Friday, 29 March 2013

Finished top (almost!)

Way back when, I decided to make the Amy Butler Anna Tunic with this fabric.

Having cut the pieces out I put it to one side and then forgot all about it! On Wednesday I had a free day so I made it my mission to finish the top. And I succeeded (almost!) yay! I still have 4 buttons to sew on the back but I need to buy the little ones that I can cover with fabric.

The pattern included lining but I decided to omit this as I didn't want it to be too bulky. This meant a few minor adjustments to the pattern, but overall it was a very straightforward construction.

I added the armhole edgings and used a French seam so that I wouldn't have any raw edges (I don't have an over locker and I don't like the look of a zigzag stitch on a raw edge). I like the inside of a garment to be as neat and tidy as the outside.

I made it to my normal size without any adjustments as it's quite a loose fit. Overall, I'm pleased with it - it fits well and it's wearable! It works well with a cardigan and over jeans or leggings so I don't have to wait for that elusive sunshine to wear it! If I made it again I would lower the neckline and armholes. I've just googled the top and it appears that other makers have said the same thing. Shame I didn't check before I made it!

Well, we're almost into April and I haven't bought any new clothes and I've finally made something from scratch - hurray! My next challenge is to makeover some unworn, unloved clothes currently lurking in my wardrobe!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


With the onset of the Easter holidays I have the prospect of a few days of creativity ahead of me. I have lots of ideas that I want to pursue including sewing, collage, painting, printing and crochet. Unfortunately I pulled out loads of equipment in the studio to fuel my ideas and now there's no space to do anything!  To prevent a completely wasted day I retreated to my desk and painted a blackbird! I've painted this one before but in gouache. I have an idea for a series of darker, more sinister paintings and think acrylic will be a more suitable medium to achieve this.

I love painting blackbirds and crows as they have such character, and am looking forward to doing more of them in acrylics, maybe on a larger scale than I normally work.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Finished Blanket (at last!)

The blanket I started way back in September is finally finished. After an initial rush of enthusiasm, I lost interest in the build up to Christmas. Once I had seen the first pattern repeat the whole process became somewhat repetitive. I picked it up again in January, only to abandon it in February. I thought it was finished a couple of weeks ago until I decided to add another couple of rows. Well now it's finally done. I do like the finished item, but I've learnt that I much prefer to make decisions during the making process, rather than follow a set pattern like this one.

The size of it, plus the poor quality light, made it very tricky to photograph.

There was also the additional problem of a certain hairy beastie taking a liking to it!

The pattern is 'Rita' by The Natural Dye Studio. I added some half hexagons along the two long sides as I wanted them to be straight. I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK which is lovely to work with but some of the colours have rather annoyingly been discontinued.

Is it too soon to start planning the next blanket?!

Sunday, 10 March 2013


My Mother's Day present from my boys was this lovely trinket box by Portmeirion Pottery. I already have a few pieces in this range but had never seen this square shaped box before. I particularly love the little additional butterfly and dragonfly on the side of the packaging and inside the box.

Since my Painting a Day venture in February I've been very sluggish in starting my insect based ideas for March, so it seemed serendipitous (one of my favourite words!) that this gift should remind me how much I love these little creatures and so I took myself off to the studio to begin!

This butterfly is bigger than ones I've painted in the past and I think I might try something similar as a reduction linoprint next.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Painting a Day - 28

Hurray! I made it! I painted this little bird very late on Thursday night and felt a great sense of satisfaction that I had managed to find time to paint every day this month, no matter how busy I was. I hope this will kickstart a productive year. I already have plans for an insect/butterfly themed March!

My bird wall has filled up nicely and brightened up my studio...

It's been fantastic to complete this challenge alongside Claire, Elisa , Barbara and Dana.  Their support has been so encouraging and it's been inspiring to see their work too. 

Now, time for some crochet!