Sophie Kingo Blogs

Insight into Sophie Kingo's African-Scandinavian inspired clothing and accessories


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A new dress (not a shift)

Back in July last year I made a new dress using a new pattern. I love it, so thought I’d make another.

This time it was a lot less hassle. I mean, I completed the zip first time. No fifth time lucky this time. I added contrasting fabric for the waistband, neckband and pockets to break it up a little. Et voila:

Dress Feb 2013

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Stockpiling

I’ve been hoping for a while to have a market stall to try out some of my items at. So, I’ve been busy stockpiling items to sell rather than plugging them online.

I’ve just put in an application for Brixton Makers’ Market on 8th June, so fingers crossed there’s space for me. I’ll keep making items to sell in the meantime and may even venture into the world of making ladies’ tops and skirts, so watch this space…

Here’s a taster of some of the things that’ll be appearing on the stall. More to come:

Lavender pouches

Lavender pouches

African print girls' dresses

African print girls’ dresses

African print shorts

African print shorts

African print dribblers

African print dribblers

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Liberty print Peter Pan collar top

I’ve been busy trying to build up stock for the first Sophie Kingo market stall this spring/summer (more on that later) but a couple of weeks ago managed to find time to make myself a new item of clothing out of an old remnant of Liberty lawn cotton I had knocking around.

My second ever dress was a maxi dress made with fabric my (then) boyfriend (now husband) bought me for Christmas 2008. I’ve used little bits and pieces that were left over for birds, bunting and oyster card holders. But the other day, when I’d decided I wanted to make myself a top, I wished for enough of this Liberty fabric to make it happen.

I had bought a pattern some time ago but had not liked it enough to use it; I just wasn’t a fan of the frill down the front of the neckline. But I thought I’d make a start with it and see what took my fancy. Half way through I knew that without anything around the neckline the top would be too plain and not worth the fabric or time.

So, I drew up a Peter Pan collar, cut out some Broderie Anglais from my fabric stash and incorporated that into the design. And I love it. Planning to head down to Liberty sometime soon for some new fabric to get some more on the go.

Peter Pan collar Liberty top Changing the collar


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13 dresses and 4 skirts

Homemade dress and cardigan

My latest shift dress and home knitted cardigan

For Christmas 2008 my husband (then boyfriend) gave me two lengths of Liberty fabric and told me I was going to make myself a couple of dresses. Since then, I’ve made 13 dresses and four skirts, for myself alone:

  • 2 wrap dresses
  • 6 shift dresses
  • 1 maxi dress
  • 3 empire line dresses
  • 1 waisted dress with pockets
  • 2 high waisted skirts
  • 2 a-line skirts

My skills have definitely improved since my first wrap dress. And the latest shift dress (left) is my best yet.

Here’s each dress and skirt in order, starting with my first ever (with one skirt missing along the way).


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A new shift dress

A couple of weeks ago I bought an overlocker – just the cheapest Janome that John Lewis stocked – and went on an Overlocking for beginners workshop at The Make Lounge. I had been wanting an overlocker for some time, but horror stories kept putting me off. I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Yes, they’re scary with their four threads, but the overlocker has transformed my sewing life.

Ok, I’ve only used it once so far, but along with my first sewing machine sewn blind hem, it means I won’t be looking back.  This new dress is definitely my best yet.

I can’t wait to start using the overlocker on my African print girls’ dresses.

Homemade dress

Homemade dress

Blind hemming for the first time

Blind hemming for the first time

Overlocked edges along the zip

Overlocked edges along the zip

My new sewing setup

My new sewing setup

Two new fabrics

Two new fabrics


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Sewing Christmas presents

As well as knitting Christmas presents for 2012, I also sewed a few.

For nieces L1 and L2 for Christmas 2009, before Ls 3 & 4 came along, I made named bunting. These have been hanging in their room ever since. But L3 and L4 have been missing theirs. So 2012 was the year. I gathered together a range of fabrics and tasked Jeffrey to draw the letters while I cut out the flags.

Here they are in progress and complete:

Making buntingBunting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also wanted to sew something for my Mum for Christmas and had been meaning to sew myself a knitting needle roll for some time, so thought my Mum could also do with one. I browsed the internet for inspiration and amalgamated a few I came across to come up with these. Each one is made using a range of African print fabrics and has two different height pockets – a taller line of pockets for straight pins and a shorter line for circulars, haberdashery needles, stitch holders, scissors, etc.:

Knitting needle roll for me

Knitting needle roll for me

Knitting needle roll for my mum

Knitting needle roll for my mum


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Some knitted Christmas presents for 2012

Hats

As you may know, I often make Christmas presents for people. Especially for the many nieces and nephews. Here’s what I made in 2011.

I have knitted several hats for L1 and L2 in the past, but in the run up to Christmas 2011 L1, who was five at the time, said to me, “Aunty Sophie, I don’t want clothes anymore”. So when it came to her sixth birthday it was slightly entertaining to see L1 quite unimpressed with some of her presents.

But one day this autumn, when the family popped round to ours, L1 asked me to knit her another hat, this time “a plain dark blue one with no flowers or anything”. L2 then piped up saying she would like a yellow one. So, I used some of the remaining navy yarn from my Acer cardigan for L1’s hat, and bought some amber Sirdar Baby Bamboo yarn For L2’s.

I used the trusty Sirdar Tiny Tots Essentials beret pattern and knitted two large berets that could accommodate L1 and L2’s Afro hair. L1’s beret ended up somewhat neater than L2’s, as I much prefer knitting with the rougher merino wool yarn than the silkier bamboo and wool yarn. Especially when using plastic circular needles. But I understand L2 was more than happy with her hat. So much so, that when P, the girls’ mother, put L2’s hat on L1 the other day, L2 wasted no time in moaning that L1 “is wearing my hat. Yellow is my favourite colour. Aunty Sophie knitted the yellow hat for me”.

L2 and L1 in their berets

L2 and L1 in their berets

L1 in her navy blue beret

L1 in her navy blue beret

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, of course, there’s the new addition to the family. The third nephew – baby A – entered the world on 19th December 2012. The obligatory Aunty Sophie new born hat was called for and I knitted up a lovely little white and silver moss stitch hat made from Sirdar Baby Bamboo. I amalgamated a couple of patterns from the Sirdar Tiny Tots Essentials pattern book to make this white moss stitch hat with silver brim.

Starting the hat for baby A

Starting the hat for baby A

Hat for baby A

Hat for baby A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bazz Man Doll

What with 20 month old OKBK getting a baby brother for Christmas, I thought it’d be nice to knit him up a little toy. For my last birthday my sister bought me Jujus Loops knitting book from the lovely knitting shop Loop in Angel. I’ve struggled with and given up on a lovely hat pattern in the book, but noticed a great pattern for knitted dolls – Bertie – which I thought I could easily rustle up out of scraps of yarn knocking about the flat.

So, I chose a variety of double knit yarns in navy, grey, white and maroon marl to create this lovely fella while watching Forbrydelsen on telly one Saturday evening. By the time I’d finished the him, Jeffrey and I saw a close affinity between him and O’s dad, with his hands in his pocket, baggy jeans, and Paul Smith-esque jumpers. So, we had to call him Bazz Man. He lived about our flat for a few weeks and when it came time to pass him on it was quite a shame. But I’m hoping OKBK appreciates him.

Here he is prior to stuffing and hanging out in the rosemary:

Bazz Man in progress

Bazz Man in progress

Bazz Man in the rosemary

Bazz Man in the rosemary