Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Handmade Candles

For Christmas 2018, my husband bought me a candle making kit.  I made a couple of candles during the Christmas break... and it's taken me nearly a year and a half to finish them off and show them here!

Simple handmade candles

One is in a tin and one in a jar, and I wanted to add a bit of decoration to the tin and a ribbon to the jar.  This took me a matter of minutes the other day, so here they are!

The jar has been used a bit, hence the wax being a bit low.  Also, I overfilled the tin - the wick was getting a bit crushed when the lid was on.  I've since burnt it down a bit, so it's all good now!

I just used some card making decorative paper to cover the tin.  It is very simple, but pleases me!

They are scented with jasmin, which came as part of the kit.  It's not my favourite scent, so I'm thinking of buying some more fragrances to use for the next candles I make (whenever that may be!).  I do like a sweet smell, or something spicy for winter.

Simple handmade candles

So, there you have it - something a bit different from my usual creations!

I hope you are all surviving lockdown, and are well and safe.




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Thursday, 30 April 2020

Stevie Top by Tilly and the Buttons

I've been wanting to start making my own clothes for a while.  I've dabbled a bit - but not made anything "proper"... until now!

An easy beginner sewing pattern - the Stevie Top by Tilly and the Buttons

I've made the Stevie Top by Tilly and the Buttons.  I bought the digital pattern, as we're currently on lockdown in the UK and - at the time I ordered - they weren't delivering their paper patterns, but they did have a 10% discount on the digital pattern.

It took me a while to print out, stick together, and cut out the size I needed.  It's all ready now, though, for future makes.  And if I get fatter or thinner in the future, I can just print it out again and cut out the new size I want!

I cut out a size 3.  My measurements put me as follows:

Bust: Between 3 and 4
Waist: Size 5 (too much cake eating during maternity leave!)
Hips: Between 2 and 3

My hips are the size I probably was for all measurements, pre-baby.  I ignored the waist size, as it is quite an oversized top.  I "should" have gone for size 4 really, to accommodate the bust size.  However, as it is an oversized top, and as I'm currently breastfeeding but won't be for too much longer, I thought the 3 was the best bet.  I think that was the right choice.  Once I stop breastfeeding, I think the size will be spot-on.

An easy beginner sewing pattern - the Stevie Top by Tilly and the Buttons

The best bit about this top is the back - I love the yoke and tie detail!

An easy beginner sewing pattern - the Stevie Top by Tilly and the Buttons

The fabric I used was a spot print chambray from Minerva Crafts in sky blue.  This was left over from something I was doing in the past.  I'd like to make this again in a more colourful floral fabric - something really summery!

It was a lovely simple top to make, and it could have been very quick to whip up if I wasn't trying to make it in small pockets of time, around looking after Emily.

An easy beginner sewing pattern - the Stevie Top by Tilly and the Buttons

The photos of me wearing it were the best I could do with a timer on my camera phone, balancing it precariously on unsuitable objects, while Emily got increasingly impatient!

A couple of out-takes, with a little photo-bomber, for you...

An easy beginner sewing pattern - the Stevie Top by Tilly and the Buttons


An easy beginner sewing pattern - the Stevie Top by Tilly and the Buttons

Hopefully this is the start of more handmade clothes for me!




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Thursday, 26 March 2020

Bright Happy Drawstring Bag

As I type this, we are currently in lockdown in the UK, due to the Coronavirus.  These are strange and scary times we are in, but this post is a bit of light cheerful relief.

This is one of those projects where inspiration strikes and you just have to get making!  For some reason, I really wanted to make a drawstring bag.  I had just the right fabric in my stash, and the bag came together just as I hoped!

Cute and colourful fabric drawstring bag

I made the pattern up myself - it is very simple.  This is the first time I've made a drawstring bag with the drawstring channel at the top, made out of separate fabric, rather than a channel within the body of the bag.  I like it!

Cute and colourful fabric drawstring bag

The ribbon was some I had in stash too, and I thought it was perfectly sunny and right for this fabric!

Cute and colourful fabric drawstring bag

The lining is the same spotty fabric as the drawstring channel.  I've not used any other interfacing or wadding, as I wanted the bag to be soft and relaxed.

Don't you just love it when something comes out just as you'd hoped?!  I think I will use it as a small project bag, for little knitting, crochet or embroidery projects.

What do you think?  I hope the fabric brightens your day!




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Monday, 17 February 2020

A Knitted Peach

Another finished WIP!  I started this in October, and finally finished it this weekend...

Cute little knitted peach

It is the cutest little knitted peach!

I have always thought that crochet works best for amigurumi... until I saw a knitted peach on the instagram feed of Jooles of Sew Sweet Violet.  I had to get the pattern and make it!

The pattern is called Peached by Hunter Hammersen.

It was a fiddly little blighter to make, I have to admit - especially as I'm not very proficient at that kind of knitting - but totally worth it in the end!

Cute little knitted peach

I used an odd combination of yarn weights for this...

The peach yarn was from a Norah George mini (fingering weight) that was in an advent calendar I bought from Jooles (Sew Sweet Violet) in 2018.

For the stalk I had to use some aran weight yarn, as it was the only brown I had.  So, I altered the pattern to make the stalk by knitting a 3 stitch i-cord or the stalk would have been way too thick.

I used DK weight King Cole Bamboo Cotton for the leaf, and tried to knit extra tightly!

