Blog Hop Book Review - Faux Taxidermy Knits

By Lauren Guthrie

As most of you know, I like a bit of a knitting project on the go, and I’m always interested to see new knitting ideas. So, when I was asked to be part of a blog hop and review Louise Walkers new book Faux Taxidermy Knits, I was most certainly intrigued, being an animal lover myself and all. 

Louise’s love of nature and animals is clear and she has created a really fresh, bright book full of quirky ideas to knit taxidermy inspired projects to wear and for the ‘habitat’. (Love that!)

Some of the designs are quite out there, and I’m not sure I can see myself wearing them, but if I saw someone wearing them, I’d think it was pretty cool! The Wolf Headress looks the most impressive and the hedgehog slippers look very toasty!

In the ‘habitat’ section I like the owl cosy, the mole door stop and the bear coasters are adorable! 

If I lived in a country cottage I might be tempted by the moose head which looks awesome!

Or for something really wacky there is a tiger rug too!

The patterns look easy to follow and each row is spaced out well which always helps when you are trying to keep track of what row you are on. 

The projects are graded in skill level by beginner, intermediate and advanced. I’d say that even the beginner ones look quite involved and require shaping’s and colour-work. So, advanced beginner is maybe a bit more accurate.

There is a techniques section at the back of the book that shows you how to cast on and bind off, how to work out gauge, increasing, decreasing, circular knitting, how to pick up stitches and sew up projects. The illustrations that demonstrate them are really clear, but I reckon you’d need to be more than comfortable with basic knitting and purling, and use the techniques as more of a refresher.

There is also full size template at the back as well for the projects that require them.

If you fancy getting your hands on a copy you can order online from Stitch, Craft and Create and you can see the full blog hop schedule here. 

What do you think? What project catches your eye?

NEW Hemingway Design Fabrics and Completed Betty Dress

By Lauren Guthrie

Have you seen the funky new fabric collection from Wayne Hemingway yet?

I’m sure most of you know already about Waynes prolific career in the design world. He has over 30 years in the business after founding Hemingway Design with Geraldine . They focus on affordable and social design, with a core philosophy of aiming to "improve things that matter in life".

This year they have launched their first fabric collection available to buy from the roll. We are stocking the majority of the collection and you can see all the designs in this link

It is so colourful and bold with bright yellows and reds and blues as well as softer blues and pinks. The prints look 1950’s inspired but in a cool modern way, not chintzy at all.

The base cloth is wide width cotton poplin so it’s perfect for dressmaking, especially garments that require fabric with a little more body or fullness. I think would also be great for adding a pop of colour of pattern into home interiors too like in these shots from the Hemingway Design gallery.

I really wanted to make a dress with one of the prints and the style of the Sew Over it Betty Dress seemed perfect. It has a full circle skirt with a flattering fitted bodice.

I choose the grid print in duck egg and made the dress for my little nieces naming day back in August. I've not got a decent pic of me wearing it on the day though. 

I made the size 8 and at the time I thought it was a perfect fit but now its together I think it could have done with being lifted about an inch at the shoulder seems.

I really like the shaping at the back neck line too. 

And the full skirt is awesome! 

Perfect for swishing around! 

It was also about 7 inches longer than what I wanted so I chopped it off and turned the off cut into a hem facing. I thought it would add a bit of structure and weight to the hem, making the skirt stick out even more.

I loved wearing it at the party but I’m not really used to wearing clothes that are as puffy as that on a day-to-day basis. I don’t really feel glamorous enough. I’ve put it on one of the window chicas in the shop for the time being and if I have another special occasion or party to go to I’ll wear it again. I think it would be great  for a wedding! 

What would you make with the fabrics? Do you see them more for interiors or garments?

October SEW Magazine Column and Autumn Sewing Projects

By Lauren Guthrie

In my column in this months issue of SEW magazine I’ve been chatting about Autumn and Winter sewing projects and trying to be more patient and take a bit more time to finish off projects, rather than try and get things completed in one stint – which often ends up with a really late night!

I’ve been searching around for a winter coat pattern can have come across this website You pick a pattern, enter in your measurements and they email you a pattern that is specific to your measurements! Sounds so cool! Maybe too good to be true? I’m not sure...... so if anyone has any experience of using this site let me know.
I picked Coat 4248 which I thought looked a bit different and has a really lovely interesting collar too.

I’ve not printed it out yet, so will let you know how I get on there! I'm a bit nervous about getting the scaling right.

As I’ve mentioned quite a few times before, I get majorly cold in the winter, so having cosy clothes is a must for me!

I’ve got a few woolly sewing projects planned, which will very shortly be on the cutting table.

The first one is the Named Nasha Mini Skirt. Ok, I know ‘mini’ doesn’t sound very cosy, but I’m going to use this lovely new wool we had in that has this gorgeous texture to it, and it will be lined as well. I’ll wear it with thick tights or even leggings so at least I’ll have a warm derrière!

I’m also going to make the new(ish) Colette Sew with Knits Pattern, Myrtle. I found some amazing drapey jersey which has wool in it too. We have a mustard colour and a wine colour which are so rich and lovely for Autumn. I really want to make the mustard but I feel like I have quite a lot of mustard in my life already so I’m leaning more towards the wine (colour that is!).

I also really want to make a simple top with this Liberty Lawn from the new collection. It’s so fresh and I love the delicate pattern on it. The pattern runs parallel to the selvedge and I think I would want the pattern horizontal on my garment so if I do decide to use it I’ll probably use the cross grain. I'll keep you posted!

What projects do you have planned for cooler climes?