Friday, 4 April 2014


Cara is two today, I made her a simple smock dress and matching owl bag.

This lovely medium-weight tartan fabric is just right for a spring day.

The bag uses the same fabric with simple fabric and felt shapes appliquéd on using a small zig zag stitch on my machine. The ears of the owl are connected to a long handle to go across little bodies, making it easy to collect and store precious bits and pieces!

Friday, 14 March 2014

All tucked in

Although it took no time to knock up the mattress and pillows for Sophie's Christmas doll's bed, the quilts, have taken a little longer. But I've finally finished them all

I used the opportunity of making min quilts to test new techniques that I couldn't do on a full size quilt, mainly traditional paper piecing hexagon patchwork quilt. Its taken me a lot longer than I thought but worth it. I don't think I'll be contemplating a full size one any time soon!

I also made a very pretty strip patchwork mini quilt with some hand stitch quilting.

And a simple two tone mini quilt with piping made from mustard polka dot fabric.

Best of all Sophie loves using them to tuck her dolls and toys in at night.

Monday, 10 March 2014

A dress for Sophie

The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot that the beautiful fabric used for Sophie's latest dress was first seen as my maxi dress last year. 

You may also spot that the pattern I've used is simply a lengthening of the lovely top I made for Eva in my last post.

Such a simple dress that took no time to put together but I think Sophie looks lovely in it, although she wasn't keen to pose for photos! I have a feeling more versions will follow.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Eva's New Wardrobe

When Nina asked if I could make up a pattern she'd bought I knew it would be a great chance to test my new overlocker. After watching several YouTube films it was threaded it up and I was away.

The patterns Nina had bought were by a company called Minikrea from Denmark. The English translation seemed brief but after a couple of read throughs I felt confident enough to tackle them!

I started with the simple smock top. I copied the pattern pieces onto special pattern paper I'd found on Amazon and added my seam and hem allowances - I knew I might forget when cutting out later!

Within minutes I whizzed up the basic top with super neat seams. Flipping over to my sewing machine to hem and make the neckline and cuff channels for the elastic.

From the material Nina had chosen I made two tops, a plain pink and lovely mustard and turquoise pattern from Cloud 9.

Nina's second pattern was for lined dungarees. I used her soft blue and off white polka dot fabric with the Cloud 9 as a lining.

I adapted the pattern a little by making tie straps and adding a pocket.

I really like how the lining fabric peeks out now and then!

I'm sure it won't be long tip I'm making more of these!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

A Roman Blind

I've been chipping away at home furnishing for our new pad - curtains being top of the list. The ones I've made for the living room and our bedroom are not particularly exciting - yet functional and a good stop gap until these rooms are properly thought about and decorated.

But in Finn's room I had a clear idea of the overall look I was after and wanted to use a lovely old map fabric I had stumbled across.

I decided that a roman blind would be perfect and after browsing the tutorials online felt that the one on the Channel 4 website offered the most clear instructions.

Finally after weeks of doing a little bit here and there its up and finished.

I had to sew two pieces together to get the width and it took a little redoing to match the pattern but having the longitude and latitude lines in the design was a big help! I covered the baton with matching fabric so that there was less chance of any gaps showing. 

I think next time I'll think about positioning it on the wall rather than set into the window so it doesn't catch on the window handles. I'll also think more about the size of gaps between each rod so that a better layer effect is created when the blind is pulled up.

My final tip is to avoid stick on velcro - all the tutorials advise you to use it but DON'T! I ended up stapling my bit to the wooden baton that was screwed into the window and then hand sewing the strip to the curtain. It would have saved a lot of time and bother to simply sew it from the start.

Monday, 3 February 2014

A Good Night's Sleep

We all know that the perfect bed is an essential ingredient for a good night's sleep and I'm sure its no different for dolls! When Sophie received her first dolls as Christmas presents wonderful Grandpa had the sleeping solution - from the depths of his attic he found the doll's cot made by my Grandpa for me when I was a little girl in the 70s!

As soon as I saw it memories came flooding back, although I was never that into dolls, I do remember tucking up my teddies to sleep. It's this tucking in that Sophie spends much of her time doing - even trying to tuck in Finn but big brothers are less agreeable than teddies, dolls and Elmo!

As soon as I got the doll's cot home I knew I needed to make bedding for Sophie's dolls. I started with a mattress and pillows.

I bought some lovely soft purple ticking fabric, measured inside the cot and judged how deep i wanted the finished mattress to be. I decided that by piping both top and bottom would make it look more like the real thing and give me the chance to try something new. i made the piping by cutting long strip of fabric with the ticking stripes going the opposite direction to the main mattress body. 

I had a large stash of toy filling still so was able to stuff and hand sew the opening closed. 

I then found 6 small flower shaped white buttons. I sewed them all the way through to get the proper mattress effect.

With the small bit of fabric I had left I was able to make two pillows too!

I'm so pleased with the finished thing, the colours complement the old fashioned puppy image and slightly ageing paint work perfectly. In my next update I'll share the doll's quilt I've made...

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Very Useful Bags For Babies

Sarah's friends have been having babies! To welcome them into the world she has enlisted me to make them a VUBFB (Very Useful Bag For Baby). I've made many of these over the last couple of years, all different and unique.

This is a photograph of a bag in its final stages. You might recognise the patchwork pieces as leftovers from my Snowball quilt of the last post!

This is a bag for Mats. I really like the hot air balloon fabric and the different colour felt letters work perfectly.

And this is the most recent one, all ready to be posted. Hopefully May will find it useful too.