Crochet Hook Pouch

At the February Frocktails in our goodie bag we were given a panel from Next State to make a simple zipper purse. I had it sitting around on my desk waiting to be made up. I decided ahead of Spring Frocktails I wanted to get it made so I felt like I had used things from my goodie bag from last time (I had used the vouchers and other things we had received) Thinking about things I needed, if I was going to make it up I wanted to use it. My crochet hooks were living in a zip lock bag so they needed a proper home.

The panel comes with simple printed instructions on how to make a purse. If you have never made a purse or a bag before it gave you excellent guidance on where to start to transform the flat panel into a 3 dimensional object. Crochet hooks obviously have a hook on one end which can snag on exposed zig zag stitching so I decided I would make a lined pouch. I raided my stash finding some leftover white calico scraps and a zipper that matched. They were only a few small items but a great way to use them up. For the thread I just looked through some half bobbins and spools of thread I had near my machine and used them, again using up stash items.

If you have never made a line purse or pouch before just google or YouTube as there a heap of free tutorials out there. I used a zipper that was shorter than the panel which meant I didn’t have to cut down my zipper and then cover it with zipper tabs. I don’t mind the small open gap at the end. My crochet hooks generally live on top a cart I have so they don’t get moved around a heck of a lot where they may fall out through the end. Eye love the finished pouch!

This was a pretty quick project to do. We received another purse panel in our Spring goodie bag. Instead of making another zipper pouch I’m going to make an easy drawstring pouch for my knitting. The size will be perfect to hold one ball of yarn, needles and a folded pattern. I have one already this size that I’m forever switching projects in and out of when I’m knitting on my travels so I need more this size.




Spring Frocktails 2019

Last Saturday was Spring Frocktails. Mr StitchNSew and I decided to make a weekend of it and stay in the city for a couple of nights. Even though I was tired after work on the Friday it was actually a lot of fun.

This year on the Friday night we had a special Frocktails VIP night at The Fabric Store. I left Mr StitchNSew at the hotel and went along. It was nice to sip a glass of bubbly whilst you were surrounded by fabric! The night was open to anyone in the Sydney Spoolettes regardless if they were going to Frocktails or not so it was nice to meet some new people, catch up with old friends and touch fabric.

On the night we got a 20% discount on full priced however The Fabric Store was a having a big spring clearance on all their knit fabric at $6/m Now I know I’m on a fabric buying ban but my exceptions were if we got a discount related to Frocktails. I’m calling a $6 sale at our VIP night Frocktails related. I was conscious though of what I actually brought. On the night I purchased up 2m of black crushed velvet to make a wrap. I don’t have a black wrap in my stash. Thinking about it later I thought I would also have enough to make a skirt but more on that later… I also purchased 3m of a grey jersey cotton. I don’t have grey in my stash. A grey top is missing from my wardrobe.

I haven’t posted it yet but I have made my poncho with the fabric I got using my The Fabric Store voucher I had won. I actually finished it in time for the shopping night. I couldn’t help but pose with a role of the fabric. Yes I am a total dork 🙂

I found more of the black french terry fabric I purchased on my voucher shopping trip with a discount voucher I had. In the store I remembered thinking after I brought it I was tempted to go back and buy more but I couldn’t recall what project I had in mind for it so I didn’t get any of it. I didn’t want to just buy extra for my stash as that is what I am trying to avoid. At midnight I was lying in bed still thinking about that fabric which was now part of the $6 fabrics. It then occurred to me it would make a great poncho. The next day I once again left Mr StitchNSew at the hotel and made another quick trip to buy the rest that was on the roll which was 2.9m This piece is actually more than I originally brought so I will use this for my jacket and use the shorter piece for the poncho.

Before I left for Frocktails my personal photographer aka Mr StitchNSew took some photos of my outfit which was my velvet york pinafore and black dolman top and the knitted shawl which I wore to February Frocktails. It turned out to be a chilly night but because the pinafore is a thicker velvet and the top polyester I wasn’t cold at all. In fact when I was coming home I just tied the shawl around my handbag as I didn’t need it.

My accessories were my knitted handbag, a necklace made from and old scrabble tile I brought in Fremantle Western Australia when I was last there years ago and knitted bangles which are something I made to go with this outfit and haven’t posted about yet.

