Baby Blanket Tutorial

Peter's Blanket

A few friends have had little ones over the past year and I love to give something that can be treasured and hopefully used again for the next one too (no pressure girls!) ;)  Anyway, my inspiration for baby Peter’s blanket (isn’t he cute by the way?!) was a from Pinterest, unfortunately I can’t find the original pin to show you but there wasn’t a pattern or tutorial anyway, and it’s easy to do when you know the basic crochet stitches.

I’m not sure if you can make out the detail in these pictures, but the blanket was actually made using three strands of wool all together as one. I chose a light green, a bright yellow and white, all in baby soft wool. It took me a while to choose, I tried out a few combinations to see what the overall effect would be first which is easy enough to do because the stitches work up quite quickly.

I used a 12mm hook and worked in double crochet for the main body of the blanket. I didn’t count stitches, I just carried on making the initial chain stitches until I liked the look of the width and then kept making rows until I liked the length! Once finished on the main part I worked triple crochet stitches all around the edges, using three stitches in one at the corners. I also added a daisy granny square (tutorial for daisy here) to the front which you can see below.

As you can see it is plenty big enough to make sure Peter stays warms and snuggly, which is needed here in Scotland! Peter’s mum says she has enjoyed using it for keeping him covered whilst in the pram out and about. It is also quite thick and would be good to use for laying baby out on. I loved making this. It worked up so quickly I think it took me about a day in total. I would definitely make another for the next baby to arrive!

Hope you like it!


Peter's Blanket 2


Beautiful Bias Binding

I love silk scarves. There are so many around at the moment and when I saw this one I knew it would go so well with some hot pink material I am using to make a shift dress, so I decided to turn it into bias binding. This is such a good thing to learn to do, it means whatever you’re making you can easily make sure there is binding that will compliment your project instead of having to hunt high and low. It also means you can re-use old pieces of fabric or scraps that aren’t big enough for anything else.

The first thing to say is that bias binding must be made out of fabric cut on the cross, which will enable it to bind curved seams without puckering and will give you a really nice finish, the diagram below shows you the right way to cut strips of fabric to achieve this. It also makes it easier if you begin with a square piece of fabric. Next you need to decide how wide you want your binding to be. I cut strips that were 4cm wide based on some other binding I had already, this allowed for the finished binding to be 2cm wide.

Once you have decided this you can make your markings on the fabric. It is up to you how you mark the guidelines, I suppose it will depend on the fabric you are using, maybe chalk or fabric pen would be good, or sometimes I iron creases where I want to cut. To be honest, I just went for it but it depends how confident you are with those scissors! The diagram instructs you to cut off the corner first and discard this. They have shown to make the corner twice the width of the strips you are cutting. You must also cut away a triangle at the top of each strip to ensure that they are the right shape for sewing together.

Next, you start to sew the strips together. Place them right sides together in the position show in the picture below. I found it tempting to try and match the ends up exactly but you must make sure there is an overlap like the picture otherwise there will be a gap along the side when you open the strips out.

Once they are all sewn together it is a good idea to iron out the seams as shown and to trim the edges. For the last part, folding the binding you can get a bias binding tool, but I didn’t have one and managed to find this great tutorial on how to do it yourself by creative little daisy. I found it worked really well, although it was a bit tricky with my silky fabric.

As I passed it through the pin I wound it round a piece of cardboard for safe keeping, and here it is finished!

I plan to use it along the hemline of my shift dress and possibly along the edge of a peach chiffon top I am making, will keep you posted on these.

Would love to know how you get on with trying this out,


it’s been too long!

I can’t believe how quickly the past eight weeks have gone! Over this time I have been on placement at uni and I think going back to working full time came as a bit of a shock to the system! I am still working on a report and a presentation but I will soon be back to spending time in my crafty area over the summer.

I did manage to make one dress in this time and start a couple of other projects too. I designed and made the dress based on a vintage, ’80s style, slip-dress I bought in a vintage shop in Sheffield about a year ago. It turned out quite well although after wearing it once I am not sure how hard-wearing the fabric will be… Anyway here is a picture, tell me what you think!

I really like the colours of the fabric, and the peach binding I used on the hem. I enjoyed bringing the two together and I think they suit me really well.

I am currently working on some other designs and, all being well, am hoping to be able to sell them over the summer at a shop in Edinburgh, so we shall see how this goes! It is a great opportunity but I am feeling the pressure a little! I will keep you posted…

Iona :)

Spring/Summer Challenge

So, the day after I blogged about my goal for this year Colette Patterns announced their Spring & Summer Palette Challenge! I was very excited to read about it and have been following further posts including people’s mood boards and some completed items already posted which are very lovely. Last week I decided to go on a few adventures around Edinburgh to inspire myself for my own challenge.

I started off with a trip to the Grassmarket area where there are a number of independent fashion and art boutiques and also some of the best vintage shops too. I visited Herman Brown and Armstrong’s, which are both vintage shops and have the most amazing collections of clothing and accessories. In Herman Brown they had a beautiful collection of silky vintage tops, slips, dresses and skirts, all hung together and in this season’s beautiful pastel shades, think peach, aqua, lemon… I wanted the whole rail! Then in Armstrongs, I was particularly drawn to their huge collection of really sweet vintage aprons in allsorts of colours and prints. They inspired me to make my own vintage apron which I will be sure I tell you all about next time.

