Itch to stitch – Patternsy Printing

Just before Christmas I received an email from Kennis Wong about having the large-format PDFs printed by Patternsy, I thought I would try it out as I had been looking at printing. If Kennis wanted to do the research for me I thought I would give it a try.

It was quite straight forward, you login with a gmail account so that you can upload the patterns to google docs, then you fill out a form giving them your name, email address and address. Once you have done this Patternsy emailed me to ask what cup size I wanted printed as it will make the printing cheaper, once I answered this question, they came back with an invoice. Which I paid using Paypal, for the four patterns I decided to have printed which cost £21.74 in total, I had printed Bonn, Chai, Idyllwild and Mila.

After I paid it took only a couple of days for my printing to arrive, the paper is slightly heavier than tissue paper 24gsm better than normal printer paper.

For some reason I had expected it to come in a tube, but that could be because I expected it to be a heavier paper, they came in an A5 envelope, folded up like a purchased pattern. I will be quite happy to use this service again with other patterns.

cross stitch Christmas

I received a couple of cross stitch kits for Christmas and a cross stitch book, all Michael Powell.

I am coming along quite nicely with my existing cross stitch, the Scarlet Wizard is finally progressing, I have gridded most of the remaining fabric to make it easier to work out where to stitch.

The Secret Garden 1 has come along quite nicely. The bottom two inches are complete apart from the back stitching which will make the picture pop.

I also have a small picture that I spotted in The World of Cross Stitching started that I am stitching on a hoop, which means I can take it to the Hospital with me.

The colours aren’t as purple in real life as they are in in the magazine, which as you can see on the stitching are more of a pinky colour.

I’ve been listening to audio books while I’m stitching as at the moment I can either stitch or watch TV not both. While I was in hospital I started listening to the psi/changeling series written by Nalini Singh, performed by Angela Dawe, which are brilliant, I am now up to book 10, I have already read the books. I prefer Angela Dawe to Justine Eyre who narrates the Archangel series, I find her a bit harsh.

I recommend Audible especially if you buy kindle books, if you are smart you can get the most for your money. Also the audible app for the iPhone is great, it has a sleep function on it, so if you fall asleep while listening to know there is only a certain amount of time you need to go back.

Cross stitch review

Hello, readers of my blog will realise I have just got back into cross stitching after a long break, the reason I stopped is I needed an operation to remove a bone spur on my right shoulder, which was making it quite painful to use, I never got back into cross stitching afterwards. The new sofas made it hard to use my brilliant cross stitching frame.

Since coming out of hospital I have found out that the ‘new’ sofas and the hard flooring we had put down over the summer are a magic combination. I use a lowery frame, which is quite expensive but worth every penny, I bought a second one to have upstairs, for when I can’t manage to get down the stairs. The second one although twice as expensive as the first bought many years ago. The actual construction is as good, but the Allen key that comes with it doesn’t fit however the key that came with the first one does.

The second thing I have bought that doesn’t match up to the originals are Siesta clip-n-sew frames, the wood now used for these appear to be more flimsy, and I couldn’t get the tension on the Scarlett wizard without the horizontal bar bending.

The biggest worry I have is that some of the patterns in the magazines appear to have been dumbed down a bit, the biggest culprit appears to be Tatty Teddy, they are only using 2 shades of grey for his body and head, where they used to use 5 shades, which looks so much better.

I also have a new cross stitching aid to review, which is a 3 in 1 magnifier and light, I am having a great deal of difficulty stitching the wizard, not only is it on black Aida, it is 18 count, and the light isn’t that good for it. I have tried magnifying glasses before on a bendy clip, I have never managed to get it in the right place, this can be clipped to a table, stood on a table or stood on the floor, which is how I’m using it. The light is good the angle is easy it adjust.

If you have only just got into cross stitching, the Apple App Store has some good deals at the moment for back issues of the world of cross stitching, cross stitch crazy and cross stitch gold.

More later

Doris Dress -Sewoverit

Hi this is post number 2 the Doris Dress this seems to be a rather unappreciated dress in the Sewoverit range, when googling it not a lot came back not even from the Sewoverit website.

I picked this dress because it used back ties for shaping/sizing an because of the steroids I’m on I am a peculiar shape at the moment so I didn’t want any thing too fitted.

I knew exactly which fabric I wanted to use, I was very lucky in that it was still in my sewing room, unlike half of my fabric which still in the loft.

