Last Minute Shenanigans II

S0011201.JPGThe apron for my friends vertically challenged mother in law that I made 2 years ago was such a big hit that this year she asked for another one, in olive green. My friend gave me a bag with some lovely fabric that she’d bought and co-ordinating green webbing. (I no some people never sew for others but I have no qualms sewing for this particular friend as she does so much for me and others, for instance she just looked  after our dog for 2 days so we could all go cuddle a baby).

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So the morning of Christmas Eve I set to work (before it was too late!). With grey thread because I had nothing appropriate in green and my non-sewing friend hadn’t thought to buy any. I made the neckband adjustable again, like before, and I was a little worried there wasn’t quite enough webbing left for the straps, so I raided my box of bits salvaged from defunct rucksacks and added an adjustable clip there too (takes less strap as you don’t need to tie a bow).

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I mainly followed this tutorial to make a slightly fancier pocket on the front, it all got a bit rushed at this point so I may not have followed it exactly. It’s lined in some pinkish fabric from my scrapbox.

All safely delivered to my friend after lunch on Christmas Eve, I have yet to hear if her Mother in Law approves.

 

Kushion Karma

This Niephlet present is even later than the last one. Badder Aunty. Hopefully it’s smooth satin blackness, supportive comfiness and amusing keyboard positioning handles will make up for the wait.

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Having used this pattern to make these neck support pillows before, it should’ve been a quick easy make, but clearly to punish me for my lax auntyingness, the fabric/machine/thread conspired to slip, snarl and break. However I won in the end and I now have a box of wrapped presents that I just need to get my act together and post.  Soon, I’ll do it soon. Honest.

When is Selfless Sewing Really Selfish Sewing?

When your kids are playing up and you have guests imminent/staying and you want to forget it all and go to your happy place, of course.

Of course, under those circumstances, you need some quick makes, simple things, either rectangles or well known patterns.

Just over a week ago I ended up giving a neighbour who was in labour a lift to the maternity hospital. Which of course meant that she (and her partner, and her mum, and her sister) had to go in the camper van (and the kids ended up hanging out with my slightly bemused next door neighbour for half an hour). She got there in time (in fact, in plenty of time, despite looking like she only had a couple of hours to go it turned out to be a long labour) and they are now at home with their new daughter.

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So of course, I wanted make a little something as a momento for them and I ended up getting some more of the camper van fabric to do some, plus some co-ordinating yellow polka dots (as our van is yellow).

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This taggie blanket uses ribbons from my stash and has her initial on one side in satin.

 

And the matching sunhat is maybe a little big for her at the moment but I hope it gets some use (her Dad modelled it for me, I think he was quite taken with it). This one is not rectangles but I have used this pattern so  many times I can run it up so fast now.

Even though I only bought half a metre of each fabric, I still had some left over. Which was useful for making a couple of pencil cases to give as presents (the girl was invited to two birthday parties on consecutive days), they have a few pens and things inside them.

And then thanks to Felafel and the BeeFelafel and the Bee I stumbled across this little wallet/purse tutorial and managed to make one of those up too as it takes quite a small amount of fabric. (It’s a little deeper than the tutorial to minimise the number of vans mangled in its making). I still have a little left over, although hubby has run off with the scraps of the polka dots.

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Finally, this one is not camper van themed, rather a (very badly photographed) satin pillowcase as a gift for a friend who was supposed to be convalescing after a major operation, but as that has been postponed for a while, it’s now to give her sweet dreams in the mean time.

 

 

 

Birthday Party Season

Another weekend, another birthday party. In fact the kids are each different birthday parties as I type, and LSH and I were playing/calling at a ceilidh for an old friend’s birthday yesterday evening.

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This time round I made a sunhat for the Girl’s friend, reversible, with some summer uniform gingham on the other side that came with butterflies embroidered on (I may have more of that in my stash now).

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I found this colouring book on sale locally and picked it up as The Boy previously had this one from the same range. The pictures amuse me as they have no heads and limbs, just the clothes are drawn, leaving you to add in the rest as well as colouring them in. I must admit I was a little disappointed when I got it home, the boy’s version is full of boys doing things (such as a climbing in a big treehouse) whereas the girls version seems to just be people standing still in pretty dresses. Hmm. Anyway, I made a fabric folder for it which has space to put some pencils in, inspired by these.  I like the idea of being able to pop it in a bag to get out when going for a family meal in a restaurant, or to use on a train journey. The rainbow stripe is a strip of elastic to help hold pens/pencils in place. The red elephant cord is left over from the Tsarina Cape, with a piece of interfacing on the back, and the denim is leftover from my jeans and I added pockets and the initial (also interfaced) from the left over fabric from making the hat. It’s all held together by an elastic loop.

Speaking of holding things together, I have “mended” 2 pairs of my jeans with this keyring on the zipper trick, to stop the zips falling down all the time. This feels like a cheating way to participate in Mend it May, but I’ve also darned some holes in a favourite scarf.

As for Me Made May, that’s pretty much business as usual, there’s only been one day when I had to stop and think about how to make sure my outfit included me made, when I was putting on a patterned skirt (charity shop find) and wanted a plain top to go with it. So a reminder of what I already knew, more plain fabric needed in my wardrobe. As for colours, this last week I have mainly be wearing blue, with a bit of gold/yellow and a dash of green.

Tsarina Cape

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Arty shot of The Girl putting her finishing touches on a birthday card before this cape got wrapped and taken with the card to a party.

