Thursday, 24 September 2015

8 pounds lighter and a Laurel dress

Those of you that read my blog regularly, know that I joined Slimming World a month ago.  Anyway tonight I got my half stone award and I am 8 pounds lighter than I was 4 weeks ago!

As a treat to myself, I have started sewing the Colette Laurel dress.

There are loads of gorgeous versions out there, and I've been adding them to my pinterest board Laurel Ideas. I've had this pattern in my stash for a while now and the material is a tartan that I scored in Goldhawk Road ages ago. I'm making version 1.

Have you made the Laurel, if so leave me a link to your blog or photo....

Catherine x

Monday, 21 September 2015

A finished pair of last

I've finally got round to finishing a pair of socks that I started a long time ago! I had one knitted and one on the needles this time last year, so it's been pretty slow progress.

The sock pattern is from an excellent book called Favorite Socks. There are twenty five patterns in this book and these are the first pair that I have got round to making

The socks I chose to knit are called Retro Rib Socks by Evelyn A. Clark.  They are a relatively simple knit and purl pattern made a bit more special by the twisted rib created by knitting through the back of the loops on the knit stitches.

The socks are knitted on four or five needles in the round. The books gives instructions for five needles but I prefer four.

I used 2.5 mm needles and the yarn used was Regia Stretch 4ply (now discontinued) which is a mix of pure new wool, nylon and polyester. The instructions are clear and easy to follow and I think a beginner sock knitter could tackle these socks if they wanted to try something a bit more interesting than a plain stocking stitch sock!

It has taken me about 2 years to finish these socks and I'm quite pleased with the end result!

However I have discovered it is very hard to get a decent photograph of your own feet. Any tips for photographing socks welcome!

On other news, I've now lost a total of six and a half pounds, so feeling pleased with myself.

Have you got any knitting UFOs?

Catherine x

Thursday, 10 September 2015

A Lilou Dress

In my last post, I mentioned that I was trying to lose some weight before making myself anything new! I've lost another pound this week, so that makes five pounds in total so far! I've been trying to finish a few things off instead...

sLilou dress - Tilly and the Buttons - Love at First Stitch

Anyway I finally got round to finishing off this dress that I started ages ago this week.  The dress is the Lilou Dress from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes.  The dress features a scoop neckline and the bodice is fully lined. There are also options for making a scalloped neckline version and normally features a pleated skirt.

Lilou dress - Tilly and the Buttons - Love at First Stitch

This is the hardest project in the book. This is the first time I've attempted a lined bodice and I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

Lilou dress - Tilly and the Buttons - Love at First Stitch

The material was a cotton that I had originally planned to make a skirt from. As I only had a metre and a half of fabric, I did not have enough material for the pleated skirt.  I decided to make the version using the Clemence skirt pattern from Love at First Stitch, which is a simple gathered skirt that you draft  yourself.

Lilou dress - Tilly and the Buttons - Love at First Stitch

Unfortunately the really gathered skirt isn't that flattering on my hips at the moment although it looks lovely on my dummy! If I was to make this pattern again I would make sure that I had enough material to make the pleated skirt or use a less gathered skirt such as the skirt from my  New Look 6262.

Lilou dress - Tilly and the Buttons - Love at First Stitch

For the bodice, I cut a size 5 based on my measurements and the fit is pretty good. I did not need to make a FBA this time. I made a muslin of the bodice first and moved the darts down by an inch, something I seem to have to do on most patterns.The bodice is lined with a cotton voile that I had in my stash which is lovely and lightweight.  The instructions were very clear and I think I would like to use this method again as it finishes the dress beautifully inside.   Unfortunately I think I should also have shorted the straps by a small amount as they do tend to slip off my shoulders.  I didn't notice this at the muslin stage.

Lilou dress - Tilly and the Buttons - Love at First Stitch

The bodice is hand-stitched using tiny invisible stitches to the skirt. It took me a bit of time to work out how to do the slip-stitch but it definitely is worth doing.

Lilou dress - Tilly and the Buttons - Love at First Stitch

The invisible zip is pretty good too although it does gape out a bit at the top of the back neckline. I don't know if maybe the fabric stretched out even though I stay stitched the neckline?

Lilou dress - Tilly and the Buttons - Love at First Stitch

I didn't want to shorten the dress by turning a double hem so I used white bias binding to finish the hem and I think this is a really neat way of hemming a dress.

Lilou dress - Tilly and the Buttons - Love at First Stitch

I'm pretty pleased with this dress, and as the weather has improved it might even get worn this week!

Have you made the Lilou dress? Did you have to make any adjustments to it?

Catherine x

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

A little update!

So summer seems to be over, the kids are back to school this week and I really didn't get much sewing done this summer at all!

In fact my only completed make this summer was my Strawberry New Look 6262 that I blogged about here! I have worn it a lot though so it has been a success.

As well as a lack of time, one of the reasons for lack of sewing was the fact that quite a few more pounds than I'd like have crept on over the last couple of years. Coupled with a lack of exercise in the last year caused by achilles tendonitis, even some of the handmade clothes I'd made in the last year were starting to get a bit tight!

Rather than half heartedly dieting, I decided two weeks ago to join Simming World. It's a sensible eating plan, and it's pretty easy to follow with out feeling like you are denying yourself.  So far in the last two weeks, I've lost four pounds  in total and I have a target weight loss of two stone in total to reach. I'm feeling optimistic as I know Slimming World works as I followed it before when my daughter was small. I thought sharing my plan here on my blog would further incentivise me to stick to it! I also went a physiotherapist about my achilles tendonitis last week and had acupuncture and ultrasound. I'm going back next week so hopefully the treatment will help so I can get back to running.  In the meantime, I can go to the gym or use my exercise bike.

As I'm following a healthy eating plan,  there will be no stitching for myself in the immediate future. I've created a Pinterest board from my existing pattern stash that I'd like to stitch this winter once I'm nearer my target weight. I'm not going to make any official stitching plans though.

Instead I'm going to concentrate on my knitting as I have quite a few UFOs to get on with,  including the cardigan I'm making for my sister after she saw mine here - so expect a few knitting posts! I might also try my hand at making some accessories if I fancy sewing...

Anyway here are a couple of my favourite patterns for Autumn/Winter:

Deer and Doe Pavot

New Look 6298
Burda B8281

I've also treated myself to a new pattern, Mcalls M7241, lovely isn't it!

Mcalls M7241

I'll let you know how I get on with the diet! In the meantime I'd love to know what you've got planned to stich for Autumn/Winter 2015?

I'm also planning on going to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in October so that's something to look forward to!

Catherine x