Thursday, September 30, 2010

Technical Assistance

I am finally starting to see my patchwork baby blanket coming together and I'm thrilled with how its looking! Its been slower than anticipated, mainly because my machine is so temperamental at the moment and because I am horrendously busy in my day job. I am so looking forward to the end of October when our busy period starts to tail off. I'm can't wait to have the energy to get out the sewing machine every night instead of only one or two a week. But its now almost finished - I am working on the bias binding at the moment.

I have to mention here an absolutely fabulous book that has become my bible for all things technical - Sew It Up  by Ruth Singer. Its fresh, beautifully illustrated, has excellent instructions and really clear master classes with great accompanying photos. To be honest I can't recommend it highly enough.  I tend to have it out beside me when I am doing anything that is relatively new to me and the pictures are a great visual giuide to check your work. Last night I used her Masterclass on continuous bias binding which I had not had need to try before, and it turned out perfectly, and saved me so much work on the binding.  There are some lovely projects in it also and all in all, its probably one of my favourite books in my crafting library and definitely my most used by a long long way.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Take Notice


I have a lovely fabric covered noticeboard in my own kitchen and a good friend asked me to make similar for her AGES ago. So I did. This has been sitting on my shelf finished for months now, I took it down on Saturday when I was going to visit her and it made me smile so I took a little picture to show off with! The fabric came from Ikea (it took 3 visits to get it in stock, the final visit made not by me but by my fab friend H -thanks hon!! - but it was worth it) and is one of the most vibrant and cheerful fabrics I think I've ever come across. I have a large canvas covered in the same fabric in the playroom too and its perfect in there. So this is the simplest thing to make - some wadding, some fabric, some ribbon, some buttons, a cork notice board and a staplegun :-) The trickiest part is sewing in the buttons at the end. Hey presto, funky bright noticeboard to hang your pictures, takeaway menus, kids' drawings etc on. Maybe I need another one now that I have 2 children bringing home pre-school works of art every day!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Machine woes

No pictures today unfortunately. This week has been mega busy and exhausting and I haven't had much crafting time at all. I've been knitting quite a bit because I can do that on the sofa :-) and I just love the yarn I'm using for my cardi. It's a bamboo cotton mix and it's got a lovely soft texture and great drape. I also got a new crochet book and have been trying out some of the patterns in it which has been fun ( also on the sofa!! )

But my biggest focus of the week has been my machine which has given me serious trouble every time I have managed to get it out. Tensions issues, pedal trouble, bizarre bobbin winding, it's really starting to get on my nerves. I was hoping to look at new machines at the Knitting and Stitching show at the end of October with a view to buying one online afterwards but now I'm not sure I'll manage to wait that long. I have been looking forward to upgrading to a better machine for about 6 months but was not anticipating my current machine packing it in beforehand! I have quite a few projects on the go so I'm keeping everything crossed it keeps going.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Sewing

I have far too many projects on the go at the moment so decided that today was the day to finish off some that have been sitting in limbo for a while. I really only had some handsewing to finish off on these two tunic dresses and after hurting my back (again!) this morning, they were perfect to do while sitting with the hot water bottle on the sofa. They are for my friend's two daughters, the eldest of whom is my god-daughter and I think they work well together. I might make a little bag or hairband for F as a special extra if I find a few minutes tomorrow. We are going to visit them next weekend so I'll be handing them over then and hope they like them.

I am in the middle of my patchwork blanket but also making curtains for our room which I am making progress on heming most nights, but the curtains are slowing everything else down! I'm looking forward to getting them finished, not to mention hanging them. The fact that the new carpet for the room finally arrived last week has put me under a bit of pressure to get them done. But I can't wait to see what it all looks like and how it comes together.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Patchwork buggy blanket

The idea for a patchwork baby blanket backed with minky has been in my head for quite a while. I've been playing around with various fabric combinations and patterns for a week or so but eventually settled on this today. I have it all cut now and am very excited to see how it turns out when I sew it. I love the strong colours, so much more exciting than more baby pink! Here's the layout:




Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pretty and Practical

 Yesterday and today I was off work to get E started in playschool. I really can't believe my baby is so grown up! So yesterday I had 2.5 whole free hours which I sadly had to use to tidy the house. I did a big clearout of my storage / ironing cupboard and was

trying to figure out how to store my shopping bags and the swimming bags better to keep the clutter to a minimum. This morning when I dropped the kids, I thought of some pretty Cath Kidston fabric I had in my stash and decided to try to make some storage bags. I kept it really simple and made one long tube, with elasticated openings at both ends for the shopping bags, and a simple bag for the swim stuff. I found 2 heavy duty hooks and stuck them up and hey presto! I know they are very simple but I am insanely happy every time I open the cupboard. I even got out my ironing board this evening to do some ironing (now that I can actually get to it!)
Posted by Picasa

Liberty Fabrics

Ok, so this is a bit of self-promotion really but I have entered the competition on http://www.sexbox.co.uk/ for 2 metres of Liberty Fabric. They are all so gorgeous, but my favourite is the Liberty Jersey Maurice. I can just see this as a fab go-anywhere wrap dress for winter for me! I thought some of you would like to enter too!
The competition is here. I really like this website, they have a great selection of fabrics and I like their taste in sewing books of which I own far too many!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ta Dah!

So the bag is finished and I LOVE it!! What a great pattern, easy to follow and turned out as perfect as promised. I have lots of pockets and there is even a key chain made of twill tape! Here's the finished object:

Me Time!

So last night I decided it was high time I made something nice for myself. I've been making for my kids, gifts for other kids, and stuff for the house for the last couple of months - definitely time for a little quality project for me :-) I cut the fabric for a bag a couple of weeks ago and decided to get it out and sew it up. I've had my eye on it for a long time - the stripey fabric is Cath Kidston which I got reduced in the outlet shop in Kildare Village and I thought it would be perfect for a bag the minute I saw it, its so fresh and colourful and I love the stripes. I picked up some baby pink bubbble cotton on Ebay for the lining and think they work well together. I'm using a pattern from Lotta Jansdotter's book "Simple Sewing" and its not hard, but there is a little bit of work in it. Particularly since I decided at the last minute that the fabric wasn't heavy enough and I needed some interfacing. Luckily I had a heavy sew-in type in my box. I did the outside and the pockets last night, and the lining this morning in my pjs when the kids were running around playing. So here it is, almost finished.  I just need to do the handles and join the lining to the outside and then I will be done apart from the pressing. I just adore bags so its great to make a few (and saves in my pocket too). Fingers crossed I will find another few minutes later on to finish it off.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Flower Power

 My latest lovey was inspired by the doodles that can be found in the margins of all my work notebooks - the more time I spend on the phone, the more flowers appear!! I had the idea floating around in my head for quite a while - most comforters available in shops are standard size squares with straight edges and repeated ribbons and I wanted to make something a little more interesting. I thought that any little baby girl would love this pretty comforter. Its made of polar fleece, pink on the front and apple green on the back. The front is appliqued with fleece and cotton and ribbons are sewn in around the border.


The ribbons are double stitched for extra safety and each one is different in a mixture of colours, widths, patterns and textures! The shape is handrawn - so its slightly assymetrical but I think that adds to its charm. Its very soft and cuddly. Even my kids think its cute and are suggesting babies who might like it!