Next I went into Godiva, who also have a vintage clothing section but in the front of the shop house clothing from independent designers and even have a made to measure service. The clothing is so creative, it was great to see peices that were completely different from anything else around at the moment and so individual. There are two other stores I found who are similar in this; Totty Rocks and the Athena Boutique, unfortunately Totty Rocks was closed but if you look on their website you will see how incredible their designs are. Athena Boutique was a brilliant find, again showcasing some of the amazing independant and local designers, including those of shop owner Becky Rawlinson who I got to have a lovely chat with too!

Yesterday I took a trip to the high street to see what’s available and to be honest I didn’t trek around loads of places because I don’t find it as inspiring as the independent shops. There were some nice designs and I loved the fresh and bright spring colours that are about but I decided I would call it a day and start working on my own ideas, so, armed with my sketchbook, some magazines and colouring pencils I got to work and this is what I discovered…

I love pastel colours! Nudes, peaches, pinks, blues all tend to suit me as I am very fair with blonde hair, so I definately want to incorporate these colours into my wardrobe, or should I say more of them!

I really love floral prints. Most of the pictures I have collected have been floral dresses, I was a bit surpired to realise just how many I collected and therefore how much I like them, but I also realised that you can have too much of a good thing and although they are pretty I have to watch how many prints I have in my wardrobe – there are only so many days that are sunny enough for a girly picnic outfit here in Scotland anyway!

I was really drawn to the bright and bold colours that seem to be around at the moment. I love anything in coral and have a few things but would like to make more, and I have a lot of things in blue, especially navy blue so I need to steer away from making anything in that colour, this week I have left the house wearing navy blue head to toe! I also included a stripy top because I love them, but I have a lot already… and a butterfly print top. I like the new prints that are around at the moment incorporating bold florals, butterflies and birds. I would love to make a cute top with one of these prints. There are a few more things I have posted on Pinterest to inspire me too.

So with all this inspiration I then started to think about patterns. I want to keep things simple and not take on too much so have decided I will try to make the Pastille Dress which I’ve just practiced, a simple shift dress I saw in Cloth Magazine, and at least one variation of the Sorbetto Top which I have made earlier this year. Now it’s off to the fabric shops…!

So, how about you? What are your current projects and challenges as a seamstress? Would love to hear about them as I update you on mine.


Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge

The pastille Dress

So, today I decided, was the day to get down to it and finish the dress I mentioned I was working on in my last post. I set myself down with a cup of tea and a couple of my favourite biscuits and got to work. I had tacked the bodice to the skirt and tried it on last time I was working on it and decided it was a little too short, a common problem for me as I am taller than average. I thought I would try adding a waistband in the middle of the two peices, about 2 inches in width. I tacked it in place and it seemed to work, bringing the waistline down slightly. It left the skirt sitting perfectly on my hips too whereas before it was a little too high up.

So, I went for it, sewing everything together, adding the zip, a yellow one to contrast the blue, then sewing in the pleats and finishing with a small hem, and here it is, the finished dress…

I really love the length it is on me, often dresses are too short but this is just right. I also love the neck line and the pleats too. Hope you like it! Can’t wait to choose some nice summer fabric to make to make a final version.


Remember that resolution?…

It is now April (would you believe!?) and I am thinking back to my personal challenge to make things instead of buying, which I set myself at New Year.  The original inspiration for my challenge came at Christmas when I received a copy of Mollie Makes in my stocking. It was issue 9 and included a contribution from the very talented Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns.

I looked up Sarai’s new book The Colette Sewing Handbook and had a peek at the blog too where they were discussing their sewing goals for the year, and saw they had a regular ‘Palette Chalenge’ at Spring and Autumn. Here they would pick a few colours for the new season and some styles, and then set themselves goals to make new essentials for their wardrobe that season. So, I decided I would invest in the book myself, invest in developing my skills as a seamstress and create some new additions to my wardrobe!

Currently I am working on making the Pastille Dress which is on the front cover. It is going well so far and thanks to Sarai’s advice and my previous, invaluable, dressmaking experiences with my Mum and my Granny, I have been able to work out how to adjust it to fit my shape perfectly! I chose some blue sheeting to make a mock-up of the dress which means I can transfer my alterations onto the pattern. This will make it easier and quicker when I come to make the dress again in nice fabrics ready for summer.

I have nearly finished the dress now and will update you soon with further pictures and fabric plans!


Spring is here!

I went for a walk in the sunshine today and I actually had to take off my coat it was so warm, hooray! There were birds, butterflies and bees everywhere I looked, and the spring flowers were deinately a sight for sore eyes after the winter.

To welcome springtime into my home I decided to make a spring wreath. It was so simple and looks great hung on my mantlepiece. It’s an easy way to bring fresh colour into your home, and to use up all those pieces of leftover fabric!

All you need is some florist wire, which you wind round to make a circle, scraps of fabric cut into small strips, and some ribbon for hanging. Once you have your circle of wire just tie the fabric scraps on. Keep adding as many as you can until there is no wire visible, then decide which way you want to hang it. Tie your ribbon on at the top and pin up wherever you want to welcome spring in!

I hope you enjoy making one yourself, would love to see pictures of any finished projects.

Enjoy the sunshine!



Time to adventure…

At the start of 2012 I told myself I would craft more, and would try to make things instead of buying them. I wanted to start this blog to record my journey in these challenges and to share the experience with other like-minded crafters too.

So, here I go…