Oops, I did it again

I am rubbish at delayed gratification. I can hold out for just so long, but I always end up finishing off the box of chocolates, or buying the new pair of shoes. So it’s probably a dangerous thing for me to be reading inspiring blogs… what with the Colette Spring Challenge, and Karen’s dressmaking class, and Tilly’s guide to cutting the right size pattern… well, I went and ordered up these 3 patterns:

Do you think it makes it all OK if I just use materials from my stash?

Colette Spring Palette Challenge

I was attracted to this challenge because it’s so open: you pick your own colours, patterns, and number of garments to make.  The theme is a spring wardrobe, but that’s so beautifully subjective isn’t it?  I got a bit snazzy with Photoshop (if I say so myself) and here’s the plan colour-wise:

The fabric on the left came from Ikea – I think it’s amazing, but it’s far too heavy for dressmaking.  Maybe cushions?  Blinds?  Upholstery?  I don’t want to force a project out of it, so I’m leaving it in the stash but using the colours as inspiration.  The outfits are from Diane von Fursternberg’s Pre-Fall 2011 Collection (photos from Style.com): luscious aren’t they?  And the top-left fabric is another from my stash and will definitely be slotting into this project somewhere.

I’m aiming to do at least 4 garments by the end of the 10 weeks – the next stage is to work out what they’ll be.  Apologies in advance, but Simplicity 2406 might possibly just perhaps be calling me yet again…  Does eveyone get pattern obsessions, or am I just sad?

Livin’ the dream…

So, one of my best friends is about to head off on Massive Travelling Aventure Part 2: getting round as much of Central and South America and Australasia as possible in the next year, or until the money runs out.  I’m just back from a brilliant girly weekend catching up and wishing her bon voyage.  And I finally handed over her Christmas present:

Hard as I tried to line the squares up accurately, lots of them still ended up wonky.  Maybe I did get a little slapdash, but there are 49 little squares in there!  It took long enough already!

Funnily enough, my friend is hoping to collect fabric from loads of different countries on her travels, and make a patchwork quilt out of them when she gets home.  Ok now I’m jealous.  If there’s any extra room in that backpack, please bring back a little stash for me…

Crochet, beautiful crochet

I’ve just finished my first exceedingly satisfying crochet project. As mentioned in my last post, I did learn a bit of crochet when I was little, but it was from a extremely retro Ladybird book which banged on about gauge and measuring your stitches far too much (in my 7 year old opinion). 

So this tutorial from Carly was a lovely introduction to chain stitch, double and triple crochet (to the point that I was running around squeaking ‘I can crochet!  Look, I can crochet!” – husband in the shower not significantly impressed).  And now I have a beautifully cosy snood:

I want another crochet project!  Preferably another one with Rowan Big Wool (the name just makes me happy, I’m easily pleased).

Oooh, shiny things


I bought these off Amazon about 6 months ago for two loosely justifiable reasons – (a) I did do some crochet when I was about 7, and (b) they’re just so pretty.  The photo doesn’t even do them justice. 

Having a vague memory of one or two crochet stitches, I tried learning the ‘magic ring’ from a YouTube video… whoa, way too ambitious. (I just liked the terminology.  Not just any old crochet, let’s do magic crochet).  Anyway, the hooks have been quietly biding their time in the cupboard, and I think I’ve found the perfect beginner project…

Simplicity 2406 Take 2

I’d popped into a fabric shop to buy some navy voile-type stuff and lining for a potential project, and on the way out I saw a bundle of this fabric in the bargain bin… Not something I’d usually be drawn to, but I couldn’t quite walk off and leave it.  Queuing up at the till for the second time, the bloke said “Looks like you’ll be busy” – but for a while, I’ve had no idea what to do with it.  (And I haven’t started the navy project either.  Bad Amy).  The fabric’s actually quite gorgeous – heavy polyester, but with a lovely satiny finish, and silvery threads worked through the flowers so it shimmers. 

Cue Simplicity 2406: after the success of my fairground dress, I fancied trying it again with a few tweaks (slightly lower neckline, slightly higher hemline, different sleeve option).  Round 2 has taught me this:

  • The instructions are a nightmare.  I assumed I just hadn’t read them properly the first time round, so I studied them METICULOUSLY.  After ripping out the pocket seams for the 3rd time, I finally gave up and found a good tutorial here instead.
  • I really don’t like using black thread.  It just looks messy, especially if there’s any zigzag stitch involved, and if you go wrong it looks like squished up spiders.  Nice.
  • The different sleeve options are great!  Two down, one to go…

I finished the hem at about 7pm last night, before wearing it out to dinner at 7.30.  Hooray!


PS – do you like the shoes?

Cynthia Rowley Dress Simplicity 2406

(Hmm, slightly over-modelled pose, but it was better than all the other shots, believe me.)

I can’t remember whether I saw the fabric or the pattern for this dress first, but they’re both so fun it seemed obvious to match them up.  I love the unusual sleeve design.  The instructions didn’t make much sense, but it was fairly easy to figure them out as I went along (on the first sleeve anyway – got overconfident on the other one and mucked it up).  The fabric looks vaguely floral from a distance, but up close it’s actually a little fairground design:

It’s 100% cotton and creases like crazy, but I think it’s definitely worth getting the iron out for.

Finally, here’s the dress on Diana, but sadly you need arms to really work this style.  And a belt.



I’m Amy.  I love starting sewing projects, but I’m pretty bad at finishing them.  This blog is my attempt to make myself actually complete something, so I can post about it here. 

I’ve been reading some brilliant blogs for a few months now (see Blogs I Like); and keeping under the radar, a bit unsure whether I’m brave enough to join in with the big girls… But the more I read, the more it seems that everyone’s saying: come on in! the water’s lovely!

So, here I am.  First project coming soon…