Crochet Elma Family Handmade Inspiration Kitty Knitting Photography Pip Sewing Work in Progress

Progress and Planning


This week I have been plotting.  I’ve been making as well but I’m having one of those phases where I flit between projects depending on mood and concentration levels and while some things have got a little bigger since the last time you saw it, none of them are anywhere near finishing.  The backing and wadding and binding for the Fishing Net quilt are still in their bag, as is the background fabric for my next quilt, mostly waiting for me to tidy my desk up even just a teeny tiny bit to make room for what will be a quite gargantuan quilting effort.

Space for the Butterflies - Cottage ripple Space for the Butterflies - Cottage ripple I picked up my crochet again when the weather turned cold, mostly because it’s so cozy to work on while it’s all spread over my lap.  I have now finished the first third of the central section, although given that that has taken me a year and a quarter I can only hope that the rest won’t take as long to finish.  I’m definitely getting faster, and my trebles are getting more fluid, so I have high hopes.  I’d say maybe by Christmas but it turns out that after all these years I am actually learning that given that the last third of the year has all three children’s birthdays and Christmas, I might want to rethink what I’m going to be able to do on top of all of the deadlines for birthday jumpers.  Maybe a year from now – what do you think?


The chief distraction from the crochet has been Christmas knitting. Of the 2015 variety.  I was doing so well with H’s Christmas present balls of yarn; he had his January socks in January and his February socks in February and his March socks are ….

20160429-DSC_0073 two inches of the first sock that keep falling off the needles as soon as Pip even looks in their direction.  I do like the pattern but I think it’s my least favourite of all four yarns and when I was looking for something to grab for car knitting while we were travelling last weekend I’m afraid I glanced in their direction, and then went to pick up the loveliness that is Socks that Rock medium weight to make a start on April’s socks.   Space for the Butterflies - handknit socks

It’s proof that lovely yarn practically knits itself because by the time we arrived back on Sunday night I’d got to the toe shaping.  Forgive me for my sock infidelity lovely March socks, I promise I’ll get back to you just as soon as I’ve finished the second April.

But I mentioned plotting.  I picked up one of my stash of Oliver + S patterns the other day and realised that not only has Kitty grown out of the sizing (that’s not that much of a surprise, she may be five but she wears age 8 and 9 clothes) but Elma is on the cusp of being too grown up for them too.  Well that will never do.  And so on a rainy wet evening this week that felt entirely borrowed from February, I pulled out a good chunk of my dressmaking fabric stash, divided the patterns into Kitty and Elma sizes and asked them to do some choosing.  And so I have a summer sewing list of sorts.

I’ve done this before; make lists and lined up fabric and pattern and then that seems to have satisfied that particular creative itch and I’ve never actually got around to doing the cutting and sewing, a sort of textile equivalent to joining a gym making you think that you’ve actually done some exercise.  So lets just say that this is the intention, even if we have to wait a little bit for the reality.

So what do we have?

Space for the Butterflies - campervan skirts

Well probably first on the list is going to be the girls’ souvenir from our weekend away – H and I both fell in love with this camper van print, to the point that even a similar print but with beach huts couldn’t distract us from the vision of two little girls running around in camper van skirts with dotty pockets.  My plan is to make more (yet more) of the Purl Bee’s Skirt for All Ages, it’s a great pattern and the previous incarnations have been top of the wardrobe picks all year round.

Space for the Butterflies - Susanne from Citronille

After that, and in the spirit of fairness and the slightly more important spirit of dressing them as near to matching as I can get away with while they’re still small enough to find it fun, I have the Citronille pattern for Susanne, in sizes to cover both girls.  It’s a beautiful floaty gathered smock dress, which will be perfect for the hot days I’m convincing myself are coming (even if we have to go travelling in Europe to find them), and work well with leggings underneath for the rest of a British summer or when Kitty grows 10 inches overnight.

I can easily imagine that this is as far as I will actually get, but if I indulge myself for a second and press on, both girls have chosen a skirt from my stash of Oliver + S patterns;

Space for the Butterflies - Oliver + S skirts

Kitty’s is the Badminton Skort to be made out of a blue quilting cotton (Toy Box II by Sara Morgan for Blue Hill Fabrics), with possibly something of a contrast for the shorts underneath depending on how far I can make the fabric stretch, and Elma chose the Hopscotch Skirt and a pile of fat quarters from a seaside print. It’s crazy to think that when I bought that fabric it would have made her a dress. Oh well!

