Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Crescent skirt - detail shots

It seems every time I've tried to get some photos of me in the skirt the weather doesn't want to co-operate. Or like today, we forget the digital camera. So I thought I'd share some detail shots instead.
The zipper. Before the Crescent skirt I always wussed out on a machine zipper as I always managed to mess them up somehow. But I'm really happy with this one. It certainly not perfect, but it actually works which is an improvement! :)
Back waistband
Front waistband
Close up of the front point and top stitching
I ended up topstitching to secure the waistband, though I had planned on stitching in the ditch. However, I've never done it before and well, it looked crap. I kept slipping up onto the waistband so I ripped it out, and did the topstitching instead which I think I managed to do pretty neatly :)
Curved seam, and pretty neat topstitching :)
There's a pocket there somewhere, I swear!
Hem and lovely french seams :)
So I should hopefully have some proper photos of it soon :) Its meant to be sunny tomorrow, but my main problem is the wind. I'm not sure anybody wants to see my Luvees (or bloomers as Dom calls them). Yes, how glamorous right? lol
More later :)
Ashley x

Friday, 27 May 2011

Rainbow yarn

I love this yarn, so pretty and colourful! So in your face and bright :) I went to Spins and Needles today to pay the deposit for my knitting class, and as I've worked pretty hard on revision I decided to treat myself. At Spins and Needles part of one wall is devoted to big chunky hanks of lovely yarn, all with a different set of colours. I've been eyeing them up for a while, so decided to go with one of these. I bought two hanks for a chunky winter scarf as advised by the lovely lady who I assume is the owner. It's Colinette 'One Zero' in the colour way Jamboree which you can get from Colinette here as Spins and Needles don't sell online. It'll brighten up a dull winter day nicely :)
I had my second of three exams this morning too. It was an open book exam so we were allowed to take a textbook and all of our notes. This might make it seem easy, but it was a research skills exam so we had to actually interpret the results not just work them out. I actually enjoyed it as I love working through the rules/instructions for filling in tables etc. I think that's why I like sewing and knitting so much. I like structure and rules and a particular order to do things in. I love doing the statistics part of research skills, as I enjoy working my way through an equation to get to the result. Am I weird? lol
Ashley x
ps. This is my 100th post!!! I'd hoped to have something more interesting to share, but time ran away from me.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Am I done yet?

I'm tired of revision now! At least my cognition exam is out of the way, and I managed not to run from the exam hall crying! lol Though when I first read the questions I certainly felt like it. After about 10 minutes, I started to relax a little and it all started to come back to me. I *think* I did ok, but of course now I've jinxed myself!
Anyway, in other news I got the last place on a toe-up sock knitting class! I'm really excited as I love the yarn shop where its being held (Spins and Needles) and can't wait to meet the other knitters! It's a two night evening thing. It's on the 9/10th of June so after my exams are over. Something to look forward too! :) I've also only got the hem to do on my floral Crescent skirt!! Hopefully photo's of that this weekend :)
More later.
Ashley x

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Baby Cardigan update

During my 5 minute breaks in my revision, I've been knitting away at this baby cardigan. I've just got the pick up and knit collar to do, and then the button bands down the front :)

Isn't it cool how it's all one piece?! :)
Sewing and knitting is keeping me sane. Almost. lol I also picked up a new knitting book, as recommended by Karen from Did you make that?.
It should arrive by Thursday or Friday. It'll be a nice treat to settle down with on Friday evening, before the revision for my last exam starts on Saturday :) Yes, I could've got it delivered earlier but if I had, my revision would have gone to pot. lol
Ashley x

Monday, 23 May 2011

Crescent Skirt - waistband and facing

I've made good progress on my floral Crescent Skirt, though my red skirt has fallen some what behind. I think it's because once I saw how cute the floral skirt was with the waistband attached, I wanted to get on with it :)

