Monday, 24 May 2010

Refashioned sundress

Today is a good day for my sewing ego.  I am basking in the glory of my first "yeah, I made it myself" response to a compliment about Eva's dress.
She was wearing this sundress which I made from Mac's old shirt.  It's the first time she has worn anything I have made for her, as I only seem to make summer clothes, even though the weather here in Cheshire has not been too obliging recently.

It was actually a project which I fell out of love with part way through, largely because it only just about fits around the chest (let's say she grew rather than I made a mistake - let my ego have its day), so I know she won't be wearing it for very long.  For this reason I didn't bother to embellish it in any way, and sent her to pre-school in it, knowing full well it would return complete with at least six unidentifiable stains.  Which it did.

No matter.  The staff at pre-school were surprisingly impressed with my efforts, and have threatened to send any future costume-making requests my way.  Yikes!  Let's hope they don't follow through with that, otherwise I might just have to confess that I am making it all up as I go along...

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Hippo Kaftan

Abandon taste all ye who enter here.  It's a muu-muu / kaftan.  It's lime green.  It's covered in hippos.  Bet you wish this little number came in adult sizes, no?
It's actually a nightdress pattern (from Making Children's Clothes by Emma Hardy), and would be perfectly respectable made up in white or a cute little ditsy print.  Its merits are slightly more questionable when made up in this rather lurid fabric (Ikea, £2/metre).

I wanted to test out the pattern before jumping straight in with a more expensive fabric, and I'm going to use it as a cover up for her around the pool when we go on holiday next month.  I'm sure the colours will look much more appropriate in the mediterranean sun (clutching at straws here...)

Ah well, when you're as cute as Bethan you can carry it off, just about!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Chicken Festival Oilcloth Apron

You never quite know where an eBay addiction will lead you next.  I came across this "Chicken Festival" oilcloth remnant by chance a few weeks ago and took an immediate fancy to it.

I put off tackling my intended project for a while though having not sewn with oilcloth before, but it was surprisingly easy once I actually got going.

I used grosgrain ribbon for the the straps, folding the ribbon so that I was sewing it to itself on either side of the oilcloth for strength.  Paperclips rather than pins were used to keep the bias binding around the pocket in place while I stitched it to avoid making extra holes in the fabric.
The apron has passed its test run with flying colours, and frankly was instrumental in producing some delicious Lemon Shortbreads.
And if ever you're holding a Chicken Festival you'll be sure to invite me now, won't you?

Friday, 7 May 2010

Living in a dream world

Oh my!  1950s retro style for kids - I find myself powerless to resist this outrageously cute skirt pattern from Ottobre Design.  Yes I am a sucker for a well staged picture, and yes I do know the effect will not be the same when my child is covered in tomato soup stains and sporting crusty porridge in her hair instead of a co-ordinating headscarf.
No matter - I promptly ordered the back issue (3/2009 if you feel similarly compelled), and now we play the waiting game as it wings its way to me all the way from Finland.

To help me while away the time Ottobre have very kindly provided entertainment in the form of this Japanese doll pattern, available in PDF form from their print for free section.
It is presumably an applique pattern, but since I have recently purchased Doodle Stitching: Fresh and Fun Embroidery for Beginners
I am buoyed with confidence about my long neglected embroidery skills, and I have transferred the design to a piece of evenweave ready to be tackled.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

I Heart Eva

Bethan had an unscheduled lie in this morning, so I took the opportunity to scratch a little craft itch and made this for Eva's room.
I adore these little alphabet beads and was just looking for an excuse to use them on something.  I think I will have to become a little more imaginative with their application though, or I will very soon run short of Es, Vs and As.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Dear oh deer

This does not bode well.  I have just discovered Folksy.  Sew, mould, carve, solder, cast, sculpt, buy, sell, go!  Indeed.  So I did - buy, that is. 

So much crafty goodness to tempt me, I can almost hear my hard-earned PayPal funds trickling away.

I have so far sucumbed to the following temptations:

1. Dear Deer Needlebook - here I am like a sucker, keeping my needles in their pedestrian cardboard packet, when they could be living it up inside this little beauty.  Brightly coloured felt, spotty buttons, a pocket page at the back with a strawberry on, no less, and a cute little deer on the front - what's not to love?
2. Mama Loves Disco - 100g of pink, lime, black and white buttons.  Not quite such a practical purchase, as I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with these yet, but they spoke to me and I couldn't resist their zingy pleas.  So far I'm considering sewing them in a heart shape onto plain linen and mounting it onto a canvas, but this idea may yet evolve into something completely different.  Any suggestions welcome!
Both items were from the seller PaperFish in case you're interested, but I'm afraid I can't be held responsible for any compulsions to overspend if you click on her link.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Refashioned pyjamas

Following a frenzy of sewing activity this week (spurred on no doubt by the giant leap forward of actually posting an entry on my sewing blog), may I present one of my latest projects:

Eva's Pyjama Trousers
As you can probably tell Eva loves them, and is snuggled up in bed wearing them right now.  I used a pattern from the gorgeous Heather Ross book Weekend Sewing: More Than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired Stitching
although I had to scale it down somewhat to fit a toddler. 

I think I may applique a little of the leftover shirt fabric onto a plain t-shirt to make a matching top when I get chance.

These pyjamas have literally cost me nothing in materials - the elastic was taken from an old pair of pyjamas, and even the grosgrain ribbon trim at the bottom of the legs had been saved from a gift wrapping.  Ultimate recycling!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

All good things...

I've been planning on writing a blog for a ridiculously long time now, but somehow I have allowed the small distractions in life (by which I mainly mean my beloved daughters, Eva and Bethan) to hinder my progress.

Well, having conclusively proved that this blog is not going to write itself, I am finally knuckling down and putting fingers to world!

So, after months of anticipation my blog finally has its first post.  Time to crack open the champagne!  Too extravagent?  Point taken.  More tea anyone?
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