Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Some handy wee bags

I've been working on my most complex project to date for the last few weeks, in between trips to Orkney and the likes, and I've also been knitting like fury because I'm about to be an auntie!! Eldest Bean is expecting her first baby in 13 days, and I'm knitting wee booties for the take-home-from-hospital for the wean, and it's really fun!

I started with the Chaussons Mignons pattern but it's morphed into something slightly different, and I just made up the size etc because the printer wasn't playing ball and I figured that it couldn't be that difficult. Well turns out it wasn't, and after making the prototype slightly too wide I think I'm onto a winner. A wee bit of me just keeps coming out in awwww's whenever I look at the finished boot, so that's gotta be a good thing, right?! It's not sewn up yet, I'm doing them both together, so that I could use the first to judge the correct pattern for the second, and I'll post about them when I've done.

Anyway, what this all meant was that my wee mesh bag that Love Knitting delivers wool in was becoming shredded with my double pointed needles (I'd already used the bag to hold my socks when they were being knitted up) and it was starting to drive me crazy, so I decided to make a bag!

This took me approximately an hour, and it's all from my stash, with the ribbons from the Love Knitting bag. I basically just copied it, because it is such a handy design - the wool stays inside while you pull the tail through the drawstring. Thus meaning that the ball doesn't go rolling over the floor, but stays nice and compact in the bag!

The lining in super smooth to allow easy unravelling of the wool from within the bag, and the ties go through a channel formed between the outer and the lining. A super easy make that I am super pleased with. I've only got my buttons to put on my shirt now and I'm dreading that bit, so this lovely easy project was just what I needed!

While I was here, I also thought I could post a wee bag that I made several years ago, but which is the handiest wee thing I could possibly make. This is my knitting accessories bag, and it contains scissors, measuring tape, pins, stitch markers and a couple of cable pins and a pencil. 

It's made from Noro wool, pretty much the only crochet that I've ever done and has a lovely dense floppiness about it! Hard to describe! It's lined in a wee bit of fabric I picked up, and the zip was one I had already. It's just double crochet, and I continued until I thought it was the right size. I love it. and use it all the time! 

That's basically all I have to say about it, but I love it and although crochet hasn't always been my best friend, I do really like the effect it's had here! 
Do you have a knitting bag that you just love, or do you make many wee bags just for sheer handiness of having them around? I think I might become slight addicted to this..! 

Monday, 6 July 2015

New Etsy Shop!

Hello dear readers,

I have just taken a step into a new venture.

I make these pictures for wedding gifts, and have decided to try and sell some to supplement my income.

If you like these pictures and are on Etsy, it would mean the world to me if you were able to share my page. I am on under HeatheryHandmade, and the address is: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HeatheryHandmade

This year I went self-employed. I earn my income from carrying out ecological surveys, included monitoring protected species, and plants and habitats. The work is excellent, but very variable. I end up with many quiet spells that leave me worried about where my next income is going to come from. I am setting up this shop with the aim of filling in some of these gaps, and helping me create a more constant stream of income. We'll see how it goes!

Any help would be hugely appreciated!


Saturday, 4 July 2015

Pomegranate Trousers

McCalls 6514 view a trousers
Another pair of incredibly comfy trousers. These are lounging trews, working at home trousers, flying trousers... Same pattern as before, McCall's 6514, with a few changes. Due to the largeness of the last pair, I knew that the pattern ran large, and decided to keep the waist measurements the same, and grade down to a 10 in the leg. I think the waist is a 14.
McCalls 6514 view a trousers
The fabric is rowan fabric in Pomegranate by Richard Mably (Spring 2013) in colourway Forest. It's quilting fabric then, but oh so lucious, and just perfect for these trousers, I think! The photo that's closest to how it actually is is this next one.
McCalls 6514 view a trousers
I bought 1.8m, having forgotten to check the pattern envelope prior to going shopping, and was shocked to lie it out and discover I couldn't fit the pattern on at all. This is becoming a bit of a habit! After a momentary panic, I worked out that by cutting each piece out individually I would be able to fit them all on....just. I have literally scraps left from the fabric so it was a real close one! Even though these are longer than the pattern pieces, I also had to shorten them a bit. They're still long enough, just, but I had to do that to allow me to fit it onto the fabric.
McCalls 6514 view a trousers
 The fit is a lot better than my other pair (which have been consigned to the cupboard since these were created) but the 14-10 adjustment means that there is quite a bit of excess at the front crotch. It's okay, but it needs considered for future.
McCalls 6514 view a trousers
Everything was french seamed in these, and I didn't need to cut away the crotch (hooray!), so that was definitely a win. And, until I made my summer skirt (linked above) which actually came after these trousers, these were the best thing I'd ever made. So it's nice to know that I'm improving!
McCalls 6514 view a trousers
I don't know if I'll make them again, not for a while anyway. I'm getting closer to needing to make a 'proper' pair of trousers. Something with slightly less comfort, and slightly more style! It has to happen one day...

