Saturday, 21 November 2015

Advent Bunting Pockets

Are you beginning to think about your Christmas sewing projects yet?

About this time last year I designed a pattern for some mini Advent bunting for Justine and Lisa's Simply Solids blog and this year Justine asked if I could design a larger version.

Each of the pennants along the bunting is actually a pocket that you can fill with little treats to be opened one day at a time throughout Advent, just like a traditional Advent calendar.
The pockets close with a loop and button, so little hands can't go prying before the day!

Simply Solids have a fat quarter bundle for the Christmas fabrics available here and will be selling kits for the advent bunting at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show next weekend.

To make the bunting you need 6 fat quarters of Christmas print fabric, 6 fat quarters of solid fabric for the lining, 1.5 metres of ribbon for the loops, 24 buttons and 5 meters of tape.
This Christmas Dreams line by Dashwood Studios is the perfect fabric, I think!

Download the Free PDF pattern to get detailed instructions with photos and full size templates. The pattern is easy to sew and suitable for beginners. 
I used a machine zig zag stitch to sew the numbers on, and a Sewline glue pen to hold them in place whilst I sewed, but you could just as easily use a regular straight stitch or sew them on by hand.

If you are short of time, you could use adhesive felt numbers instead.

You can choose to place all the pennants in one long line or make 2 separate pieces.
I made 2 separate ones with numbers 1-12 in the first section and 13-24 in the second, but then ended up placing both together to get this shot!

They will make a lovely bright start to the Christmas festivities, so download your pattern and start our festive sewing today!

As always, if you're on Instagram, show me what you've made with the pattern using the hashtag #mackandmabelpattern I'd love to see your version!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Buddy the Bunny - a free knitting pattern

A few months ago I was asked by Craftsy if I would design a pattern using a new yarn which they were to launch in mid November. I agreed. I know a lot of designers were not happy that it wasn't a paid commission, and everyone is entitled to their own view. Personally I see it as a chance for people to try one of my patterns, and then hopefully, once they see that they are clearly written, with progress photos  included where they are helpful, they will then want to purchase some more of my patterns.

The yarn is called Cloudborn Fibers, and comes in a variety of weights. It is ethically sourced in Peru. (I'm sorry, I haven't any more details than that. Hopefully they will elaborate on this point once the yarn is launched).
The one I was given is a worsted weight, that's the equivalent of aran in the UK.
It is called Superwash Merino Wool Worsted, and I can honestly say that this yarn was a delight to work with. I haven't tried washing it yet, but it is beautifully soft to handle,  evenly spun and had no infuriating knots to deal with.

I chose to design a simple bunny. The type of bunny that even a relatively new knitter can make.
Buddy is simply constructed and softly stuffed so that he is a delight to cuddle.

He will sit and is poseable.

He has a little tail, too.

He is knit flat on straight 4mm (US size 6) needles and is 38cm (15") tall, excluding his ears.

The pattern has row numbers throughout so you can mark them off as you knit, and plenty of helpful photos, like this one showing you how to attach the arms.

You can  download the free pattern here
I have also added it to the Knitting Patterns section in the blog header.
I do hope you enjoy knitting him!

Oh, and did I mention he likes carrots!

He stole this one from my veggie garden!!

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