Category Archives: Project Pairing

Farewell to Abakhans

My in-laws are moving away from Lancashire in the summer to a new pastorate*. I must admit that neither I nor Jonathan will miss it terribly, but there are four things which will be a shame to be leaving.

Top of the list has to come P, Jonathan’s best friend and college roomate from university who just happened to live in the same small town that his parents and brothers had moved to at the start of his gap year – lucky indeed.

Third on the list comes such easy access to the sea and fourth, the Lake District within day-trip distance, although I daresay that the North Yorkshire moors will make up for that one.

But the main concern (bar P) for me at least will be my lack of semi-regular access to Preston Abakhans. I wouldn’t say that Abakhans’ fabric is either high quality or predictable in its nature, but you simply can’t beat some of the bargain bins! Fabric is sold by weight – priced by the kg – and you can get the assistants to cut it down for you so long as they’re left with at least a metre.

So basically, it would have been rude not to.

1. Fab lightweight poly knit print, just shy of one metre. I’m thinking a top along the lines of BWOF 09-2010-121. £2.09.

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2. Bubbles lace (as I’m calling it). I’ve been on the lookout for a fun and not too traditional lace for ages! It isn’t stretch, alas, but but I have had t-shirt dress envy ever since Tanit-Isis made hers yonks ago so I may try and futz around with M5661 or similar. It could also be a fun waistband accent. Didn’t measure, but there’s quite a bit of it, by which I mean at least over a metre. £1.89.

IMG_6387 (450 x 600)

3. This fabric actually came off the bolt. It’s a lightweight woven of unknown compostion in a beautiful pale gold/ pewter colour and it’s got a gorgeous shimmery sheen to it. I bought two metres envisaging a shirtdress, but I could also see it working as a simple skirt and jacket combination if I could squeeze it out. £7.40.

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4. Cherry-coloured cotton poplin. Probably about a metre. Definitely a smart blouse of some sort. £2.74.

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5. A thin, baby-pink t-shirt knit, a bit under a metre. Totally Vogue 1141. £1.55.

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Bargainous. I was very good. I didn’t even look in the yarn section.

*Both Jonathan’s parents are ministers. Dusty Springfield was included on the wedding reception playlist, but I fear it got too lost amongst chatter to raise any particular reaction.


Project Pairing #4

No sewing has been going on here for ages. I’ve just been too tired, and the longer a project stagnates, the harder it is to get going again. I could let M5661 gain official UFO status and start something new! and fresh!, but that feels like giving up rather.

This hasn’t stopped me reading sewing blogs, combing eBay for pretty fabrics, and coming up with all sorts of exciting plans which I may never get round to, though. I must share with you my latest purchase: 3m of the most gorgeousest silk jersey ever.

At £10/m it wasn’t cheap exactly, but that’s a pretty amazing price for what it is. The fabric is quite sheer in person, so I think it will need some sort or lining or underlining to render it decent.

Anyway, the pattern that I have in mind (that I also need to buy) is Vogue 8825. I keep seeing gorgeous versions of it made up on other people’s blogs, and in the drapy, flowly silk… mmm. I’m not overly keen on the balloon sleeves, but that’ll be pretty easy to rectify for a more subtle look.


Project Pairing #3

It is a generally acknowedged fact that I am a bit of an introvert. It’s not that I haven’t been interested in the recent trend for animal print clothing – I even tried on a top in New Look although it was inevitably too short. No, the point is that when confronted with a thoroughly extrovert trend, introverts like me will need to bring it down a notch or two in order to feel comfortable.

I’ve been casually on the lookout recently for a classy animal print, or at the very least an interesting one. So when Karen mentioned in November that she’d bought some leopard-print cord on a visit to Birmingham, my ears pricked up somewhat. It’s the perfect compromise. Out there print – traditional, comfortable fabric. The ante was upped when it transpired that Scruffy Badger had bought the same fabric and had made a thoroughly classy mini-skirt. Grey tones, needlecord, from Birmingham?

Well I don’t really need to tell you the rest, do I?


This seamed, A-line skirt that I’ve had on my radar ever since it came out should consider itself project paired.

(Now I just need to do some actual sewing one of these days. M5661 is coming along, albeit slowly.)

Project Pairing #2

Burda magazines cost £4.75 per issue. This is pretty awesome value given that each magazine contains about 20 patterns, but in order to try and keep a) my magazine stash and b) my sewing expenditure slightly under control, I have a rule that I only buy an issue if there are at least two patterns in there that I can see myself sewing.

Sometimes, though, I will justify the purchase on a single must-have pattern. That’s what happened with November’s issue when I needed the vintage reprint dress, and I think that’s what’s going to happen with February’s issue.

Actually, the shirt dress 118 looks like a great pattern too, although I wouldn’t make it in bouclé as they do in the magazine:


But t-shirt 126, with the option of longer sleeves or extending it into a dress with patterns 127 and 128 respectively? Hells yes!


A basic t-shirt with feminine interest and a great neckline? Oh be still, my beating heart.

The raglan sleeves also look really comfortable, which is why I’m pairing this pattern up with the dark blue (I hestitate to call it navy) supplex that I bought from eBay before Christmas, with the intention of sewing up some sportswear. I am notoriously unsporty in most respects, but I do go regularly to Pilates and the whole stretching-out-in-borderline-too-short-clothing thing does not do my body-comfort a whole lot of good.

pilates t-shirt

So if the fabric seems good to work with then I may well be ordering some more, the next stop being leggings.

Project Pairing #1

I love Ravelry. I love Ravelry for all sorts of reasons, but one of them right up there is the fact that it is so organised. It allows me to list my patterns, list my yarn, and then pair combinations up in a queue so that when I think “Hmm, I want to knit something”, I don’t get overwhelmed by all of the possibilities out there. My hope is that it will also enable me to keep control of my yarn stash a bit better than my fabric stash.

But anyway. In the absense of a nicely-coded widget allowing me to do the same for sewing, I am going to try and start doing so here.

Let’s start with the three fabrics that I bought over the Christmas-New Year holiday, whilst staying at the in-laws’ in Lancashire. Abakhan’s may be a bit hit and miss, but these remnant bin finds were definitely hits.

Let’s start with the “poly-wool mix” knit that I got for £1.80(!). There’s a smidge under a metre of it, but it’s the most gorgeous dark turquiose colour and feels just so thick and soft and light. One side has also got a lovely heathered appearance to it, I discovered when I got home, although needless to say it hasn’t come out on the scan. I’m thinking a cropped cardi along the lines of BWOF 03-2012-121, although I won’t have enough fabric do to the whole wrap tie thing that they’ve got going on there.


For £1.79, I purchased about 85cm of a lightweight, drapy knit fabric. It’s a gorgeously saturated purply-blue colour. Can you tell that colour is a real draw for me when I’m picking out fabrics? I’m hoping there’ll be enough to finally make the t-shirt from Vogue 1141 (reprint of the t-shirt from Vogue 2925, I believe), although I might have to do the pleated shoulders as distinct pieces rather than as an extension of the back.


And finally, it’s that gold-mustard-yellow tubular interlock and the franken-knit top from BWOF 02-2009-108 and BWOF 11-2012-138 that you’ll recognise if you read my last blog. Only enough fabric for short sleeves rather than long, but for £1.79 again you can’t complain really, can you?