You'll notice that I'm back to my rubbish photos, I could not get the exposure right with these ones, so sorry about that. And the creases on the trousers are totally the fault of the camera too. It wasn't anything like me being too lazy to iron before photographing, not at all ;)

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Summer Skirt

simplicity 2258 green linen

I have visions of swishing about in linen, being at one with the seasons but it never quite works on me. Until now. I found this delicious olive green linen in Edinburgh Fabrics (the colour is undoubtedly closest to the photos from Cyprus), but didn't quite know what I would do with it, until I found Simplicity 2258 in the sale box in the shop! The packaging shows the full length skirt in green and as I sometimes have an issue with imagining the finished object this helped me visualise and I knew that it was going to work.
simplicity 2258 green linen

I bought 2.10m of the fabric, and just as well I did. The pattern calls for 1.8m, but as I had to lengthen it by a whopping 10 inches to get my desired look I needed every centimetre of extra fabric. As it is, I had to join the back, as I couldn't get the new length out of the fabric I had, but the subsequent joint is one of my favourite things about the skirt. Some people have said that it would also be cool if the yellow bias binding was on the outside, but I love it as a secret detail and love the simplicity and (gasp!) plainness of the skirt. My wardrobe is very colourful and patterned, and it's lovely to have an item that's easy to partner with other things.

If anyone wants to know how I joined the two bits of the back skirt, it was very simple. I just attached the two linen pieces to one side of the bias binding, I then stepped the seam allowances to make it less bulky, folded the binding to cover all the rough edges and put yellow thread in the top of my machine and green in the bobbin and just sewed. I took a wee bit of time to decide how to do this, and am glad that I took my time and did something I love. When I walk, the yellow shows and it adds a special touch there.
simplicity 2258 green linen skirt

I did check the finished measurements for ease, and seeing that there was a lot of ease in the finished garment I made it several sizes smaller (if following the pattern I should have done a 16, but did a 12 instead) and it's perfect tightness and I can bend and everything (always a bonus) but it's me wearing the skirt rather than the other way around! I did find that the split, due to my lengthening the skirt, became very constrictive, and I wore it on holiday on Cyprus, found it wasn't going to work and that it would prevent my wearing a garment I loved, so I have just painstakingly unpicked the french seams (sob!) and have lengthened the split by 9cm and it's much better. I also used the pocket pieced to round off the bottom of the skirt, I prefer the round hem rather than a square finish.
Speaking of the pockets, I thought the design of them was very clever - it's one piece of fabric, folded. I have not got the sewing vocabulary to describe it yet, but I do like the ease of this skirt!

I think this is without a doubt my most achieved item to date. It's almost perfect (I had real trouble neatly hemming those sharp corners at the bottom) but there's nothing I would change. It fits like a dream and I feel absolutely wonderful wearing it! I call that a success and it's wonderful to have a garment that just works.
simplicity 2258 green linen skirt

I love the ties and am glad I added them. I also rounded off the ends of these to make it softer, rather than a square end and I think these little details do sit better on linen, rather than being too square! Maybe that's just being overdramatic...! Simplicity 2258 is a winner for me, though, I would make all of the patterns on the pattern envelope. So it was a bargain for £4!
simplicity 2258 green linen

Have any of you made anything you particularly love recently?

