Tag Archive | Dark Knight

16 July 2014 update – dress-making

Well, yet again, it’s been a while!

I’ve been busy, though.  My focus has changed quite dramatically, so I’ve been doing a lot of dress-making.  I’m posting this at work (gasp!), so pictures of my actual creations will follow later, although I’ll put the official pattern pictures in for now.  Edited: added my pictures in!

Largely prompted by the Great British Sewing Bee series 2, which I must have watched at least 20 times now, I decided I felt like dress-making.

I completed a dress I’ve had cut out for about 4 years – but I’ve lost a lot of weight, so I had to re-cut all the pieces.  I had sewn the bodice darts, so I had to unpick those, and discovered that my fabric, a cotton batik, had marked badly along the stitch lines, so had a panic when I thought I didn’t have enough fabric.  Fortunately, I found the bag and juuuust had enough to re-cut.  It did mean that the pattern matching wasn’t quite as good as I wanted, but that was contributed to by the print not being as even as it actually looked on the roll.  The cotton came from John Lewis, and the bodice is fully lined, lining fabric also from John Lewis.  The pattern is  Vogue 8633 ‘Easy’, although it was anything but!  I made view F, which is the full skirt with sleeves.  I found that I had to shorten the shoulder line (not sure if that’s the right term) by about 2 inches, as it projected enough that if I’d set the sleeves in as it was, they would have been about halfway down my upper arm!  I also need to close up the neckline a little – it’s fine standing up, but when I sit down there’s a bit more cleavage on view than I like.  I even embroidered washing instructions inside!

Vogue - 8633

dress My lovely dog decided to photobomb the picture!

Since I had some fabric left over (those unused bodice pieces), I made a little clutch bag, using the instructions in Love Sewing magazine, issue 1.

 dress bag

Then I started and finished a jacket made from a groovy wool blend with lines needlefelted onto it, which I got at the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC in March, and lined it with a painted nylon kimono lining from ebay.  The pattern is a Simplicity New Look pattern that seems to be out of print now, for a waterfall front jacket.  The pattern, though, is for a much lighter fabric, and unlined, so I had to figure that out as I went along.  It’s very cosy.  The pattern also didn’t at any point specify that the long sleeve seams had to be sewn.  In one instruction diagram they were unsewn, and in the next they were magically sewn, without any written step inbetween!

jacket front jacket back jacket lining jacket lining detail

I made a pair of trousers from Vogue 1366 in a grey lightweight suiting, which I got from The Sewing Cafe, in Hinckley.  I added purple piping around the waistline and across the rear welt pockets.  And my god, the pockets!  The instructions were slightly less than useless, and after my fifth attempt, ruining one whole cut-out leg of good fabric, I youtubed the whole thing, ignored the Vogue instructions, and got on much better.  Without doubt, the most comfortable pair of trousers I have EVER owned, and the right length too.  I’m tall, so I struggle to find ready to wear trousers long enough.  But the rear pockets were not simple.

 trousers front trousers back

I completed a pair of shoe clips from a Mollie Makes magazine cover kit – fun!

Mollie Makes 41 gifts mollie clips

I bought a new overlocker, because mine died, utterly.

 A Brother 1034D.  My boss gave me a bonus, the day after my overlocker died, so that was a complete no-brainer!

I took apart a handbag which I had from Accessorize several years ago, which was in a pink corduroy.  The corduroy had gone bald, as corduroy does when it rubs, but I really like the shape and size of the bag, so I unpicked it and used the pieces as patterns to cut out and assemble a new bag.  The new one is made up in a cotton canvas from a shop in London, with the old lining from the handbag and the zip and strap re-used, and interlined with a waterproof fabric from the same shop.  (The Cloth Shop, in Soho.)  First time of making my own bias binding using a bias maker, too.

Accessorize Corduroy Handbag The original was similar to this one.

bag front bag back This is my version.  I also re-used the lining.