At the time of the original brain bleed, we were still waiting for the painting to be finished, so we could bring my crafting ‘stuff’ back into my room.

If I remember rightly I bought the fabric at one of the knitting and stitching shows I think it is polyester, it is black with purple flowers. I had started tracing the pattern between hospital stays, but unfortunately not only would it have been the wrong size, it had got catted which means that even though I folded it up and put it on a shelf the cats knocked it on the floor, so the dog could chew it up. 😦 in the end I just cut the pattern pieces out.

(From the Sewoverit website)

Doris Dress is semi-fitted with a flattering scooped neck bodice, bust pleats for delicate shaping and floaty grown-on sleeves. The waist can be left unfitted for warmer days, or cinched in at the back with the attached ties or fixed back belt.

The fluted panelled skirt has two length variations – short and cute above the knee, or an elegant below the knee option. The Doris Dress closes with a concealed zip in the side seam and has an optional buttonhole closure at the centre front. The bodice is finished with facings for a neat finish on the inside.

I installed it as a lapped zipper, to be honest I’ve never installed an invisible zipper that hasn’t broken at totally the wrong time, and it has had to be replaced, they might look really nice, but unreliable.

The main dress went together very easy, the instructions had you overlock the edges as you went along, I briefly toyed with french seams but my hands while fine for guiding fabric through the sewing machine, are too unsteady for trimming the seams. I had a problem with hemming the sleeves and hemming, the instructions were iron over the edge and stitch, because it was polyester it wouldn’t hold a crease.I had to do the hem twice, I finished the bottom edge by overlocking it then just folding over and stitching down.

Apart from the hem which is surprisingly long the dress was really easy to put together, as I mentioned above I had to do the hem twice, the first time I tried to do a small hem by eye, usually I would have had no problem with this, but with the shaky left hand it was uneven and bumpy. Even while I was stitching it I knew it was a mistake but still I kept going instead of just unpicking a small bit and going with the second choice which looks a lot better, and was easier.

Medical Update 24th November

We have had the results of the mass/lesion/cyst/tumour, it is now officially a ‘tumour’ I have a name for it and everything ‘little f***er’.

I have seen my oncology consultant twice since getting out of Romford. I think he was a bit put off by the fact Simon pushed me to the appointment in a wheel chair, but the way we look at it is why wear myself out spending 10/15 mins walking from the car to the appointment when I could do that later doing something I want to do.

The treatment options are dependant on my level of fitness, because I was in a wheel chair he initially put my fitness at a 2 which means I get radiotherapy to start off with to hopefully stop it growing too fast. However after having me walk down the corridor, Simon thought he might have changed his mind, which it turned out he had.

We had another appointment the following week, well two appointments, Monday was an MRI which from my point of view was a disaster, I am quite squeamish, Simon had already told them they needed a special cannula putting in person, which they didn’t have, they prodded and poked me for what seemed like 5-10 mins, while I was getting more stressed, they did the first half without the cannula in then pulled me out so as someone else could attempt the cannula, which although went in seemed to take ages while they decided which vein would be a good one. The upshot of this is by the time they got around to the ‘with contrast’ part of the MRI, my left leg was protesting at being left lying around for 45 mins, not only that the bit that usually only takes 2 mins was about 12mins. This MRI was done in the portacabin out the back of the hospital, it was suggested by the technicians that in future we might want to insist on having MRIs at the inside one as it would be less stressful for me. Of course it might be less stressful for them 🙂 an experience that usually takes 20mins lasted over a hour, not sure if it would have done that anyway or if it is a slower machine outside.

Tuesday unknown to us we had two appointments one with the radiotherapy people to create my mask at 8:30 made over the phone and one with the oncologist at 9 o’clock, we had a letter moving the 9:00 to 10:00 so we sorted our morning to get there for 10, Simon got a phone call at 9 to find out where we were, we arrived at the hospital 9:30 where we were whisked off to the radiology department where they made my mask, they spent time getting me comfortable and deciding what to do with my hair. They heated up a plastic mesh in a water bath which was moulded to my face, after about 10 mins they put ice packs on the mask to ‘set’ it.

We then went and saw the oncologist who told us that he thought that I was well enough to have radiotherapy and the chemo at the same time, it will mean regular blood tests, if I get too sick, they can stop the Chemo, to be honest it is the chemo that scares me the most.

After the Oncologist we had to wait for the CT machine to be available, they put my mask on and I then they marked it up, I have a start date of 11th December.

