Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Mimi Blouse - Love at First Stitch

Since getting the Love at First Stitch book for my birthday from Mr Makes in July, I have made all the garments, except for the Mimi blouse which as you know I put on my list of things to sew in 2015.
So I decided to go for a plain fabric rather than a pattern for my first Mimi and chose a cute turquoise viscose, thinking it would have a lovely drape.
Which it did. 
But it was such a real pain in the **** to deal with.
I have made one garment in viscose before, but I don't remember struggling half as much. Cutting out is my least favourite bit of a project and I don't think I'm as precise as I could be on a good day, let alone when the fabric is wiggling all over the place!
I found the pattern and instructions easy to follow, as always with one of Tilly's. I did have a minor panic attack when I couldn't find the neckline facing piece of the pattern, but I eventually twigged it was labelled yoke facing on the pattern sheet, but neckline facing everywhere else.
I have to say I'm not 100% sure that the blouse really suits me, I worry it is erring a little on the side of frumpy, when it looks so cute in the book. I could try cutting a size smaller, but I do quite like the loose-fitting casual look.



The collar isn't sitting flat in the photo so it looks wonky but it really is in the middle...honestly! And lets not even talk about what's going on with my right sock.... it was really cold so photos were taken super quickly!
So what do you think? Any tips for cutting out viscose fabric?

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Easiest, Tastiest Cookie Recipe Ever (and its egg and dairy free!)

When I was kid, we'd nearly always have some yummy homemade cookies or treats wanting for us when we got home from school. It was a little bit more difficult for my mum than most, as my sister and I both had allergies, to dairy, eggs and nuts. She had no choice but to make everything from scratch, long before the days of vegan recipes, and came up with loads of recipes herself. Cooking without eggs and milk doesn't have to be difficult, in fact this is quite possibly the easiest, quickest cookie recipe out there!
It basically works on a 1:2:3 ratio, with a bit of flour substituted for ground rice or almonds to make them a bit crumblier, if you fancy it. So its super easy to convert this to cups for those of you in the US. I'd try probably 1/2 cup:1 cup:1 1/2 cup unless you're feeling super hungry!

Ingredients

100g granulated sugar
200g margarine
250g flour
50g ground rice/almonds
Handful of dark chocolate chips

Method

  • Cream together butter and sugar.
  • Add flour and ground rice/almonds, mix together with your fingertips.
  • Chuck in the chocolate chips and mix.
  • Shape the mixture into balls a bit smaller than a ping pong ball.
  • Put on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and flatten down with a fork.
  • Bake in the oven at 190C/gas mark 5 for around 10-12mins until they turn golden on top. Keep an eye on them, as they can go from not cooked to nearly burnt in not long at all!

These are best when fresh out the oven so the chocolate chips are still melted, and perfect with a steaming mug of something hot. Tea for me please!


 
Emily Kate.


Thursday, 12 February 2015

My Favourite Reads....

Today I'm going to share with you something a little different. Although I've always loved to make things, I only took up sewing, knitting and even baking in the last 7 years, since starting university.
 
But before that, my first love was reading.
 
As a kid I would become completely engrossed in the worlds of Harry Potter and Roald Dahl, shutting myself off in my room desperate to get to the end. To me books have a way of getting the reader wrapped up in their
world much more than a film can, perhaps as you have to imagine the scene yourself in your own way. Even now when I'm not having a great week and things aren't going my way, nothing helps me forget my own worries more than a great story.
So today I'd like to share with you four of my favourite books I've read in the last year or so, each very different but each one had me going to bed late and going one bus stop too far...

 
I bought this as soon as it came out, as it had a great review in the evening standard and a beautiful front cover. It took me a few chapters to really get into it, but the end had so many twists and turns it really had me hooked. As a huge history (and geography) nut, I loved the setting of 17th century Amsterdam as I always like to peer into centuries-old houses and imagine all the lives lead there previously.
 

This book is from the man who brought us 'The 100 year old man who climbed out a window and disappeared', and is simply a great story. It rattles along at a great pace and is a very witty, enjoyable read. It reminds me of a kindof Lemony Snicket's 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' for adults.
I will quite happily read books again and again, as I tend to forget things anyway, but I don't think I can do this with Gone Girl. It is completely and utterly gripping, and really quite a harrowing read! Its a sort of love to hate book, as the ending leaves you feeling traumatised and a bit unfinished, but the read along the way is so compelling.
Phillip Pullman's version of the Grimm Tales, is quite a light read. The fairy-tales are concise with a little humour added. They're not the tales as you may know them for children, but the original more gruesome versions with murders and cruel punishments a-plenty.
 
There you have it, just a few of my favourite reads, guaranteed to brighten up any tube journey!
 