I just made up a top from a Vogue Very Easy 8963, in a print cotton from ebay.  I didn’t cut the top on the bias, because of the pattern on the fabric, and added an invisible zip in the back.  My first one, so I’m really pleased with that, I think it turned out really well.  The pattern envelope shows it as a dress, but it can be made up as a top too.  The only other change I made to this was to add bias binding around the bottom of the armholes, which isn’t specified in the pattern instructions.

 top front top back

I finally finished Hill Hay Farm, thank goodness!  I still think it’s not very good as a photo chart, but hopefully the cousin who asked me for it will be happy.

hill hay

I also made a couple of flowery hair clips, and decorated some white espadrille type pumps (£7.99 from New Look) to match the dress.

hair clips flower shoes

So next, the OH wants me to make up some cushions for the living room using some patchwork printed pieces we got from the USA last time we were there; I want to make up a couple of blouses and a jacket, and I’m back sewing the Dark Knight again.

I’m thinking:

MATHILDE Tilly and the Buttons – Mathilde

 By Hand London – Victoria Blazer (long length)

Oh, and I’m also knitting a bolero cardigan to go with the cotton dress.

We went up to Yorkshire for the Tour de France, and found a lovely little shop in Ilkley, called Eme,

Photo: Shop looks great when the sun is shinning!

where I got a bobble hat kit (a ball of chunky wool with a pre-made fluffy bobble), a pattern for an anorak affair,

Landgate Pattern (new) Merchant & Mills – Landgate

and some cute dotty canvas to make it up in.   It’s a really great little shop, and the proprietress was absolutely lovely.  We came upon it purely by chance, but I thoroughly recommend a visit.

So I guess I’m going to be busy.

I’ve also signed up for a sewing course at Guthrie & Ghani in August – making a Belcarra blouse.  I seem to struggle with hems, and I’m not sure if it’s me or my sewing machine that’s the problem.  So hopefully I might get a couple of pointers.

Plus I’ll be going to SewBrum in October for a day of shopping and swapping.  I can’t wait!




WIPocalypse 2014 targets

***Now updated with pictures!***

Hmm, I see that the topic for this month’s WIPocalypse entry is to: ‘Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!’

I also see that stupid Multiply no longer has my old posts, so I’ll have to introduce myself again.  So, here goes:

My name is Emma.  I live with my partner, OH (other half, or he who does not wish to be named), and my Jack Russell terrier, Max.  Max is 10, going on 50, and I have been with the OH for 10 years now.

I am 38 years old, and have been stitching and doing various other crafts since I was very little.  My mother runs her own business making historically accurate costume dolls for display and dolls houses.  She taught me to sew when I was very small.  I remember her taking an out-of-hours sewing class when I was at primary school, and teaching me to cross-stitch on binca.  Both of my grandmothers were also keen sewers, although arthritis has forced one to give up embroidery.  The other is still a keen knitter.  My father made and painted models all the time I lived at home, and switched to model boat building about 7 years ago.

Cross-stitch is my primary obsession, although I can do almost every other form of counted embroidery and sewing. I’m less good at crewel embroidery, mostly because I don’t especially enjoy it.  I also recently re-discovered knitting, and enjoy making miniature teddy bears.  I also have a large collection of dolls houses in various states of completion: a large Edwardian American house, an 1870s saloon/cathouse, a cake shop, a teddy bear shop, a Christmas shop, and a 1920s dress shop, all in 1/12th scale (one inch scale if you’re American, I think).  I have dabbled in 144th scale, but generally find that a little too fiddly.  I also enjoy miniature embroidery, although I have started to suffer from eye problems which mean that I can’t do quite such small scale as I used to. 

I really, really like enormous projects.  Or perhaps, I should more realistically say, I like starting enormous projects.  I’m not so good at finishing them.  And once the stitching is complete, I tend to lose all further interest and leave them languishing, unfinished.  I have way, way more projects, charts and kits than I can ever possibly finish in my lifetime.