I am not going to spend too much time updating the blog with the medical stuff, which as far as I can work out will probably consist of ‘I’m very tired and losing my hair’

back to our scheduled crafting posts soon…

Update post November 24th

Hi, I’m back out of hospital and apparently we have a plan, well I have a plan at the moment, I have ideas for around four posts, the first of which is a medical post, feel free not to read it, which is what I would probably do in your position.

2. Is a review on the sewoverit Doris Dress

3. Will be a quilting post

4. Cross stitching post

You might also get a bonus iPad review depending on how it goes. I’ll probably post these over the next couple of days.

Itch to stitch

Last night was the turn of itch to stitch to have my money, I appear to have missed the sale, I had been looking at some of the patterns for a little while, we can just hope that left hand starts doing what it should do we have the Bonn shirt and dress, chai shirt and dress, mila shirt, Idyllwild top and dress and the Vienna Tank I had been eyeing up the chai dress and Idyllwild dress for sometime.

I am now researching into large format pdf printing, I have a couple of local places to contact.

Update post

Hi, there hasn’t been much stitching done though there is a Doris dress to show off, which I made for my Dads funeral.

I have been taken back into hospital this time I am in Queens Hospital Romford which is the place to be for brain surgery in the south east, I have had an awake craniotomy, which mean that although they take you into the theatre strap your head in, cut it open then bring you round, luckily the breathing tube was out before I come round properly, the surgeon appears to be happy with how i reacted in the surgery then they asked me some questions, because I was having trouble with my left hand, they didn’t get all of the tumour/cyst/lesion/mass. Hopefully there is a chance we get the results of what it is tuesday so that we can then be given a treatment plan, if we need radiotherapy, this can be done at Southend Hospital, my consultant is very nice, he sat down with us for about 45 mins on Tuesday before the operation on Wednesday, I went down for the operation 13:30 and was back in recovery by 17:50 because I was already awake in recovery I just had to wait for a bed to become available, they have shaved a tiny bit of my head from ear to ear they scar cannot get we wet wfor 7-10 days, which appears to be a magic set of numbers.

There what’s has not been a lot of pain mainly kept under control by paracetamol,  I am back on Dexamethasone but they are already weaning me off it, the swelling on the right side has already started to go down. My left foot has started to work properly but I am still having a problem with my left hand.

CrossStitching Post

I thought you might want to see the other contenders for finishing, then all the. Dress making people can see it isn’t just dressmaking I suck at finishing.

I am surprised at how much stitching has actually been completed, The Wizard and Garden look over half finished.


The Unicorn, I think the fabric was 25ct Laguna, too dark to be a contender



Firefly fairies, some sort of linen, i did the bleach thing with it, I really wanted to do this one but the fabric would have been a nightmare in bad light



This one had 1,2 and 3 strand stitching, just too much for my poor brain



Fairy idyll Because this one was landscape instead of portrait it was too big for the frame i had available



Love Humphrey’s corner, but I do have a problem with keeping count with half stitch


Victim of it’s fabric and not really big enough



Black fabric, so out


This is also beautiful but 1 and 2 strand stitching took it out of contention

This is just a selection of what I can find I know that there is at least one if not two more Teresa Wentzler


Even if i could have found it, everyone who has attempted a Teresa Wentzler would realise that it would have been far too complicated


and a Mirabilia


Depending on the fabric this one would have been alright, if I could have found all the bits for it

Back in hospital more shopping will be done…

I have bought some patterns from deer and doe, I have had so much use out of the free Plantain pattern I recommend you rushing over and downloading it, to be honest I’m not too keen on the styling on the website too much eyeliner and silly poses but I have been eyeing up the azalea skirt

, bleuet dress and the givire dress ad I just realised I missed fumeterre skirt, which I love, of course I can’t do this pose without falling over at the moment, i can dream 🙂

 I have also been over to love notions for trendy tunic, candence top and dress and tidal dress and top.

I also suggest that Michael Powell, cross stitch copyright division get their arses over to Pinterest, up and down the garden path and a couple of others are available to down load which brings me to my other purchase, as you may have realised I have gone back to my other love, counted cross stitch and have picked, Michael Powell secret garden 1 

to finish, I had it in the evenweave version  purchased from the designer himself at a long ago knitting and stitching show, I picked this one of the many started as I thought it would be easy enough because of the fabric and blocks of colour but enough of a challenge because of the back stitching, so went over to amazon to buy the companion kit the secret garden 2