So what great books have you got lost in recently?
 
Emily Kate.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Clover Trousers/Pants Inspiration

 I've still not started any of the items on my list yet. It seems once you settle on the sofa under a blanket in this cold, its hard to get up again to sew.
So after watching the first episode of the Great British Sewing Bee and their trouser challenge I thought a trouser inspiration board on Pinterest would get me feeling inspired to start the clover pattern.























I love the grey ones featured on the pattern sleeve....

 
I think tartan ones would be perfect for winter and a flowery pair for summer. But my favourite have got to be the mustard yellow ones. These are just gorgeous...!


Watch this space for my first go at clover soon!

Emily Kate.


Friday, 30 January 2015

What's New in the Shop in January?

This is the first of a series of posts I'm hoping to do. One at the end of each month, to show what's new in the Emily Kate Makes Etsy shop. I have so many ideas, but I can be super lazy about actually getting to make them so I'm hoping that this will give me a kick up the bum to make sure I have something to show at the end of each month.
 
So for the first month of 2015, I have two U.S cityscapes to show you, Chicago and San Francisco.
 



It features the Sears Tower, Aon Tower and the John Hancock Centre among others.



 
 
The San Francisco skyline pillow includes the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower and the Transamerica Pyramid.
 
So that's January, next I'm going to try Berlin and perhaps a couple more UK cities such as Edinburgh and Oxford.
 
Which city skylines would you like to see appearing in the shop next?

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Great British Sewing Bee - Boyfriend Shirt

This is another garment I finished before Christmas and have only just got round to photographing... and also the first shirt I made. I used it as a bit of practice before attempting the Negroni shirt for Mr. Makes, as it doesn't have plackets or cuffs and the yoke is a bit of a cheat by being stitched on top.
I used a red and navy check brushed cotton fabric, which although I love is actually not all that easy to sew as it frays so easily. The pattern I used is from the first Great British Sewing Bee book. I like the style of the shirt, but I again found errors in the pattern.

I didn't understand the instructions for the sleeves, for what I now realise were flat felled seams, so I didn't bother to do them. This does mean that raw edges are visible when the sleeves are rolled up as they are designed to do.

I am reasonably happy with this make, but as you can tell the fit is not perfect. It looks cute with a vest top underneath (there is one in the picture, although the light looks like I'm flashing the camera!), but if I do all the buttons up there's not enough room in the chest area. One thing that bothers me about the patterns from the GBSB book is that they don't tell you the finished garment measurements for you to check yours against. You could measure the pieces yourself but I always forget and just sew a size 10, which isn't always ideal as you can tell.

Despite the fit issues, when I wore this back home at my parents my sister didn't believe I had made it and insisted on looking for the tag... so that's a win!
I love tartan/check comfy shirts, and they're very fashionable right now so I am going to make another. However I'll definitely add quite a lot to the side seams so it's a looser fit and can be buttoned right to the top!


Mr.Makes was none to happy about me saying he looked like a lumberjack...although he did say I looked like I was off to the farm in this outfit...

Emily Kate.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Super Cozy Slipper Socks

The weather at the moment is so cold here in the UK that even though I've got loads of lovely things on my sewing list, I'm not feeling particularly motivated to sew dresses and blouses or even to emerge from under my snuggie on the sofa. Besides which after all the placket/pocket matching business of the Negroni shirt, I was ready for a little sewing break.
 
So I did some knitting.
 
 
I found this sock pattern on Ravelry here a few years ago and it's super easy, perfect for a first go at sewing socks. Its also really quick, these took me just one evening of knitting, could be even quicker if you do two at a time (not attempted this yet!) I used some wool I had left from last years bulk buy from Ice yarns, a cream 'Flamme' wool which is 50% wool, 50% acrylic, I think it's been discontinued now. This makes it great for socks, harder wearing than wool and able to machine wash easily but still lovely and soft. It's a sort of variegated yarn, some thin bits and some fluffier thick bits which gives a nice look. 
 
I made a couple of changes to the pattern to fit my size 6 ladies feet. I increased to just 11 stitches to begin with, then knitted until it measured 5.5 inches before the gusset increases.
 
I also added some homemade puffy paint to the soles, this makes them non-slip and you can do something pretty with it :). You need just 3 ingredients to make this, mix them together until they combine. I used a disposable piping bag to paint little hearts onto the socks... don't use your usual piping bag, unless of course you like the flavour of shaving foam.
 
 
Make sure the paint is COMPLETELY dry before wearing the socks. Otherwise it'll stick to your carpet, get mushed into the socks and generally not look so pretty anymore. (Trust me....)
 
These are perfect for wearing around the house in this cold weather, and look great with ankle boots!
 

Happy knitting!
Emily Kate.