Catching Up

Hello there!
First of all, thank you for your comments on my last 2 posts.  I apologise for not replying individually to those comments, the posts were scheduled for when I was away on holiday and I had limited internet access.
I had hoped to write a couple more posts this week, but once we got home from holiday life somehow got in the way!
We spent a lovely week in Ireland, firstly visiting some of my husbands relatives in Roscrea.  If you've seen the film Philomena, then you might be interested to know that the convent that Philomena was sent to is on the outskirts of the town.   
After spending a couple of nights with family, we moved on to stay for a few days in Killarney, then one night in Kilkenny before heading back home last Monday.  One lovely sunny day we did this tour, walking over the Gap of Dunloe, then taking a boat trip up the three lakes back to Killarney.
So, what have I got to tell you since my last post?
I had last week off work as well, and had hoped to do lots of sewing, but unfortunately I ended up spending 2 mornings at the dentist - the second of which involved having a wisdom tooth out - so I didn't actually feel like doing anything at all on those days!
I have been sewing the last couple of days though and am working on a dress that I'm very pleased with so far.  It's my next project for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network, so I can't share it with you just yet. 
I managed to get quite a bit of knitting done while we were away - and since we've been back - and I have a lovely lacy shawl to share with you later in the week. 
I have to confess that I've failed at Me Made May!  Things went completely to pot while I was on holiday - I took some Me Made tops with me and wore several of them, but spent most of the time in outdoor/walking gear.    Since I've been home, my Julia cardigan has had several wears, and my recently completed white lace topped t-shirt, but that's about it.  I hadn't really been documenting it properly this year either right from the start of the month.  Never mind, I've loved seeing what other people are wearing, and hope to do better next time!
I think that's about it for now.  I should be back later in the week with something more interesting!
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Minerva Blogger Network - A Trio of Tops

For my May project for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network I decided I needed some separates.  I chose these fabrics while I was in the middle of doing Colette Patterns Wardrobe Architect series and they fit perfectly with my need for some coordinating items to add to my existing wardrobe.
My intention was to make a top, a cardigan and a skirt - things changed a little (as they tend to with my plans!).
I first made this top from some white slub jersey.

I had ordered a new pattern for a drape neck top to use for this, but it didn't arrive in time, so I raided my pattern stash and came up with this vintage Simplicity dress.   I cut it off at hip length and although it's not the same as the one I ordered, it worked really well.
Here's a photo of it unworn - I'm rubbish at taking selfies when modelling garments. 
The fabric is pretty thin, so I need to wear a white vest underneath it, but that's no problem. 
I had lots of the fabric left over and decided to make another top.
For this one I used my self drafted jersey top pattern and a scrape of old stretch lace fabric for the yoke and sleeves.  For the body I used the slub jersey doubled.  It's nice and opaque and hangs very well.
For my cardigan I picked the same fabric, this time in navy and plumped for the Mouse House Creations Julia cardigan.  I have to say this is a fab pattern.  It came together brilliantly on my overlocker, all the pattern pieces fitted together perfectly and my husband thought it was a cardigan I'd bought when I showed it to him.
As it's navy it is pretty hard to see the details - this shot is slightly better.
My kit also contains some red stretch denim (it's called raspberry on the website, but it's redder than I think of raspberries being) which I was planning to (well, actually did!) made this skirt from.  It's a Burdastyle pattern that I've made before very successfully. 
Those of you who read my blog regularly though will already know that this didn't go quite to plan.  I messed up the front inset pockets and ended up with big puckers on both corners and darts, and I couldn't get rid of them whatever I tried.   Here's a shot of the worst pucker!
Sadly my skirt isn't wearable, but there's a metre of this fabric in the kit for you to make a lovely skirt yourself.  The fabric is really nice, medium weight with an almost brushed finish.  I think I might have to buy another metre and try again!
If you're looking to make yourself some Spring and Summer separates, you can buy this kit here.
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Have you ever tried knitting with wire?   Neither had I until recently.
A couple of months ago I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show in London, and whilst browsing the stalls came across one selling kits and ready made knitted wire jewellery.  Now I love jewellery, and I love knitting, so of course I had to treat myself.
The seller was Mahliqa - check out her website if you dare, she has some totally gorgeous pieces for sale!
I bought this kit, for a spiral necklace, in bronze wire with multi coloured Swarovski crystal accents.

The kit contained everything needed to make the necklace, except the knitting needles. 
It took a while to get used to knitting with wire, and it did hurt my fingers a bit to start with, but I soon got used to it.  The hardest thing to get used to is that of course the wire has absolutely no give to it at all.  Even the least stretchy yarn as at least a tiny bit of give. 
It was amazing to see the necklace materialise.  The pattern is very easy, and made up of short rows which create the twist for you.  It really is like magic to see it appear as you knit.
Here is my finished necklace.

I've worn it a couple of times and received some very admiring comments.  I have also bought some more supplies and made a purple one for my sister's 40th birthday.  Sadly I forgot to photograph it before I wrapped it for her! 

