Thursday, 22 May 2014

cheap frills #1... a tutorial

little red cardi

imagine a sensibly shaped cardi in a happy shade of very hot orange. round-neck, buttons, sits comfortably past the hips. indeedy, in every way (except the colour), deeply boring.

this is what i did...

chopped the bottom welt off, plus an inch.
hand-sewed this strip around the neck to make a collar. 
used a left-over bit of the strip to make a pocket for keeping the shed key safe. 
finished the raw edges around the bottom with a crocheted picot edge.

it took two evenings.

despite this being a tutorial, i won't blither on about how to cut, sew and crochet as looking at close-up photos will help more. if you are going to have a go, feel free to add lib. cardis are pretty personal after all. 

#1: little red cardi

cut off the welt from a too-long cardi, plus an inch more, which gives a nice frill to play with

i used blanket stitch in matching embroidery thread to sew the strip around the round neck. as the strip was too long, i cut it in half in the middle and rejoined it making it shorter, which allowed me to use the two nicely finished centre-front edges at the front of the collar. (the original bottom button hole is underneath the butterfly brooch)

you can see the blanket stitching here. blanket stitch has built-in stretch which makes it perfect for knitted garments, unlike machine stitching which would be rather rigid. here you can see i used a bit of pretty bias binding to make a handy hanging loop.

a bit left over from the collar strip was used to make a pocket.

the raw bottom edge was not likely to last, so it was turned under, pinned then tacked into a neat hem. i blanket stitched along the edge then used fine hairy silver grey yarn to create a picot edge, working one row of double crochet, followed by the picot edge.

as the hem was only turned back once (otherwise there would have been an unsightly bulky ridge), i  covered the raw edge by hand sewing more bias binding over it in a loose over stitch to allow 'give' when being worn.

and here i am!

a note...

my life-long habit of rustling up a new skirt/cardi/pinny has become more regular than occasional.

this year i have already rustled up an apron or two. these go under the 'shed wear' label. 
i have also made myself a Merchant & Mills 'factory dress' (see above), which should be called a 'wear it every day' dress. number two is in progress and number three is planned for winter. and now, because it is still cold when nipping back and forth to the shed, i have moved on to cardis. 

i'm not suggesting that you snip up your precious hand knits but the wear-it-every-day shop-bought machine washable version that won't snag when it comes into contact with an upholstery tack. as affordable shop-bought cardis are dreary and dull i've also taken to seeking out pre-loved nice ones. (nice = lots of wool/cashmere)

cheap frills #2 which is another chop and change cardi coming soon...

Monday, 19 May 2014

in the shed this week...

just out of the shed is an understated and much-loved mid century rocking chair. it arrived in tatty faux black leather with squashed and sorry stuffing and left wearing snazzy Melin Tregwynt wool cloth, six new buttons, a newly stuffed back and new cushion pad and a buffing up with beeswax polish.

great looking and super soft wool cloth from a Welsh mill

original tension springs, seen from underneath, with new calico padded cover to protect the cushion fabric

unseen... a teeny snip of lovely piping cord from a previous job holds the buttons in place at the back

two hefty coil springs make a rocking chair rock

calico and linen quilted spring cover...

...attached behind and unseen with a stretch of knicker elastic

simple and smart finishing detail

polished and ready for delivery

it was a happy job. this is what its owner said: 
"the chair... looks splendid. I think my late husband would have been delighted! i shall enjoy sitting in it or inviting my guests use it." 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Lampshade of the Month: April 2014 'Little Miss Cabbage-White'

Little Miss Cabbage-White
A smart rectangular shade covered with antique embroidered white linen and lined with pink and yellow vintage print fabric, embellished with a hand-crocheted frill. Three painted silk butterflies give a hint of springtime to her demure exterior. When the light is flicked on, glorious sunshine-y light fills the room.

here are the rest of the photos... 

believe it or not, i'm not very frilly. Little Miss Cabbage-White was me going off on a tangent. a piece of vintage hand-embroidered and crocheted linen and a happy scrap of yellow and pink came together in the workroom and something had to be done. in truth, i was also a little creatively 'lost' at the time. 

i like Little Miss C-W, but despite being smart and beautiful (her, not me) i'm still a bit baffled. she's a bit of an odd-bod. i'm rather hoping that someone - perhaps with a wedding or christening to celebrate - will stumble upon my Folksy shop and Little Miss Cabbage-White will appeal to their Jane Austen-ish well-dressed, pressed and lady-like natures.

about the butterflies:
once I had finished making Little Miss C-W i was worried that she had no memorable sense of humour. happily i discovered Sophie Matthews' gorgeous shop.