Thanks to my brother, Donald, for taking these brilliant photos - much better than anything that's been on this blog before! (If you check out his link you'll see that these photos are a great departure from his normal style,  but I think he's moved into fashion photography very well! Pity about the awkward model....!)

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Oriental Fans Top

Simple top from New Look K6217, a free pattern from Sew magazine, which looks drab on the pattern envelope, fab in the magazine and somewhere in between on me!

I made this as a toile for a layered dress that I was making (still not finished, probably won't be, but that's a story for another day!)  and wanted to check the fit of. It's a simple, dartless top, which I made no adjustment to and just followed the instructions throughout.

It came out nice! Not sure that it's the most flattering thing I've ever worn, but I will wear it, and I love the fabric. It's a very soft, light cotton lawn that I purchased from Minerva Crafts last year. I did not know what I was going to do with it, so when this top came along it was a nice wee stash buster as well. Not that I have much of a stash to bust...!

I bought a metre of the fabric, so the top cost me £13.99 in all, which is not too bad!
overall, I think this was the best item I ever made at the time. It was technically nice, and I am still very proud of it. It's fully french seamed, and the neckline is finished with bias binding - the first time I ever did that. I did have issue doing the french seam round the curved underarms, so came up with a fairly novel approach, but if anyone has any tips on how I should have french-seamed that area please do share!

Overall I like it. It's relaxed, cool, and easy to wear. Nice simple top that I also enjoyed to make.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Marvellosa Malvarosa

Hello all! Well, 6 days in and I have not taken a single Me-Made-May photo, because I'm terrible! But I have been wearing me-mades without even thinking about it, because yee haa! I will cover all that I've been wearing in another post, but for not I want to talk about a dress extra-ordinaire: Pauline Alice's Malvarosa

This dress is one of those patterns that I see that I instantly knew I was going to make. The only question was when, not if. This was helped by seeing This Blog is not for You's wonderful version, and of course Kirsty of Top Notch's gorgeous sleeveless version.

I made the size 38 according to my measurements, but ended up taking 2cm out of each side after it was made up, because it was just vast! I know it's meant to be loose fitting, but that was taking the biscuit, and I'm left with a casually comfy dress that's just perfect (in my opinion)!

I made the option with sleeves, obviously, as I am a cold person and I wanted this dress, in all it's cordy wondrousness, to transcend all seasons. For yes, it's cord! I love cord, always have and always will, and I knew as soon as I saw the dress that it should be made in  cord. This one is from Ditto Fabrics, and cost £7.99 a metre, and I bought 2. That gives me a wee bit left over, but not enough to do anything proper with. Woe is me, because it is gorgeous fabric to wear and the colours are really lucious!

I lengthened the bodice by 5cm, and shortened the skirt. This is because I'm tall, but for my next version I wouldn't lengthen it quite so much as I think the proportions are no longer quite right. I also lined the pockets in silky polyester in bright pink on one side, which is just luscious when you put your hands in the pockets (which I do quite a lot...love pockets), but I think the light fabric compared to the cord is what is makes the pockets gape a little. Ocht weel, you can't win them all!

Things to remember for the next one:

  • Lower the bust darts... At the moment they sit about 7cm above my actual bust, coming out just below the armpits. Maybe I'm just weird,  and have a very drooopy bust, or there's something not right in the pattern there! I have not read anything on the internet about the darts not being placed right so I suspect it is me! Haha! 

  • I did find the angular sleeve very difficult to ease in, and in fact have ended up with puckers. I'm just pretending that they're part of the feature but it would be interesting to see if a lighter fabric would make that part of the make easier. 

  • I also had difficulty with the facings popping out. I understitched, stitched in the ditch along the shoulders, and still, they would not stay in! In the end I just stitched the facing to the main dress at 1cm along the front neckline, and about 5cm along the back neckline, the thread has actually disappeared into the cord so you can't see the stitching, but I'm not sure why that kept on happening! 

