Wednesday, 15 March 2017


I love a good jersey dress, so comfortable and simple and easy to wear.  Up until now all of my jersey dress needs have pretty much been filled by the Lady Skater pattern, why fiddle with other patterns when I've got that just the way I like it and can make one with my yes pretty much shut?  Good question and the only answer I have is that Colette have recently started to accept Seamwork credits for their main patterns and I had a few credits to spend so I figured I'd give Moneta a go.
When I'd glanced at the pattern before it didn't really seem all that different, but now having made one I can see that the two patterns are distinct enough to make it worthwhile having, and using, both.  The most noticeable difference is the gathered skirt, which ordinarily is not my favourite but I quite like it here.  The gathering is achieved by super stretched sewing clear elastic on to the seam allowance of the skirt and then letting it ping back, far more satisfying than gathering by pulling threads!
The neckline on Moneta is also very different.  With no neckband in sight I was a little sceptical (I love the nice finish of a neckband) and was certainly tempted to add one of the free collar options, but I decided to keep it simple for my first go at this pattern.  The neckline on this dress is very wide on me and I wasn't sure that I liked it at first, but it's definitely grown on me and isn't so wide that it falls off my shoulders. I'll definitely be giving the collars a go in future though, just to add a bit of variety to my wardrobe.
I also like that this pattern has a sleeveless option, another reason I'm glad I have it in my collection.  It's still kinda chilly though so I used the mid length sleeves on this dress, I probably won't go for the again though, they hit me mid elbow and roll up all the time which is a bit annoying.  I am kinda short though so they obviously weren't designed that way.
I used a bright green jersey that is quite lightweight and slinky which works nicely with the gathers I think.  The colour is amazing and I love how good it looks with my Dare to Dream shawl.
I'm also quite taken with the way the green peeps through the lace of my Disco Hetty too.
All in all I'm pretty happy with this dress and I'll definitely be giving different sleeve lengths and neckline options a go in the future.  I won't be persuaded to give up my Lady Skater pattern any time soon, but this is definitely a welcome addition to my jersey dress repertoire!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

2017 Boo Challenge: Rainshine

With a new niece or nephew predicted to arrive around the end of March I should really be focusing all of my efforts on knitting teeny tiny baby things, but after completing a good percentage of their blanket I decided I could afford to take a quick shawl break.  Now that it's finished I promise that I will be hitting the baby knitting hard until the little lad/lass makes an appearance.
Rainshine was the first Boo Knits pattern that I completed and it seemed to me that it was time to revisit it.  The first one was not quite all it was cracked up to be, it was just a little too small, I wasn't mad about the colour and the yarn didn't really hold the shape as well as it needed to with those dramatic points.
This time I was a bit more savvy with my yarn choice, Fyberspates scrumptious lace has 50% silk and will hold on to those lovely points much better and the magenta colour is fabulous.  It is quite a fine yarn so I completed 6 repeats of the main pattern to make sure I ended up with a good sized shawl.
After casting off I was a little concerned that it was still on the small side but I really shouldn't have worried because the lace opened right out as soon as the shawl hit the water and it's turned out to be the perfect size.  Using such a fine yarn has meant that my points are not quite as long and dangly as last time but they are still pretty pointy points nonetheless.
It took me a really long time to choose beads for this project, I couldn't quite find any that seemed to match nicely and I wasn't sure I wanted anything too contrasty.  In the end I went for magenta lined grey Tohos which don't quite match but look pleasingly like tiny berries nestled in my knitting.  I still have well over half of the yarn left however so I'll probably try something a bit more bold when I use that up.  I'm really pleased with how it's all come together into a very beautiful shawl.
The only problem I have now is deciding whether to keep it for myself or whether to put it aside for a Christmas gift like I'd intended when I cast on!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

My Coat! Simplicity 1254

Making a coat is something I'd had on my to do list for ages, but I'd not really got round to it because it seemed like a really big project to take on.  Of course when I finally got on with it I found that it was not as big of a project as I feared and banged out a coat in just a few days!
I'd had Simplicity 1254 in my stash for aaaages and enchanted by the great big collar I dived into coat making for the first time.  I picked some coating that had been in the stash for a while as my main fabric and chose some shiny grey stuff for the lining which has honestly been in the stash since before I even had a stash.  I think I thought it would make a lovely dress back in 2007 or so but thankfully that plan never saw the light of day!  I also decided to use some yellow tartan flannel as interlining to give my coat a bit more warmth and body.  The most time consuming part of the entire project was cutting out all of those bits, but I'm glad I did, my coat is lovely and warm and the structure is just right.
I opted not to include the pockets on this coat, which did mean I had a few less pieces to cut although I'm not entirely convinced in was the right thing to do.  I felt that the pocket area looked a little sloppy on the pattern envelope, like they sort of compromised the structure somehow so I decided to leave them off.  I can't tell you how many time I've tried to stick my hands in those non existent pockets though so I probably should have included them.
On the whole, the making of this coat was fairly straightforward.  The main body and lining were very simple to construct until it came to sticking the two together.  This pattern has some seriously mixed up priorities as far as I'm concerned, dedicating barely a sentence to the lining of the entire coat and yet taking an entire paragraph to explain understitching.  Seriously just say 'understitch collar' and use the rest of the space to explain lining the damn coat properly! I'm still not convinced I did it right, but my coat is lined and that is all I can ask for.  Things did not seem much clearer when it came to sticking the collar on, but again it's on so job's a good'un as they say.
So, it may have been a bumpy ride but I achieved coat and wearable coat at that.  It has a couple of issues, the most obvious being that the zip shows and because I thought it would be hidden I used a blue one so it is even more obvious that it would have been if I'd matched it better.  I'm assuming this is my fault, but again I was confused about exactly where I was supposed to place it so I'm not taking full responsibility for that.
Also, it doesn't show on the outside but despite knowing that the lining needed to be bigger than the outer fabric I followed the pattern and cut them the same size so of course I've now popped a seam in the lining.  This was almost inevitable given that I wear Felicity in a sling on my back nearly every day and the action of getting her up there will put a lot of stress on a none too flexible seam.  This was really a lesson in giving myself some credit and trusting that sometime I do know better than the pattern.
All in all though, I'm very proud of my coat, even though I'll be giving this pattern a miss for my next foray into coat making.  I love the overall look of it, but I don't need another like it and I'll pick something with slightly clearer directions next time.  Oh and lastly, that hood that the model is so enticingly holding up on the envelope?  Don't do that.
That is all.