Wednesday, 1 May 2013


Here it is, finally finished! It's been so long since I fitted it, that I can't remember what size I cut. I do remember cutting a smaller size for the neck pieces, and grading the bodice out so that I didn't have to do an FBA. It worked well and I'm really pleased with the fit.
I always feel awkward when Dom tells me to pose, so I pulled a silly pose instead! His directions included things like 'stand up straighter' 'put your shoulders back' and 'stick your bum out'!
I ended up shortening the skirt by about 4 inches or so. The longer length made me look short and dumpy! I really like the shorter length, it lets the skirt flare out really nicely. The shape of the skirt is one of my favourite things about this dress.
The back isn't perfect, fit-wise. But it's comfortable and doesn't look too bad. When I fitted it, I fitted it to be too tight with the intention that I would slim into it. I'm really pleased to say that it's now got a nice amount of ease! I'm getting close to a healthy weight (according to BMI), so this dress fitting nicely is like icing on the cake :)
This dress is my favourite thing that I've made so far :) The instructions for this pattern are perfect, and I took my time with it so I'm really pleased with the construction. 
Onto the next project! :)

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Quick note

Just a quick note to say that I have finished my Chantilly, and I've even taken photos. I haven't had time to post them yet, because I've been busy. I've been busy because I GOT A JOB!!! WOOHOO!! I'm waitressing for a local pub/hotel. I'm really enjoying it so far, everyone has been so lovely and welcoming. I have to sort out the paperwork today, and I'll get my hours for this week. Exciting! :)
Ashley x

Friday, 19 April 2013

The return of the mojo

You may have noticed there hasn't been much sewing going on lately ;) I worked on my Chantilly a few weeks ago, got to the hem and stalled. Hems are boring! However, I won KraftyKat's recent giveaway, and it arrived today! I was lucky enough to win the lovely pattern above. It's a very cute little dress with lots of variations. I went straight to my fabric stash (which consists of four pieces of usable fabric, and then lots of scraps!) and chose the cutesy flowery fabric. It'll need to be underlined, which I thankfully have fabric for. I've decided to go for the cape collar variation (the one on the left) and a simple gathered skirt, as I don't have enough for the pattern skirt. 
As for which size to go for, I'm not really sure. When we moved, I stress-ate and comfort-ate and gained back all the weight I'd lost going to the gym. What a waste of money! I'm still annoyed about that. I've now lost it again plus a bit more, by counting calories and changing how I eat (I now eat little but often during the day, and then a larger evening meal). I wish I'd done this before! This combined with a gym membership would have worked wonders. Ah well, live and learn I suppose. 
When I fitted my Chantilly (which I will finish today!!) I fitted it to be a bit too small. It now fits with a nice amount of ease. Woohoo! So I think I'll do the same thing with this dress, I'll fit it to be skin tight and by the time it's warm enough to wear it I should fit into it. Does this sound sensible? 
Right, a quick tidy up, then it's time to finish that hem!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013


This is the first lace weight shawl that I finished last summer. It was a lovely day when we took the photos, we went for a walk down the canal to the South common. 
The pattern is free download from Ravelry, here. The yarn is a one off, dyed by Jonathan from Chroma Yarns, he is local to Lincoln and sells to my old local yarn shop Spins and Needles. I also took a couple of classes with him, and he's lovely :) The yarn is a wonderful colour, a mix of blue and chocolate brown. It's 20% silk too so it catches the light beautifully. My project page is here. 
Ashley x

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Ebony's project bag

I can't believe it's taken me this long to post these photos! Ebony's birthday was over 2 months ago! I finished the bag just in time in the end. I thought I'd made good time, until I realised I'd sewn the handles on side-ways! I hadn't read the instructions properly, and just 'assumed' I knew what I was doing. HA! I read all instructions very carefully after that.
And it's completely reversible! I have to admit, in the end I prefer the plain side. But mum tells me that Ebony prefers the patchwork side, so that shows how much I know ;) 

I passed on my copy of Knitty Gritty and my first ever pair of knitting needles too. I had intended to post it with some yarn, but the local craft shop was closed on the day I wanted to post it! I ended up ordering some from Deramores, as I've ordered from them before and trusted that it would be delivered on time for her birthday. I chose some bright pink bamboo/acrylic yarn, and some pale pink/lilac yarn with sparkles in it. Perfect for an 8 year old princess-loving girl :)
She loved it all, but it seems she's still struggling with casting off. So I've promised that the next time I see her, I'll make time to show her :)
The pattern is from The Bag Making Bible, and I thoroughly enjoyed making it. The instructions were very good, so make sure you read them! Don't do what I did and 'assume'! I thought the bag was a nice size for a lots of different uses too.
I've only got the hem to do on my Chantilly dress, I just need to stop procrastinating and do it! 