So, for 2014, my WIPocalypse (see link to Measi’s blog on the sidebar) targets are to:

Finish: Hill Hay Farm; Blackwork World Map; The Dark Knight; Canyon Santa (finished 4-Jan-2014)

Work on: Fairy Tale Castle; Circe Invidiosa; The Kiss; Euphoria; Kabuki Dancer

Finish finish: Christmas Tree 2008; The Mark Twain Silhouette; Fire Screen; Roses card; Margaret Sherry cat; Running Horse; Bay Window; Country Scene; 3 Jeremy Fisher Scenes; Tower of London; Orange butterfly; Solar Flare; Tiger Reflection; Stars For a New Millenium.

I also want to get more done on my doll houses; the Saloon needs wallpaper finishing (done 29-Dec-13), windows adding and etching (done 2-Jan-14), furniture adding and populating.  The 1920s dress shop needs priming, wallpapering, windows adding and etching, furniture adding and populating.  The teddy bear shop needs some more shelving, teddy bears making up, and the little girl shopper making up.  The Sticky Bun cake shop needs a platform adding behind the counter.  The Christmas shop needs the roof finishing, tablecloths making, snow adding, a sign written, filling with Christmas goodies, and populating.  There is also at least one, maybe two, over shop room boxes which need building, decorating, furnishing and populating.

So, pictures:

Hill Hay Farm, about half way through:


The Saloon, exterior decorated:


The exterior stairs, and their little diorama (I’m really pleased with this bit):


And the two attic rooms, decorated (the pictures are a bit blurry, sorry):

DSC03135 DSC03134

WIPocalypse – the Revenge! 30-Dec-2013

Well, this year hasn’t gone very well in terms of updating the blog.  I kind of lost interest in it, to be honest.

So, I started the year with 14 WIPs (Works In Progress) and 14 FUPPys (Finished Unfinished Project Pieces).  I finished 8  pieces completely, including  5 bonus start-and-finish pieces, and I now have 7 WIPs and 16 FUPPys.  I can’t say that I’m pleased with that, I had hoped to get much more done.  I did have some eye issues through the year, which slowed me down a lot, and lately I’ve been working on a paid piece for a second cousin, so everything has taken a back seat to that.  I’ll add a couple of pictures later, when I can, but most things have pictures in previous entries.

For 2013, my WIPocalypse – the Revenge! (see link to Measi’s blog on the sidebar) goals were to:

Finish: Solar Flare finished 1-Jan-2013, not yet framed; Blackwork World Map not finished; Tiger Reflection finished 15-Mar-2013, not yet framed; The Dark Knight not finished

Start (and possibly finish): Tony Minieri – Stars For a New Millenium started 1-Jan-2013 finished 27-Feb-2013, not yet framed

Work on: Fairy Tale Castle nope; Circe Invidiosa nope; The Kiss nope; Euphoria ooh, actually, it looks like I worked on this a bit!

Finish finish: Christmas Tree 2008; The Mark Twain Silhouette; Fire Screen; Roses card; Margaret Sherry cat; Running Horse; Bay Window; Country Scene; 3 Jeremy Fisher Scenes; Tower of London; Orange butterfly didn’t finish any of these!

Unplanned: Roses bookmark started 17-Feb-2013 finish-finished 2-Mar-2013; Pineapple welcome finish-finished Dec-2013; knitted hat finished Dec-2013; knitted hat for Mum finished 24-Dec-2013; Cardinal Felt Stocking finished Mar-2013

I’ll be setting myself some more targets for 2014, but not measuring myself particularly hard against them.

WIPocalypse 31 Dec 2012

Well, the world didn’t end after all.  I hope you all had a good Christmas and will have a good New Year.

Warning, this is going to be VERY picture heavy!

This is what I said I wanted to get done in the WIPocalypse for 2012 – updated statuses are in bold:


Classic Embroidery – Tallulah – framed 5-Feb-2012 ??????????????????????????????? I apologise for the poor quality of the picture – it’s very difficult to photograph a black picture!

Sunset – A Gracious Era – framed 19-Feb-2012 DSC00048

Feltworks – Woodland Santa Stocking – finished 23-Dec-2011 DSC00006

DMC – Blackwork World Map – not finished, but had some work

Before: DSC00027

Dimension’s Gold Collection Petites – Tiger Reflection – not finished, but had some work DSC00013  After: DSC00035

Heritage Stitchcraft – Golden Pavilion – no work

Lanarte – Virgo – no work

Scarlet Quince – Circe Invidiosa – no work

Maia – Wild Westies III – no work

Cross Stitch Collection – Fairytale Castle – almost finished a quarter of the design

Before:IMG_0130 After: ???????????????????????????????

