Monday, 27 May 2013

Summer - strawberries and cream anyone?

Do you have a wish list? Things that you want to sew at some point in the future? I do, there are loads of ideas that I have seen or thought of and want to sew together, when I get the time!

Well, I sewed one!

It is gorgeous! I got it from Sew Magazine issue 41 (I recommend this magazine!!). It is a pretty "little girl's" dress. You know, in the traditional way, gathered skirts, below knee length, pretty buttons etc. The next version I will sew also has gathered sleeves.

I used new techniques (to me) in this make. I successfully made and used my own bias binding tape (have made it before, but it was NOT successful!). I gathered the skirt (a lot!) to the bodice - I can't believe how much fabric is in the skirt!

The bodice is lined as the fabric is quite thin (I didn't bother with the skirt, and I think that was the right decision). And I actually loved adding the detail on the front - I normally hate things like that...I just want to get making. But I am so glad I did, it really adds to this dress.

(And aren't those buttons a perfect match?!)

I had a problem with the pattern, the bodice front was way too big, and far too high at the neck - I have had to adjust the neckline (lots of unpicking, remaking, sewing in darts etc) so fitting was a problem. I think, this was because I cut out late at night and ended up using the back bodice piece as my template for the front of the bodice. I have cut out the pattern in the bigger size (VERY carefully) and shall sew that together for my eldest daughter and see whether it is me, or the pattern!

 I need to practise my "hidden" zips too...not so hidden!
The pattern/fitting issues I had and being unable to do the zip has resulted in a finish that I am not quite happy with but...she loves it though :) It makes it all worthwhile.

My next one will be even better!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?...

I have sewn together a superhero cape and mask set. Because who doesn't love a cape to zoom around in?!
There are plenty of tutorials online - Sewlikemymom has one. And doing a google search will pull up plenty of others.
My cape is double sided (saves on attempting to hem slippery satin fabric - although I  have used bias binding before for the edges), with a satiny outer layer and a cotton under layer. I have left the ends to be used for tying, although some tutorials used Velcro - which I was tempted by! 

I used felt for the letter (I think I will try a better graphic next time!). I also think that I will zigzag around the outside of the letter in future for a more "finished" look. But I was concerned that I would mess it up - or that the satin would gather whilst I was stitching.

I made a mask for the little superhero too. This one is made completely out of felt with an elastic strap - for ease of use.

 Make special note of the matching bobbin and top thread! (I am getting quite good at bothering to match up the colours!)
Initially, I stuck the fabric eye pieces onto the felt. I had thought I would leave it like this (again, my fear of messing up my zigzagging!). In the end I felt that it required a bit more strength - and I had to sew the elastic on anyway, so I went for it.
 I like the effect (and I don't think it looks too bad where the zigzagging went a bit off course)- I think it makes the mask feel more finished overall. Especially with the two layers of felt - almost like a quilted effect.
One thing that I am not happy with is that I left one edge of the elastic exposed. The other edge is sandwiched between the 2 layers of felt, but because I had originally stuck the material together I couldn't slip one side between the fabrics.
But I don't think it looks too bad. And I double zigzagged stitched it so I don't think it should fray...too much!
A lovely project - quick to put together (unless you procrastinate like I did!) and with really good result. Next time I will not bother sticking the fabric together and shall just use sufficient pins to ensure it doesn't move whilst zigzagging (that spelling doesn't look right...).  And I shall take the plunge and do an edging stitch on the satin/felt combo on the cape - has anyone had an experience of this? Is it as hard to sew as I imagine? I suppose I could try it on a practise piece first - but that assumes that I am that sort of organised this space!


Monday, 20 May 2013


I bought some fabric the other day (I know, this is not a surprise). I got a bit carried away (it was in a flash sale on Facebook). When it turned up, I was not as keen on it as I had been. I discussed with a friend (who actually laughed when I showed her the fabric "Why did you buy gnomes? That is actually the FUNNIEST fabric I have seen" was what she said).

