Wednesday 28 February 2007

smock bib for a little boy

I made that smock bib I was talking about the other day!

I used cotton fabric from a thrifted shirt, I made the bias tape for the neck and arm openings from the same fabric and handstitched it in at our stitch and bitch night.

At the moment there are just the ties at the back but I might add some snap fastenings, I'll have to see what my friend says after she tried it on the wriggly little boy!

I machine appliqueed the little mushrooms, the tight satin stitch really puckered the fabric, I still have to figure out how to do this properly (it's only the second time I've tried it).

Monday 26 February 2007

At home with a cold

I think P. gave me this weird flu, he had it over the weekend, it comes with a cough and a temperature and a feeling like breathing superheated air and a headache! But I forgive him... I spent the day at home with the duvet, doing a good deal of sleeping and a bit of browsing all the great blogs out there! I only recently discovered bloglines and it's really handy!

I came across a good few new blogs in the last week, one being applehead with these cute frogs that I want to make (I'm adding to my long list of must-sew-projects...) .

I also discovered Rebecca's irish craft and eco blog, which is great, I can't think of any other irish blogs on these topics, but then, I don't get as much time as I'd like to, to explore blog land!

Another great discovery was a post on alicia's blog, with a link for a downloadable pattern for exactely the kind of smock i'd love to make for P.'s niece, (I already made her an apron, which she adores, so I'm told) I was going to try and figure out a pattern but I'm really glad I don't have to. Thanks Alicia! Hope there will be an adult version of this crossover smock apron, I'm sure some talented person out there will make one!

Which brings me to a question I'd like to ask the apron lovers out there; P.'s granny, who's going on ninety, and still bakes soda bread and cooks her own dinners (with a bit of help) has this crossover apron (a bit like a wrap dress) she wears all the time. She'd like a new one but can't find them anywhere any more, so i offered to make her one if I can find a pattern, but I'm also looking for some improvements. I think if I could make it with velcro instead of ties it would be much easier for her to handle, as she has arthritis in her hands. I also had the idea of the pippi long stocking type smock, but it might be hard for her to put on as well if it's a slip over the head type, (I'm not sure if she can move her arms over her head easily) or if there's fiddly buttons on the shoulders. Or maybe one of those smocks that tie on both sides, done with velcro, although they also slip over the head...
What do you think?

My friend Hel with her little boy (who's just about the wriggliest baby I've ever met) and her hubby were over yesterday for coffee, omelet and a game of settlers of catan! She was mentioning she's starting to look for bigger bibs that are harder for him to take off, for when he starts to learn to feed himself so I think I will make some kind of smock for him, it would have to be more manly looking though. I'm thinking thrifted checked shirt fabric, no crossover back but more like a shirt on backwards, velcro instead of ties, and it would have to be short so it can't be confused with a dress , which might damage him psychologically if his future classmates sees photos of him in it...

You see, A LOT of projects in mind, none started.
So I have nothing to show off tomorrow at the ' stitch and bitch' evening. I met Kasey, who does quilting and embroidery at a quilt show, and we discovered we live in the same village and we were the only ones under the age of sixty at the quilt thing, so we decided to see if there might be more crafty people around our age, and put up a notice. At the first meeting there were 4 of us, there might be 9 of us tomorrow, see how it goes! In our village there is no coffee shop, no restaurant, no evening entertainment apart from the pub, and the majority of houses are built within the last 5 years, so a lot of people live here and don't know anybody in the place. We think that's why the flyer we put up got so many responses, it's a way to meet people, we had a great time the first night, chatting mostly about roads and houses and schools and so on, while eating chocolate cake and drinking coffee.

Hm, P has put on a lamb stew, with some of the veg we got on friday plus a leek from the garden, I think it's ready, it's smelling delicious!

Sunday 25 February 2007

february photographs...

two very grumpy guys

on my way to the office

I love crocuses... The park near my office has loads of them! The other day I met a friend for lunch and we got cheese sandwhiches from the cheesemongers (I had camember with pear, rocket and honey on dark bread, absolutely delicious!) and sat on a bench, catching a few rays and catching up and looking at the fountains. Should it really be warm enough for that in february? I really hope it's not because of global warming...

our share of the organic box scheme for this week!