Miniature Textiles Company – Floral Needlework Carpet – no work

Fine Arts Heritage Society – The Kiss – no work

Lavender & Lace – Emma’s Garden – no work

Cross Stitch Collectibles – The Last Judgement – no work, now contemplating unpicking and re-using the fabric

Finish finish (the stitching was finished, but they needed finishing into a proper item):

The Mark Twain Silhouette – no work

Nicola Mascall – Fire Screen – no work

Roses card – no work

Margaret Sherry cat – no work

Running Horse – no work

Deer in the woods – framed 27-Aug-2012 DSC09842

Bay window – no work

Country scene – no work

3 Jeremy Fisher scenes – no work

Fletcher 901 class train – framed 27-Aug-12 DSC09841

Blue and Scarlet Macaws – framed 27-Aug-12 DSC09840

Christmas Angel – framed 19-Feb-2012 DSC00045

Posy Collection – Yellowstone Bison – framed 19-Feb-2012 DSC00044

Valerie Pfeiffer – Lady in Red – framed 19-Feb-2012 DSC00046

Valerie Pfeiffer – The Blues – framed 19-Feb-2012 DSC00047

Then of course there were the starts:

Lavender & Lace – Christmas Tree 2008 – finished 29-Jan-12 DSC00023

My Big Toe – Dog Hair – finished 12-Jul-12 DSC09827

My Big Toe – Give Me the Cookie – finished 14-Jul-12 DSC09826

SK Forest Walk – finished 10-Jul-12, framed 25-Aug-12 DSC09844

Yellowstone patchwork bag – finished 10-Apr-12 DSC00058

Bucilla – Cardinals felt stocking – finished 24-Nov-12 ??????????????????????????????? DSC01173

RICO – Squirrel Christmas hanging – finished 24-Nov-12 ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? I brought the kit back from Austria this year – this could be the first time I’ve ever completed a holiday piece in the same year as the aactual holiday!

Tower of London – finished 24-Nov-12 

Batman – 3 pages finished, 6 to go DSC09768

HAED – Euphoria – four pages completed, 56 to go! DSC01176

Ro Pace – Solar Flare – should be finished tonight DSC01170 DSC01180 Yay, finished 1-Jan-2013

So, I started the year with 14 WIPs (Works In Progress) and 18 FUPPys (Finished Unfinished Project Pieces).  I finished 15 pieces completely, including 7 bonus start-and-finish pieces, and I now have 14 WIPs and 14 FUPPys.  I’m pleased with that – although it’s the same number of WIPs, there are some different ones from last year. (Don’t try and figure out the numbers – I couldn’t!)

For 2013, my WIPocalypse – the Revenge! (see link to Measi’s blog on the sidebar) goals are to:

Finish: Solar Flare; Blackwork World Map; Tiger Reflection; Batman

Start (and possibly finish): Tony Minieri – Stars For a New Millenium

Work on: Fairy Tale Castle; Circe Invidiosa; The Kiss; Euphoria

Finish finish: Christmas Tree 2008; The Mark Twain Silhouette; Fire Screen; Roses card; Margaret Sherry cat; Running Horse; Bay Window; Country Scene; 3 Jeremy Fisher Scenes; Tower of London; Orange butterfly.

Oh, and as a bonus now that Christmas is done, I can post a picture of the Christmas present I made for my Mum:

DSC01165 Yes, it is Cousin Itt.  I think he came out really well.

Happy Stitching!  I’m off to finish Solar Flare. Edited on 1-Jan-2013, because I have indeed finished Solar Flare.

TUSAL & WIPocalypse 10 Apr 2012 – late again!

Well, here we are, late again for TUSAL (VERY late).

 Mostly blues again.

