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children, create, fabric, sew

Reversible hat

July 4, 2015
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For the first time since starting my job 10 months ago, I got my sewing machine out on an evening. I was determined to start and finish a sewing project on a weeknight like I used to do. 

It’s challenging to fit in hobbies these days around work, kids, household demands, exercise and everything else. And exhausting to start sewing at 9pm knowing I’m up at 5am. But a reversible fabric hat is the perfect project.

And Bailey models it beautifully. The predictable pink side and the pretty purple-toned reverse.

If the rest of the summer is anything like the last week, this hat will get a lot of wear this year.

create, fabric, quilt, sew

Christmas tree skirt

October 26, 2014
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Two weeks ago I was granted a crafting weekend away with a good friend. It was incredible to have two nights and two days to sew non-stop. First on the list was to finish a commissioned quilt top (more to come in another post) and quilt it. That was Friday night. Saturday I spent the entire day on a new project– my Christmas tree skirt.
I adore this pattern (2010 Fat Quarterly Special Holiday Addition) and for my birthday in September I requested a stack of gorgeous Christmas fabrics. It was easy to follow and quick moving (even with the distraction of a Friends and Sex And The City marathon– another blissful treat!!).
After finishing the top it was time to quilt. The pattern showed gorgeous pebbling quilting which looked like snow to me so I decided to do the same. I found it hard at first but then far easier than stippling! Completely love this new quilting method. I finished it around 11pm and was thrilled to complete it in a day.
Sunday I made a bag start to finish, which I’ll post about soon too.
I’m hopeful this craft weekend away is an annual event (or maybe twice a year?!). It was a complete dream.

children, create, dress, fabric, sew

mermaid dress

June 30, 2014
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For Bailey’s 4th birthday we had a beach party.  She wanted to be a purple and pink mermaid so I promised her an amazing mermaid dress (silly mommy for setting such expectations!). 
I started with purple sequin fabric and tutu tulle (purple and pink).  The sequin fabric was see-through so I had to line it for it to work as a skirt.  I used a tshirt of hers (which she never wears) for the lining and made a skirt.  Then I alternated colors of tulle and created a “mermaid tail” base.  Initially, I planned to just create the skirt and pair it with a tank top (maybe adding a bit of mermaid “bling” to embellish).  But then I remembered how much she prefers dresses to skirt/top combos so decided to maximize the chances of her wearing it and create a dress.  This caused some issues, because I couldn’t easily just attach a tank top (as I wanted to) since she wouldn’t be able to get into it.  The mermaid base was too tight to fit over her head and she wouldn’t be able to step into a tank top.  So I used the purchased tank top to create a halter top for the dress.  I chopped off the top, creating a tube.  Then flipped it upside down (for a nice finish at the top), sewed it to the skirt, added elastic at the top and then used the cut off peice to create halter straps.  Perfect! 
When I first revealed it to her she cried.  (I did too, but not in front of her luckily).  It was heart breaking.  She is very shy and I think she panicked she’d be too much of a focus if she wore it.  Plus it was definitley different to other “party dresses” she has. So I quickly showed her images of mermaids and she slowly made the connection in her head of the dress looking like a mermaid.  I added a massive tulle bow to the top and she was smiling. 
At this stage I was just hoping she would wear it once, without frowning, for a photo. Surprisingly, on the day she loved it. After an initial issue with a very scratchy bow which was later removed, she happily wore it throughout her party when she wasn’t swimming and paired it nicely with her still-smelling-of-chemicals-from-the-factory-in-China pink heels.  It definitely was helped by a four year old party attendee saying “wow, you look like Ariel [from Disney's Little Mermaid]“.  I could have kissed that child!! 
She was a beautiful mermaid and I am pleased the dress will get future wear as an addition to her dress-up box.

children, create, fabric, sew

hats hats hats

June 30, 2014
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This year’s gift for birthdays has been hats.  I found this fantastic pattern on Etsy for floppy hats and have become a little factory for all birthdays March – June.  Five made so far, but Orla and Bailey still don’t have one, so I think another two will soon follow.  

I, disapointedly, haven’t taken many photos (and it’s hard to take a good photo of a hat without a model!) but luckily I have this adorable one of my nieces.  Not quite matching, but coordinated hats.  They turned 3 in May and they are the most well dressed three year olds ever– check out their skirts and sandals!!

