Colour block knit dress - Kwik Sew K4111

Colour block knit dress - Kwik Sew K4111

This is not my first K4111 rodeo, and yet, this version is quite different to my previous two and featured another set of alterations. It's one of those things in sewing that even if you are using the same pattern, and same 'type' of fabric (in this case knit or jersey), it doesn't always work in the same way. For me, it's a good things as all my versions look quite different and adds variety to my wardrobe. This was the first dressmaking project I had taken on in quite a while and I enjoyed the creative process around it, part problem solving and part design choice.

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Knitting fail - Ribbed Tee

If I have a make that ends up as a bit of a fail, it doesn't often end up here, mainly because it never made it to a point that I can photograph it. In this case, I made such a huge error that I completely finished this one and it was only when I put it on that I realised it was way too big. All the pieces were seamed together, and the ends were woven in. The only thing it needed was blocking, and generally that makes things bigger, so this really is it. If this was a sewn item, I'd be able to unpick the seams and take it in, or add dart and bodge it to a satisfactory outcome. Knitting is not that generous. Seeing as it's rare that things get this far, I thought I should write a bit about it, as we all have those times that things just don't go well. I even caught a photograph - not one of my best but there it is!

In fact, this is the second project that this yarn has been frogged from.

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Simple Sew Juliette Tie-Back Blouse

 Simple Sew Juliette Tie-Back Blouse pattern review

I haven't done much garment sewing in a while, so have eased myself back in with what should be a quick and easy make. By and large it was, so I'm feeling pretty good about it! I managed to repurpose a previous make that has had zero wear into something that is much more versatile and is already getting more wear. As a bonus I also got to try out a pattern that has been languishing in my stash for years!
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Sewing a large quilt on a regular sewing machine as a beginner, including the Feathered Arrows quilting pattern review

Sewing a large quilt on a regular sewing machine as a beginner, including the Feathered Arrows quilting pattern review

Those of you who have followed for a while will have seen my journey of making a large quilt from my starting point of complete novice to finished quilt (a very long journey of over a year as I had to store away the project twice!). Seeing as those posts have been spread out over quite some time, this is a summary for anyone who is newer to quilting and is wondering if or how they can sew a large quilt on their machine, or anyone thinking of using the Feathered Arrows pattern and how I found it. I'm covering bases from complete beginner, so feel free to skip ahead if you are more advanced! I've put links to other posts which have more details on other projects in case they pique your interest as well.

Sewing large quilts on a regular sewing machine...Why? How large?
I bought my machine, a Janome 7025 or also known as a 525s after I had been dressmaking for about a year. It was about £250, which was about as much as I could invest in a machine at the time. I know there are lots more around that are more expensive, but to be fair, this machine has all the stitches and functions I need. Plus, even if I had gone for the slightly fancier model at £500 which is computerised, it still wouldn't have any more space for quilting. I hadn't considered quilting at the time, and though I'd like to make some, it's not enough to buy a new machine for which has lots more space for quilting! The biggest problem is getting the quilt though that small space between the needle and the rest of the machine as you're sewing it (and being able to sew straight still!) 
The quilt I was intending to make was 60" square, and after making it I now know it could have been larger.

Sewing a large quilt on a regular sewing machine as a beginner, including the Feathered Arrows quilting pattern review

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Cliff Walk Socks by Curious Handmade (shorties)

Cliff Walk Socks by Curious Handmade, Handmade Sock Society Season 2, shortie version

I love wearing handmade socks so much and decided to make a pair of shorties for the summer. Every now and again I need a pair when there's a bit of a chill and for walking (knitted socks are so good even in summer for walking!). I deliberately chose a pair with lace work, which I would normally avoid, for added 'airiness'. Years ago I happily purchased the Handmade Sock Society Season 2, enjoying each new pattern as it was released and merrily forgetting about it because there's never enough time to knit everything. I had particularly discounted the Cliff Walk socks due to the lace pattern, but looking back through this time, they actually ticked the boxes!

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Quilting in quarantine part 4 - Binding

Binding a large quilt

Finally, I have finished free motion quilting and moved to the very last stage of completing the quilt I've been working on in lockdown. I always find the final stages of a project somewhat nerve wracking, especially when it's taken a long time to put together. It doesn't take a lot to detract from weeks of work that I'm quite proud of. Mixed results on this part I feel.....
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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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