I used 3mm needles for the lot as I am a tight knitter.  I made the bigger size peach from the pattern, and the smaller size leaf.

I love it!  A very cute little make!



Check out my completed knitted projects here.


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Thursday, 6 February 2020

Paper Flower Wall Hanging

Well, following my WIP post, I didn't expect to get something actually finished so quickly.  I must have been inspired, though, and completed my paper flower wall hanging...

Stunning paper flower wall hanging

This was made with the kit that came with Mollie Makes issue 108.  I'm not usually a magazine buyer, but I'd seen this wall hanging on Instagram, and really wanted to make it!  After looking for the magazine in three local shops where I live, to no avail, I had to send my husband out to the shops in his lunch break - as he works in Reading.

After that desperate rush to get hold of the issue last July... it's taken me until February to finish it off!

Stunning paper flower wall hanging

It was quite time consuming, as you had to cut the templates out first, then draw round them onto the coloured paper and cut each shape out.  Then comes all the sticking.  It's quite a fiddly business - but I'm very pleased with the outcome!

Stunning paper flower wall hanging

Hopefully I'll have more finished items to show you soon!




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Thursday, 30 January 2020

My Current WIPs

I thought I'd do a round up of the projects I'm currently working on.  It might focus my mind and inspire me to complete some!

The most recent one I've started, I'm making pretty good progress with.  My second Peek-a-Boo baby blanket (see my first one here) for a pregnant friend...


Beautiful peek-a-boo crochet baby blanket

There is some yarn hoop art on the go, for Emily's room, to co-ordinate with the crochet blanket I made her...


Yarn wall art and crochet baby blanket

I want to straighten the yarn and make it neater.  I might also trim it into a sharper V.  Maybe it needs something else too... I'm not quite sure!

I have also been working - very slowly and intermittently - on a Monsoon Stole in a Scheepjes Whirl.


Beautiful crochet monsoon stole

I love this pattern, and I love this whirl, so I really need to get this done so I can see the final result!

I started a bit of paper craft in the summer, with a kit from Mollie Makes for a paper flower wall hanging.  Its been left untouched for far too long!  [EDITED TO ADD:  See completed item here.]


Paper flowers

Even older are these crochet face pads...


Crochet face pads

I planned to make a whole host of them, but only got as far as two before Emily was born!  I'm going to need a lot more to be able to replace cotton wool pads for cleaning my face.  Must get on that!!

Now the next WIP is quite annoying, as I actually finished knitting it in August 2018!  It is the Rosewater Shawl...


Knitted rosewater shawl

It's not annoying in itself - the annoying thing is that it's been this long and I still haven't blocked it!  I need to get it finished as it looks so pretty.

The last WIP I can think of is this embroidery...



It's been on the go since 2018 too, and will make a cute little beach hut scisoor keep.  It is actually further along than this picture shows, and probably doesn't need too much work to get it finished.  Another thing I need to get on with and finish!

This is all I can remember right now - although I wouldn't be surprised if there are more languishing in my craft room, amidst the chaos that is that space!

[Edited on 14th Feb 2020 to add...]

I forgot about this knitted peach I'm working on!


Another one to get finished!

As I complete these projects I will, of course, post about them.  I'll also link those posts to this one - for a sense of achievement and to satisfy any curious readers coming across this in the future!




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Saturday, 18 January 2020

Dinki Dots becomes A Playful Stitch

Hello!

You may have noticed a few changes around here - including a new name and a redirection to my custom domain - www.aplayfulstitch.com - exciting!

I've had this blog for nearly 9 years, and for quite a few of those years I've wanted to change the name.  I just didn't really like Dinki Dots anymore... although now it's gone I feel a bit sad!

A Playful Stitch is a better name, though.  "Stitch" covers quite a lot - sewing, crochet, knitting - and I feel my work is pretty playful.

I've even got a fancy new logo that a friend of mine created for me when we were chatting about my new name idea.  Thank you, Kimberly!


I'm still tweaking the website, so things might change here and there.  I have limited time to work on it, as Emily only takes 30 minute naps!  If I waited until everything was perfect, though, I'd never get round to launching the new name and branding.  So, I'm just going with it!

I hope you like the new name and look!  If all goes well, I should be bringing you lots of finished creations... hopefully more than I managed last year.


Thursday, 9 January 2020

Creation Consolidation - 2019!

It's that time again... when I round up my creations from the previous year!

I'm going to start with the most impressive thing I made...



This little cutie!  Our beautiful Emily arrived in May, so crafting slowed down a fair old bit after that!  She takes a lot of time and energy, but she's completely worth it!

But on to what crafty things I made over the year - click on the headings or pictures to be taken to the blog posts:

Knitted Baby Hat


Filet Heart Crochet Baby Blanket


Hand-Knitted Socks


Cross-Stitch Hoop


Geometric Knitted Baby Blanket


Crochet Coasters


Crochet Christmas Bauble


Knitted Christmas Treat Bag


Felt Mouse Christmas Tree Decoration


Not a lot this year, for obvious reasons!

I've got a lot of works in progress, though - so I hope to get some more things finished at some point soon (or soonish!).  There is also going to be a change of name here on the blog, so keep an eye out for that!

If you are interested, here are my consolidation posts from previous years:

I didn't do a round-up for years before that, but you can see other finished items at the below links:


Here's to a great 2020 for us all!  I am hoping to get my life more organised, but not sure it will happen as it's so hard for me to get anything done with a little one in tow!



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