I did doubt myself, and I considered selling it on eBay. Then - Eureka! Here is my fabby idea for my gnome-y fabric!

A lovely fleece backed toadstool cushion. Cute hey?

I think this fabric pack (there are 6 designs in total) is really crying out to be part of a gnome quilt. I am not a fan of quilting...but you never know!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Rio 2016 here we come!

I am not sure why, but I have a love of ribbons on sticks. You know the ones, where really skinny girls dance around chucking ribbons in sticks into the air and making pretty shapes.

I made some.


And I made a cute drawstring bag to keep them in too.

This keeps all the ribbons neat and tidy and much less likely (although not impossible!) to get tangled up with all the other toys!

I used 12mm wooden dowel and cut them into 40cm lengths. I cut the ribbons to 2metres lengths. I used 30mm eye screws and pre-drilled the holes (well, hubby did...power tools and me don't really mix!). Then I sewed the ribbon on to the eye screws (note the matching coloured thread used!).

Let's play!


Look at that concentration!
If you have any budding gymnasts or just enjoy twirling some ribbon then have a go at making some ribbon sticks!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


I trained as a primary school teacher - I got pregnant before finding my first teaching job - but I have done a few term's of supply work. I currently work with children after school.

Gifts for teacher - do you give your child's teacher a gift? As a thank-you for them doing their job, or as a reward for the end of term? I love getting a gift - but I do find it a bit strange when a parent (whom you don't really know) gives you a gift because it is the end of term...or the end of a school year. Especially, as it is my job, so I am doing my job. I would continue to do my job with or without a gift... (am I too grumpy?)

Well, my eldest has started her first year at school. I have decided to sew her teacher a gift - just something small as a thank-you for being there during the first year. (And, as I have mentioned before, since I started sewing I keep making gifts for people that I probably wouldn't have bought a gift for!).

I used this tutorial from Mollie Makes shown on The Guradian's website. It was nice to follow, although the apple is smaller than I imagined - and was trickier/more fiddly to sew because of the smaller size.
I like this autumnal material that I bought from Patchwork Paradise (find the Facebook page here)
 There was a bit of hand sewing (which I don't enjoy) but it was a manageable amount!
I think it looks really cute - and a bit different from another packet of chocolates! I am going to get my daughter to write a label and I shall tie it onto the be treasured forever!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Baby, baby, baby oh

My friend had a baby recently - he is absolutely gorgeous!

I found a fabulous tutorial for a baby swaddle blanket here at Prudent Baby. I used it to make another friend a baby wrap nearly a year ago.
How cute is the baby (oh and the wrap!). I made it unisex - I loved the hungry caterpillar material I used, although I ordered too little and had to sew some pieces together!

Anyway, after asking for some feedback (I didn't sew the wings in the middle), I have sewn a new one for my other friend's new arrival.

A boy this time.

Instead of bias biding around the wings this time I sewed them wrong sides together and then turned them the right way out and then top stitched around the edge.

I prefer this - and it means that I didn't have to do a princess seam (not difficult, I know but still...).

I still used bias binding around the edge of the flannel of the main blanket. I like the crisp line it makes against the cream flannel.


I hope she uses it, and I hope that the baby likes it :)

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Owl always love you

The best thing about sewing is making things that are personalised for people. I really enjoy it when people love my makes: they love that they can choose their colour fabrics to match their decoration; that they have their initials (or their loved one's initials) on products.
I have made a couple of owls for a lady. She had a particular colour scheme in mind, and I chose a few materials that I had (and some that I had seen online) and she chose what she wanted (and sent me a picture of the wallpaper to match!), and off I went!
Here's the result

bit random - right?
Well have another look!
Two owls that make a whole :) (see how you can be individual when you get it homemade especially for you - note the red and green heart!)
I really like these owls, I think they look super cute.
Some details
I only have eyes for you!

Nice neat applique!

Looking for a product that screams "you"? Then buy handmade (preferably from Little Homemade Product! Check it out on Facebook!!)