the date of the wedding and Rikki's work wouldn't change his holidays which means we'll only be able to make the after party that's being held in England. 

To be honest I did still toy with the idea of making a maxi dress but I only really wear maxi dresses abroad so I figured a nice going out dress would be better and would get more wear. 

So then I thought about one of my favourite going out dresses and set about trying to make a better version!

The bodice is the same princess seam bodice from the second great British sewing bee book that I always use, but this time I added a waistband and some long ties so I could give myself a clinched in look. The skirt is just a very simple circle skirt cut to my measurements. I chose a circle skirt because nothing quite falls the same way, I have a theory that a circle skirt can make any bodice look instantly classy.

The biggest issue I had was placing the pattern. Its a very large and vivid jewelled print? It kind of reminds me of Elizabeth Taylor just because that girl liked her diamonds! I knew a princess seam bodice would be easiest for getting nice symmetry in the front so I just worked out where the pattern centre line was and folded on that line and then cut everything out VERY carefully. I'm really pleased with the front but the back is a little bit wonky.

With the fabric being a fairly thin Poly peachskin? I opted to line the bodice just to give a bit more body. I top stitched the neckline to keep everything in place. 

The circle skirt was a BRUTE! I have never had so many problems hemming a circle skirt in my life. In the end I cut some bias binding from a dashwood studios fat quarter and used that the bind the hem. In the end I actually think it worked out better because 1. It stopped me swearing at it and 2. It gives the hem a bit of body and makes it hang nicely.

I'm still considering this for the after party with purple shoes and I have some purple fabric that might make a nice Chanel style jacket? and then I'm toying with the idea of one of those rockabilly petticoats just to introduce more colour! Plus you know poofiness is life. 

Its actually one of three dresses I'm considering, all of which are homemade!

Eurgh my hair is a mess it is in dire need of a good cut but me and my hairdresser are having scheduling conflicts!

Here's me demonstrating how long the ties are. The idea being you can wear them at the front/back or wrap them around yourself Obi style. Although I'm not sure how much room that would leave for food/frolicking. 

So a grand success I actually really love it and I can't wait to find an occasion to wear it too!

The only thing I'd do differently is the position of that second green jewel on the skirt! I wish it was lined up with the one on the waistband. especially after I spent so long lining up the one on the waistband.

Much Love



Sunday, 9 April 2017

Josephine's Blanket

Life is pretty good guys. I've had a chock full week and I'm knackered but I've got a Chinese on the way and I'm feeling pretty darn good!

As you already know we had the Easter bonnet parade on Wednesday, then on Friday I volunteered to walk the children from Lil mans school to church for their Easter service. It was a LONG walk but I was classified as an actual grown up and was responsible for lil man and one of his friends. Which quite frankly terrified me because OMG who is this child and what if I break it or it thinks I'm stupid or something? As it goes the kid was okay, quiet but okay and we broke the tension by talking about our favourite dinosaurs. 

Then on Saturday we had the Grand National and Lil man only went and won himself £44 at the bookies! [using his daddy's account of course!] which he has already spent on two new lego kits and the new version of mousetrap. 

Then on Saturday night I went out. Like out out. Like clean knickers, shaved above the knee put a full face of makeup on and a cute dress [this one to be exact] out! Granted I spent an hour sat on Lil mans godfathers sofa watching him play fifa until my friends actually arrived in town [It was really cracking of him to look after me until my friends were out especially seen as he had plans of his own! BUT since when did meeting at 10pm become a thing? 10pm is bedtime? If you want conversation you need to catch me at around 7pm] But when I was out I had a great time apart from my mock-tail had traces of pineapple in and my my face feel a bit tingly [I'm allergic to pineapple. Pineapple and if you ever want to kill me that's the way to do it!] 

But anyway! This project is one of my sit and knit and not think projects. I started it to see how the new prym ergonomic knitting needles would fair with a hefty project [you can read my review here]. 

Its basically all of the blues, purples, whites and greens from my stash knitted together to make a diagonal blanket. I got all of my little piddly balls of wool from my wool drawer and split each one in half and used one half for the increases and one half for the deceases.

Its a great way to use up all of those odds and sods of wool however you will have to weave in 1 million ends [this might be a small exaggeration]. But I think it really works and I love the scrappy homemade vibe it has. It kind of reminds me of the sort of thing they'd have made in world war 2 when supplies were scarce and they used to re knit things. Which is a style of thinking I really admire. 

Its for my new baby niece Josephine. I seem to be using a lot of blues and purples when I make her things? Maybe because I always think of here older sister as being the little pink baby? Plus I tend to think the gender stereotypes of pink and blue babies have gone out of the window and things are a lot more neutral.  

This is actually the second blanket I've knitted for her the first being this rainbow one which was another diagonal stitch blanket! This one is a bit bigger than the rainbow one which is more of a car seat blanket than an actual sleeping one. Actually looking at the pictures of the rainbow blanket I think I might have to make another because its pretty cute! 

