Monday, 28 February 2011

Sewing Class Fun

Hi All

I thought I'd post my latest project from sewing class - it still needs hemming then I need to find a little one to model it for me!  I started wanting to make something cute for summer but never thought about who for!  My sewing class teacher kept laughing at my dedication for this tiny garment for an invisible child as I've made it with no-one in mind.  I just wanted to enjoy making something little and cute and learn some good techniques along the way - rolling hems with the machine, amending patterns, freestyling pant patterns and sleeve designs! 

I really enjoy my sewing classes, whilst I'm largely self taught from all the wonderful inspiration bloggers out there I thought that I'd like to do some true lessons.  My teacher Helen has helped me to learn the real touch and feel things like pattern sewing, using different feet with my machine and making bigger projects like blackout lined curtains for my little one's big girls room.  I also think it's great to have a night to myself, with like minded people, feeling like I'm really learning something. I've also been helping others (on how to use the buttonhole foot) which is nice but more on that in another post as I've been offered the chance to do a guest blog spot on UK based blog - The Sewing Directory.

On the off chance that anyone reading is UK West Yorkshire based here's a link to Word Of Mouth Crafts website where I do my sewing classes - they have amazing stocks of all things craft but also run great courses throughout the year too.

Enough for today, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is just about to finish so my still sickly little one will be wanting more Mummy cuddles!

Bibs and Bandanas

I've had some great news, I recently posted about some bibs and bandanas that I've been designing with a friend for older children (who have complex health needs).  Apparently her daughters friends at school love the bibs and bandanas so much she has been innundated with enquiries!  How great is that, lovely to think I can help people out (by making them for half the price of the 'big boy' retailers out there) and the children and young adults can have something lovely and modern to wear rather than plain boring pastel coloured ones that don't fit!  Very rewarding!


Saturday, 26 February 2011

Shopping Fun

I LOVE shopping for fabric, it's always such an adventure wondering what you might find.  After a couple of days at work I thought I'd have a relaxing days shopping in Leeds - the market there is great for fabrics.  I got some lovely new additions to my ever growing stash.  More of the summer fabric that I made this dress in - friends are all wanting one.  I also got some matching net, thinking I might make my little one more of a party dress in it too. 

I got some lovely fabrics to make my friends a 'new home' apron and some great fun printed cottons for the bibs and bandana's I'm making for my friends little one.  How exciting!  On the minus side my little one was sick all through the night and still very pale, hot and quiet so the sewing will have to wait while I undertake my most important job of all - Mummy - giver of loves and cuddles!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Bunny Adventures

I was in my favourite craft shop - Word of Mouth Crafts today when I had a great find - a vintage book called The Fairytale Doll Book by Valerie Janitch with patterns and great instructions on how to make dolls and bears.  The book was printed in 1988 so not 'millions of years' vintage but fitting in with the 'over 20 years old' categorisation that etsy use. 

I thought that something from this book could be my next slow burn project - usually I get an idea and am off making it within seconds but think this needs more consideration.  It's about 8 weeks to Easter so I'm thinking I will attempt to make my little girl an Easter Bunny. I'll try my best to post a tutorial about it but it may be quite lengthy and may not arrive until the bunny is finished but lets see how we do! 

One of her favourite tv characters is Fifi a little flowertot who has lots of gardening adventures who has a beloved soft toy rabbit called Cottonsocks so off I go trying to make my little one her very own Cottonsocks, wish me luck.


Monday, 21 February 2011

Full Esteem Ahead

Yesterday's day of getting the spare room ready for Bella to go into a big girls room led to me finding allsorts of treasures that had been stashed in the 'spare room' or glory hole as we sometimes call it here in the UK!  One thing I found was this lovely print of inspirational words by Diane Loomans - Full Esteem Ahead - so this is my simple post for today

If I Had My Child To Raise Again

 I would finger paint more and point the finger less.
 I would do less correcting and more connecting.
 I would take my eyes off my watch and watch with my eyes.
 I would care to know less and and know to care more.
 I would take more hikes and fly more kites.
 I would stop playing serious and seriously play.
 I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
 I would do more hugging and less tugging.
 I would be firm less often and affirm more often.
 I would build self-esteem first and the house later.
 I would teach less about the love of power and more about the power of love.

