Wednesday, 25 December 2013

I will be back with regular posts and lots of lovely sewing and knitting in the new Year!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A Wednesday WIP - Miette

Hello all,

How are you?  Ready for Christmas?  I'm still ploughing away through my Christmas sewing and knitting, I can't wait til the 27th when I can start showing you what I have been up to!  

Something I can show/talk about is the progress on my Miette cardigan.  

As you know I'm using this wool for it: 

And I think I told you I bought some bamboo circular needles from eBay? Well they were a bust.  They actually are bust,  broken, kaput and it happened half way through a row on the yoke grrr!!  So I transferred the whole project to a pair of straight 5s until I could get some new metal circulars and then moved it all back over. Phew it was a bit time consuming and has meant I'm not as far on as I would like to have been by now. 

So as I write this I am up to row 23, nearly at the point of breaking the yarn. The yoke and body have 99 rows inclusive so as you can see I still have quite a way to go! 

Despite the needle breaking issue I am really enjoying this project so far.  I've never actually knitted an actual piece of clothing for an adult so it's a great learning curve.  The internet has some fabulous resources for help with this particular project and I am using this tknit along from Today's Agenda to keep myself right.

In line 25 it says:
Row 25 (WS): Break yarn, CO 10 on right needle, purl across live sts on left needle, CO 10 on right needle.

and while I thought I knew what to do there I wanted to double check so I simply typed the instructions into google and found another lady had asked the same thing so If you get stuck too here is a great link explaining what to do. 

Now a sneaky peak of another Christmassy goody that is also a WIP but that's all I can show for now. 

As soon as Christmas is past I intend to power on with my Cynthia Rowley dress and get full steam ahead with Project 2014.  I also have a review of the Ohhh Lulu Grace panties pattern to share with you. 

Friday, 13 December 2013

Super busy and sick!

We are all sick in the Bug and Squish household so apart from Christmas presents being slowly worked on I've not had much chance to do any sewing but I have been out on a couple of driving lessons in my little car Siouxie.

I said recently I'd do some 'getting to know me' posts so here is a little story which should give you some insight into my mind.  

This was a conversation I had with my driving instructor the other day.  Discussing the road markings for roundabouts.

Me: so go with the markings written on the floor and if none left for straight ahead.  Wait a minute how weird is that? In the house we have a floor right and a ceiling. Outside ceilings are called roofs so you'd really think their would be another word for floor for outside right???!

Julie:  eh yeah Gemma their is, the ground!

Me: oh my god so there is!!! 

Days later we discussed this were laughing and I said 'oh my god and roof has the same letters as floor except the L that's well spooky. 

Julie:  looking at me like I have 2 heads

Me:  looking like my mind has been blown with enlightenment.

Not til I was relaying the whole thing to My husband did I think.  'Oh dear floor and roof aren't the same so that's not spooky at all!' 

Lol poor Julie having to put up with this!

Please tell me I'm not the ony person who says stupid things like this? Gem xx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A little treat for you!

Don't worry I've not forgotten you all, I'm just so busy working away on things I can't show you 'till after Christmas Day at the moment. 

In the meantime I share with you a little treat from myself, The Hubster, Bug and Squish.

Click here  to enjoy!

Bye for now, Gem xx

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Christmas has taken over!

Oh Christmas present making has taken over my evenings! Normal service will resume soon! 

In the meantime I can show you this:
the wool I chose to make my Miette , what do you think?

I also picked these up for Christmas pressies but I can't show you what I've made til after the big day boooo!!

Do you make your Christmas pressies?  I'm trying to do it myself or support handmade, just hope my pressies are well recieved!

Ok peops short and sweet for now but I will be back soon! 

Thank you, Gem xx

Monday, 2 December 2013

My underwear drawer . . .

is filling up quickly!

What do you think? 

A review of the pattern used will follow in the next couple of days!

Please note that this is a pattern that I paid for, I am in no way affiliated to the  origin of said pattern and therefore will offer a straightforward and honest review. 

Bye for now folks, Gem xx

Cynthia Rowley Muslin Take 1!

For about the last week I have been working on my first ever muslin for this dress.
I blogged about it here I am determined to make a good job of this so a muslin seemed essential and thankfully I went down that route because . . . . 

the first one came up too small.  Now I'd love to blame the pattern (hehe) but essentially what happened was, I took my measurements, decided on the size, then cut the wrong one oops! 

Although the size was incorrect this muslin was not a bust as it allowed me to practice drawing out my pattern

and practice making darts

Onwards and upwards to the next version!

Oh incase you are wondering my muslin is made out of a fitted sheet I bought from Asda and removed the elastic from. I will definitely be buying more of these!

Next version coming soon!

Thanks for stopping by, Gem xx

Thursday, 28 November 2013

New Pattern!!

Hello All,

So what so you think of this?

