Friday, 26 August 2011

The bees tweed knees

I haven't really done very much dressmaking recently. I think I did such a good job last summer that i have not really needed to make very many new things for this season. However, i did purchase some very nice tweed with my birthday money and it has been waiting for me to make up my mind on what to do. It is harder for me when I have made some investment and really want to make the best of it. And also I really like it when I have materials all ready for when inspiration strikes - it's best that way round.

I was really inspired by this photoshoot in the June edition of vogue and decided that i really wanted a below the knee a line skirt. I have been wearing a lot of dresses these days, so felt that this was a perfect idea to refresh the wardrobe a little. Also, a little while ago i was really mesmerised by a similar style skirt in the Chanel window at selfridges, so with my special fabric i knew it was my chance to recreate that effect.

I used my pattern for the A-line pocketed skirt, but cut it out so I could sew it without the pockets and instead have a zip fastening in the side seam. I am really so pleased with the result. I was a little worried about the weight of the fabric when it arrived - that perhaps it was going to be a bit bulky, but actually have been very pleased that although weighty, is not at all bulky, and has a brilliant drape to it.

I decided to use this piece inside out as the grey and pink threads running through are quite luminescent, but used the right side at the waistband for contrast and really think it looks lovely.

I left the hem to fray in a Chanel style (there is a line of stitching so it doesn't go too far though!) but perhaps i will tidy this up soon.

wonderful addition i say. I have another piece to use also, but perhaps a dress with that. Now there is a bank holiday weekend so watch this space!

Yours smart in tweed,
Emilia. xxx

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Sailor Socks

I really enjoyed the knitting of socks for mum as I found them much more fun than socks I had knitted in the past (my minimal sock knitting past) I think because the lace design was a lovely one and also because I really enjoy it when I am surprised by a pattern - sometimes the engineering (not sure if it's the right word) of the thing is really clever and it's not until i've finish that i realise how it all comes together (possibly a symptom of my weak shape visualisation ability) 

And so I decided to have a go at another pair as a small project to end my holiday and to use up a bit of some wool from my stash. 

And now they are finished!

It's nice to be doing some smaller projects at the moment as there is not much room left in my drawer for cardigans and jumpers! These are a good distraction for a bit.

Yours land ahoy,
Sock. xx

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Birthday makes and birthday bakes

This weekend was full of birthday fun and I did lots of making and baking for the special occasions. This is a very nice thing about being on holiday - plenty of time for making and baking.

a nice feature of the socks is that they stand up alone.

Here are the socks I knitted for my mum. I used some rowan pure wool 4 ply in 'antique' and this pattern from the guardian. They were a real delight to knit, although perhaps could have been a little longer at the ankle. It's not often I knit socks though and these were definitely the best pair yet. I would like some for myself before the summer is out.

award winning!

On sunday we went for a garden party in honour of Mum's birthday and also because it had been mine and my sister's birthdays in July too. Mum's garden won first place in the Burgess Hill in Bloom competition (garden design category) so it was a treat to sit there in the sun. I am so pleased for Mum that she won and proud of her too. Gardens take a lot of work i think.

Mum had asked me to make a cake for the occasion as there were lots of people there and it is nice to help. I decided a good summer treat would be the apple and raspberry cake i made a few weeks ago.

two cakes are better than one (on the left is apple and raspberry cake and on the right Beth's birthday sponge)

Here is it on the left. And here on the right you can also see a birthday cake for my friend Beth. On saturday night we had a good old knees up for that event, and this sponge had come out really very nicely indeed. The recipe for this one is:

8oz butter/margerine, 8oz caster sugar, 9oz self raising flour, 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons of very hot water (added only once the other things are mixed together well)

It makes a very lovely light sponge.

Also for Beth's birthday I knitted a red tea cosy just like ours. I have been really impressed with this little make as really does keep the pot hot. I even used the pattern I had written there so was pleased to have written it down to know what I did. I did make a couple of modifications though like having fewer stitches and making the ruffle in garter stitch. Beth likes tea and has a nice teapot so I thought this would be a good gift.

It's nice to be able to make nice things for presents. I am pleased with this time well spent.

And now it's time for a holiday!! 

Yours birthdaily,
Emilia. xxxx