  • Another thing I will make sure to change when I make this again (for there will be many Malvarosa's coming to this house) is I would make the shoulders a bit wider. They do ride up off of my shoulder, and that's just because the pattern has been designed for someone with narrower shoulders than my own!

Overall, I love this dress. Really love it. It's so comfy that it feels like wearing pyjamas, and I love the colour too. It suits a cardigan and a top underneath, and yes...a success despite the difficulties! I really enjoyed the whole process, even though the recap seems to be very negative, but it really was not a negative experience! I will definitely be trying other Pauline Alice patterns after this :)

Have any of your made a Pauline Alice pattern? What did you think? Hope you all have a great day!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Me Made May 2105!

Well, I have been waiting for this moment! Here goes:

 'I, Heather of Heatherymakes, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear at least five homemade items during each week for the duration of May 2015'

I am really looking forward to this. It will be a challenge, and will hopefully show me what holes I have in my wardrobe and how I need to improve that.

The difficulty is that for May, a high proportion of my 'normal' clothing is actually along these lines:

I survey, out in the great outdoors. Although, that was taken in July(!) last year, May is normally sunnier in Scotland! Haha, normally. But, there are still t-shirts, jumpers, cardigans, and in the evenings, there is a whole diverse range of clothes that I am able to wear. Maybe I should clarify, that the me-made does not need to be worn all day. That for me is a bit of an impossibility because I am outdoors all day, and then change into more relaxing clothes in the evening.

I have many more relaxing clothes than clothes I would want to wear on a survey. My yet-to-be-blogged Malvarosa, my Anemone, trousers of doom (another pair of these are in the pipeline and I need them for Friday...)... there are options!

It is very exciting to be thinking about doing this though, and of sewing again. I have also got one sock knitted and started the second last night.

See you all soon! Have you pledged for Me-Made-May??

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Sister Shift

Good day, all!

I've got my first proper bit of selfless clothing sewing to show you today! Most other gifts I've given people have been items such as knitting bags, or cushions, however, when I received this pattern free in Sew magazine, my sister was immediately smitten and begged me to make her one.

We found the fabric together, in the now deceased Mandors in Edinburgh. It was during the closing sale, and everything was half price. Due to chronic not-very-much-money-ism, I only bought a few bits of fabric, which I will, of course, now regret forever ;)

Anyway, this beautiful Liberty fabric was half price. For the life of me I cannot find the receipt and so tell you what price it actually was, and I also can't find any record of this fabric anywhere, so I cannot tell you much about it other than that it was fabulous to sew with, has a brilliant  pattern on it (figs!), and is beyond comfortable to wear. Absolutely gorgeous, and I might, just might, have enough to scrape out a t-shirt for myself from the scraps. Here's hoping!

Does anyone know what kind of fabric it might be? It's cotton, though I think there's some wool in there too, and it's got a slight stretch. Seems cosy, so I didn't worry about lining it, and it just feels absolutely delectable.
We changed the pattern quite a bit to flatter Jen's figure. It's nipped in more at the waist, and is shorter than the pattern called for. I also lowered the neckline a bit, and as a result it suits her so much. I did a Hong Kong seams on the centre front and back seams, and french seamed the rest...apart from the french darts as I couldn't work out how to do that. We are hoping that they won't fray too much, and will catch them before they fail if they start to.
This dress is my first facing, woo hoo! Made a little more tricky by changing the neckline, but I think I did okay. It does gape a wee bit when on, but in the circumstances I think it's fine. I did try it on, but I am a size bigger than Jen, and very differently shaped so it wasn't the comfiest, but it fits her well.

Overall, I really enjoyed making this dress! I will get photos of her but it won't be for another 9 months or so (she's now pregnant....!!), but in the meantime, you'll have to make do with these hanger ones. Sorry!
Back view. My zips are improving slowly...
So, this dress does mean that I may join the Liberty fan trail, as it was just magnificent to work with, but the joy of creating a dress that fits my lovely sister so well is second to none. Let's just hope she wears it when she can again!