I'm super excited by it!! I'm thinking denim with bound button holes, sigh!  It's on my list!

Bye for now! Gem xxx

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Jumpsuit that's not a jumpsuit. . .


So today I decided to take you back to a piece that I made pre blog but that I am so proud of.  

My Maxi Dress

I must apologise for the terrible picture, I may actually redo these!

So this is the dress that wasn't meant to be a dress.  I bought Vogue Misses Jumpsuit Pattern 1249 

with the intention of making just that, a jumpsuit, but I couldn't find a fabric I liked at the time.  Simultaneously I fell in love with this knit fabric:

And the idea of a maxi dress based on the pattern was born.  Now at this point I had sewn one item of clothing for myself and I needed this dress for a night out the following weekend so not only were the pattern and my timescale fairly ambitious in the first place changing the pattern should have scared the 'beep' out of me but it didn't so let me tell you what I did. 

Here's a view of the front taken from the Vogue pattern sleeve.

I was going to show you the pictures of the pattern pieces but I think in maybe not allowed to do that so I'll try and talk you through it.

The Bodice
Fully lined in the same fabric
Sizing I cut a 14 on top based on my measurements.

The main differences in the pattern and my construction are:

1) As I made it in a knit fabric I had no need for a zip which as a newbie was quite good news for me.

2)  The bodice is intended to be made in 5 pieces. 1 front, 2 side front, 2 side back and 2 back however due to the absence of a zip I was able to make the back in one piece. (This doesn't include the lining which was separate) 

3) I added straps. Simple enough to do.  I chose the bra I intended to wear with it and once my bodice was nearly completed (prior to attaching the lining) I decided where I wanted the straps to sit, how wide I wanted them to be how long I needed them to be and then cut out 2 strips of fabric, rectangles, to the width and length I needed them plus 5/8" seam allowance. I folded right sides together lengthwise, and sewed down the edge.  Then turned right side out, ironed and set into the bodice. 

4) I wasn't going to keep the grill along the bust but cut it out anyway to try it and I loved it so kept it. 

The skirt
Unlined as the fabric was heavy enough not to need it
Size I cut the largest size in order to make it as full as possible.

1) Instead of cutting 2 trouser legs on the fold, I still lay the pattern on the fold but I didn't cut the crotch out.  I extended the width of the waist by cutting from the fold straight across to the top of the pattern and over.

2) Before attaching to the bodice I created box pleats in the front as gathers are not very flattering for me but I obviously needed to make the skirt for to bodice properly. 

I'm really hoping all this makes sense?  This is definitely a patten I intended to use again both in the same manner to make another maxi dress and to make a jumpsuit too.  Perfect for  Project 2014!  The actual jumpsuit utilises boning which is something I'd love to get my teeth into. 

So what do you think? 

Thank you for reading, Gem xx

Monday, 25 November 2013

Blythe Challenge Lauren

Hello everyone,

I'd like to introduce you to the second of my Blythe challengers today so without further ado I bring you:

Lauren is a lovely lady who I met through a few Facebook sewing groups but have since become friends with in real life!  How mad does that sound? 

'Im a foster carer from south west scotland, I love to sew and have an addiction to fabric'. (She's not lying about the addiction folks, what Lauren doesn't have in her stash isn't worth having!) 

Lauren learned to sew at school but has been doing it as a frequent hobby for the last couple of years.  Along with sewing children's clothes Lauren makes gorgeous quilts which you can see on her lovely page on Facebook,  Made By Lolly S

I sent Lauren this picture 

Original source: Custom Blythe Clementine by Rabbit Without Tears

Laurens make . . . 

A sweet baby girl dress in age 6-9month.

Complete with back sash and delicate frills.

When I asked Lauren why she got involved with this challenge this was her reply:

'cause I'm daft!!! Gem made idea sound interesting so thought 'why not!!' 

I think the inspiration Was clear from the get go, very girly and the same colour scheme.  

'The picture terrified me but after lots of stressing and panicking I made a decision'

Didn't she do a wonderful job?  It's most certainly the kind of dress I'd have put Bug in as a baby!

Thank you for joining us today Lauren! Hope you have a busy festive period at Made By Lolly S

Do you fancy taking a turn in the Blythe Challenge?  Drop me a line at and we can chat.

Thanks for reading, Gem xxx

Blythe Challenge Eleanor


Today I'm sharing my blog with the lovely Eleanor of CraftCreaseCrumb

As well as running CraftCreaseCrumb 31year old Eleanor is a home schooling mum, to a  brood of 5, from the south wales valley.

' I love creating "things". At the moment I am enjoying a sewing phase. But I also love to cook, crochet, needle felt, glass paint and make jewellery' 

She has taken The Blythe Challenge so let's she what she came up with.

I sent her this picture:

Original source can be found  here though I found it on Pinterest. 

