Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Patchy patience and a prompt work of patch!

If there's one essential characteristic needed for teaching, it's patience! I used to think I had pretty much mastered the art of patience - with people and when it comes to solving problems and learning stuff. When I started sewing just over a year ago, I was really intrigued by the English Paper Piecing method for creating patchwork, so I painstakingly cut out shapes from paper, cut and pinned the material to the the paper and sewed the pieces together by hand.

This project took me about 20 hours in total and was mainly created at stupid-o'clock, in between T.'s night feeds:

I wanted to create a 30s inspired vintage cushion cover. The white broderie anglaise patches are made from my old, favourite summer skirt which I ruined by sitting on a dirty old bench and getting rust stains on it which wouldn't wash out:
And I was so anal, that I even sewed the tiniest piece of yellow fabric into the corner to create a perfectly rounded edge. Can you see the piece in the top, right-hand corner?:

 I hand-stitched a bag for a little friend of mine:

And didn't cheat by making the back plain, that's also patchwork:

I then went on to hand-piece and hand sew this bag from Cath Kidson fabric scraps as I really wanted a CK bag, but I was less enthusiastic about the cost of them:

Plus this hand-stitched cushion, which became one of a pair:

I even created the odd dribble bib by hand:

But something has ruined me, has stripped me of my patience and created an impetuous sewing freak who just wants to get the project finished and move on to the next exciting adventure in patchy land: 


My first ever sewing machine which I bought in June and now don't know how I ever sewed without it!

During this half term break we're decorating the nursery and I wanted to create my first wall hanging. It was to be lilac in tone and hand-stitched to show love, care and attention to detail but the temptation of the machine was too much and apart from hand-sewing the hexagons (as this is the neatest way I can do them!), I wipped the lines of patchwork up mechanically and quilted it in no time. 

I'm really loving hexagons at the moment and planned  to create the whole quilt from 7 patch hexagons stitched together, but again, this seemed like an arduous process that I just don't have the patience for anymore. Can you spot the broderie anglais? These are the last pieces from my old, beloved summer skirt. I need a new skirt like that:

What do you think to my colour/ material choices? I've tried a completely different type of layout, do you like it? And do you think it will work as a wall hanging? (Photos to follow once the nursery is all painted up!)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Changing table cushions

One thing I quickly noticed about T. soon after he was born is that he doesn't like to lay down flat! He was a massive wriggler on the changing table until I put a cushion under his head. Suddenly he could see a little more of me and what was going on and he was content to let me clean up those nasty poops!

But of course, a baby needs a cute changing table cushion cover, so I hand-stitched this from vintage Laura Ashley fabric during T.'s naps when he was a few weeks old:

Back of the cushion:

 And here's little man sitting up on his changing table with his cushion on it:

I added a zip in T.'s cushion, but for extra baby safety, this time I have created a fold at the bag to close the material together after inserting the cushion:

I sewed the patchwork by machine on this girly cushion but I hand stitched little missy's full name into it. The cushions measure 44 cm x 44cm, which I found to be a great general size for changing tables.

And here's little man still using his changing cushion at 15 months! Who'd have thought a bum change could be so much fun! :

If you'd like a changing table cushion, I'm making them for 15 Euros which includes the cushion insert and a hand-embroidered full name or initials. Just leave me a comment or email me if you'd like one!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Two less than pretty projects!

We moved in to our new house in June and still need to finish decorating our bedroom. Reminding ourselves of the beached whale I became towards the end of my first pregnancy (and the fact that I was constantly pushing J. out of bed), we decided to upgrade to a King Sized bed. Aaaaah, lush - lots of space and soft sheets but aaaaarrrgh, wait a minute! No duvet cover to fit the new sized duvet!!

Having spent such a lot of my childhood with my Grandma and listening to her tales of living from rations during the 40s, I like to think of myself as being a bit thrifty when I need to be. Our old bedroom and (so far half of) the new one, is decorated  in a Moroccan style so I didn't want to throw away the old Moroccan style duvet cover (which was hard to find anyway) and begin the ardous seach again. So I had a brain wave! (Or at least I thought I had!)

I took an old, dark purple sheet (similar to the colour on our bedroom walls) and decided to extend the cover to fit the duvet. I completely under-estimated the weight of such a beast being forced through my sewing machine though and the what seemed like hours of pinning it all! Over-whelmed by the sheer size of it, and the fact that I wanted to get it finished during T.'s nap time, I lazily extended the length and only one side of the width.

The result is quite sloppy, but it does do the job:

Our old bedroom had these fabulous curtains:

But with an attic bedroom now, I decided to thrift this pair of curtains to fit the two new windows (opposite each other). Here's one of the windows:

Again, I felt like the curtains had a sloppy look to them, so I added a tie, which didn't seem to help :-(

Oh well, I have been thrifty and I have proven a point to myself - I don't enjoy functional, practical sewing, I just like to create pretty things, and there's nothing wrong with that!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Baby boy pants (I mean, trousers!)

I need to stop reading so many American crafty blogs!

Well, I'm back to share with you what I made from the scraps of the blue polka dot fabric on T.'s quilt - a pairt of trousers! My first pair indeed!(And yes, poor T. will not thank me in later years for dressing him in stripes WITH polka dots! Someone needs to catch up on the laundry!!) 

Being the strange person that I am who doesn't enjoy following formal instructions, I ad libbed the trousers by cutting out a pattern based on a pair of T's current 18 month trousers.This worked surprisingly well and the fit is good, although the length is a little long as I overdid the seam allowance when stitching the leg length.

My next trouser project will involve adding lining, but first of all,  I just wanted to see that I could create a pair. I am loathe to spend 11 Euros on a pair of baby trousers now that I know I can knock-up a pair in about an hour from scrappy material myself.

Poor T. has been poorly with  tonsilitis and hand, foot and mouth this week but my little trooper was still a (semi) willing model for Mummy.

And despite being poorly, my little ray of sunshine still wanted to play peek-a-boo: