Friday, January 28, 2011

sewly, sewly catch a monkey

(did you notice the play on words there lol)

As you have probably picked up from this blog I love knitting. I taught myself to knit about 2 years ago and I haven't stopped. But for a while now I have had a desire to sew.
I don't know why but I have felt so intimidated by it. My mother is an amazing sew-er. She makes the most incredible things (many of which have appeared here too) and they are all so beautifully finished and we just adore them. I long to be able to sew like her. So for the past few months/ weeks I have been learning.

I suppose 'being able to sew' for me means being able to draw up my own patterns.
I don't tend to knit from patterns anymore either. This is for a couple of reasons;
1. My printer is broken (Benny put foreign objects in it) so I can't print patterns off the computer and I don't have time to write them all out by hand.
2. I am too lazy. I knit in the evenings mostly when I'm quite tired and the effort of counting stitches and rows and stopping knitting to look at a pattern is too much like hard work for me
3. I have a complete inability to understand the wording and struggle with things like 'decrease at end of each row' what?
4. I tend to have a picture in my head of exactly what I want to make and I can never find a pattern for it.

So, I am slowly learning to sew, to make patterns and to make things look ok...

These two little books are my bible. I picked the kids one up from a jumble sale and fell in love straight away. I want to make everything in it for the kids. I noticed in the foot notes that the author wrote a dolls clothes book and of course I invested immediately :-)
I have made quite of dolls clothes from it, and nearly, almost managed to completely follow a pattern, but more than anything I am learning techniques.

I am writing patterns, and I am finally being able to visualise something and then make it in real life. I had in my head that this dolly needed a little green dress, with a peter pan collar. My first attempt was about 3 inches too small.the collar was way to wide on my second attempt, but then I got it.I'm really please with it and more than anything it has given me more confidence (hence the post).
The next thing I need to focus on is being a bit tidier and more organised. I'm very lazy sometimes and my drawers can end up like this...

But I am enjoying it, perhaps the kids will get some mama made clothes this year (although I cunningly bought a copy Little Clothes for Little People for my mum too) and she's brilliant at taking requests :-)


  1. I would love to be able to make clothes, i need to buy a good sewing machine. My mum is fab, and has already made me curtains, and used to make clothes for us when we were small, but she is very busy of late with her holistic therapies business and as such never has time. I would also love to learn to knit, I have tried and failed twice, but try again I must, it looks so rewarding! I do love your dollies, you are so clever! (and everyones drawers look like that, or worse!)

  2. Oh I have an urge to be competent at sewing too. I would love to be able to run up a skirt for H, or a pair of trousers for the boys, but in reality I know that I am only just about ready to progress beyond straight lines and curtains lol.
    Your little dolly dresses look fab and of course the doll is so sweet too.
    And I have to admit my drawers look's just the baskets and crates that look a complete tip!!

  3. Fantastic makes. I got my Mum's sewing machine down from the loft, ohhh it looks scary !

  4. Laura. . .I am so completely impressed that you work without patterns!!! My brain will not work that way for knitting- I have to follow a pattern! For sewing I sort of do my own thing- using a pattern but going off my own way, doing my own thing.
    Funny, all along I have seen things you sew and have considered you quite accomplished!
    I just love the little green dress, Laura- and what could be cuter than peter pan collars?
    My desk drawers look like that too. . .I am hopelessly disorganized!
    <3 love to you!

  5. Hi all, so glad I'm not the only one with messy drawers lol!
    Liz, it's funny it took me 3 attempts to start knitting too, I think having a project in mind I really wanted to do helped..I really wanted to knit Benny longies. So I picked a simple pattern and worked using Youtube tutorials.
    Rebecca, I too feel I'd like to make most/ all of the kids clothes...still a long way off from that.
    Sweetpeas, can't wait to see what you make first.
    Melanie, You're absolutely my inspiration with sewing. I love the clothes you make for your kids (and everything else you make)
    love to all x

  6. I found that same doll clothes book at a thrift store here, but I didn't know that they also had a book of children's clothes- I'll have to look for that one! Those peter pan collars are adorable!