Monday, November 18, 2013

Dribble Bib

I made Penelope a dribble bib out of an old Tatty Devine T-shirt which was 50p from a seconds bin years a go. I had no idea what to do with it as I just couldn't imagine walking around with a neon orange tshirt on. But I love neon! Suddenly it had a perfect use, what? 10 years later. I am such a hoarder.

I always put a little ribbon as something to play with.

It's the perfect use for Kam Snaps. They're pretty stiff to open and close though so next time I might leave a bit more fabric around them so I have more to grab hold of when I try and open them.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Single girl

Single Girl
I dug out the Single Girl instructions and have started to give it another go. Last time I didn't find sewing on the bias that straightforwards so this time I have cut my background fabric wider and it's made things work out much better. I am really enjoying it! It's taken ages to choose the background fabrics but I am really pleased with the Lizzy House fabric.

Single Girl

Lots of pinning is also helping this time.

Single Girl

Now I just need to choose my other 'low volume' background fabrics. Single Girl

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Thangle time

ThanglesSo the measles is abating and I knew today could well be the end of the mammoth five hour day time nap we have all been enjoying. So I decided to hunt around for new little projects. I saw this great quilt by Amanda and thought it brilliantly combines a couple of things I have been thinking about.

I really enjoyed making my latest iPad case out of scraps in a free form, wonky log cabin sort of way. I'd really like to try my hand at a bit more of this sort of thing but I am not sure what to make, how to do it, what to use.

I also wanted to revisit the Single Girl quilt, as although I found it a bit of a pain to make, I'd really like one for myself. I just remember how long it took. The idea of only having to make two blocks is great and the scrappy maple leaf block would be cool to make. I love the mini blocks hidden within the bigger leaf. After doing the Swoon quilt, I have been steering clear of huge blocks, but, well, I am always tempted to change my mind.

So I thought I'd start off small and not think too much about the bigger picture. I only really had a day. So I got out my Thangles and had a go!

Cut Thangles I was a bit skeptical about them as they seemed a bit gimmicky, but for £4.50 I thought I'd give them a go. It's such a small size to work with. I just couldn't imagine working with such tiny elements. They were great! No thinking needed. I did watch the video tutorial first though. I was pretty mesmerised by the guys sleeves though. That's one serious patchwork jacket out of shot there.

I can't say I was really exact, but I am still pretty impressed with it. Now I just need to sift through the scrap bag and dig out some autumnal orange and browns. I'll have to put pink in too I think. I have some favourite Fleamarket Fancy scraps I have been saving which will be perfect. I don't have many pale fabrics as I tend to just use white. I also avoid fabric with type on it as it brings out my dayjob. Now I wish I was more relaxed about it as I think they look really good here. I think it is the fact that there is actually a lot of variety in the lights and darks which makes the project so attractive. I am not sure I can achieve that with my scraps.

Maple I used a Liberty print that mum gave me from a pack of fat 16ths she didn't want anymore. There's not a lot of material in a 16th so a block this kind of size is perfect. The background is some misc Kona solid in some sort of colour. I also have a few more lined up, but it would mean showing you the state of my ironing board. Sigh. Don't shriek in terror. Layout Now do you see why I want a new one? Mum gave me this mini board when I left home for university. It has done its time. I changed the padding and was ready to recover it when I discovered that the whole thing is warped and not flat anymore which makes ironing anything challenging as it had dips in the metal. I do have a little flat pad somewhere that mum bought me but, well, its in a box somewhere, along with my Single Girl templates. Sigh.

Anyway tomorrow I might try and make some of these into the block that goes in the big maple. I need to do the math though which is my weak point. Let me see, the small block is 1 1/2", the large block is 21-22". Time to get planning.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

At last

Not a single post last month, I am not very productive these days. I still haven't even put the binding on my ipad case. There is just no time, it is very frustrating. I just decided that I need to be a bit slacker on my mothering duties and make more time for sewing. Luckily this has combined with a bout of Measles which has meant lots of napping, which equals lots of sewing time. So I decided to make Penelope a dress!