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I meant to share this last month, and somehow life got in the way and I never got round to it. 
I've been reading a blog called Knitted Bliss for some time.  Julie  designs her own patterns and knits gorgeous things.
She also does a weekly Modification Monday, where she features items that people have knitted by modifying existing patterns.  It can be anything, a stitch pattern from a lace shawl used on a sweater, a laceweight item knit in a much heavier weight yarn, colourwork designs used for matching sets of accessories.  You get the idea.
Well, last month Julie contacted me (ME!) and asked if she could feature my Brandywine cardigan as her next Modification Monday item.  I was very flattered and of course gave her the go ahead immediately. 
You can read the resulting blog post here. 
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Me Made May 1st - 9th

First of all, thank you all for your comments on my last post.  I know that others out there make mistakes with their sewing too, but it's lovely to hear confirmation that I'm not the only one that ruins pretty fabric!
Now on to my first Me Made May update.

I have been very good about wearing Me Made items so far, but very, very bad about recording what I've worn!  I don't seem to have had time to photograph any of my outfits so far, so I bring you photos trawled from their original posts instead (with one exception).

1st May

I started off the month with my Jamie Jeans.

2nd May

Nautical striped top. I love this and am STILL impressed with my stripe matching.

3rd May

As yet unblogged Mouse House Creations Julia cardigan.  My husband thought I'd bought this when I showed it to him!

4th May

Jamie jeans again and my spotty jersey top.

5th May

A knitted garment today - my Afternoon Cardi.

6th May

New Look 6000 floral dress for a day in the office.

7th May

An old one!  My Spotty Sorbetto with sleeves.  I think this was one of the first items I posted when I started blogging.  It doesn't get worn very often.

8th May

Anna-Danielle denim dress.  I love this dress, the combination of the Anna top and the Danielle skirt shaping is really flattering on my figure.  I'm going to make a summer version with the original cap sleeves.

9th May

Patterned peplum top.

I'm pleased with how I've done so far this month (except for the photography aspect). I suspect that the next week or so won't feature as many Me Made items.  I'm going on holiday to Ireland on Saturday evening and expect to spend much of the week wearing warm clothing that protects me from the rain!   I might be pleasantly surprised though - I did get sunburnt in Ireland once!!

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A Series of Unfortunate (Sewing) Events

You know that wonderful feeling when you're making a project that's going perfectly, everything comes together just as it should and the end result looks amazing?
Well, I've been experiencing the complete opposite for the last few weeks.  Every project (bar one - which I'll share in a couple of weeks) has been a failure. 
In the interests of honesty I thought I'd share them with you. 
The first one I actually have no photographic evidence of, so I'll give you a brief description.  I had some navy and ivory striped jersey, enough to make a dress.  I hummed and haaa-ed about what pattern to use and then for some reason decided to wing it and basically make something up as I went along. I can't remember exactly what I did or even exactly what I was aiming for now, but suffice it to say I now have some scraps of navy and ivory striped jersey and no dress. 
Then a few days later I decided I needed a new top.  We were going out for dinner with friends, and I wanted something new to wear.  I had a metre of pretty cotton lawn in my stash that I'd bought on a whim, and decided it would be perfect for a Style Arc Rosie top
Here it is:
It doesn't even look that great laying on the floor does it?  And trust me it looks even less great on.  The fabric is too stiff for the style, and after I'd finished it I somehow remembered I don't even like cotton tops anyway - because of the inherent stiffness. 
So now I have some scraps of pretty cotton lawn and a top I'll never wear. 
Thirdly, this week I have been making a skirt.  It's part of my next Minerva Crafts project, so I can't share it in it's entirety now, but I'll show you some bits of it. 
I'm using a pattern I've used before - very successfully.  It's the same pattern as this skirt I made last year.  It turned out perfectly then.  This time everything that could go wrong did go wrong. 
Firstly whilst overlocking the edges of the pieces I managed to slice through a bit that shouldn't have been sliced through.  
Then I sewed the pocket openings up completely when I sewed the curved darts at the bottom of the pockets.  These are the curved darts that aren't symmetrical and I can't get symmetrical however hard I try and are also puckered. 
Then I managed to get huge puckers at both top corners of the pockets which I cannot get out. 
And a close up of the worst one for good measure:
To top it all, I "finished" the skirt and tried it on - it's too big round the waist.  Ugh!
Quite honestly I've had enough of it.  And of sewing completely at the moment!
I've got a dress to alter for a friend, I daren't even look at it at the moment as I'm scared some disaster will befall it. 
Please tell me I'm not the only one who has runs of failures, and please tell me what I can do about it!

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Me Made May 2014

I'm not quite too late with the party for this, but as it is 1st May today, I really need to make a decision about whether I'm participating in Me Made May 2014, and what I'm going to do.
I was originally going to go for wearing at least one Me Made item every day, but in all honesty I know I'm not going to achieve that. 
I've relaxed my pledge a little and am going to wear Me Made as often as possible - basically, if I'm dithering between Me Made and RTW on a particular day, I'll make an effort to choose the Me Made item. 
I'm also going to attempt to wear as many different seasonally appropriate Me Made items over the course of the month.  I'm terrible for sticking to the same thing over and over, so this will hopefully introduce a bit of variety into the month. 
I won't be posting photos every day of my outfits, but I will do a weekly round up of what I've managed to wear.
I'm starting off the month wearing my recently completed Jamie jeans.  Expect to see quite a lot of these, because I love them.  The fit isn't perfect, but even so I can't remember EVER having a pair of RTW jeans that fit as well as these do. 
Are you participating in Me Made May?  What have you pledged?

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