Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last Christmas orders!




A quick reminder that tomorrow 1st December is the last day for ordering Christmas bunting, or baby blankets / personalised name bunting / taggies for delivery before Christmas. This is due to the volume of orders I'm currently receiving because as you know all products are made to order. So thanks to everyone who has placed an order!

I will, of course, continue to take orders for baby gifts for delivery in the new year. Simply email me on fairyfacedesigns@gmail.com to order.



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Playroom chic


This has been a funny week. I wasn't very well at the start of it and it totally slowed down my usual crafting activities. But I picked up mid week and got very productive then, culminating in a total sewing splurge on Friday!

I had a custom order from my friend Lory who wanted a present for a little boy. After thinking up and casting aside lots of ideas, I settled on this cute playroom storage wall hanging. The alphabet fabric is Cath Kidston, a heavy cotton, and is really fresh and fun, perfect for little people. The pockets are made with plain cotton, with quite a heavy iron-on interfacing on both sides to give them structure and strength. I appliqued basic shapes on the pockets using the original fabric for some extra interest.


The large pocket at the bottom is big enough for some large paperbacked children's books and the other two pockets would hold soft toys, dolls, hats & scarves, slippers etc. It's hung with some blue heart ribbon attached to the wooden dowel and there is a second dowel sewn in the bottom of the hanging to weight it. The fabric loops holding the dowel are stitched a number of times to give them extra strength.



I'm hoping the little boy who got it will like it and that it brightens up his playroom or bedroom!




Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ho ho ho! Jingle Christmas bunting



I know its only the middle of November but I'm feeling very Christmassy at the moment. Maybe its the kids' excitement or maybe its total escapism from the unfolding disaster that seems to be Ireland these days but I'm keeping my eyes firmly on planning a warm and happy Christmas. I've even ordered my turkey already (well, it was on special offer if you ordered last week!) I'm ignoring the horrible weather and the dark and dreary evenings (which, incidently, make taking good photos practically impossible so I'm sorry the pictures in this post aren't better.) Last year I made some lovely handmade decorations and, to be honest, I've been looking forward all year to feeling justified in making more! It's probably obvious at this stage that I LOVE Christmas, and getting ready for it is probably the best part.

I ordered some lovely Christmas fabrics a few weeks ago and as soon as they arrived last week I started planning. My first project was this cheery festive Christmas bunting. I'm planning to hang this on the wooden pelmet over our kitchen window where I think it will look lovely. It will be facing the door directly, so it will be one of the first things we see when we come into the kitchen. I'm going to make a couple more smaller ones for the alcoves in our living room (I'm thinking "Peace" and "Joy") and a few friends have asked me to make them a set too. I love Christmas decorations which can be used year after year and have a little meaning to them and this certainly falls into that category. I hope that I will still be hanging this up in 20 years time, in the same way that my Mum still has decorations on her tree that we made as children.





I'm also going to try and do some mini bunting in the shapes of Christmas stockings or similar and some felt and fabric Christmas tree decorations. And I bought some candy canes in the shops this week so I must try and rustle up some little fabric hanging cones for them. I've seen a pattern for these but they are made with card/paper and I think I could do similar using some fabric and some very stiff interfacing.

This bunting has 8 flags, of which one on each end is left blank and the rest have letters sealed on which are made of felt. The full ribbon length is approx 225cm long, with the bunting flags spread across 155cm of that. Each flag is approx 16cm wide and 17cm long and is made of 100% cotton.




Orders:

If you would like some of my Christmas bunting, please order before 1st December as all are made to order. This size, with 7-8 flags is €20. I will also do a smaller size with 5 or 6 flags for €17. Postage is at cost and I accept Paypal. Fabrics and ribbons may differ from this particular one.







Monday, November 15, 2010

Tales of a Crafting Weekend


So, this is a long post. With lots of pictures. You have been warned!

Its about time to go to bed and get ready for work in the morning but it would be a shame to do it without reflecting on a great crafting weekend. I decided that it was important to make some time to make things for my own family and home, as I've been so busy with orders lately that I haven't been able to do anything for myself. So my project for the weekend was to get as many things finished as I could and I didn't do badly at all!

First off, I think its important to say: I am totally in love with my new sewing machine:





Is it really possible to be in love with a machine? I'm not sure of the answer to that one, but if it is then that is me covered. My new Pfaff Expression 2.0 machine arrived during the week (a day early, thanks to the brilliant John in the Singer Sewing Centre in Waterford) and I just couldn't wait to get started with it. Funnily enough, my old machine had gone totally kaput the night before, so it was great timing. It really is a thing of beauty. I adore the fact that I can set the stitch length and width with the computer programme rather than fiddling around with dials, it makes it all so easy. It's really REALLY precise and exact when its sewing and I have been getting through work much faster than previously because I don't have to compensate for temperamental stitches and weird fabric feed issues. It has (the main reason I bought it) an integrated walking foot which means the fabric feed is completely even all the time and I just LOVE this. The stitch quality is excellent. It also has lots of dinky little features that just make things easier: the thread cutter is on the side; there is a little ruler/tape measure indented into the accessory board in a really useful place; there are width markings on both sides of the stitch plate; it has automatic needle down function which is brilliant for all my applique work, and it has automatic tie off too. Not to mention it has a gazillion beautiful decorative stitches. So there you go: I'm officially in love. Yes, those of you who used to know me as a wild young thing will wonder what has happend to me!!