Hope you have a lovely day, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Joan of Arc Snood (Joannie)

Well, right from the start I loved this project. A snood big enough to wear as a hood, and styled on one of Europe's most interesting historical women? What's not to love?! 

I chose a Sirdar Kiko chunky yarn, and the colours are absolutely delish. The photos don't really do it justice, but it's like a Scottish moor in summer - the green of the grasses, sedges etc., and the purple of the heather bloom. I can almost hear the bees buzzing and smell the insanely sweet smell of heather blossom. 

But this is not an item for summer! This is most definitely an object of utter warmth. I've just worn it outside to walk my dog (even though I still have the ends to sew in....couldn't wait!) and it definitely passed the test. It's 1.6C out there just now and I was toasty warm! It was a doddle to knit, just moss stitch for the main body and a wee bit of garter stitch at the top and the bottom. It was knitted in the round, joining once the edge had been developed. But....I misread the instructions, and instead of joining it just kept knitting merrily so I ended up with a split too far up. 

I decided when I was adding the garter stitch to the cast on edge (where the error was made) to just make a slightly deeper layer of garter stitch at the back where it should have been joined, by wrapping my stitches, and this does mean that I have a much larger bottom edge than others. It doesn't show, I don't think, and it might even be an advantage in that it gives me more room to tuck the bottom edge under a jacket. No draughts are getting in here! 

I do feel slightly medieval in it, but in a good way I think! It's a very wearable snood, and if the need is there, it becomes a very wearable hood! I'm heading north to Dundreggan for the next week and it's one of the home-mades that is going with me. I doubt I'll wear it out in the field (imagine if I got it stuck to a fence when doing fence-removal!) but it will be great for the journey up and down for when I'm all chilly and tired! 

Are any of your tempted by medieval clothing? What do you think? Could it be the new fashion trend? 

Have a lovely week :)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Orange Anemone

Anemone! After months of tears, taking back, fitting issues, adjustments….I finished her. In all her wondrous, orange glory!

I received the wool for my birthday last year, which has actually just passed this year, and this attempt was the third-time-lucky-if-this-one-fails-it’s-back-to-the-drawing-board and it didn’t fail! I have ended up with a jumper that I am immensely proud of and that is super toasty and warm!

The wool is gorgeous though it is going to be prone for piling. Luckily I have a wee pile remover things from Lakeland that is a lifesaver! Hopefully a stage will be reached where there is nothing more to pile…though that might be when there is no jumper left!

The colour makes me happy, the wee dimply anemone-sucker bits delight me, and I am so chuffed to have a jumper that actually fits and pushed my skills and my patience. I have not tried washing it yet, even though I should because I have been wearing it as much as I can get away with! But hopefully it’ll be okay. I’ll just do it on gentle as can be, and hope for the best. I will probably give the arms a wee bit more of a stretch when it’s done as well, just because, despite being the same length, the right on has the slight tendency to ride up a wee bit. 

I just really love the jumper and am very pleased with the knitting. and very pleased to be finished and able to move on to different projects!!!  

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Sewn Top

Howdy all! How about a wee summer top to brighten up these dull, dark days?!

I can't remember exactly when I did this, though the newspaper I used as a template does offer some kinda clue! It was after the 8th of September. Now, even though we in Scotland had an incredibly warm September, I could not say that I've had a lot of wear out of this top!

It's from a fantastic book of mine: Made by Hand by Lena Corwin and this top was the first thing I have made from the book. Most projects are really attractive though so I am sure there will be more!
I french seamed it and took care to match the pattern at the edges. It's not perfect, but good enough for me at the moment (not sure what that even means...I am sure not taking it apart to get it even better!) and apart from the top of one armhole not matching (whoops) I am pretty pleased!
It's made out of beautiful printed linen. I can't remember the name of the maker, but at the time I did try to find it online and couldn't. I think it's going to wear beautifully though. I love the colours and the feel of the top, although it is very voluminous, but it's a silhouette that I'm starting to like more and more!

Overall, a simple top to make that I am going to really enjoy when it gets a bit warmer again!

Have any of you made some very unseasonal clothing recently?