Saturday 24 February 2007

Shoulder Bag / Hand Bag

I finished the felt bag today, and i'm quite proud of myself, i've made shopping bags and coin purses and some drawstring bags before, but not a proper little handbag! here it is!

I went very much with the shape of the jumper, 'work with what you have', the back of the neck opening was higher than the front and therefore ended up as the flap. To make room for the straps I made the pleats at the front, this also shaped the bag a little, as did the boxing out seams at the bottom (not really visible in the photos). I used the blanket stitch to flatten the seams, which were very bulky due to the thickness of the felt.

I finally decided on these yokes called yo-yos that i've seen on several other craft blogs, i covered the centres with appliqued black felt circles, and added some leaves around the 'blossoms'.

For fastenings i went for velcro strips. I placed them the way I did not by accident but on purpose, it's so that the velcro will catch whether the bag is empty or stuffed to the gills.

And another two pictures of the inside of the bag, i made this little zippered pocket, which i boxed out at the bottom. I went for a satin stitch to attach it, to do with being too lazy to find out which of the mysterious attachments is the zipper foot and therefore getting a wonky seam, covering this up with satin stitch and then discovering that it'll be much easier to continue on with that to attach the whole pocket like that which saves folding the edges under, it makes for a much flatter edge as well (...OK it was very late at night and I had to go to work early the next day...) There's a little strap with a hook for a set of keys, the very thing i tend to lose at the bottom of my bags...

Anyhow, I am very pleased with it overall, and hope that my workmate, who gave me the jumper, will like it too! I told her I'd make something of the jumper and if she'd like it it's hers. Maybe I'm secretly hoping she won't want it...

Thursday 22 February 2007

Charity shop finds

a gorgeous coffee pot, i'm not sure, is it fifties style? It goes wonderfully with the wall

blue jumpers (i took them apart and washed them hot so i have lovely soft felt like material now) i think these will become bags, or maybe flowers?

and these funky napkins? placemats? what will i make out of them, the green ones are gorgeous, the others are OK, the material is quite rough cotton or synthetic.

Friday 16 February 2007

more recycling - felted jumper bag

i finally got round to starting a bag made from a felted (fulled) woolly jumper (sweater), it's lined with cotton (leftovers from making summer trousers (my 'baker' trousers) about 10 or 15 years ago... i had cut up the remainder of the fabric for a patchwork project i envisaged but never started, back then, before i knew anything about patchwork, like it's really important to cut strait lines, and that yoy should decide on the size of your finished blocks and what size of project I had to painstakingly piece the lining together from 4 inch and a bit approximate squares)

I don't know what i'll do for a closing mechanism, maybe ties, or a button? or something like a leather strap that you wind around a button? i have no idea yet.
i'd also like to embellish it a little more, if that wouldn't be too much in addition to the checked fabric and the blanket stitch... i like thr flowers on this, does anybody know how to make them?

Thursday 8 February 2007

...more drawstring bags, they truly are addictive

some more of my creations... i'm on a database course this week and it's a great to be doing something at night that doesn't involve a computer screen...

this is made from a weird lace like very seventies looking fabric, with matching pink satin lining (and strings) I use it for my dancing shoes

an apron for P's niece, M, made from a fruity fat quarter, with green ric rac trim. i thought the slice of melon at the bib would have made a great pocket, but i couldn't remember how to make these invisible pockets and didn't want to ruin it... she's 4 and likes to help baking.

i made another backpack, using happything's tutorial and I think an idea from martha stewart, but I can't find the link right now. I also saw a 'puma' drawstring backpack in the street the other day. I used two flea market fancy fabrics, a plain chocolate brown cotton and bright red satin lining. I'm not so keen on the white rope but it was the only thing they had in the fabric shop. you'd think the biggest fabric shop in a capital city would have a bit more choice... i also sillily bought a pattern for cute corduroy trousers for my nephew (1 year old in next may), but when i looked for fabric a few days later they didn't have any children's fabrics. maybe their second branch in the north of the city does... i'm still waiting for a craft and sewing revival over here, i think there's still more shops closing down than opening up.

this backpack is going to be my commuter-bag, holding my book, my handbag and if i'm in a pretty shoes mood, a pair of shoes (can't walk a mile along the muddy road in pretty shoes, they wouldn't be so pretty after...). i added a fabric strap with a swivel hook for my keys on the inside, so i won't have to search for my keys in my bag any more!