Wednesday, 27 May 2015

1, 2, 3 Quilt

This is the third year I've made Sophie a quilt for her birthday and this one was my own design.

I wanted to combine the technique of using freezer paper to 'piece' my patchwork design, I wanted to use up some of the special scraps of fabric (lots of rare Heather Ross and Liberty) I've been saving and I wanted to do numbers - something I'd not seen in many other quilts.

I drew out my design, copied onto squares of freezer paper and then split this into sections to piece together. I ironed the templates onto my scrap or white fabric, cutting a cm border for seam allowance. I started with the easier numbers that were angular first - one, four, seven before trying the curves.

I found that matching the two curved section together needed lots of pins, using the needle in the down position to maneuver and determination! There are slightly iffy bits in the 'six'!

I found that using a slightly smaller stitch length enabled me to pull the paper pattern off more easily.

The back was a simple giant zero with an elongated middle on an angle. I like finding interesting mixes of fabrics - favourite knocking up against each other in unusal ways. Although it took such a lot of time it took to make the larger sections of scrap to cut out the template pieces that I'm not sure I'll be replicating this any time soon.

Findlay helped me take these photos with some reluctance - I must make something for him!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

A Medieval Headdress!

After a recent trip to Lewes Castle  and much fun dressing up in their tower I decided to create my own headdress to add to Sophie's growing dressing up box.

These images of headwear from the middle ages helped my design.

I started with by making a tube, sewing one end closed with a ribbon attached. After pulling this the right way I then stuffed with toy filling and sewed the other end closed with a second ribbon embedded into the seam. These two ribbons tied to make my circle.

I decorated with a veil of fabric and netting which I gathered and hand-sewed to the back of the circle. I hand-sewed matching ribbon around to cover the veil. 

 Next time (!) I'll add a band of elastic that will tuck under the chin to keep it in place.

Monday, 11 May 2015


Sophie continues to feature heavily in my blog and in my making, the next few posts will be the same as she's turning three and I've used the opportunity for more projects.

 For her new dressing up box I've made this lovely vintage-style nurse outfit.

I designed it without the aid of a pattern. Although you can tell it's homemade because of some of the wobbles, but I think this just adds some genuine 'make-do-and-mend' qualities from the war-time era!

I'm really pleased with the cape. It was simple to construct and the tiny blue apple button is the perfect finishing touch.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Leather Pencil Case

I've had this bargain scrap of soft leather for years and not know how or what to make.

After searching unprofessionally for a pen mid-meeting I've decided it's obvious - a pencil case. So after some pinterest searching I felt equipped to have a go.The main lessons seem to be that you can't use pins or re-do stitching as you'll leave holes. As the pencil case is only dealing with short runs of stitches this wasn't going to be a problem.

I added some Liberty and vintage fabric and found a lovely chunky bronze and black zip. I decided to go for a box style case.

My wonderful Pfaff and its IDT system powered through the bulky seams.

 I'm pretty pleased with the result.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Sewing Tutorials - Learn Something New!

Sewing has had a welcome renaissance in the last few years, mainly due to the popularity of programmes such as The Great British Sewing Bee and the make-do-and-mend approach to life.

Learning to sew and craft has equally benefited from the do-it-yourself method. The internet is full of wonderful blogs to follow and tutorials to master new techniques. Here are a couple I really enjoy following:

Colette patterns have a weekly sewing tip called Snippets which is well worth signing up for.

The Purl Bee from NYC's Purl Soho is amazing and I've made many of their wonderful patterns - I promise it will keep you busy for hours!
Sewing Bee's Tilly & The Button continues to be a star with both her wonderful pattens and great step-by-step tutorials - perfect for beginners.

Sew Mama Sew has everything you could want to make - many of the pins below come from this site.

A UK site for both tutorials and stockists is The Sewing Directory.

Pinterest is full to the brim of tutorials that can talk you through every possible new skill you would like to master. Here are some of my boards I've collected:

Sewing patterns and projects for me - dresses, bags and tops.
Children's clothes - mainly girl's dresses
General sewing tips - including bias binding and sleeve de-mystfiying!
Working with leather - a new challenge I'm looking to conquer
Quilts - inspiration and block tutorials
Overlocker tips
Kids Costumes - ideas I might try to recreate plus lots of great step by step guides
Sewing Projects for home
And using the rather wonderful 'Freezer Paper'

This is just the tip of the iceberg - I've not covered YouTube or the numerous shops and evening classes that offer wonderful workshops - so really there is no excuse to have a go!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Sew Mag

How exciting - I'm in a magazine!

I responded to a twitter request for handmade wedding stories from Sew Magazine - sending them a link to this blog and my wedding story - I wasn't expecting the final story.

I can't wait to get hold of my own copy - another thing to do before 40 ticked!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Bird of Paradise

Another beautiful bird to add to the growing flock...


 The latest versions have useful elastic hoops for arms and thumbs to enable maximum flapping!