Monthly Archives: July 2014

Crochet Colour Palette: Parasol

When it comes to starting a new crochet project one of the most fun and sometimes challenging aspect of the project is deciding on the colours to use. That’s where we can help. Every week we will be posting a crochet colour palette of the week matched back to a range of wool stocked here at the Homemakery. Over time we will build up a library of crochet colour palettes so if you are ever looking for inspiration pop back and click on the tag Crochet Colour Palette.

I confess I have a thing for this gorgeous shade of Mint from Rico Essentials Merino DK, it just looks great with everything! This week I have paired it with Navy, Blue, Lemon and Coral for a really lovely Crochet Colour Palette, the yarn pack has sat on my desk all week and its caught my eye every time I walk past. Its such a versatile colour palette I hope you like it!

Crochet Colour Palette: Parasol featuring Rico Essentials Merino DK

This weeks Parasol inspired Crochet Colour Palette uses primary coloured yarns from Rico Essentials Merino DK, a scrumptiously soft virgin wool.

Navy Navy (28), Light Blue Light Blue (34), Mint Light Mint (33), Yellow Light Yellow (63), Coral Melon (72)

You can find the whole Parasol yarn pack with 10% off  all this week here

A Dashwood Dress in a Day – Colette Truffle

On Friday we took delivery of the new range of Cotton Lawns from Dashwood Studios. Lawns are a new venture for Dashwood and the first two prints to get the lawn makeover were from the September Blue Collection by Susan Driscol.

Lawns from Dashwood

I  popped an instavid comparing the weights of the traditional Dashwood cotton with the lawns over on Instagram and as I was making the video I got thinking…..I need to make a dress from this lawn!

Let me tell you a) I am quite impulsive, b) I have never made a dress before in my life. Yes a couple of skirts or tops here or there. But a dress which requires fitting to my shape nope, I’ve always intended to but never quite got around to it.

Handily I had a few dress patterns on hand thanks to the Colette Sewing Handbook which I bought last summer and had been since consigned to the bookshelf. The book comes with 5 exclusive Colette patterns, 3 dresses, 1 top and 1 skirt.

IMG_3691

After a quick flick through it I decided to make the Truffle dress, only without the ruffle down the front. Each pattern comes with detailed step by step instructions in the book and so I began!

IMG_3698

I took my measurements as suggested by the book and was a little stumped when it suggested I was a Size 4 (UK Size 8) on top and a size 8 (UK Size 12) on the bottom. I would say I’m a fairly consistent UK Size 10 or US Size 6 . Based on what I know about my figure I know I have a small bust, a broader back and a longer torso, so I decided  to ignore the Size 4 top and go with a Size 6 but stick with a Size 8 bottom just in case!

Before I started making the dress I did something I never do and that is pre-wash the fabric! Dashwood Lawns are new and I wanted to see how they held up to washing at 40C I’m happy to report they held up just fine and felt as soft coming out as they did going in! If there was any shrinkage it wasn’t obvious but I did have a few threads tangle at the end which is to be expected.

So I set to cutting my pattern, I made one adjustment to the top pieces and extended them by 1 inch to take account of my longer torso. I traced them onto Baking Paper and included the extension there rather than cutting the pattern and inserting an extra piece. I have virtually no shop bought dresses that sit on my natural waist so I felt this was one adjustment that was reasonable to make for everything else I left it as is.

Based on the instructions in the book it suggested that I would need 2.5m of lawn fabric, in fact as I dropped the ruffle and thanks the extra wide yardage I was able to comfortably fit all the pieces on 1.25 metres of fabric! The picture below shows the fabric folded in half which gives you a sense of the scale.

IMG_3686

There were two things that made me nervous about making the Truffle and that was the bodice lining and the invisible zip. I used a cheap beige cotton poplin for the bodice lining which gave some structure to the dress but also meant I could have a practice making the bodice before cutting into the Lawn!

The trickiest thing for me was installing an invisible zip which I have never done before and since the book recommends an invisible zipper foot and I don’t have one, that was always going to be a problem. But I used my regular zipper foot and sewed as close as I could to the zipper and amazingly I have an invisible zip!

So here are a few photos of my finished dress, just to let you know it was my other half taking the photos and since he has the attention span of a nat when it comes to taking photos I popped my camera on to automatic and the result is that the dress looks a lot brighter and lighter in the photos than it does in real life. The photos of the fabrics above are much more representative of the shade of blue of the fabric.

Colette Truffle without the ruffle

This is the only back shot I have of the dress and as you can see, my zip really is invisible!

Truffle from the front

Putting in darts was nice and easy and the instructions in the book are very clear. Truffle darts Truffle from the side

In general I found the instructions straight forward to follow when I didn’t understand something I found an answer in the book rather than having to google it! I loved that the book was spiral bound so that it always lay flat, why aren’t all craft books spiral bound its so useful?