And late with WIPocalypse also!  I’ve been very bad.  Although it’s because I’ve been busy stitching and sewing, so that’s a good thing.

First of all, the Dark Knight (sorry about the blurriness):

It’s going well!  Harvey has the lower part of his face.  I’ve moved over to the left side now, to start on the Joker.  The chart’s in 9 parts, and I’m doing the middle row of 3 first.

I would certainly have got more done, but I’ve been working on this:

I got these cotton printed patches while we were in Yellowstone last year, and decided to make a new holiday bag with them, since my old one has started to wear out.  I’m pleased with it.  It’s quilted throughout, with a double layer of batting, and the back has a log cabin patchwork.  There’s 2 large compartments in zingy colours with zip closures, and the blue one has two pockets inside, one with a magnetic snap, for my phone.  The leafy fabric on the end is actually an elasticated pocket for my water bottle.  All the fabrics and notions came from Jo-Ann’s  on the same trip to the US.  I got a new sewing machine for Christmas, and played with it on the bag.

While we were at Miniatura in March, I got a lot done on a long-standing WIP, Fairytale Castle.  It’s actually Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria.  This is it when I pulled it out of the bag:

 I apologise for the poor picture, I had to take it with my phone when I realised I didn’t have a picture of it.

When I came home, I decided to carry on for a bit:

It’s actually a mixture of cross stitch and tent stitch.  The tent stitch is supposed to only be one strand, but I didn’t like the coverage, so I’m using two.  No doubt I’ll suffer towards the end when I start to run out of thread.  (It’s a kit.)  I decided to stop there, as all that’s left on this quarter now is sky, and that’s ideal for doing while waiting for planes, trains and so on.

There’s been no progress on Tiger Reflection or World Map this month.

Two of my Amaryllis decided to flower.  They’re all about 10 years old, and most people throw them out after just one flowering, so I’m always pleased when they decide to flower again, especially given the level of care they get (ie, not a lot).  The red one produced 4 flowers, and the pink one 3, so very pleased with that.  Big trumpety things, about 6 inches across.


Happy stitching!

WIPocalypse (&TUSAL) 11 Mar 2012

Well, very late with TUSAL, and a bit late for WIPocalypse.

Mostly, it’s blue and grey, because I’ve been working on The Dark Knight.  Progress is good:

That’s the first page complete, and the second started, although I found the frogs visited me last night, due to careless (read – no) counting, and I shall have to take out everything to the right of the completed page. I enlarged the chart from 6 pages to 9, and I didn’t do them all the same size, apparently.  Duh!

I’m not sure it really counts as WIP work, but I just finished cleaning up a Mirabilia that I did in 1995. It had been hanging in an unheated room, with early morning sun shining on it, and the glass had got condensation on it inside the frame. So I took it out, cleaned the glass thoroughly, and re-sealed it with framing tape.  Fortunately the stitching was untouched by the moisture, so all is well.


I got some new framing done, too.

  We saw a lot of bison while we were in Yellowstone Park last year, and I picked this up in one of the Lodges, along with a stitch of Old Faithful, which I haven’t started yet.

  This is a Christmas freebie from Mirabilia, which has been waiting to be framed since 2000. She’ll only come out for Christmas, but she’s very pretty.

    These are ‘Lady in Red’ and ‘The Blues’ by Valerie Pfeiffer from Heritage Crafts.  I have a third in the series, a hummingbird, but haven’t started it yet.  I love these, they’re so cute.

‘A Gracious Era’ is finally framed.  Again, it’ll only come out for Christmas, but it looks good, and I’m so pleased it’s done.


Again, not strictly speaking WIP work, but we moved these two around and re-hung them in the living room.  ‘Mermaid of the Pearls’ by Mirabilia, and an appliqued and freehand embroidered piece based on one of the Mirabilia ‘Queen’ series.

No progress on the World Map, or on the Tiger, to report, but I’m pleased.  I’ve got quite a lot done.  I probably could have done more, but I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIII-2 on the Playstation quite a lot lately.

It’s Miniatura next weekend, so I expect I’ll see some progress on some other WIPs while I’m there.