I have anxiety issues, being in a room with so many people can be daunting to me at times. Most Frocktails I have been a little quiet and left early. This time I was actually very chatty and I barely sat down all night which is quite an achievement with the hip issues I have (the mixture of prescription painkillers and alcohol may of helped) I have OCD in particular relating to food so for me eating before I went and not eating there also helped reduce my anxiety levels too. It was nice to chat to different friends I’ve made through the Sydney Spoolettes but also chat with new people. Frocktails is such a great event because you all have something in common the love of sewing and fabric so it is easy to make conversation. The time just seemed to fly and before I knew it a lot of people had left and it was nearly time for it to end.

Photo Courtesy of Sydney Frocktails on Instagram

Frocktails is organised by Caz (Useful Box) she does a wonderful job creating the event. Once again her lovely husband My Useful Box took professional photos for us. It is really nice that he gives up his time for the night to take the photos. It is something special to Sydney Frocktails. You can see more photos from the night on Instagram here.

We were lucky enough to get a goodie bag!! I love it when adult get good bags as you leave a party. We were given a heap of discount codes by different fabric shops including The Fabric Store, discount codes for indi pattern designers including Helen’s Closet who designed the York Pinafore. We got another fabric panel from Next State, lace from Pitt Trading. Thank you to all the sponsors who gave us treats.

The next Frocktails has been announced for April 4th 2020. I will be going along. I actually planned out my outfit before I went to sleep after Frocktails. Using the black crushed velvet from the VIP night I’m planning on a skirt and a wrap. I’m also thinking I will make the silk dolman top. I don’t have a lot of opportunities to wear a silk top so I think Frocktails is the perfect event.


Infinity Scarf

I haven’t posted yet how I went with my “I love My Fabric Party” but during it I did find a piece of leftover fabric which was a white knit from when I made my Derwent pants. I really wanted to make an infinity scarf from fabric so I thought that was the perfect use for it. I followed the tutorial by The Craft Gemini. It was super easy to make.

The fabric was a stable knit and very plain. I decided to add interest to it by doing machine embroidery. I was originally going to do free motion stitching on it but it didn’t work when I first attempted it. Even though it was a stable knit the fabric was too lite and I hadn’t put stabiliser under it so it just wasn’t happening. Plan B using my open toe walking foot I did a couple of different decorative stitches down the length of the fabric. The flipping ♥ is my favourite stitch design to do on my machine.

I roughly divided my fabric into columns and just did the lines from stitching by eyeballing it from my chalk marks. I love how the stitches turned out. The fabric was very long and I got lazy so instead of using the foot control I used the Start/Stop button on my machine to power it. It is feature on my machine that I rarely use but made the task so much easier than having to hold my foot down for the length of it time.

This is so soft and cozy. A black and white scarf was a piece that was missing from my wardrobe so this was the perfect use for this scrap piece. I have worn it a lot since I made it. Now I want to keep making infinity scarves!


Black Dolman

When I was at the first Cashmerette workshop last year I did a little fabric shopping and purchased some silk which I had no idea what I would make with. Jenny aka Cashmerette suggested I could make the Cedar Dolman top. You can either make the pattern with knits or wovens. I purchased the pattern and brought some cheap polyester black satin to make a test version. At the second workshop and with Jenny’s help I traced out the pattern on to trace and toile. That was February last year. I finally got around to making up my test version.

As the fabric was very sheer I decided I would try french seams for the first time. Why not try a new pattern and a new sewing technique on only your second time working with slippery fabric. Yes I thought I was a little nuts but doing french seams on this was actually easy to do. I cut my front piece on the fold so really I only had the shoulder and side seams to do. With a lot of pins it was easy enough to do. With the leftover fabric I made continuous bias binding and used that for the remaining raw edges around the neck, sleeves and bottom hem.

Modifications To Original Pattern

  • Cut the front piece on the fold
  • Added 4″ to both front and back pieces instead of doing the bottom band
  • Did french seams on the shoulders and sides
  • Used binding around the neckline instead of the neckline facing
  • Finished the hem on sleeves and bottom with binding

Yes it is polyester and I’m unlikely to wear it in summer but I love this top. The fit is really good. If anything I may bring in the shoulders in by about 1/2″ at the neckline but that is only a maybe. It doesn’t look to big and baggy but it is comfortable. Even in the polyester I was ok.

Will I make this pattern again? Absolutely!! I’m going to attempt it with the silk I brought. Woven cottons in summer, knits for winter. I’m sure it won’t be the last time you see me making this pattern.



Blue Velvet Pinafore

Back in June when I went to use the voucher from the Fabric Store I won at Frocktails in February the second I walk into the shop a bolt of blue velvet jumped out at me. I am a Bower bird so I am attracted to any blue really but to be honest this is my shade of blue is my favourite. I used to love the song “Electric Blue” by Ice House when I was a kid, it is still a great song. The fabric just screamed York Pinafore.

