Pram Blanket

There’s a baby girl due shortly and my family are bursting with excitement.    I was looking for a simple idea for a newborn gift and decided on a pram blanket.   (Jadie, don’t look!)   This is likely to be the first of many baby gifts leaving my machine in the short term.

I knew the mum has decided that she wants to avoid pastel colours, so I went for the vibrant colours in this piece of fabric from the patchwork store.  The zebra print back is a velvety, soft, fleecy fabric which I just want to stroke.  Continuously.  Lime green binding lifts the edges and also compliments the zebra print.

It was all very simple really.   I layered the two prints back to back, some random safety pins in the centre and dressmaking pins held them together while I put the binding on.    I was wondering if I’d need to put some random stitches through the blanket to hold the layers in place, but it seems to be doing just fine without.

Hope she likes it

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Sewing Organiser

I recently pinned a pattern for this sewing organiser on my Pinterest account.    As my usual sewing is something like ‘sew seam – get up to find scissors – sew seam – get up to find unpicker – sew seam – really must do something about that little pile of pins heaping up’,  I thought that it may come in very useful to help keep me organised when sewing.  Oh, and it’s really pretty.

My usual approach is to see a pattern I like and try to duplicate it.  However, after a few recent failures of random projects, I decided to purchase this pattern from SundayGirlDesigns on Etsy.    And I was so glad I did – the pattern was easy to follow and saved me a lot of wrong turns.    My only suggestion would be for the pattern to include total fabric purchase at the start of the pattern as I was feeling a bit lazy about adding together all the fabric required for each different part of the project.

I only made a couple of edits to the pattern:

1. I couldn’t find iron-on batting so I used regular batting and had to baste the mat together.   3/4 of the way through basting, I seriously began to regret not hunting down the iron on.

2. The pattern calls for pre-made seam tape, but I just made my own bias binding from a fat quarter.

3. I found the thread basket hung open a bit far after construction – so I added a little elastic with a press-stud closure to hold it closed a little more.

4. I didn’t have any felt for the flowers, so I made them from contrast fabric instead.

Anyway, very happy with this little project.    Here’s to more organised sewing.sewing mat

A new pair of trousers

I decided that a pair of black, wide leg trousers was just what my wardrobe needed.    I went pattern hunting in the post Christmas sales but all the best ones were gone and the closest I could find was Simplicity 1617.    It was close enough to what I wanted but would need some variation.  Particularly the gathered section above the belly.   I have no idea why someone would choose to put gathering there, but at least it was fairly easy to alter and add darts instead.

When I was fabric hunting for this I was quite keen to find rayon.   I just love the cool, breathable softness of rayon.  As it turned out, I couldn’t find rayon but stumbled across bamboo fabric instead.   It felt just as lovely as rayon and seems to have all the same properties – so I went with that instead.  I’ll definitely be using bamboo in the future.

The pattern was very easy.   I had a bit of trouble figuring out what size to make because according to the measurements, I would be an 18-20.   Knowing that patterns tend to run big, I decided to go with a 12.    I started with a mock-up, found the 12 was a little too tight and ended up making somewhere between a 14-16.

I was concerned that the legs of the trousers would be a bit short, so I added two inches to the length when cutting.  And was very glad I did because I needed all that extra fabric for the hem.   At 170cm (5’7″) tall, I’m no giant, but I am tall enough to be wary of short trouser legs.    That being said, I never know where to hem wide trousers.   Photos online show them skimming the ground – but I worry about how dirty and worn they’ll get.   But making the hems higher can just look silly so I’ve tried to find a length which is ‘just long enough’.    I’m not sure if this is their final length – will wear a few times and see how I feel.

The other change I made was to make the waist sit a little higher.    Easy to adapt.

All in all, very happy with the end result – I think they’ll be getting loads of wear

Update:  After a few wears, I found that this fabric stretches with wear – in a similar fashion to linen.   I’ve added a sneaky bit of elastic to the waist to hold them up after they’ve been worn for a bit.   And the hem was let down a bit too.    Jan 22, 2015

.simplicity 1617

A Teenage Boy Quilt.

This was my first quilt.   It was 2011 and my son had well and truly grown out of the beautiful appliqued alphabet quilt made for him by my mother.   I explained to my son that I was making a ‘teenage boy’ quilt and the name stuck.   “A Teenage Boy Quilt” is now it’s official name.

He had a very strong love for Star Wars at the time, so his room had lots of Star Wars merchandise around.  It was painted red because he wanted it to look like the lava planet Mustafar.   I wondered if the red walls would send him a bit crazy, but he’s been fine.

Anyway, the red, black and white was chosen because a) it would compliment the Star Wars decoration and b) I love working with vibrant colours.   The quilt is finished with ‘in the ditch’ quilting and has a very soft and light batting.    He loves it.

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When it all comes together

The crafting bug hit me today.  With a sledgehammer.  No amount of personal persuasion to the contrary was going to beat today’s desire to make something.   Not that I tried very hard to block it.     It’s the Christmas break – the sewing shops would either be closed or too crowded with people shopping the post Christmas sales – so I was going to have to make do.

After spending far too long on Pinterest reviewing my options, I decided to sew a makeup purse for my daughter.  It was one of those perfect crafts where I had absolutely everything I needed at my fingertips.   Leftover fabrics from a previous quilt, some batting, the perfect zip and all the tools I needed.

I love the way that tools bought for different applications can be used in so many ways.   The cutting board bought for scrapbooking is the same type used for the rotary cutting of fabric.   The clear ruler bought for measuring patchwork squares is now used for cutting any fabric in a straight line.   And the new guides for making bone casings on my corsets worked wonderfully for constructing the red highlight on my purse.

All in all, a very rewarding day with nothing spent.  And to make it better, my daughter actually liked the purse!

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