Favourite Sewing Books

A few of my favourite sewing books at the moment.


Style Stitches by Amy Butler

Seams to Me By Anna Maria Horner

Sew a Metre by Rebecca Yaker & Patricia Hoskins

Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross

Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts by Martha Stewart

Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter (on loan to friend)

Origami Organizer

First project from this book, first glance, impossible, challenging, lots of seaming, yes , lots of ironing, yes but not so good when the day is extremely warm. I was roasting! I took time to press exactly on the guidelines. I absolutely love the projects in Sew a Metre (One Yard Wonder.) It is amazing what you can create with just one metre of fabric. My choice of fabric may not be the best, I have to admit. I should have used something more geometric with a smaller pattern. We had a public holiday, shops were closed, I was desperate! I have plans to make another with another fabric and also the Hanging Wall Pocket.

I haven’t forgotten about my Weekender Bag by Amy Butler. Finished the bag sometime ago but never got round to taking shots of it.

Weekender Bag Amy Butler

I also made a little matching weekend pouch for it too from left over fabric, lined with the same charcoal fabric as the bag. I love the cuteness of this pouch but most of all the interior, there are no visible seams.

Lined Pouch

I’m just patiently waiting for Mr Snobs to wisk me away for a romantic weekend to some exotic location…..patiently waiting, waiting, waiting……..


Weekend In Progress….

Sew…can I sew? Well I won’t say I’m an experienced seamstress. I mean, I can sew a little, have made duvet covers and pillow cases. I once got full grades at school for making a simple dress with pockets, that I sewed on the front and through the back and couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t slip over my head. A simple tote bag and some curtains but nothing as advanced at this.

I fell in love with this bag back in 2008. I HAD to make it no matter what. I even thought about commissioning someone to make for me. I was excited. I was desperate. Brought the pattern and thought woohooo…..here I go! Who was I kidding, ME….make that? No way. That idea was forgotten. This year, after clearing out some things, the pattern reappears and I make a rash decision to rehome the pattern to someone who may be able to make it. No sooner the pattern leaves my hand, a sense of regret and my heart longs for the bag and I fall in love with it all over again and repurchase the pattern, stupid yeah. This time, I WILL attempt to make it, you watch me.

Yet again, it never fails, always happens to me. A cat fight with two other ladies for the fabric. I saw it walking away, clutched under the arms of a lady. Then another lady has her eye on it. Why me?? But I did get the final cut and enough to make two bags.

Clarke & Clarke Celeste Home Decor Weight 100% Cotton

Right…..cut the chat, time to reveal what all the fuss is all about.

My Amy Butler Weekend Bag

I really cannot believe I did it. I worked on it everyday, every spare minute. I had to pinch myself and rub my eyes, hold it at arms length. I am so proud of myself. Even Mr Snobs is speechless. He had faith in me, he knew I could do it and I love him for that.

I didn’t think my old Singer sewing machine could handle the thickness of the piping, several layers of fabric and Timtex but it did. Good old sewing machine! Pinning was hard, my fingertips were so sore and tender and I hated those pin pricks but whatever the pain, it was well worth it.

Piping and Front Pocket

Side Pocket

Front Panel, temorary attached but you get the idea

Wasn’t too happy about the instructions on attaching the zip, so I did it my way.

I knew these funky bulldog clips would come in useful one day! I still have the inner lining to sew and attach.

My tips for a successful Weekend Bag:

  • Read several times the insructions before you start and pin up the instructions sheet
  • Take time to position and cut your pieces
  • Take into consideration how you position your pattern pieces, ie pattern repeats etc
  • Buy extra fabric so you can cut pieces so they are symmetrical on each side
  • Pin and baste (tack) pieces
  • Be patient, don’t rush, encourage yourself, YOU CAN DO IT
  • Buy extra sewing needles if required
  • Bulldog clips are essential as pinning will be hard on the fingers when assembling the bag
  • Purchase bag feet, this will keep your bag off the floor
  • Choose your fabric carefully, especially the weight of the fabric. Home decor weight gives a much sturdy bag and retains the shape well
  • Buy Timtex, it’s a much thicker stabilizer
  • Research on other methods of joining piping, I preferred End to End piping (a great tutorial on preparing and sewing piping)
  • Sew and press, give a more professional finish
  • And last but not least enjoy every minute of it, the end result will be amazing

…..and if you’re lucky, your DH may reward you with a beast! I mean my new Serger, or Overlocker, whatever you call it, together with all the accessories and feet, 12 cones of thread, a set of scissors and a carry case.

It’s a monster! Threading that is, but once you got it, you’re away!


Hat & Cowl Test….

Test knitting is done. I think I passed, whoohoo! Bree is happy with the projects completed, I think.

French Braid Cowl…..Malabrigo Worsted Polar Morn. Needle: 5mm

Size: 28cm x 137cm Blocking Wires: essential, Buttons: East of India

Got rather excited when I was asked to test knit this, so excited, that I knitted non stop, and spend a whole day just knitting in my pyjamas, in my little knitting world, ignoring everyone. Finished a skein in a day.

I couldn’t put it down, we’ve all been there before, love the yarn the pattern, just want to knit all day.


Completed after 4 days, on and off knitting, would have finished it sooner if it wasn’t for my sore arm.  I’m pleased with it, very pleased. Love the design. Wasn’t sure about the buttons at first but I think they are growing on me, yes, I think they work.

Obstacles Hat…..Malabrigo Twist Terron Needles: 4mm and 6.5mm

The yarn is extremely soft, as you expect from Malabrigo. The hat and the yarn choice is a lovely combination. Sadly, for me, not the fault of the design or the designer, this hat is a little too small for me. You see, I have a huge noggin, my mom says I have a huge noggin, thanks mom! So this beautiful hat seems to rise up over my ears and likes to sit snuggly above them. It fits Mr Snobs perfectly, but he refuses to model or wear it, Men don’t do cables……since when??

