Sewchet

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First Christmas Present! Stylecraft Jumper #9484

As usual, I plan on making a significant proportion of Christmas presents, although with better reason this year than previously.

If you read my last blog post you will remember that we have accepted an offer on our house and, predictably, the new owners would like to move in before Christmas. This presents more than one problem:

a) we host a big family Christmas every year

b) the purchase of our new place is uncertain/complicated so we will be in temporary rented accommodation

c) we need to save as much as possible for the move

Focusing on ‘c’ means handmade will need to preside, and on a budget, too. All you Makers out there will know instantly that the two, ‘handmade’ and ‘budget’, don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand as raw materials are often very expensive. That said, if I research carefully, I should be able to find some bargains – and my time is free (only when making presents!).

And so, on to my first Finished Off!

This 200g ball of Batik Swirl yarn in ‘Rainbow’ by Stylecraft cost just £8.99, and the pattern #9484 an additional £2.99. It’s an 80/20 mix of acrylic/wool so will wash well.

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Because the yarn is self-striping, it makes for a quicker knit and all that stocking stitch in the main body is pretty much a mindless task in front of the tele of an evening.

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The sleeves are a Godsend after some boring knitting and you relish the thought of a bit of cable to keep up the momentum.

Yes, I know it all looks a little weird because of the lack of symmetry in the colours, but stay with me….

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I’m pleased to say that I have mastered the art of seaming and will admit that many a jumper in the past has lain in the depths of my wardrobe, unworn, due to bad finishing.

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Not any more – how neat is this?!

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All the ends woven in….

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….and a label sewn in craft-style for good measure.

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A quick steam-block and here it is.

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Obviously, the back is different to the front, but I rather like that.

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Close up of the cabled sleeves.

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So there you are – first Christmas present in the bag, so to speak, and for the bargain price of £11.98.

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How are you getting on with your handmade gifts this year?


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Christmas Commissions

I know that the kids have only been back to school a month and that The Boys are still wearing shorts to school (heck, I’m still in my flip-flops), buuuuuut……there’s no escaping the fact that Christmas is just around the corner. 

For those of us who like to give handmade gifts to our nearest and dearest, if we haven’t at least started thinking about what we’re going to make by now, panic sets in.

I actually have made a start, if a lot little later than previous years, but I also have quite a few commissions already this year – yay, thank you, dear customers, for not leaving it until the last minute to place your orders!

I LOVE Christmas commissions, well, any commissions at all, really, as they give me an excuse to be creative and make something when I’ve got no other excuse to sit at my sewing machine – and they enable me to legitimately delay the boring stuff like housework:)

I was asked to make six coin purses, each one personalised to the recipient, so I started the fun part of the design process by choosing fabrics.


One request was for an adult who likes butterflies, so this is quite a grown up purse.


A lining of floral bouquets seemed appropriate for the butterfly theme, and the whole was brought together with a lilac zip and zip pull.


Next up was a little girl who loves Hello Kitty, so I teamed a funky flower print with a cat appliqué.


I decided to pick out the pink and add a pink mini-gingham lining and pink zip.


The next request was something for a “girly” girl, so I went to town with the florals with a flower motif appliquéd onto a small floral print.


A more subtle leaf print lining tones down the busy effect and a love heart zip pull continues the feminine feel.


The brief for the next purse was quite specific; it had to be a grey star on a blue background for a girl who likes the Dallas Cowboys – this is my take on it.


More stars on the inside and a love heart zip pull soften the design a little.


“Cupcakes” was a fun brief to interpret and I found a print that looked like it had ready-made sprinkles on it!


A cherry red zip and pull bring together the red accents in the design, with more “sprinkles” on the inside.


The final brief was “Sparkles” and had me stumped for a while – until I looked down at my engagement ring.


Is that sparkly enough do you think?!

A mini-star print provides more sparkles on the inside.


So here they all are, each one individual to its recipient.


I’ve certainly had a great time coming up with a suitable design for each brief.


What a thoughtful commission – to tailor something specifically to six different individuals. They’ll love them, I’m sure, and appreciate the lengths that this lovely lady has gone to, to find them each something unique.


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Greengate Style Baby & Toddler Girls Crochet Poncho

Hello Fellow Crocheters – this one is for you!

I’ve just finished a crocheted poncho/cape for a little girl’s Christmas present and I thought I’d share it with you. It’s entirely my own original design and, as I attempted to make notes as I went, it took a little longer than it should have. I reckon you could whip one up in just a couple of evenings which is great news for those of us who get bored easily.

Greengate Girls Crochet Poncho

Based on the lovely Greengate colours, I have a huge WIP that is of the same ilk;

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It’s quite simple really, just double and treble crochet with a picot edging, but the colours are so cheerful and bright.Greengate Girls Poncho4

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This is my first attempt at writing a pattern so I hope you can work it out. The more experienced amongst you will probably be able to figure it out without referring to my instructions, but it is possibly more than a complete beginner could handle.

Anyhoo, here goes….!

Corrected pattern

 

This is a free pattern that you are welcome to share – but please do not copy and paste to any other site; just link back to this page. (Please also respect my efforts and do not make this design to sell elsewhere).

I’d love to see any that you’ve made yourself, so pop a link in the “comments” box if you do:)