It took a few hats before I realized I could easily adapt the pattern to make them reversible.  I love this pattern!   Maybe I’ll try to sell some…

create, fabric, quilt, WIP

triangle QAL week 3

April 10, 2014
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This was an intense week of sewing to complete the triangle QAL task for week 3.  It was probably 5 hours in total to piece all of these rows together.  But they are gorgeous… so I’m a happy gal!

Once I got into a system, I sped through them.  I chain-pieced where possible and kept a photo of my initial layout so I could keep referring back to it and place the triangles in order again. 

If you’re interested in this quilt, check out the details on http://www.sassyquilter.com

create, fabric, quilt, sew, shop

memory quilt with silk ties

April 3, 2014
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I started photographing the quilt but then I was admiring the magnolia tree so much and the birth of Spring in my garden, I got distracted.

This is one of the scariest quilts I’ve made.  Not frightening itself, but the process definitely was.  It’s a comissioned quilt for a lady, made from her deceased father’s silk ties, shirts and her mother’s apron and tablecloth.  The pressure of making a quilt for someone else, I find slightly stressful anyway (what if she doesn’t like it!?), but add to that making the quilt from silk and meaningful material (which I can’t get more of)… scary!



Thankfully I found this excellent blog post about preparing silk ties for quilts, by Mamaka Mills.  I nervously chucked the ties into the wash and voila, they were clean and still perfect.  I even put the finished quilt into the wash (40 C) and dryer (light heat with frequent checks) and I’m glad I did because the dryer really finished off the lovely quilted look.  So it can be done… but I definitely wouldn’t do it often if I want to preserve it.


The front is made entirely from a white tablecloth, blue apron, two silk ties and two men’s shirts.  For the back I chose Liberty Tana Dawn Meadow because the colours were so complimentary and since it’s for a grandmother to use–  I liked the traditional and beautiful style of Liberty.  Binding in the same Liberty.


It’s 4′ x 3′, perfect for a couch lap quilt to keep warm reading a book. 


Hope she likes it…

children, create, dress, fabric, feature, sew

one Easter dress

April 1, 2014
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Orla has an Easter dress.  Bailey will soon as well made from the same pink fabric shown here.  I love these colours, they just scream out “Easter” to me!  I still need to finish the hem but I’m really happy with this dress… it’s the same pattern I used for Orla’s Christmas dress (which was huge on her 4 months ago).  

I’ve been inspired again by The Great British Sewing Bee and I want to crank these little dresses out all day long! If only….

The pink pocket fabric is “Little Azalea” by Dena Designs (Bailey selected it for her Easter dress) and the mustard fabric is “Modern Folklore” by makower uk.  

One more little springy Easter dress to go…

create, fabric, quilt, sew, WIP

triangle QAL week 1

March 27, 2014
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I am excited to start this triangle QAL, hosted by http://www.sassyquilter.com.  I’ve chosen my fabrics as shown here and will hopefully be able to keep up with the weekly progress.  I love these colours and I’m proud to say I selected them from different fabric packs and designers!  I usually play it safe and just buy a fabric pack made to go together, but this selection mixes 6 different fabric packs.  Yeah me!  I hope I can name them all– they were partially gifts from my last birthday (thank you Luckhurst family!)
  • “Petite Street” by Wendy Kendall
  • “Sew Stitchy” by Aneela Hoey (to whom I credit my quilting addiction!)
  • STOF “Pure Style”
  • “Nordika” by Jeni Baker
  • Me and My Sister designs (left over from bunting I made my nieces two years ago) 
  • Joel Dewberry “Modern Meadow”
I’m currently rushing to finish another commissioned quilt (getting there!!) so that definitely takes priority right now.

children, create, fabric, quilt, sew

baby boy London quilt

February 24, 2014
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My best friend from childhood had her second baby boy in September.  I finally got round to finishing little Henry’s baby quilt in November to give it to him when I met him for the first time.  It’s a sweet little quilt and simple design. 

 The fabric is Makower UK and then supplemented with Kona solids.

 
I was horribly disappointed to see the fabric bled when I washed it.  You can see the red in the image above caused the surrounding white to go a bit pink. This has never happened before and I would never expect it to with quilting fabric. I know some people prewash, but I’ve never had a problem and I’ve made a lot of quilts. I was embarrased for this to happen on a gift. It’s one of a handful of the quilts I’ve made as a gift and I just can’t believe I’ve had to hand it over like this. I guess it adds to the ‘homemade’ appeal, but I still am so embarrassed. Not what I would expect.  
 
Luckily, I don’t think Henry will mind.  Welcome to the world, beautiful little man.
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