OOdles of bOOdles

Over the summer I discovered a new type of yarn….well new to me! Boodles a jersey yarn and needs a huge crochet hook, which I thought would be great for practicing my newly acquired skills, I know it’s been a while, but still getting the hang of it! It was great! Knit up really quick! And went really far!! 3 bobbins (they look really fun like a bobbin ) created 2 tablet cases, a pair of slippers for my son, which started off as a phone cover till the not so little one anymore put it over his foot and I figured ooooo let’s try making a heal piece! Et voila….. A pair for myself and a while Im knitting yarn holder with the leftovers. All the patterns I made up myself so for example I just adapted the slippers by lengthening the foot piece and enlarging the heal! Quite proud of my imaginative crochet pattern creating skills…… For a newbie!!!

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Button envy x

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I have seen these around on Pinterest and wanted to make one and what better excuse than when a friend has a baby! And I love giving a handmade gift!
I thought I had it sussed, but then things always crop up! I knew the colour theme of the babies room and had this material leftover from a dress- lovely I thought for a baby! And I now it’s a pain, creases so easily but figured if I glue the fabric to a more substantial piece underneath. The first attempt really discoloured the fabric and so I sprayed glue around the outside of the fabric just to hold in place as I stitched the buttons on. I have noticed people just glue them on but I wanted to stitch them as I think it looks neater, next time I would use an embroidery hoop for this!
The main problem I had was when I came to remove the fabric ink I used to outline the letter! I should have just dabbed with a wet sponge on a small area but sprayed water over the material and this made the pain in the backside material crease to high heaven! Which was fine to iron out around the edge of the letter but you maybe noticed, it’s not creased but wrinkly in the middle….where the iron would not fit!

I understand why people create button monogram on readily stretched material…,, a canvas or in an embroidery hoop! So I know it’s not perfect and I’m sure I will get better but really like the frame and the girly outcome to go in Gabriella’s room…., if her mum n dad like it!!!

Making for babies!

What better way to celebrate the arrival of a new born than to start making! Especially when the baby in question is my new niece. Freya was born in April and she’s had a few things made for her since then. It’s been a good chance for me to make a few novelty items and to make baby clothes…….yes, including bloomers! love it!

I love an excuse to make a bit of bunting and after making some single sided with my sons name on I decided to make it more of a keepsake for Freya and put her date of birth on the other side. If you ever get to making bunting remember to put the letters and then the reflection on the back in the opposite direction, first letter with last on the back! I did first with first on the back so when it flipped over the date of birth was the wrong way round! Doh!!! Bit of unpicking….sorted!!

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I do like making a dress, or two! So I jumped at the chance to make a summery girly dress! As you do when you have a boy and you can only get so creative with their clothes (poor Fin, or lucky Fin – whichever way you look at it!). There are so many cute patterns out there, but when I went to mooch through the catalogues at Abakhan nothing really stood out to me, especially for the price of one pattern! Then while nosing around Amazon to get my Mccalls 6466 pattern I discovered books with kids patterns – boys and girls age 0 to 5! Awesome Fin can get on this one too! There is some lovely stuff in it and all the patterns are included and since they are so small it makes easy tracing!

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And this was the outcome!

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Obviously the bloomers did not have the elastic in at this point. I took them with the elastic loose and measured them on Freya and then hand stitched them and closed the gaps in the fold over of material so the elastic would not rub on her skin! The dress is double layered as its very thin material, but this could be done with two different fabrics and a reversible dress made! It did seem very plain so I made a small flower with a little leaf behind and stitched it to the front of the dress. It’s quite a good style too as the shoulders untie, making it easier to get in and out of (as any parent will no doubt is essential in baby clothing!). This was such a quick little project – loved it! Freya! You’ll be getting many more dresses my dear!!!

Lurrrrvley fabrics!

I have been very good recently….well since the Birmingham meet up and not been fabric shopping, even walking into a fabric shop for something a simple as some binding generally spills over to  3 dresses and something to do with the many jackets I have lined up. This fabric trip started off with the very sincere intention of buying binding to crack on with  the Robson coat this weekend……Yes folks! I have started cutting, but can only do it when my son is out of the house as I need to lay out the huge volume of material and only have a small house, it takes up the whole living room, and in the 6 weeks summer hols he has been at home all but one weekend! Plus with such a good summer it’s been all about the dresses! More posts on those in the near future!

