Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Feather and Fan Alpaca Scarf

Feather and Fan Alpaca Scarf – by Caroline Bradshaw at Butterfly Bright

It is a real treat to be knitting with this luxurious super soft Alpaca yarn from Italy, Sierra Andina is 100% pure Alpaca yarn, from the company made famous for its glorious colour combinations and impeccable taste in pure wool yarns, Adriafil.
Sierra Andina knits up to between a Double knitting and a 4 ply weight, it is therefore perfectly suited to beautiful accessories like scarves, gloves and shawls.
Here I have used one ball each of navy blue and cream to give a nautical theme to the scarf, but any colour combination would work well with this classic feather and fan stitch pattern.

K – knit
P – purl
yo – yarn over
k2tog – knit two together

Cast on 26 using 3mm needles

Knit 3 rows

Commence pattern as follows:
Row 1. K all stitches
Row 2. K4, P18, K4
Row 3. K4, (k2tog) 3 times, (yo, k1) 6 times, (k2tog) 3 times, k4
Row 4. K all stitches
Remember to twist the spare yarn at the end of the wrong side rows to carry it up the side of the work neatly, changing colour every four rows.
Continue in pattern to desired length, ending on a row 4, then knit 3 rows before casting off.

If you wish to make this scarf wider the pattern requires multiples of 18 + 4 stitches each side for border.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

I recently saw another lovely idea on Pinterest for a patchwork table runner so I thought I would give it a go. I started by using a few fabrics from the scraps box along with some new prints that had just arrived at the shop and cut up my squares, 24 large colourful ones and 72 small white ones.

As usual my colours are pink, green and blue!

This pattern is similar to a "snowballl" design but you only sew the small squares to three corners of the large squares instead of all four corners.

I laid the squares in opposite directions to be able to "strip piece" the squares and save thread!

Once all three squares were attached to the larger squares I trimmed off the outer corners

Next I joined the larger squares together, the corners without the white squares sit together creating a sort of flower effect.

I layered up with wadding in the middle and a colourful fabric for the reverse.

Finally I sewed all three layers together (inside out) and pulled them the right way round, finishing off with a top stitch all the way round the outer edge.
Ta Da!


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A girl's dress inspired by The Great British Sewing Bee!

I am absolutely hooked on The Great British Sewing Bee!
(BBC 2  on Tuesday evening at 8pm)

Last night the competitors had to make a child's dress with a 'smocked' top.

I have always wanted to try this as I have two girls of my own and I would love to make more clothes for them. Luckily this dress is made using the modern machine sewn technique, with shirring elastic in the bobbin, rather than hand sewing the smocking (which let's face it a working mum does not have time for!)
I rushed in early to work this morning and decided to give it a go. As I was working with very little technical information (ie no pattern!) I thought I would make a doll sized dress as a practice,I know it will get well used as the girls both love dressing their dolls!

I decided on pink gingham fabric, the girls both love pink and I thought the lines on the print would help to guide my lines of shirring.

I joined the  two pieces of fabric with my first French Seam which worked a treat! The next job was to start the lines of shirring, I loaded shirring elastic onto the bobbin, being careful not to wind it too tightly.

I did try a couple of sample pieces first and I was glad I did as I had to play around with the settings a bit before committing to the main article, I set the stitch length to the longest available option which helped too. The fabric does gather more the more lines you add so don't give up if you think it is not working after the first couple of lines. 

Using the gingham pattern I was able to keep the lines relatively straight.
A good tip is that the fabric needs to go under the foot as flat as possible, so try to hold the fabric either side of the foot to ensure it does not pucker as it feeds through the needle.

Next I had to hide all those straggly bits with a second French Seam,

and then hem the top and bottom of the dress. By this time I had to open the shop and so I cheated a bit with the straps and used ribbon (as this is only for a doll I thought this would be OK!).

I added some white buttons to give it a nice finishing touch and there we have it!

I am sure with a bit more practice I will get better but I really enjoyed my first attempt!

If you want to give something like this a go why not look at our list of Sewing Workshops or join us at our next Sherborne Sewing Bee!

Happy Sewing!
Ali x
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