 Diane Loomans, Full Esteem Ahead

Soon to come.....................Keep an eye out for a soon to come tutorial as I try to find my way through the pattern book from Fiona Bell - Sewn With Love (also entitled Vintage Style for Kids).  Innocentia has been doing a sew along for some of these patterns, they are beautiful.  I have decided to make my little one a beautiful dress and will be combining one of the bodices with a tulip skirt as a different twist!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Sew 4 Home Apron Tutorial/ Review

My fabulous Hubby got me some amazing fabric that I had been coveting for Valentines day and I have had just the project saved - this cute retro apron from the sew 4 home/Janome projects site.  Liz Johnson, Senior Editor of Sew4Home kindly allowed me to post details on my blog of their instructions so here we go!

The first challenge I had was that I couldn't get bias binding to match my fabric and as there was an awful lot of binding required (6 yards) it would have been a bit of a challenge and fabric hogger to make my own so I decided to go ahead without.  I also liked but didn't love my lining fabric so decided that I'd make the flounce on the front of the pinny from the main fabric (you'll see what I mean when we get going with pictures).  So this is where the tutorial/review title comes from - not really a tutorial as the sew 4 home instructions are brilliant so this is partly a review of how I made the apron from their instructions.  Not using the bias might be a no brainer for some of you but as I sat and scratched my head for a short while (and went wrong more than once!) I thought it was worth a few helpful hints hence the tutorially bits about how I amended the pattern to not use bias binding.

Step 1 - I started by cutting out the pattern and getting my fabric out.

Step 2 - Next I cut out all of the pieces, you should end up with 2 Apron bodies (1 front/1 lining) , 2 flounces  (1 front/1 lining) and as many pockets (with a lining) as you are going to use - hope this picture helps

Step 3 - Now to the machine to make the pockets, instructions were easy to follow here the only amendment I made was on my lining pocket (pale colour below) I created a small hem on the top as I was not binding this pocket.  I'd also created a small bit of binding for my front side pocket (darker colour).  Here are the pockets all pinned and ready for sewing - thought I'd use my heart pins given the fabric was a valentines pressie!
 And here is my front pocket all lined and bound - I love how the lining fabric shows just a little - it's deliberate (honest) as it looks like a little bit of accented piping!
Step 4 - Ok so here's where I went wrong! But I know why and I know how to fix it.  The next step on the Sew 4 Home website it to attach the flounce but given that I wasn't binding the outer edge of the apron their instructions wouldn't work for me (it would have left the apron flounce open and unfinished.  Don't get me wrong, my idea worked it was just of a LONG way round!  I had the great idea that I'd sew all 3 edges of the flounce leaving the top open then attach the top of the front flounce of to the bottom of the front apron then the lining flounce to the lining apron! Sound confusing? It was!!  Here's what I ended up with - some complicated arrangement!
Had I have thought a little more (though I did start this at 8:30 pm once my little one was sleeping) I would have realised that I only needed to sew the flounce onto the front of the apron and that the other 3 sides of the flounce would be sewn when I turned the whole thing inside out to sew! So- flounce attached to apron (remember right sides facing, with top of flounce attached to bottom of apron) we can move to the next step - lesson learned!

Step 5 - Turn the apron inside out, so right sides are facing one another then iron down the top of the apron (see pic below).  We are leaving the top of the apron open so we have somewhere to turn out the apron to the right side but will need to top stitch it closed in a later step and this fold will make it easier.

Step 6 - Next, starting at the top left side of the apron sew all around the perimiter - this is where the flounce would have gotten sealed if I had thought it through, as it was I only needed to sew down each side!
Step 7 - Turn the apron right side out and then top stitch that opening closed.

Step 8 - Now for making buttonholes - I know some people don't like to do this so I guess you could put them in place in step 7 but my machine is so nifty and does them (shout up if you want me to post tut though there are a lot of good ones out there) so I followed the sew 4 home instructions and made the buttonholes and the straps too - all very easy -

Step 9  Wear your gorge little apron - how cute is it!! I LOVE it!!! (sorry pics are wrong orientation I'm still trying to work out why and don't seem able to have the functionality to change them)??!!

Outer of Apron 
 Apron with a little of lining peeping through

Reverse of Apron (with almost invisible pocket)
 Me happily wearing my new apron
(apologies for the hair, it's a lazy Sunday!)
So there you have it - hope you enjoyed and feel inspired to make one too, I'm going to be making them for a friend who has a new house, think it will be a great gift and can't wait to try other colour combinations for gifts too!


