Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Hat to Match the Mackenzie Coat

Can't believe it myself :). Another creation, another blogpost, in under a week :))!

This is going to be a short one. I made Lilly a matching knitted hat to go with the Mackenzie coat from my previous post. I am not an experienced knitter, I used to knit as a child (for my dolls:) and I am trying to go back to what I knew and learn new techniques. 

This hat was made in a combination of knitting and crocheting, I used two different shades of grey yarn, no fancy stitches, knits, purls and double crochets and... that's about it. Nothing overly exciting, but I like the result :).

I am happy I was able to make (and finish) something to wear for Lilly - baby clothes is the cutest :).

Until next time and happy sewing to everyone,


Friday, September 30, 2016

Mackenzie Coat for Lilly

It´s been such a long time, that it's a little bit awkward to even be here. On my own blog :). I am out of practice, so maybe let's warm up with a short life update, that might explain to some extent my absence from this blog. 

There have been two big changes in my life in the past two years. First, we moved. We needed a bigger apartment really badly, because our previous one was already too small for three persons. And my crafty hobbies :). Second, Adam has got a little sister Lilliana (we mostly call her Lilly), who was born in November 2015 and she brought both - a lot of joy and many sleepless nights respectively. You know. A baby. Not very respectable towards my sleeping needs :)). Or any needs to be honest. I could only dream of sewing or crafting. Not even that, 'cause you need to sleep first to actually dream :)). 

Fastforward to the present. I am a staying at home mom of two very active kids at the moment. Which makes it very hard to steal some time for my hobbies, but I'd love to at least try it.

Having said that, I managed to sew something up and since this is a blog about sewing, let's get to it without further ado.

This is the first time that I made something from a pattern from Etsy. And the first time I made something for a non-adult person. A toddler. My daughter Lilly.

I purchased the pattern from an Etsy shop called "SewingWithMe1" and the pattern's name is "Mackenzie Gathered Jacket". (Just to be clear, I purchased the pattern with my own money and the shop owner doesn't have a clue about this blog post... ;)). 

The pattern is made for lighter fabrics, like cotton, at least that's what the pattern instructions call for, but I made a warmer version from fleece. Completely interfaced, ready for colder days.

It's an easy pattern, easily makable even for beginners I think. I cut the fleece, lining and interfacing at evenings and was able to sew the coat up within a day. I couldn't find any buttons that would suit the fabric, so I made my own, covered in the fashion fabric.

The pattern is pretty straightforward, so there is not much to say about it. I only followed the instructions "to be sure" after this long time without sewing, but even I (with only a little experience in sewing), could do without them.

And here is the result:

My daughter is 10 months old, but I made the size for 12 months olds. Lilly can't walk without holding onto something yet and I wanted to make it big enough to be able to see her walk and run around on her own in it :). I think the sleeves will be a bit long, but I knew about it beforehand and didn't shorten them, because she can wear the sleeves cuffed for some time, I quite like it.  

Overall, I am quite happy with the result. I am new at doing buttonholes, they used to intimidate me for some reason, so I need to work on that a bit, but other than that, the pattern came together nicely.

I plan to knit a hat to match the coat and maybe persuade Lilly to make a couple of pictures in the coat. She was not interested in a photo session today at all :).

Hope to come back soon and a HUGE thank you to everyone who still keeps following my blog or even started to follow me in my absence!

Until next time and happy sewing to everyone,


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Guess What. I Have a New Blog Post Up.

Hmm, where should I begin - after such a long time. Well, the break wasn''t planned at all and I remember very clearly, that after finishing the jacket from my previous post, I began to sew a knit dress. I was very motivated, I cut all the pieces, made the bodice first... and then I realised, that the smallest size of the dress is just far too big in the upper parts and I needed big alterations. I needed to get rid of like 8 inches around my rib cage, which affected the cut of the bodice immensely. I was tweaking the thing for hours, standing in front of a mirror and trying to get it somehow right. Needless to say, this discouraged me so much, that I just put the dress aside for some time, with an intention to come back to it later.