And here’s what I got!

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And this was restraining myself…..

The very light blue with brown stars I thought would make a lovely little sun dress for my niece ( this shop did take place two weeks ago…..apologies for the delay as there has been a few hols taking place! The joys of teaching! But I ended up with 2.5 meters it was so light I would have been silly not too (it was measured by weight) so I’m planning on using the rest for either jacket lining, a dress or my niece will be having a summer dress in it for the next 4 years!

I love butterflies and this material shouted ‘buy me, buy me!’. I’ve been after some butterflies since ….I started sewing in March but it’s usually expensive and by the meter, so I didn’t care there was only a meter of this hanging around as I had read and was feeling inspired by Dreaming of Avonlea’s blog on AMetreCanGoALongWay and again (as all this material was) bought by weight. It is dress material so figured I could bind the neckline and get away with not lining it making it in time for a holiday!

This maple leaf just caught my eye and again only a meter of dress material……so pretty, just debating what to do with it now! Any ideas folks? It’s too stiff to make a Sorbetto top and is quite an apt pattern as we move into autumn, just struggling to decide…..

Now this was my fave……..pale minty green with tiny white birds and reeaally floaty and fine! Though it creases to high heaven!!! So I shall be researching ways to treat material to help this out! Any advice would be great, THANKS!!!

So with all this material, there’s going to be a few blogposts on the go! Happy hols folks and hope the prep for back to school is going well xx

Going all Grecain….attempting to be a Goddess!

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What a fun holiday dress…though the fabric is probably more Caribbean than Skeggy (yes folks….I’ve been at Butlins!).

I have seen a few of these dresses floating around on pinterest and had every intention of making a maxi dress with this material…so it just worked out! I have adapted the very easy four rectangles and stitch up to where the neckline, back and sleeves are going to go…so easy! Well it would have been if this knit material was not so lycra filled- oh my- was it hard work getting it to go through the sewing machine in a straight line! As it was quite difficult cutting and stitching in straight lines :-/ the rectangles were slightly off shall we say…but the joy of jersey and this particular material being quite heavy, it falls lovely! I then ruched the shoulders by putting a long stitch through the shoulder seam and stitched the ends in after I made them about the same width. Again, there is nothing really precise, pattern wise. It was a couple of hours, with child in tow….so a lot less really, but who knows!

As for the holiday….. there can be a certain stigma towards Butlins, this was my first time…..but wow! What a fab place! Loads to do, activities going on all day and Fin loved it! But don’t go there unless you have a child in tow and are willing to act like a 3 year old! Need another holiday now though….jam packed days starting as early as 8.30 and not finishing till late…. so glad not at work this week!

Well done you handy Mums!!!

When on the sewing meet up another blogger asked me, do I make clothes for my son? My response was a dead end no! I didn’t want my son to be one of those kids who the other kids take the mick out of….for whatever reason and I do believe this is one area when they can be given ammunition! Sorry to all you very creative Mums out there….but as you will see I ate my words on a silver platter!!!!
I like making play and crafty things for my son. There’s been a tepee, a toybox, 3D letters of his name and tote bags (plus more no doubt) and I have repeatedly reflected on my response to the question I was asked and thought…..why the heck not make him clothes, he’s 3, he doesn’t care what I dress him, though he does get a little more excited when Spiderman t-shirts and jumpers come out! And the other kids at nursery, come on they are 3 not like the hugely judgemental teenage boys I teach! I got scoffed at for mentioning my shoes were from Tesco…nothing wrong with that! But apparently the only place to buy your footwear is JD sport……hmmmmmm???? can’t imagine turning up to school in my running trainers! (Big roll of the eyes to afore mentioned teenager!).

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So, here’s what happened. While partaking in one of my ‘should be doing something but procrastinating’ by mooching about on pinterest! Love it, can do it for hours! I found MADE, again. I’ve used this site for tutorials before, and looking through the kids clothing tutorials found some fab trouser ideas and noticed a free pattern which it turns out is exactly the right size for Fin! Woohoo! Adapted the pattern to be flat fronted, as I think this style looks less bulky and more shop bought et voila, I’m never buying pj bums again!
My next mission is to get down to the fabric shop and get material for summer trousers and racer shorts!!