I decided to put it through its paces on Friday night and make a skirt for myself. I've had my eye on the simple A line skirt in this book for a while:  


And I had some heavy cotton fabric that I got in Vibes and Scribes a month or two back that I wanted to use. I just love this book - I have it on loan from the library for months now, I just keep renewing it. I love the "can do" attitude and the lack of fuss - no fiddly patterns, just draw a shape and get on with it. This approach kind of suits me, I'm all about simplicity and I don't like a lot of the dress making patterns that are available to buy because there's just too much work in them! It also has a superb tutorial on putting in a zip - really really simple, and works perfectly! So, I sat down and in a couple of hours I had a new skirt! Thanks in no small part to how fast I could zig zag and sew the seams. I hand finished the button embellishment this afternoon in front of the fire and hey presto, a new wardrobe item for me! I'm really pleased with how it turned out, as I don't do a huge amount of dressmaking except for some simple toddler/pre-school dresses.


I love the button detail - I got this button in A.Rubanesque in Powerscourt centre in Dublin on a recent trip and have been saving it for something lovely. Funnily enough, it was the owner of this shop who gave the workshop on customising your wardrobe at the Knitting and Stitching show and I guess her words were ringing in my ears when I finished putting the skirt together. I decided to add a soft teal coloured trim to it at the bottom for extra interest and then remembered this button and added that on too. I'm not sure how it would wash, so the embellishment is actually sewn onto a small circle of felt and pinned onto the skirt so I can remove it when washing. It completely changes the look of the skirt from what it was.



Also, in front of the fire this afternoon, I finally put the brooch pin in the corsage I made after the Knitting and Stitching show a few weeks ago. This was covered in the above-mentioned workshop and I love how it turned out. I'm going to pin it to my boring black work jackets to brighten them up!


My next project: child's scarf. My little lady, E, has been asking for a scarf these last few mornings, now that the weather has gotten colder. I made the (very stupid) mistake of throwing out last year's one because it had gotten too old and worn, knowing that I had bought some yarn a few weeks ago to make a new one for her. I'm nearly halfway there already thanks to treble crochet stitches and chunky yarn. Its a marbled acrylic chunky yarn and, despite the yarn snob in me, I really like the colourway and the pattern in it. Plus it doesn't irritate me or her! Its very soft and squashy, perfect scarf yarn and I'm very tempted to do one for myself if there's enough yarn left over from the massive ball.



I also have been working away on orders I have gotten in the last couple of weeks. I'm almost finished an order for 3 baby comforter/taggies - I just need to stitch the seams on the last one, and embroider the babies' names on the backs. The first two turned out lovely, and I'm hoping to finish them off tomorrow night. The last one is a rocket one for a baby boy.


Finally, I got around to making some fabric pictures using the frames I got on the last trip I did to Ikea. I have had the idea for these floating around for a week or two now - I just picked some of my favourite fabrics and used Bondaweb to make some heart shapes. They are for my "craft corner" whenever I get to make the space for it in the playroom. I'm planning to buy a small desk and some shelves to put on the wall and set my machine up permanently with my sewing box, button jar and fat quarter box on the shelves. I also want to make some kind of an inspiration line/board for my little corner. It would really be great if I could get it done sooner rather than later as my sewing stuff is taking over the kitchen bit by bit! Anyway, while I'm waiting for my little corner, I've stuck these on the shelves in our living room where they are adding a gorgeous splash of fresh colour. I just love them and am tempted to make some more to use for little Christmas presents.





All in all, a very satisfying and crafty weekend! I got lots done (the X Factor provides great handstitching/crochet/knitting time!) and still managed to fit in lots of fun with D and E, meeting up with some friends and their kids, a lovely lie in this morning thanks to my wonderful husband T, and (shock horror) I even managed to get the house reasonably clean and tidy.

Sadly its back to reality tomorrow with a big day at work, but I'll be looking forward to cosying up on the sofa in front of the fire tomorrow evening and finishing the scarf for E.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Baby girl patchwork snuggle blanket



I finally managed to get my pictures of my second baby snuggle blanket loaded up onto my laptop and here it is! Everyone who has seen this blanket in real life has absolutely loved it. Its colourful, fresh and very cute, not to mention very snuggly and cosy for babies in this cold and dreary winter weather.


The blanket measures 96cm by 79 cm approximately, so its a very good size. The front is 100% cotton, with fabric from a number of different designers including Riley Blake, Amy Schimler and Ann Kelle. The blanket is backed with velvety soft baby pink dotted minky. Its bound with a red, tiny floral cotton.




The owls and cats are from the Amy Schimler "On a Whim II" range and are super cute. This blanket would bring a little luxury and glamour to any pram or buggy and would make a really special gift for a baby girl.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Snuggly owl baby blanket


This is the second baby blanket I have finished this week. I haven't managed to get pictures of the other one yet, but snapped a few tonight when I had this done. Its part of an order of baby gifts for some new babas and I hope that they spend lots of time snuggled up warm and cosy in them! The blanket is a great size for a buggy - 89cm by 76cm.





I love novelty kids fabrics that are unusual and have a bit of character and as soon as I saw this owl fabric I fell in love with it. Its so fresh and funky and cute and I knew immediately it would make a lovely baby blanket for an extra special baby gift. The owl fabric is 100% quilting weight cotton, very soft and eye catching. It's from the Ann Kelle Urban Zoologie range by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. Its backed with a blue minky which is velvety soft. I bound it with some navy bias binding and think it works well. I'm not a lover of too many pastel blues and pinks for babies - I love stronger, more vibrant colours and think they are much more interesting for baby to look at too. My kids always much preferred toys and clothes in strong primary colours.







I added some littled appliqued baby feet on the minky just because I thought they were cute!






I'll be back with pics of the other blanket as soon as I can get a minute to take them and load them up.
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