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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Sew your own swimwear - easier than I thought!

Sew your own swimwear

What possessed me to try sewing my own swimwear? Partly, it's because I can never find swimwear that fits. I'm not sure why I thought I had the skills to rectify it, but I did reason with myself that fitting garments from knit fabrics tends to go quite well, and I was looking for something a bit different from my go-to summer dresses, so worth a try. There's a lot that went well with this project, there were some adaptations, and there are a few things that I would do differently next time.

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Je suis.....

Sewing and other stories

 

Hello again!

After a somewhat extended social media detox, I'm returning with a new name. Those of you who follow on the YouTube channel will know that I moved house (again) and in that time I've had a bit of a break from everything craft and social media based, with all my creative energies going into that instead. However, now that things are getting closer to normal I'm getting back into my crafting habits, which means that my social media is also coming back online too. However, coming back in made me think a bit about what I'm doing. After 6 years of blogging as The Petite Passions, I've realised that things have changed. What started out as a lifestyle blog, with a wider variety of posts, really has narrowed down to my main loves of sewing and knitting. I was never really happy with my previous name, though it did encompass where I started out, writing about my little loves (with a bit of synonym searching, that then became The Petite Passions, also because as a dressmaker, I fall into the 'petite' category of under 5ft 3").  Now my little loves are clearer. All of my previous recipes and posts about being out and about will still stay on the blog (just hit the labels on the right if you fancy a look back through those), and may feature again now and then, but really this blog is full of sewing and knitting! If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see that I'm popping up now as Sewingandotherstories, matching the new website. I'm hoping that anyone searching for this blog can still find it!!!! 

Stay tuned for sewing updates and more stories x

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Bonus project! Quick pencil skirt. McCall's Sewing pattern 7631


McCall's Sewing pattern 7631

When Minerva kindly gave me 2m of suiting fabric for a project, I decided to use it to build up my work wardrobe, making a Tilly and the Buttons Megan dress with contrast sleeves. Luckily there was enough fabric left over to make a skirt as well. The fabric is perfect for work, being substantial enough not to need lining and not creasing either, so I was pretty glad to be able to get another item from the 2m. It's brilliant value too by the way (currently only £3.99 per metre).

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Tilly and the Buttons Love at First Stitch Megan dress with long sleeves


Tilly and the Buttons Love at First Stitch Megan dress with long sleeves

With lots of businesses arranging for people to work from home, there is a distinct lack of smart work wear available to buy lately. I still need it though! (Key worker, front line services, need to look professional). Luckily enough, I can make what I need! Suiting fabric like this poly viscose blend are perfect because they have a good weight to them, don't crease easily and don't need a lot of looking after. I had considered tailored trousers but felt that a dress would be more comfortable in the long run.

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We Are Knitters Stomp Sweater Kit review with knit in the round hack

 We Are Knitters Stomp Sweater Kit review with knit in the round hack


I started knitting with kits from We Are Knitters because I knew that in that one pack, I would have all the right tools for making the project I had selected. They have a range of kits available, ranging in difficulty from the beginner level I had picked to other advanced levels that I liked the look of. I had liked the Stomp Sweater from the moment I first looked at the site and bought it fairly soon after my first kits, but it's taken a while for me to get round to making it. One of the reasons was that I was reticent to knit a garment that was in pieces as I prefer to knit in the round, but now I've figured out how to adapt the pattern and I'm really glad I did!
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Kaste dress from Breaking the Pattern by Named Patterns

Review of the Named Patterns Kaste dress sewing pattern, from the book 'Breaking the Pattern'

I almost chose not to blog this make. It has taken me so long to complete that I wondered if I would be able to talk purposefully enough about it in case anyone else fancied it for themselves. but it is beautifully uncomplicated to wear. Also, I feel that it deserves a bit of attention as the pattern I see mentioned most from this book is the Solina dress (which was also my first stop), and this is an interesting design too, so here we go! I did make a few alterations so this isn't quite true to pattern, but I am happy with the final result (even if it did end up in my wip box for a while!)

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Tilly and the Buttons Freya sweater three ways

Tilly and the Buttons Freya sweater pattern review


I've had a bit of a binge on this one pattern lately, and all in this dark red colour too! It all started with the intention to make a cosy sweater dress. Some bad luck later (more to come on that) I had one sweater and ideas for the other 1.5m length of knit fabric in the stash. I have a definite favourite to wear, mainly because of the fabric, but love all three styles.
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Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt

Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt

I was lucky enough to be gifted indigo stretch denim by my lovely auntie last year for my birthday. I managed to make the jeans that I originally was looking for fabric for earlier this year, using the Ultimate Trousers pattern . There was a fair bit left over and I have needed a new denim skirt to wear in winter for a while, so I sought out the Ness pattern. There are many, many skirt patterns available, but I particularly liked that this was designed with denim in mind - details like the yoke and topstitching were what I was looking for. I knew as well that as a Tilly and the Buttons pattern, I could rely on it to be straightforward and easy too.

It was  - I love this pattern!

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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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