As you can see from the funny way the facing is peeking out, I haven't quite caught up yet. I still have the under-stitching, top-stitching and ditch stitching to do. That's a lot of stitching! lol
Yep, the red skirt is still lonely without its waistband. I'll get caught up soon, I hope. I have my cognitive exam on Thursday morning, my research skills exam on Friday morning, and then the Friday after that is my last exam, investigating the individual. I'm not too worried about the last two, but I'm dreading the cognitive one. Seriously, there is a ridiculous amount we're expected to know! It's funny actually, part of the cognitive module is on memory. So I have to try and remember stuff about how we forget, and how retrieval isn't possible if the information isn't stored properly. Pretty disheartening really *sigh* I just want it to be over, and to pass. Even if I only scrape a pass, just as long as I don't have to do it again! It'll be over soon. I keep thinking about the next Doctor Who episode, because by the time I get to watch it, I'll only have one exam left! :D
Ashley x

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Giveaway Winners!!

Thank you to everyone who entered! Its been so exciting watching the entries come in :) So, onto the winners! A spreadsheet and a random number generator was so useful for this :)

The winner of the bundle is . . . . .Michelle!!

And the winner of the pattern is . . . . .Suzy!!

Congratulations to you both!! Now I've just tried to email you both from your blogger profiles, but for some reason its not working :S So please email me your addresses to: jasminebrett@hotmail.co.uk
Thanks again to everyone who entered :) I'm sure there'll be future giveaways :)
Ashley x

Friday, 20 May 2011

Giveaway reminder!!

Just to remind you that the giveaway ends tonight at midnight (BST) so get your entry in if you haven't already!! :)
Ashley x

Thursday, 19 May 2011

My first Swap!

I just received my first swap package! My swap partner was Sarah from ShabbyChicSarah, and you can see what I sent her here :) (there'll be some photo's of the things I made in a minute) If you haven't visited Sarah's blog before, you should! Sarah always has something interesting to share, from sewing to gardeing to crochet :)
Now, I was so excited to open my package that I forgot to take a picture of the lovely wrapping!! Everything was wrapped beautifully :)
Lovely patterns, a wonderful book on crochet, lovely lip gloss that smells good enough to eat, a beautifully made pin cushion and needle book (which I promptly filled with all the needles I could find because I always lose them and they end up in the bottom of Dom's foot) and the most amazing crochet earring I have ever seen!! They deserve a close up:
Wow! The first thing Dom said when he saw them was 'wow, they're so intricate!', he was as impressed as I am :) There was also a packet of Fox's 'Ambers' biscuits which were eaten pretty sharpish with a cuppa while I read the beginning chapters of the crochet book. Crochet is something that I have tried a few times to learn and only ever got as far as granny squares. I would love to be able to crochet some beautiful earrings like the ones above, but for now I'd be happy with just being able to do a simple swatch. I've never been to do this before, but look:
I managed single, double and triple crochet!! I've never been able to do that before!! :D Though I managed to gain a couple of stitches so it got wider! lol
So a massive thank you to Sarah!!! Thank you so much, I can't wait to get stuck into the book properly, and everything else will get much love and use :)
Here are some closeups of the things I made for Sarah:
Knitted lavender cushion, in basketweave.

This one is knitted in moss stitch pattern.

I love making little things! It's so nice to have a project finished in an hour or so. I'll definitely be making more little purses and bags for myself :)
Thanks again Sarah, I really enjoyed putting a package together :) For the next couple of weeks though, I'll be revising for my exams :( I should hopefully have a Crescent skirt update for you all though soon!
Ashley x
ps. Don't forget to enter my giveaway, it ends tomorrow night!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Peanut butter biscuits

This another recipe from my Delia Smith baking cookbook, which unfortunately I can't find online so I'm not sure whether I'm allowed to share the recipe :S What do you think?
They are delicious, definitely the nicest peanut butter biscuits I've ever made :) I'll be making more soon, I'm sure!
Ashley x
ps. Don't forget to enter my giveaway, you've got till Friday! :)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Oops! More fabric and patterns!