Eleanor's make. . . . 

A beautiful bag based on Blythes own in the picture. 

(How beautiful is this?) 

So how did this gorgeous creation come to be?  I sent Eleanor a little questionnaire to get find out. 

1) First off: who are you and how long have you been sewing? 

 'Ive only been sewing for a few months. Started out making a bedroom runner and matching bed cushions and then got hooked on making clothes and bags!'

2) What made you to take part in this challenge?

'I love, love, love surprises and learning something new so this gave me a chance to do develop some new skills and have fun too!'

3) How did your picture inspire your creation?

'I instantly got grabbed by the oh so cute mini bags. I bought handles before I started sewing as something I "needed". Got the inspiration and supplies, sorted.'

4) Anything else you would like to add?

'In future I will be viewing pics on the laptop before I get inspired. On the iPhone the (original) pic looked red, oops.'

I'd like to thank this wonderful lady for taking part in my challenge, 'you did a great job, Eleanor'.  Good luck with both your Blog and Facebook Page!

Tomorrow we have Lauren joining us from Made By Lolly S can't wait!

Thank you for stopping by today!

Gem xxx

Saturday, 23 November 2013

The Blythe Challenge


Do you remember this post when I told you about my slight obsession with Blythe dolls?  

If not I'll tell you again!!! I absolutely LOVE them and if I could change myself I'd want to look like one.  It's ok if you find that weird, hubby does! Anyhoo so I love them and they will feature in this blog LOTS mainly in the form of The Blythe Challenge now I do appreciate not everyone knows what they are so here is a wee link. 

Check out my Pinterest (Gem Smith) you'll find a board on them. 

'What is this challenge??' I hear you cry! Well as the meerkats would tell ya it's 'simples'

Anyone taking part will be sent a Blythe picture by me and the aim is to use it to inspire a make.  This 'make' can be as close to or as abstract to the picture as you wish and can be anything! An item of clothing, an accessory, a quilt ANYTHING the only stipulation is that it must be a sewn item (or knitting). 

I want to see people Go wild!!

So pop in on Monday to see the first Blythe Inspired make from Eleanor from the blog CraftCreaseCrumb and the Facebook page of the same name. 

If you fancy giving the challenge a go feel free to drop me an email at

And I love chatting for feel free to drop me a comment below.

Bye for now! Gem xx

Friday, 22 November 2013

Stalking the postman!

Hello all!

I've been stalking the postie, should I really tell you that?  Does it make me sound odd? Or do you understand?  I was waiting anxiously/ nervously / excitedly for 2 pairs  of bamboo circular needles!  And guess what???!

They are here!!!!!!  Please ignore the wool in this pic I was too excited to wait for new wool so I cast on and had at it haha!

Eeeeeeeek!! 1 size 4.5mm (US 7) and 1 size 5mm (US 6) As you know I LOVE to knit but I've never done a big project and I've never used circular needles.  This is about to change when I start working on the the beautiful cardigan they (who? Eh all bloggers everywhere!) call the Miette!  It's a free pattern you can find here on Ravelry.  I've seen it on a few blogs such as Making It Well  so go have a look and while you're there go and read it ALL it's a fab sewing and knitting blog and Jo who writes it has very kindly agreed to help me should (read when) I get stuck, thank you Jo.  

Ok so go read and have a fab weekend! Gem xxx

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Wearable nearly!

Hello all!

Ok so don't laugh, they aren't exactly stunning BUT here's my first pair of knickers nearly finished!!

I have learned so much which I will share with you in the next couple of days when I have collected my thoughts a little better on them.  I am super keen to make more!   Project 2014 is taking shape!

Also next week I am going to be showing off the work of 2 of my sewing friends.  I set them a little challenge recently and I'm so excited to show you what thy both came up with!

Bye for now! 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Down memory lane

I recently spent a wonderful afternoon with the paternal grandmother of my husband.

 Infact we spend lots of lovely afternoons together but this one was exceptionally fun as I started to wander down memory lane with her.  I've got a huge need to gather as much information about our family as I can in order to share our heritage with Bug and Squish once they get older. 

We initially started talking about how she and her husband met but was quickly diverted to discussing fashions when she brought out her photos!  I asked If I could share these pictures with you and lucky for you all she said yes! So here's my 2 favourite to whet your appetite.  They have inspired a ton of new ideas for me! 

So here we go:

Isn't she beautiful? I am in love with this dress! Polka dots are one of my favourite patterns ever!! I love the bateau neck on this dress however it wouldn't suit busty me (lol) so I'd change the neckline but it really suited her.  Also check out the doggy! I've kind of covered it's wee facey with the border so look: 

This particular dress has inspired me to get my Polka Dot on for Project 2014 so last night I ordered this fabric.  I'm thinking either a skirt or a dress.

