Holiday crafting

I’m back! Well, I didn’t actually go anywhere, I’m still here, just relaxing and enjoying time with the family. Hubby is taking some time off work, and it’s been good having him around. We’re not traveling anywhere though, most of the time is spent at home, although we’re also trying to do the be a tourist in your own city thing. So far we’ve taken Annette to see the Sydney Opera House and the Coathanger (a.k.a. the Sydney Harbour Bridge). Very touristy.

Sydney Opera House

And there have been some crafting too. First, I finished these hats for my nephews before Christmas.

Nephews hats

On the left, is a Cupcake Hat for my 8 month old nephew.
Pattern: Cupcake Hat
Yarn: A mix of woolen yarns

On the right, is for my almost 3 year old nephew.
Pattern: My own fair isle pattern, and following the basic hat recipe from Knitting Rules!
Yarn: Cleckheaton Country Silk in white and green

And here’s a summer dress I made for Annette.

Summer dress

The material is from a ladies skirt that I found at the local op shop. The pattern is my adaptation of Burda 3026. It’s an ‘adaptation’ because the original pattern has a hem ruffle (click the link to see what I mean), but I decided to raise the ruffle to make a high waist instead. This is the first sewn garment that I’ve ever made, and I’m very pleased with it! 🙂

After making this dress, it became clear to me that I need to get a proper sewing book. One that’s a good how-to book, and tells me what things are — so that I don’t have to keep referring to “that gathered bit” or “that thingy over there” etc. At the moment I’m thinking Sew U would be a good candidate for clothes making, judging by Amy at Angry Chicken‘s review. (Gosh, as I was writing this, I discovered that Amy had just announced her new book! It looks great and probably just what I need…) But that aside, does anyone have any good sewing how-to books to recommend? Ones that you’ve found useful?

In other news, I have also joined Project Spectrum 2.0, finished the Endpaper Mitts (sneak peek on the Opera House pic above 🙂 ), and started the Pomatomus socks. Pictures soon!


laura b says:

What a cute dress! Very impressive for your first sewn garment!

Steph says:

That dress is just adorable, what a great job! As far as sewing books go, I really like the Readers Digest Sewing book. It has great photo step-by-step instructions.

Rachael says:

The dress is gorgeous! I’ve got the Sew U book, and to be honest haven’t really used it yet (probably b/c I know the patterns won’t fit!!), but my favourite “how-to” sewing books are an older (from high school, love those 80’s pics!) and a recent version of Simplicity’s Complete book of sewing (I got the recent one for Dimmocks for $30ish). I’ve picked up alot of 40’s and 50’s sewing books from op-shops and 2nd hand shops which are also very helpful.The Readers Digest one as mentioned above is also good.
Good luck with the sewing, it fills the “finish it quick” need that knitting sometimes won’t fill (although you are one of the fastest knitters I’ve seen!).

Sue says:

Annette is such a cutie pie. I love her dress, well done. I like the hats too, they turned out fantastic. The endpaper mitts look the same color as on Yai-Ann’s blog. I cant remember her full blog name but if you go to whispering pine on my sidebar you will find her site through that. I think the best idea is to go with a book that you find the easiest to use. Pictures, step by step, etc. Good luck!

Bells says:

She is so cute! And the dress is perfect for her. Well done!

Those hats are lovely. I’m all inspired to go back to hats soon!

Meg says:

All gorgeous, as usual! I can’t believe that dress is your first attempt at sewing, it’s incredible!

Terri says:

Annette looks adorable anyway, but the dress is just SO cute on her. Well done you. Can’t wait to see your Pomatomus socks! Nice to have you back.

Theresa says:

I’m looking for a good sewing book myself – let us know what you find!

Sil says:

There are two books I’ve found very useful during the years:

The New Complete Guide to Sewing


The Complete Book of Sewing Shortcuts

Maybe the library has them as they’ve been around for ages, so you can get a look at them.

Love your daughter’s dress – great fabric choice!

Stephanie says:

I think the dress is cute! I almost want one for myself.

As for the sewing books, I can’t help you, as I learned from my grandmother. Good luck!

Katie says:

Annette looks adorable in her new dress. i’m incredibly impressed that it’s your first sewn garment. (and that you made changes to the pattern for your first sewn garment!)

Ami says:

The dress is adorable! Great job.

corrie says:

ohhh how talented are you!!! knitting, sewing! I love it as I’ve just got the machine out myself and kids projects are soooo cute and of course annette looks too cute