Friday, 29 March 2013


With Google Reader being retired in the summer, I've moved over to Bloglovin! I imported all of my blogs over from Google reader, which was much easier than I expected. You can find the option in the settings on Bloglovin.

You can follow my blog on Bloglovin here :) 

What about you? I've seen a couple of other blog readers around, but I'd already signed up to Bloglovin ages ago.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

My new nail blog!

I've decided to start a new blog, where I can share my manicures! As most of my followers here are ladies, I thought you might be interested.
If you'd like to check it out, you can find it here - Jellybean's Nails. I'd love to see you over there! I'm still in the process of making it look how I want it to, but it's very similar to this one, except the content :)

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Woollies and Wellies

Hello! Just a quick post to show off a couple of projects that have been seeing a lot of wear lately. Both patterns are by Ysolda Teague, Ripley (the hat) and Ishbel (the shawl). They're both 100% wool, which is exactly what you need in this weather we're having at the moment. The photo's were taken on Sunday, when we went for a walk. We kept coming across patches of snow in the wood and fields, and the wind was icy cold!
We've been walking further and further each weekend, and managed 6 and a half hours this week. We've got a map and a compass, but there was still about half an hour where what we were seeing didn't seem to match up with the map. Thankfully I recognised a path we had come down earlier, and we soon knew just where we were. The last hour or so walking back home was so tiring, we were certainly glad to be home! We warmed up with a home made mocha and chocolate chip brioche :)

If you'd like more info on the projects, Ripley is here and Ishbel is here. I'll be back with photos of Ebony's bag soon. I'll leave you with a photo of me enjoying my wellies :)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Ebony's Project bag - progress

Main piece
Main piece, inside
Lining, reads 'Made with love'
I'm liking it so far, though I'm not sure about the 'made with love' stitching. I love my sewing machine, but I think it should leave the alphabet embroidery to the fancier machines! I almost did it in red thread, but I'm glad I stuck with white. I still have the bias binding to make, which I fear is going to take me forever! I have found some cute buttons though in my button stash :)
The pattern and instructions are great, I love that the pattern pieces are full size. I don't mind tracing, and there are only two pattern pieces!
Ashley x

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Hello again!

Hello! I'm still here! Just haven't felt like blogging. I've still been reading all of your lovely blogs, and I've been knitting away but haven't touched my sewing machine even though it right there all set up on the desk. The poor thing is actually dusty!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas/holiday. I'm still looking for a job, which is slowly driving me mad. I haven't felt like sewing at all, even though my Chantilly is almost finished.
However, it's my youngest sister Ebony's birthday in a couple of weeks. I've taught her to knit, but didn't get a chance to teach her to cast off. Every time I see her she asks, but there's never time. So for her birthday, I'm going to pass on my copy of Knitty Gritty and my first ever pair of knitting needles, the ones I learnt on when I was about 12 or 13. To go along with that I'd like to sew her a project bag. Yes, I finally want to sew! I'm going to make her the reversible bucket bag from the Bag Making Bible. It's the one on the cover. I plan to make a patchwork from the fabrics I won in a give away from Very Berry Handmade and then line it some pink fabric I have.
I've got some pretty scraps for the bias binding too. I'm hoping it will be pretty, but even if it isn't I'm sure she'll love it. If you're a long time reader you might remember I made Ebony a princess dress two years ago. It seems I made it at the perfect time, since then she has grown in height but not in width. So she still wears it and adores it! It's just not as long anymore :) I just realised I never got around to taking photo's of her in it, so here is one my mum took for me with Crunchie the cat. (You might also remember Crunchie nearly died from a blockage in his intestines. He recovered well, and is doing fine :) )
This was taken not long after I gave it to her. She's taken great care of it, and always hangs it up carefully. Mum has told me she still wears it all the time two years later!! She looks so young in that photo, I'd not realised how grown up she's gotten. A couple of months ago, mum and I were setting up Skype. We got it working so mum shouted for everyone to come and see. So they all come running into the living room and what is Ebony wearing? Yep, her princess dress! So I think she'll really appreciate a bag for her knitting :)
I'll try and post on my progress on the bag, and maybe some recent knitting projects. I'll try not to stay away so long. 
Ashley x


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