Infact as I added the picture to this post I was reminded of a stunning fifties style pencil skirt I bought to wear during my school work experience at a local solicitors office. It was beautiful!! A pencil skirt complete with flounce along the bottom! I bought it from our local Red Cross shop and style it with super high heels!  Ah I loved it so much and felt uber glamorous!! I wonder if I'll go down that route again?

I've had to crop this picture right down as it included 4 other ladies which is why it's a funny size, just in case your wondering.

Anyway the dress!  Slash neck again and a beautiful full skirt!! It looks like the fabric might be floral.  I do love old photos but sometimes it's so hard to make out the details isn't it?  Oh how these pictures make me wish I had started sewing for myself a long time ago, I could live in these styles daily! I WILL live in these styles daily you mark my words!!  Along with my polka fabric I've also got this coming and I'm thinking if my Cynthia Rowley turns out well I may do another in this:

Although I do really fancy this pattern too *hint hint hubby if you're reading* 

With this is mind I'm wondering is their anyone in particular you look to for inspiration? 

Happy weekend everyone! 

My first Cynthia Rowley Dress

Hello all 

This post will mark the start of my first series of posts chronicling the making of my first Cynthia Rowely dress from start to finish. 

The Pattern

I bought this pattern aaaaagggeeessss ago to make as a wedding outfit but then I found out I was preggo and not only did I completely loose my sewjo I refused to make something that I knew I'd never fit. Now Squish is 10months old and I'm ready to lock and load. 

I have chosen to make view C as I love the shape of the neckline, very flattering for my shape I hope! However I shall be leaving off the tabs as I'm not keen on them and also lengthening both the body (this is where my height is) and the skirt as that's a tad too short for my liking.

The Fabric

Michael Miller Garden Wall, Windsong fabric

Dont you just love it??!!! I'm in 2 minds as to whether this will make up the whole dress or if I will use it along side something else but it will definitely make up part of the dress.  I bought this on eBay and have already prewashed and ironed it ready for this project. 

A Muslin

For the first time EVER I am making a full muslin before I start eeeeekkk!!! I so want this to turn out well so I figure a toile is the way to go.  I didn't particularly want to use any of my yummy stash fabric for this though so I saught an alternative. A bedsheet! Genius!  So I nipped down to Asda and came home with this: 

I don't have a dressmaking dummy so I will be cutting my pieces from this, basting them and fitting them to me.  Ill rope hubby into help me with this.

Soooooo the next step will be getting my muslin cut and made I hope you'll join me again soon and see how I get on.  

Do you have any advice or tips for me?

Thank you for coming, Gem xx

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Woop woop I'm a Spoolette!!

And I'm wearing my badge with pride!!

I had fully intended to explain it all to you in this post but after feeling rubbish all day (woe is me) my brain is too foggy to choose the words soooooo I recommend you pop over and read it in the lovely Clare from Sew Dixie Lou in her own words!

I'm off to wrap up warm so bye for now and thanks for reading, Gem xx

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

In other news . . . .

My first pair of knickers are nearly finished.  I have to overlock and topstich and I'm done.  I'm pretty impressed with them and know I will go on to make more. 

Last night saw an epic battle between slippy slidy satiny fabric and a zip, find out soon who won!

Thanks for coming, Gem xx

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Ohhh Lulu knickers . . . .

Hello everyone, loooooookkkk!!!

finally got my first pair of knickers cut out ready to sew, what do you think? 

They look huge but let's pretend that's because of the camera angle and not because my bum needs lots of fabric to cover it!  In reality the frilly fabric matches the other fabric fairly well, that is just bad photography making it look otherwise.

This is my tester pair but if they fit I can see I will be making loads.  Full review of the pattern and pictures of the final product coming soon!! 

As you know I've set myself a challenge for 2014 you can  read about it here and join the Facebook page Here I really want to be wearing my 'Ohhh Lulu' knickers all year!! 

Have you made your own lingerie at all?  I'm interested in trying bras out too but the thought is a bit scary at the moment.  

I debated over whether to add this next picture but it's made me giggle so it might make you aswell.  Ok so the pattern calls for a small piece of Jersey for the crotch lining but could I lay my hands on some plain jersey? No so my pants will be lined with this:  

Hehe at least there's a purple spider so it kind of matches right? 

Thanks for coming by, Gem xx

Friday, 8 November 2013

One down 4 to go!!

After sharing my 5 things yesterday I got pretty busy with my knitting needles and completed number 5! 

I give you the Leaving on the Edge Cowl!

I'm so happy with how this has turned out and  going to make a couple as Christmas gifts! 

Next to be knocked off the list should be number 3 the Vite Cowl. All it needs is blocking and stitched together so that should be achievable tonight.

Well I have 2 sleeping children so fingers crossed I can go and have a cuppa in peace! 

Thanks for stopping by, Gem xx