If you haven’t read my blog before this is now Pinafore number 4. I decided to do the pockets different this time. To recap the pattern the York comes with a couple of options that you can make in full or mix and match to create the Pinafore for you.
Version A – Longer length, scooped neck, rounded pockets
Version B – Shorter length, higher neck, kangaroo pocket

On previous versions I’ve made version B but at the length of A. This time I made version A but with the neckline of B. There is nothing wrong with the kangaroo pocket and trust me I use it a lot in my others but in this fabric I thought it needed rounded pockets. I also took down the higher neckline down by about an inch.

This was a slow make taking me about a month from when I first ironed the fabric to when I finished it. I didn’t mind because I was enjoying making it. Doing little steps here and there when I had the chance like make the pockets, make the binding, sew a seam made me realise I don’t need to sew an entire garment in a week to actually finish something. I can do little steps here and there and come out with a finished project without being mentally or physically exhausted from making it which can happen with me. I am not the type of sewer who can spend 12 hours in a day making something from scratch and finishing it. My disability places limitations on my body so I have to be aware of my limits so that my body doesn’t punish me afterwards for doing something I love to do.

Modifications To The Original Pattern

  • Made the pockets patch pockets instead of sewing the sides of the pockets into the side seam line
  • Fully lined the pockets to be more sturdy
  • Deepened the higher neckline by 1″
  • Made continuous bias binding for all raw edge

I love the finished dress. Towards the end when I was top stitching down the binding I thought this could be my Spring Frocktails dress. I won the voucher at the last Frocktails why not wear something I brought with it to this Frocktails next month. It was never my intention when I brought the fabric but a blue velvet dress is pretty fancy for Frocktails, well as fancy as I go anyway.



Sockhead Hat V2

My friend is wearing the beanie I made her so much she hinted she could really use another one 🙂 No problems I can do that.

Picking the yarn was a little more simple this time. I sent my friend screen shots of Malabrigo sock yarn from the The Wool Inn and said pick a colour. Her first choice wasn’t in stock when I got to the store but 2nd choice was Zarzamora. This is the same type of yarn I used for her birthday socks so I have worked with this yarn before and it is lovely to knit with.

This beanie is a little bigger than the last one. Feedback was maybe a little more slouchy next time. I used 2.5mm needles for the brim and made it 4″ again. For the body of the hat I switched to 3.0mm needles and knitted to 9″ before starting the decreases. It has more slouch to the last one and I don’t think it is too big. For blocking I just laid it flat on my blocking mat to dry. To be honest it probably didn’t need blocking but I wanted to wash it just on the chance I had coughed on it.

I’m posting this beanie up north this week so it shouldn’t be too much longer before my friend gets it. She’ll still get plenty of wear out of this winter. This was an easy knit to do and I did have knitting withdrawals as soon as it was off my needles which happens after I finish a project.


Farewell Kath

A work colleague who was very special to me as I have worked with her all the years I have been at my work was retiring and I wanted to make her something special to show how much she meant to me and how much I appreciated all the chats we’ve had over the years. We work in a health institution and what better thing to make her than a Virus shawl… We all have a twisted sense of humour but you need it where we work.

I remembered that my stash I had 2 skeins of sock yarn by Revive Designs NZ. One was a darker green, the other a lighter blue/green. From memory I think they were called Taupo and Fox Glacier which are towns in New Zealand if you are not familiar with them. I have been to both places and loved them so really wanted to use this special yarn in a special project. They do have a nice contrast and I thought they would look good together in the shawl.

As it was some time since I made my Virus shawl I had to watch the Coco Bella tutorials again on YouTube to get my head back into the pattern. This pattern can be a little confusing but once it clicks in your head it is really fairly simple to do. I used a 3mm hook which I had to buy another one online as I couldn’t find my original one. I was counting each section as I was doing it but naturally the one time I didn’t count my stitches were off by 1 so I had to frog back to the missed stitch and continue. Crochet is so easy to frog back so it wasn’t that much of an issue. I kept going until I ran of out yarn before doing a simple treble boarder on the last row.

To block this I opted not to pin block it but instead just stretched it out flat on my blocking mats on my craft table. I left it for a almost a week to dry as I wasn’t using my table but really it only took a few days. I didn’t mind that the ends curved up a bit, it gives it a more organic feel. I left all my ends to weave in until the end but they didn’t take long to do.

I love the contrast of the 2 colours in this and am really happy the way it turned out. It was a special gift for a special person.