So yes I love it and hopefully the little one will get many hours of rest underneath it. I think its going to go and live at my mums thought because my sister in law and brother have said they already have lots of blankets at their house. Which I don't mind because my mum will use it and look after it. She even has a baby blanket from when I was born that's still in good nick!

So yeah that's it! I am way behind on photographing my dressmaking projects! But I'm hoping to get those done tomorrow unless we decided to go on a bike ride! 

Anyway I hope you've all enjoyed the weather! 

Much Love



Thursday, 6 April 2017

Easter Bonnet

I'll start off by saying my son had no input into this hat whatsoever. To put it bluntly he could not have been less bothered about the Easter bonnet parade his school was holding or making his hat. Instead he said "okay mummy, you do this, me and daddy go golf?". 

And as much as I'd love to say I sat him down told him it was his bonnet and he had to help me. I didn't, mainly because I knew I'd have 100% more fun if I did it alone rather than trying to get a sulky child to assist me.

Basically I've finally learnt that my son is not crafty.

But I had a CRACKING time! First of all I scoured pinterest for ideas. Then I ran the ideas past Lil man and his daddy to see which ones we liked. Then I went to home and bargains and spent a small fortune on supplies [I'm not going to say how much because quite frankly its embarrassing]

Anyhow the basic concept was a bunny rabbit diving into a pot to get a carrot!
Luckily I managed to find a stuffed rabbit with its own stuffed carrot so that saved one job!

The hat was a simple straw one, the grass was part of a multi pack and the ladybirds had little sticker pads underneath. The small rabbit and the chick we already had in the house from previous Easters. I have a sneaking suspicion that the chick may have been from my sister on Lil mans first Easter. They are both sewn onto the base of the hat!

 The eggs were those plastic eggs that have sweets and a disappointing toy in, my initial thought was that I might let Lil man eat the sweets but after he abandoned me for golf I ate then as a reward for making the dammed thing. I decorated both of those eggs with sharpie pens to make them look a bit more Easter, and luckily for me they had holes in the base so I could sew them to the hat.

The rabbit is secured into the pot using thread and a LOT of sellotape. In fact this whole concoction is held together with sellotape, glue , thread and prayers. I then stuffed the rest of the flower pot with bin liners to look like "soil".

This all sits in a big old flower pot! which is sewn to the base of the hat and made me use six different swear words!  

The grass is a mixture of card and felt and covered the join of the hat to the flower pot. The flowers are buttons [from his godmothers Nana] attached to pipe cleaners. they boing around quite nicely.

I know it looks like a lot but the whole thing maybe took me an hour and a half? I brought a lot of stuff pre-made.

  There are a few things I'd do differently next time though.

- smaller flower pot and bunny rabbit. In hindsight these might be a bit big for the head of a five year old.
- make it less top heavy. I personally can balance it perfectly on my head but I spent my childhood balancing books on my head to give me good posture. Lil man however struggled and had to hold it with his hands!

The one thing that did work really well was having a straw hat because it meant I could sew things onto it!

So yes we went to the Easter bonnet parade. It was lovely, long but lovely and there was lots of singing and dancing and some really cool bonnets! But the this part was that Lil man came second with his hat! Yes second! Which means he won and Easter egg [All the Easter egg prizes were donated by our local Tesco which is pretty cool!] And naturally he was chuffed to bits, and it made every time I stabbed my finger with the needle worth it! Plus when he stood up he got a big cheer from all of his friends, which was really lovely to see! 

The only issue is what on earth am I going to do next year?

Much Love



Monday, 3 April 2017

The Green Dress

I'm gonna warn you now, this is a picture HEAVY post. Basically I thought I;d best give you all of the details of the pattern hack I did back in February. 

Okay soooooo the fabric was from Abakhans and I have no idea how much the magazine sent but I used it all!

The pattern was for kwik sew 4111 which is a perfectly nice day dress sort of pattern. I started by slashing and spreading the neckline. This gave me a really nice draped neckline, it also meant that the green was further away from my face [green has a tendency to wash me out] . 

It also gave a great sort of 1930's evening gown vibe. The whole time I was making this I was watching atonement where Keira Knightly wears "that" green dress!

For the back I decided to only put the zip in on the skirt. so the back is closed at the top with a small button and loop but the rest is open. This might be my favourite part! I love an open back on a dress!

My hair took an hour to pt in and an hour and a half to take out. One of the mums at school was nice enough to explain to me how to do it!

I also lengthened the skirt and added pleats the whole way round instead of just at the front! Trust me there is a lot of fabric in that skirt! I used the originally curved hem from the pattern and left in the overlap. I had to hem the whole thing before I attached it to make sure no raw edges could be seen. To hem it I simple over locked to edge and then folded it over twice and sewed.  

I love that high slit, however I do have to wear it with a slip because the fabric is sheer. Its not an issue with the bodice because I lined it but the skirt definitely needs something underneath!

I also added embellishments to the waist ties and the shoulders. I hardly ever put beads on my makes but I think its a really nice touch on this. The gun metal coloured beads all came from my stash. The shoulder ones are sewing directly to the seam but the ones on the belt were sewn to a piece of felt first for stability.

And yeah that's all of the details!

Much Love