It's not my fault!! Jaycotts is having a 50% off sale on Vogue and McCalls patterns, so I had to save money right? Though I suppose I didn't have to buy the fabric for them though did I? Ah well, here they are:
I'm going to go for the yellow version I think, though I'm so very tempted by the playsuit I just don't have the legs for it. As for the fabric, you can get it here for £6 per metre or if you shop around a bit you can get it here for £2.60 per metre! Which is obviousy what I did :)
Can you tell I like red and polka dots? I got it here. I'm thinking of going for the lilac version and shortening it to just above the knee :)
I really like this fabric! I got it here, and as you can see it's a little paler in real life, but not as much as the photo above. It's kind of in the middle. I'm thinking of going for the blue version :)
I also got this pattern which is a simple circle skirt because well. . .I'm crap at maths so there was no way I was even attempting to draft it myself! I haven't got fabric for this one yet as I can't decide what I want. I should probably go for a solid as I'm very much lacking in them! lol You've probably guessed by now I'm a huge fan of cute prints. But this pattern is definitely in the queue :)
Ashley x
ps. don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't already! :)
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Saturday, 14 May 2011

Old fashioned cherry cake

Here is what is left of a cake I made last night. Yep, it's nearly gone! I used this recipe, though I followed the recipe from one of Delia's recipe books that Dom's mum very kindly got me for xmas :) Its just safer than having my Eee PC anywhere near where I'm baking! lol It turned out delicious, though a little over done. Next time I'll remember to reduce the cooking time for our cooker. Oh yes, there will definitely be a next time! Dom was very impressed and insists that there will be a next time!
Also a warm welcome to my new followers! :) I should have giveaways more often, as I've gained more followers in the last 4 days than I did in the first 4 months of blogging!
Thankfully the antibiotics are working wonderfully and I'm feeling much better. So much better in fact, that Dom and I have started doing yoga everyday! I'm also following the XBX programme, which was developed for women by the Royal Canadian Air Force. Dom is following the 5BX programme which is the men's version. We're both enjoying it a lot, and although we're only on the fourth day of it we're noticing we can preform some of the yoga stretches better! Lets hope I start noticing an improvement in my fitness soon!
Ashley x
ps. don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't already! :)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

50 Follower Giveaway!!

First of all, sorry I didn't get this up sooner. I woke up with what I thought was toothache. When Dom had a look he said it was an abscess and insisted I call the doctors so they could refer me to a local dentist. I'm now registered with a local dentist and have a check-up appointment in 6 months. Yay! Anyway, turns out Dom was right and I start a course of antibiotics tomorrow. FYI, doctors and dentists make me *very* nervous. As in, I feel sick and shaky, its worse than exam nerves! Luckily they were lovely and it was really quick :) Let's hope I feel normal again soon. If I'm not making sense in the rest of this post, I blame the throbbing pain in my mouth/head/shoulders/neck/whole damn top of my body. 
Right, onto the give-away! 
Thank you all so much for your support, encouragement and wonderfully kind comments. It really makes my day! I can't believe that people actually read my ramblings, let alone take the time to leave me a comment! You're all wonderful! :) So the prizes. . .one lucky person can win these lovely things:
Perfect for keeping in your handbag *just in case*!

This little guy has a button on the back to retract the tape measure. So cute!

I'm tempted to get some more of this for myself, it's so pretty and dainty.
So the things shown above will be a bundle together, along with a mystery gift made by me (it's a mystery because I haven't made it yet! lol)
And as a bonus prize, another lucky person can win my copy of the Sencha blouse!
This pattern doesn't suit me, so I'm passing on the love! I traced it off, so all of the sizes are still there, as are all the pieces (though I think I separated the pieces from each other to make them easier to trace).

So to recap there will be two winners, one winner for the bundle and one winner for the pattern :)
I'll post to anywhere in the world, though it will be snail mail.
To enter, leave me a comment telling me which prize you'd like to win, or if you'd like a chance to win both. And don't forget to leave me your email address if it isn't linked from your profile. You can have another entry if you post about my giveaway on your blog/twitter! :)
You must also be a follower please.
You have until midnight on the 20th of May (BST) to enter. The winner will be announced the next day when I shall draw a name for each prize from a hat!
Good luck!! :D
Ashley x

Monday, 9 May 2011

Coming soon. . .

