Monday, 28 July 2014

a wedding

A very modern wedding. I really love these deeply personal ceremonies: a bit of this tradition, a bit of that. 

A three-year-old boy walking down the aisle with his mum, whilst his dad and his big brother wait at the other end. A deconsecrated chapel housing a very inclusive, very civil - in every sense of the word - do.

I made dresses for my girls, using the Bella dress pattern. I added some elastic shirring at the waist and sleeves. For my older daughter, I used some fabric I had embroidered on a while back.


For her sister I used Heather Ross' Princess and the Pea fabric which is completely beautiful, soft and light.

But, in many ways my proudest achievement that day was made not from fabric, but from loom bands (z?).

The bride and groom sent a piece of bunting out with every invitation, asking that all guests make...something. 

So this is what I did. As well as all the things that have happened in my life this year, as well as being the year of this special wedding; this year will always be the year of loom bands.

Guided by some of the kids at school I followed this tutorial and damn, it was complicated! Those looms were designed for fingers much smaller and younger than mine. I made a figurine for each member of the family. Just don't look too close.

I love this kind of challenge, but can see how troubling this is to the non-crafter. 
A fair few guests spoke in hushed tones about the deep stress they had had over the bunting, and really, couldn't they have just bought a set of serviettes instead? 

Blurry iphone photos as I (the DJ) was a bit blurry by this stage

They strung all the pieces up at the party, and don't they look beautiful? Steak knives wouldn't give you that. So personal and special, just like the day.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Glastonbury top

I have been sewing like a woman possessed lately. I don't really know why, perhaps the seasonality of certain crafts (wool based = winter, sewing = summer). Whatever the reason: if there is sewing funk I have been giving it up. 

I made this top with my upcoming trip to Glastonbury (whoop whoop, first time after an eight year hiatus) in mind. I chose the fabric because it was full of things you might find there. I had a search around for simple sleeveless patterns and found this one bought from an Etsy seller:

Let's hope it's not buried under a cagoule the whole time. Please.

I also made two of these simple blouses for work.

The little patch of Liberty fabric is quite dear to me as it is the same as a dress and bloomers my Granny made me when I was tiny.

I made the second one a bit longer, more a tunic length to go over skinny jeans. 

You basically cut out the front and the back, and sew them together. Add some bias binding and that's it. I decided to add the asymmetric panel because I felt that's what David Bowie would do if he made blouses for his job as an art teacher. And I try to think of what David Bowie would do every day.

More to come, but for now I'm off, off to where the ley lines meet, the kids will be at my mum's... if you see me say hello!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

You Can Call Me Owl

I finished the cable owl tank top. Cabled owls and no pattern. This was boldly going to new frontiers in crochet for me. And I don't even watch Star Trek. I put the link to the tutorial I found helpful to make the crochet owls in my last post. 

Structurally speaking, a tank top is pretty simple. So when I couldn't find what I wanted, I decided to just go for it on my own. I looked at the pictures of this pattern for a bit of guidance on shaping. A train journey to Nottingham and some ribbing along the bottom and it was finished.

This experience has reinforced my belief in the tank top as a superior garment. What else keeps your vital organs warm, your hands free, and allows you to wear three owls on your chest, all whilst looking badass?? Nothing, that's what.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Owl odyssey

I fell down some rabbit holes recently looking at crochet owls on PinterestWho knew there were so many ways to crochet an owl? Not me. 

In the end I chose this one. Meant to be an iPhone cover but now my older daughter uses it as her, umm, make up bag. 

Then, I had a go at this one and I loved it, it's basically a granny square. Before I knew it I had finished a couple. Another surprise: it turns out owls are pretty quick to do. 

But the biggest achievement for me has been getting the hang of crocheting an owl in cable. There a lot of tutorials around for this, but they all defeated me. I finally found one that was (almost) easy to follow here. It took a practice run but I got it. I was too impatient to watch the video, just followed the pattern for the owl.

I am making a little tank top for them to roost on (do owls roost?) nicely dovetailing my belief in the tank top as the ultimate garment with my new skills.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Sensible cords

I made these cords for my little fella Nat. Deep red with an elasticated waist and leg cuffs, I bet they feel amazing. 

Sometimes I think one year olds have all the fun. All this and you get to eat cat food when no one's looking. Stairs are unbelievably exciting. Naps in the day. Drop your bunny and someone adoring will pick it up.

Nice and roomy for his big old nappy clad bum.

I got the pattern from the wonderful Minikrea brand that I wrote about here. I did the simple view and appliqued on some kneepads because this kid's knees are seeing some heavy work at the moment.

This were so painless to make that I am going to do more. Next up in this cotton lawn for the summer. 

 After that, perhaps in denim and then a mustard corduroy for the autumn. To be teamed with a smoking jacket and cane. Boy's fashion: it's a lot more fun than I thought it would be.

Thursday, 27 March 2014


I took Mr Year to Barcelona. It was a surprise present for a significant birthday. 

Delicious churros, an incredible final score, and a great flea market. I sadly did not come home with the tiny furniture or the pink typewriter but the much more baggage allowance-friendly box of colouring pencils.

Spanish names for colours are very beautiful. Amarillo cromo. 

I am going to keep little hands away from these.