Recent Crafting

I thought I'd share some of the projects I've been working on recently, the things I've been doing at home - after all, the trips and outings don't happen every day!

Most recent are a couple of super quick and easy cotton t-shirts from fine cotton lawns I bought from Sew Over It. The pattern is from New Look K6217 which I've used previously so I knew it would suit me and suit the fabrics. I've made a couple of adjustments to the pattern - lengthening the body by three inches, and cutting out the back on the fold rather than two separate pieces - I don't really like the notched back-neck detail in the original, the neckline is plenty big enough to go on over my head anyway, and it saves trying to pattern match any fabric designs across the back seam. These have got to be some of the quickest things to sew, just shoulder and side seams, the only thing taking a bit of extra time is finishing the neckline with bias binding, but nothing too taxing.

The other sewing project I've finally got round to is using this stunningly gorgeous silk I bought in Venice last summer. I paid A LOT of money for it and have basically been too scared to cut into it. But, having made a previous version, I decided that the Ultimate Shift Dress from Sew Over It would be the perfect way to use it. A really simple, elegant shape, easy to sew, and comfy to wear.

The worst part of this project was actually cutting the fabric out - it was a nightmare! The silk seemed to simultaneously slip all over the place so trying to keep the grain line straight was nearly impossible, but folding it right-sides together seemed to make it cling to itself! Add to that the fact that is has a very distinctive geometric design so I had to try and match things across straight lines and it very nearly defeated me! After that, sewing up was pretty easy - I used a nice fresh sharp needle in my sewing machine, and french-seamed everything to keep all the edges neat - once cut, the silk liked to fray.

I didn't have enough silk to make the version with sleeves, but that's OK as it's not likely that I'll wear this dress in the winter anyway. I also made the same adjustment as I'd made previously by altering the neckline - high necks don't suit me so I cut in to make a notched v-neck which works much better. I wore this to a party the day after I finished it and got loads of compliments.

I'm also currently working on some knitting - I've always got knitting on the go. I had done a couple of big projects so took a break to knit a couple of simple scarves (yes, I know it's supposed to be summer...), but now I'm working on a short-sleeved lace and cable design jumper. The pattern is called Riviera by Pat Menchini and was featured in a recent issue of Knitting magazine. I always flick through magazines when they first arrive but might not read them straight away - this one I cast on to knit this jumper at least a week before I got round to reading the rest of the magazine! I'm almost finished now, the yarn is some that's been in my stash for a while but I love the colour and hope I'll still have a bit of warm-ish weather to wear it.

(Click photos to expand)