I don't remember exactly the reason why, but as I was tidying up my table one day, I put the pattern instructions somewhere aside. To this day, I still don't know where. Don't ask me why it's not in the pattern envelope with the dress pattern, I just have no idea at all. I was looking for it, while keeping some rests of my original motivation together. To make this as short as possible -  the instructions are still missing, the dress is still unfinished and this whole story led to a complete loss of my sewing mojo. Bueeeeh...

While I was at that time not into sewing at all, I had a lot of creative energy accumulated and it needed to be used somehow. I don't only love sewing, but creating things in many other ways, like knitting, crocheting, making things from polymer clay and other stuff. So as I was not enjoying sewing that much at that time, I started to crochet. And told myself, that it's time to be more consequent and find the time be creative, 'cause there will always be something else to do and we only live once (at least this one life :). 
I am not sure if I have ever mentioned it before (I think I did not), that I have a small Etsy shop. It has never been really full, especially because of a lack of time (and the situation getting even worse when my son was born). But with the determination to not let go and do what I like to do, I started to (or came back) to "making stuff", either for myself or my shop and created an Instagram account dedicated to them, which I enjoy very much.

So this is the reason why I didn't blog for such a long time - I just had no sewing project completed and I didn't want to change this blog into a blog about crocheting (or handmade stuff/crafting in general). I do think about creating a different blog in addition to this one, one that would give me more space to write about other things than sewing, but I need to think about it for a bit longer. I don't have an intention to leave this blog (which I do neglect, but still like a lot) or be a lousy blogger of yet another blog. 

Even though now, that we all agree, that this is not a blog about crocheting :), it doesn't mean, that maybe some of you may not be interested in my crochet creations anyway. So I am dedicating this one blog post to the work (or a part of it), that I have loved for the past couple of months. And if you'd like to see more, you are very welcome to visit my IG account (LillyAndBelle), my FB page (Lilly & Belle) or my Etsy shop (LillyAndBelle) :)!

Before I finish this post with an overload of pictures, I want to say, that I am really grateful to everyone, who sticked with me and this blog for such a long time, as well as to those, who have decided to newly follow it, even though I am such a lousy blogger. It's very much appreciated. I hope I will get back to sewing some time soon as well, but I don't promise anything, since I am trying to do only things (creative-wise) that bring me joy and I still need to combat the frustration from my last sewing attempt :). But I do have a couple of pictures of a dress I made some time ago, that I think I have never showed here before (or at least not on me), so I will definitely come back with another post soon. 

And now, the pictures galore. If you are not interested in other handmade stuff than the sewn up one, it's time for you to leave now ;)))...

 Thank you for your patience :)!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Butterick 5259 Jacket

Yeah, I can't believe it either. I actually did sew and I even finished what I began to sew, so yoohoo, this is going to be a post about an actual garment sewn by me. Exciting, right :D?

So, this is how I've got back to sewing after something like a million years, or so.

My son Adam turned one on January 16 and it was a long time before that, that I made a decision to bake him a birthday cake, covered in fondant and decorated with fondant figures, all handmade by me. I have never baked such a cake before and I really didn't know what to expect. I read a couple of magazines about cake decoration, watched a YouTube video on how to create a fondant teddy bear and after 5 looong evenings spent with edible colours, a bucket of fondant and no pre-midnight sleep whatsoever, I ended up with a cake.

So I said to myself - hmm, since I am able to work on something in more continuous sessions and I've got all the creative energy right now, I could continue to invest it into some sewing. Who needs sleep?! So I rummaged in my fabric stash, found a piece of fabric probably as old as my sewing ambitions (probably a kind of wool blend with a velvet pattern on it), found an easy pattern - Butterick 5259 (not to discourage myself right at the beginning of my newly found determination) and this is the result.

