Monday, 25 February 2013

World Book Day Part 1

You'd think that having had World Book Day last year (and sending Max to school in a hastily purchased knight's costume - "lots of books have knights in them Max") that I might have been a tad more organised this year.  Well you'd be wrong - which will come as a surprise to most of my friends as I am officially "the organised one".  Hmmpphh....

So here I am sitting trying to thing I something that I can rustle up in about a week, from scratch.  Hmmpphh again.

I asked Max what he wanted to be.  Various Mr Men books were produced.  I countered with Burglar Bill - "I don't want to - everyone will laugh at me".  So we have settled* on "Max" from "Where the Wild Things Are" - partly because of the whole "Max" thing and mainly because I thought it would be quite easy to find a cheap plain onesie and then make a crown and a tail.  After 30 minutes of scouring the interweb I am realising I may have to make a onesie from scratch.  Double, possibly triple, hmmpphh!!  I feel a trip to the local fabric shop coming on along with the realisation that separate trousers and top may be the way to go.

Let's face it, it needs to top this hat that I made for him last year

Please come back to find out whether I gave up on this as a bad job and sent him to school as a knight again!!

* For "settled" read "Max this is what you are having"

Sunday, 10 February 2013


OK so I've been a bit absent - life has a tendency to just get in the way sometimes!  So what have I been up to?  Not all that much really but I have taken up dressmaking.

Inspired by Jo's gift with fabrics and having read this blog where Manda's love of fabric is all too evident, I thought I would see about making Penelope some clothes - girls' clothing being a bit more, well, interesting than boys'...

I was looking on Pinterest for a bit on inspiration and a link to a pattern on Etsy led to me buying two dress patterns.  Paper patterns seem to be very expensive these days and the joy of Etsy means that you can get a pattern for about a fiver or less and have it delivered to your inbox.  OK so you've got to factor in the cost of printing it out but I think they represent excellent value.  One of the patterns I bought was one that I thought I could adapt to being a top as well as a dress. 

So after picking Jo's brains for good fabric websites, I ordered some fabric on Saints and Pinners and Seamstar.  I realised I needed some matching cotton and, not being one to hang about, I colour matched from memory whilst in John Lewis.  Now I wouldn't recommend trying to colour match thread without the actual material but, surprisingly, all my matches worked out.

I started off simply and made this top for Penelope

Then because Jo had mentioned reversible trousers for Rowan, I made these trousers for Rowan using this pattern for the trousers and this tutorial to make them reversible.  Once I had worked out what needed to be done to make them reversible it was surprisingly easy.

Finally I made this dress using one of the Etsy patterns

To be honest this was a bit of a trial, partly because of the pattern (bubble skirts are NOT easy), partly because of the material (cotton voile, however pretty, is a bit of a b*gger to sew) and partly because I didn't read the pattern instructions properly which meant I had to remake the bodice - ho hum. 

I've made a few other bits and pieces for P but unfortunately haven't photographed them - ah well.

I also decided to make myself a dress.  Every year we have a girls' xmas night out and this year I haven't been able to find a dress that either a) I liked or b) didn't cost the earth.  So I thought I'd see what patterns for adult sized dresses there were on Etsy and came across this one.  The dress was finally finished about 30 minutes before we went out.  I was fairly pleased with it but I wouldn't say I loved it.  I think it was more to do with the choice of material than anything else.  I think I should have gone a bit simpler and made it in black.  I can't get over the fact that I think I look a bit like an Xmas turkey wrapped in foil....

Mind you I was extremely pleased with the fact that I managed how to use the blind stitch on my sewing machine (which had previously eluded me) and also put in a zip.  Although I did have to email my Mum a picture and ask if it was a zipper foot.

My next project is a mini quilt - mainly because I ordered some fabric and it wasn't quite what I intended.  And then I am going to try a scrappy trip around the world quilt which Jo has talked about on her blog here - as she says resistance is futile.

Oh and Max has requested that I make a miniature Happy Meal for one of his bears - that could be interesting!