Colette Truffle without the ruffle

So do I love the dress? Yes I do the style is a bit Bodenish, which isn’t a bad thing, I have a lot of Boden, with the high neckline it would have been perfect as a summer dress for my old city job. Will I wear it again? Absolutely the lawn is lovely, its cool, soft and perfect for this time of year and I am going to be the smartest looking order packer ever!

Colette Truffle without the ruffle

If I were to make it again I would try sizing down the bodice to the Size 4 (UK 8) as I think a Size 6 is a little large for my bust (they were right after all), I would also extend the waist darts higher to compensate for the extension I made to the bodice.  I would probably keep the Size 8 (UK 12) bottom as thats spot on and try and make the neckline a little lower.

So whilst its not perfect for my first ever dress I’m pretty chuffed! I loved working with the Lawn and I cannot wait to see what other Lawns patterns Dashwood have up their sleeves, I feel a series of Dashwood dresses coming along!

Colette Truffle without the ruffle

If you fancy making a Truffle with or without a ruffle you can find the book here. I used the Blue Bird & Bud Dashwood Studio Lawn with Beige Cotton Poplin for the lining and Aurifil 50wt white thread.

Happy Sewing!

Kate signature

Farmer’s Wife: No. 9 Box, No. 12 Broken Sugar Bowl

Week 7 of my Farmer’s Wife Project and this week I wanted to give my shoulder a good chance of recovery so I left my blocks until this weekend and I’m glad I did, such an improvement on last weekend.

No.9 Box

I’ve had my eye on this Cottage Floral fabric from Sevenberry for a while so it was only a matter of time before I incorporated it into my farmers wife! I really love it with the gold spots and will probably pair it with pink for another block. I really feel I don’t have enough pink in my blocks at the moment and as a girl who LOVES pink I set to rectifying that this week!

Farmers Wife No 9 Box

For Box I used Sevenberry Cottage Floral in Pink paired with Sevenberry Gold Spot

No.12 Broken Sugar Bowl

I love this block, I almost wanted to give myself a high five when I finished it, because I think I nailed this one. The fabrics are perfect and I didn’t use my stitch ripper once, which truly is a miracle! Perhaps after 7 weeks something has clicked, I have sussed out my new sewing machine, I have got better at rotary cutting and piecing and it all came together with this block!

Farmers Wife No 12 Broken Sugar Bowl

For this block I used  Lecien Floral Collection Medium Rose in Green the pink fabrics are Sevenberry Pink Spot on White and Storybook Playtime Pink Circles.

If you fancy joining in you can find the Farmer’s Wife book at Amazon or if you are new to quilting and are not sure where to start I thoroughly recommend checking out Camille Roskelleys class on Craftsy called Pre Cut Piecing Made Simple it will give you all the tools you need to start patchworking and indeed Farmers Wifing. You can read my thoughts on her class here.

Happy Sewing and see you next Sunday for instalment number 8!

Kate signature

Customising your Christmas Wish Advent Calendar

Completed Dashwood Studio Advent Calender finished

It seems I’m not the only one taken by Christmas Crafting in July, our Christmas Wish Advent Calendar Panels have been flying out the door since my how to post earlier in the week. I appreciate my version of the calendar was probably on the girlier side and I had a couple of questions from customers on other co-ordinating fabrics and bias bindings that could also be used with the panel.

Christmas Wish fabrics and binding

I’ve pulled together some co-ordinating fabrics and bias bindings so you can see how they look alongside the panel which will hopefully make customising your advent calendar a little easier.

Backing fabrics

A few options for backing fabrics from Dashwood Studios and Sevenberry

Christmas Wish Fabrics

Left Side: All Dashwood Studios: Snowflake Red, Snowflake Green, Snowflake Blue, Gingerbread, Flurry Teal

Right Side: All Sevenberry: Red Gingham, Red Spot, Red Ticking, Sage Green Gingham, Sage Green Spot, Sage Green Ticking, Light Pink Gingham, Light Pink Spot, Light Pink Ticking

These fabrics could also be used to make your own bias binding, one fat quarter should be more than enough for 2.5 inch binding.

Bias Bindings

We have quite a lot of pre-made bias bindings in stock at The Homemakery and despite the number we have it is hard to get an exact match so these are the ones which go well with the panel. The border of the panel is red, so when choosing a co-ordinating bias binding bear that in mind.

Choosing a bias binding

Top to bottom: Light Pink Polka Dot Bias Binding, Brown Polka Dot Bias Binding, Grey Polka Dot Bias Binding, Beige Polka Dot Bias Binding, Red Stripe Bias Binding, Red Gingham Bias Binding, Pink Stripe Bias Binding, Pink Gingham Bias Binding, Sage Green Lace Edge Bias Binding, Red Lace Edge Bias Binding, Pale Blue Lace Edge Bias Binding.

I hope those pictures help visualise the fabrics and bindings in real life.  If you need any further help do drop me an email!

Kate signature