Monday, 30 May 2011


Where has May gone?!  It's been a blur of Birthdays, school, work, sunshine & showers!
At the beginning of the month it was mine and the Eldest girls birthday, we're 'lucky' (!) to share the same day - I'm not sure being in labour on your birthday is the best way to spend it and it does mean I'm usually now running around like a blue-arsed fly on my birthday!  Seriously, it's really nice and while she was enjoying the day at school,my day consisted of putting up lots of bunting/birthday posters and blowing up balloons - how is blowing up balloons with a pump so tiring?!  I managed about 3 before I was bored and my arms were aching!  I did manage to squeeze in some 'me' time for a lovely bit of sewing time with the iPod blasting and singing badly!

Organised chaos!

The sewing wasn't all therapeutic though, I was attempting to make 12 party bags for the party that was due in the next two days!  I'm glad to say I did manage it, even had a few spares!
I was determined to make them using only fabric I already had (which is way too much and needs reducing!)

I made a rough rectangle template based on the size of the 'goodies' that were going in them - mostly small making kits from Hobbycraft and cut each bag on the fold so I'd only have two sides to hem.

To neaten the insides I also decided to do French seams, so I folded the fabric WRONG sides together to do the first line of stitching, then turned it back again to have RIGHT sides together and did another line of stitching down the side and along the bottom, the seam allowance has to be a bit more generous for this so that you hide all the first allowance inside (see last picture).

Then I just need to fold over a hem for the top of the bag, which I did twice and then pinned the handles in place (pieces of ribbon), poking them under the hem.  I did two rows of stitching for strength.

Job done!

The other sewing job I've done this month is a present for my Dad's birthday, it's a key bag, so he can keep all his keys in it, instead of a food bag!

I used the Bento Bag pattern in Sew Hip, issue 29 as a starting point and adapted it slightly.  The denim material was a secondhand pillow-case and the lining a piece of an old sheet!
Putting it all together was easy, instructions for box corners never make sense to me in written patterns, visual instruction for things like that are much better! Basically it's two box shapes put together, topstitched at the hem and a channel for the cord on the outside. I used bias binding for the channel as trying to press a tiny hem proved too much for my fat fingers!  The denim fabric was also quite bulky which restricts the gathering when pulled tight with the cord, but I haven't had any complaints from the recipient!

We've also had some new members of the family..

meet Harold & Tom, our first guinea pigs!
I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying them and it's lovely seeing the girls learning how to look after them.

I've also had my 20 week anomaly scan which went well thankfully, sadly I don't have any good pictures to share as little bump wouldn't keep still!  The poor sonographer had a hard time getting all the measurements, let alone a good picture and we're not very sure on the gender either!  I was convinced it was a boy, but now I don't know what to think!  The suspense is going to kill me, I'm not good with surprises!  I was going to start a Debbie Bliss baby cardigan once we knew what it was, but now I'm not sure what colours to use, cream seems a bit boring!

I've just realised I haven't taken any pics of my lovely birthday presents, I had a lovely handmade brooch from my sister and a lovely bunny by 'The Vintage Magpie', once this rain & greyness disappears I shall have to remedy that.

Well, on to June...which means our holiday is almost upon us, I honestly can't wait!  We're going to Weymouth for the first time, I haven't been to the coast for years and the girls are very excited as we're staying in a caravan!  If you have any Weymouth recommendations I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Clothkits Pinafore

You may remember back in March at the Sewing for Pleasure NEC show I purchased this Clothkits child's pinafore kit

Well, ta da....I finally got round to making it up!

It really shouldn't have taken me so long, as it was so easy, you just cut out the pieces from the pre-printed fabric and sew together!  The instructions were just right, perfect even for beginners and all the needed items are included such as thread, buttons, lining fabric and even a Clothkits label.  I cut out my fabric using my pinking shears as I thought this would make the seams less likely to fray and my basic sewing machine managed the button-holes (I practiced on a left-over scrap to get the size right first!)

I omited the front pocket as I loved the print so much I didn't want to hide it and also the adjustable button at the back as I didn't think it needed it but if you made the bigger size for a smaller girl it would be handy as then the dress could grow with her.
I wasn't sure my youngest would wear it, as she's so fussy with clothes, but after it was finished she declared that she loved it, which is high praise indeed!
Now the eldest daughter wants one though!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Buggy Re-fashion

If you're a mum of young children, chances are you have one of these, the ubiquitous dolly buggy....chances are it's also looking a bit tired and saggy now or maybe they've got fed up of it and it's gathering dust? 
Well I've been told the answer!


It is the fabulous idea of Original Stitch, a new buggy seat to jazz up your toy buggy, they're all handmade and made from re-purposed fabric, they're also reversible and only £12

I was lucky enough to win one of these lovelies in a competition, which I found on The Sewing Directory, as I follow them on Twitter

The all important verdict from my four year old? Absolute joy! Her little face when she opened the parcel was fabulous, she was so excited! She's such a girly girl that she's never understood why we have a blue buggy and not a pink one (long story, I don't like pink and wouldn't buy pink stuff for my eldest!) so she eagerly ripped off the blue seat and spent the rest of the day alternating between reversible sides and getting ALL her toys to have a go in it!

Many thanks to Fiona at The Sewing Directory and Catherine at Original Stitch.

Catch up...

Well apologies for the delay in reporting back on the  Vintage & Handmade Fair, the Easter holidays and (boo hiss) work have got in the way!
Suffice to say that my report consists of 'what a fab day'!  It was a glorious spring day which gave us a lovely drive through the green and scenic Gloucestershire countryside and Chipping Sodbury was heaving, it was lovely to see such a bustling Saturday, the farmers market was on and parking was scarce in the morning.

As usual the fair was packed with people and lovelies!  I swear everytime we go I get brain/eye ache from looking at all the wares!  It's such a visual feast it's like eye candy overload and I have to be really careful to stick to my budget/what I need list!
There were all the old favourite sellers and also some good new ones and there was a lovely mix of items, handmade and vintage obviously!

The tea room was back on form with lovely handmade cakes, I had a gorgeous chocolate brownie and a lovely piece of gypsy tart (must get a recipe for this!).

And what did I buy?!

This lovely cuff from Helen Roskell, it's Liberty tana lawn and it's so soft

A fab bundle of quilt pieces from Hesta Nesta and also this lovely piece of blue floral

and lastly, just what I wanted, a lovely jug for flowers etc. Also on the same stall - the lovely Acorn & Will, were these delightful Kilner jars, the lid actually is hollow so you can put flowers in too!
Another fabulous day out!