Making a maternity top

Buying maternity clothes has not been easy. Hardly any shops have them for you to try on. 99% is online only and it’s very annoying!

So I ordered a Burda pattern to make a top and possibly some cropped trousers too.  The pattern said it was super easy and I thought it would be good to have a go at sewing with jersey fabric too, which I’ve never done before.

So this is what I did over the Easter weekend last week.

My first decision was whether to use an overlocker to seam and finish at the same time, or to use a stretch stitch on my sewing machine instead. I chose the latter figuring if something went wrong I’d be able to fix it easier.

My sewing machine has different stretch stitches and overlocking type of stitches for neater finishing of seams, so I experimented on some left over pieces of fabric after cutting out the main pieces and settled on the stitches I would use.

On the whole it was pretty easy to put together. I particularly liked using the twin needle. The hems look quite professional finished this way.

sewing-with-twin-needle

The only issue I had was with the neck.  You had to cut a strip, fold it in half lengthways wrong sides together and tack it all the way around the neckline. You stitch in place, snip around the curves, then fold it back inside the top and tack and then top stitch in place. The problem was that when I folded it back inside the top and tacked it, I could see it wasn’t going to lie flat.

After showing Mum, I mentioned that the strip for the neck barely met at the ends. She suggested that I needed to sew the strip into a circle first, slightly shortening it and then ease that into the neckline. It might bring it in.

So I spent ages unpicking the line of stretch stitching that I’d done. It was very tedious and fiddly. Grrr… and after all that, the neck looked even worse and curled out. It was like there was too much fabric when I folded the strip back.

So in the end I didn’t fold it back. The strip was quite happy to sit as it was. So I just neatened the seams and voila!

jersey-maternity-top

Baby’s First Cardigan

I’ve finally finished knitting our baby his first cardigan.  I started it before we had the 20 week scan so we didn’t know if it was a boy or girl.  I knitted it all apart from the button band and then had to wait till mid-February to know which side to put the buttons and buttonholes on.

Trouble is, I lost momentum then and started knitting something else.

However I picked it up again recently to finish it off and thought to myself that it was look quite large, for the 0-6 months size.  When I measured I found that it was a bit too big in places, so I had to undo and shorten both front pieces and the sleeves. (The length of the back was fine!). Don’t know how I measured them before but they were longer than they should have been.

Finally sewed it together and put on the buttons this week and I’m pleased with the outcome.

bumphreys-first-cardigan.jpg

The pattern is a Sirdar one: #4423 Cardigans in Sirdar Snuggly Baby Cotton DK and that’s the yarn I used too. Sadly it has now been discontinued, but any DK yarn could be used instead.

My Jungle-Themed Baby Quilt

The last three months have been a bit up and down in terms of my energy levels.  I thought the second trimester mums-to-be were meant to have lots of energy again, however this little one still takes it out of me some days!  He’s getting quite wriggly and obviously having growing spurts. My friends keep commenting on how much my tummy seems to be  growing!

We’ve set up the nursery with a jungle theme, largely inspired by the Makower Baby Jungle quilt panel and fabric, which we got in the shop earlier this year.

A few weeks ago I spent an hour making a lampshade for the nursery in the Jungle Scenic fabric. Previously we had a lampshade which made the room quite dark, but this new one makes such a difference.

 

nursery lampshade

And finally, this week I found some time and energy to make up one of these panels into a quilt for our little one.

I simply added a couple of borders in co-ordinating fabric and backed it with the scenic fabric again to tie in with the lampshade. Instead of a traditional binding, I did the inside-out method (at least this is my name for it!). I put the front and back pieces right sides together with wadding underneath, sewed almost all the way around and turned inside out. I then quilted it and stitched up the gap for turning.

jungle theme baby quilt

I’m so pleased with it!

My 10th Blog Anniversary

10th-birthday-balloons-11-inch-latex-ball1359_th2Wow! It dawned on me today that yesterday was my blog anniversary but I hadn’t twigged until just now that it is the 10th anniversary of starting this blog, and therefore 10 years ago when I started knitting in earnest as a keen newbie. I almost wasn’t going to write a blog post as my crafting mojo has been very up and down this past year or two. I still love knitting and sewing but what with renovating a house for 18 months and finally moving into it in the summer and running your own business, I just get in from work and don’t have the energy to do anything.

The past three months though, I’ve had a good excuse for feeling extra tired… we’re expecting a baby in July! In fact today, on my last day of the Christmas holiday break, I went shopping in Exeter to try and buy some maternity trousers. All my jeans and trousers are getting a bit tight now.There is a distinct lack of maternity wear around in the shops. What are women meant to do? I did get a pair of maternity jeans in JojoMamanBebe. They are way too long though and the waist is a bit high, but they’ll do and I can take up the length. I get the feeling they are catering for taller women.

I’m not going to bother to do a list of what I achieved last year and my aims for this year. With a baby on the way, who knows what I’ll have time to do.

I have however started some baby knitting – a plain white cotton cardigan. We won’t know if we’re having a boy or girl for another 6 weeks but I was dying to knit something, so plain white it had to be.

My Armchair Sewing Caddy

I have finally finished this arm chair sewing caddy.  My husband hates it when I drop my needle or scissors down the side of the sofa whilst sewing and so having this caddy beside me will hopefully stop me doing this.

sewing-caddy

I looked on Pinterest for ideas of what style to make and I used some fat quarters I bought from Joann many years ago on holiday in Florida. I’m pretty pleased with it. I think I will make a thread catcher to go with it, which will perhaps attach to the front of it.

I started a very exciting small sewing project this week, which I will probably get finished tomorrow, so I should be posting again very soon!

Love Crafting!

On Saturday, Mum and I, together with the 11 year old daughter of a friend of mine, went to the Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycraft Show at Westpoint, Exeter. Mum and I have been most years but it was delightful to take my friend’s daughter too, because I got to see the show through fresh eyes. She’s been coming to us for sewing lessons after school and loves crafting and as we walked in, a huge smile came across her face!

There wasn’t much in the way of yarn and fabric at this show – there never usually is to be honest – it’s more of a paper and bead crafts show, but there was still a lot I could have spent my money on.

There were a lot of kits at the Pinflair stand which I could have bought, but I did limit myself to the Christmas Tree Surprise Kit.

I’m particularly excited about the needle felting kit though. I’ve never done needlefelting before so Mum and I thought we’d have a go. She bought a couple of different kits: one is a picture and the other two bunnies.

I’m all excited to get on with some crafting now… but I just don’t know where to begin!

FO: Baby Blossom Cardi

We have a new yarn in the shop for this coming Autumn from Sirdar. It’s called Baby Blossom Chunky and it arrived just a few weeks ago.

It’s a really clever self-patterning yarn, which gives the appearance of an ombre effect in one colour and then a field of flowers!

I decided to knit a v-neck cardigan from one of the accompanying pattern leaflets to see if this would work for me… And it did!

baby-blossom-cardi

I did actually knit 3 front pieces, because when I did the second, no blossom pattern appeared. It was just about to start at the point I finished the front. So I reknit it, and used the yarn from the “spare” front for a sleeve, because I didn’t mind if that wasn’t patterned.