Saturday, 19 February 2011


So what a lovely surprise this morning to open the window and see snow!!! It's been a little grey here but definately warmer and so it was quite unexpected.  Out little one is a snow monster after our ski holiday this year so she was desperate to be out playing!  Don't you just love those morning's that start with snow outside and end with ........ well the last pictures say it all!



mmm delicious hot chocolate! I couldn't resist posting the pics of our little handmade family mugs too, how cute!  We got them for Mothers/Fathers day last year then decided we needed to make Isobella one too so she wasn't left out!  I have to say this is the most opulent hot drinking chocolate ever, little chocolate shavings!  It's available here though not sure if they ship worldwide ? delish!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Crayon Roll

I've had this crayon roll tutorial saved for a while (much like all the tutorials sat in my wish list) but had some time today to have a go.  I love this design in particular as the pockets have hidden sewn lines and so it looks really professional (well the original one does, I can't vouch for mine). 

Thanks to UK lass in US who posted the tutorial a while ago click here to view her brill tutorial and see below for a picture of how mine turned out.  I amended it slightly to change the number of crayons it would take and overall length, but I think it worked out ok and will be a fab easter gift for my little one with the cute chick fabric.

mmmm freshly baked bread

So today Bella and I are having a lazy day at home giving us plenty of opportunity to tick of some things off my to do list, the first being to bake some sun dried tomato bread.  Much hilarity ensued as we burrowed into the back of the cupboard to find the old mixer, wash the whole lot as it was a little grubby, and then waited for AGES for it to rise, anyway finally it was ready, mmmmmmm

Grubby food processor
Half way through = knead, knead

All Wrapped up and ready to grow
Finally ready
mmmm, steaming and ready for butter!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Simple Summer Dress

I have had this amazing fabric saved just ready for a summer project and thinking I needed to cheer up in this dismal rain the UK is giving us right now I've made a simple summer dress/jumper for my little one.  I've had this brilliant tutorial saved from ikatbag - http :// and so here is my finished article.  The tutorial was amazing (though everything on the site is easy to follow) and so it only took an hour - I sense more of these are to come!

Thanks ikatbag, I can't wait to make a million of these leading up to summer!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Fun helping others

One of the projects I'm currently working on is a set of bibs/bandana bibs to help a friend out whose child has complex health needs.  There are not so many options out there at a price that is befitting of these tight financial times so via a mutual friend I have been trying to come up with a design that fits the child but also has the right level of absorbency/water repel and is also beautiful to look at - it's still important to look nice right!

I think I've come up with a good design/fabric combo for the bandana with a pretty cotton on the front and a waterproof backing that's a waterproof polyester (not plastic but like a fabric shower curtain).  I have seen them made with PEVA and EVA but really struggling to get hold of that here in the UK so will have to test this and see how we do!  Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Craft Fairs

So here's where I'm hoping for some help from fellow bloggers - as spring begins to arrive I turn my mind to the wonderful world of craft fairs.  I attended a couple of little ones in Autumn to test the water and I'm thinking of trying a few more over spring/summer.  I've tried to make bright colourful items that will be visually appealing and priced them really fairly - any other hints and tips?

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

1st Step on the Property Ladder

My little girl turned 2 last week and for the past 7 weeks Daddy has been busy trying to build a cute little playhouse!  As the wood delivery arrived I was left unsure as to how this pile off wood on a pallette would turn into the beautiful girlie outldoor playhouse I was hoping for, given my husbands joinery skills (none at all to that point)!!!!

picture to follow of early stages

I have to say I my pride has surged as week by week he has progressed further with a little help from borrowed tools, his best friend and 'grandpa' with the final stages complete just in time for her birthday last week.  As you can see from the pictures it's a real achievement - beautiful window boxes and scalloped trim are divine!  I've had such fun making her some beautiful interiors with a spotty minnie/mickey theme (current favourite).  How lucky are we to have such a talented joiner in the house!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


Hello and Welcome to my blog......I'm new to this so please bear with me whilst I find my feet but have been so inspired by reading other crafting blogs that I wanted to give it a go.  Thanks to all those who have unknowingly inspired me, I'm hoping this blog will be a way to communicate with all the like minded people out there creating and making wonderful crafts for their family and friends.  I have also been busy sewing ready to try out some little craft fairs here in the uk so I'm hoping to be inspired and share thoughts and ideas with all those experts out there who are a pro in this field!

Well I'll go back to fiddling with content for now, please tell me if I'm doing anything greatly wrong with this blogging process, I'll welcome any comments, hints or tips to make it better.

Thanks for listening, Keri

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