Saturday, 27 September 2014

Flowers for a Wedding

Not real flower arranging mind, I always seem to struggle with that effortless look some people can achieve.  No, I was asked to make some crochet flowers as napkin holders for my youngest brother's wedding.  I did know they were having a few guests, but it certainly felt like a lot when I had finished this little bundle:

I had fun playing around with which colours to put where, which ones went well together.

On the day each table different colour flower (and herb).  It was a lovely day, I'm sure my brother would say that it was totally down to the crochet flowers!!!

On the day I totally forgot to take any pictures of them in situ.  Duh.  Luckily my son obviously thought they looked nice and took a couple of photos of them for me. Excuse the lack of focus.

I created the flower pattern a while ago, it was based on a couple of others, and different things I liked about them.  My pattern uses different stitches which I think makes it look quite interesting, it also has quite wide petals because I like that too!  Flowers and hearts were some of the first patterns I learned when I started to crochet, because I wanted to put them on cards. I also wanted something quick to see if I could do it.  So I hope that this isn't too tricky for beginners out there and that you enjoy making some quick  flowers. 

Easy Flower Pattern - UK terms

R1:    Magic Circle (or Chain 4 and slip stitch into a circle)
R2:    Chain 2, 9 treble crochet into the centre, slip stitch to join (you should have 10 stitches)
R3:    Chain 1, 2 double crochet into each treble crochet from the row before slip stitch to join (there                 should be 20 stitiches now)
R4:    Chain 2, 3 treble crochet into the 1st stitch, slip stitch into the next 2 stitches, then *4 treble                     crochet into next stitch anfd slip stitch into the next 2 stitches to the end

You should end up with 7 petals and everything working fine, but if you weren't concentrating on your counting and either have too many or too few stitches don't worry these will work with 6 petals or 8 petals too!  If you look carefully you can definitely see a 6 petal flower in this bunch!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Beatles Costume

My kids both do gymnastics and each year they perform in a show to demonstrate what they have been learning.  Each year has a theme, each theme needs translating into an outfit that will also work when doing gymnastics.  It is harder than you would think!

So this year we managed to work out early on that the theme would be Beatles related.  Immediately all I could think of was Sergeant Pepper outfits.  I found a couple of tight tops in bright colours (I made one pink and one blue) and popped to the craft shop for supplies.  I knew I need some trim for the front and different trim for the shoulders.  In my head it was going to be easy.  I already had some beads and buttons at home to complete the look.  Needless to say it wasn't quite as easy as I had imagined!  Nor was it as quick, even when I admitted defeat and used craft glue instead of sewing the second top!

I think they turned out well.  Here is a picture of one of them, not because it was completed first and the second one was only completed the morning of the show, nope, nothing to do with that at all...

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Look What I Made - Pyjama Trousers

So, watching my daughter sewing all sorts, including some skirts, but also bags, trousers, and some appliqué, I figured it couldn't be that hard and certainly I didn't have to fear the sewing machine any more.

So I waited until the house was quiet, and I could bin the creation if necessary, and I had a go.  I found a simple pattern for drawstring trousers in a charity shop, and an old sheet - also from the charity shop and just went for it.   

Actually when I opened the pattern I bought, it seemed to be missing the "back" section for the trousers,so I just turned over the "front" section and kept my fingers crossed. I basically cut out four leg sections and then sewed down the seams.  Then the pattern said to turn one leg the right way round and slot it into the other leg and then sew the legs together.

I finished that and I was so pleased, and then realised I managed to sew the legs totally together so there was a seam running up the middle of the trousers.  Doh!  I unpicked and did it again and finally I had something that looked like a pair of trousers.  I had cheated earlier on and cut the bottom of the legs along the already completed hem of the sheet, so that was already done, all I needed to do was the waist.  I cheated with that too.  I ignored the pattern with its waistband ideas and simply folded over the existing material, twice to make a casing for the elastic I already had to hand.  And then, I had completed my first pair of trousers:

They are not perfect, and things that are wrong with these pj bottoms, include:
- the legs are actually different widths  (I'm still learning to be accurate with the sewing machine!)
- the hems at the bottom of the legs and different heights (something I didn't spot when I was cutting out the material)
- the seams inside are not nice and flat as directed by the pattern and as my daughter had only demonstrated to me the day before (still actually no idea how she managed that)
- the "casing" for the elastic is very wibbly wobbly, I can't take out pins and carry on sewing at the same time apparently

However, they do fit my little girl and they do actually look like a pair of trousers!  I think I'm going to have a go making some for me next.  I'll see if I can show the progress with pictures - to keep you guys amused with my lack of skill!