So to all you Mums who make their kids clothes…. I praise you! I think it’s a great idea and can’t wait to do more! And even just to see the look on Fin’s face when he has something made FOR HIM!! …….especially with dinosaurs on!!!

A fallen crochet hook and the uprising of earrings!

Doing a little crocheting on the decking and…woops… the crochet hook has fallen between the planks! Supersize doh!!! and no amount of faffing with tweezers will get it out! QUick! Jump in the car and get to the closest place I can think of for a crochet hook, the local garden centre which has a craft store….awesome! I think the only thing I have bought from there before is….surprisingly a crochet hook…..but me oh my am I glad we went! 50% OFF EVERYTHING!!!!! So zippedy doo dah! I got very excited, maybe a little too excited! I have been wanting to get my son letters of his name for some name recognition and letter practise, plus a little fun painting activity on a sunny afternoon! So…check!

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The best bit was finding the beads and earring making notions! Awesome! Didn’t have a clue what I was doing so picked up some pliers and wire and then discovered what I actually needed by watching a tutorial on youtube and returned the next day! So here is my new collection and some of my early creations! I got some big crystal effect hearts, which I want to make earrings with but am unsure of how to rig up, any ideas????

Can you see the big hearts? Middle top row!

Can you see the big hearts? Middle top row!

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Feeling Crafty!

Who’d have thought sewing would have become such a huge part of my spare (!?!) time (generally I should be doing other things….oops!) and this blog has generally been dominated by the clothes I’ve made. Three months in and my conscience is getting the better of me and it was time to make something for Fin! (and a little upgrade project for me…exciting! another first!) So a toy box did emerge!

My Kirstie Allsopp moment! Carbooting it!

My Kirstie Allsopp moment! Carbooting it!

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I went to a carboot sale on a sunny day, as seems to be the only time when people ever go to carboot sales…….better than IKEA in the sun I suppose! Stumbling across a box…yes folks, a box! I had visions of a fabulously upholstered, baroque style footstool and classy storage/ less obvious toybox…..did it happen did it heck! The child in me, or the three year old which lives in my house, took over and so bright blue paint and dinosaurs did emerge.

Now it did take a bit of work to get this box living in the house worthy! A little bit of Martha Stewart research later and a, luckily very sunny Saturday, the box sat open in the back garden for at least 5 hours to let the sun dry it out and then I wiped it down with white vinegar soaked into a cloth (this is supposedly to get rid of the musty smell and kill any bacteria), but then onbiouvsly there was a slight waft of vinegar, so the box got left in the kitchen over night with a bowl of bicarbonate of soda inside and the lid closed to draw out and absorb all the smells…..3 methods has got to be better than one! And indeed the box is now living in the living room and not at all wiffy!!

The next day turned out to be another sunny one so was happy to have run around b&q to get my stash of crafting bits and be home painting in the back garden! Luckily I remembered a tin of paint I bought to paint a feature wall and never got round to, so didn’t need to buy paint! After sanding all the surfaces of the box I got to work slopping paint everywhere – love painting – and two coats later it was looking fab! You’ll notice I painted the lid….which was unnecessary as I then completely covered the lid!

I thought it would be really easy doing the upholstery bit, but I  must have spent 30 minutes faffing about with how to fold in the corners as it’s obviously not flush over the cushion. After hacking the material away and nailing the material to the lid in various places it seemed to work…..but looked quite messy! Hence, the idea to then cover the inside of the lid with the blue material. Now I could have used a staple gun, but as my boy is going to be using it I didn’t want staples falling out or catching him and the nails are the right thickness for the wood, lie flush into the wood and aren’t very obvious so I didn’t even bother to cover the last few. Idid put on new hinges to replace the rusty ones, looks much better!

The padding was a cushion I had lieing around the house waiting for such a project and I just chopped it down to size! I was quite lucky I had the majority of the materials I needed in the house! Both Fin and I are happy with the outcome of our multipurpose toybox/ footstool/ seat! Maybe it needs some pics or stencils on the sides!?!

And not a stitch to sew!!!