If you think that the pictures are not of the best quality, you are right. The fabric itself is pretty dark and last days were very gloomy even in the middle of the day, so to show off at least some details, I had to infuse the pictures with a lot of additional light and get rid of shadows. Otherwise, I would look like wearing a splash of black colour with no definition at all.

the jacket closes thanks to a loop made of the fashion fabric
the jacket has got a high collar, which is a detail I like about it a lot
Except of the strangely sewn-in lining, which I made this way for the first time ever (not that I'd have that much experience with sewing jacket linings), this is a very easy pattern to sew with. Don't get me wrong, the lining was an easy work as well, I just didn't like the way the instructions made me do it - serge the interfacing piece and sew it on top of the lining piece. But I obeyed so that I wouldn't make my life more complicated (which is usually a part of my sewing routine :D, but I better behaved this time :).

I used a contrast coloured green lining of unknown origin from my fabric stash. It looks very wrinkled in the photo, but the reality is not that bad.
From tracing the pattern to the final stitch, I needed four long evenings to finish the jacket. I would have made it in three, if I was a vampire (and needed to sleep less :). So this pattern can be sewn up in a single day, if you are a quick sewer, a vampire or there is no baby in the diameter of 50 meters around you :). Or all in one :).

So this is it for today. I am working (even though just mentally so far :) on another sewing project - a knit dress. I've got the fabric, notions and a pattern ready to be used, but I still have to read a couple of clever hints on how to sew with knits, because it's been a long time now. The last knit dress I made was something like 18 months ago (I think I haven't blogged about this one (yet)), so I need to refresh my knowledge. Not that there is much to be refreshed ;).

Until next time and happy sewing to all :)!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Noialand Felt Cuteness

As I mentioned in some of my previous (very rare) posts, I still don't sew anything that would have to take me more than a couple of hours. It probably depends on the type of a worker/sewist I am - I need at least a couple of hours for myself to work on a project. I can't steal 30 minutes here and 20 minutes there to work on something. But since my Adam was born, my life has been pretty much like that - a couple of free minutes here and a half an hour there, so I didn't start to sew anything, that couldn't be finished veeery quickly. And since I am a very slow sewist (and have long been without any practice), even a simple top wouldn't fit the "quick project" category.

Having said that, I really miss sewing (and crafting), so in the past few weeks, I was trying to make at least something, even if it wasn't anything to wear. Which has finally brought me to the subject of this post (pheeeew :) - these cute felt dolls.

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon an Etsy shop called Noialand Patterns. It's a shop full of PDF patterns on how to make these completely adorable felt dolls. I've bought a handful of them, because I just couldn't resist and made a couple of them immediately. 

The wise owl is complete as you see it, as well as the little blue owl from this owl garland. The French bakery girl is still missing her shoes and a tray with some baked goods and the little snowman needs a hat to be complete, but I like the felt dolls so much, that I am showing them even like this. 

The felt creatures are all hand sewn and even though some of the hand sewing is quite elaborate (read time consuming), they are great fun to make. The good thing about projects like these is that even if I don't have a chance to start and finish them in a single sewing session, I don't have a problem with getting "into the project" again - I just pick it up and continue from where I last left.

If you are interested in dreamy and fairytale-like blogs, there is also a Noialand blog featuring the felt fairytale characters and many more cute things to look at. 

Since I am writing all these odes about these patterns, I need to say, that I am in no way affiliated with the Noialand patterns shop or its owner. I just think that the patterns are so cute, that it would be a shame not to let you know about them :)! 

Noialand Wise Owl
a French bakery girl - a snowman from a Christmas garland - an owl from an owl garland

I hope you all have a great year behind
 and an even better one ahead!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Christmas time 2013

I hope everyone is having a very merry Christmas. This is just a quick post to say Happy Holidays

I have not started to work on any bigger sewing project so far, because I don't want to end up with yet another UFO as a result of a lack of time, but I do have something sewing related to write about, so let's meet here in a couple of days ;).

In the meantime, enjoy the holidays :)!