Sunday, 13 May 2012

feeling a little biased

So, I used a pattern! I deliberately picked a very simple pattern as it's been a while since I made anything using a pattern. I went for Burda 7509.

I didn't realise when I bought it that it is cut on the bias - I've never particularly liked clothes cut on the bias - especially long skirts - yeuch!

But actually it sits nicely, and I learned that it made doing this neckline easier as well as discovering the joy of stretchy bias tape!

It was easy-peasy - I only had to get the stitch-picker out once, which is good for me! So, perfect for getting me going.

The main thing that sent me into a bit of a tizzy was trying to figure out which size to cut out. I'm usually a size 10 in Ireland - but the chart on the back had American sizes, European sizes... and I couldn't make sense of it - no amount of googling was able to solve the mystery for me! Eventually I used the measurements and cut a 12 but was worried I should have been cutting the 14. Waah! Anyway, the size 12 seems bang on, so happy days. 

This fabric is from the cupboard-stash that I am working my way through. I've always really liked it so it's nice to have finally made something from it! 

Monday, 7 May 2012

et voila...!

Jambo people! 

The African print cushion is done! 

I backed it with calico to give it a a bit more strength and used an envelope back with a black wool I had - there are tonnes of instructions with measurements on d'Internet. 

This cushion is 76 x 76 cm. It's duck feather and got it in Hickeys Home Focus for €18.95. 

For the envelope back, one part is half the front size: so, cut one: 78cm x 39cm and cut one half plus 10cm - ie 78cm x 49cm (including seam allowances). 

Saturday, 5 May 2012

old fabric, new top!

 I totally love this fabric! It's super-old, I think originally from an old lady down the road who gave it to my Mum who gave it to me. I'm on a mission to use the fabric and bits and pieces that have been hoarded for years now. 

So I did another top from the idea of the two scarves - as in two squares sewed together, and I made some ties and put them into the seam. 

There are certainly flaws and I might try again changing a few things with the seams but it's quite satisfying to make something so simple and every time I've worn it, it's got compliments! 

What's nice is that making these simple things is getting me so excited about making more. I bought a couple of patterns during the week so this weekend will be cutting those out. I figure they'll help me learn more about the construction of clothes! 

Yours enthusiastically, 


Thursday, 3 May 2012

i like to spend some time in mozambique... all the couples dancing cheek to cheek...**

I like picking up fabric in the places I go but a lot of it is bought with great ambition and so far has not been put too much good use. I've been to Africa a few times in the last couple of years, and I have a bit of a stash of African prints in my fabric cupboard from Mozambique, Kenya and Chad and I think it's time to do something with them! 

I reckon I'm going to use some of this fabric I got in Mozambique to make a cushion cover for a big floor cushion, and if it works out maybe to a few more from some of the other African prints. 
Any other ideas?!

**That's Bob Dylan, not me:

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

mine's a hot drop!

So much for the first day of summer. Rain, rain, rain! That's one of the bad things about this country. But, we don't like to be too gloomy here at The Reckless Needle and we think one of the GOOD things about rainy Irish days is snuggling up with a pot of tea by the fire!

Is it possible to make that staple of your Granny's kitchen - the humble tea-cosy - cool again?! 

Well, frankly, I'm not sure, but the good people at the Irish Craft Festival (which is on in the Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire on May 20th) are giving it a go. They have very brilliantly come up with the revival of the tea-cosy - with the National Tea Cosy Competition

Being a bit of a tea-lover myself, I recently found myself in need of a tea-cosy to keep things toasty, as you can see! It's a re-fashion of a Penney's beanie hat which I never wore because it was a bit small. 
It's a bit wonky, but it does the job! 

All the entries to the competition will be on display at the Craft Festival - you have until 16th May to get your creation to them!


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