I hit 50 followers!!! :D WOOOO!!! Strangely I have more followers via google reader than blogger! lol So look out for a giveaway, perhaps later or maybe tomorrow but definitely soon!
Oh and I keep forgetting, I have a twitter! There's a follow me button on the side bar :) I love the updates from bloggers between their blog posts :)
Ashley x

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Crescent Skirt Sew-along - Pockets!

I love the pockets on the Crescent skirt, so roomy :) I've only ever done in the seam pockets, so it was great to learn how to do these ones. I love this fabric more and more every time I get it out to work on it! 
I had to show a close up of the seam finishing! This is my favourite of the overcast stitches that my new machine can do. I'm really impressed with it! I'm going to pick up an overcast foot when I remember! :)

You can *just* about see the pockets. You get the idea, but red is a pain to photograph :) For the twill tape I used the selvage from the floral fabric as I haven't gotten round to picking some up yet. I get gross-grain ribbon which from what I can gather does the same thing. Though I've never actually asked if the haberdashery stall has stay tape or twill tape, so I'll ask before getting the ribbon. 
I'm not quite caught up yet, I need to stay stitch the centre and put in the gathering stitches. Oh and I still have to apply the interfacing.
Ashley x

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Introducing Betty Singer the Third!

Isn't she pretty? :) I love her already, and we're getting along just fine. I've already finished a small project on her, but as it's for a swap I'm doing I'm not going to show you yet. I've also done all of the sewing for the Crescent skirt on it (which I'll show you tomorrow) and she has so many useful features and stitches! The drop in bobbin makes it so much quicker to load in a new bobbin which is a life saver while sewing the Crescent skirts, as I have to change between black thread and red thread! Also, it might seem like a small thing, but one of the stitch settings backstitches at the beginning and end of a seam for you! I love this so much, it's so satisfying to watch it backstitch for me :) Also, the decorative stitches are amazing!! I spent most of Wednesday playing around with the different stitches, even Dom had a go! He wants me to monogram his hankies now! lol 
Also, if you're wondering about her name, Betty is because it was Betty from Mad Men that first made me want to sew my own clothes. I kept saying how I loved her dresses but that I'd never find any like it in the shops, so Dom said why don't you make your own? He bought me my first machine, a vintage 507 Singer. Hence the Singer surname! And she's my third machine, so Betty Singer the third :) I don't have some crazy loyalty to Singer or anything, but it reminds me of my nan as she had a Singer. A lovely old hand crank. I've no idea of the model, but she used to let me turn the hand crank for her :)
Ashley x

Monday, 2 May 2011

Crescent Skirt - Lace in the seams

Have you seen Tasia's tutorial on inserting lace into a seam? I knew I wanted to try it pretty soon, and with the Crescent skirt sewalong coming up, I thought it would look lovely on the curved seams of the yoke. Though I wasn't sure how it would work with having to press the seams to one side, so after some wonderful advice from Tasia, I gave it a go with some scraps!
I think it looks lovely, and I'm really pleased with the outcome! Tasia's tutorial is so easy to follow, and there are some great tips that make it so much easier to get the lace looking even :) It's left over lace from my slip and I like it so much against the red that I think I'm going to get some more for the real thing. 
As for my Crescent skirt progress, I have interfacing cut out for both skirts and the red fabric is cut out. Now for the floral fabric! :)
Ashley x

Sunday, 1 May 2011

April - Finished Projects

I really enjoyed doing this for last month, so decided to so it again :)

Four finished projects again! Becky loved her dress, and said it was really comfortable :) I haven't really had an occasion to wear my black skirt yet,but I've worn it around the apartment and it's pretty comfy. The shawl has been folded up in the bottom of the wardrobe for next winter, I can't wait to wear it! And I'm soooo pleased with the birdie blouse. As my first garment for my top half that actually worked out in the end, I''m really proud of it. I'm going home sometime next week, so I'm going to wear it then so I can show my mum :)
Ashley x


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