I am no seamstress. I couldn't even make my own MC hammer trousers when I was 15, I had to get Rachel to make them. But I decided to just take it nice and slow.
  20131104-IMG_5911.jpg I realised I couldn't use any of my quilting fabric as I love it so much and it's all destined to be quilted, so instead I splurged out on some Petite Street fat quarters by Dashwood Studios from The Village Haberdashery. Not wanting to sound like an Anglophile or anything, but it's very refreshing to have some UK designed fabric. It's always such a pain seeing lovely fabrics which aren't available in the UK. The way people just nip onto their massive JoAnn or Micheals really makes me feel like I live in the Outer Hebrides sometimes. I'm really into these fabrics and I look forwards to future collections. The pincord is from myfabrics. Or as they call it: Feincord 18. It's lovely and soft and drapes well. I should have enough to make two which makes the shipping cost from Germany a little easier to bear.

I saw Kristin's Nordika Sally Dress and thought it was ace. I love the colours and the bright pockets. Perfect for Penelope! She's going to love me putting toys in those pockets... or food. Yes, food will be better. All those crumbs. It also looked not too hard. Considering I am a beginner. I mean I quilt, but I find it very different from all those dressmaking terms and tricks.

20131105-IMG_5924.jpg So off I went to find Shannon's pattern. What can I tell you about this pattern? Well it was really easy to follow. I read through it all and got a bit scared as I didn't understand a thing! I am such a sewing novice. So I just did one but at a time. I made the top bit yesterday and the bottom bit today.

20131106-IMG_5937-2.jpg I was a bit shell shocked when I was suddenly finished. So quick! I am definitely going to make another in the next size up. If you look closely it's a bit shabby. There are some things I need to swot up on and try harder at. I haven't tied my loose threads yet, but I was just too eager to photograph it.

Things I would change next time: Umm... perhaps wait till I've sewn off the ends before I photograph it? Also just try and make it neater. You can see close up that it has all manner of wonky bits.

I might change round the fabrics. I didn't use the triangles or flowers so I might use them instead of the dots and clouds. I might also make each pocket a different pattern.

I might measure my daughter like you are advised to. She was so red and spotty though. She has lived in her pyjamas for three days. There was just no way. So I hope it fits! I hope it goes over her head. I will be well gutted if it doesn't. Oh well I will just have to sew an opening at the back of the next one.

I would do the gathering as the pattern advised. For some reason I did it a bit wrong. It is not the best.

I would rethink the hem. I think I did something wrong there as quite a lot of my pocket went in it which makes it quite bulky. I am sure that is just me being stupid. I am particularly stupid these days.

I might buy a blind hem foot or a double needle foot if I feel this might be something I do more of. I could put them on my Christmas list. I am trying to spend less money not more.

I would look up how to be neater at piping. I sort of ballsed that bit up. It wasn't in the pattern and I've only ever done it once. I meant to look up how to join it at the end but Penelope woke up! I couldn't bear not to finish it so I just did what I thought looked ok. I am sure I will now read some rad tutorial with some easy solution.
 20131106-IMG_5930.jpg I might pin a bit more. Or just be a better pinner. I am not up on dressmaking pinning to be honest. I just winged it. I am sure it would help to be a bit neater. That's it!

Overall I am pretty amazed with myself. I like to think that if I can do this then anyone with no dressmaking experience can do it. Now time for something else. I am liking these small projects. Maybe a bag. I haven't made a bag since I made that union jack ruck sack when I was 17. Ouch.

Right time to sew all those loose ends in and see if the sick patient is well enough to be dressed like a doll. I have some grey stripy tights and a grey babygro from Hennes all at a giant cost of £6. Thank heavens for H&M! I'll post up a picture if she doesn't look like she's going to keel over. I am so BORED of measles.