The Best Thing I've Made for Ages

Hello, I hope you're enjoying your Saturday.  I've been working this morning, but have decided enough is enough and I'm going to relax for the rest of the day.

I'm here today to show you a dress I made last weekend.  The last few things I've made myself haven't been blogged because they either haven't been finished (because I don't like them) or they turned out not as nice as I thought.  I know in the interests of honesty I should blog the failures as well as the successes, but I can't be bothered.  Sorry!

Anyway, this dress is one of those projects that turned out even better than I hoped it would, and I had pretty high hopes for it.


The pattern is the Closet Case Patterns Kalle dress, which I'm sure needs no introduction.  I made a couple last summer, both in the half buttoned style.  The first time I used the longest length option on the pattern but it was to short for me, so on the second outing I lengthened it by a couple of inches.  I'm not tall, but I don't like to show my knees, and the first one fully exposed them. 

Ever since then I've been wondering about making an even longer version and when I saw this fabric I knew I had to give it a try.

The fabric is supposedly a viscose crepe from Barry's Fabrics in Birmingham.  I was in Birmingham a couple of weekends ago for a gig* and decided it would be rude to drive home on the Monday without visiting a couple of fabric shops.  I went to Barry's and the Fancy Silk Store, walking across town from my hotel near the Jewellery quarter.

Anyway, as soon as I saw the fabric I thought "maxi dress" - it was only on the way home that I thought "long Kalle shirt dress" instead. 

The alteration was easy.  I basically took my already slightly lengthened pattern pieces and added another ten inches onto them, the rest is made exactly as the pattern.  The fun part was trying to do the burrito yoke with the lengthened body pieces, it was a bit of a squeeze I can tell you, but it worked!

As you can see I've got it belted here, I wore it to a managers meeting during the week with a cropped black jacket.  I forgot to photograph it without the belt, although I'll probably wear it like that when the weather warms up, and I think it could also be worn open over a pair of cropped trousers and a top. 

I have to say, I love it.  It's slightly shorter than I anticipated a dress from this fabric being, but I think it's the perfect length for the style, belted or loose.  I've actually got some lovely fabric I bought at the Sewing Bee Live last year that I'm tempted to make into another exactly the same. 

* The gig was Nick Hodgson (ex-drummer of Kaiser Chiefs) who has recently released his first solo album.  It was an amazing evening, here is a video my friend took during the gig. 

The Craft Pot Subscription Box

I'm back with something a little different today, a review of the new craft subscription box, The Craft Pot.

The Craft Pot's About Us page begins:

The Craft Pot was set up to give everyone an excuse to actually use their little breaks during the day as breaks, and not time to check emails, wipe down the counter tops, or any other little task "that'll just take 5 minutes"

Katie Betty contacted me a few months ago, introducing the idea to me and asking if I'd be interested in reviewing a box.  She told me that The Craft Pot's main aim was to get people to 'Take Time and Make Time' for themselves, in this case in the form of crochet.  Her email emphasised the benefits of crafting on mental health, and as that's something I've written about before and feel strongly about and know has helped me personally, I was only too happy to say I'd review a box.

My box arrived last week and I was excited to see the contents. Each box contains everything you need to create a crochet project, along with a few tea bags to enjoy while you're creating.

This months project is "Not your nan's Granny stitch hat and mitts".  When I opened the box I was greeted by two cheery balls of yarn.

Underneath the yarn you'll find the pattern for the project, then the tools you'll need and some individually packaged tea bags. 


I haven't started crocheting mine yet, but the pattern looks detailed enough for a confident beginner crocheter to follow, with suggestions of places you can look online if you need additional information or assistance.

From the information and photos included it looks like the hat is a nice slouchy one and the mitts are little handwarmers.  Very cute!

The box costs £12.99 a month including UK delivery.  I think it's a great idea and as an advocate of crafting of any sort to aid good mental health I wish Katie Betty and The Craft Pot huge success. 

If you like a bit of crochet - or would like to learn - and a sit down with a cuppa, or feel you need to create yourself a little bit of me time, I'd suggest you take a look at what The Craft Pot have to offer.

You can follow The Craft Pot on Instagram here, Twitter here and Facebook here.   

* Katie Betty kindly provided me with this box free of charge in exchange for a review, but all views expressed are my own.