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A less arty shot, but a better representation of the colour and you can’t see the fact I had to piece the back of this Forest Path Cape in this shot.

I was inspired to make this one after seeing her friend slyly feeling the pom poms on her Princess Anna Cape, the red elephant cord was lying around in my stash and I was in the mood for making. I found the rainbow stripe polyester shirting in my stash too and it thought it would make a great lining. This time I added a welt breast pocket in the lining because every Tsarina needs a pocket, right? Talking of Tsarina’s, that wasn’t the look I had in mind, I mean I knew it would have to have pom pom trim, but I didn’t expect the girl to choose such shiny gold buttons (which were a pig to sew on).

I drafted a mandarin collar the same way as last time and used this braid chosen to match the buttons. There was just enough left for a hanging loop. Anyway somehow the thick red stripes of the cord manage to combine with the trim and buttons to make a very regal, opulent looking cape, despite the fact it’s machine washable. Hopefully it’ll get a lot of wear.

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Oh, and I nearly forgot, it’s the first of May today. Which for LSH meant getting up at 4.15am so that he could be morris dancing on top of a hill when the sun rose. (The rest of us caught up on some sleep prior to a day of visitors, birthday parties and cooking). Anyway, for me, the first of May means Me Made May of course. So I better sneak my Crafting a Rainbow pilfered inspired pledge in on the line.

“I, Prolificprojectstarter, do pledge to wear something I’ve made each day in May 2016, to keep a track of my colour palette and to mend at least one thing each week”.

I wasn’t sure how to up my ante from just wearing a thing I made each day like last year, without making it too difficult (I’m not up for a huge challenge right now), but keeping track of colours will be interesting and I’m also keen to tie in with Jen’s Mend It May.

So, for the record, today is brought to you by the colour blue, I’m wearing navy jeans a mainly blue (with a hint of yellow) drapey top, and a navy and green stripe top from Seasalt.

So, bright May Day greetings to you, and for those with an extra day off due to the Bank Holiday in these parts tomorrow (assuming you’re not having to work it), I hope you make the most of some extra free time tomorrow.

Shhh

I just realised that it’s Long Suffering Husband’s birthday a week today yesterday. Eek. I haven’t even ordered the fabric for the hoodie he wants yet. (Which is partly a good thing, as I have found a better option than his original choice of fabric, one that requires less work from me too).

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Anyway, to make sure that I had something to give him on the day at least, yesterday I whipped up a pair of Comox Trunks, as he has commented more than once that the last pair are really comfy. The black is some lovely organic knit from my stash and the stripes are scrap, pretty much the last of this fabric.

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Spotted the deliberate mistake yet? As I was doing this on impulse, I didn’t think things through and cut two of pattern piece number 2 from the stripey fabric and 2 of pattern piece number 3 in black. However, the cup part of the trunks needs one of each piece, so really I should’ve cut 1 of each in stripey (for the outer part) and 1 of each in black (for the inside). There wasn’t enough stripey left to recut an extra piece though. Rather than have a half black half stripey cup both inside and out, I used both the stripey pieces on the outside, making these trunks, err, accessible from either side.

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The opening is still functional as I folded over the inside cup, like I did last time, mimicing the shop bought trunks in our house. Note for next time, cut one piece number 2 and three piece number 3 next time to acheive this. (Must remember to annotate the pattern pieces tomorrow when LSH isn’t around straight after this blog post).

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This time I also topstiched all the seams down with my imitation coverstitch stitch on my normal machine too.

The elastic isn’t a great match, but it’s the best I had and I won’t find better locally so I used it.

Right, I better go and order some fabric then. Just as soon as I’ve finished the washing up and annotated my pattern pieces. What sewing have you got planned this week?

 

On a Roll

Two finishes in one week, I’m really turning my recent trend of making disaster around!

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So, hot off the press, I’ve just finished one of the pair of socks on the left, knitted with Regalia Snowflake (?!I’ve never seen a snowflake that colour)(or maybe it refers to the pattern, but snowflakes aren’t exactly stripey either). So now, along with the pair of the right (knitted last summer in the only slightly better named King Kole Zig Zag), I have 2 complete pairs of socks to post off to my brother. Cos, Christmas presents aren’t actually properly late if they’re posted while it’s still Jan, right?

They’re both knitted with the same free pattern (thanks Fiona) but the for the second pair I used a trick I saw at a knitting group and instead of a seperate rib section, the whole of sock above the heel is knitted in a 3 in 1 rib, as is the top of the main foot (easy to do with this pattern as it’s knitted on 4 needles).  Apparently they stay up better this way (but as these are my first ever sock knits this is not the voice of experience.

As they’re a sort of joke, because my brother is forever darning socks when he comes to visit (maybe its a damning enditement of our hosting skills?) I have made up little cards of spare yarn so he can darn away to his hearts content. And I threw a spare card of darning yarn I found in a second hand shop too.

And because I hate wasting anything, I started a pair of socks for me last summer in plain yarn (with a cable pattern so I don’t get board), the thought being that I may then have enough left over from the 3 pairs to make another pair. So I suppose I better dig them out at some point.

Inspired by this recent spell of finishing, I have ripped open the crotch on my latest pair of jeans, that have been languishing in the naughty corner all month for crimes against humanity with the aim to adjusting them. Next up, the collar is coming off my sweatshirt make, after all, when I said I was aiming for Jumper January, I was kind of thinking for me not Long Suffering Husband!

Righto, better go and find some wrapping paper before I loose these socks again.  Am I the only person still finishing off Christmas presents?