And last, but by no means least, we have the challenges;


a Fairytale dress for Kitty from fabric from the weekend’s haul, a beautiful albeit nameless quilting cotton, and for Elma an Ice Cream Dress from two of the oldest lengths of fabric in my stash.


They’re both Liberty Tana lawn, one a birthday present from the days before the children arrived, and the other bought while I was on maternity leave with Kitty.  Liberty print is far too special not to be treasured and held onto until exactly the right project comes along, and I think this might just be it – always assuming I can get around to making it before Miss Elma grows again.

And lest you be worried that poor Master Pip Squeak is missing out in all of this, (a) his birthday comes first, (b) he needs a new jumper before then and (c) I have some truly amazing navy blue fabric with a white lobster print that needs to be something for him, I just can’t quite decide what – any suggestions for sewing patterns for little boys?

Joining Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm, Craft On.

If you like talking about sewing, and knitting and making things both with and for the children, please would you vote for me? I’m a finalist in the MADs blog awards and I need your vote to win – to vote click here.  You have to give an email address, presumably to stop us spamming the results and then look for Space for the Butterflies on the drop down menu for Best Craft Blog.  You don’t have to be a blogger, or based in the UK, just be someone who enjoys reading and can spare a couple of minute to vote sometime between now and 27 May – thank you so much x



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  • Tam 29/04/2016 at 1:15 pm

    Fantastic fabrics, I just LOVE the campervan one

  • Lee Cockrum 29/04/2016 at 6:35 pm

    The fabrics are all great, but I REALLY need the camper van one!!!! I’m going to google right now!!! (The teapot and cups is sweet too….. But OMG!!! The vans are the best!!!)

    • Lee Cockrum 29/04/2016 at 7:08 pm

      Okay, so I found it, but only UK suppliers!! So now I need to decide what color(s?!) and how much. I’ll just have to bite the bullet and pay shipping, because I must have it!!

  • Kim 30/04/2016 at 3:17 am

    Wow, some great fabrics, and plans 🙂 Have fun!

  • Cheryl | TimeToCraft 01/05/2016 at 8:46 am

    My goodness you are going to be busy. Those dresses are going to be beautiful. Gorgeous fabric choices. I love the Simplicity 5581 pattern for boys (and men) The shirt part. Not too fiddly to make. I’ve used it enough times now that I barely look at the instructions. In fact I’ve used the VW camper van fabric to make it for my son, and a couple of years later for my husband, once the boy had grown out of his version. Enjoy all your making.

    • Carie 01/05/2016 at 10:21 pm

      Ooh good to know, thank you I shall check that out. Not fiddly sounds exactly my sort of sewing!

  • sustainablemum 01/05/2016 at 11:04 am

    Wow you are going to be busy! Love the fabrics, they are beautiful. If you buy fabric to stash how much do you buy?

    • Carie 01/05/2016 at 10:20 pm

      It generally depends how expensive it is – and which child it’s for. I know I can make a dress for Elma from a metre but some of the most recent stash I’ve been buying 2 metre lengths to be sure to have enough to make for Kitty either as tall as she is now, or by the time I get around to that point on the list! If all else fails, 2 metres is quite a nice length for a quilt backing!

  • pamela 04/05/2016 at 4:13 pm

    oh, Carie! I’m in love with your crocheting project!I feel so much warmer just looking at it:)

    • Carie 05/05/2016 at 12:10 am

      It’s very cosy isn’t it – I just need to make it bigger and finish it before the winter to be properly snuggly!

  • Marlyn 05/05/2016 at 2:57 am

    These patterns are delightful. I have never seen or heard of them before ( I am Canadian) I love your fabric choices as well. Just lovely. You should learn to smock with such wonderful fabrics.

    • Carie 05/05/2016 at 9:41 pm

      I’d love to learn to smock but I suspect that my little ones might be past the age to carry off smocking by the time I truly mastered it – it is such a pretty art though isn’t it!

  • Angela 06/05/2016 at 7:25 pm

    Gorgeous colors and patterns! Oh, how I wish I could sew!!!

    • Carie 06/05/2016 at 10:22 pm

      It’s really just cutting up fabric and putting it back together again…!

  • Sally 02/06/2016 at 12:33 pm

    Wow, what beautiful fabrics, I might be slightly drooling right now! Look forward to seeing you plans come to fruition.