I should block it, but I love how it looks unblocked…..decisions.

Modelled: My sister

Photography: yarnsnob


No Caffeine…..

Seriously, does a day without a regular caffeine fix do this to you? I wonder….

Local department store has our regular January sales every year, you know, if you read back to a previous post, how I turned from a friendly, considerate, kind and generous woman to an absolutely mental, evil, demon of a stalker, who watched every move this woman made, who had this yarn that I HAD to have. who wouldn’t put it down, who wondered around and asked the sales rep what she could knit with it, who flipped through pattern books and all the time, me, watching every move from the corner of my eye, who had a partner in crime watch her too…..remember? As soon as she put it back, hands, several hands, mine and my accomplice grabbed it before anyone else did. I’m happy to say, this years sale was different. Maybe it was without the caffeine fix. I was calm, very calm, very unusual for me and so not me.

There before my eyes, lay a full bag of this purple yarn, in fact two bags. Yup…purple. OK I love purple, alot, to admire and ooh and ahhhh, but to wear? It’s totally out of my colour palette. But this purple was different, it wasn’t too bright, too in your face, it was calm, warm and oozing with yumminess.  This purple yarn was calling me…..Yarnsnob, I’m yours…..take me home. Was this yarn actually talking to me?  Has yarn ever talked to you? For brief moment, I thought I was going crazy!

So under my arm it went and without a moment hesitation or a fight with anyone else, went to the cashier, handed over my credit card and so home it came with me.

I had a project in mind for it but strangely and totally out of the ordinary, I SWATCHED. I NEVER SWATCH, seriously, I do not swatch for anything. I consider myself a very very naughty knitter, so please do not, I repeat do not follow my in my footsteps. To make this more out of the ordinary, I blocked the swatch and waited for it to dry and to make it even more out of the ordinary, I counted the stitches one by one over and over again! Now I do believe something was totally wrong with me that day.

The purple yarn, or should I say Aubergine became this…..

Alexandria Cardigan a pattern I’ve longed to knit. It required an icord at the front…never attempted before, short rows for the sleeves, done once and messed up with my Arwen cardigan, picking up stitches from 3 rows down and BO together to create a kind of rolled edge effect for the sleeves and neckline, which I did for the sleeves but did and icord bind off for the neckline.

So, a little about this yarn. Rowan had a batch of previously discontinued undyed Organic Merino DK and as one off special, dyed colours exclusively for the John Lewis chain of stores throughout UK for the 2010 January sales.

Changes made to the pattern?

Neckline: icord BO

Sleeves: 11 inches before start of eyelet

Dec: ssk ( slipped 1 knitwise, slipped 1 purlwise, ktog) (nice and ne

Inc: picked up st from row below from the back and knit (almost invisible inc)

Omit the first row of cluster pattern so the front panels lay flat

Add button for closure.

Maybe I should stay off the caffeine?  It certainly had a very weird effect on me, I must say!


All Change…..

Don’t know about you but I was finding it difficult to read my blog. Old age is creeping in, eyes are straining, time to get the specs out, time for a change, Enjoy!


Testing French Braid…..

I’ve never tested knitted for any designer ever so when I was asked by Bree to test knit her newest and upcoming design, I jumped to the chance, who wouldn’t?

Bree is a from a group of well know and up and coming bright and talented designers. I first found her, well she found me when she introduced me to a couple of her new designs,  Rasta and Twist Cowl featured in the new Malabrigo Book 3. Both are just totally ME! Of course, I had to get my grubby hands on it.

Testing, testing, French Braid Cowl …….

Have you ever seen cables like these??? They are just bursting with Malabrigo goodness! Dare you touch your screen, they may just pop out at you!

I just want to run my fingers over those cables! It’s been a while since I worked with Malabrigo. I worked on it all day yesterdayand got through one skein. I almost forgotten how good its feels…oh YUM!

The cables go on forever and ever! The design of this is, that it wraps round your neck, twice and is fastened at the front with buttons. The pattern is due for release for Malabrigo March on Ravelry or maybe as an ebook……take note all you Malabrigo fans :)


Guernsey Wrap…..

You know that feeling when a new pattern gets published on Ravelry? You get all excited, your heart skips that little bit faster, your mind starts racing, you get all giddy. You start dreaming about it, images of you wearing it, how it would look dressed with jeans, dress, shirt etc. You talk about it in your sleep, you wake up in the middle of the night and read the pattern. You can’t wait to get started…..that’s me, don’t know about you!

Guernsey Wrap by Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

Brain goes into overload mode as I start going through my stash, matching yarn with pattern in the middle of the night.  My heart starts racing as I knit the first first few rows. I can’t stop, forget about the housework, forget about dinner, I just want to knit knit knit.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Fez …..colour Charcoal 6 skeins. I love this yarn by Debbie Bliss. It has a wonderful halo effect and a joy to knit.

Needle: 5mm

There is a great explanation on how to block. This pattern has made me look at blockng in a much different way. The use of blocking wires and T pins are essential for a good block and patience, plenty of it. I would suggest any knitter to invest in some blocking wires if you haven’t done so. He suggests to run your wire under and over each garter stitch and be consistant with your placement of your wire. It created a wonderful yet perfect straight edging to the wrap.

I love the stitch definition of this yarn. Of all the yarns in the Debbie Bliss range, this is one of my favourites. If I were to knit this again,  I would add extra repeats to make it just that little bit wider.


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